Saturday, March 27, 2010

Now That the Kitchen is Remodeled

Back to cooking!
Le Menu

Week of 03/28/10
Cinnamon Rolls (Grand Central Baking, 42)
Wild Mushroom Tart (Silver Palate Good Times, 254)

Lemon Garlic Chicken (Mustard’s, 129)
Mustard’s Mashed Potatoes (Mustard’s, p 178)
Caesar Salad (Salads: Food Writer’s Faves, p 22)

Veal Scallops with Mustard Crème Sauce (Silver Palate, 103)
Wild Rice (Mustard’s, 191)
MMxed greens with Toasted Pine Nuts (Mustard’s, 64)

Bifteck Haché à la Lyonnaise (Mastering the Art of French Cooking, 301)
Mustard’s Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes (Mustard’s, p 178)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I Used to Be a Biker Chick

.....and with this sunny balmy spring weather I'm missing my motorcycle bad! I road it for 10 years off and on and sold it to an earnest young man who wanted to teach his sweetie to ride.  That 1985 700cc Honda Sabre was old but with low miles and had enough paint chips that dropping it wasn't a disaster.  Before that a Yamaha Virago stole my heart in Greece but I haven't owned or ridden one yet.  My dream bike now would definitely have a shiny cherry red gas tank, shaft drive and be 700ccs or less, something I could pick up if needed, cause sometimes you need to.

Got a dream bike?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Let Me Run Until I Die

When I walk my mind works too much. When I run, I'm so aware of the bird calls, traffic zoom, bicycle tire whir, the color of light and the air and worship God for it all. It's just the best feeling. My mind, quieted by the rhythm, will offer up occasional concise thoughts worked out over the miles and all the more solid as a result. Please God, let me run until I die.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Time Saving Tax Tip

If you're like me and live in the US it's likely that you're also gearing up to get your taxes done by April 15th.

If you give item donations to places like Goodwill or charitable aka money donations, for the last 3 years I've found Tax Deduction Pro by HR Block to be a great help in generating the necessary documentation (Form 8283) and the substantiating standardized item values quickly and efficiently.

[Full disclosure: You can use this on-line software for free at the link above.  HR Block doesn't know me or pay me for any click throughs or click ons. They do require registration to use the software. If you're looking for a neutral third party endorsement, the Consumer Reports review is very favorable.]

Monday, March 22, 2010

Lessons from Remodeling

I've learned a lot over the last 4 weeks spent in either preparing for, being in the middle of, or recovering from a kitchen remodel:

1. You always have more choices than you think you have. Take, for example, choice of grout color.  Who knew there were 30 options?

2. The choices you do make have unintended consequences. When we opted for 30" cabinets instead of 40" to replace 36" we lost one whole shelf in each cabinet without really realizing it.  We should have measured the new cabinets in the show room, gone home, replicated those measurements, and thought through viscerally what that meant. Also, our home can now only be sold to tall people:) Even we have to use a small stool to reach the top shelves in some corners.

3. Even if your choices are not perfect, the new is still better than the old. Despite the fact that the grout color I chose is really too light and the cabinets are shorter than expected, the overall effect is quite lovely and I have no complaints.

4. Transformations take more energy than you expect.  Even if someone else is doing all the work for you, you still have to take care of the prep work, daily re-calibrations and all the clean up and re-settling and that takes time.  Don't underestimate the impact on your overall life, schedule and personal needs.

Hope that helps you prepare!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Kitchen Remodel Day 13

Kitchen Remodel Day 13
Originally uploaded by thyme2003
Let's just skip days 7 through 12 of the kitchen remodel and jump right to the good stuff. Here it is! Brand spanking new, bright and beautiful. Finished!

Every spare moment on days 14 through 18 were consumed with replacing all the contents of the cabinets in a newly configured fashion in the new cabinets.

There's less space in the new cabinets so restocking has been an opportunity to evaluate. "Do we every use that?" and "Will we ever eat that?" and "What does that go to?". When we do move, whenever that is, I'll feel better about it knowing that we've competed this step.

In case you forgot, here's what we started with.

Day 5
Day 4

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Kitchen Remodel Day 6

Kitchen Remodel Day 6
Originally uploaded by thyme2003
The upper cabinets now have crown molding. The lower cabinets on the left side are seated in and level. The far left cabinet is now the right size and we have a plan for the far right upper cabinets (that you can't see) to get them to not jut out from under the soffit.

Thankfully, the guys swept up before they left and thankfully, tomorrow is a day of rest for all.

Day 5

Kitchen Remodel Day 5

Kitchen Remodel Day 5
Originally uploaded by thyme2003
The cabinets are taking shape.

2 cabinets don't fit properly so we're getting one bigger and one smaller than the original

The cherry color looks good with the floor - pretty dramatic. Tomorrow off to Kelly Moore to find paint colors.

Day 4
Day 3
Day 2
Day 1
Day 0

Kitchen Remodel Day 4

Kitchen Remodel Day 4
Originally uploaded by thyme2003
The grout is in! And drying. The cabinets are stacked in the corner to be put together tomorrow. Love the floor!

Kitchen Remodel Day 3

Kitchen Remodel Day 3
Originally uploaded by thyme2003
All the tiles are down. See that strip of about 30 colors on the floor? That's all the grout colors I can chose from. Who knew there were so many!

Kitchen Remodel Day 2

Kitchen Remodel Day 2
Originally uploaded by thyme2003
The floor is almost covered in tiles. Still the entry way and 2 closets outside the picture frame to the left to go. Laying the tiles is only the first part. Then you have to grout them and the grout has to dry. Could take a few days.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

New Blog Header for March

This month's blog header is composed of images taken while on a recent trip to Birmingham, UK. On the left are steps from Paradise Place, a large shopping center in Birmingham.  In the middle is a monument and a partially dismantled ferris wheel, both in the midst of a sleet storm.  On the right is an image from Paddington Station on the London Underground.

They say that napping helps you integrate memories.  I love naps anyway.  It seems to me that collages form some of the same purpose placing together images from different places of different things and taken at different times.  The juxtaposition provides a new take on the experience as well as a new experience.  Maybe collages are the new nap, a way of napping while being awake.

I love being able to make a new blog header every month and I love that the images are so fresh being only a week old. If you'd like to make a blog header of your own, here's a prior post on the topic.

If you'd like to see more images from the Birmingham Trip check out my Birmingham set on Flickr.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Kitchen Remodel Day 1

Well, here we are after everything is torn out and this space no longer even looks like a kitchen. Total demo time was about 3 hours:

Tomorrow we have the tile to look forward to.  We chose 90 degrees rather than at an angle and narrow grout rather than wide and sealed rather than unsealed and enhanced seal over normal seal.  Who knew you'd have to make even more decisions about the tile?

Kitchen Remodel Day 0

There are lots of decisions to be made before remodeling can even start: cabinet style, wood and color, floor color, material and size, and countertop material and color to name just a few.  Then, the step that no one talks about....unloading the cabinets so they can be torn out.  Our house looks like the kitchen vomited out utensils, plates and pot lids in heaves. Perhaps I'll photograph that tomorrow.  

For now, here's the kitchen, ready to be torn out. (The appliances are new. We made all those decisions last year and they stay.)