Life Stories and Beyond

Our Bodies. Our Families. Our Lives. We all have stories we should share. We're more alike than we know.

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April 25, 2017
lisakunk

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Rainy Day Doggie Potty Blues

By Lisa Batten Kunkleman Eureka! Sadie Hound finally went. All day I’d been begging her to go outside and do her business. Her eyeballs had to be floating. Every time the torrential rain slowed down a tad, I tried again. Of course I’m the one who got wet, standing out in the rain trying to […]

And Then There’s Remodeling, Pt. 2

January 19, 2017


By Lisa Batten Kunkleman

When our “And Then There’s Remodeling, Part One” saga ended, we had just ordered granite choice number two by mistake. At this point in the process, did we even care? Not really. We had an island and cabinets sitting in the middle of our kitchen, ready to be topped with something. A large slab of just about anything would have been preferable to no top at all. We even threw a couple of our old,now removed doors on top to pretend it was finished. The doorknobs didn’t really work out.

The giant topless island didn’t slow down our young adult kids and their friends one bit. A Christmas cookie competition took place in spite of the mess. We carried on with meals cooked on our fifty-year-old appliances a little longer. Yes, you heard right. We had two fifty-year-old ranges that still mostly worked, minus a burner or two. Together they equaled about one and a half workable ranges. They really don’t make them like that anymore.

Then the painters came. Time to close off the kitchen from fumes and wagging dog tails. Lousy timing in a way, since they came on the same day as our son’s shoulder surgery. My husband and I had to divide and conquer. He stayed home with the painters while I tended to medical details, getting our son, Joe, through his difficult day.  Fortunately, Joe wore a pain pump which dripped continual medicine, blocking his nerves  for the first few days, so he was feeling pretty great. He did fantastic. And so did the painters. We all had a good day.

We arrived home from the hospital to “Acceptable Gray” walls in the kitchen and a “Ceiling White” ceiling. Real paint names.  Appropriate names. Plastic once again covered floors and cabinets, but what an “acceptable” mess to come home to. The ugly honeydew-green walls were gone. Forever. That evening, family and friends attended our oldest daughter’s band concert. Even the patient attended. He had promised his sister, “I’ll be fine to go after surgery.”

We all said, “Yeah, sure you will.” Dang if he didn’t.

Next up, painting the cabinets white had to be done before the granite arrived. There was a problem. The granite people called saying they must deliver early morning or put it off till after New Years, two weeks away. Oh no, that wouldn’t do as we were having a small gathering to bring in 2017, and we were tired of looking at a topless island.

They only had men available to lift the heavy stone during early morning. We came up with a compromise. Promising if they’d give us time to get the painting done that morning, the painters agreed to help them bring in the island top. Done deal. Poor painters had no idea how heavy the six hundred pounds of granite would be, but they grit their teeth and brought that monster in the house.

Counter top in place, the installers put on toxic-dust-blocking masks and sawed a hole in the stone for our cook top. I watched while sparks were flying out of the cut stone. Precision is essential. One wrong move and they can ruin a stone. High pressure work. Cook top in, granite topping the island, paint on the walls and cabinets, we were rounding the home stretch of this remodeling adventure.The kitchen part at least.

Along came Christmas. A needed break for everybody and continued use of our one remaining copper-tone colored range. We baked our multi-layer chocolate “Jesus cake” in that oven for a last hurrah. Seemed a fitting farewell.

We’re still not done. The saga is “to be continued.”

26 comments

Mom, Where Should The Ambulance Take Me?

By Lisa Batten Kunkleman I answered my cell and heard, “Mom, I kinda dislocated my knee. Which hospital should the ambulance take me to?” If only our son Sam’s kneecap were simply dislocated and not shattered into six pieces when he fell while doing pull-ups, that would have been almost delightful. This event was the […]

June 11, 2016
lisakunk

20 comments

Milk Leaks and Dog Leaks

  By Lisa Batten Kunkleman My day began with a soft pat on the arm and a nuzzle against my fingers. No, this was not my husband. It was our people-phobic beautiful FAT black cat, Daisy Mae. I had received a gift from the object of everyone’s desire. When I tried to return the caress, […]

May 10, 2016
lisakunk

14 comments

They Caught One!

By Lisa Kunkleman They caught one! They actually did it! I never thought I’d be burying a squirrel caught by my squirrel-chasing dogs. I’ll call him ‘Little Guy’. Probably one of the little acrobats I enjoy watching run around our trees like they’ve had a triple shot of espresso. I call them North Carolina’s monkeys. […]

April 8, 2016
lisakunk

10 comments

I’m His Sheep

By Lisa Batten Kunkleman Returning from my morning walk, I see my black and white dog, Remy, waiting for me just on the other side of his invisible fence. Sheltie or border collie-sheltie mix, it doesn’t matter his official breed. He’s my shepherd. My bodyguard, and he takes his job seriously. Remy paces until I […]

3 comments

Beeps and Bongs and Chimes, Oh My!

Beeps and Bongs and Chimes Oh My! By Lisa Kunkleman These days, I can get nagged from every corner of the house even when I’m all alone except for the animals. I’m used to my family ever so gently telling me when I’m doing something wrong or forgetting things but lately I’m getting reminders from […]

2 comments

Can My Hound Tell Time?

Can My Hound Tell Time? By: Lisa Batten Kunkleman It’s five o’clock somewhere. Yes, indeed, it’s here, in my house. Somehow my dogs know it’s supper time and start pacing, then patting me on the leg as I sit typing at my desk. Our hound dog Sadie even starts faking asthma and breathing heavily. She […]

October 30, 2015
lisakunk

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The Empty Nest: Lots of Fluttering Lisa Kunkleman

Our “empty nest syndrome” isn’t what I expected. Not only is it empty of kids, recently it’s been empty of adults too. We’re running back and forth to the kids’ universities nearly every weekend for something. Mainly to football games, which I suppose is understandable since we purchased season tickets for both schools. How could […]

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