Tag Archive | life changes

Take it easy

Hardy hibiscus.jpeg

Our hardy hibiscus has been blooming away in my office upstairs. Flowers for the departed or just random beauty? Either way works for me.

We’re only 18 days into the new year, and it’s already been a heartbreaker. Glenn Frey at 67? David Bowie AND Alan Rickman at 69? Jeez, let’s take it easy, already. Talk about a heartbreak trifecta.

This old gal recently turned 60, so those ages are indecently young. When my grandmother died at 69, I had no concept of how young she was – she’d had health issues and had been a little crazy for as long as we could remember, and I was only 21. About 20 years ago, I realized she was far too young when she departed.

My decision not to take it easy, exactly, but to make a significant change in lifestyle had been made before 2015 even rolled into 2016. These recent losses (as well as my old friend and classmate Dee Edwards, two days before his 61st birthday) reinforce the decision.

As of the end of this month, I’ll be spending a lot less time – as in, none – at the office. I’ll still be working some from home, but Annabelle just turned 5, Silas will be 3 in April and just yesterday, our first grandchild (who’ll be 10 in June) was born.

kitchen.jpeg

The upstairs kitchen is seeing progress again.

This can’t stand.

Plus, John and I need to finish this old house, and four hands are quicker than two. We ordered mass quantities of tile this weekend. Can’t wait to get my hands dirty again.

hardie backer.jpeg

If you recognize this, you’ve laid your share or have at least been around some construction. Note the spelling difference, but I like that it’s Hardie Backer. And I really like that John’s doing all the screws. (I’ve done my share and he’s way better at it.)

Then there’s that piano begging to be played. Struggling with Italian to be resumed. Climate Reality presentations to be made.

Etc., etc.

Life goes on until it doesn’t but, man, we need to keep our priorities straight.

Peace and love, y’all.

Quartzite.jpeg

Quartzite – aka our soon to be kitchen floor.

What a difference a day makes

The old song is true: What a difference a day makes! The sun comes out, a baby is born, luck takes a turn (we hope for the better), moods lift. But looking back over 365 days can stop you in your tracks – so much to process.

One year ago, Baby Silas was in his first 24 hours.

Newborn Silas, the youngest grandchild, in his first hours.

Newborn Silas, the youngest grandchild, in his first hours.

A year later, he’s running around, dancing, beginning to talk, and recreationally fighting with Sylvia.

Silas the wild child after birthday cake.

Silas the wild child after birthday cake.

Look at that face!

Look at that face!

A year ago Annabelle and Sylvia were straddling the baby/toddler line. Today they’re little girls, chattering up a storm.

Annabelle is 3, Sylvia will be in June. They're maturing at warp speed.

Annabelle is 3, Sylvia will be in June. They’re maturing at warp speed.

Jude continues to grow like a weed – he’s a good big brother, alternating between being protective and being a pest. That’s what brothers are for, I think. Never had one of my own, but from what I’ve seen …

Jude stops from helping the girls on Silas's new birthday slide (courtesy of G-Mom) to pose for Lolly.

Jude stops from helping the girls on Silas’s new birthday slide (courtesy of G-Mom) to pose for Lolly.

Little Luke, at almost a year and a half, is a cuddly clown – he loves to laugh and is quite a flirt. He runs more than walks and knows instinctively how to dial a Fisher-Price retro rotary phone, even though he’s never seen a real rotary phone.

Luke dials someone on Silas's birthday phone. That's Dad in the background – he had a Fisher-Price phone as a toddler, too.

Luke dials someone on Silas’s birthday phone. That’s Dad in the background – he had a Fisher-Price phone as a toddler, too.

A year ago, we were still reeling and angry from Bill’s sudden death; today we can see the signs it was coming, though I’m still angry that he got caught up in and was tortured by the medical-industrial complex in his dwindling days, until we said enough was enough.

Mother was in shock, in poor health and recovering from a back surgery we weren’t sure would hold. A year later, she’s the incredible shrinking dynamo. Her health has worsened but her back has survived two falls and her spirits are good. She’s sold her house in the outback and is downsizing to a smaller home in town with a lake in her backyard.

A year ago I was freelancing – today I’m working my rear off at a fun job that allows me to drop everything when family duty calls.

A day ago I was so tired I thought I might never blog again – it’s almost time to renew my website and I’ve been thinking I’d let it drop – then this morning I woke up with this basically written in my head.

The jury’s still out on continuing, but, again, what a difference a day makes.

Ch-ch-ch-changes, part 1

Though this is really just a taste of things to come, we’ve had some major changes in the past week or so.

On the sad side:

John’s little mother’s condition has changed a bit for the worse as she’s slipped further into confusion.

On the wistful side:

My grad school status changed from “out on family medical leave” to “withdrawn in good standing.” We’ll see what the future holds, but now is not the time. That much is obvious.

My scooter changed ownership, from me to our good friend Dave, who plans to paint it red and hot-rod it up. (I never rode it to school – my children strongly vetoed that – Ben was of the mind that someone would snatch me off it at a stoplight and Liz just flat said, “No way.” Pam offered to pay me not to ride it. And John and I haven’t had time to pleasure ride in a long time, so it’s just as well.)

On the exciting side:

Our dining room has changed for the better, since John brought home the insanely beautiful liquor cabinet he made for us in his furniture design class at UALR.

Yes, my husband made this. No, you can't buy it.

Yes, my husband made this. No, you can’t buy it.

But someday he'll have a website and maybe you can order your own. I don't mind sharing his talents with the word.

But someday he’ll have a website and maybe you can order your own. I don’t mind sharing his talents with the world.

I exchanged my scooter for a newly ordered bicycle, which should be here soon. I’ll still have two-wheel transportation, just Lolly-powered. (Hope I love my Electra as much as I loved my Schwinn. And that it is as easy as riding a bike to get back to.)

And things are changing like mad on the remodeling/reconstruction front, most recently in the form of a new red roof – and mega sheetrock delivery from River City Materials, a company that can do amazing things with a crane and crew, like getting 12-foot sheets of Sheetrock through a second story window.

The early morning sun in behind the house made photos almost impossible, but you can kind of get the picture.

The early morning sun in behind the house made photos almost impossible, but you can kind of get the picture.

More to come. Much more.

Heading toward the upstairs office window. Crazy!

Heading toward the upstairs office window. Crazy!

Nicely done!

Nicely done!