Posted in Home, House, Kitchen, Plumbing

K-Day Countdown

Well, we’re getting close! Counter tops should be (I’ve learned to never say “will be”) installed tomorrow. On Tuesday the plumber will return to hook up water to our sink and dishwasher. Then, the kitchen will be done.

Be Still, My Beating Heart

As you can tell from the dirty dishes, we’re already using the kitchen, sans counter tops and running water. Food gets cooked upstairs. Water gets drawn from the basement, where the dirty dishes are also washed. Up and down, up and down, up and down. No wonder my knees are killing me! One consolation so far, though: I now have places to put stuff away. The cabinets are all in and they all work.

Will she have a functioning kitchen on Tuesday? Tune in Tuesday at 2 to find out!!

Posted in Food, House, Just Bitching, Kitchen, Seasons, Summer

Everything But the Kitchen Sink

Actually, the sink is here, standing in a huge box on our front porch. The faucets arrived yesterday. There are shiny brass handles on our new cabinets and the counter top folks are coming Tuesday to measure the room for their lovely, polished granite.

kitchen cabinets

It really does look a whole lot snazzier with the gold handles. The kitchen crew is still here, hard at work adding more cabinetry and setting up the alcove for the refrigerator. Our appliances are coming on Tuesday. We’re not sure when the flooring will be coming in. Soon, I hope.

I’m really sick of microwaved and crock-potted meals. I’m filled up to my eyeballs with raw salads and have no idea how I’m going to cook green beans without a stove. Maybe I’ll dump boiling water from the kettle over them to blanch. It’s something, at least. I’ll be leaving town for a few days to visit my family in upstate New York and I wonder if the kitchen will be done by then or if the hubby will be left on his own with the microwave for the weekend.

We’re back to washing dishes in the basement, since the temporary sink has been replaced with cabinetry. It’ll be beautiful when it’s all done – no doubt about it – but the wait is killing me! Good thing my office is air conditioned.

Posted in House, Kitchen

Here’s Looking at You

kitchen framework
Can you say soffit?

Well, we’re making progress, kitchen-wise. The carpenters are busy leveling the ceiling and adding additional lumber for the eventual finished product. The hubby and I took a little tour this evening and checked things over. One thing we both agree on: our contractor is very, very good. The workmanship at this stage is excellent, as are the materials. Our main objective at this point will be to stay on-budget, since there’s so much potential in a down-to-the-studs room.

I’m particularly happy to find out that our contractor will be installing a temporary sink in the kitchen, which they’ll put up when they’re finished working for the day. We have a slop sink in the basement, which works fine, but I’m getting tired of lugging piles of dishes up and down rickety stairs.

So far, so good. The house is going to need a good cleaning when they’re done, but it’ll be worth it to stand in my lovely new kitchen and cook my foodie heart out.

Posted in House, Kitchen

Kitchen Confidential

I seem to be getting the messy work of my life done all at once, which is a blessing in its own way. I’ve been undergoing a root canal procedure and, after several uncomfortable trips to the dentist, finally have my crown in place. I’m happy to be able to chew again without pain!

Our long-awaited kitchen renovation also started this week. The demolition team has been here and gone. We had two days of banging and plaster dust that got out despite layers and layers of plastic over the doors. Now we’re down to the occasional sounds of an electric drill as the carpenter frames the room. Sheetrock next, I hope!

Posted in House, Kitchen, Nature, Seasons, Spring

Ah-yep, We’re in For a Nor’eastah

Get out the raincoats!

Nor’easters. Nasty bit of New England weather. We’re due for one this week and I think it’s already started. Wind, rain and plenty of bluster. I went out this morning when the sun was still shining in a bright blue sky and returned just as the clouds were rolling in. I’ve been sequestered in my office all day since then. I’ve gotten quite a bit of work done. Thank goodness for Amazon Prime music.

This weekend will probably be, well, a washout. On another note, our contractor came by this morning to lay out a temporary kitchen, since they’re going to start demolition on our kitchen on Tuesday. We’ll have a small fridge, microwave, toaster oven and coffee pot. They even brought in a table so we could have a place to put them.

The beginning of a mess
The beginning of a mess

Good think it’s going to be stormy this weekend, because we have a whole kitchen to clear out. I got a start on it last weekend, but the whole thing’s got to be cleared out by Monday. Packing boxes? Check. Garbage bags for all the junk that’s accumulated in a foodie’s kitchen for the past 16 years? Check.

Posted in House, Kitchen

No Fingernails Left

I’m starting to (metaphorically) bite them down to the quick. We started working on our long-overdue kitchen renovation on Saturday, with trips to a cabinet and counter top store. Our contractor has worked with one of their designers for seven years and highly recommended her.

Do you know how many colors and styles a cabinet or drawer comes in? I wasn’t sure where to start. Then we looked at counter top options: Corian, man-made quartz and granite. Lots of colors, lots of finishes. I have a few blonde wood panel samples at home and have no idea whether or not I like them. Do I now go get two more in the next shade and the next shade darker? I don’t even want to think about the damned counter tops.

old stove
Time For an Upgrade

But – wait! – that’s not all. After our trip to the cabinet and counter store we went to an appliance store to look for stoves, microwaves and dishwashers we could afford. The salesman, a very nice fellow, started his tour at the highest end appliances. Of course.¬† Average price in this aisle ranged from $2500 to $3000. We both gulped and I asked the salesman if we could see the middle class section. We saw a few stoves that would work, all bumping up against $1000, but hey.

The salesman then took us to see microwaves and dishwashers. Pricey, but do-able. We wanted a combination of affordability and durability. I don’t think they offer that option anymore. We walked out with a quote for a Frigidaire free standing stainless steel gas stove, a Kitchenaid 6 cycle dishwasher, another Frigidaire over-the-range microwave and (I forgot to add) two options for sinks, double-bowl or single bowl. Oh yes, and a dispose-all for the sink. They threw in some absolutely outrageous other options like $50 strainer baskets for the kitchen drain.

But, we weren’t done! Next we went to a big box store (Home Depot) to check out their appliances. I don’t know what it is about that store, but it makes me feel like crawling out of my skin after five minutes. Maybe it’s the lighting, or the heat. All I know is that I REALLY wanted to go home after a painstaking perusal of similar appliances. The hubby took some incredibly detailed notes on the ranges we were looking at and I was able to do a side-by-side comparison for one item. Big box came out cheaper, but the appliance store felt more trustworthy.

stove and over
All That Money For Five Burners? Well, It IS Pretty.

There’s one more appliance store the hubby wants to visit and I’m seriously thinking about saying no. We still have to find flooring and windows. We haven’t even started that.

new kitchen
We’ll Take This One Please

But, for all that, I’m kind of starting to get into it. I just don’t want to spend an eternity tramping from dealer to dealer to dealer trying to find the right combination of price and design.

At least I have a floor plan.

Posted in House, Plumbing

Plumbing 101


Day one of our unexpected kitchen remodel. Plumbers en route to knock out wall and replace main pipeline. It’s an amazingly small pipe, but one that’s going to be difficult to get to.

More later. Taking advantage of the fact that I can still pee at home and wash my hands in hot water. After today? Who knows?

Posted in Home, Seasons, Spring, Wow!

Mrs. Clean

Good thing I planted the rest of the garden yesterday, because it’s cold and rainy today. The plants seem to like it just fine, although I’m staying indoors today and hoping it’s warmer tomorrow.

I got down and dirty with the back pantry this morning. Hey, it worked up a good sweat and probably burned a few calories in the process. The back pantry had long since turned into a cook’s nightmare, with jumbles of recyclables, garden tools, cleaning equipment, cloth and paper bags and several shelves full of pulses, grains and what-have-you behind the mess. In the meantime, all the canned goods that I use on a regular basis were hidden away in a very deep cabinet to the right of the kitchen sink. I had to bend over rather painfully just to get stuff in and out of there and, because of the way it’s designed, it was impossible to see the items in the back.

I decided that a swap was in order. So, I bent over the cabinet and started pulling things out. Ditto the pantry shelf, except for the bending. I tossed the stuff that was out of date or simply never used (an ancient apple crisp mix, a jar of pumpkin butter and another one of caramel sauce for starters). Then I smelled the grains to make sure they were still good, which they were (holy shit, do I have bulghur!). The canned beans went on the pantry shelf, the dried beans went into the cabinet, along with various lentil varieties (also known as dals). I use the dry stuff, but not as frequently as the canned counterparts. I found stuff like several boxes of rice pilaf mix, which I couldn’t even see since it was behind the canned milk and napkins.

So, as of this afternoon, I have an uncluttered pantry with  plenty of room to reach my staples and a less accessible cabinet that stores items I use on a less frequent basis. I tidied up and re-hung all the garden stuff, and found homes for summer grilling equipment. I cleaned out all the paper bags which, along with a bunch of empty boxes, are going out on trash/recycle day. I took out every, single cloth bag we had, threw out the ones that were frayed and created two categories: big cloth bags and small cloth bags. We use them for grocery shopping.

Pantry Shelves
Still Crappy, But Clean

Boy, do I feel good! Mission accomplished. Now, onto the next war zone.