Monday, September 28, 2009

The final pieces

If I could explain how completely disorganized and out-of-sorts I feel these days, I'd share it with you. But I am so disorganized and out-of-sorts these days that even a simple blog is beyond my realm.

So, I will stick to the latest update on the kitchen remodel. Our final cabinet pieces arrived on Friday. We just have to get the counter top man to show up and template for the granite. Hubby picked out slab out last week so we know what we're getting, we just need it cut all spiffy and shiny.

We decided to keep an island after all - I know, enough about the island arleady, right? We had an extra cabinet after the wall fiasco, so I added a cute little 9 inch piece to the right that holds canned goods and spices so it works:

We will reduce the overhang on the counter top there, just to be sure we don't create a really crowded space, but we may still be able to put in two small stools if we want.

Then, this is the start of the "microwave nook":

I see this becoming our message area, too, since we'll probably put our phone, endless lists and mail in there. Confine the mess, if you will.

So once our granite arrives and we trim out the window, we are almost done. Just needs a fresh coat of paint and we'll have ourselves a brand new kitchen! Should be just in time for Autumn's real arrival and I can't wait to have all my kitchenware in the house instead of in the cold garage. Mission accomplished!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Level + drill + shims = magic

75% complete. Paint, molding, baseboard, granite and hardware left!

Oh yeah. They're almost full...

Friday, September 18, 2009

Let the hanging begin

I promise I'm not talking about some inhumane torture from the 17th century - I'm talking cabinets, baby!

This weekend we take this:

and hopefully make it look like this:

OK. Not exactly like that. I mean, our cabinets are white. And I don't have 3,000 sq feet of kitchen space.

And even after the cabinets are hung, we still need all the trimmings like molding, paint, countertops and switch covers. But I have a feeling that once those puppies are on the wall, there will be no stopping me from filling them up! I'll share the "after" pictures soon!


On a different note: My son threw this out this morning while talking to his sister,

"You are in a heap of trouble Missy for coloring on Woody."

Heap? I've never once used the word heap in our house.

While in another world, my daughter is learning about endangered animals in school and informed me that her friend's dog is endangered and will be extinct soon because he's old.

Close. But I don't think we'll ever see a day when house dogs are endangered OR extinct.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Yukon Cornelius in action

For years I have only purchased new cars. I grew up with a Dad (time to place blame here) who traveled on the road for his job so every few years we'd have a new car. We'd play with the buttons, radio pre-sets, new CASSETTE players, and savor the new car smell when he'd bring it home.

My affection and my obsession for new cars is entering it's 4th decade. I always knew if I worked hard, I'd be able to maintain the frequent new car smell moments just like when I was a kid and I have always budgeted a car payment. Say what you will. It's just my thing. I believe since I met my husband I've owned 7 cars - and that has been over a period of less than 20 years.

This time, when I was car shopping for #8, I decided to broaden my horizons (and tighten my pocketbook) and look at pre-owned cars. The new, fancy way to say USED.

When I discovered my latest obsession, and my wallet wasn't drained by the price, I jumped on it. I mean, it's only 2 years old and must be *just* like owning a new car. And, since I was 16, I dreamed of owning a BMW. Mid-life crisis kicked in BIG TIME when I took it for a test drive. Vroom Vrooom.

Boy, am I disappointed so far. Bumble has lived up to it's name, and Yukon Cornelius must be hiding in my garage because yesterday, after 3.5 days of ownership, he struck big time. I have the stain on my driveway to prove it.

To date, the center console hinge is broken. We knew about that and it was supposed to be fixed before I took delivery but "the part wasn't in yet"...sure.

The windshield was replaced before they delivered the car to me - I guess that's a plus? Until it leaks this winter.

The back power outlet fell out.

The daytime running lights feature is turned off? May seem small but what is the point of having the round BMW headlights if they stay dark until dusk?

The fog light cover is cracked, in not one, but two places.

And yesterday, after a 200 mile round trip trek to my office in Amherst, my radiator blew. Antifreeze leaked all over the driveway and this morning the proof is still there even after attempts to wash down the evidence.

As my new toy was hauled away on the flatbed last night (much to my son's excitement) I took a moment to say sorry to my Lexus RX330 - should have hung on to her no matter how many miles she'd racked up, how stinky she was, and how many times I panicked when the CD player didn't work and I feared I'd never get my Rob Thomas CD's out!

I'll be driving Rudolph-the-loaner-car back to pick up Bumble either today or tomorrow. Think I can stop at the Lexus dealer and trade it in on the way home?

Be careful what you wish for - when reality sets in, it can really disappoint.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Welcome Bumble

If you have small kids, here is a bit of advice. Don't let them name your car. Because if they do, inevitably when the transmission dies, or you trade it in, they will cry. I've seen it happen twice in my life.

I blame the "car naming" on Little Einsteins. If Leo hadn't keep calling his flying ship "Rocket", then my car never would have been named the same thing. And now that our "Rocket" is being traded in for a new SUV, the happy news of getting a new car turned into my daughter sobbing at dinner last night.

It went something like this:

"So, we have some fun news for you guys."

Eyes wide open "What? Tell us", they both shouted.

"Well, when Mommy picks you up tomorrow from school tomorrow, it will be in a *white* car", I said.

Faces dropped. Eyes rolled.

"I thought you were going to say we were going someplace fun", exclaimed my daughter.

"Sorry", I said, "but I just wanted you to know so when you don't see Rocket tomorrow you aren't confused."

Eyes welled with tears.

"Why? Where is Rocket going?", she asked.

"Well, I have to give it to the car man so I can get my new car."


I actually thought my son would cry because he is not a fan of change. But it was my sensitive red head who did most of the crying. Until she realized the portable DVD player comes with us in the new car. Oh, and that cars don't go to car heaven because they are only things and not people or animals.


So, this morning a name had to be chosen for the new white car. Much to my daughter's dismay - who was voting for snowflake - we chose Bumble. Like the big white, hairy creature from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Apparently, I learned nothing from what just happened and in 5 years when Bumble is probably too small and needs to be traded in, should I expect an 11 year old to react this way again?

**kitchen update** The cabinets have arrived! But the walls still aren't up. Big projects this weekend.

I also wanted to post about my thoughts on the 9/11 anniversary, but given the cloudy, cool, damp day ahead of us, I decided to quietly remember by myself, as I will never forget.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Silly teenage dream

Some teenagers dream of being a singing sensation, or an Olympic athlete, or joining the peace corp.

My dream wasn't that ambitious. Mine was to be able to make a simple purchase some day. I had a picture of a red BMW convertible hanging on my bedroom wall. I don't know why I was drawn to that car - through much of high school I had no concept of brands or labels (in fact I could never fit into a real pair of Calvin's when they were popular), but I loved the little round headlights on that baby.

Twenty-four years later and I finally jumped feet first and made my dream a reality. Seems silly - unless you were that kid with the picture hanging on your wall. It may not be red, or a convertible, but it made my hands sweat when I drove it and gives me butterflies when I think about picking it up in a couple of days.

My other dream - of having a happy, loving marriage and family with two kids - that was my real ambitious goal and that worked out great.

Say hello to my little friend

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Kitchen Detour!

You *KNOW* it was bound to happen. Nothing can go perfectly - it just isn't possible.

As my husband was tearing apart our old pantry in anticipation of our new cabinets (which arrived 2 weeks EARLY and are sitting at the store!! What?), he came across this:

Now, I would have just cut the whole thing down in my renovation wisdom, but it was quickly identified as a pretty important stack of 2X4's - that hold up our second floor - under my son's room - over my kitchen.


After hemming, hawing, hemming, swearing, staring, measuring, sighing, swearing and spending quality time with our neighbor who has also magically turned into quite the handyman, we came to a solution. Make a left hand turn.

We'll put a wall up at the big gaping hole and then create a built-in microwave/hutch cabinet around the corner in a new space we can create that doesn't risk our house collapsing:

But, in that discovery process we realized we can't use one of our cabinets because it is too wide, so today I ordered another one that's 6 inches smaller and breathed a sigh of relief. We may have to eat the cost of the original cabinet (and it may become an island one day so I'm not freaking out) but that is the price of do-it-yourself-kitchen-demolition-and-remodeling-with-absolutely-no-experience-doing-any-kitchen-contract-work...

In the meantime, the fabulous neighbor across the street has already wired 6 new recessed lights:

Installed all our new switches and outlets AND our new, smaller window:

It's true I sacrificed a wall of natural light, but at this point I'm ready for more storage. Glorious storage. Most of which will be delivered on Friday. Let the project move onward! Hubby's next job, cover up the pantry hole and drywall the rest - oh, and did I mention we're saving over $3,000 by doing all this work ourselves (and with the help of our neighbor who is charging us at 1976's rate). That may be my favorite part, yet.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

This year feels so right...

Last year, sending my oldest off to kindergarten was a bit heart-wrenching - for me. She was great. Up and out and off to school. No big deal. I held most of my tears as I watched her start her new adventure.

This year. First Grade (and Pre-K again). How did it go? Sing along: Celebrate School Days...Come On!

Besides the major snafu of losing our electricity at 10:30 PM due to a loud transformer explosion, and not getting it back until 4:00 AM, we managed to actually get up and out the door on time, and with breakfast in our bellies!

Of course, picture taking is always a treat. Smile for Mommy:

Not exactly the money shot I was hoping for.

Next year, the little man gets his turn at kindergarten and I'll surely lose it again.

(In case you were checking out the stylin' socks my son is rocking - Grammy gave him a bunch of spooky socks in anticipation of the Fall season and he selected these lovely gray ones as his "first day of school" socks because there weren't any monsters on them to scare his new friends. I could kiss his cheeks off!)