Saturday, July 21, 2018

Twenty Years...

Twenty years ago on July twenty-first, my mother was found dead in her home by a friend who was scheduled to accompany her to chemotherapy. She was fifty-nine and terminally ill with cancer that began in her lungs and metastasized, eventually working its way into her brain and bones. I had just been told she had six months or less to live.

Having begun a job in my city two weeks prior to this, I came home from work on a rainy evening to an answering machine laden with bad news and was reeling from shock when her brother called to say he was on his way to me from another state and that I should pack a bag and await his arrival. The next few hours and days remain a blur, even now.

The complicated relationship my mother and I shared is one all too common amongst mothers and daughters though it often takes a bit of courage to untangle and write about. While I know she loved me, her need of control, security and to be right overshadowed whatever tenderness she felt and while she prized proper
behavior, obedience and good manners, her elegant public decorum, sarcastic sense of humor, beauty and charm were often lost to private anger or rage which I've touched on only briefly in other posts.

Years of searching for answers has lead to speculation as to why this was so. What I do know however is that she refused to see a mental health professional with me when the subject was broached, adamantly denied she was dying in the face of mounting evidence, brooked no conversation whatsoever of end of life care or personal matters and then demanded forgiveness for "a lot of mistakes."

Her end-of-life belligerence was based in fear, as had been many of her life's decisions, a situation over which I had no control. I remember pausing, taking a breath and thinking," I must take the high road here and accept this," something which though painful, I've never regretted doing. This was, after all, the woman who brought me into the world, fought tooth and nail to provide education and independence for us both, and who, along with her mother, modeled the life of a working woman which I was expected to follow.

A smoker since her earliest adolescence, this and other less than wonderful habits caught up with her in the last fifteen months of her life resulting in a devastating diagnosis. I hope she is finally at peace. Her name was Sarah.

Until Next Time...

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

And Now...

Drywall and patching were begun this afternoon, molding was cut and placed around the bottom of my sink opening, badly placed toe kicks were addressed, the whole house filter was changed, the water softener and salt were deemed fine, closet drawers and doors were adjusted and the casing from which last year's paint is peeling will get a scuffing and new coat, the electrical outage in the kitchen has been remedied and a countertop person will be called to measure and replace shoddy workmanship.

Additionally, when the AC lines began leaking from a clog yesterday, the air and heating contractor showed within the hour, blew out everything and left with $85 in hand. Tomorrow, drywall and a bit of painting and the replacement of a part on my filter housing  will be done.

 This contractor looked at the trap and lines beneath my sink and sighed loudly enough to shift the clouds. In order to place the cover originally intended under the sink's open space, the plumbing would need re-jigging. This would mean removing the sink, opening the wall and having more traffic through my place. The five-inch gap between the back wall and my slide in stove remains to be dealt with. Something will require fabrication.

I'm fully aware that these are first-world problems, and, given the state of the world and this country, I'm grateful to be able to have a home and care for it. It helps when things get crazy to have a place to re-charge. I am also fortunate to be able to shelter and enjoy my animal companion.

Many happy meows...

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Hell's Kitchen: One Year Later

Those of you who read here regularly will remember my too-long kitchen renovation from last summer. I was overjoyed to get the contractor gone. Then, I noticed and mentioned some small holes left in the wall on the other side of the back cabinet.

His response? "Well, you know I'm old..." He was 69.

I also discovered and completely dislike the five-inch or more gap between my stove and the wall it is meant to be flush up against. When the stove is backed against the wall as far as it will go, one can see how far the cabinets on either side of it stick out. Someone who was not me clearly measured incorrectly or forgot about the stove entirely in his calculations. Additionally, the caulk or whatever was used between the bottom of the backsplash and the countertop is peeling and cracking. The counters themselves are an issue because the material used was not grout but black silicone. This now comes out in pieces or little black balls.

Another contractor who is also a licensed home inspector has looked at all of this and will attempt to remedy what he can. In the meantime, my electrical outlets along one wall are out of commission thanks to a power surge during a recent storm. The air conditioning line developed a backup and stopped working earlier today. That has been seen to properly.

Lukas and I meanwhile are devising ways to stay out of the heat. I return to the dentist next week.

Sunday, July 8, 2018


After two weeks of being sick, I had a week of catching up with house, bills, people, etc. This included a clogged loo, a four-year-old microwave that decided to blow a fuse and die, the realization that the caulk or whatever was used between the backsplash and the edge of the counter top in my barely year-old kitchen is chipping and coming off in spots, all the way around the counter, and various daily chores.

A contractor was called, I did not need a plumber, massage for back and hip resumed and harmony temporarily restored, until...

The woman selling a second-hand microwave in my area had an emergency, the contractor has yet to appear, the loo is once again gurgling and a huge chunk of an upper molar sheered off as I was eating some hummus. I will be calling the dentist first thing tomorrow and hoping that nothing else breaks off in the meantime.

Oh, and did I mention that during one of our intense summer storms last week a friend and I saw hail?  Indeed so, Hail. In July.

I would say that normal blogging will resume, but nothing is normal here.