And now that you know that I am not above using naked rock stars to get it.... where to begin?
This time last year we were wrapping up our renovation and I was moving on to Grandma's which as you may recall looked like a set from that 70s show. It took about three months of weekends to empty the place. It also took three separate moving-sized donation vans and finally a dumpster. (Sadly, a piano that could not by moved out of the basement had to be taken apart. With an ax. It wasn't in great shape, but you never want to see that kind of fate befall a major musical instrument.) Those were long days, and while we encouraged her continually to tackle alot of it herself "bit by bit," it was just too overwhelming and in the end we made some tough decisions and tossed a lot.
So, over the course of the spring I spent most of my spare time at her house, cleaning, culling, meeting contractors, etc. When I wasn't at her house I was at the paint store, the tile store, Home Depot, or the cabinetry place. We gutted the kitchen, pulled up carpet to discover red oak hardwoods that had never seen the light of day, (who wants hardwoods? They have this new stuff called 'linoleum!' and you can nail it right down!) We replaced doors, swapped out most lighting fixtures, painted every thing, installed recessed lighting, hung fakey wood blinds and generally made it look better than it had ever looked while Jane and Norm lived there. Thank God and praise the Lord for HGTV because if you watch enough home improvement programs you get great ideas for ways to renovate and stage a home for a quick sale. We had three offers the first open house. We closed less than three weeks later. The relief was amazing. I came to the realization that while I was incredibly stressed out, and juggling far too much... I'M GOOD AT THIS. And I enjoy it. In a perverse way.
So we sold her house late summer. Jane has been with us now almost a year and while I kid about having my 82 year-old mother-in-law living with us, it's not bad. I love her, and she is the sweetest person I know. She has her own space and she likes to maintain her independance. She frets, is forgetful, talks about the weather nonstop and has a nasty habit of falling asleep in front of the Tv.. slumped over.. which freaks me out....("San! Check your mother!") But other than that, the kids adore her and she is helpful and watches them every now and then. (And by watches them I mean turns on awful cartoons at maximum volume and feeds them "orange crunchies" an hour before dinner. That being said, I am able to do laundry. There are merits.
Next up! I flew in a private plane and outside of marrying my husband and giving birth to my children it was pretty much one of the greatest experiences of my life.