Friday, February 22, 2008

The Great Kitchen Remodel, Part 1

Don't ask me how many parts there will be, I don't know. I do know that we have BIG PLANS for our kitchen area, and when it is all finished, SERENITY WILL REIGN. (As I think about it, serenity probably would never do anything so forceful as reign, but that's neither here nor there.) There will be light. And a surface on which to put things, like food, or a vase. And there will be more cupboard space.

But for now, there are only updated appliances and colors that do not yet match the house:

As you can see, we bought new, stainless appliances. AND I PAINTED THINGS CRAZY COLORS. But I like them, so poo on you. Apparently, no one else does. Although Tony indulges me and says things like, "it's your kitchen." Which is ever so true. Plus, I keep pointing out to everyone, including myself (yes, I can see that nothing matches right now, but I have a vision, okay?), that the countertops and the sink and the linoleum will all be replaced in due time with something better. That's part 2.

Part 3 is where we rip out the wall that is opposite the counters in the photograph. We will add an island with improved storage space and that will allow light from the kitchen to filter through to the living room, which currently has a dungeon-esque feel to it.

And then, if the colors still look wonky, I will repaint. I really like the blue, and I love the combination of blue and green, but the green I chose pulls out all the yellow in the wood and the linoleum and the counter and the sink. If that doesn't change when those other things are replaced, I will likely choose a sage green and repaint.

In other news, we are also working on our back yard. Here is Tony with what I like to call "the testosterone launcher":

Which is really just a stump grinder, rented for that express purpose. But Tony was giddy and felt all manly for like, a week afterwards, funny guy. Buster whined, and did not think it was cool that Tony had a big machine that shot cedar chips forty feet in the air and he DID NOT get to play with it. I can only imagine how I would explain to my boss that I had to take the day off to clean up ground remains of my lovable pooch from the backyard.

Here's a little Buster love to assure you that he is still alive:

And still possessed, of course.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

I love you, Grandma

My grandma died on January 25th, early in the morning. Not unexpected, but it hurts anyhow. I refused to even deal with it for a whole two days, as I got through a day of work visiting travel writers at newspapers in Seattle, and then partying with a good friend at her bridal shower. Nonetheless, the whole weekend was cursed. My friend ended up breaking up with her fiance that week, after he went crazy, and I cried the whole drive home on Saturday.

What do you do when you lose people you love? Nothing, I suppose, but try to get through your grief. The finality of it all is jarring, and everyday I find myself thinking about how she won't be there the next time I drive back to Ilwaco, or even next Christmas.

My grandma wasn't perfect, but she was wonderful. She was the most generous and courageous person I have ever known, and I always wondered if she felt she got enough love in return. I am glad to have held her hand and given her hugs for so many years. Anything else I could say would not do her justice, for how can we really know a grandparent? To grandchildren, grandparents are somewhat of an enigma... indulgent beings who are older, and to be respected, but who are eclipsed by their own children as the powerful family members. I knew my grandma as I knew my other grandparents (when I knew them at all): as a loving relative, not as a person whose life contained joy, mirth, heartache.
I imagine that will shift a bit this coming weekend as I sit through stories of her at her memorial. She will remain my grandma, but I will be glad to know something more of the woman she was. I only hope that I can forget the pain we all saw etched on her face over the last year as she led her final battle.
I love you, grandma.