May 2018

May 2018

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

New Kitchen Floor

The new kitchen floor is in and the team from Brewers Flooring did a great job. It's absolutely beautiful!

We've debated (well, mostly me with myself) almost every component of the new kitchen except the floor. I saw this floor three years ago and immediately knew it would be perfect for our space.

Wood floors have been "in" for many years, but I hate the unique care they require. Even the engineered woods need a special cleaner. And then there's the risk of planks separating as the wood shrinks under certain temperature conditions.

So when I found porcelain tile that looks like 6"x3' hand-scraped wood, I knew it was our answer. We now have the look of wood that's as easy to clean as our old ceramic tile floor!

American Heritage Tile Planks – Spice

Monday, July 22, 2013

2013 Pumpkin Patch

I love pumpkins. Besides the fact they herald fall, my favorite time of year, their color and shape just make me smile :)

Last year I got the idea to grow a pumpkin patch in our backyard. I knew I would enjoy watching the patch grow as fall got closer and closer. And I thought my grandsons would enjoy it too. It was a big hit with the entire family, and we harvested enough pumpkins for everyone, seven pie pumpkins and seven Jack-be-Littles.

This year we planted our seeds a little earlier. That together with the wet spring and early summer seems to have made the 2013 patch very happy. The vines are growing several inches everyday and we have many blossoms. We even have a pumpkin already!

I took these pictures last week. The vines are longer now and the pumpkin has tripled in size!

Friday, July 19, 2013


Isn't this the perfect set for a French kitchen's breakfast area? I love it!

In addition to this set, two matching
counter stools were ordered yesterday.

I'm so grateful to not be working through the kitchen remodel. Everyday there are challenges to solve and questions that need quick answers. Thank you, God, for my sometimes annoying attention to detail and organizational skills!

The big push this week is to prepare the kitchen for floor installation on Monday. The room was completely gutted, including the removal of the old ceramic tile (loud and dusty!), by the end of the work day Wednesday. Yesterday, the carpenter began framing the windows and met with the electrician.

Also on Thursday, the interior designer came to the house and, with the carpenter, we determined the size and shape of the built-in banquette. Then Ann and I had a very productive meeting. She agreed the table and chairs I found were perfect. And we finally decided on the window treatment. 

Another activity for me this week was listing old kitchen items on Craigslist. I listed the old double ovens at 8:00 A.M. on Wednesday as a free item that needed to be picked up by 4:00 P.M. Within 10 minutes I had three responses and the ovens were hauled off by 10:00 A.M.!

I then listed the cooktop and sink later on Wednesday. Both were sold and gone, including the faucet, by 4:30 P.M. yesterday.

Slowly but surely, the kitchen remodel is moving along. But, as a person who can visualize the end result, I'm getting more and more eager to see, use, and live in my new cooking space. I guess it's a good thing I have so much to keep me busy. There's always a silver lining.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

End of Day One

The demo began on the kitchen today. It was delayed a day because the contractors needed Monday to finish their previous job.

All the old cabinets are now on the front porch waiting for my Craigslist buyer to pick them up this evening. The rest of the trash, as you can see, is in a pile in the middle of the room. The pile will be hauled away tomorrow at the end of day two when it'll be even bigger.

Yay, no more soffit!

I spent the day setting up a makeshift kitchen in the basement, cleaning our temporary common area, and then taking it easy reading magazines and doing online research. I didn't sleep well last night I'm sure due to what was going to happen today. And, for the last eight days, I've been working hard emptying the kitchen and doing a lot of cooking. I was ready for a slow day.

Nevertheless, due to all the prep I did yesterday, this morning I was able to easily dump all the ingredients for ham soup into my Crock Pot. So, despite not having a kitchen, we'll be eating a home-cooked meal tonight.

I'm hoping to continue eating in Monday through Friday, as usual, during the kitchen remodel. Time will tell if I'm successful. Yesterday I learned it will take two weeks to install the granite countertops after measurements are taken, which can't happen until the cabinets are in. If all goes as planned, that means I won't have a kitchen, again, until at least August 14. That's a full month without a stove or oven.

Nothing to be done about it. So I'm just taking deep breaths and dreaming of my new kitchen. If that fails, there's always Xanax!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Our Little Hellion

My 3-year-old grandson is becoming a little hellion. Before the summer's over, I think Jonah's going to give my 34-year-old daughter gray hair!

Emily is a caring and patient parent, but Jonah is testing her every waking minute. When I watch Jonah, I'm able to keep him out of trouble by giving him my full attention. Of course, that's not possible when you're also doing laundry, house and garden work, cooking, and giving a fair amount of time to another child. (I never watch both boys alone!)

Emily's finding as soon as she turns her back, Jonah does something he shouldn't. Usually it's taking something apart. And, with his above average fine-motor skills, nothing's safe!

I love this picture taken yesterday at Gus' Pretzels.
No little wall's going to keep Jonah down!
Jonah's also becoming an expert tantrum thrower. Some days it seems he's mostly in timeout. And all the award tactics Emily uses with Jonah's older brother just don't work. Jonah's much more independent than Elliott was at the same age, so a promise of going somewhere, doing something, or getting something special rarely works.

I'm sure "this too shall pass." I just hope it's before Jonah leaves for college!

But looking forward, I think it's possible Elliott and Jonah could become a great team. What Elliott imagines, Jonah could build. Wouldn't that be sweet!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Melancholia Hits

This week I've been busy emptying out the kitchen and cooking more than usual. In addition to cooking food for the day, I've been preparing meals I can easily warm in the microwave or on a hot plate during the kitchen remodel. So I've been spending a lot of time in the kitchen the past five days and, yesterday, melancholy finally hit. 

During the 30 years we've lived in this house, I've logged more time in the kitchen than any other family member. And I've made numerous minor adjustments and modifications throughout the years in attempts to make the kitchen look and function better. 

But now there simply is no more that can be done to truly improve the function and flow of the space other than a major redo. Nevertheless, because the old kitchen and I have had such an intimate relationship, I'm feeling a tiny bit sad. And watching Renovation Raiders on HGTV and seeing how they demolished a kitchen in 45 minutes didn't help.

The crew arrives at 8:00 A.M. on Monday and I have a doctor's appointment at 8:30 A.M. I fully expect the demo will be 70-percent done by the time I return. I'm now thinking that's probably a good thing. 

I'm not a nostalgic person. I'm much more a visionary who enjoys progress. So I never thought a kitchen would cause me melancholia. Once, again, I'm reminded to "never say never."

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Trash or Treasure?

After a couple of people told me I should try to sell my old kitchen cabinets, I decided to list them on Craigslist. But I was extremely skeptical. We had zero interest in our bathroom vanities a few years ago, and they weren't nearly as old as the kitchen cabinets. The kitchen cabinets are 40 years old and were painted 15 years ago, unlike the bathroom vanities. Well, slap my face!

The response was unbelievable. I started getting emails within an hour of listing. Before it was over, I had 20 people interested and several wanting to buy them sight unseen!

In the end, I sold them to a couple who are updating their kitchen as part of preparing their home for market. They have three children and recently took in their 88-year-old grandmother who has Alzheimer's Disease, so they desperately need more room. They are absolutely thrilled to be getting all of our cabinets for just $100. And, frankly, I'm happy to be helping them.

Encouraged, I now plan to list our countertop and sink if they survive the demo on Monday. I also plan to list our old cooktop. And, again, each piece will be "priced to sell." Primarily, I just want to keep as much as possible out of a landfill. And that's why what doesn't sell will be donated to a resale shop that gives all their profits to Habitat for Humanity.

I've definitely been reminded that "one man's trash is another man's treasure." And to not be so quick to trash something just because it's the quickest and easiest thing to do.

Sunday, July 7, 2013


I finally added some new material to DGPaperDesigns. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Busy Couple of Days

The last couple of days have been full of activity. Yesterday, I met the kitchen and interior designers at Global Granite and Marble to pick out the new kitchen's countertop. Global is a huge warehouse with rows and rows of large granite and marble slabs. After walking through the warehouse twice, and having several slabs moved for better viewing, I chose Colonial Gold granite. It has multiple warm tones as well as some veins of silver to compliment our stainless steel hardware and appliances.

Now we have the floor tiles, sink, cabinets (on order), and granite slabs. We also found the white tile for the backsplash at Global. It's a regular stock item, so the contractor will just purchase it when we're ready for that step. I've also chosen the cabinet and drawer pulls, which I'll be buying from Lowe's. Plus I've decided on shutters for the window treatment.

It's a huge relief to have made the three (floor, cabinets, and countertop) major decisions regarding the new kitchen. But now that we're also making headway on the smaller decisions, I'm finally beginning to feel less stressed and more excited.

But, this morning, it was definitely time to take a break from kitchen planning, so I met my daughter and grandson at the movie theater to see Despicable Me 2. It was laugh-out-loud funny for seven-year-old Elliott, but only slightly entertaining for the adults. For sure, after two animated movies in just three weeks, I've had my fill of PG films for awhile.

Instead, the highlight of my day was going to Archiver's after the movie to take advantage of their Fourth of July sale. My biggest purchase was the Cinch Bindery Tool that I'd been eying for well over a year. This weekend Archiver's is selling it at a 40% discount, so I decided today was the day. Especially since there was the added incentive of a free pack of 12"x12" designer paper with any purchase over $40.

Cinch Bindery Tool
I also made some smaller purchases. I got two large wood-block stamps and two cling-mount stamp packs, which were reduced 25% plus buy one get one free. And, using my email coupon for 40% off one full-price item, I got a 12"x12" paper pad of Graphic 45
Happy Haunting. I was thrilled to find the Happy Haunting paper because it's my favorite Graphic 45 line to date and no longer being produced.

Graphic 45 Happy Haunting
Yes, it's been a busy couple of days and the fun continues. Tomorrow we're going to my daughter's house for a barbecue where we can watch local fireworks from their driveway. Then, since Jim's working Friday, I plan to spend that day doing a lot of crafting.

Have a happy and safe Fourth of July everyone!