Monday, April 20, 2015

Angst, but happily excited yet exhausted in our Row-home...

Linens rumpled and wrinkled on our bed made in an orderly fashion beckons me to relax and cat nap the afternoon away. On this past Friday three weeks after renovations began I had my meltdown. Our precious cat Max who is 14 has taken a spiral downwards slide. Dealing with Hyperthyroidism, he has lost weight and has entered into his final stage. I'm guessing this is truly his 9th of 9 lives. So On Friday April 17th being angst, exhausted, worried and dealing with things out of my control I had my emotional meltdown. 

"I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself."
~Maya Angelou~

At the end of Friday John decided he, Nic and Larry would waltz our Stainless Steel refrigerator out of our kitchen though the dining room and living room with it peeing (OK dripping) water on our lovely 90 year old hardwood floors. It was then walked around the front to the back and moved into the basement. Why on Friday?  With our new Sub-Zero not being delivered till Wednesday? Just seemed to me Monday morning would of been just fine. It meant hoofing downstairs to get a beverage or anything cold and wiping the construction dirt off our feet from Friday till this coming Wednesday. Afterwards I found out the reason why. John had rented a refrigerator hand truck from U-Haul and didn't want to keep it rented till Monday. Seriously... 

On Saturday I woke up made the bed and went downstairs. I fed Max and Simon and made John and I Cappuccino's and afterwards this avid reader and stressed out blogger wound up back in the comfort of our bed. I settled into my nest feeling protected surrounded by soft gently rumpled linens and a book. I needed a rest, lately I have been sleep deprived. Reading quickly lured me into a well needed long nap.

Even with having an update to our kitchen, a rebuilt laundry room and a rebuilt garage renovations aren't always easy nor fun. Dust, dirt and debris fill the air and it is endless. Purification systems on overload to clean the air buzz away. Even when the work being done is exciting and will be greatly appreciated. I share this simple fact because as much as John and I are organized people who carefully plan and calculate completely ... let's just say "Merde" happens. Pardon my French! Different visions between John and I planning the lighting in the laundry room needed revisiting. Mutually we agreed on a change (my choice) late Friday afternoon. John spent much of the weekend wiring for 7 recessed LED 4 inch lights. Lighting will be balanced and energy efficient.

Having Nic and Larry working in our home weekdays has been truly an uplifting experience. On a daily basis they share funny stories of our son and the job site antics he partook in with great pleasure. Chris was artistic, witty and a prankster. All in all I really have no complaints with our adventures in remodeling once again. I just have an overwhelming sad feeling of Max's health demise looming over me like a dark rain cloud blocking the sunshine.

The Waterfall side of our Black soapstone has been installed. We purchased our soapstone from Marble Works Inc. in Philadelphia. A family owned business we have worked with before on our bathroom's second renovation.

Our Wolf gas cooktop has been installed. The downdraft is in, all the custom exhaust ductwork been fabricated but not completely connected yet. The downdraft turned into an real project with many calculations.  I'm loving my Mr. Wolf.

I have always had a passion for lighting, it seems to be my favorite decorative accessory. I purchased the Piccola table lamp designed by Pablo Pardo. I think it adds an interesting fun lighting accent with attitude on the countertop. Italian glove ivory leather (comes in other colors choices) with a pliable base (beanbag) that can be adjusted to any angle without tilting the perforated brushed aluminum shade. 

Apparently I use the term legacy a lot and Nic has teased me about it. Legacy as in the meaning of history or past of an architectural piece. Personally I have always embraced the past stories of things. I explained to Nic and Larry that I in my designs like the look of blending the old with the new.  To just patch the old plaster carved stairway walls with the new Sheetrock walls nearly installed. Nic mentioned that the walls will appear patched and I said yes perfectly OK, that's what I want. When painted (White) the color will bring the legacy of our renovation together and blend.  I sure do like that word!

I understand why my son and Nic were best friends. Truly their personalities are very similar. Nic when he laughs his entire face and eyes light up and its a very endearing facial characteristic. I would imagine few can stay annoyed at him for long and is an excellent plus in owning your own business. 

Photo of our current Red Oak field seamed beams ... Do not like them, never have since they were installed in 1981 with our original kitchen gut.  We've decided to replace them with 100+ year old, hand hewn 5x7 inch by 10 feet long salvaged barn beams. They will be pressure washed, nails removed, bug sprayed and kiln dried.
They are coming from Ohio and when installed photos will be shared and source will be given. Finally they will be lime waxed by me to soften their appearance. 

So when I told Nic I located barn beams ... You know it, he said with a big grin "but what are their legacy?" From now on in I will be more mindful of my over usage of the word legacy.

My poetry today I wrote about John. When he read it he liked it and agreed with what I wrote. He suggested I share it with this post. Hope you enjoy it, it offers a honest description of the man I love.

A long time ago I fell in love with a man with a keen brilliant analytical mind.
Making observations like Sherlock Holmes, he is often driven and solution inclined.

Evaluating almost everything he constructs a Hypothesis from which to draw a carefully thought out conclusion.
While using logical deductive reasoning forming an understanding in theory he then makes his necessary exclusion.

Sometimes spending additional time in investigation is needed to communicate beliefs and often becomes his reality.
To study and explain the opposite concepts of any given situation and even the results of a persons good versus bad duality.

My life long partner with his brilliant analytical mind pursues his passions with boundless dedication,
Thankfully life with him isn't all work because my feminine charm is still his biggest temptation.

To learn to balance one's time carefully while still enjoying a loving relationship and lifelong career...
Is something my love knew was a critical conclusion to our happiness and to me it's been very clear and always does appear.

© Vera

Linen Euro Shams with ties - Mooshop on
Mongolian Lamb Fur Bolster pillow - AvaFluffandStuff on

Piccola lamp -


  1. Oh Vera, this too shall pass.I am so sorry about Max. I am glad you decided to rest up and you are right, sometimes the quickest way to fall asleep is by reading. We all know the first half of the historian can definitely do that, The kitchen is coming along so nicely. How amazing is that Piccola lamp?? I loves accessories that have their own characters. Thinking of you, Vera.

  2. So sorry to read of Max and his decline. You must remember all the wonderful times you have shared...
    Frustration with a capital F defines renovations but just think of the finish, it will be breathtaking.
    Susan x

  3. Love the poem,Vera. Well said!!
    I am so sorry to hear your Max is going downhill. It is always so very hard to see that happen and know that the end is inevitable. We connect our pets to so many of our life happenings.

    Love how far you have come with the kitchen already. I bet you just can't wait for the fridge to get there. I am so glad that Nic is such a great guy to be around. I am sure having him there is bittersweet. xo Diana

  4. Hi Vera, My heart goes out to you as Max begins his decline. I know this pain and my prayers are with you.
    Meltdowns seem to come with renos and so on and so forth as the time goes along but it really sounds like you and John have everything under control and doing a fabulous job.
    Your kitchen is gorgeous and all is turning out so well. So glad you took a little rest and caught a good nap. I am sure it truly helped.

    Love your poem.

    Have a wonderful week and happy renovating!!
    Hugs and Blessings and sweet little hugs for Max!

  5. Dear Vera,
    My heart is saddened to hear about your dear little Max.
    I know he must be such a loving companion..
    You kitchen is just beautiful.. I just love your Wolf stove.. You have had so much on you plate, with all the renovations..
    Take a deep breath and relax for a bit... I love you poem, Vera.
    blessings dear friend,

  6. I'm so sorry to hear about your sweet Max, Vera. What a beautiful kitty he is. I know all too well the loss and pain when they leave us. I will be saying a prayer for you. Your kitchen is just gorgeous! I would have a hard time living thru a reno too, but you know the end result will be worth it:) What a great poem. Hang in there, and curl up on that oh so cozy looking bed of yours! Hugs

  7. I'm so sorry about Max, it is so sad to see them age or hurt. Kitties are so special each with their own personality. We lost one of ours recently, just too sad... But another showed up that wanted a home; she had an eye infection, so we took her "in". She lives in the potting shed, because that's where she had taken up residence before she to let us take her to the vet. ( Fortunately someone fixed her, so I guess she was lost or abandoned, but we looked every where for two weeks. ) I love the poem about your husband, and the passion you expressed. The kitchen and home sound like it is going to be amazing, despite the mess that is always so horrible during reno.

  8. Poor Max, and I have followed his health issues for some time now. As for the soap stone well it's wonderful and wish it were on my counters. All your little touches are going to add all the wonderful beauty you have imagined it to be.
    Vera, I love your safe place...Bed, filled with linens of cozy rich comfort.

    As for your amazing hubby John he is a force of work and ideas.
    I love that you are Johns biggest temptations and as it should be.
    Your poetry like none other is real, authentic, and pure and good for the heart.

    Will be visiting you soon,


  9. Hi Vera,
    I'm saddened to hear about Max. Our furry companions never leave our hearts and we worry over them just as we would one of our kids. I'm so glad that your sons friends are there working and sharing pieces of his life. That must have lightened your dark moments a bit. Yes, merde happens and it happens often. I'll say that your new lamp is the best thing I've seen in ages! Hang in there...happy days of dust free living await you! xo

  10. Hello my friend. Sounds like things are beginning to come together for your fully functional and beautiful kitchen. It will be a true expression of both you and John.
    Remember when it storms and things are changing it is dark and dirty but then that all clears and brightness and beauty appear. That kitchen will be a work of art.

    Sorry about little Max. I am sending loving thoughts that he will have more than 9 lives and move through his illness. It is so hard to see them go through these things.

    The poem about John is so sweet and so your heart in every word. You two our soul connections that will always be together. So lovely.

    I have found such solace in my fluffy pillows and duvets this week as I heal and I have to say little naps away from everything bring such clarity and your body just needs that to re adjust to the journey ahead. Enjoy those sweet get away naps. They will hug your soul.

    So good to read your post today. So glad Chris has been all around you as this new kitchen comes to life.
    Love ya,
    Kris XXO

  11. Good evening Vera! Your counter top is so gorgeous and that irregular cut of the backsplash is PERFECT. I am now very curious to see your rough hewn beams now that I've seen your current ones. Our builder originally wanted to make us such beams but I'm glad I made sure he made them more on the rustic side.

    I hope you can get your rest my friend. I know what it's like to have a meltdown after too much stress - like today. So, I'll be kind to myself tonight and just take it easy and start all over again tomorrow. I hope you can do the same. Hugs to you dear Vera! Anita

  12. If I was doing natural stone in our kitchen, soapstone would have been my choice. I've always loved it. Yours is gorgeous, Vera. I'm so sorry to hear about Max. He's such a beautiful cat Your poem is a wonderful tribute to John. He truly is your soul mate, isn't he? Wonderful. Gentle hugs ~ Nancy

  13. My dear Vera - I have tears in my eyes. Poor Max. But he is so loved. The way he is.
    And in your breathtaking poem it is exactly this, that you love with a seeing eye. No false romantic clutter in these words - understanding the special value of him, John. Two bright minds, adding perfectly.
    The natural stone, ohhh, I love this part of nature in your home, makes it so much more natural and nobel.
    Sorry, some words might be a bit crooked, as English is not my mother tongue, but I know, you will understand :)
    A wonderful day to you and especially to you wonderful tomcat Max. May nature be gentle on him.
    Your friend Méa

  14. Sometimes a girl needs a good cry and a cozy place to do it in. Love your stories and poems. You are sweet an sentimental

  15. awww, poor kitty.
    Nothing bothers me more than having a big mess around our house. I remember when we enlarged our living room...I spent half my time under the covers of my bed.

  16. (((( Vera ))))
    I am so very sorry about Max. There's just so much pain in losing a fur baby. It doesn't matter how long we have them, it's never long enough.

    Your renovations would be extremely stressful for anyone so be kind to yourself and take more naps!


  17. P.S. I forgot to say that I feel Nic being around and sharing snippets of Chris's life is such a blessing. I really wish I could visit with some of Abby's friends ~ She lived life full on and had so many friends...I'd love to know more about their adventures.


  18. I'm sorry to hear about Max, Vera. With all the work being done in your home, and wonder you feel like curling up in your bed.
    The kitchen projects look so nice. I'm happy you enjoyed working with your son's friends.
    The tribute to John is wonderful.
    I hope you are able to get some rest.
    Love to you.

  19. Vera,

    It breaks my heart about Max. Is there anything that can be done for him? Is he in pain? I'll send many prayers for comfort for all of you.

    Your bed is so like mine..I like it made in the morning first thing and then it's an inviting sanctuary to cuddle with the pups, read (and often fall asleep-what's with that? It takes me a week to finish a book when it used to take a day or two!), and just watch the light filter through the windows or the curtains blow in the breeze. It's my favorite spot in the whole house!! :)

    I am so envious, but of course happy for you, for the soapstone counters (my first choice...hubby no like), and the Wolf stovetop (didn't know you could get that and we could never afford one nor do we have the space). Cook and create on, my friend!!

    Love the poem and I can see why John did too. What a rock he is.

    Love to you and take care of that sweet little Max. Thank you for the Milo prayers.

    Jane x

  20. Oh Vera, heartbreaking to go what you are going through with Max...sigh. Prayers for your strength. Oh, the bed's made and that's when it is the best time to plop down, nap, daydream, read and make lists! Remodeling is not for a sissy, it's tough! Hang in their sweet lady.


  21. Vera,
    So sad about Max, it is so hard to face the loss of a beloved part of our lives. If I were close enough to offer you a hug I would. So here's a long distance hug for you ((()))) I too love linen, it is so beautiful and so comfortable. I love how it breathes! Even though it wrinkles easily I think it is perfect bedding and I love to wear linen pants and caftans too. It is so much fun reading about your remodeling project. I can imagine that even with the best planning and organizing things can go awry and can be stressful. The end results are going to be so beautiful!

  22. Sorry to hear about Max, Vera. Sending prayers for you all. Your bed is such a beautiful place to decompress. As always, I love your poetry.xoxo

  23. Hi Vera
    It was such a joy to see you had come for a visit..
    Yes, I believe the do mate for life...
    Wishing you an enjoyable weekend dear friend.
    I am keeping little Max in my prayers.

  24. So sorry to hear about Max. These precious animals truly become part of our family. Your progress in remodeling is going great. Looks like you about to wind it up. Anxious to see the beams when they are installed. I'm sure they will be gorgeous!


  25. I know this is not the time for Max to be having health sorry! Seems like the hard things in life come at the most inopportune times. Glad your renovations are moving along, although so much disruption is a true lesson in patience and endurance. I always enjoy your poetry that is packed full of sentiment!
    Mary Alice

  26. Hi Vera, stopping back by to say hello and hope you are having a good week. How's Max doing and the reno? So nice to read your poem once again.
    Have a wonderful day my friend and thank you for always stopping by and your uplifting comments. You are special!!
    Hugs, CM

  27. Dear Vera,
    I'm very sorry to hear about Max. I understand how you and John must feel. Both Panda and Mocha, 16 and 15, have all sorts of health issues. It's so upsetting to know our animals are in pain / discomfort. And hang in there on the renovation front: it will be worth it when all is done.

  28. Hi Vera! Having just finished a major renovation myself, I know exactly what you are going through. Talk about stressful and exhausting! But in the end, after everything is finished it really is so worth it! I like your use of the word legacy and I do believe I shall add it to my vocabulary as well because I love to buy things with a history, it makes them all the more interesting to me. I'm so very sorry to hear that Max is not well. He's quite a beautiful and photogenic kitty!

  29. I am trying to catch up on blogs and emails. I know I read this post previously, but I see that I did not write a comment.

    First, I would love to visit your beautiful home to see the legacy first hand. I love that you fill your life with old, odd, meaningful things. Your home must be an amazing visual experience.