Wednesday, May 17, 2017

New house

On Mon afternoon we bought a new house.
Well, its not really a new house.  Its a used house, 25 years old, but its new to us.

No, we're not moving out of this house.
Grey Gardens, as our friends Steven & Thad refer to it
This is our house.  Where we live.  Its roomy enough to easily have guests stay over and works for us.  Maybe when Spouse retires in 10 years (and we're in our early 60s) we'll downsize.  But not now.

The new house is going to be a rental.  Its in a very convenient community, has a big back yard, a deck, and spacious rooms.  But the decor is reflective of its previous owner: an old lady.  So before we put it on the market for rent we're going to make some updates.  Nothing tos crazy or expensive; mostly cosmetic stuff to modernize it.  We're keeping the carpet and flooring and kitchen cabinets and appliances, for now.  Maybe in a few years we'll remodel the kitchen.  But for now we're replacing light fixtures, ceiling fans, towel bars an toilet paper holders in the bathrooms and the like.  

Oh, and we're adding an island.  The kitchen is big enough for one, but the reason we're doing it is to accommodate a dishwasher.  Apparently the old lady who had this home custom built liked to hand wash dishes because there's no dishwasher.  And no way to retrofit one into the cabinets either.  So we're creating an island that will house the dishwasher.  We hope to have it finished in about 2 weeks.  It should make a great home for a young family or older couple.  It'll be a fun project for me & Spouse too.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Back in DC

This past weekend Spouse & I were back in DC again.  I say 'again' because we were there a month ago for Easter, and 2 weeks ago for his mom's viewings and funeral.  But we went back again for 2 important reasons.

The 1st was a 35th high school reunion cocktail party.  This was not an official reunion planned by the class.  This was a cocktail party reunion held at our dear friends Kerry & Hugh's home.  Kerry sent out an Evite and I created a Facebook event to get the word out.  Probably 25 or so classmates came and everyone had a ball!

I had an idea of taking selfies with my classmates AND my cosmo, so you'll see several of those, plus some other photos.
Donna looking incredublously at something Gary is saying, with Susan

Me and Patty

Me and Corky

Jeff, Kelly, Wayne, Corky

Me and my sister from another Mister Lisa

Me and Ginny

Scott and Allison

Lisa and Kerry

Me and Jeff

Carl and Kerry

Me and Kelly

Me, Kerry, Kelly, Jonathan

Me and Gary

Me and Carl

Me and Susan

Apparently only Carl could hear the amazingly funny joke...
Me an Allison
Me and Scott

The next day was Mother's Day, and only 1 month after Evelyn's passing.  This was another reason for coming back to DC; to spend Mother's Day with Spouse's sister Mary and her family.  We figured it would make the loss of our mother easier to endure on Mother's Day if we were together.  We had a very leisurely morning, talking and laughing a lot, and then ordered a bunch of Chinese food and ate lunch out on the deck.  Anna made this cake for her mother:  chocolate with mini M&Ms - her favorite.

We left at 3pm and after some traffic congestion finally arrived home at 6pm.

Friday, May 05, 2017

Cinco de Mayo!

If you've been reading this blog for a few years you'll know I love me a good Cinco de Mayo celebration!  Like I really need an excuse to drink margaritas and eat delicious Mexican food...

For the last several years we've gone to Dos Locos and this year was no exception.  It was a smaller group than usual, as a couple of friends had other plans, etc.  So this year it was just Spouse & me and Steven.

Monday, May 01, 2017

Mourning after

Last Thurs Spouse & I packed up the dogs and several days' worth of clothes and left for VA.  We arrived at Spouse's sister's house just before lunch time so we took her and her older son (nicknamed Baby David) to lunch.  Afterward we stopped at a few stores because Spouse wanted some new pants for the viewings/funeral, and Spouse's sister needed a few things too.  That night we ordered food in and looked through a bunch of old photos collected from Spouse's mom's apartment.  We pulled out about 100 of them to use on the memory boards and in a slide show.  Here are some of my favorites:

Evelyn loved sitting in her back yard

Evelyn was a member of lunch AND dinner Red Hat groups

Glamour Girl in her kitchen

That adorable little boy in the grey suit is Spouse

Memory board #1

Memory board #2
It was fun and somewhat therapeutic to go through all the old photos.  And yes, that's Evelyn riding a camel in Egypt in the center of memory board #2.  The woman got around!

On Fri the family arrived at the funeral home at 1:15 for the private family viewing, then set up the memory boards and slide show.  Next was a viewing for friends at 2:00.  According to the guest book about 75 people came, including many of the residents and staff of the retirement home where Evelyn had lived.  Spouse's boss came from DE with her husband, and several friends of ours came too.  We had a break from 4:00-6:00 during which time the family had a light meal and I picked up my aunt Mary.  Then came the 2nd viewing from 6:00-8:00.  Approximately 125 people attended that one, including our dear friends Mike & Clark, Ron & James, Kerry & Hugh, Kelly, Justine & Liz, and the retired pastor and associate pastor of the church we attended in VA, who are still dear friends. While it was obviously a sad time, I can say that it wasn't overly sad.  Friends shared cherished and often humorous stories about Evelyn and I imagine there were likely as many laughs as there were tears.

The funeral mass was at 11:00 in the Catholic church Evelyn attended for many, many years.  There were likely 150+ people there including our good friends Steven & Thad.  For me, this was sort of the 'finale' and I anticipated having trouble keeping my emotions in check, so I planned my coping mechanism.  When I felt like I may ugly-cry, I would think about a hilarious situation involving Evelyn at a restaurant.  Spouse & I were out to dinner with Evelyn when a familiar looking woman was seated a few tables away.  Evelyn thought it was her old neighbor Pauline who had moved away 20 years prior.  Spouse suggested to his mother than Pauline would now be much older than this woman so it likely wasn't her.  Spouse's mother persisted that the woman was wearing a ring just like Pauline, so she decided to approach the woman at her table.  The brief conversation went like this:
Evelyn:  Excuse me, are you Pauline?
Woman:  No.
Evelyn:  Are you sure??  You look just like her!
Questioning whether the woman was sure of her identity still makes me laugh to this day, so I knew it would help me shift my mood when it became too heavy.  Fortunately it worked.  Immediately after the funeral mass there was a lovely luncheon in the parish hall.  In addition to eating lunch, it was a great opportunity for us to thank our friends for coming and chit-chat.

Afterward Spouse & me, aunt Mary, and Steven & Thad all went to Spouse's sister's house and hung out for a while and visited.  Then I took the dogs and my luggage and rode back to DE with Steven & Thad.  I needed to get back and Spouse was going to stay for the internment on Mon morning.  After feeding/walking the dogs and getting them settled at home, I joined Steven & Thad for a quick dinner and then headed to the Blue Moon to perform in the Legends show.

Sun morning I was up early to hold a moving sale for my clients.  They'd intended to include the furniture/furnishings with the sale of their beach home, but the buyer is going to live there full-time and already had her own stuff, so I offered to hold a moving sale for them on Sat.  Due to the funeral I pushed it to Sun.  I advertised it on several buy/sell facebook groups and had a GREAT turn-out.  I sold nearly everything in the house, including an old ironing board!  After the sale I went into the office to catch up on emails and administrative tasks.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Well lived

Spouse came home Mon night and filled me in on more of the details of his mom's illness and passing.  Yesterday the arrangements were confirmed with the funeral home, church, and cemetary.

We're leaving tomorrow for the DC area, to help out with a few things and to spend some time with the family.  There will be viewings at the funeral home on Fri 2-4pm and again 6-8pm.  A funeral mass will be held Sat at 11am at the church Evelyn attended for many years.  Internment will be Mon at 10:30.

It will be a difficult few days for sure, but we will also celebrate a life well lived.  More on that later.

Monday, April 24, 2017


Late Fri night we got a call from Spouse's sister, notifying us that his mom Evelyn was in the hospital.  She was taken there after a fall in her apartment, due to extremely low blood pressure.  She's banged up her face but had not broken any bones.

Sat we got a pretty positive update on Evelyn's condition.  She was talking and laughing and seemed to be doing pretty well.  This news made Spouse & I feel much better.  Evelyn's blood pressure was still very low but they were treating it with medication.  

Late Sun night we got another call from Spouse's sister who was in tears.  Evelyn had taken a turn for the worse and was move to ICU and put on a ventilator.  Despite multiple medications to try and raise her blood pressure they doctors were unsuccessful.  Spouse wondered if he should get in the car immediately and drive to see her, but it was after 11pm and since she was on the ventilator he decided to wait until the morning.

So this morning he drove back to the DC area and met his siblings in the hospital and spoke with the doctors.  Evelyn was not conscious.  The medications were having no effect on her blood pressure.  It seemed the cardiomyopathy she'd been trying to outrun for 6 years had finally caught up with her.  Her weakened heart just couldn't pump enough to keep her blood pressure up.

Evelyn signed a medical directive years ago stating her wishes for the time when this inevitable situation would occur.  After 12 hours on life support the 4 siblings honored her wishes and allowed the doctors to turn off the machinery keeping her alive.  Within just a few minutes, surrounded by family, Evelyn's light went out.  She was 87.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Birthday girl

On Sat we went to a 1-year old's birthday party.  Our friends Derwin & Carolyn's daughter Quinn's birthday was Sat the 15th and they had her outdoor party in their yard on Sat as well.  Our friend Thad went with us; Steven had to work.

There was good food, gourmet cupcakes, and a good time had by all.
Thad holding Quinn