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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May 23, 2017
lisakunk

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All Tuckered Out: Training a Puppy Named Tucker

By Lisa Batten Kunkleman   Tending a puppy is a reminder of what life is like with toddlers around. Exhausting. Time consuming. Frustrating. Impossible. I’ll try to remember that most dogs do end up house-broken and finish teething. I made it through the toddler-years-times-four, and my kids are all potty trained and no longer bite. […]

March 27, 2017
lisakunk

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School Band: Great for improving Musical Ability, Physical Fitness, and Interpersonal Skills

By Lisa Batten Kunkleman (Originally Posted in The Charlotte Observer in 2014) Ready or not, high school class registration for next year is about to begin. Elective courses range from automotive services to yoga to oodles of other classes to consider– including marching band.  This isn’t yesteryear’s stereotype of geeky kids playing the school fight song. […]

31 comments

Parenting Invincible Young Adults

By Lisa Batten Kunkleman   Parenting young adult children is a whole new experience. If you think parenting and protecting children from birth through the teen years is tough, look out for the twenties.There’s a huge difference between being invincible at twenty and cautious at mid-life. I’m definitely in the cautious at mid-life stage when […]

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 […]

May 31, 2016
lisakunk

13 comments

Empty Nest Flutterings

By Lisa Batten Kunkleman The birds flew back into our empty nest. Quiet slipped out the back door, to be replaced by chatter, showers, cars and friends galore. The living room became a drop off spot for book bags, jackets, and laptops. Oh, and shoes, brass instruments and music stands. They’re ba-ack. And oh how […]

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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