Tag Archives: kitchen

More progress and random news

The living room’s mostly done.  There’s new paint on the ceiling and all four walls, our furniture is mostly in, it just needs some smaller accessories and art on the walls.  Frank and his dad pulled out more shrub stumps from the crazy-overgrown junk from in front of our house and I planted a zebra grass in one spot and about 60 tulip and daffodil bulbs.

Over our kitchen sink there used to be a light fixture.  At some point in the distant past, the previous owners decided they didn’t want it, or need it, and took it out, taped up the wire ends, and duct-taped the light box.  The switch remained in the wall, and much to my delight, when I installed a mini-pendant lamp there with a funky red shade, it all worked!  Yes, you’ve heard it here first — I’ve moved on from dimmer switches to entire light fixtures.

I discovered at Lowe’s today that they sell special conversion kits for recessed lights wherein you can change them into mini-pendants without any rewiring.  I am intrigued by this, as our master bath’s main lighting is two recessed lights (the previous owners were obsessed with recessed lights…. there are no fewer than 29 recessed lights throughout the house, just counting off the top of my head.  No, 30.  I forgot one in the kitchen.)  I am generally not against recessed lights as a rule, but in a bathroom, as your main lighting, they are not entirely flattering.  I would love to do sconces at each side of the medicine cabinet, but with floor-to-ceiling tile in that bathroom the effort would not be a simple one.  So, making the two recessed lights into pendant lights could make the light in there much more useful for things like makeup application (because I do that OH so often…. ).  The position of the recessed lights would make so the pendant lights would hang just to each side of the medicine cabinet — it could work.  I must measure.

We’ve come up with another potential fix to make the kitchen more tolerable — replace all the beat-up, warped, and broken hinges and drawer sliders so that the cabinets actually work, install some pull-out shelving in the lower cabinets, and a blind corner shelving thing for the crap corner cabinets that I hate.  And replace the cooktop because I loathe it with the fire of a thousand suns.  I’ll still have to look at beige, beige and more beige for the next few years, but at least I will be able to open a drawer without starting to speak in tongues.

34 recessed lights.  I forgot about the three over the tubs & shower stall, and another one in the downstairs bathroom.

So — random news.  My brother may be moving down here.  Yay!  And to ease the transition and save him some money and whatnot, he’ll probably live with us for at least a couple months.  He’s strongly considering going back to school for graphic or media design or something like that, and wants to do that in NYC, which isn’t far from us.

Also, my friend Amanda is still pregnant.  However, that situation is supposed to change any day now.  I’m so excited for her and her husband!  And I am going to visit them after the arrival and will play postpartum doula for a couple days to just generally make their lives easier and as uncomplicated as possible while I’m there.

The in-laws left today for a month in the Czech Republic.  And now I must end this post, because writing that made me remember that I promised my mother in-law I would email their rental car company to let them know that their first flight was delayed and they were going to miss their connecting flight from Amsterdam.  Good night!!

Home, glorious home

We are moved in.

Surprisingly, trumpets did not blare when it occurred.  It felt like they should have.

It was just such a long process to get to this point, and we’re so far from being settled in, even though we’re technically habitating here now.  (Is habitating a real word?  It seems like it should be.)

Our bedrooms are mostly put together, save a couple stray boxes and no artwork on the walls yet.  Lane’s room has a full wall of tackboard that I want to cover with fabric, but right now it’s just tackboard and isn’t very attractive.  Jake’s room is more of a playroom since his crib is in our bedroom for the time being.

The kitchen… ahh it is the bane of my existence right now.  I hate it.  I don’t even feel like hate is a strong enough word.  The cabinets were refaced in about 1984, so they have that oh-so-chic beige formica look to them.  I am sure at one point it looked quite stylish.  They are cabinets and drawers without handles, and thus have a clicky mechanism where you push on the drawer or cabinet to open or close it.  Not so horrible, in and of itself, but add in that half the clicky mechanisms are broken, the hinges on half the doors are busted so they don’t hang straight, and that my ‘habit’ of resting myself against a kitchen cabinet subsequently opens a cabinet (because of course I choose to rest against a non-broken clicky mechanism door) and this kitchen drives me batty.  And take note — I said that the kitchen was refaced.  The original wood cabinetry is still behind all that glorious formica.  Since this house was built in the early 50s you’d assume that there would be some pretty good craftsmanship in that original cabinetry, but then you’d be making an ass of you and me.  It’s shit, to put it bluntly.  Drawers stapled together, not dovetailed.  The drawers, for whatever havoc time has wreaked upon them, simply do not slide without brute force.  And the corner cabinets are those lame cabinets where you have to practically crawl into them to access any of the contents, vs. being lazy-susan-ified.  So I hate the kitchen.

Problem is, we don’t really have it in the budget to do a refurb like we’d REALLY like to do a refurb.  When we bought the house we sort of planned that a new kitchen would happen in the 5-7 year time frame.  But that was before I discovered the kitchen is complete shit, where the only redeeming quality is the nice dishwasher and the presence of a working garbage disposal. We do, though, maybe have a plan.  We’re thinking maybe we replace JUST the beige formica cabinets right now… keep the beige formica countertop and the beige tile floor (notice a theme?), and get us some stock cabinets (maybe IKEA?) to tide us over for a few years, until we’ve saved up the bones to really pimp out the kitchen.  And maybe by doing so the full kitchen remodel gets pushed to the 7-8 year time frame.  We’ll see.

And beyond the kitchen, there’s the hot water issue.  Mainly, that when you turn on a cold water tap anywhere in the house, you get hot water for about a minute before you get cold water.  Well, first you get sort of lukewarm water, then hot water, then finally cold water.  Google has helped me diagnose the problem as a backflow issue from the hot water heater.  Apparently, situations can happen where turning on the cold water will reduce the pressure in the cold water line, and thus, as physics would have it, hot water will come up the pipe that feeds the hot water heater, and get hot water into your cold water system.  Google also tells me that it is something that an “anti-siphon valve” should fix, so hopefully I can find us an honest plumber who’ll fix it for what should be not too much money.

Luckily, though, when I’m about ready to pull my hair out, I take the kids and get into the acres-deep jetted bathtub in the shiny, swanky new bathroom and somehow that makes me feel a whole lot better about the house.  Now I just have to find time to do it without two kids climbing on me.  (Heh… somehow I managed to spend the last 40 minutes bitching about my kitchen though.)