Kitchen Renovation Day 57! Stocking the Cabinets, Each in our Own Way



Kitchen Renovation Day 50!

After about 5 weeks living mostly apart, the kids and I are finally home for good (I think).  I’ve been in NY with the kids as my Mom recovered from surgery.  Joe’s been home working and renovating our kitchen.  Yay, home!!

This was the longest Joe and I have lived apart.  We don’t even like to go out without each other.  I know.  Not very modern.  I don’t care.  We like it that way.

Feeling like a contestant on one of those reality shows where a designer and a construction worker take over your house while you leave, I came home to find the kitchen almost completely finished!  All of the cabinets are in.  The appliances are in (and working).  The floor is stained.  The walls are painted.  The countertops are being cut.  I have been given the go-ahead to find a pig-themed paper towel holder.

I love the kitchen.  It’s better than I imagined.  I am so happy we will finally be able to unpack all of the stuff we packed up 4 years ago.  I am so happy to be home.  But you know what really makes me happy?  That little girl in the corner of my fancy new kitchen.


Also, having an ice maker that works.

Also, having an ice maker that works.


And a nephew that adores my son almost as much as I do.

And helping my nieces and nephews to learn the art of persuasion.

And helping my nieces and nephews to learn the fine art of persuasion.

Roses are Red, Violets are Blue, Here are 5 Valentine’s Links for You

I consider myself one of the lucky ones.  I have always loved Valentine’s Day.  Ever since I can remember, my parents (and especially my Dad) would leave little notes or treats for my 4 siblings and me to celebrate this day.  Nothing crazy.  Nothing dramatic.  Nothing expensive.  Just a little reminder that we were loved.  And worth loving.

Today, as I think of the gift that my parents gave me in crafting Valentine’s the way they did, I wanted to share these links with you.

May you find love today, and really every day, wherever you go.

Even in the Boric Acid you are using to kill the ants that infested your house between closing and move-in.

Even in the Boric Acid you are using to kill the ants that infested your house between closing and move-in.

1. Here’s a  recipe for Almost-Famous Homemade Conversation Hearts.  Totally worth the time!

2.  This is a wonderful piece by Lynn Ungar on making Valentine’s Day a day “to practice love not so much as a feeling but as a choice, a discipline, a practice. You could start with the conviction that everyone certainly needs love, and the possibility that everyone deserves it. Not because they have earned it, not because they are loveable, but because each of us is capable of being an instrument of grace, which is another name for the love that we don’t have to earn or deserve.”

3.  If you think Valentine’s Day is gruesome now, check out this brief video from

4.  Have you ever thought about writing a love letter to a complete stranger?  Well, here’s your chance.  More Love Letters creates bundles of letters for a person in need of some love. They run campaigns where anyone who wishes to contribute writes to the same person and that person gets a big stack of love letters.  You can nominate a friend in need or write a letter.  Check it out. Volunteer once or many times.  It’s an easy way to add love to world.  And listen to this while you write:

5.  Lastly, take a moment to read this poem by Walt Whitman.  It makes me think of my sweet, sweet husband.  Who does it make you think of today?
A glimpse through an interstice caught,
Of a crowd of workmen and drivers in a bar-room around the stove late of a winter night, and I unremark’d seated in a corner,
Of a youth who loves me and whom I love, silently approaching and seating himself near, that he may hold me by the hand,
A long while amid the noises of coming and going, of drinking and oath and smutty jest,
There we two, content, happy in being together, speaking little, perhaps not a word.

Kitchen Renovation Days #7 and #8


Sure. He looks cute. But does this guy have ANY idea what he’s doing?

We discover that our “antique” kitchen floorboards probably had their antique-ness sanded down to bare wood about 35 years ago.

We debate the merits of Gold Coast White vs. Antique White (vs. Antique Beige vs. Kentucky Custard vs. Capri Sunset….)

We try to decide whether to fill the giant cracks between those boards because they gross me out.  Any idea how much mystery material can accumulate in quarter inch gap between two floorboards?  Let me tell you, it’s quite a bit!  I blame my gross kids.  Is Lexel the answer?  Is the incredible amount of snot coming out of all three children’s noses (what a cold they have!) the miracle wood-filler we’re looking for?

Should I call child protective services because my husband is letting my seven year-old daughter sand floorboard edges with a Fein MultiMaster?


We were totally supervising the entire time, Mom, I promise.

Kitchen Renovation Day #1


We decided to renovate our kitchen in our new old house.  After getting several quotes and talking about quality of products and labor, my do-it-his-own-damn-self husband convinced me that, even with his full time job, he would do a better and faster job than anyone we could hire.  Plus, the work would be less expensive.  AND, he would include the kids.  It would be a total learning experience.  I agreed (I blame all those delicious whiskey sours with my in-laws).

Here’s the team ripping out the old kitchen.  And finding an entire mouse city under the cabinets.