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    July 2020
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    • Feeling and Acting Powerful in Catastrophic Times
      The United States is moving into a time of catastrophe. Thirty-two percent of people were unable to make either their rent or mortgage payments in July. Twenty-two percent of small businesses seem likely to go bankrupt. One-third of small independent farms are on the verge of bankruptcy. When these people lose their homes and wind […]
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Word Crimes

We’re all guilty.  I’m a repeat offender, especially when it comes to prepositions.  Sometimes my nouns and verbs don’t relate to one another and I hate to edit.  But at least I know when to use ‘I’ versus ‘me’.  Interior design bloggers routinely get that wrong and it drives me crazy, especially when the blogger in question majored in English and not Interior Design. (I’m talking to you, Emily Henderson.)

Weird Al Yankovic has a new album called Mandatory Fun and it has already rocketed to the top of the charts.  This song goes out to Brooke whose grammar is perfect all of the time.


Speaking of interior design, I made this pendant light for my kitchen using a garden spheroid thing that was on clearance from at Target and a pendant light kit from Home Depot.  I’m planning to replace the light bulb with an Edison style bulb. Check out the cool pattern on the ceiling.  It was accidental.  The kitchen is almost finished.

2014-07-24 19.27.09

Good-Bye Ugly Kitchen

70's Glam Kitchen

70’s Glam Kitchen

I’ve lived with the kitchen for a year.  It was hideous.  The cabinets were dark brown laminate and when we took them down, we discovered that they had been installed on May 16, 1973.  The date was scrawled on the back of them in black wax crayon.  They didn’t even have Sharpies back then.  I couldn’t wait to remove those horrible traffic orange countertops.  The sink was beyond disgusting.  No, you don’t even want to know.  Initially, I was only going to do a paint job and replace the countertop and sink but the insides of the cabinets started to fall apart and it became clear that the whole kitchen had to be replaced.

I had a $5000 budget for this job and not a lot of options. So, I designed and ordered an Ikea kitchen last July but there was so much craziness going on last year (you have no idea) that I couldn’t get it installed.  I didn’t think I could do it myself and contractors take F-O-R-E-V-E-R to come to your house, assess the situation and write up a quote.  The quotes were all over the place.  One turned out to be twice as much as the cabinets and countertops (butcher block, in case you’re wondering what I went with).  I don’t know what contractors base their numbers on but they didn’t make much sense.

Then my cousin Steve moved back from Texas.  He did some contracting work down there and I hired him.  We’re learning all about installing Ikea on the job.  It’s not as hard as I thought.  The microwave cabinet has been the trickiest installation so far.  The design looks good, if I do say so myself, but we’re only half way through the process. (Have a professional measure your kitchen for the best fit.) Today, we’re doing the base cabinets and with a little luck, I’ll have a working faucet and garbage disposal on the brand new sink by the end of the day.




Ms. Triggs, the Supervisor

Post Demo

Post Demo


And Microwave is UP!


More to come…

Orange kitchen countertops are an abomination

We’re not talking a burnt orange color, although that would be equally hideous.  We’re talking neon, cones in the middle of the road orange.

This can not stand.

Tomorrow, I’m going to do something about it.  I am going to paint them.  You heard me, I’m going to paint the suckers a light cement gray.  It’s only temporary until I figure out what to replace them with but I can’t go another day with the negative afterimage I get when cooking.  Yes, the cabinets are going to get painted too. Not sure if I want an all white kitchen or a Tuxedo kitchen.  Thots?  (I’m going to have to get very creative with my budget to get anywhere near that kitchen but what the heck?  This kitchen can’t get worse.)


Update: A lot of you seem to be a.) alarmed with painting the countertop and/or b.) glamoured by granite.  To the paint phobes, don’t worry.  There’s a specific paint for laminate countertops and while it’s not perfect, this is only a temporary solution.  As to the granite option, not in my kitchen.  I don’t like granite, faux or real.  No granite in here, nosiree.  If that’s your thing, knock yourself out but I don’t want to have to wrap my kitchen around a granite countertop any more than I want to wrap it around an orange one.

There are alternatives that are budget friendly.  For example, butcher block.  See this video for an example.  Some people like concrete.  That’s a bit more work but it looks pretty good.  Stainless steel is also an option. You can get them from restaurant supply stores or have one made.  I happen to like solid surface and if I can afford it, that’s probably the way I’m going to go.

Here are a few more helpful tips for those of us who can’t afford to gut and renovate a kitchen from Canadian House and Home.  One of the first things I did when I moved in here was have task lighting installed in this kitchen.  Before, there was only one ceiling fan/light combo in the middle of the kitchen ceiling.  Since I needed an electrical contractor to update the outlets and other electrical in the kitchen anyway, I had him install 4 recessed lights in strategic areas.  It was a minor expense due to the other work that needed to be done and it has made instant impact.

I’ve also ordered new door fronts (shaker style) for all of the cabinet doors and drawer fronts.  That was $300.  The reasoning is that although the cabinets are hideously ugly, they’re solid as a rock and not falling apart.  Better to just paint the s^&* out of them and slap a new door on them.  I’ve done this before in my previous house and it was a great cosmetic solution that I lived with for about 7 years before the cabinets really did need to be replaced.  The doors will be painted the same shade as the walls so the walls will look more continuous and not chopped up.  Eggshell finish on the walls, semi-gloss on the cabinets.  Same creamy white.  The door to the left in this pic is going to be painted a fresh green (Valspar Crocodile Smile)

The countertop is the only “?” at this point and I’m pretty pleased with my budget friendly options.