Monday, August 22, 2011

The Great Kitchen Renovation

Yes, this is the third kitchen we've renovated.  Every house we've ever owned, we've made major changes to the kitchen. It helps when your dad is a cabinet-maker, of course.  ::grin::  But I think this is my FAVORITE kitchen so far.  I've always wanted white beadboard (even when it wasn't fashionable) and I love the mossy green color in contrast with the floors and the counters.  But the coolest thing is the rolling cabinet - the kitchen is tiny, so my dad built another cabinet on wheels so we can move it around to use, and tuck it up under the window when we don't need it.  It also added tons of storage, which was also a critical addition.

So without further ado, here's the "Before" - yeah, it looks all nice and pretty, but the philosopher pulled those off the walls with almost no tools.  Cheap, crappy fiberboard and they weren't even put together correctly.  We were afraid to put anything heavy on the top cabinets for fear they'd actually fall off the walls.  Bad, I'm telling you... BAD.

So we started the disassembly on Sunday evening.  We took everything out and stacked it in the living room and the dining room (making sure the toaster oven would be accessible, and moving the dish rack to the bathroom since we wouldn't have a kitchen sink for a few days!)  

Oh, yeah - and the coffeepot - that was the LAST thing to be moved!

The philosopher finished up the demolition on Monday, while I was at work.  Apparently he tossed the cabinets off the back deck, and they broke into lots of tiny pieces that he then had to go and clean up.  (But really, that was probably easier than one guy trying to haul sections down the stairs, right?  And it made large crashing sounds, which is always satisfying!)

What a mess.  What a BIG mess.  So this happened on Monday.  Tuesday morning my dad and one of his guys showed up with a trailer full of cabinets.  The philosopher actually worked for dad for a semester, so he was able to help do a lot too - dad's crew got the cabinets hung, leveled, and installed, then G and I hung the doors.  

 We also put on the knobs and pulls - which doesn't sound so hard until you realize that we also had to drill the screw holes in the right spot for each one.  (I won't as you to look for the ones that may not be *exactly* even....).  Then, finally, I added the new paint. Whew!

 VOILA!  And the first meal cooked in our spiffy new kitchen?  A vegetable pot pie with a cheddar biscuit crust.... YUM.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

A long time coming...

This blog post has been a long time coming, that is!  I just got back from a trip to Seattle (!!!) and boy oh boy - I gotta tell you... talk about weather shock!  It was 72 degrees most day, sunny except for one cloudy drizzly day, and no humidity.  I slept with my windows open (no screens, but no bugs bothered me either!)

I spent a week on the campus of Seattle University attending a library conference/educational program called Immersion 2011.

The campus was simply astounding in its lushness.  Deep green beds of all kinds of wonderful plants, gardens and courtyards everywhere... and the lavender.  Wow.  So I'll just share some of my favorite pictures....

 See what I mean?

And since it was Seattle, a group of us ventured out to the famous Pike's Place Market to witness some fish tossing, glass blowing, coffee grinding and cruise ship docking.  It's right on Puget Sound, and (I'll say again) simply beautiful.

We also visited the Seattle Public Library, a wierdly famous library that is...goofy as all get-out.  (Really - check out the photo at the link!!)  They have one floor dedicated to conference room space.  The rooms are pleasantly pastel and comfortable.  The halls of the conference floor?

Red.  Everything.  Red. (And no, my camera wasn't malfunctioning!)  I kept thinking of bad Stephen King short stories - is was CREEPY.  The whole place is really industrial modern (*so* not my style) but I have to give them credit - while I don't like their form, the function was spot-on.  The six floors of book stacks were arranges in a gradual spiral, so you didn't have to navigate stairs to move from floor to floor (and in the core of the book spiral was a large lime-green escalator, so you didn't have to wind your way all the way up if you needed to go to the upper floors).

All in all, the conference was fantastic, I brought home some fabulous Caffe Vida coffee and Washington State wine, and I enjoyed the weather immensely.  But I'm a southern girl, and it was good to come back home to the deep south where mosquitoes thrive, the humidity curls your hair, and where folks know about sweet iced tea and grits.  Yeah.