Sunday, March 22, 2015

Eleventy Hundred Pictures and a Couple of Words About a Kitchen

"How's your kitchen coming?"

Beautifully, thank you so much for being brave enough to ask. I'm much like a grandma with a new grandchild, would you like to see some pictures?

OK we go.

I sorted through a picture or two from years past to see if I could find some decent "before" action pictures. I found a few {cue music...'Memories......'}

Ah, old kitchen...we had fun, but you flooded, so ... 

...we invited Papaw to come up and the guy at Lowe's told us that 
the fridge would work better in a different place ...

...and you only had two burners and ...

...your microwave was IN THE SIDE of the island?!

What was up with that oven which was perfect for a doll house but not a full sized house with a bunch of kids and a grown man and a crazy woman trying to feed them.

Let's face it old gal, YOU HAD SERIOUS ISSUES...ok, so do I but YOURS were fixable.

We tried to tell the Lowe's kitchen designer that the fridge would be a disaster on the other side of the room. He asked us to consider it and we are so very glad that we did! It made our large room feel like all kitchen instead of kitchen-plus-Gretchen's-messy-desk-area like it did before.

Once the fridge was relocated, it was possible for a cabinet and counter top to replace it.



The doll house oven has been replaced by a normal sized stove. We are still getting used to the idea that we can cook more than one pan of food at a time.



The microwave has gotten a raise. 
Now we can heat things without having to do squats.

In addition to the space gained by moving the fridge across the room, we added a crazy amount of useable square feet by replacing the homemade white cabinets, as deep as my fully extended arm, with traditional standard-sized cabinets. The corner in front of Molly in the picture below was built out away from the kitchen wall a foot or so leaving a hole behind the cabinet wall that was empty and unusable.

It's all better now. 

The island with it's microwave and it's stovetop and its single drawer is gone and has been replaced with a plain topped island with scads of storage.

We've circled the room now and find ourselves in the neighborhood of the dishwasher which replaced the dishwasher that made all of this renovation possible necessary ;-). 

The new dishwasher and I have had a big talk about how one should behave in the winter and I feel we have come to a healthy understanding... I will do my best to keep it shiny, I will give it lots of attention and more than enough work to do and, in return, it will keep all of its hoses enact and drip free and it will under NO CIRCUMSTANCES burble, bust, burst or, in any other fashion ruin this kitchen. 
It was a good talk.

And is where I'm sitting as I type...

...actually, I'm sitting in a dining room chair at my desk because of the barstool and desk chair situation. The situation is that there are none or neither or there aren't any. We have hauled three different sets of four barstools into this room and all I can say thus far is that I'm as good at choosing bar stools as I am paint colors which is abysmal! 

The first thing I did when I sat stood here for the first time was to order a cookbook I'd been waiting all renovation long to purchase as sort of a prize I guess. Really, though, why in the world would I need anything else besides this...

I still can't believe it's our kitchen.
It still seems like somebody else's kitchen which is a good thing because as I'm sure you've already discovered, it's always more fun cleaning someone else's kitchen!

There's still paint to be painted and a few little items to be seen to, but we are 87% finished I think and our little world is settling back into its regular rhythms. The kids have begun once more to take over the island during our school hours ...

I'm back to Sunday breakfasts ...

...and making messes.

Meg's been baking cakes, Cole has been making nachos and is heavily hinting about reinstating burrito night. Kate flits and frolics in the much more open spaces between the island and the countertops and Molly, she is glad to have her "wake up" place back...

I am excited and thankful and amazed and thankful and blessed and thankful...

for them...

...and for him...

...and for the food and the family and the fellowship 
that is to happen in this place.

...I might even blog about it.

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends,
We offer thanks. Amen.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson~

Friday, March 13, 2015

Some Befores, Some Durings, and Some Afters...The Kitchen Chronicles

The last few months in my little world have looked, on paper, like a fairytale.

First there was Christmas, then our family took a long awaited vacation to DisneyWorld,

and when we returned I learned I would be getting a new kitchen one I've been dreaming of for quite a few years.

It sounds pretty wonderful doesn't it? If you leave out the part where the dishwasher pipe busted and where the kitchen flooded and where our friend with the flu spent much time trying to vacuum water from the kitchen carpet while we traveled home from Florida.

This carpet squished when stepped on... it left

 ...but the sink went with it and its replacement hasn't yet arrived!

Leave out too, the part where the weather turned frigid again and the furnace lagged behind 10 degrees and also the washing of dish after dish by hand in a very chilly basement washtub. While you're at it, erase from the story the countertop issue that has kept us from kitchen completion for the last 2 weeks as we just sit and wait.

There was much consternation about paint choices ...

...and cabinet doors and a missing microwave, not to mention the 35 cabinet pulls that I fell in love with at the store but hated when I brought them home.

{These are the pulls that replaced the originals. Turns out that they are the same ones I chose for the main bathroom when we remodeled it 5 years ago. Consistency...that's the key, I say.}

There were island bar stools that had to be gathered from three different towns in our state.

Really though, in the worth it, to me anyway, Pappa and my Man may be thinking differently but wow! I'm over-the-moon excited about this almost finished thing of beauty in which I will be feeding and gathering my people.

When folks ask me, "How's the kitchen coming?" I tell them how quickly my father-in-law turned this empty room with injured and incomplete walls...

...into a room with a fancy new floor...

...and cabinets...

...even as Cole and my Man attempted to shove him into a tiny little one.

It took him merely 10 days (with a little help from a varied cast of characters)...

to go from this... this...

and from this... this...

Ten days! 

Then we waited for more than two weeks and on Monday we anticipate a big finish as the countertops and sink are to arrive and be installed which will then allow for the finishing attachments for the dishwasher and the disposal. I've never been so excited to do dishes!! Never. It might be nearly as much fun as taking the whole thing apart in the first place...

I've learned so much...mainly that everything in life seems to take longer and take much more effort when the hub of the home is under construction. 
  • When the washing machine has become the dish drying location you must put all of the dishes away before you can do laundry. 
  • When you freeze carrots before cooking them, the slow cooker cannot. handle. them. 
  • Neither can the family.
  • Slow cooker Korean beef is a do over. Let's talk more about that soon.
  • It's difficult to chop salad ingredients with no countertops. I miss salad.
  • It's difficult to do many, many tasks with no countertop. 
  • Relocating the coffee maker to the basement was a BIG MISTAKE. It is difficult to descend the basement stairs before having a cup of coffee plus the cream was upstairs in the fridge.
  • The amount of work one man can accomplish with an early morning start is simply astounding.
  • It is possible to homeschool while the kitchen is under construction. It is possible to read a long book while the kitchen is under construction. It is possible to post witty blog entries while the kitchen is under construction. It is NOT possible to do any more than ONE of these activities while the kitchen is under construction. Alas.
  • On the day when your dream oven is installed, your family will be gracious enough to listen to you read the entire instruction manual aloud to them while they eat lunch. They will even nod and feign interest just to share in your enjoyment. (But they will make fun of you every day thereafter as a result.)

I've got a few more kitchen posts planned and hopefully will have them posted soon after we've declared the big adventure "finished". I'll show you pictures of the countertops in place and the sink and the ...well, I'll show you where I'll be cookin' and I'll give you the recipe for the Korean beef and I'll share some links I've been saving about...kitchens.

Then...well, there's a bathroom upstairs that has been needing some attention...aye aye aye!

Wishing you a happy weekend!!

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