Saturday, May 24, 2014

Upstairs Doors and Floors Remodel Finished

The remodel has really been finished for a couple of months, and I did get the rooms put together for the most part, but never took any pictures because of one thing and another in my life at the time.  Now might be a good time to show a couple of the changes.

New hardwood floor in the living room.  I was originally worried about caring for it, but have found it to be durable and very easy to clean.  I got a low gloss option and it is really ideal in my brightly sunlit living room.  New couch and chairs are sized down to fit better with the large piano.  And a beautiful new railing that I added as a last minute idea.  My contractor is so wonderful to accommodate all my wishes, even in the last stages of the project when he needs to be moving on to the next one.
 Dining room with wood floors.  The flooring also extends down the hallway and stairs, and into the TV room.  I kept carpet in the other two bedrooms.
 Frankie photobombs my dining room picture.
The main change in the bathroom was the shower.  The original shower had a small door and a lowered ceiling and with a yellow tile finish, it was dark and uninviting.  We opened up one whole side of the shower and replaced it with clear glass.  We raised the ceiling to the height of the room, added a shower light and a deluxe dual head fixture.  New paint on the walls finished this one. 
One of these days I'll get some pictures of the new doors and the TV room which were also involved in this remodel.

With the completion of this project, I'm finished remodeling.  There's nothing left to do in the house.  Oh, maybe I'll paint a room now and then and change out curtains and bedspreads.  But this is it for the main things.  I can live in this house a long time and enjoy it.  And when the time comes to sell it, it will already be upgraded and ready to go.

I have to note this was the one thing from my 2013 New Year's resolutions that I didn't complete in 2013, but with its completion a few months into 2014, I don't feel too badly.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Spring 2014 - The Yard is Beautiful

Almost nothing makes me happier than the day Alberto's crew comes to do the spring cleanup in my yard. This year especially so. With the extra family duties, I've had no time to tackle things in the yard. It was such a mess, it was getting depressing. But one day with the cleanup crew, and my yard looks like heaven on earth.

The perennials are growing and a few are blooming. I will have something in bloom from now until well into Fall. I planned it that way. And I'll be adding more perennials again this year as I always do. Alberto's guys always pull up a few thinking they are weeds, but I don't complain much about that since they do such an amazing job.

 Today is an overcast day, so colors in my photos are muted. But the yard is lovely and all the little birds seem to be enjoying it as much as I am.

Frankie checks out the first 10 pots I've planted in annuals so far.  Still have 10 of medium to large size to plant, and another 8 or so little ones.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

An Idyl Life

I would like to never go out again.
Out and about, that is.
Just stay indoors.
Or lounge on the patio.
Or stroll around the garden
but seldom farther.

People could visit
And bring wine
and cheesecake
and chocolate
and crusty bread
or flaky croissants
or pain au chocolat.
And pineapple
and tender pea pods.
And shrimp to sauté
in butter and garlic.

And stay too late
and drink too much
and have to sleep over.

We'd walk around the morning yard
Picking weeds and flowers.
Filling bird feeders
and baths.
And then coffee and cheesecake
for breakfast.

And say goodbye
and all return home
for mid-day naps.
Then afterward wash the clothes and dishes
take out the trash, and tidy the place,
just before the guests arrive,

To do it all again.

"An Idyl Life" by Becky Stauffer
copyright 2014

Saturday, May 10, 2014


I had just one goal this year: Take care of Becky.  I had the best intentions.  But the truth is, my life has been absorbed by the needs of those around me leaving little time to follow my intentions.  This is not to complain.  Not at all.  I am glad to have the precious time with my grandchildren.  I'm glad to be able to care for my parents, despite the difficult circumstances.  I'm glad to give the love and support my bereaved friends need.  It would be easier if all of these needs hadn't come at the same time.  But they did and I find myself more and more short on time and energy.  I've had to put my needs on a back burner for now.

I'm happy to report that my dad has reached something of a stable point.  His health is still frail and his memory is only functioning at maybe 30 percent, but a plateau is still something to appreciate.  As a result mom is managing better on her own without as much help from all of us, and I am driving to Ogden fewer times a week.  I may be able to get down to one trip a week now.

And I will have some respite from my regular daily childcare duties when the Brazilian grandparents of my grandchildren arrive the end of this month.  They will stay all summer and I will be freed up until fall.

And things are changing in my friends' lives, too.  One has sold her house and is moving to another state.  Another may do the same.  All three are doing better all the time and filling their lives with new challenges and responsibilities.

Life is returning to a "new normal".

As things ease up on me in the coming weeks, I need to revisit that goal and start looking after my own health and well-being.  So much I want to do.  But first I will catch up on sleep.  Again.