March 23, 2009

Dedicated to the memory of Julie Kloos

Today, Granny Kloos passed to the other side of the Jordan and was re-united with her husband, where I know they will be forever very happy.

I look forward to seeing them both again.

March 21, 2009

Death and Moving

Doesn't that sound like a great title for a really bad horror flick with a Freddie Krueger-type persona terrorizing all the hosts on the HGTV home decorating shows as well as Martha Stewart? However, both of these things are imminent in my life right now.

My Granny Kloos is entering the final stages of life. She is no longer eating and her lungs are filling up with fluid. After living as a widow for over twenty years, living with fibromyalgia and other worries, she is finally starting to let go of this world. I visited her on Wednesday, right before seeing my brother, and my heart broke because she looked like someone entirely different from the feisty go-getter that I remember. I can only pray that God takes her quickly so that her suffering is minimal. I would like to spend a lot more time at her side so that she isn't alone much in her last days. She has two daughters and a grandson nearby who can be with her, too, but only for limited times. The rest of her grandkids and her two sons live far away and can't necessarily come. I have one huge obstacle preventing me from fulfilling my desire: the fact that we need to be in the Phoenix area before April 27th, when my husband starts his new job.

That's right, we have only a month to get the house ready for sale, find a new house in the Phoenix area, figure out what we need to pack until we move into our new house and say good bye to all of our friends and family. It is a little overwhelming. Fortunately, I have a wonderful husband who is doing most of the painting, finalizing other home repair projects and dealing with my emotions, which are a little unstable now (no comments from the peanut gallery about the overall stability of my emotions, please!). Also, I have a great God, who tells me to take one day at a time, helps me figure out what needs to be done and helps take away any guilty feelings I have for (simultaneously) neglecting my grandmother/friends/kids/husband/house and reminding me that this job and this move are truly a blessing from Him and that, even though there is some heartache in moving away from one set of family and friends, we are moving closer to another set of family and will develop a new set of friends. He also reminds me that even when no one person is with Granny Kloos, He is there, comforting her and helping her make the journey to Him in heaven, where He can "wipe every tear from (her) eyes" and "where there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain." (Revelation 21:4). Below is a hymn we learned in January that I have learned to love, in spite of the rather depressing title: Come, Ye Disconsolate.

Come, ye disconsolate, where’er ye languish,
Come to the mercy seat, fervently kneel.
Here bring your wounded hearts,
here tell your anguish;
Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal.

Joy of the desolate,
light of the straying,
Hope of the penitent,
fadeless and pure!
Here speaks the Comforter,
tenderly saying,
“Earth has no sorrow that Heaven cannot cure.”

Here see the Bread of Life,
see waters flowing
Forth from the throne of God,
pure from above.
Come to the feast of love;
come, ever knowing
Earth has no sorrow but heaven can remove.

March 10, 2009

Kitchen update

In the middle of painting the upper part of the wall, Eric and I decided that the green I had originally picked is too dark, especially with the potential moving issue. I went out and got a lighter shade of the color. We are currently trying to figure out whether or not to re-paint the wall above the cabinets to be the same color as the wall below the cabinets and we would like your input. I am including two pictures of the kitchen--one with a flash and one in natural light. We are setting up the polls to be run Illinois style so you can vote early and vote often. At stake is Eric having to move the refrigerator to paint behind it again. BTW, would anyone like a gallon of herb green paint?

March 3, 2009

My husband's work

My husband, like his father and grandfather, doesn't like to sit around much. He has to be doing something. Fortunately, he has a long list of "home improvement" projects that require his attention. He is definitely working hard. He is in the final stages of painting the cabinets in the kitchen. By next week, the cabinets will be done and the kitchen painted. Below are some pictures from the kitchen. Please ignore the clutter. The first picture shows the last little bit he has to do. Now that we have the cabinets painted, the faux butcher block countertop doesn't look quite as bad. Next week, we will have pictures of what the kitchen looks like with a new coat of paint.

Eric started on what we thought would be a quick, "clean up" job of re-cauking the shower. It turned into more work than he expected when he encountered black stuff behind the tile. Today was demolition day, where the sounds of his hammer and chisel could be heard most of the day throughout the house. Below are pictures during the demolition. We filled eight bags total with moldy tile and dry wall. The irony is that I spent a couple hours one day scraping soap scum off of the base so that our shower would "look" new. That seems like time well spent now that we will be replacing it. We will probably be replacing the floor tile, too, which means that I can carry the blue of the bedroom into the bathroom. Woo Hoo! Only the sink will bring back memories of the 70's now.

Here is Eric after a hard day's work. Advil will be coming next!

Lowe's may get stimulated by our family in a couple of days when we buy a new shower surround and base, along with the accoutrements needed to install it.
We hope you have enjoyed this segment of "Home Improvement"
For those of you who are wondering, Eric is also finding time to look for a job in between house projects. No offer has been made as of yet, nor has he been called for any interviews.
Have fun everyone!