Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Old House

This is my grandparent's house and the house my Dad grew up in. It was built in the early 1900s and is basically a shack of a shot gun house.  My Dad was 4 or so when they moved in, so that would have been around 1937. My grandparents spent their whole lives watching the world from that swing on the porch. My Grandpa, Ernest Russell, went to live in the nursing home in May of 2000 on his 100th birthday.  He passed in 2004 at the age of 104. My Mom always referred to the house as The Shrine, because it is almost like the day it was left - right down to medicine and toiletries in bathroom and sugar in the canisters.  (ick)


Until today, I owned 1/4 of it, which was more of a liability than anything.  I signed papers this morning donating my share to my cousin, who is going to settle up with the other three and tear the house down.  It mostly likely would be condemned and would never pass any kind of city inspections, and would cost much more than it's worth to be made livable again.  I am glad to be done with it - progress is good.  It's one more thing to cross off the list in settling my Dad's estate.  

My Dad sitting on the porch swing

Ernest and Annie (Spangler) Russell, 1992

Grandpa and my dad, around 2001 or 2002
around 2003?

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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Big Blue Flipper

Dry Pro swimming / water proof cast cover!!

Ahhhh, we all got in the pool today for a little while.  With Val not being able to get wet, none of us are swimming.  And of course, the water is perfectly clear these days!!  I ordered this cast cover from Amazon and I have to say it worked fairly well.  It's crazy long though.  It makes me a bit nervous as I don't want to end up with a soaked cast to deal with.  It's water proof once you vacuum the air out, and although it fits tight and not to be worn for long periods of time, it still kept her cast nice and dry!!

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Friday, June 22, 2012

Pink of course

Val opted for the hot pink arm cast:

As you can see, she's already collected several signatures from her friends.  :-)  She even got a few unexpected get well gifts and cards to brighten her day.

GOOD news!!  The hard cast is only for TWO weeks!!  After that, it will be a removable device so she can swim and shower.  YAY!!  And EVEN better, the doctor has surgeries all day on July 3, BUT they said to be on standby.... and if he has a break in between they will call me to go in and will CUT OFF THE CAST!  Why is that a big deal?  We always have a big 4th of July bash....  no cast will mean Val can swim at the party.  I sure hope they call to fit her in.  Having a cast at the upcoming party is one of the things that has been bothering her.

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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day, Daddy.  
He was a great Dad who was always kind and always had time for me.  He was never cross or impatient and would help in any way he could.  I couldn't have asked for a better parent.  Missing him a lot today.   

Happy Father's Day to my husband Clint!!  
Val and Roni had been anticipating today for weeks.  Luckily we had made most of their gifts before Valerie's arm incident.  

Thanks for being an awesome Dad and for all you do for us!!  

A surprise he had been waiting for - a droid tablet.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

It's a wrap....

Yesterday I brought the girls to their second day of summer camp.  The first day was so much fun Valerie didn't want to come home at all!  But then...   They went to the park before lunch, and Val's sweaty hands lost their grip on the monkey bars and she fell on her arm.  She cried a bit and said her arm hurt, but she seemed ok.  She could move her arm and not once complained, so no one called me.  She sat at camp ALL day long with a broken arm!!!  I picked her up and the camp owner told me what happened and that she seemed fine, then Valerie told me she fell and it was "very painful" to move her arm.  After a little debating, we went to urgent care.  Diagnosis: elbow fracture.  And today we saw an orthopedic.

The good news is she doesn't need surgery!  It's a "category one" break, any thing other than that would need to have a pin put in to hold it in place.  So let's hope the bone doesn't shift.  Her arm is too swollen for a regular cast, so for now it's in a splint and a sling.  Full arm hard cast to come as soon as next week.

I feel so bad for my Valerie!!  I could cry for her!!  Being in a cast almost all summer....   pretty much everything I had planned for them is out the window!  No swimming, no spray park, no going on the water slide for the 4th of July party...  no beach, no skating, no bike riding!!!   Thankfully she's in good spirits.  I'll just have to find alternative things to do somehow.  I foresee lots of indoor play dates, library time, and movies!!

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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

No more monkey bars

Second day of summer camp and this happens. It's broken. :-( And she was having such fun.


I finally started the re-do project at the other house.  I painted a whole wall and a half.  Maybe in a couple of weeks I'll go and do the other half of the room.  Most of that is a double closet door, so I can probably finish it in record time.

I don't know why my Mom thought it was a good idea to stencil borders all around the house.  They are in just about every room.  One coat of paint did not cover this bedroom one very well, so maybe she did it to make more work for whoever (me) owned the house after her.  That would be about right.

I half expect her to haunt me or sabotage my mission since I am painting over the pretty border in her bedroom.

Isn't this ugly?  I don't know what to do about anything in this kitchen.
It seems every time I find my motivation to take a step forward and start the project over there, something or someone has to set me back.  I do admit the idea of taking an old house and making it new(er) again is a bit entertaining.  New paint and new floors and fixtures are simple but will make such a difference in this 1950s dated home.  (Oddly enough, I have learned that the pink and black bathrooms are retro and something to keep.) It means work and expense, but also an investment.  All of us can reap the benefits (rental income) for many years ahead.  I can't do it alone though, which it seems I am the only one invested / interested in the house.  I am the only one with ties to it after all.

I spent my whole life in that house and the only other people who lived there are both gone.  It's always going to be my home.  Change can be good but it's not going to be easy.  Days like today I wonder if it is worth all the strife and tears. I may be better off forgetting the renovations and selling it as is along with all the memories.

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Friday, June 08, 2012

Dear Photograph

I have a bit of a fascination with the Dear Photograph site.  I've been following it closely for quite a while now.  What a neat idea!  Take a picture in the present of a photograph from the past.  

Like this:

One last Christmas together.

At first it was just a house. Now it's a home.

Things are about to change..... you have no idea how much.

Even though the leukemia would win days later, Poppi always found a smile for his granddaughters. 

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