just one more…

We’re still waiting for the contractor and his crew to start the remodel. I cannot really complain, because this is a paid-for-by-home-insurance project, but living like this is getting old.

So yesterday I decided to remove a cabinet door. Just for the heck of it.

I cannot tell you how much fun this was.

So I kept going.

Banjo Man came upstairs and didn’t even notice. I guess he was focused on lunch.

But after he saw what I’d done, he wanted to get involved, too. “I wonder if it’s hard to take one of these completely out,” he mused.

“Go for it,” I said, handing him the fancy screwdriver.

Gone, baby, gone.

I also made a rushed trip to Home Depot. Have you ever opened an old tub of drywall mud to discover it is filled with dark green mold?

Not a pretty sight.

Because I’m repairing wall and fixing holes I need my drywall mud. The new little tub that Banjo Man bought me just wasn’t going to cut it. Hello again, Depot.

I also collected another dozen Formica and WilsonArt laminate counter samples, because I am deep in Kitchen Counter Hell. The quartz I like would cost $3200. The Formica Solid Surface I fell in love with (similar to Corian, I learned) would cost almost $3500. Neither is even close to being within my budget. The insurance company isn’t paying for a new counter, so this is up to us. And “us” is frugal.

I’ve decided I am so tired of white counter tops. There will be plenty of white elsewhere and I don’t especially want to feel as if I’m living in an igloo, so the search continues.

But I did order the new lighting fixtures–one with a little extra sparkle for over the dining room table and one with lots of extra sparkle for over the island. As much as I tried, I just couldn’t click the shopping cart button for the more minimalist choices.

I’ve tried to put a picture in here, but for some mysterious computer glitch I can’t do it. So you’ll have to visit in a few months and check it out for yourselves.

Parts of Rhode Island ended up with 18″ of snow last night, which was a bit unexpected. We have about 6″, but the stuff is going to freeze and won’t melt until Friday when the temps get above freezing. It’s a wintry mess this morning, but I have a great big container of dry wall mud and some walls that need help, so I’m going nowhere.

It’s a very good day to stay home.

Posted in rhode island | 5 Comments

beep beep

In the “what is the world coming to?” category, here’s what I saw at the grocery store yesterday.

Yes, it’s a robot. It wanders and spins throughout the store and beeps. A lot.

In my rain-soaked, out of patience state, I wanted to stick my face against its blue lights and demand, “Where the **** is the coconut milk?” But I didn’t.

Truthfully? I was a little intimidated. I didn’t want to get near it. I didn’t know if something bad would happen when I took its picture. I tried not to get too close.

Clearly I am not the heroine who will save the world from all evil artificial intelligence monsters.

Banjo Man had warned me after he spotted it last week. It was announcing “clean up on aisle 12” and spinning importantly, but Banjo Man didn’t see anything on that aisle that needed cleaning.

I really don’t know what its job is. Spotting spills? Shoplifters? Empty shelves?

There was a sign on its back. Maybe next time I’ll be brave and get close enough to read it.

Or not.

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notes from the past week

My week started on Saturday with *the best* muffins from Harley Chick, who arrived with her homemade treats and a friendly face.

I needed both. She helped me pack up china at Mom’s house (which is about to get a major renovation) and rescue a couple of old cookbooks. Harley Chick loves old cookbooks.

I managed to find a chair for her to sit on while we drank coffee and nibbled on muffins at my house.

The continued dismantling of our house as we await the elusive construction crew.

On Sunday we were invited to brunch at the Coast Guard House. It was a gorgeous day and the beach parking lot was filled with cars–there were surfers and beach walkers galore.

Sammy came to visit Tuesday afternoon. We made ice cream and ate mini cupcakes, but mostly we just curled up on the couch and watched cartoons. He introduced me to a hilarious show called “Boss Baby”.

Wednesday my friend Barb and her husband Rod (from down the street) took Mom’s refrigerator and my father’s little wood stove. They have found a great home and will be much appreciated.

On Thursday I once again wracked my brain to come up with something that Mom would enjoy doing…and was capable of. She is very frail, but she loves getting out and about. So I drove her to Macy’s, half an hour north, to stagger around the store and admire the spring clothes and study the clearance racks. She swore she needed larger pants and wanted blue ones, so we bought a couple of pairs (yesterday she told me they were too small, so I’ll be returning them tomorrow) and then had lunch at the food court at the mall. The day was a huge hit.

Mom discovered sliders and loved them.

The Funny Grandson went to a KISS concert in Dallas. The ticket was his Christmas present.

On Friday I cleaned and packed and even sewed a little. I also learned the kitchen cabinets did not arrive this week and work will not start Monday as we thought. This was not happy news.

And see this? I thought I was so clever finishing this chevron baby quilt Friday afternoon.

How it is supposed to look.
What happened on rows 9 and 10.

I have a lot of seams to rip out as I watch the stupid Bachelor on TV Monday night. This is not going to be an easy fix.

We’ve eaten our last frozen casserole (stockpiled last fall), so my back is to the wall now and I know I have to start cooking again, though I really don’t want to. I know I’ll be glad to have meals tucked in the freezer for those days (weeks?) while we are living and/or cooking in the basement, but my heart isn’t in it.

My heart is at Subway.

The rain is pouring down–thank goodness it’s not snow–and I will head out to the grocery store soon. I have a list for future meals–beef bourguignon, pulled pork, a couple of chicken casseroles–that will freeze well. I just have to get off my rear and start cooking.

We’ll be painting window trim today, after the beef stew goes in the crock pot. I know it will be lovely when it’s all done, but it sure is taking a long time to get started. It’s hard to believe that a small under-the-sink flood could cause such an uproar, but here we are.

I continue to need this reminder.

Posted in family, food, friends, quilting, rhode island | 2 Comments

nothing is easy #notaninteriordesigner

This is my attempt to visualize what kind and size of light fixture to buy to hang over my dining room table.

There is a 24″ fabric ruler to judge size. My favorite winter scarf (thank you again, Retired Mountain Lady) to judge depth and color, and some hanging strips of fabric for length.

It’s been hanging there a week and Banjo Man has not noticed it yet.

I’ve always hated that brass chandelier. Twenty-nine years later it’s going to GET OUT OF MY LIFE.

There are many design decisions looming in the near future. To use the word “overwhelmed” would be an understatement. I am bumbling along as well as I can, having massed large amounts of samples for floors (finally selected!), wall paint, back splash tiles, and kitchen counters (I think I narrowed it down to a winner last weekend). I’ve bookmarked many photos on Pinterest for lighting ideas. There will be trendy pendants hanging over my kitchen island (goodbye giant old ceiling fan), once I sift through two hundred options online.

I spent a long, tense afternoon reading articles on paint colors and undertones. Very informative. And inspired the drinking of tequila.

I wish I was kidding.

Posted in rhode island, shopping | 1 Comment

an overnight pond

A winter scene.

It’s not cold enough to freeze (and skate on) but it certainly was a sight to see early this morning.

We had snow, sleet and rain yesterday and throughout the night, so we had a little taste of winter weather.

But not much.

For which I am grateful.

Posted in rhode island | 2 Comments

getting rid of goodreads

Goodreads.com is a website that promotes reading, authors and good books. It’s easy to join, see what your friends are reading, find reviews, sign up for giveaways, and learn what your favorite authors are working on.

All good, right?

Well, yesterday something happened to make me decide it was time to cancel my account.

I finally finished LETHAL WHITE, a book by Robert Galbraith and the fourth book in the Cormoran Strike detective series. I’d been on the waiting list at the library for four months before the novel was available to download onto my Kindle Fire. I’d taken my sweet time reading it, too, with everything going on around here.

But I reached The End yesterday morning, leisurely read the acknowledgements in the back and then tapped the icon for the internet to check the news and my morning email.

There was a new email from Goodreads that began, “You finished LETHAL WHITE (Cormoran Strike Book #4). What’s next?”

It went on to give me suggestions for my next books.

I have to tell you that it was a creepy feeling, because I’d just finished the book less than ten minutes earlier.

So how did Goodreads know that I had finished the book? It had been on my Kindle for ten days or so. I didn’t think I was online when I was reading it, but I guess I could have been because I certainly hadn’t switched to airplane mode.

And this has never happened before, despite my “following” of certain authors and consistently reading their books via my library’s e-zone.

Maybe it was some kind of weird coincidence. But in the days of our phones listening to us, when you can’t google “ankle pain causes” without getting pop up ads for senior compression socks and having Alexa risks someone somewhere monitoring your home, I am pretty damn suspicious.

So Goodreads is out of my life. I will never own an Amazon Echo (or whatever they call it now). And there has always been a piece of tape over my computer’s camera.

If you have any Goodreads theories or experiences, I would love to hear about them.

And…I really enjoy those Cormoran Strike books.

Posted in a more pie opinion, books & music, rhode island | 1 Comment

flurry of activity

This morning I told the contractor I loved him.

And I meant it.

Jim had just told me that he had put “painting the walls” into the bid the insurance company had approved.

That prompted my declaration of love, which seemed to surprise him.

He was here at ten o’clock this morning, along with Darrel-from-the-flooring-store. And Lisa-from-the-kitchen-cabinet store.

They were very busy measuring.

Lisa and Jim kept giving my kitchen the “how can anyone live like this” side looks. I wanted to say, “It’s not that bad.” But when looked upon by strangers who specialize in creating beautiful kitchens, I guess my inexpensive 30-year old kitchen does look pretty awful.

Lisa immediately asked if I was going to have the light over the sink centered. Yes, I would love that. Can I get that done? Really?

Darrel, who never smiles but seems like a nice guy, was very pleased with the vinyl plank flooring we picked out. He approved of Banjo Man’s choice, though I am still ambivalent. I’m sure I will love it when it is gleaming beautifully under my feet, but right now I think I’m floored out.

Yes, floored out. I made that up, but I think it’s a thing.

I never, never, never want to look at another flooring sample.

This is called Tiger’s Eye.

I got the bid from Stone Depot for my quartz counter. I doubt I will spend that much money on a counter, but I will confess it is tempting.

Banjo Man has an upset stomach and has gone downstairs for tea and crackers. He doesn’t know if it’s the stress from this remodel or last night’s leftover chili, but he is definitely suffering.

I told him to stay in his office for the rest of the day and to try not to think about what was going to happen upstairs in two weeks. We’ll get through it by moving down to the guest suite in the basement and it will all be good.

I need to go sew something now. And then pack a few more boxes. It’s all starting to get real.

Posted in family, rhode island | 2 Comments

what a weekend

Sunset in Narragansett.

The brothers had a great weekend together.

They unloaded stuff from the basement and loaded up the shed. They went to the dump. They talked and laughed and got stuff done.

We went out for seafood. Twice.

We watched the Super Bowl and ate tons of food.

They cleaned the basement freezer, moved it to a different spot and loaded it up again. They set up the exercise area, with the addition of my office rug (gladly donated to the cause).

They ate meatballs.

It was all good. Getting together should become a February tradition.

Posted in family, rhode island | 3 Comments

a ten-box day

This doesn’t look like much, but I have to admit it was a lot of work to fill those boxes. I thought I’d get a lot more done.

Silly me.

I now realize I still have Too Much Stuff, despite the past couple of years of Japanese and Swedish cleaning and decluttering.

I’m going to take a bit of a break today, because Harley Chick and Hot Rod Russ are coming for dinner tonight. And GL arrives at noon. I have brownies to bake and salad to toss and apples to peel.

I woke up at 4:30 thinking about everything that is going on in my house–right now and in the near future. So the only thing to do was to get up and make coffee, then look at Pinterest for kitchen counter ideas.

Banjo Man gets the nervous shakes whenever I talk about quartz or granite or Corian, but I’m learning to ignore him.

If you think about it, the kitchen counter is the most used place in the house. Aside from the floors, that is. So I have to get it right, even if it means waking up in the dark.

Wish me luck. This is going to take a while.

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4 degrees and getting ready

Getting ready for the remodel.

It has taken a long while, but the insurance company has finally approved our claim and, as they say, “the check is in the mail”.

I’m excited.

The contractor pointed me towards the local store with affordable kitchen cabinets. And after collecting over three dozen little flooring samples from the box stores and having no luck finding what we wanted, we have fallen in love with a flooring product carried by the flooring store in town.

So at last that particular stress is over, I think. We still have one more place to shop and then we’ll decide once and for all.

I just ordered see-through plastic bags from Amazon. And I have 25 banker’s boxes waiting to be filled. The contractor said he and his crew would pack everything up themselves, but I would really rather do it myself.

It’s only four degrees this morning, which isn’t bad considering what the folks in the upper Midwest are experiencing. It’s a good day to stay home and pack up most of my kitchen.

The china pantry alone is the stuff of nightmares.

But first, I need to pin this little quilt and get it off the dining room table.

My b-i-l GL is arriving tomorrow morning for a long weekend of basement projects, brother time, gatherings with friends and the Superbowl.

I’ve been so excited about his visit. It’s a long time since August. We have such fun together in the summer and I miss him. As does Banjo Man, though they talk on the phone all the time.

Take a good look at this picture. Things are going to change very soon!

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