Friday, October 29, 2010

A Bunch of Good Things

Autumn is my favorite time of year. The colors of nature are magnanimous. Every day the world around us gets more vibrant. Right up until a big storm comes and drowns or blows away the leaves.

Then, there is the produce: pumpkins and gourds and squash (though pumpkins are in the squash family). Again, amazing colors. And unthinkable shapes, like the turban squash and the goose-neck gourds.

In the midst of this, the temperature drop and it's time to make some feel-good food. We got going this week...

First came the pumpkin soup. We got a late start cutting open the Long Island Cheese pumpkin - getting out the insides always takes longer than I think it will. But, it's still so much fun.

While we waited for the soup to cook - in the oven in the pumpkin - I made something I haven't eaten in years: an open-face cheese sandwich. The main reason I haven't eaten this is because I stopped eating cheese about six years ago and then totally gave up dairy two years ago. But, I have discovered that I can enjoy raw sheep's milk cheddar cheese once in a while and still feel fine.

So, I sliced some up, spread some Smart Blend Light on Udi's gluten-free bread, topped it with the cheese and popped these puppies in the toaster oven (also a new thing for us). VOILA, comfort on a plate. It reminded me of when I was much younger. Both my mom and grandma used to make these for us. Mine tasted just a good, too.

The last good thing actually came the day before. Hardware. Installed on our cabinetry. Well, all but eight knobs. But, still, a really good thing.

(In case you're wondering, the kitchen project is on day 110. Yes, really. Maybe next week will be the week. I can only hope, but I never hold my breath.)

First Frost

I didn't stop long enough this morning to get a picture of our first frost. But, I did want to remember our ride to school.

Annalee and Kamila, our neighbor who's also in second grade, were oohing and aaahing, literally, about how they could see their breath as we got into the van. Then, Kamila said,

"It's like invisible fire."

Kids say the darndest things.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Reclamation Feels Good

This may look like an ordinary salad. But, it wasn't to me. It was the first meal that I ate yesterday at my kitchen table in my somewhat remodeled kitchen. I say somewhat because although it's been under construction for 94 days now, it's still not finished.

I started moving back in on Monday afternoon 'cause crying about my situation was getting me nowhere. So, I decided the only thing I could do was steal my kitchen back. But, I don't like to think of it as stealing. I just reclaimed it. And, my living room. And, I feel so liberated.

When I woke up yesterday, it was one of very few days since July 12 (when remodeling began) that I felt no sense of anxiety, angst or frustration wondering when someone was going to come and work or when it was going to be finished. It was a good feeling.

Even the girls were excited when they walked into the kitchen yesterday morning. Annalee gave me a big hug and Zelda started chanting 'kitchen, kitchen.' Even Zelda's Tubby and Bear were hugging each other with excitement.

So, after 93 days of living out of our living room, this is the tarp and canvas that was left when many of the boxes were unpacked and the table moved. Truly, these pictures don't do the grossness of the situation justice.

Even just walking on our old carpeting again felt good. That's how sad it had become living off of tarps and out of boxes.

So, where do we stand on our remodel? Well, that's a very good question. When I last saw the carpenter on Sunday evening after he only put down the kitchen flooring (and left so much undone that was supposed to be done), he said, 'I'll be back sometime this week.' Well, I don't have that day on my calendar. My contractor, who's in Disney World right now, can't seem to get the carpenter to commit to working here and expressed frustration over it and actually e-mailed 'that's why I wanted this finished before I left.' Not because it's dragged on for three months or because his client has been incredibly inconvenienced by how he's handled the project. No. He wanted it done because he's having to deal with his business while he's on his vacation.

I've also asked the contractor repeatedly about the end-date for the project. Today, I finally got a response, if you can call it that. 'My end date is as soon as I can.' Unfortunately, I don't have that date on my calendar either.

For now, though, I have most of my sanity back along with an almost done cool kitchen. I've even come to like the blue tape that I'm using to open the cabinets. It isn't pretty, but it does the job of the hardware...which has been sitting here since Sept. 22, but hasn't been installed yet. Of course.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Sneak Peek

Here's a sneak peak of some new stuff in the still-under-construction (day 89 and counting) kitchen.

I love, LOVE, LOVE the backsplash. It has yet to be grouted and sealed, but I think it's just spectacular. And, it totally makes the whole kitchen.

The small bit of flooring installed so far is perfectly normal, unlike the first round of defective vinyl that we started with.

By this time next week, I hope to be moved back into the kitchen completely, even though we'll still have some hardware to be installed. Keep your fingers crossed that our carpenter is productive this weekend!