Author Archives: mariadeathstar

About mariadeathstar

This is where I express myself. The real me. Prolly not for the faint hearted. I'm also real on twitter: @mariadeathstar

CKC #49: The tile, it is up.

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It has been 72 days since our crappy kitchen became cookless. Just a few more days to get through…

The backsplash tile went up today. Now it needs to dry before the grout goes in. So nothing much to see here. Well, actually if you look closely, you’ll notice a few things are beginning to appear on the shelves. I just couldn’t wait any longer to start populating them.

The gluey stuff, it is drying.

I wonder what my first meal in the new kitchen will include? Suggestions welcome! What would be appropriately celebratory? Besides champagne, I mean…

CKC #47: Check, check, check, check!

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Countertop section removed and steel supports put in place? Check!

Countertop now has steel supports instead of funky board

Stove installed? Check!

Stove installed!

Wine chilling in new fridge? Check!

Wine chilling in new fridge!

Ice cream waiting in pull out freezer drawer in new fridge? Check!

Favorite ice cream awaits!

This must mean we’re getting close!

OMG! The cockandballs plant is back!!!

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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.

We thought we’d never see cockandballs again!

I must get to the bottom of this. I’ll be back.

CKC #46: Nothin’ like a home cooked meal.

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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.

Jeff and Dave delivering the freshly glazed BBQ ribs. As they say in Vernon, Florida, “a fine piece of meat for the dinin’ table”

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 counter has a sink, the sink has a faucet and the dishwasher is in. And working. Is that the light at the end of the tunnel coming in through the new window?

CKC #45: Counterintuitive countertops

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window reflection on countertop

See how the dark reflective countertop captures the outdoors and brings it in? And the aliveness the scattered iridescent bits create?

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!

countertops looking south

Please overlook the tools, random cardboard and funky piece of wood as you get a look at our counterintuitive countertops.

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.

more countertops

Looking north at the granite tabletop, bookshelves and purple guitar.

CKC #44: One (make that two!) last look

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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.

Last look facing south before countertops. An upper cabinet will go in right corner.

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.

Openings are for the sink and dishwasher.

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.

CKC #43: Don’t mind me, I’m just venting

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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.

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At long last, an upper cabinet. (sans glass)

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. 

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The hood vent that would be finished except a piece was missing from the box.

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!