Wednesday, April 18, 2012

We're Home

Thursday morning Tom arrives to begin working on the cabinets and the baseboard molding. Bill arrives and gives us an update on all that has been done in our absence. He is pleased with the progress, even if it has been slow (because of circumstances out of our/his control) and the look and design of the kitchen.

Tony arrives to fix a broken wax seal on one of the toilets and he’s gone. Bill discussed options for finishing the trim around the bathtub and shower before moving back into the kitchen to work.

A little while later Larry and I laid out the tile design with Bill for the backsplash and he began installing the white subway tiles. Three rows high of two by four tiles, and then four rows of one by two cracked glass tiles, topped off by four more rows of white subway tiles. We had ordered white marble pencil tile to cap off the two open ends of the tile under the outside wall. Bill had an idea to use the tile saw and split the pencil tiles to make them just a little smaller and he did a beautiful job. We found out these pencil tiles were less expensive and better made than what the big box stores sell--these have a steel bar in the middle of the tile to support it and keep it from breaking. They also took its toll on Bills tile saw blade and he will probably need a new one.

At the end of the day Bill and Tom are tired, Larry has mowed the lawn in the few hours of sunshine this county has had in months, and I left to do a little grocery shopping for dinner.

I put a few shelves in the pantry cabinets and sort of blindly found my way into the dark dining room to retrieve boxes of food items and kitchen supplies. One box down, ninety-nine more to go (not really, but it looks like it and I am sure will seem like two hundred when I am done) and I am sure this is going to be a slow process with all the dishes, cookware, and silverware needing to be run through the dishwasher. Of course before I can clean the dishes I need to line the cabinets and drawers and until the last saw and drill has been removed from the house I won’t start that process.

Friday morning Tom is busy on the crown molding. With the different cabinet sizes, there are not many straight pieces, meaning there are lots of angles to measure twice and cut once. The darker color crown makes the cabinet color pop and stand out in the kitchen. This is a tedious job and after working overhead for several hours Tom gave his arms a rest and began the finish details on the island.

Bill laughed and said several people who have seen the island have commented on the low size. Bill told them it could double as a massage table when we aren’t cooking. I would never have thought of having the island at less than counter height, except when we moved in the existing island was twenty-six inches high. What I quickly realized is rolling or kneading dough or chopping vegetables was much easier with a downward movement than a chest high movement. Against everyone who tried to talk me out of it, I had the new island built the same (almost, because the base cabinet is an inch or so higher and a thicker butcher block will top it off). My butcher block is not one of those pretty-to-just-look-at objects; it gets used, which is the purpose of having a butcher block and not one of those flimsy pull out cutting boards they used to build into kitchen cabinets that were a half inch thick and made from scrap pine or some other cheap wood that looks good when you first see it and quickly becomes useless.

Bill broke down the last of the empty cabinet boxes that were stored in the garage and loaded up all the other miscellaneous cardboard from the appliances, fixtures, etc. and took them to be recycled. Cardboard is free to recycle and helps the environment which as Martha would say is “a good thing”.

Fritz came to finish the electrical connections for the double ovens and then turned them on high to burn off the new appliance smell. He also finished the vent for the guest bathroom exhaust and checking off any other electrical items that needed to be done. He still has one trip to finish the garage lights we are replacing and checking all the others to make sure they are okay. Fritz also helped us decide on under counter lighting for the cabinets which I ordered from Home Depot and it should arrive next week.
Our island five light wire hanging chandelier that we spent so much time searching for and then looking for a bargain is not going to work. The staggered height of the cords would either hang down too far to be able to work under or shortened up would be too close to the ceiling to look good. Next week it gets shipped back and we have began a new search for an over the island, closer to the ceiling light. I am truly disappointed to not have this design element in the kitchen but it is just another one of those “flexible” choices we have had to make.

No more chrome, stainless, ceramic, granite, or wood. Fabric and plastic are out. That leaves rattan, metal, glass, bronze or black for choices. I know what my weekend is going to consist of, computer research and pinning to Pinterest all my ideas for Larry to look at later and see if anything appeals to him. It may be awhile before Fritz returns.

Larry and I need to make another trip to IKEA to look for drawer pulls because the cabinet doors and drawers show no face frame and that means they are almost impossible to open without handles. We need fifty-four handles and they are probably going to need to be seven to nine inches long. I don’t even want to think about what this is going to cost.
I washed the drop cloths that I am going to cut up for curtains and have them folded away waiting for the day I can get to my sewing machine. The new hand towels for the downstairs bathroom are washed and stored in the under counter basket that also has extra “TP”. A mirror and we will be done with that room…well a curtain and some art, and then maybe we will be done.

Saturday is all about more laundry that has been piling up, dusting and cleaning the upstairs bathrooms, and maybe putting in a few more shelves in the pantry and unloading a few more boxes.

Sunday the sun held and we were on the bike riding with eight friends with not a thought of kitchen remodel in our heads. First stop Starbucks and then it was back roads to Skagit HD. Afterward, we took the freeway to avoid the throngs of people visiting the tulip fields, winding our way to highway 9 to The Blue Mt. Grill for lunch. Part way up the mountain and down the other side the sun held and we were blessed to spend a day with such good friends--Dave, Lorie, Dave, Dawn, Rob, Kaye, Bill, and Marla. Thanks for the memories.

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