Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Niagara Falls Teaser

We're here on our way home from Ohio, and the halfway point just happens to be Niagara Falls! We had to stay on the NY side, but it's just as lovely from here as it is from Canada. It's been a long day, though, and I'm off to enjoy my cushy bed with crisp white linens. We'll be on our way home tomorrow after enjoying more of the town, and who knows where we'll stop on our way back east. Perhaps some back roads are in order?


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Road Trip!

Tomorrow morning (EARLY) I head out to Indianapolis to pick up my darling child from her week-long stay at her friend McKayla's house, and zoo camp. This will be my longest solo road trip yet, and I'm just a little bit nervous. I miss Kathleen, though, so it's going to be worth it!! :) I have books on CD, satellite radio, and my own busy head for company, so it should be fine.

On the way home, we'll be stopping near Columbus, OH, to stay with Kathleen's paternal grandparents, whom she hasn't seen since she was five years old. So THAT should be interesting! Her father is going to drive up from NC to meet us there, which is a good thing. We last saw him in April.

I'm also tossing around the idea of stopping in Niagara Falls for the night on Tuesday, which might be a nice way to break up the long ride home. I've only been once, and Kathleen's never been, so I may surprise her with a little impromptu stay there for the night. There is so much to see there. I'd love to take her to the botanical gardens, the butterfly conservatory, and Niagara on the Lake. I wonder how much we can fit into two short days?! Maybe we'll drive home at night. Hmmm. We'll see.

So that's where I'll be for the week. Stay tuned for pictures from the trip, and of course when I get back, painting will begin in earnest in the kitchen. BF is going to be in TX while we're in IN, so nothing's going to get done for the next week or so. I can't wait to get that kitchen DONE. After the painting gets done, I get to lay the new floor. Yay!

Have a great week, y'all, and I'll catch you on the backside!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Construction Junction

Well, you asked for it, so here it is! My kitchen/woodshop. This is actually a cleaned up version, if you can believe it. BF tends to drop a tool wherever he last used it. It's my job to follow behind and try to keep things somewhat organized, so when he says "Where's the hammer?" I'll be able to put my hands on it.
We were thinking about using that cove molding in the corners, but now we're just going to caulk the corners and skip the molding. It'll look much more seamless that way. Note the stained woodwork that hasn't gotten its first coat of paint. I can't wait to get everything painted out. Even with one shabby coat of white, it's SO much brighter in the kitchen.
Note the new apron under that window over the sink. BF broke the old one when pulling it off to get the wainscoting on. I had to laugh, because he was busting on me for putting the backs of some of the cabinets on backwards. WhatEVER.
My new sink! Yay! My new faucet! Yay! New countertop! Yay!
New plumbing! Yay! Thank GOD I have BF to do this stuff. I could have done all the beadboard and trim, but the plumbing is beyond me. I mean, look at that mess. WTH? He even managed to figure out why the dishwasher wasn't draining properly. I bought it from someone from Craigslist about three months ago, so I didn't even know if the thing was going to work at all. I lucked out! $75 well spent!
I like the cap molding I picked out. What a pain, though, because it doesn't come with a lip to go over the top edge of the paneling. So there is a flat 1.5" piece of wood behind it that pushes it out so it goes over the egde of paneling. An ingenious solution, figured out by me, executed by BF. :)

My new dishwasher! Yay!! (The stove is new too, but the dishwasher is much more exciting, don't you think?)
Last night, when BF was getting irritated with some of my ball-busting, he said..."Go over there and hold those two wires together, will ya'?" Har. Good thing I'm not a dummy. Or I'd be dead.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Oak Hill Kitchen

Nestled in a cute little hamlet about 35 minutes away from my house at the foot of the Catskills, is the Oak Hill Kitchen, which is a wonderful little restaurant run by the Twelve Tribes communities. I'll let you read up on them at their website TwelveTribes.com, and I will not go into any controversy surrounding their way of life. What I saw when I went to the Oak Hill Cafe was a group of relaxed, happy, friendly people, playing music, and sharing food.
That large booth above on the right, is where we had a birthday dinner for my sister. She had discovered this place just the week before, and was dying to go back and share it with us. That "window" in the booth looks downstairs, and gave us a view of the musicians below playing traditional Irish music. I'll tell you what: That day, I had really gotten up on the wrong side of the bed, and didn't even want to go to dinner, much less drive 35 minutes to this place after driving 35 minutes to get home from work. But I'm SO glad I did.
The music was wonderful, and the people so kind, the food was great, and the interior of this place was gorgeous. Look at all that hand-cut/hewn wood! It's just beautiful. They are open 24 hours a day, except for Saturdays, because they observe Shabbat. I know next to nothing about religion, so don't ask me...lol...but from what I've read, they are Christians, just not "regular" ones...lol. Who cares? I am totally a "live and let live" type of person, and this place felt very welcoming. They sort of reminded me of the Amish. The food and atmosphere were more than enough to get me out of my funk on Thursday night. I felt like I had stepped back in time to a kinder, gentler place, and it made me feel good. (Hey Rose...you would have LOVED this place--it was all "peace and love" and I kept thinking about you while I was there! :-))

Here's hoping you all can discover a quiet little "find" in a town near you where you can go to unwind and be at peace.

P.S. I have shamelessly stolen the above pictures from the Oak Hill Kitchen website. I'm hoping they won't mind, since I DID give them such a glowing review! Hee!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A Lidingo Ate My Kitchen!

EDIT and UPDATE for those of you coming via a Google link: see some "during/after" pics here. We're still working on it!

Sorry about the title of this post...I just couldn't resist! Hee! Lidingo is the name that IKEA has given my chosen door front for my cabinets. It's their most traditional looking door, IMO, and as much as I was LOVING the red glass-front modern cabinets, they just weren't going to happen in this house. Maybe when I get that pied-a-terre in NYC someday....heh. I can't get the handles to post for some reason, and it's driving me nuts. I'm using the Takta handles, in brown/black. They are wood, and long and linear. I'm hoping they will add a little contemporary flair to my otherwise traditional kitchen. My original plan was to use oil-rubbed bronze bin pulls, but then I saw those and changed my mind. I hope I was right!!
This is the Boholmen sink I'm using, which I love for its retro feel, and because even though I am going to have a dishwasher, I know that I'll be hand washing dishes as well. I bought my faucet at Grossman's outlet a couple months ago, and it looks great with the sink. It's a brushed nickel finish. It's not awesome like some of those commercial faucets at IKEA, but hey, I'm not made of money either!!

This is the Pragel stone effect black countertop that I'm using. I love it. We put it in for a dry run over the white, and it's awesome. I'm still waiting on the doors for my cabinets, though. They didn't have them in stock at the Paramus store, and I have to pick them up at the Elizabeth store in a few weeks. I'm hoping that BF will have the sink hooked up in the next day or two, and once the sink goes in, the dishwasher can get hooked up, right?! Yay!! But of course first, he is cutting the beadboard paneling and getting that put up. Yesterday I slapped a coat of white paint over all of the stained trim around the windows and the doors. What a difference! It's so much brighter in there now. LOVE it. No pics yet--the place is a wreck. I'll keep you posted!!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Naked Kitchen

So yesterday morning I said to BF: "You know, since we had such a work-filled weekend last week, why don't we take it easy this weekend? The only thing I'd really like to get done is to put the new kitchen sink faucet in, and the new bathroom faucet. What do you think?" And his reply was: "Well, wouldn't you rather get that dishwasher in?" and I of course replied "Well, of COURSE I would LOVE for the dishwasher to be in, but in order for that to happen, we need to replace the countertops."
So without going into how my logic works, suffice it to say that in order to install a dishwasher, Kathleen and I went to Paramus , NJ (2 hour drive) to IKEA and bought four new base cabinets, a new sink, and new countertops for the kitchen. Oh, and a shoe rack for my closet. But I digress.
So while we were gone, BF pulled out all of the old cabinets, and ripped the "tile" paneling off of the walls. I got home and said "So, is the dishwasher hooked up or what?!" *sigh* No dishwasher. But I did get a naked kitchen!
We put together one of the cabinets last night, and he did one this morning. They're pretty simple. Next, when it stops raining, we need to go buy beadboard for the walls. Then we can install the cabinets, then the dishwasher, then the countertops, then the sink, and the faucet. Oh, and when that's all done, I can put in the new floor and paint the walls.
So much for my quick and easy kitchen reno. Oh well. It had to get done sooner or later.
I'm just TIRED today, and I don't feel like working. Is that lame? (Don't answer that.) BF deserves a day off too, doesn't he? So don't hold your breath for the "afters". IKEA didn't even have my door and drawer fronts, so I have to go back to the Elizabeth, NJ IKEA and pick those up in a couple of weeks.
I won't even tell you about the dried up mice carcasses that BF unearthed when ripping out the cabinets. Eeeew. I think we'll seal up some holes.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

New Lamps

OK, so that's not a lamp. It's fabric swatches. I'm thinking of slipcovering my sofa in the top one. It's a light chocolatey brown that will hide a multitude of sins. I hope. I can't take the state of the gold damask any more. ANYthing else has got to be an improvement. I'll keep y'all posted.
New lamp #1. I purchased this lamp at The Christmas Tree Shops in Albany. It was the last one they had, so I only got one, and it was a bargain at $25. I love the glass base. I'm NOT in love with the white white shade though. I'm thinking of putting a grosgrain ribbon along the top and bottom edge to give it some interest. We'll see. It also has one of those fluorescent bulbs in it, which is pretty white. I may have to go incandescent to get a better color out of it.

This is lamp #2. I paid $40 for it at KMart, and I love it! I honestly have not been in KMart for years, except for two weeks ago when I bought the Martha Stewart curtain rods. I forget why I went back, but when I did I found this lamp! The base is metal, with a dark almost black finish. Me likey!
Closeup of the herringbone lampshade.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Eye Candy

This is my friend Pat's "secret" garden. I tour it a few times every year, and am always so pleasantly surprised at everything I see. This is cottage gardening for sure!

Talk about stone walls!!

They got a couple of donkeys to keep the horse company. The horse paid no attention to me, but these two followed me around the edges of the garden as I snapped pictures. They were so cute!

Some day I'll have more plants to show you from my OWN garden. I could fill a summer's posts with all of Pat's flowers and plants. She is SOME gardener!

Monday, July 07, 2008

What I did on my summer vacation

Hmmm...where to begin?! We got so much accomplished over this three-day weekend, that it feels like we spent a week or more doing it! On Friday morning, BF decided somewhat out of the blue that he was going to dig up the culvert under the driveway and see if he could clean it out. As I've said before, the yard has some drainage issues, and as much as I don't like looking at the low, wet parts of the lawn, it didn't drive me crazy, like it did BF. So he went to Lowes, bought a pick-ax, and started at it. Some gratuitous shirtless digging pics follow. (Sorry, I couldn't help myself...yeah, he rolls his eyes at me too...lol.)

So while he was digging away, I mowed the lawn, and then started digging a new garden for my hostas, alongside the shed. Trust me, BF did NOT want me in the way of flying gravel, so I only went over there when beckoned. I did have to help him heave the humungous HEAVY mud-packed pipes out of the ditch one by one as he loosened them, though. Ugh. That was scary. The man may be small, but he is a mighty powerhouse in a small package. I couldn't believe the weight he could lift. Look at this one, roots growing through it and everything! What a mess...no wonder no drainage was happening!
So I dug up my patch of land, filled it with a topsoil/compost mixture, and planted some of my shade-loving plants. I love the way it turned out. After all the pipes were out of the ditch, BF went across the river to True Value and found this corrugated culvert pipe. All I could do when he got back was giggle at the size of those things. I thought they looked hilarious on the truck. He was all "what's so funny?" and then Kathleen comes outside and looks at the truck and starts laughing too. I don't know what it was...they just looked so HUGE on that truck...and his truck is BIG. The pipes went in, he locked 'em together, and we covered them up again. So of course, in the digging of the ditch, BF had unearthed a dilapidated old stone wall that had been holding back the side of the driveway. I asked him if he could bring the stone wall out so that I could plant a garden between it and the driveway, underneath the pretty tree. Heck, he said he was going to rebuild it anyway, so why not start from scratch, right?! So that's what he did for the rest of the day Saturday (after getting the pipe in) and most of the day Sunday. As he worked, I filled my garden area with fresh topsoil/compost and planted my garden. I couldn't be more pleased with that stone wall. I mean, seriously, is this place awesome, or what?! *sigh* I don't even want to think what it would have cost to actually pay someone to do the hard work BF did this weekend. It's priceless, IMO.

Finally, yesterday afternoon, Kathleen and I went shopping for a screened tent. We needed a place from which to enjoy the new stone wall garden, after all! We got the last of the domed pretties off the floor at Home Depot, and they disassembled it for us, so we could bring it home without instructions and put it up again. Heh. We did OK. But by the time we were done, my nerves were a little frazzled. Kathleen retreated to her room, while BF and I relaxed a bit in the late evening without getting one mosquito bite! Yay! That's an old iron candleabra I bought years ago and never used. I need to dangle baby-food jars from wire with tealights in them from the branches of it.
Maybe next weekend we can relax? Or not. I have more plants to get in the ground. I guess this is the tale of home-ownership. The work is never done. But heck, if the end result is this great every time, then I don't mind it a bit. :)
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...