Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Taming the Tea

Now that all of the kitchen cabinets are in (more on that later), I have started reorganizing everything. One problem area was my tea storage. It had expanded onto two shelves. Kristin called it a "tea explosion"! I used the KonMari method, gathering everything together, then going through, piece by piece. It was difficult. But I realized that some of the tea was very old. I sorted, gave some to Julie, packaged up some newer tea bags that I was unlikely to use into a bag for Paul to bring to the break area at his work, and tossed quite a bit. I got it down to a goodly number of favorites. One shelf! 

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Kitchen Remodel Stages Update

It's time for a progress update on the stages of our kitchen remodel.  For Phase 6, the old sink is long gone, donated to someone who likes that sort of thing.  Paul is, at this very moment, roughing in the plumbing for the sink.  When done, he will wallboard and goop.  One that is done and painted, the bases can go in.  Phase 7 has the new upper cabinets hung with the exception of one.  We traded that one in for a slightly larger one, and Paul is tweaking the design so that we have a few more inches of counter space in the corner next to the fridge.  Phase 8 is mostly done.  That section just needs some more goop on the walls, and prime and paint.  Phase 9 - complete!  The floor is done and beautiful. And I am adding Phase 10 - Mini-pantry remodel.  We have a small pantry area, the size of a narrow, not-so-deep bookshelf, located as you head to the basement stairs (just inside the doorway in the photo below).  It was sort of made up of old, repurposed materials by a former owner, but Paul is going to replace the wood with nicer wood, so that will be divine!


The Phases (a  indicates completion):
  1. Make it livable (completed in 1988): remove "island", place south wall base cabinets and cheap countertop) 
  2. 2011-2012: New kitchen windows 
  3. 2012: North wall gutting, insulating, initial electrical, wallboard, and upper cabinets, west wall uppers 
  4. 2015: New basement laundry sink 
  5. Knotty pine removal, wallboard, and electrical for east and south walls 
  6. New base cabinets for north and west walls (including a blind corner cabinet with pull-out hardware for easy access), new sink (buh-bye old metallic monstrosity), built-in 18" dishwasher, adjustment of stove on north wall to accommodate new bases, new countertop
  7. New cabinets and countertop for east and south walls
  8. Knotty pine removal, electrical, and wallboard for last portion of south wall (no cabinets here)
  9. New Floor 
  10. Mini-pantry remodel

Stove Disaster

First, here is a preview of our progress.  This is the north wall of the kitchen.  The uppers and the microwave are in.  Paul completed the electrical adjustments and moved the gas pipe so we could center the stove between the two windows - much nicer.  Nothing is in to the left of the stove area because Paul is currently working on the west/sink wall.  The cabinet to the right of the stove is not set in permanently yet - it was there in anticipation of us being able to use the stove again while we complete the kitchen.  But alas, this was not to be.  We had a *little problem* with our current stove.

Originally, we were going to wait on a new stove.  This project has ended up over-budget (big surprise!).  So I spent an hour last weekend cleaning the stove completely.  I even had Paul lift up the burner section so I could clean the area inside/underneath.  That was the mistake.  Although it was not too messy, and I did not do much, I apparently jostled something while cleaning.  Or perhaps when we moved the stove something shifted.  The oven worked well over the weekend; no one tried the burners.  But when I came home from work after a night shift this past Monday morning, trouble ensued.  After so long without a homecooked breakfast, I wanted to have some scrambled eggs and veggie "bacon".  But when I turned on the burner, it was making this hissing noise.  We looked underneath, did not see anything loose.  When we tried again, there was the hissing, followed by a loud pop and a whoosh.  Terrifying.  All I could think of was blowing up the entire house.  We turned off the gas in the basement and at the wall.  And trembled a bit.

We discussed options.  We could have it repaired, but it is old and we were aiming for replacement anyway.  And frankly, I was so traumatized, I never wanted to turn that stove on again, in spite of any repairs we might have done.  Buy a new one?  But then there is the budget.  Oh dear, what to do?  Thankfully, a solution presented itself (more on this later), so that we can replace the stove (Squee!).  I feel completely blessed.  

An updated list of Remodel Stages will follow this post.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Recording with the Church Choir

Last night, and the Thursday before, our church choir recorded a CD in honor of our church's 170th birthday.  We still have a few pieces to tweak, but we got the bulk of it done.  I have no idea how it sounds!  Hopefully it will be a nice addition to our festivities this fall.