Wednesday, September 26, 2012

another year of wedded bliss

Today, we celebrate 3 years of marriage, 12.5 years of a relationship, and 13.5 years of friendship.  

We celebrate the laughter, tears, shouts of happiness and frustration, grief, joy, and pleasant contentment that have filled these years.  We celebrate the people who support our marriage, those who have shown us what a good marriage is all about, those who have championed and listened.  We celebrate each other and this bond we have been blessed with that we nurture each day.

A year ago, we were going to Charlotte for house stuff, to accommodate the need to be close by for caregiving.  This year, that is but a bittersweet memory.  

What a year it has been.  There has been such a beautiful juxtaposition of "pinch-me-this-can't-be-my-life" moments of utter elation and "wake-me-up-this-has-to-be-a-bad-dream" moments of utter sorrow this year.  I am so blessed to be able to share both with such a strong man and partner in life.  

"A thought transfixed me: for the first time in my life, I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers.  The truth - that love is the ultimate and highest goal to which man can aspire.  Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love.  I understand how a man who has nothing left in this world still knows bliss, be it only for a brief moment, in the contemplation of his beloved." - Victor Frankl

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Happy Birthday, Nan

This lovely lady would have been 90 today (not that any of us would have had a clue as to how old she was!).

Miss her more every day.  Cheers to you, Nan (oh my gosh, she was so embarrassed that someone was taking a picture of her holding this Corona! "oh Martha, I don't want this!  here, you take it!" we laughed SO HARD!  she was such a good sport.).  Such wonderful memories, filled with laughter, to fill this day!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Well, it seems those pics I promised last weekend never happened.  I blinked and suddenly it's Monday and I'm back at work and then Tuesday and I STILL haven't posted our progress!  How rude!  While I was gone, hubby did some prep work in the bathroom (put up backer-board in the shower) and finished the mini-makeover in the laundry room!  The shelves are in and everything has a fresh coat of paint.

But, even cooler is the fact that the old yellow floor is no more!

This weekend, while I was in Raleigh, he put down the orange stuff for the tile floor in the bathroom and taped the shower.  We are ready for tiling!

He also installed the new light fixture (obviously the globes aren't on it)... let there be light!

I was on cleanup crew again... and I couldn't help but laugh, coming around the corner and seeing this in the middle of the floor - Winston's toys and a screw.  Pretty much sums up our house these days!

Saturday, September 8, 2012


That was a ridiculously hilly race. Thanks to my family and an EMT with air conditioning, I made it to the end! My aunt Martha was especially awesome, as she finished the race with me after my serious asthma attack. Even dad got to run some with me! I didn't hit my time goal, but I finished. That's gotta be good enough for that course.

And today, I run.

Training for a half marathon has been my therapy.  It has been a lesson in self-care and self-awareness. I've talked about doing this for years (I want to run a half marathon before 30) but always found an excuse.  Well, when I ran with my aunt Martha one fateful Sunday in June, I ran right out of excuses, too.  I found a 10-week training program and discovered I was in better shape than they claimed you had to be.  So, I started.  Along the way, I've discovered that what you eat does actually impact your body.  A lot.  I've discovered that, just when you think you are going to have to give up, there's always someone there to encourage you along.  I've discovered that early morning runs, even on the weekends, really are a blessing once you convince yourself out of bed.

So, today, I run in memory of my Grammy, who I remember greatly disliking exercise, but who I also remember walking around her house the summer she passed away, keeping her active and comfortable till the end.  I run in memory of my Nan and Pop; Nan, who always managed to convince a sometimes begrudging Pop to be active, even in ridiculously cold weather (and all those fun runs around in circles in the pool - you always hoped Pop would help get the whirlpool REALLY going).  I run in memory of Grandma, who always thought I was crazy for running but who also, in a roundabout way, is the reason I started running as much as I did.  I run in thanksgiving of the support from all my family and friends.  Today, I run for me, too.  13.1 miles is a long way and a physical feat.  I am grateful my body has agreed to take me on this journey.

Oh, and no worries, hubby is at home with a honey-do list he wrote for himself :)  I'm sure there will be fun picture updates when I return!!!!

See you at the finish line!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Labor Day = lots of manual labor

Hi guys, Winston here again.  Mom is just Pooped from all the work on this here lovely Labor Day weekend!  She had put it off long enough - this was the weekend to start the Venetian plaster in the bathroom.  So, we begin with layer one.  I should start out by telling you that my parents used to really like the paint products at Lowe's but had recently been impressed by Home Depot's Behr's stuff.  Dad had tried painting the bathroom brown, but with the wallpaper, it was a bust.  Dad was told that the Home Depot Venetian plaster could be color matched to any color, so they decided to give it a go.  Except that after having the first gallon of plaster mixed, the paint crew discovered that was not so true. Back to the drawing board Mom and Dad went, special colors in hand.  They picked "limestone" and went back for that stuff.  Finally, mom could get started.  The instructions said to put it on thin and that it was fine if the wall showed through.  Well, not to jump ahead of things, but that isn't exactly true.  Anyway, here it is getting started.  
I should mention that Dad was also working on some projects while Mom was working on the bathroom.  Scary.  LoUd projects.  I decided I should help Mom, then.  Clearly, she would need protection.

The walls did not look very good after that first coat.  She was disheartened.  Especially since she had used the entire gallon.  They didn't even look that great after a second coat.  And a second coat meant a second gallon.  To your left, you will see the major challenge.  The walls were uneven.  So, she'd spackle that stuff on, cross hatch it, and the brown wall would appear again.  There were lots of little - and not so little - brown spots all over the wall.  She was FRUSTRATED.  This was a lot of work.  She was starting to think that it was never going to look good.
However, thanks to a visit from my GrandPawEnts and a surprise dinner with Adam, Andrea, and Noah, she was feeling more ready to take on the next coat (after going to Home Depot again for yet another gallon).  After a good night's sleep, though, and a fun run with a coworker (she ran, I made sure her pillow stayed warm), Mom and I were back at it! 
This third coat finally started to look good!!!


By Sunday night, I was SPENT.  I had to keep checking on Mom and making sure everything was going well.  That was exhausting work.

The walls have to dry at least 4 hours between each coat.  After the final coat, you have to wait at least 24 hours but no more than 7 days before you burnish it.  This means you sand the walls then rub them with the spatula.  Monday morning, Mom ran to Ace to get 400 grit sand paper and started on the walls.  Dad checked them out and pointed out that her sandpapering style was leaving finger marks in the wall.  

So Dad got out the power tools.  After some instruction, Mom started using the palm sander on the walls.  It was noisy, but quite effective (although I'm not sure she's going to be able to put her hands over her head tomorrow).  

Then, she burnished the whole thing.  If you look closely, the top half of this wall is done, in comparison to the lower half, which hadn't been sanded yet.  So, while they do love the Behr paint, Mom thinks that the Venetian Plaster from Lowe's is a little easier to work with.

So, she's done with what has to be done right now.  She's waiting for the floor and shower install before finishing out around the shower and sealing the whole room.  That means more spackle knifing! I am sure she's super-excited.  Anyway, we're all beat, so we're heading to bed.  Hope you enjoyed the long weekend and the long update!