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It's been an insanely busy year... - Diana McCabe — LiveJournal [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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It's been an insanely busy year... [Dec. 19th, 2014|07:08 pm]
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Looking back I see that I last made a post here last January. (Yikes! How could it possibly be December!) I had no intention of disappearing for so long! Looking back, so many of the creative projects - art and writing - that I'd intended to do this year, are still waiting to be started. You just really don't know what life - that sneaky bugger - is going to throw at you! Most of the time-consuming things this year were good, and some were hard...

Shortly after that post last January, I bought a new refrigerator. We had been talking about beginning to replace our very old (like original to the 1970's house old) kitchen appliances as the start of a gradual process of remodeling our kitchen. I wanted to strip everything down to bare walls and start over, and we assumed much money and time would be involved – hence the idea that slow and gradual would make it affordable. After the refrigerator was ordered and delivered, we went shopping for a new oven and cooktop at our neighborhood Lowe's. And as we got to talking to the sales people there, we found out that what we wanted to do wouldn't cost nearly as much as we'd imagined. And suddenly we were deciding to go ahead do it all NOW! Buying that refrigerator was like starting a tiny snowball rolling down a mountain and ending up with an avalanche. Completely unplanned!

So it took, overall, from January to September to completely remodel our kitchen. We did some of the work ourselves, which was intense, and there were a few not-so-nice surprises along the way – like what we found under our old flooring after we pulled it up – but the Lowe's people who installed the new flooring and cabinets were marvelous and the job was very well done.

I took pictures all along the way and intend to post a detailed photo chronicle of the process. But for now, here's the before and after pics. We went from this:

kitchen before

and this:

kitchen before

to this:

kitchen after

and this:

kitchen after.


Then just when most of the work for the kitchen was winding down, most of my time this fall was taken up by helping my mother and grandmother. My mother, who is almost 80, started having increasing trouble with a blind spot in her right eye, and needed me to help her more, especially driving her to doctor appointments, grocery store, etc. She's now had three eye surgeries since August – two to remove cataracts in both eyes and the third, in late October, on the blind spot area itself. But my mother was also the primary caregiver for her own mother who turned 100 on May 6 this year. This fall, my grandmother's health also began to rapidly decline, and she died in hospice this November. We held a memorial service in her hometown in NJ the first week of December. So it's been a hard few months here at the end of the year. But my grandmother very much wanted to pass before the end of 2014, so that her tombstone could read 1914 - 2014.

On her 100th birthday:

100th birthday

I bought the headband with the number 100's for her and she had a great time wearing it. She had such a great sense of humor, always ready with her instamatic camera to take candid shots of our most embarrassing moments. She was the one responsible for this set of pictures of me as a baby. :D She was also the first of four generations of women artists: herself, my mother, myself, and my daughter. We all owe a lot to her wonderful creative spirit!

She did get her final wish:


Hopefully, I can be back on LJ more now. I can't wait to see what 2015 is going to come up with! ;-) New laundry room is on the radar... And some of those on-hold art and writing projects hopefully will get finished. I'm more than ready to get to work on those! <3

[User Picture]From: etheriaelle
2014-12-20 02:32 am (UTC)
Great to have you back. I have been here intermittently and wondered if I just kept missing you. I am so sorry about the loss of your grandmother. She sounds like she was a wonderful person. Good genes too; she looks like a much younger person by at least 20 years. The kitchen reno looks beautiful. Know that you gotta love being in there.

Some time back I was sick and came to LJ to look for something to read. When I opened my F-list the first post was looking for one of your stories. Someone beat me to it just before I opened the comments, but it fulfilled my wish for something to read. Read every entry on your Ao3 over a couple of days. Then gawked at all your art forever. Totally what I needed, made me feel so much better. I can't wait to see what this year holds from you! Happy Hollidays!
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[User Picture]From: dmmccabe
2014-12-20 02:52 am (UTC)
Great to be back! I've missed you! Thanks - she was always making something. Even when she was almost blind in the last years, she crocheted afghans for everyone in the family. And you are so right - LOVE the new kitchen! :DD

Awww - that makes me so happy - I'm so glad you enjoyed all my stories and art! *hugs tight* Got to get busy doing MORE!! lol

Edited at 2014-12-20 02:52 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: adafrog
2014-12-20 03:54 pm (UTC)
Glad you have a nice new kitchen now.

Sorry about your grandmother, although I'm glad she got her wish. She sounds like a cool person.
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[User Picture]From: dmmccabe
2014-12-20 05:08 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much, hon! <3
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[User Picture]From: demicus
2014-12-22 12:26 am (UTC)
I'm so sorry for your loss. I love your beautiful grandma's cheek, & zest for life. Beautiful headstone. The headband with the 100s are a sweet touch. Love, love, love that picture your grandma took of you with that squirrel. LOL! I have the same reaction to dolls that you have to dogs. :)

Your kitchen is spectacular! What a successful renovation. I love the rug & that fabulous floor. The cupboards & island are pretty gorgeous too. Congratulations! Can't wait to see the laundry room!

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[User Picture]From: dmmccabe
2014-12-22 06:25 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much, dear! My grandmother was quite a character. ;-) She kept her sense of humor right up to the end. And she got such a kick out of the 100s headband that my mother took it and put it there at her headstone. LOL - now I'm not too fond of dolls either, but you can't tell it from that baby pic. *grin*

Thank you! It was SO much work - but so worth it!! Laundry room got a new floor and new plumbing at the same time as the kitchen, so it won't be nearly as huge a project. Maybe next month or February... :)
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[User Picture]From: zeitgeistic
2014-12-22 01:18 am (UTC)
Your kitchen looks beautiful.

I'm so sorry to hear about your grandmother but I think it's wonderful that she was excited about her tombstone having an even 100 on it. :)
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[User Picture]From: dmmccabe
2014-12-22 06:29 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much, hon! She was really so adamant about wanting those matching dates, we were glad for her that it happened the way she wanted. ^.^
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[User Picture]From: dark0feenix
2014-12-23 05:32 pm (UTC)
Sorry to hear about your grandmom but quite impressive she wanted to have the right year for the headstone and got it.

About the kitchen, the new one looks lovely but I don't really see much difference to the old one.

Anyway, good to have you back and thank you for the lovely surprise!art you've been drawing for fandom. ;)
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[User Picture]From: dmmccabe
2014-12-24 03:52 am (UTC)
Thank you, dear! She talked about wanting that date all the time - we were happy for her that she got her wish.

Oh - I can totally see that the new kitchen doesn't look that different than the old one. We liked the layout and the white cabinets with the blue color on the lower walls, so we repeated that in the new one. And you really can't tell from those pictures I posted, but the difference is that everything is NEW. We stripped the room of everything and started over. :D

Hee - yeah - I did manage to sneak in some fanart... ;-)
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[User Picture]From: nenne
2014-12-25 10:21 am (UTC)
Congrats on your new kitchen. It looks great. :-)

Your grandmother sounds like quite the character. :-) And wow did she look good at 100! I'm sorry for your loss.
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[User Picture]From: dmmccabe
2014-12-26 12:37 am (UTC)
Thank you so much, hon!

My grandmother really was a character and had such a great sense of humor that she kept right up to the end. :) Thank you. *hugs*
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[User Picture]From: birdsofshore
2014-12-25 08:39 pm (UTC)
I'm very sorry to hear of your loss. But what a gorgeous photo of her, and I completely relate to her wanting the 'right' year on the stone! I love the flowers and the headband arranged at her grave, and looks like she has a lovely oak tree growing above her, too.

Your kitchen looks like such a nice place to be.
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[User Picture]From: dmmccabe
2014-12-26 12:43 am (UTC)
Thank you, dear Birds. She was a funny, amazing lady, and was so insistent about those dates. And it was an amazing thing to see that 100 years. We were all happy for her that she got her wish on that. :)

Thank you! It is! The best part is it's all NEW and CLEAN! :DD
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