Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Another New Start

Next month, we close on a new house, and in the same evening we settle on the condo as well. But this means we'll have about 3-4 days to move, and give the new owners rent back for those days. (I wonder what that'll come up to?)

No more living in a concrete box! We will be homeowners, with a big house and lots of trees. Lots of lovely rooms, awesome features, lots of built-ins, charming spaces, and quality finishes. A little dated, but not as bad as some I've seen, and it doesn't bother us much. So we can change things slowly because it's all in great shape and very livable.

I look forward to putting some color on the pale walls. Wedgwood blues, warm yellows. Maybe some red and Japonisme/Chinoiserie in the dining room. Furnishings in the style of Mission/Prairie, Art Deco, Frank Lloyd Wright, Arts & Crafts...

Even though we usually prefer colonials of the 30s/40s with obviously attractive front elevations, falling in love with this 1958 rambler/ranch style house took me by surprise. The lush setting simply steals the show.

After discovering all it had to offer, I never dreamed we could own a place like this. It's got everything we wanted but never thought we could have, not in this area. There's so much to work with and it is impeccably maintained.

Front View with driveway. Front door/porch to the left. Kitchen door/patio to the right. Garage on far right.
We do have neighbors on either side, but once on the property it's hard to tell.

Kitchen Door and Porch. Garage on the right, with Cupola.

Front yard

Patio leads from Walk-Out Basement Apartment into 1/2 acre of woods

Towards the Driveway and Wood Pile from the Deck

Screened Porch

Screened Porch & Family Room Window

Screened Porch

Down the Garden Path

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Bzzy Bee

I've started a new blog called The Bzzy Bee. I know, shocked aren't you, because I've neglected this one for eons!

Well, I post so often on Facebook about foods I try, restaurants I go to, and products I use, that I decided to make it official: joined some product testing panels and then found that a related blog would go hand in hand with that endeavor.

Hopefully it will mean I get to update this personal blog more often too :-)

Saturday, December 03, 2011

What's happened since...?

Wedding and Honeymoon

The wedding last September was wonderful! Short and sweet, but an experience enjoyed by all. Ceremony was at the little stone church we go to (whenever we feel like it, ahem!) Reception was at the best French restaurant in the area. It was a shockingly hot day for that time of year, but better than cold and rain.

The honeymoon in Antigua was fun, after Jeff got over the bad cold he came down with on our wedding day. The resort was peaceful, the food was great and the people friendly. One day we got out and went on a powerboat > kayaking > hiking > snorkeling adventure.

Goodbye to the first love of my life

I spent a number of weeks in London over November/December with my mother and her condition was such that I could not commit to anything for the springtime because from that visit on, I knew I would have to wait for that call, in the middle of the night -- and it did come eventually, right when I thought it would.

I had bought a ticket to visit her in March/April. About a week before I was set to fly out, a call came in the middle of the night. The doctor was with her and after her carer spoke to me, the doctor told me to change my ticket because I didn't want to wish I had been there. So I went. Jeff came with me for a few days. He said goodbye to his Ruthie. She was on constant ventilation, and in relentless, heartbreaking distress, aware of nothing around her because of it. The morphine injections were not enough and a few days after I arrived the palliative care team took over from the district nurses. They put her on a steady syringe driver of what I shall now call the "Exit Cocktail" and came to check and refill daily. No child should have to see their young parent go through that. Each day from there on, she slipped away further and further, until a few days later I knew it was not my mother in that bed. The following morning she was gone.

We had the funeral nearby in the church she went to when she could get out. Everyone we knew there, family, old friends and new, came. People all said the same thing about her rich, warm, loving spirit; her shining smile and big bright eyes; her love of people and how she cared for and cooked for everyone, how much she taught them, and how what they do now is as a result of her influence, and how she was pretty much everyone's Mama.

I miss her, every moment of every day. It is still such a reflex to want to call her for the big things, and especially the little things. Like,

Mum, how much flour do I put in this recipe?
Guess what, Ma, the doc said I was OK.
Mumsy, what do you think...?
Mummy, why is this so...?

She always has been, and always will be, my angel.

A Few Lost Months

Not sure what was going on over the summer. Obviously time passed and I got on with things, but it's a bit of a blur.

In August we went to my cousin's wedding in Canada, where I served as a bridesmaid in an electric blue dress. It was outdoors and beautiful, all very touching; she was a crying bride, but the groom shed tears when he "married" her daughter too. Not a dry eye in the field, and I was fighting so hard not to cry, one of my aunts in the 3rd row was ready to run up with tissues.

On our return home, I started the IVF process. It's something I knew had to be done from the moment he told me he had CF. There were more needles than I could count, and they hurt and the meds burned and caused bruises and welts. Jeff, my skilled but reluctant injector, wanted to quit because he hated putting me through this, and also kept apologizing that it was his fault I had to go through it, but in the midst of it all I loved him more than I did before. Anyway, extraction, culture, transfer = no success this time. But it did a number on me, and I was in recovery for some time. We'll thaw the rest out in January and try another transfer.

Then around our anniversary -- a few days after I recovered, Jeff got sicker than he was after our wedding; he was fighting something again and was OK for our dinner - at the French restaurant - but then it turned into pneumonia and we went to hospital and they threw scary antibiotics at him, and sent him home with the whole IV setup and everything. Took him at least a month to come out of that.

Enjoying the End of 2011

So after everything we'd been through the last few months, we've decided to put things on hold and just enjoy the end of the year.

For his birthday, I took him to see Cirque du Soleil's Quidam, when they were passing through DC.

For Thanksgiving, we drove up to NYC for a few days to be with cousins and hang out with friends and see the city. We stayed at a nice hotel across the water in New Jersey so we could get full and amazing views of Manhattan across the river. We walked around and saw all the usual things like Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, St Patrick's Cathedral, Times Square, South Street Seaport.

And we saw a proper musical, Anything Goes, written by P.G. Wodehouse and Cole Porter.

Next up: Christmas