Thursday, May 12, 2016

A Year of Pain, Suffering and Loss


I must apologize for my absence from this blog, instagram, pinterest, and mostly to my patient clients of this past year.  Last year I shared the loss of "our friend Jim" here . Jim was a wonderful friend to both Steve and I and a mentor and surrogate father to both our children.  He passed last April. Steve's beloved father passed this April, and in July I had my hip replaced.  Hip hip hooray it is fabulous thank you! Three weeks after having my hip replaced I went to visit my mom and found her suffering from heart failure and pulmonary fibrosis.  I stayed with her for almost three weeks as she was not about to accept any outside care.  I finally convinced her she needed round the clock care which began an eight month journey.  I would go down every Thursday for 24 hours and relieve the caregivers.  

mom and colin 1980

Mom wasn't an easy patient to care for.  She was a retired nurse, wife of a doctor that preceded her in death by many years, and extremely strong willed and independent.  She was  often non compliant, refusing to take any drugs (other than one tylenol with codeine at night) until the very, very end. She wasn’t interested in being told what to do, and did it her way until her body would no longer put up a fight.  Her feisty personality birthed a survival instinct that  would carry her to the end.

Mom and I had a conflicted relationship. She grew up in a very disfunctional family and was ill equipped emotionally to parent. She never sought therapy and carried the burdens of her family life to her death. 

mom as a child in Michigan

The death of a parent is a major loss and difficult to cope with whether the relationship was good or bad. Our parents are usually the only ones who have known us since we were born, and often know us better than we know ourselves.

me in dance class


The skills mom was lacking as a parent, she taught me in her struggle with death. The walker, and later the wheelchair were always kept out of view.  She got up ( gotten up when she no longer had the strength to use the walker)  perched herself in her chair,  and drank her coffee every morning (in the end from a straw).  She ruled the roost from her chair, taking care of daily activities like she always did until she began making mistakes and misteps. She was a prime example of the strength of the human spirit and the endless bounds that it can stretch. 

mom and I on my wedding day

In the end mom was surrounded by the hospice team, caregivers, neighbors, and friends that embraced her character flaws and cared for her graciously. They dished out a healthy dose of love, kindness, care and sacrifice during her time of need. I will be forever greatful and enriched by their thoughtfulness and friendship.

mom and suzanne one of her caregivers

Here's to a healthy and happy coming year!  There is no where to go but up!  Thanks for your patience friends!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

A Stylist's New Farmhouse Kitchen - More Over 55 decor


My friend Roxanne is uber talented.  She does beautiful floral arrangements and can style the heck out of a room.  She and her husband Steve have lived in their house almost as long as we have lived in ours.  She is my age; her children have long been gone, and she now has a passel of grandchildren.  She not only has great design sense, but is a fabulous cook as well.  Her old kitchen was isolated from the rest of the house and dated. 


She decided to open it up to make her kitchen more functional and accessible to the great room. She added old barn beams to the case opening where there was once a wall and centered her dining table in the opening.


Where the once cramped dining space was Roxanne created this comfy banquette area that overlooks the rose garden.






The west wall in the kitchen houses a new double oven, cook top, dishwasher, and sink.



Every inch is perfectly styled.  


Beautiful greens from her garden in vintage glass jars adorn the kitchen counter.



The barn door to the left accesses Roxanne's craft room


The south end of the kitchen houses a wine refrigerator.  Roxanne repurposed an antique hanging cupboard to house glassware. This adds a sense of history and character to the more contemporary space.




The east wall that backs up to the great room houses the refrigerator and more cabinetry. 


Roxanne had her carpenters face the shelves with the skins from the old beams.Love the character the beam skins and beautiful styling add to the space. Imagine this area if it were filled with only new HG stuff? Roxanne added her personal signature to the space by adding vintage and gathered elements.Vintage and gathered elements add Roxanne's personal signature to the space.   



I am sure you recognize this box.  Roxanne's husband Steve constructed it out of old fence boards from their property.  I was lucky enough to be the recipient of one that adorns my dining table as well.


I hope you enjoyed this tour of my talented friend Roxanne's new Farmhouse Kitchen. If you want more I will do another post on the other updated areas of her home soon.