The week before a massive family event is always complete chaos. There is a list of things that need to be done, and just about the time you cross one thing off three more things have tacked themselves onto the end of it.
I arrived home from the mission trip tired and grieving. B's sudden loss was a huge blow to all of us, and there was no time to even consider really processing it. We had no idea what the final arrangements were going to be. George's funeral plans hadn't been announced. My Dad's memorial had been definitively postponed until the after-wedding chaos died down.
Our back entrance, a 10 x 12 shared space for the two apartments in our house, has always been a shambles. It has no heat, so the genius who ran water out there for washers and dryers before we bought the place cost us plenty in plumbers' visits when pipes froze in the winter because tenants didn't want to pay to keep a space heater running. Tearing out the plaster and lath and insulating helped keep it warmer but didn't really improve the looks of the room. So while I was gone, Hubby tore out woodwork and put up beadboard and began the process of making it....pretty. Citygirl and her beloved did a lot of painting, and one indoor/outdoor carpet later: Voila! a tolerably good looking entrance! (I still need to paint the door. Oh, there is still a list, but we promised ourselves we would do NOTHING in August.)
The kitchen backsplash needed to be put up. I had picked tin ceiling tile (which, these days, is made of plastic and can be cut with a good pair of shears - awesome product, I must say). With Babygirl's assistance, that project took two full days. I did, at one point, literally tell my mom to 'SHUT UP!' after she had, for the fifteenth time, advised, "Measure twice, cut once!" and asked, "When are you going to do this on MY side?" again. She left for her side in a huff. And then forgot all about it. Ah, the beauty of dementia.
I had found some lovely fabric at a garage sale - an immense amount of yardage on the bolt, sold for $1 by a local interior designer. I made new pillow covers for our very tired living room pillows and a bedspread for the rented guest bed. I made beds, put out clean towels and washcloths for each room, made sure each room had curtains (Mom has never used the upstairs of her side, so we never needed them!), getting creative with antique lace tablecloths and twine when needed. I bought fans. We had a professional steam cleaner come in and clean our couches (ahh, no doggy smell) and mom's chairs (cats, she used to smoke, and old lady. We can't talk about how much better her side smells without being insulting about how bad it used to smell LOL).
On Thursday my sister-in-law and I did a sweep of the house, looking for any construction items that had not been needed, and we loaded up the truck and headed off to all the home improvement stores. We came back with over $300 in store credit (yeah, I have all the receipts. No, I didn't have them with me. Did I mention I still have a LIST?) and a lot more room in the basement. On Friday, while the bridesmaids were all off having their nails done, we whipped through the house for a final clean-and-polish, and then she and I went off by ourselves for our own mani/pedi.
When we came home we tackled our final assignment: Make pudding shots. http://www.justapinch.com/recipes/dessert/cookies/adult-pudding-shots-10-assorted.html These were for the after-reception barbeque, and they were simple, fun, relaxing and giggle-inducing to make. It was a good thing: The rehearsal dinner was yet to come.