Countertop section removed and steel supports put in place? Check!
Stove installed? Check!
Wine chilling in new fridge? Check!
Ice cream waiting in pull out freezer drawer in new fridge? Check!
This must mean we’re getting close!
It’s nothing short of a miracle! A plant the world thought had gone extinct has been found growing again at Madison Pond!
Our parking strip was once full of these oddities of nature. I documented their existence in an earlier post you simply must see! Go there NOW! Seriously, you will not be disappointed. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Then they disappeared. We never planted them, they always volunteered to emerge from the earth. But maybe the winter was too harsh, or maybe they were getting too much attention from the many pilgrims who made their way to our property to view the sacred phallic spires.
I had assumed they had gone the way of the dodo bird. But suddenly, out of nowhere, cockandballs is back.
I must get to the bottom of this. I’ll be back.
On Saturday we went to sister Sarah’s home in Longview for our annual birthday celebration. Four of us have birthdays between June 21 and July 21, and Sarah’s isn’t that much later (in September). Nephew Jeff is odd man out on account of being born in January. But he can’t complain too much this year, since his gift was attending part of the NCAA March Madness tournament at Portland’s Rose Garden.
This year there was no question who would be hosting, given the cookless state of our kitchen. Actually, come to think of it, the Kosses usually host it because they have such an enormous and beautiful back yard, while our little postage stamp one is nice but anything but spacious. And our deck has been off limits to us this summer as it serves as a wood sawing and staging area.
Brother-in-law Dave is known for his BBQ skills (and his pasta and pizza and deep-fried turkey!). Oh, yeah, his chocolate chip cookie pie as well. Yum.
At our summer birthday celebration this year, he took on ribs. On the rotisserie on his BBQ. Ribs on a rotisserie????? Oh, yeah. He put the ribs in a kind of sine wave, with the skewer through the meaty middles. Kind of like hand quilting, when you take the needle and weave it through an inch or so of fabric and batting at a time.
With an amazingly delicious sauce. Take a look for yourselves.
Now I can’t complain about our meals over the course of our cookless kitchen, but there just ain’t nothin’ better than a home cooked meal, is there? To go with our tasty ribs, Sarah made corn on the cob, potato wedges, baked beans and several kinds of summer fruit.
We finished off the meal with a Seventh Heaven cake from Jaciva’s. Which is exactly where the cake took us.
Meanwhile, back in the kitchen, Paul was installing the dishwasher and kitchen faucet. He tried to put the stove in, but it turns out we need a little trim on the granite before it will fit all the way.
No problem, because the granite guys are due back tomorrow morning to add the missing steel support to the tablette. I’m not sure I want to watch. Please let the process not ruin the cabinets underneath.
I’ll feel ever so much better when it’s over…
The countertops went in yesterday and lived up to my inner hype! The name of the granite is Emerald Pearl, it’s deep black with scatterings of iridescent chips that have a hint of blue/green silver. It makes for a striking contrast with the other colors and the darkness actually pulls in light. A rather counterintuitive countertop.
As you can see above, the surface is very reflective. That was planned, because it marries all the room colors together. The marriage will not be fully consummated, however, until the backsplash tile is installed. That means there’s more wow to come!
The countertop choice also brings the outdoors inside and means the kitchen is never twice the same, as outdoor light is ever changing. Do you realize that this countertop will even lasso the moon? When all the house lights are out, we can watch the moon move across the counters as across the sky. If we can stay up that late, I mean.
We did have a snafu (if you haven’t ever looked up what that stands for, you should do it now) with the countertop, however. Somehow the installers didn’t install the steel supports for the small table (more like a tablette) I planned to accommodate two barstools, so they left a funky piece of wood supporting it.
Didn’t exactly fit in with the overall look and feel. HOMEINSPECTORHULK NOT APPROVE. SMASH WITH FIST AND DO HULKSULK.
Corrections will be made. Not exactly sure what or how or when at this point, but as Paul said, it’s not our problem, except for the inconvenience and putting us behind our schedule that was still actually on track.
We are keeping the faith, staying mellow and going with the flow. If you look really closely at the photo below, you’ll see that Ric has already hung his purple guitar on the wall so we might actually be singing Cumbaya before long.
Yesterday the cabinet installers finally finished everything necessary before the countertop goes in. Good thing, since the countertop is scheduled to arrive this morning between 8 and 10:00.
I thought you might like one, oops, better make that two lasts looks at the before.
You’ll note that the cabinets and drawers have handles and pulls now. There are still upper cabinets to come on the right, but they can’t be installed yet because they rest on the countertop (because of the appliance garage).
Here’s another view where the sink and dishwasher will go.
The next thing you see will be countertops. I am waiting for it to get here before I head to work. When I get home, the view will have changed dramatically.
I am flat out wasted this week. Came home from work early yesterday and slept for the next seven hours. Then slept another eight a bit later.
I think I’ve had too much on my life plate and not enough on my dinner plate (not enough good fresh food, that is). That’s one of the hazards of kitchen makeovers. One’s balance gets thrown off, and the longer it lasts, the more danger you’re in. Easy food is not always healthy food.
The cabinet installation seems to be taking an awfully long time. We do finally have an upper cabinet to show you though. The installers spend a lot of time talking on the phone and standing around talking while smoking cigarettes. They work harder and faster when Paul is here. When he’s not, we don’t see the intense focus on getting the job done we’ve seen at earlier stages. And yesterday, when a couple of handles got installed on drawers, one of the handles was the wrong one and the drawer bottom got thrashed as a result. So I guess they’ll have to redo that one.
When Paul was installing the hood vent, he discovered a piece was missing from the box. And of course the dealer didn’t have another one so we have to wait 10 days til the new one arrives. Which is of course puts it past our granddaughters’ visit. There’s also an issue with the crown molding and it won’t be installed for another couple of weeks either.
The refrigerator and stove are supposed to be delivered today, they are from the same dealer as the hood vent, let’s hope there’s nothing missing from those boxes. It would be nice to actually be able to start using the refrigerator.
While conveniently located just beside our Big TV, I have grown to loathe that appliance over the past two months. Yes. Loathe.
Otherwise we are still on schedule. I think. The countertop is being cut and prepared right now and will be installed on Thursday.
So please forgive my petty complaints. I’ve grown weary.
Guess I’m just venting.
P.S. Almost forgot, for dinner I sliced some vintage tomatoes (aka heirloom) and put on top of spinach artichoke spread from Whole Foods and slices of a Grand Central Bakery baguette. With some Whole Foods Smoked Mozzarella pasta salad. Not bad for a cookless kitchen!
Today was nice, because we had no workers in our space. I hadn’t realized how much I needed a lull in the commotion.
Paul has been putting in a lot of work on weekends. Working at home has sometimes been a necessity because someone has to let the workers in, answer their questions, make executive decisions and so on. I am one of those people who likes to maintain a focus while working, I’m not so good with constant interruptions. So it’s been hard, but for the most part we’ve managed to keep our eyes on the prize.
We are working against the clock because on August 2nd, our granddaughters arrive for their annual summer stayover. Originally it was to be Aug. 4, but the date got moved up so we are really scrambling. That’s why I’m surprised that a day of quiet felt so peaceful and not “omg we only have 10 days left, someone should be here nail-gunning something!!”
For dinner we had Lardo, a new hip place just across the street from Cartopia food cart land. Lardo is slammed with people every time we go by even though it just opened this month. In fact, Lardo used to be a food cart so apparently its clientele has followed it to this location. Along with attracting others like us from the hood.
It calls itself a modern sandwich shop and beer garden. We went because a tweep I know to be well traveled and fooded recently tweeted that Lardo’s Bahn Mi was the best food he had ever eaten anywhere.
Here are some useful facts from Lardo’s website: Lardo is a type of salume made by curing strips of fatback with rosemary and other herbs and spices. [Okay, so then I had to google salume, and learned that it’s “prepared cooked meat or sausage, especially in the Italian style.” Then I looked up fatback and learned it is “the layer of adipose tissue under the skin of the back of a domestic pig.” So I looked up adiopose tissue and well, read it for yourself, I’m getting tired: adipose tissue entry in wikipedia. In short, eating adipose tissue of the pig likely ends up as adiopose tissue of the human.
Which brings us back to what we ate. Ric and I had the Pork Meatball Bahn Mi (with sriracha aoili, pickled vegetables, cilantro) and Blaine had the Double Burger (pork belly, cheddar, lardo sauce) and Lardo fries (with fried herbs and parmesan).
It was quite delicious, and we were as impressed with the bread as what the bread held. As Ric pointed out, “Anything would be good on this bread.”
I wouldn’t say it is the best food I’ve ever eaten in my life, but it is hella good. Highly recommend.
Today the new kitchen window went in. This is a far more significant event than you would ever imagine.
But we need to start back at the beginning, when we were on the cusp of buying our first HDTV. Ric had been in the Seattle area visiting our daughters and families for a couple of days, I thought he had left and was on the road, when my phone rang. This was our actual conversation.
Ric: I’m about to have a heart attack.
Me: OMG, where are you?
Ric: Getting close to Tacoma.
Me: OMG, you are driving?!? Pull over and call 911 right now. I mean it. RIGHT NOW. (This was because when Ric actually had a heart attack in 2000, he drove himself to the emergency room!)
Ric: No, it’s not like that.
Me: What do you mean? What’s going on???
Ric: I’m so stressed out I’m about to have a heart attack.
Me: You should not be talking on the phone and driving. Hang up or pull over.
Ric: I can’t, I’m too stressed!
Me: What on earth are you so stressed about???
Ric: I’m worried you won’t let us get a big enough TV.
Me: OMF*G! You are talking on the phone while driving telling me you are about to have a heart attack over the size of a television?!?!?!?!
Ric: If you knew how much it meant to me, you would let me get a really big one because you wouldn’t want me to have a heart attack.
Me: OMG, I have married a crazy person.
Ric: I just wrote a song about it.
Me: While you’re driving??!??!
Ric: Yes, and now I’m about to have a heart attack.
Me: JF*C! I am hanging up now. We will get a tv that fits into the space. Now get off the damn phone. JF*C, what have I done to deserve this?
Ric: I’ll have a heart attack if it’s less than 50 inches.
Okay, there are two things I believe. Televisions are not decor items that should dominate the artful home and bigger is not always better. Many of the televisions I had before meeting Ric were castoffs from someone else. When I bought one, they were relatively small and until fairly recently, black and white. I had already agreed we would go by the formula that with HDTVs you can sit anywhere from 1.5 to 3 times the screen size (in inches) for the best viewing experience. Which, in my mind, was a rational way to determine the size we would purchase. But for some reason, Ric was totally fixated on size (not unusual for men, am I right?). In the end, when rationally applying the formula, it turned out that the size Ric had in mind actually worked in the space, so that’s the size we got.
No reason to get all worked up after all. Total waste of the heart attack card.
And lest you think I am exaggerating, or my narrative has strayed from just-the-facts-ma’am, please listen to Exhibit A: the song Big TV, featured on iTunes and/or Broadjam. No, I mean right now. Go ahead. I’ll wait.
iTunes Store instructions: Search for Ric Seaberg, Click on the album One Thousand Songs, then click on Big TV to hear a free sample. Actually, here’s a great idea. To show your support for me in this narrative, please actually buy the song Big TV. It’s only 99 cents. If there is a surge of Big TV purchases, I can use it to show Ric just how silly playing the heart attack card is. You can also buy it on Broadjam at this link, just look for Big TV in a list of all the songs.
Okay, assuming you have finished downloading and listening to the song, now we can return to our present narrative.
It should have come as no surprise when, a few weeks ago, I got dealt the heart attack card again. This time it was over the kitchen window. In the course of demolition, it turned out we needed to replace the window. No worries. The world is full of windows for sale, we’ll go buy one.
That’s not how it happened. Ric was fixated on this window. It had to have certain features and be exactly a certain way. I don’t even remember what those features and way were. But he made it clear that if his notion of perfection was not attained, he would have a heart attack.
What’s a wife to do?
So I turned him loose, and he went out and found the perfect window. That cost $1,500!!!!!! Not in the budget, of course, but a helluva lot less than a heart attack. It was a custom job, naturally, so we had to wait until it was built, thus explaining the big piece of plywood where a window should have been in some of the earlier photos.
Yesterday, the window was installed. Drumroll please…………………………. here it is:
You will see that it is a very attractive window. Very double or tripled layered for energy efficiency. Very nice use of wood. But the most important feature, Ric points out, is the ability to open the window easily without leaning over using the handy turny thing and still have screens to keep the bugs out!!! See for yourselves:
I daren’t let on that I my first thought was I kinda hoped it would have a little more glass and a little less wood for fear of the heart attack card coming in to play. I confess it is a very cool window, and as far as Ric is concerned, I think it is the world’s best window with the most astonishingly convenient features and it is my favorite part of the kitchen and he is my hero.
Lest I forget to cover the food portion of this post, yesterday was Blaine’s 33rd (!!?) birthday and we ate at California Pizza Kitchen to celebrate (we had a gift card). Blaine had the original BBQ chicken pizza, which he devoured (he had been playing chess with multiple simultaneous opponents for six solid hours and won every game and had only had one bite of brownie the whole time), and two raspberry lemondrops!
We got home so late we were too full and tired to have birthday cake so we are having it for breakfast!
I would write more but I must leave you now. I have some windowgazing to do.