Friday, July 31, 2009

Rehab Starts

Another long day comes to a close. Moved Margaret from hospital to rehab center...never as easy as you think it may be. I am staying with Mom tonight in her room on a fold-out bed. She is afraid being in a new place. Wireless here so decided to write while she just fell asleep and hope she sleeps through the night. I'm exhausted too but want to make sure she sacks out first... Hope the psychosis is gone for good but little bits still linger. She is so tired.
Managed a few pics of house because we were in Bellingham so Deb and I picked up front door and floor tile and dropped off at house while Sandra stayed at rehab center with Mom. Pics show new pad.... decided not to write anything in the concrete but may do something else....? Love the new "spur" of the driveway and the new views from it of the house and the trees/property.
Pics of Debbie and my Mom just say "Love" to me. It is that simple. A tear of Joy and heart warming moment again..... Goodnight.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Major Setback – But not on the house.

At times, we wonder just how much we can take, and what forces are out there that are preventing us from finishing one of our "life dreams." We were all ready to do some final work in preparation for the concrete pad for the front door, and the re-route of our driveway, (which were two confirmed contractor appointments!) when we got a very bad call from Sandra (Don’s sister) on Sunday morning at 7:30 am saying that Margaret fell and needed to go the hospital. We raced to the hospital and by late afternoon it was confirmed Margaret had fractured her hip. Talk about getting a sick feeling…. And, the doctors said it was really important for her to have surgery as soon as possible. Next thing you know she is in surgery and out about an hour later plus another hour in recovery…. She did well and so did the doctor. But that was just the beginning…. Margaret went into “hospital psychosis” which she has done before at the hospital and that was the start of some horrible stuff. I can tell that that is one ugly and sad scene to see your mom in that state. wow. It takes a toll. As of today, she is better.
Per us, well, we are a bit better now although I wonder how we are holding it all together. Must be love heh? We didn't sleep at all for 2-3 days... and I mean none. Debbie and I spent the first two nights on a pull out sofa in Margaret’s hospital room. But really never slept on it to attend to her constantly - constantly! Sandra covered the day shift, which is no picnic while we worked or worked at the house. Then my mom had a sitter on tuesday night, and last night so we did get to sleep at home. Of course with the record heat here, it was 95 degrees in our apt - with the only window about the size of my laptop - and we had a fan. Not kidding on the 95. It was like an attic. So, not the best sleep. But believe it or not, in between being at the hospital, where Sandra was "covering" for us, we did pour our pad for the entry way, and worked with our neighbor Tod to excavate / re-route our driveway..... first pic shows some of it... when we worked with him, it was really hot....even in the shade.... driveway is now ready for gravel and looks great. It will be very neat. And Deb is going to run home and seal the concrete pad, while I go to the hospital after work.
We all have been busy trying to find Margaret the best place to get her rehab and am hopeful it will work and she will work to make it work. It really is a life decision on her part so to speak, and not a whole lot we can do to sway it other than being incredibly encouraging and supportive - which we really are..... honest. I always envision a success story and hope she can see it and try her best. Boy, it's really hard for her and I give her so much credit for her toughness and will. Heartbreaking at times too mixed with tears of joy.
Again, pics show some of the progress but it clearly has slowed again. Not a big issue given the circumstances, but it does hurt the house “enthusiasm…” at least temporarily. Hard to work with “Mom Stuff” on our minds. Pray for a successful recovery please.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Tile Madness Cont.

As promised by Debbie, here are a few pics of recent efforts. It just does not stop. First of all it’s been great having Sandra here to help and hang out with Don’s mom. What a world of difference it makes knowing she is being taken care of and to have someone tend to her appointments.
Now to the house. Been doing tiling, final decisions on kitchen cabinets - decided to go with cherry wood – and prepping for next week which will include pouring the pad for the front door, re-routing our driveway, installing the propane tank, layout for the final approach for the gravel path, layout/design of finish work for our stairwell including railings, more tiling (Matt may be up again), picking up the front door, may install it, picking out kitchen and hallway tile, selecting faucets for shower and hand showers, moving refrigerator and dishwasher from the barn to the kitchen, and who knows what else. Basically a big week. We are actually looking forward to it. So, here are a few tiling and paint pics to show you what we are up to. Notice how Sandra gave her thoughts on interior design, and how Debbie has become the tile saw expert - thanks to instruction by Matt. Enjoy, and as Deb says, “Stop by!”

Tile Madness!

(This is Deb) I just wanted to give y'all an update on the house. Don and I have been working very hard on getting the bathrooms's actually been a fun process and it's been turning out well. I've been in Pendleton this week and I know Don's been working on some of it by himself - so I'm anxious to see what's he's been up to! He does such great work! I can't wait to get the accent tiles into the walls! It will look GREAT! Hope you can see it in person! Come on up to Bow!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Covering Ground with Matt!

Matt was back! Let’s start by saying we can not thank him enough for all he has done. He loves our barn too….. and informed us that he had a roommate the other night named “Benji Bat.” Yep, bat in the barn…. We will tend to that issue very soon.
Matt worked like hell again, this time giving us the basic training on tiling. Wow again. Much more to it than we thought but we are on our way. What we did looks very cool.
Sandra arrived on Wed and is staying with Mom. Great help! Deb and I were out of town for work earlier in the week Don in Portland, Deb in Pullman.
Last weekend, we did an incredible amount of work that seemed like it did not show much for our effort…. We cleaned the entire area around the house - moved, stacked and transported an incredible amount of stuff to the dump. Great fun and a great relief in many ways to see all that crap gone. We are now prepped for our propane tank and driveway re-route, plus the front door concrete pour. Cabinetry is ordered and/or ready to order kitchen….. big decision….maple or cherry wood? Yikes. All for now…. Out timeline to move in keeps moving out…. Frustrating but nothing we can do about it but stay on course…..
Last but not least, while cleaning up we had a mother deer and TWIN fawns visit our orchard.... made our day. More to come later…

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The new Sparkle Shop!

The last few days have focused on the laundry room. Another learning experience. Lesson learned….sometimes what paint looks like in the can or on the sample chips, does not really look the same on the wall. We wanted a sunny yellow laundry room. What we got was an “electric yellow lime” laundry room…. Wow! It was bright we can tell you that. Needless to say, we just couldn’t go with it, and ended up getting another color and re-painting the room. That is what you see here. More work but what the heck heh… At this point, what would have normally been “a lot of work” is now just a joke. Just do it and move on.
On the positive side we finally got to do a load of laundry at the house!!! We both learned how to set up a washer and dryer, build a stand, connect the electric (with some help from Wayne!) Wow, what a thrill it was to turn on the washer and start the process. No more “Sparkle Shop” Laundromat. No more quarters to feed the machines. Oh my! We have our own "Sparkle Shop!"
On the horizon – cabinets are being made for next 3-4 weeks. During that time we are tiling, sanding/painting, re-route driveway and install propane tank, pour front door pad, install front door, design and move on all railings, and take a ton of crap to the dump.
But best of all.... "Hank" came over to check out the Sparkle Shop - he approved! He's adorable!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

July 4

Hi everyone- Here we are. It's July 4. More of the same. Celebrated the 4th early by taking the washer and dryer out of the barn and moved them down to the house. Both were too heavy for Deb and I to lift on to the truck, so we put on a dolly and shlepped them down the driveway.... great fun heh? Well, let's just say it worked. It sure looked funny but then again there are many things we do that are funny... Should be all hooked up by mid week and will not believe we will not have to go to the laudromat. We can tell you this, after 15 months of doing laundry at laundromat that we are very ready to try to do laundry at the house... Stay tuned. It will be a monumental event. Finished prepping the master shower. It will be ready for tile after tomorrow. Matt coming back up on tuesday. Did a dry run with the shower tile too. Man, it is decision after decision.
Spent evening with my Mom. A nice time. Her weight continues to be a concern... Don't know what else we can do to make her eat??? We wanted to bring her to the house but is was a really hot day (for here) so we decided to wait a few days or till next week.
All for now. Pics tell it all...

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Tiling with Matt, Ben, and Jais

Our dear friend Matt - of Matt and Rachel - arrived to install our tile. He didn't arrive alone. Matt's brother in law, Ben, and Matt's brother Jais, came up all the way from Portland to help Matt tile! It was hard to believe, actually. They stayed in the barn, got up early, and worked late. Not only did they work incredibly hard, it was an absolute education for Debbie and I to see first hand (and help where we could) how much work there is to tiling a shower and bath! Oh my! We thought it would be simple.... even though we are tiling three bathrooms (more or less since they are not full baths etc...). Just mortor the shower floor and start tiling the walls and floor right....?wrong. No way. Have to mix mortar, install with the proper angle, install the waterproof membrane, more mortar, fiberglass tape the seems on the cement board, apply thin-set, then waterproof the board, etc. etc..... So, needless to say, we are not quite as far as we thought.... but again, it is three baths! Matt is coming up next week to have at it again.
Next, gutters on Monday, Deb and I need to get paint and more tile, might try to install washer and dryer? etc. etc...... Wow, it will be one heck of a holiday weekend.
Lisa and Dick stopped up too! Spent a night and then helped on the house before they header home.... Can you believe it? Dick helped with cement board and Lisa painted.... note, we added a bit more straw color. Like it?
Our biggest disappointment is the quality of this set of pics.... so busy we didn't get any great ones of the guys working.... very sorry about that.
And, get this............ we are starting to harvest our Cherries! Fantastic. Taste great!
Goodnight. Whew.... God Bless Matt, Ben, Jais, Lisa and Dick!