Archive for January, 2011

January 29, 2011

i’m still around

i just haven’t had much time to write.  we’ve had a lot going on with one thing and another.  we’re still sort of settling things after the remodel and reeling from a huge disappointment last week  but the dust is finally beginning to settle and life moves on.  we’re currently spending a lovely morning planning our valentine’s day over a bowl of steel cut oats.  marco sits on one side of the table with his laptop, i sit on the opposite and we chat.  online that is.  just like the old days when we were courting.  last year we started what i think will become our annual valentine’s day tradition: selecting a menu (an extensive menu including apps and dessert), and then spending the day executing said menu.  so this morning, over chat, we browsed amazon for a new cookbook.  marco actually has to travel valentine’s day so we’ll be celebrating the following weekend, but this gives us plenty of time to wait for the book to arrive, read through it, and decide what we want to fix.  so while we’ve had our ups and downs recently (more downs than ups), life is still very rich.  🙂

the kitchen is finished.  yesterday marco hung the tiny valance over the kitchen window.  he did this while i was at the extension office doing my phone duty, so when i came home, there they were, lemon and cherry colored tassels dangling,  hanging over the sink.  the effect is lovely.  last week he finished painting the side door, and we just have yet to attach the “catch” magnets (or whatever they are called) to the inside of the doors and cabinets.  this morning we ordered a vintage red wall phone.  we lack a few finishing touches – the pictures need to be rehung – but i’m not in a hurry to pound holes in my freshly painted walls.  for all practical purposes though, it is finished and hopefully this week i can start taking pictures for the grand photo tour.

valentine’s day also marks the start of the planting season for the cool weather vegetables such as lettuce and beets.  last week i ordered what seeds i need and today i hope to take advantage of the nice weather to get out and start turning over the dirt. 

January 17, 2011

back to business as usual…

i told marco yesterday that i feel like we moved.  i unpack boxes and toss the empty ones aside where they form a mountain in the dining room.  no one prepared me for this aspect of a remodel.  i guess it is a good thing, otherwise we never would have done it.  now that it is nearly done though, i am happy we did it.  i think.  i put my red transferware dishes up in the corner cabinets yesterday and the final effect was stunning.  i was so excited to see them back in place.  i’m still tweaking storage and how i want the contents of the cabinets arranged (which is another reason why i feel like we just moved) but a photo tour is on my growing list of things to do this week.

today is my day to try and get it back to normal; or at least a new sense of normal.  making a decision to add another person to our family has changed things even though he won’t be here for quite a while yet.  in my new normal i have designated monday as laundry day, soup day, and bread day.  i have a load of laundry in the washer and last night i got a head start on my soup.  there will be no bread today; i’m not quite that up to par just yet. it’s a gray and rainy day though, perfect for sitting in a yellow kitchen, folding laundry and stirring the mirepoix.

happy monday!

January 13, 2011

Have a look at my gorgeous backsplash.  My husband installed it for me.  Also, take a look at my new canisters that I got for Christmas!  They hold enough flour and sugar that I can use the cupboards to store other things.  So far everything has flowed nicely while I’ve cooked dinner every night this week.  Today/tomorrow we’ll give it a trial run while I make a big dinner for my brothers coming in tomorrow night: chili, 1-2-3 Mexican dip, guacamole, and chocolate cupcakes.

Almost there…almost there…

January 9, 2011

We’re getting there

I just had to post a picture of my cookbooks, I’m so thrilled with how they look.  Originally there had been a door over this cupboard, but it lifted up instead of opening out from the center.  It was a heavy door so it was tricky to try and open it with one hand and get out or put anything in with the other hand.  With the redo, I decided to have any doors left off and leave an open shelf.  I wanted “open and airy” so the original plan was to put my prize soup tureen up there with nothing else.  However, the cord from the lamp hanging over the sink (isn’t that a great lamp? Thank you Rejuvenation…) could not be placed anywhere else, and I didn’t want it suspended behind my tureen.  Also, I decided I didn’t want to put the cheap shelves back above the washer and dryer where I had originally stored the cookbooks so necessity won out in the end.  I’m happy with it.  It looks warm and homey and with a nifty vintage(ish) step stool they should still be pretty accessible.   You can also see how the beadboard backsplash is coming along.

January 7, 2011

it’s friday!

after five months of living like a refugee i feel like my life is slooooowly beginning to fall back into place.  not only are we moving back into the kitchen, which truly is the heart of our home, but my husband is not having to travel quite as much. so for the first time in several months we are

1. having an honest-to-goodness date night, where we cook in the kitchen; and

2. i am making out a grocery list and menu plan that does not feature fish sticks, french fries, and bagged salad.

i am elated.

i am on cloud nine.

i am walking six feet off the floor.

for date night this week we are going to eat from bon appetit magazine: fried calamari on a bed of pasta.

a few tiny things though are creating a minor blip on my radar screen.  one is that while we used some really great stuff in creating our kitchen (the marmoleum flooring, and my fantabulous cast iron, 9″ deep kohler sink) a week after using these, they have started so show dirt.  a simple mopping with a damp microfiber mop and scrub with a sponge won’t do.  i’ve learned that both of these surfaces require special order cleaners from the manufacturer.  ugh.  i’d still say it was worth it though.

second blip, and one i am dealing with is my beautiful  new slide out cutting board.   we special ordered it and when i measured, i figured for it to come within 1/2″ of the edge of the countertop so that it would be concealed when closed.   either i measured or figured wrong because when closed it is flush with the countertop edge.  since it isn’t white, you can see it when facing the cabinet.  it’s growing on me though and marco actually thinks that it looks great.  it is a beautiful cutting board, made of five different shades of wood so i guess it deserves to be seen.

in other news: the “n” key on my keyboard is sticking….

January 4, 2011

sneak peek…

we’re still not quite done,  and the lighting is terrible, but isn’t it lovely?  ::sigh::   i sit at the kitchen table now and look at this instead of sitting on the sofa eating from a tv tray looking at hulu.   doesn’t it just look like it came with the house?  doesn’t it evoke images of a crinoline clad housewife serving up a meatloaf and a jello salad? ok slightly later period than the house but still….

i’m a happy girl.

January 3, 2011

first monday of the year

i am not a monday sort of  person and here it is the very first monday of 2011.  i am all bright eyed and bushy tailed today though because this first monday of the year, i am back in my kitchen.  it isn’t completely finished.  we still have the cabinet fronts to paint and sometimes i think that we’ll be doing that well into 2012.  the pantry however, is done, as are the insides of the cabinets, so i can at least move back in and we’re functional.

never redo your kitchen.  never, never, never, never, never redo your kitchen.  from now on, when i am invited to a bridal shower and asked to give the bride advice on a 3×5 card it will be “never redo your kitchen”.  on the other hand, if you really want a test to see what you and your partner are made of, grab a mallet and have at it.  the other night when we moved the stove back into place marco and i congratulated each other that we were still on speaking terms and still sharing the same bedroom.

when we do get the cabinet fronts painted, the hardware back on, and the backsplash installed, i will give everyone a before and after photo tour.

i’ve just had to let things go while this project has been in progress so while settling the pantry is #1 on my list, i also need to clean my bathroom (there is so much grime in my sink one could plant a small garden), and declutter the piano that temporarily served as our desk.   if i could squeeze in a few loads of laundry in between all of the above that would be great.  i also need to go for a long run, and put in a pan of no-peek chicken for dinner.

happy january 3, 2011

January 2, 2011

goals for 2011

i’m not that great at making resolutions.  i like to make goals, then as the year progresses and life happens i can adjust accordingly without feeling like i am breaking a resolution.  is that cheating?  in the same vein, i try to make goals that are reasonable and achievable so i don’t spend the next several months in a state of defeat. a juice cleanse in order to lose 20 lbs. by valentines day is not an achievable goal.  having my pantry re-organized by june, is.   i have to confess however, that some of these goals are repeats from last year.  😕

1. complete our dossier in a reasonable amount of time.  at the time of writing this goal we haven’t yet talked with the family coordinator from our agency so i don’t know what constitutes “reasonable amount of time”.  i would though like to have it done by spring.  if you have no earthly idea what i am talking about see the link to my other blog on the sidebar of this page and read the “our news” post.

2. by the end of ’11 i would like a place for everything and everything in its place.  this will require better time management on my part.

3. continue working to establish our potager (a potager is a fancy word for kitchen garden.  i used to throw it out there periodically to show off and then discovered i wasn’t pronouncing it correctly).  i would love it if we could purchase less and less produce from the store and use more and more from our garden.

4. run the john 3:16 10k with a better finish time than last year.

5. complete the st. paddy’s day 5k in less than 32 min and 27 sec.

6. depending on whether or not we travel abroad to meet little one and when we could potentially travel, run the 15k tulsa run in october.

7. show some things on etsy and hopefully sell them.  this is another repeat from last year which was a repeat from the year before.  we’re getting there.  at least now i know what i want to show, it is just a matter of executing it.

…and come june we’ll check back in and see how we’re progressing.