Purty Flars

So, Sunday was Mother’s Day in the the USA, and my son and DIL sure didn’t disappoint. They showed up at my door late Sunday afternoon, a surprise to me but not to my DH who knew they were coming. (No, they didn’t come from far away. They live around the corner.) And they were bearing a gift.

Beautiful pink New Guinea impatiens all ready to hang on the front porch. As soon as we can scare up an S-hook. :-)

A basket of beautiful pink New Guinea impatiens all ready to hang on the front porch. As soon as we can scare up an S-hook. 🙂

Be still, my heart. I love impatiens, and this basket will look fabulous hanging on my front porch.

At Last

Finally, after fourteen long, long, long months, the kitchen is finished. Well, sort off. There is still a little bit of painting to do, and we ran four pencil tiles short thanks to me changing the design on the fly without giving a thought to the number of tiles we had. But the painting will get done soon, and the tile is on order and will just need to be cemented into place and grouted once it arrives.

I’m very pleased with the work the tile setters did. There was one hiccup along the way,


I didn’t like the way the corner blocks were laid, with long butting on long, short butting on short. The the outside edge with the mitered long bull nose tile was not even close to what I wanted.


but it was taken care of to my satisfaction, and the tile looks marvelous!


I think the corner looks much better with long tile butting short tile, and the outside edge is now exactly what I had envisioned.

And now the kitchen looks the way it is supposed to.


Now I don’t have to worry about splattering food and grease on the painted walls. Tile is so much easier to clean, and the grout is stain-resistant stuff that doesn’t have to be sealed repeatedly.


I changed the design to have tile all the way up to the window sill instead of keeping the wood apron that the previous contractor had put up, and that’s why we ran short of the pencil tile that separates the mosaic tile from the subway tile. I thought I had told our backsplash designer that that is what I wanted, but apparently there was a misunderstanding.


The chase that holds the stack was the trickiest part of the entire job, but the tile setter was up to the task.


The metal strip on the corner is called a Schluter, and it gives the glass tile a nice edge while adding a nice accent.


The tile setter put a strip of wood in the place where the pencil tile goes. When the tile arrives, we will just need to unscrew and remove the wood strip and glue the tile into place, then grout it.

Words cannot express how happy I am to finally have the kitchen finished.

Did You Notice?

I have been using the same theme, Liquorice, since I moved my blog to WordPress and today I decided I needed a new look. So I searched the available themes and settled on one that is very similar to Liquorice. Go figure.

I hope you like the new look, but if you don’t? Oh, well.

It’s Not Knitting, But It’s Still Good

For many years now I have been a subscriber to the Library of America. LOA books are the only thing I truly collect. I have over 200 volumes; the LOA covers a wide range of topics and authors. The writings of America’s founders, slave narratives, reporting on wars and on civil rights, sermons and poetry, and some of the best fiction ever written. Mark Twain to Philip K. Dick, Nathaniel Hawthorne to Shirley Jackson, James Fenimore Cooper to Kate Chopin, Henry James to Philip Roth, the best of American writers are represented in the LOA. Edith Wharton, Willa Cather, Steinbeck, Faulkner, Singer, Thurber… The list goes on and on.

And look what I got from LOA today. OMG, I know what I’m going to be reading for the rest of this year and into the next.

Yes, it's Elmore Leonard, who was not just a great storyteller, but a great writer, period.

Yes, it’s Elmore Leonard, who was not just a great storyteller, but a great writer, period.


And this is just the beginning. There are two more Leonard volumes to come.

And this is just the beginning. There are two more Leonard volumes to come.

Anyone who has ever read anything written by Elmore Leonard knows that he writes the best dialogue ever. Best. Dialogue. Ever.

Week Nineteen Begins

Yes, you read that right. It’s not a typo. Our 3-4 week kitchen remodel is now entering its 19th week. We do have countertops, and our sink, faucet, garbage disposal, and dishwasher are all installed and functioning, but none of that work was done by our contractor. The only work he did was to level the stove when he was here for a very short time last Wednesday to check out a major problem that he will have to correct. Winter is on it’s way, and our new windows still aren’t caulked.

There is much work still to be done, but he doesn’t seem to have any sense of urgency. He’s very apologetic about taking so long to complete the work, but as bad as he claims to feel about it, he doesn’t feel bad enough to actually, um, you know, show up and do the freaking work.

Although he promised last week that he would come this week and get things finished up, I don’t expect him will show up anytime this week. Monday and Tuesday quickly became Wednesday, maybe, but probably not. Which translates to, I won’t be there at all this week. I’ve hear it all before and I know that his promises are empty and his assurances are meaningless. I have lost all hope.



And So It Goes, On And On, Ad Infinitum

So, the countertops are going to be installed tomorrow, YAY! But our contractor is not coming tomorrow and Friday as promised, although he does say he will come next week. (Where have I heard that before?)

This will make five straight weeks that he has done absolutely nothing on our kitchen. It’s possible somebody may have used the word lawyer at some point in the text exchanges today.

Although the countertops are going in tomorrow, the plumber won’t be here till Saturday, so we will probably be without water in the kitchen until Saturday, because I doubt that the countertop installer does plumbing.

Live and learn. 😾

Week Sixteen Has Come And Gone

And still there is no progress on the kitchen. For four straight weeks, our kitchen contractor has not shown his face, but that is supposed to change this week, which is–Yes! You guessed it!–week seventeen. The kitchen counters are scheduled to be installed this week, and that means we should finally have a functioning garbage disposal and a functioning dishwasher. Our contractor said he plans to do some other stuff too, but I’m not holding my breath.

In the meantime, other things have been happening in the way of home improvement. We had our peeling soffit and fascia replaced along with the leaky gutters and downspouts, and also the siding on the dormer. What an improvement! It was a big job that took six days to complete, and it wasn’t cheap, but the house looks so much better, and we shouldn’t have an ice rink this winter from leaking gutters and downspouts.

The paint was peeling from the soffit, fascia, and gutters.

The paint was peeling from the soffit, fascia, and gutters.

You cannot really see in the picture that the second floor was just as bad as the first, and the dormer was pretty bad, too.

You cannot really see in the picture that the second floor was just as bad as the first, and the dormer was pretty bad, too. The damaged section in the upper right corner is just from where the workers had started to remove the old soffit.

Image 2_2

It looks a lot better now with brand spanking new soffit, fascia, and gutters.

Image 11_2

Image 17_2

Image 7_2

The corner of the porch before the replacement

Image 8_2

The same corner after the replacement

Week Fifteen And Still Counting

I thought you might like to see the progress made this week, the 15th of our 3-4-week kitchen remodel.

Screen Shot 2015-10-02 at 7.40.39 PM

Yep, for the 3rd week in a row, nothing has been done. We haven’t seen hide nor hair of our contractor, although someone did come last week to measure for the countertops. Our contractor told us that our job isn’t as important as the work he is doing for a builder he regularly works for, although he didn’t word it exactly that way. What he said is that he is finishing up some jobs for a builder who keeps him working during the winter. Same difference.

I don’t expect we’ll see him until the countertops have been installed, and maybe not even then. I had hoped the kitchen would be finished by Halloween, but that doesn’t seem likely, so now I’m hoping for Thanksgiving. Yes, it looks like our simple kitchen remodel is going to take longer than it took to build our previous house. 😦


And The Weeks Roll On

We have come to the end of the thirteenth week of our kitchen remodel, which was the least productive week yet. Absolutely nothing was done. Zero, zip, zilch, nihil, nada, nuthin’! Not one blessed thing.

But there is some good news. Someone will be coming next week to measure for the counter tops. Never mind that this was supposed to be done as soon as the base cabinets were installed. Never mind that a certain contractor who shall remain nameless didn’t bother to call to schedule the measurement until after we had asked him more than once when it was going to be done. Never mind that it’s going to take 7 to 10 days (or possibly longer) for the counter tops to be fabricated after the templates are done. Never mind that a renovation that was supposed to take four weeks is now heading for its 14th week, and the only unforeseen problem we ran into was a rusty elbow connected to the stack that was replaced in one day.

No, I’m not a happy camper. The best case scenario is that it will take another three weeks before it’s finished, and the reality is that it would take a near miracle for that to happen. At the rate we are going, it will be at least another 6 weeks. I’m hoping it will be done by Halloween. In the time it is taking to get this kitchen done, we could have had an entire house built.  That’s some crazy shit.

As The Twelfth Week Comes To An End

I sound like a broken record. Not a whole lot was done this past week, although the painter is supposed to come today to finish painting the trim and maybe do the second coat on the walls. I’m not sure about the latter.  And no one is coming to measure for the counter tops until next week. But enough was done to count as progress.

The roller drawers are now installed in the pantry unit, but they need some serious tweaking.

The range hood is installed, but it isn’t hooked up to the vent pipe yet.

And the dishwasher is in place, but not hooked up to the plumbing.

The trim has been painted, window sills have been primed, and the place is starting to look like a kitchen. That’s something, and something is better than nothing as we approach week 13.

I love the look of the white appliances and white trim with the paint and cabinets.

I love the look of the white appliances and white trim with the paint and cabinets.