Addition BEFORE and AFTER.
Our previous owners had nothing short of a fetish, for intensely pigmented and blindingly obnoxious paint…
Their criteria for choosing colors seemed to be the question: what will be most jarring?
If you have not seen the before pictures of this house, they basically painted every room a different color.
The orange in the addition was the last surviving evidence of their dedication.
Above is where we were two weeks ago.
Before I show you the AFTER, let’s remind ourselves what the addition looked like BEFORE.
gutted the bathroom.
took out the floor.
installed the windows.
And yes, my husband DOES still have tanktops from 1999… Paul’s theory of clothing is that if it has not absolutely disintegrated it is not time to get rid of it.
I have been trying to finish this post in a coherent way for going on two weeks— there is more to this project that is worth explaining… but Elvis hasn’t been doing well, and I feel like my brain is in cement.
Last week her eating started to go downhill, but then over the weekend she rallied… not in a way that makes me think she changed her mind about the finale, but enough that I’ve had a brief reprieve from the shock of realizing that I only THINK I am at peace with the next part.
I know I don’t have to explain to you the degree to which this is leaving me frantic but also paralyzed.
The strange thing is that other than poor eating, she seems FINE. She is not having any of the issues I expected (yet) and she is still enjoying all of the things she loves; her favorite activity is being brushed while she rubs her face on her fuzzy ball in a blanket nest… so that’s mainly what I’ve been up to.
Other than that, I am unable to cope with anything. Including some really important things I’m supposed to be doing and soon they may catch on fire. I should be concerned, but the cement-in-brain issue is preventing me from even caring.
Instead I’ve been re-reading comfort books, (particularly this which is magic— about grief and human friendship and how animals save you.) And buying earrings I don’t need, in a push to fill the dark, sad pit in my soul with shiny things… my aptitude in this area seems undiminished, proving concretely that my life skills are useless to anyone, myself included.
June 28, 2016 @ 2:20 pm
My heart goes out to you & Elvis. I know you will make the most of whatever time you have left together. You both were so fortunate to find each other and share the the always too short amount of time we’re given with loved ones, especially the furry ones whose lifespans are so much shorter than ours to begin with.
The house is coming along beautifully & will still be there once your brain breaks free of the cement again.
June 28, 2016 @ 2:35 pm
Smiling through tears – yes, cement brain is an apt word for this feeling of helplessness, love, anguish, love, and love…..
I sigh with you, I send a huge bunch of good thoughts to you, tied in a great lovely bunch of summer flowers – time with Elvis is essential, all the rest will still be around and waiting to be done when she is no longer. Take it and give her all the cuddles, warmth and love you both have.
June 28, 2016 @ 2:35 pm
Your addition is coming along so beautifully! I teared up at the rest and my heart goes out to you and Elvis! I can’t imagine going through that with my dear kitties, and admire the graceful way you are navigating this sad time. Elvis’s favorite activity sounds about the best way to spend your time. Best wishes and hugs.
June 28, 2016 @ 2:36 pm
I highly recommend that you watch the brief video I posted yesterday on FB. It’s the story of how a dog saved a man’s life. It will touch your heart and perhaps comfort you while you’re dealing with this. Peace.
I don’t think I can post a link to it but we are FB friends.
June 28, 2016 @ 2:48 pm
Victoria you are doing what is most important….spending time with sweet Elvis in this journey in her life. You will not regret that at all. All the other things will be tended to once you have helped her through this time and you will need those things to help you after Elvis is gone. I am sending you a huge hug and have been right where you are. Bless that baby’s heart and yours.
June 28, 2016 @ 2:49 pm
The room is looking so lovely and somehow serine . A quiet place to see soft snow drifting down in winter and flowers in Summer. Of course I knew it would and Kudos to both you and Paul for making it look effortless. I know it was any thing but.
In 56 years of marriage we have had so so many beloved Pet friends that we had to bid goodbye and it leaves such a sore spot in ones soul. The only saving grace is that unlike we Humans who know that all things must pass away, our animal buddies are in full command of the Infinite. To their little psyches everything is infinite and never Ends so they just don’t suffer the fears we must with our vivid imaginations. Be well and know that if anything Elvis is puzzled by your sadness. Probably is thinking “perk up Girl” and lets have some fun. Life with you is …..Wonderful, Marvelous and Super Fragelistic!
July 4, 2016 @ 5:36 pm
I can’t stand it…serene…there now I don’t feel so dunb…ah dumbb Ah stupid.
June 28, 2016 @ 3:20 pm
I’m so sorry to hear about Elvis. The good days/bad days part is really hard emotionally.
June 28, 2016 @ 3:50 pm
My husband and i had to put out 16 year old cat down somewhat unexpectedly last week. I’m so sorry. I can’t imagine what its like to draw this out. Good vibes headed towards kittah.
June 28, 2016 @ 3:51 pm
The earrings are fabulous, and Elvis is fabulous. I think it’s ok to try to treat yourself nicely in such a sad time.
June 28, 2016 @ 4:39 pm
Hugs and prayers for you and Elvis. The only thing I can tell you is just continue to love her. It will be all right. The addition looks great.
June 28, 2016 @ 4:42 pm
Victoria, I say this in the kindest way possible. Stop buying earrings, stop working on the house, stop shopping CL. Instead, you and Paul should spend as much time with Elvis as possible. Nothing else will matter after her death other than the time you spent with her and what you did. It’s hard–I know, believe me, I know–but those distractions that feel so necessary now will actually hurt you terribly after she’s gone. So force yourself to stay in the moment with her and not be distracted from your pain. You will never regret it, I promise.
June 28, 2016 @ 6:29 pm
Take the time you need now with Elvis. I hope that you find comfort and peace in the quiet times with her. We recently lost our almost 15 year old lab and I miss her everyday, but do find peace in knowing that she was absolutely loved in her final days. Dogs’ (cats’) lives are too short. Their only fault, really.
June 28, 2016 @ 6:49 pm
Ohhh how I wish I could send some of Anthony’s Rhode Island clam chowder – my cats lapped it up when nothing else appealed. If you want I will attempt to send liquids via the USPS. Just email your address (I promise I won’t drop by) or a PO box, or Paul’s work address, or the address of an anonymous stranger.
June 28, 2016 @ 6:49 pm
I am praying for you. Pets are family and it is so hard when they are seriously ill.
June 28, 2016 @ 6:57 pm
Typing through tears and sending hugs to you, and many, many kisses to Elvis.
June 28, 2016 @ 6:59 pm
Elvis has been extremely fortunate in her choice of owners/servants. May her quality of life remain good for as long as possible, and may you find peace in how well you love her.
Tell Paul the same thing I say to my husband in his tank tops: “suns out, guns out”
June 28, 2016 @ 7:13 pm
of course you have a bigger picture but, one of my kitties has been puking after each meal and my husband thinks it is just because of the heat. Maybe Elvis is feeling it more keenly than usual?
In the absence of definitive answers, always follow your heart! No regrets and Elvis will be happy!
The ‘after’ pics are gorgeous beyond words! You and Paul should be happy with all your hard work.
June 28, 2016 @ 8:29 pm
Poor Elvis and poor you. Relish the time you have left and don’t ever feel like you shouldn’t be spending all your time with her! I recently lost my 4 year old dog in an accident, I never even got to say a proper goodbye. Take that time with her and you’ll never regret it. My thoughts are with you, for what that’s worth.
June 28, 2016 @ 8:31 pm
Victoria, I have been thoroughly enjoying your blog for a few years now. As someone who has dedicated the better part of a day finding the exact right spot for a new picture frame, or who sometimes secretly can’t wait for gifted flowers to die because they don’t quite match the color scheme of any room in my house, you are to me a kindred spirit. What prompted me to write was your sadness over Elvis’s illness. I’m so sorry. I lost my dog last May and miss her every single day. Losing a pet can be such a profound loss. I wanted to share with you, however, that we buried our pup in our backyard and have created a beautiful garden around her, replete with a rosa sharon tree, blue hydrangeas and a memorial plague. I take such comfort in knowing she is right there with us, and it’s become a lovely spot to retreat to especially on summer mornings. When the time comes, perhaps this may ease your grief as well. In the meantime, I wish you many more memories to cherish and days to enjoy together. My best wishes, Cathy
June 28, 2016 @ 10:09 pm
Losing a pet is like losing a family member. Stay strong.