Archive for the ‘real life’ Category

Yesterday I had a massive cooking session, the first one I’ve done solo since the kitchen was finished. Oh, I have done little projects here and there with batch cooking when there were loss-leaders on chicken or other cuts of lean meat. But this was my first once-a-month-cooking day in a whole year. Part of that I’ll chalk up to being too busy to plan it. And the other was that I needed motivation to get past the casual, more laid-back pace of summer.

Well, that motivation came when I realized that as of next week I’ll be back on a chaplain’s schedule, with limited free time (and pretty tired when I do have it.) So I cranked out a BUNCH of things and have them in the freezer. You can read more about them on my cooking blog. Most of the recipes are up there too. 🙂

I have to say, though, having the SPACE and EQUIPMENT available to do this massive cooking job was pure joy. As you’ll see from the slideshow, I think I used every inch of space. And I loved being able to spread out and really utilize it. The dining room was my staging area for ingredients, just steps away. (I used to stack things on the floor!) The apples you’ll see are becoming a pie as soon as I stop playing on the computer (which happens to be handily located on the kitchen desk! 🙂 )

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So many times I have seen remodeling jobs which are just showcase kitchens (i.e. they look purty but you can’t work in them). Our kitchen is not only beautiful, but highly functional. We love it. And at the moment, it sure smells great!


P.S. a special “get well” to George, our lead carpenter.

I did a quick vacuum and mop this afternoon… and the floors still look great! They take minimal effort to stay looking nice, too.

Did I mention that we LOVE our design/build firm?

Settling in

Posted: 12/28/2010 in loving our new space, real life

Thanks to a LOT of help from the girls and Ken, we have begun the process of settling back in to the first floor of the house. It sounds crazy, but when you’ve spent over 3 months basically out of one floor of your house, it’s like moving in all over again.

For two trash/recycling days in a row, we have had a MONSTROUS amount of boxes and packing paper to put out. Last night it was especially challenging because the winds were so high. Packing tape to the rescue! Ken taped large sections of boxes together and wedged them in place until morning.

Then there’s the whole challenge of “where is the…?” game. I still haven’t found some of the things that I would put up or want to use (pictures, candlesticks, cooling racks for cookies) because they are still MIA. I did find the Christmas decorations that were “MUSTs” – stockings, tree ornaments and lights.  But all in all, things are going well. And as an added bonus, I moved eight boxes of clutter to GoodWill to benefit someone else. We also are giving furniture to friends who have a contract on their first house — and that in itself is a blessing. Sharing what we have is one of our key values.

Here’s a few shots around the first floor. Still a little messy, but we’re loving it and you can tell it’s a “lived in” home! Oh yeah, and the Crème brûlée from Chef CJ?  YUM!!! (You would have loved it too!)

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Drywall’s up!

Posted: 10/26/2010 in just an update, real life

I’ll post pictures later, (when it is daylight) but the drywall is up! Mudding for day #2 is today. More mudding tomorrow and then it’s time for sanding and LOTS of dust. I won’t be in the space during those days…

Cabinets, appliances, etc. arrive soon.

And I need more coffee…


The plumbing inspection passed yesterday! Now we are waiting on the electrical inspector this morning. It is pretty dicey. And it is annoying.

Apparently previous contractors, such as the one which did the heavy-up on our service 10 years ago, did not do it within code. So if our box fails, we are looking at a much MUCH larger project… and delays. Hopefully it isn’t anything too substantial, but you never know.

I’m trying to not get anxious. It’s not like our design/build firm is causing the issue. In fact, they’ve been honest with us. The problem is that when the “heavy up” was done, the contractor combined circuits. Circuits of ALUMINUM wiring! Circuits which we thought were properly handled (and which we paid big bucks for them to fix).


So now — we are waiting for the other shoe to drop…

This is no movie…

Posted: 10/17/2010 in real life

This is what we do when we need to wash dishes…

We gather up the spoons, bowls and coffee mugs…
Then we head downstairs to the front door…
We go out the front door, down the steps, over to the garage, in through the construction zone…
Down into the basement, into the laundry room…
And wash them in the set tub by the washer.

When they are clean…

We dry them…
Carry them up the basement steps…
Through the construction zone…
Out through the garage, between the cars to the front door…
Up the stairs to our bedroom-made-kitchen…
And put them all away.

“Only” about 8 more weeks of this.

P.S. I have a movie of it, but it’s in the wrong format. So… you’ll just have to imagine it!

The best laid-plans (and communication) can go awry.

Today the entire kitchen was demo’d and all of the appliances were removed. I thought I had another day or two. (I did not check the master schedule – it was our fault! They had warned us.) Fortunately, I was able to get something leftover (ka-bobs from the weekend) to warm up for dinner without too much trouble. I moved all of the contents from the kitchen fridge to the basement freezer and fridge. We also had to take down a dust wall to get some things out of the dining room. I had not finished cleaning that area out, and so… well… we had to do a bit of extra work tonight, work that we were not exactly planning on doing… but had to be done, nonetheless.

The good news is we have done 99% of the work for the construction moving/packing/relocating. The last bit will be when we have to be out of the way for the installation of the floors… in about 6 weeks.

So it’s out with the old…

And in with the temporary…

Until we get to the new!!

It’s embarrassing. I mean, really.

We have a house full of “STUFF” and just put about 1/3 of it in a storage unit. Other than minor inconveniences, I really haven’t missed what’s in storage. I could use some of the kitchen tools and so on that are boxed up and in the storage unit, but a lot of the things are truly not “essentials.”

I thought about some of the things as I packed them…

– extra crystal (in patterns that aren’t my favorite)
– promotional beer glasses
– silver what-nots, including a collection of random spoons that aren’t for my spoon rack
– THREE sets of china (OK 2 of them are for our daughters. but really)
– books, towels, knick-knacks and… yikes more STUFF

Some things I could easily toss into a recycling box, offer on Freecycle, or trash. Other things I gently re-packed and put away. The difference was my emotional attachment to them (either positive or guilty feelings) which allowed me to let them go or made me regretfully keep them. Similarly, items which belonged to others and were important to THEM I could quickly have tossed — but they are attached to them. So we kept them…

For instance — We have FOUR sugar/creamer sets in casual patterns (ceramic, stoneware, etc.) FOUR. That doesn’t include the ones which are in my crystal or china sets. I’m thinking that we should be able to let a couple of those go.

The question that keeps coming up is “what is ENOUGH” and “what is hoarding” — ??

I don’t have the answer. But I know we could live with less. And I sure don’t want to “rich” in the wrong “STUFF” and be poor towards God…

Luke 12

The Parable of the Rich Fool

13 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”
14 Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” 15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
16 And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. 17 He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’
18 “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. 19 And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” ‘
20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’
21 “This is how it will be with those who store up things for themselves but are not rich toward God.”

Playing catch-up

Posted: 09/11/2010 in real life

This weekend is more about playing catch-up than anything else. Specificially, I’m trying to get all of the laundry done. We have a mountain of sheets and towels (which always seem to get done last!) and a lot of ironing to do. However, there’s a football game on this afternoon (OHIO STATE vs. Miami) so I can tend the laundry during commercials.

I also have some random chores to do such as finishing the set up of our mini-kitchen in the College Girl’s bedroom, re-organizing the stacks of stuff in my office, and generally getting things picked up on the second floor. There’s a few piles of stuff that I am undecided how I should store/keep them because they are just odds and ends. I think I will end up dumping a bunch of miscellaneous stuff into a box and putting it in the storage unit.

On the plus side, since I can’t get in my back yard to weed, I will not worry about that. (I suppose I could if I carefully crossed the moat, but they really REALLY don’t want us near the area where they’ve been digging.) I’m just going to have to let that go.

Since I am always running behind, I wonder if I should start my Christmas cards! Since I never got them done last year, I am feeling a little guilty. But not so guilty as to start working on them. 😉  Besides, that wouldn’t be playing “catch up” — that would be “getting ahead”! (Whew. Guilt trip over.)

shampoo, rinse, repeat

Posted: 09/01/2010 in real life

Pack boxes.
Load car.
Haul boxes.
Unload boxes.
Load car.
Take ibuprofen with ice cream.
Go to bed.
Get up, go to work.
Unload boxes.
Go home, eat dinner.
Shampoo, rinse, repeat.