Cabinets on Tuesday and More……

If the schedule holds, it will be a very big week coming up. The cabinets will be installed, the remaining trim work done, and the associated plumbing and electrical completed. Well, the electrical is a bit trickier because in addition to the associated task of wiring for the island and adding one can light, we need to have a breaker repaired or replaced and I want to move four light fixtures. The movement of light fixtures doesn’t have to be immediate though, so that and the breaker might have to slide a week. The granite guy will come to do the template once the cabinets are in and it won’t take him long after that to have the counters ready for install.

Paint Samples for the remodel

Paint Samples for the remodel

We have ordered the appliances and the new entertainment center, but those will be discussed in a future post. Now I’ll talk about paint. We are going to have a change in that we will have a basic color in the front room and the back wall of the kitchen, but also an accent wall in the front room and then change the terra cotta in the kitchen to Eucalyptus Green. It’s a little difficult to tell from the samples here, but the lightest color (right) will be the basic on most of the area, the slightly darker tone (left) will be the accent, and the lighter green (top) is the one we will be using for the kitchen. We will continue with white in the loft, and the powder room downstairs is up for grabs. Essentially any of the three colors will work for it and it might well come down to how much paint we have left after the main rooms are done as the deciding factor. Okay,  I will keep everyone posted as to how we proceed.

And Worth a Giggle….

Granite for the Kitchen Remodel

Granite for the Kitchen Remodel

Okay, this is one of those situations where it might be more a chuckle than a giggle. During the process of our remodeling, we wanted to use local people as much as we could, and the trade-off with doing that means that our choices were more limited than might have otherwise been. In truth though, we also don’t want to drag this out forever, and our countertops are a prime example. I had really thought about gong with something other than granite, but it was the most logical choice to stay within the group of subcontractors that we are using. I had told hubby that if he had to, go ahead and pick out the granite, which he steadfastly refused to do alone. Again, I did understand his reluctance. So, the Monday re-schedule of the granite guy was going to be tight because of a meeting that I had. My good intentions were to arrive at the meeting early in order to explain that I would have to leave early and that was one of those days when nothing went according to plan. Without getting into detail, let me just say that I had to leave the meeting in a more abrupt manner than I wanted to and by the time I arrived home, the granite guy (guys) had been there for a while. Part of the time was used for taking measurements and discussing process, so it wasn’t all waiting for me.

He’d brought ten samples with him and had more he could bring if nothing suited us. Half were easy to set aside because they were too dark or too red. I narrowed it to three; two of which were very similar and one was slightly darker. We had a sample of wood from the cabinet finish and I placed all three granite samples around it. I looked for a bit, then I walked out of the house to go get something from the car. As I expected, when I walked back in and up to the display, the one that I wanted “popped out” at me. Interestingly, it was not the one that I had initially been inclined to. Now for the chuckle. It was, however, the one that hubby had picked out as his favorite of that color palette before I arrived. Naturally, it was also a bit more expensive than the other two, although still within the budget. After making the choice, the granite guy explained that it actually has a better finish on it than the two I had been contemplating. It’s a little difficult to tell from the photo, but it has a nice character to it that should work well for us. Oh, we’re going with the single ogee edge.

Closing Out the Quilting Show…..

Title: Rusty Blooms. Quilt created by Cheryl Kerestes of Wyoming, PA.

Title: Rusty Blooms. Quilt created by Cheryl Kerestes of Wyoming, PA.

It was careless of me not to have posted to the blog on Saturday, the last day of the AQS Lancaster, PA Quilt Show, but my author presentation was at 10:00 rather than noon. Then I had to check out of the hotel and head to Hanover before they completely clocked the streets for the big Saint Patrick Day parade. A rather flimsy excuse, I admit.  Perhaps giving a couple of extra photos will help make up for it. In truth, I could have photographed every quilt at the show with each of them demonstrating a different technique or something unique about the design or the sheer skill. As I have become more familiar with quilting and quilters, I think the extraordinary variety is what I appreciate most and that is something that I try to capture in the Helen Crowder Adventure Series of Small Town Lies, Small Town Haven, and future novels. (More about that in a later post).

The way in which quilters come to the craft is also fascinating to me as a writer. Some are of course introduced to it by a mother, grandmother, etc., while others gravitate to it because they sew or have another fabric-related skill. Some are looking for a new interest; one woman that I know was in a situation where she simply needed a quilt and there were none available to buy. Once she made the first one, she was hooked, so to speak. This is another part that I include in the novels; the longtime quilters and the novices who take it up for different reasons.

I think that the two quilts in this post are great examples of skill and variety.

Title: Prairie Serenade. Created by Shelly Burge from Lincoln. NE

Title: Prairie Serenade. Created by Shelly Burge from Lincoln. NE

From Here At the Quilting Show……

Quilt by Jaqueline Skarritt from Kalamazoo, MI, Lost and Found, at the AQS Show, Lancaster, PA

Quilt by Jaqueline Skarritt from Kalamazoo, MI, Lost and Found, at the AQS Show, Lancaster, PA

Everyone was enjoying a couple of balmy days (well, for this time of year in Lancaster) and then the temperature plummeted to about 19 degrees. It did climb up to about 33, I think and allegedly will blow on through tonight. My South Florida blood was not really prepared for the sudden change. With that said, the American Quilter Society (AQS) Show seems to be going smoothly with quilts that range from beautiful to complex to whimsical and it’s exciting to have so many quilters gathered in one spot. Well, one place since the displays are on three separate floors. I actually haven’t made it into the third floor displays yet and will do that tomorrow. The trip in yesterday was fairly routine, but I was pretty tired by the time I arrived at the hotel and found my way around the basic layout. Today was author demonstration at noon, then round table with three other authors at 4:30.

The author demonstration is a bit intriguing because as a fiction writer, what does one demonstrate? I have a display of the four towns that are the primary building blocks for the town of Wallington, then a list of Helen Crowder’s quilting circle members, and a few characteristics of the town and I talk about how I “create” the books much in the same way that the how-to quilters make the quilts that their books are about.

The quilt shown above is one that is in the running (popular votes) in the modern quilt category. They aren’t having the levels of contests that they apparently do at other shows.  I should be able to spend more time among the quilts tomorrow and will try to capture different styles.

We Interrupt This Post….

Okay, here’s what it comes down to. I was really hoping that we were going to connect with the granite guy today and that just didn’t happen. The granite guy and the cabinet guy work together all the time though apparently, and so I can only assume that as the cabinet guy gets close to finishing, he will link us all since we can’t very well have cabinets without granite. In other words, the process might be slowed, but maybe not, since I don’t know for sure how far along the cabinet guy is. It could be that us not being able to take this step until next week won’t actually impact the schedule. At the moment, that is what I choose to believe because I have spent the last couple of days trying to get ready for this trip to the American Quilter Society Show. As always seems to happen, several people needed things from me before I left. I think that I only have four more tasks to take care of.

Packing is a bit trickier this time because I have to take items for my presentations as well as clothes and the clothes must also be properly accessorized for the right look. The temperatures are still quite chilly and that means heavier clothes in addition to those pesky closed toe shoes that I simply no longer wear around here. I really have to plan on working out and that means appropriate attire for the fitness room. The suitcase won’t be over the weight allowance, but it will be fuller than usual. Ah well, it can’t be helped. I had also hoped to get a workout session in today since I had to skip yesterday, but if the timing works tomorrow, I should be able to squeeze in a session on a treadmill at the hotel. I’ll need to stretch a bit after traveling anyway. It’s early flight to BWI, drive to Lancaster, get to the show, check in with the AQS folks so they know I did make it, then get to the hotel. I’ll keep everyone posted.

Controlled Chaos……..

The new floors are in and the temporary kitchen will move from the bedroom to the living room, although that’s only the cooking items. The partial pantry and glassware will remain and the furniture can’t be place properly until after we paint. That leads me to the remaining steps.

Cabinets and granite are major components, new appliances – not picked out yet – electrical, painting, cleaning, garage, and front yard exterior work. That is the physical part of the remodel – then there is moving everything back in. Oh yes, still have to order the entertainment center and do the custom insides for the pantry. This means that we are about halfway, although some of those items will go in fairly quick sequence. Others could be delayed depending on different factors. We’re managing probably as well as most people do, but the disruption is tiring. For example, rather than walk from the master into the kitchen to get a glass of ice water, it’s pour water from the Brita pitcher into the glass and go to the garage to get ice from the fridge. Oh wait, it’s been a few hours. Take the Brita pitcher to the garage so I can empty the ice trays and refill them before you put ice in the glass and take the Brita pitcher back to the bathroom to refill it. Nothing insurmountable, just takes more time. People who have been through it all have tales to tell and it will be the same for us. At least we aren’t trying to juggle children and pets as part of the process.

Only in Black? Really Now……

Our short exile from the house is almost over and it isn’t really an exile per se. Hubby was there most of the day yesterday and will be there much of today with the chance that a path across the completed floor might allow us back in tonight. The sink, however, may be more of a disappointment than I thought, so I need some input here.

Hubby went by the other home improvement store (won’t reveal names) and found a double sink that is actually 1/2 inch deeper than the other one and I do want as deep  a bowl as I can get. However, for some bizarre reason that particular sink only comes in black. While I have already expressed not wanting a black sink, hubby thinks it would be cool since we have black accents on things like the microwave and toaster oven. I am not going to say absolutely no, but I’m not feeling a lot of excitement about it either. Any opinions? Continue reading

Big Day Coming…..

We’re going to have to give in and go to a motel for a couple of days as the floor installation gets underway. As bothersome as that is, when you have a two-story house and you’re blocking the stairway and you need to put moisture barrier down on the rest of the floor, there isn’t much maneuver room. This would be the time to have French doors off the master that leads outside. However, since we’ve never before needed that, and I can’t really think of another time when we might, I suppose a couple of days of inconvenience is okay.

We bought the new range hood and faucet yesterday, plus picked up some paint cards. We’re seriously considering going with one of the new composite granite sinks, but they have to check and see if they can get it in the color that I want. Onyx will definitely not do. Back when we had the black appliances and darker granite, that would have been appropriate. We’re going for a bit lighter look this time as well as stainless appliances, so either the mocha or champagne color for the sink is what I am looking at.

The new door is installed in the master and the new pantry almost completed. They can’t hang the door until the floor is installed and then there is an odd little curve to the wall that will probably mean hubby has to custom build the shelving for the pantry. How nice that he can design as well as build.


First Unexpected Problem…….

Ah yes, it was bound to happen. The flooring guy came to check the humidity levels in the house and the news couldn’t have been much more disappointing in the range of things. It turns out the humidity level is considerably higher than anticipated and that throws us into a different technique for how the floor should be installed. “Different” of course means more expensive, will take a day longer, and causes us more inconvenience. There was all sort of explanation as to why this is and I understand the point of why we should make the change. That does not, however, make the situation one bit better. On the other hand, it is the type of thing that you later tell stories about as others who have been through it commiserate and relate far more serious issues that arose.

While we are remaining in the house during this process, this may be the part that we decide we don’t want to cope with and find lodging for a few days. The tricky part is not having access to the upstairs and having to lay down the new special moisture barrier in the other rooms. We have to find out how long that has to dry before we can walk on it. We can clear out of the house for several hours at a time, no problem, and we can come in through the back if the kitchen floor is useable, so if we can arrange that timing, we’ll be okay. One would think we could manage that, but since neither of us have been through this, I’m not entirely sure we can pull it off. I will keep you posted.

Remembering Where The New Door Is…….

The new door to the master bedroom is on the opposite end of the wall.

The new door to the master bedroom is on the opposite end of the wall.

As I have explained with the remodel, we are making as few structural changes as we can. One of them though is moving the door to the master from one side of the wall to the other end so that the current “dead space” becomes the new pantry. That is well on the way to being finished, and the challenge now is to remember that the door is in an entirely different spot. It is a bit disorienting as will be the other changes, I’m sure. That also means that the light switch for overhead in the master is no longer next to the door, but quite frankly, we rarely use that anyway because we mostly use the bedside lamps. We also have a lovely lamp that sits on my dresser that we haven’t been in a habit of using and probably will now.

It looks as if the flooring installation crew will be able to start Wednesday which means that if they don’t encounter any difficulties, we’ll have that part completed a week from today. Once the new flooring is in place, other things can proceed. We will also be able to move the makeshift kitchen into the living room, making sure that we lay something down to protect the new floors. Since we’re planning to have everything re-painted, this might be the time to get drop cloths. The painters will have their own, but one or two extra wouldn’t be bad to have around. On the other hand, I’ve been intending to replace a bunch of sheets, so they might work, too. I think the plan for the weekend is to get range hood, possibly new sink, and go pick out appliances. We already have the new microwave. We will be getting a French door style refrigerator. I’ve seen enough of them in people’s houses now to be convinced.