Friday, June 29, 2007

The Funeral

Dad and I left Wednesday about noon to head to the funeral of Annie's dad. The wake was from 2-9pm, and we got there about 4. We paid our respects and chatted with the various family members. Hundreds of people came through, including the bishop and the cardinal. Dad M was a well loved man.

Shortly after 6 I was hungry and Nora was getting bored. We headed to Baker's Square for dinner and had a very nice time. I told her we'd go swimming afterwards - big mistake on my part. I didn't book a hotel in advance, figuring how hard would it be to find a hotel on a random Wednesday in Alsip, IL? Yeah.....there were 350 flights cancelled out of O'Hare - every hotel between Joliet and downtown was booked solid. We finally managed to find one, but their pool was closed for cleaning. We settled for 2nd best and sat with our legs in the hot tub playing "I Spy." Later we went up to the room to wait for her mom to pick her up. I had given her a book with blank pages, so she started writing me a story. She has turned into a delightful young girl.

Thursday we were back at the funeral home for a 10am prayer service. It was beautiful. Part was in Gaelic, part in English and all Dad M. There weren't many dry eyes when it was over. We processed to the church for the funeral mass. It was about 1.5 hours long, because there was a ceremony to bring the casket in, including bagpipes, plus the full Catholic mass. At the end of the mass, Mary (the oldest) gave an exceptional eulogy. She did a wonderful job of sharing her father - the man. The fiery Irishman and the loving man of God. The father and the husband. The grandfather and brother. All that Dad M was to all of us.

We processed to the cemetery where a military ceremony was performed. It was also beautiful. When they handed Mom M the flag, she was able to give a small speech to the Army men about supporting our troops and praying that they are all home safe soon. She is one remarkable woman. I was having trouble coming up with a coherent thought, and she comes out with an eloquent speech.

After leaving the cemetery we went to a banquet hall for lunch. This was a time to sit and talk, to remember the good and fun that was Dad M. It was very nice. Dad and I headed home around 3:30pm and I pulled into my house around 10. It was a long trip, but I wouldn't have missed it for anything.

The world lost a good man on June 23, 2007. I love you Dad M.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Visit

Dan came into town this weekend to help me get my house ready. (I think he wanted to check out my furniture as well!) He was a tremendous help - both in terms of what he was able to accomplish, and giving me the emotional support I needed.

Many of you know that Annie's dad had been in the hospital. After a very emotional rollercoaster week, he passed away Saturday afternoon. The wake will be tomorrow, and the funeral on Thursday. Dad and I are driving up tomorrow. Unfortunately, Dan had to fly back to Seattle this morning, so I won't have him with me. As a testament to his wonderful nature though, he brought funeral appropriate clothing in case we had to go over the weekend. He was willing to fly to 2200 miles to see me, then drive to 5 hours to Chicago to go to the funeral of man he'd never met - because it was important to me. He's a good man.

As for the house, most of the rooms are painted. I have some trim to finish in the living room, and the doors/trim in the hallway. Dan replaced the wall in the basement (see previous post) that needed work. He fixed my gate, and bought new counter tops for the kitchen. Dad, Jean and Michael were over Sunday helping clean and paint as well. Dad marked off a section in the garage that is 8x16 to show me how much room I'll have in the truck. It's not nearly enough. :)

Dan also took me grocery shopping. Apparently a fridge full of wine, ketchup, butter, 5 different mustard's and rotten Chinese was not acceptable. He found some shelf-stable easy cook foods, and instructed me to not order fast food, pizza or Chinese anymore. :) Pot calling the kettle black...He eats out daily - although much better quality than I typically go for. I'm the fast, cheap and easy - he's more sit-down-ethinic-or-steak. He is a fabulous cook, though and wants me to eat healthier. Not that he does - but he wants me to. I get to work on him when I live there :)

We close on the house in Seattle July 3. Dan will start moving in pretty quick. He's already planning on gutting the kitchen. We boxed up his tile saw for him to take back on the plane today. Since it's his house, he can do what he wants to it. Luckily, I've seen some of his handiwork and it's very good. I have no problem leaving all the design up to him. He bought my counter tops with no input from me and they are beautiful.

Wow - what a busy weekend. More to follow...

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Basement Work Begins

I've started packing/ destroying the basement now. We had to remove the panelling on that wall because of some rodent (thank you Abby the hamster) and water damage. I'll hang new panelling and paint it white to match everything else.
I have a beautiful (and functional) stove, thanks to dad and Michael. Thanks to Ran and Michael all the wallpaper is gone from my kitchen. Thanks to Jean, Naomi and all the garage salers who came to buy stuff, I can now afford to hire someone else to do the work :)
On the recommendation of Dan and Michael I am hiring a guy to come and "skim coat" my walls in the closet bedroom and kitchen. It will turn out much nicer than anything I could do, and go much quicker. Here's hoping...
And don't worry-I didn't make dad work too much on Father's Day. And I (sort of) cooked a meal on my stove. Of course, I do feel bad 'cause I can't find his present. It's around this mess somewhere.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

A Small Snag

I'm working on painting prep, but it's a slow process. Slower when I can't get the wallpaper glue off the walls. I think I've given up in the closet room and I'm just going to re-wallpaper. I spent most of last night trying to clean it, but with no success.

I patched holes and cracks tonight, and will finish washing the walls in prep for new wallpaper tomorrow. Not what I wanted, but I don't seem to have a lot of choice. Anyone know where to find inexpensive wallpaper?

Monday, June 11, 2007

Moving Along

Things are still moving at a breakneck speed.

Friday night I did some serious packing/sorting from my closet room. Dan says I only get a closet - not an entire room - so some massive consolidation was needed. Naomi saved me by coming over to watch The Devil Wears Prada and eat Chinese as we commiserated about the moving process.

I spent Saturday doing inventory and picking up packing supplies. That afternoon Michael and I picked up tables and garage sale stuff from Jean and grandma, and unloaded it at my house. I spent the evening packing and sorting - again.

Sunday Michael picked up stuff from Naomi that she wanted to put in the sale. Jean came over to help price and organize my stuff. Dad helped unhook electronics for the things I sold, and he took home some stuff he wanted. I had Craigslisted my TVs, mom's jewelery armoir and a DVD player. It's all sold. Yippee! I used that money to buy a new electric stove off Craigslist, and Michael went with me to pick it up last night. Of course the outlets have changed over the past 30 years, so I can't plug it in. He's working on fixing that for me today. He also hauled away the old stove and helped unhook the old hood from the cabinets.

God bless Michael - this would be much more difficult without him. Whoever would have guessed we'd turn into this? (And yes, I bought him dinner and gave him gas money as a thank you)

I did take a break Sunday and went to gossip with the neighbors a bit. I went to ask if I could buy some of their painting supplies (he was a professional painter prior to retirement). She wouldn't let me, but gave me everything I could ever need - much better quality stuff than I could buy too. Rollers, nap, coveralls, extenders, about 2 dozen paintbrushes in various sizes, putty knives in various sizes and 100 razor blades and scrapers. What fabulous neighbors I have - they are going to be a hard act to follow.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Next Steps

I met with Matt, my realtor, tonight. It was a good news/bad news kinda thing. There is a lot of work to do on my house, but it's all cosmetic.

I need to tear down the wallpaper in the kitchen/hallway area and repaint. Fix some small cracks in the living room and repaint, and of course, repaint my closet room. He also recommended scrubbing the kitchen cabinets with TSP (TCP?? whatever that stuff is) and installing new counter tops. New carpet is a possibility as well, but I may hire Stanley steamer to try and salvage mine.

All this by July 1. After sitting around and feeling overwhelmed, I called Dan for moral support. He helped tremendously and I got a few more boxes packed. I even got the first drawer emptied out!

This is starting to feel real.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

We Got It

Well, Dan got it. He put an offer on the house we were looking at and it was accepted! It's in the Beacon Hill neighborhood. It has 4 bed/2 bath, tiny deck, yard (unfenced) for dogs and a view of Mt. Rainier. There are three parks within three blocks of the place. I am so excited! His closing is scheduled for July 10.

I meet with my realtor tomorrow. Wish me luck!

Sunday, June 3, 2007

It's All Falling Together...

or apart, depending on your view. My house is officially turning into a disaster zone. On the bright side, I'm cleaning out 6 years worth of accumulated stuff. The downside is there is A LOT of stuff. I haven't even put a dent in cleaning my closet - and I've got 6 huge garbage bags full of stuff to go to Goodwill.

This shows my normally immaculate dining room slowing being taken over by stuff for the garage sale. You can't see the piles to the right of the camera, or the huge pile behind me. I have also filled up every empty box and bin I can find with stuff I plan on moving and have begun hauling it out to the garage.
This ain't gonna be pretty.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

One Down, 893,909 To Go

I have packed my first box. Ok, it's a small box and it's just filled with books- but it's a start, right?

I looks like we are buying a house. We've spent the past couple of days scouring real estate websites and IMing back and forth on what we like/don't like. We found a few so far that might bear a second look. He's going to check out one or two this weekend.

The sheer amount of work that must be done is overwhelming. Anyone have sage words of wisdom to help me survive this?