Monday, December 07, 2015

Shoes...they serve one hell of a purpose....

I am living the real-life experience of what happens when you don't wear shoes and there's a needle somewhere in your house. At some point in the recent-ish past, I apparently stepped on a needle and got it into my right foot. Then on Thanksgiving day, I managed - with the talent only I have - to move that needle into my right arch.

Last Thursday I had to have that needle surgically removed. I am now a bit restricted in my movement and banned from stairs until at least Friday. 

Moral of the story, little ones, is ALWAYS WEAR SHOES!!!!

Monday, October 19, 2015


There are too many people on this planet that put WAY too much emphasis on what others think, on what others have said in the past, on what others may say in the future. When you let yourself get stuck in this cycle, you stop growing, stop moving forward, and stay stuck in what may be a bad place for you.

I have a rather harsh philosophy for those stuck in this unhealthy mindset: SGAFWPT...Stop Giving A Fuck What People Think. SGAF about what was said about you in the past, SGAF about what may be being said about you in the present, and SGAF about may be said about you in the future.

The ONLY thing that matters is what YOU think, and if you fall into the trap of thinking only what you think others think (convoluted, right?!), you will become stuck. You have to drop the past and find the YOU in the now, without all the negative noise of the past. What's past is past....leave it there, and SGAFWPT as you move forward with a positive mind set.

Tune out/silence the crap that you are allowing to define your choices in the now...SGAFWPT past, present, or future. Concentrate on what YOU think and how YOU can use positive energy to move forward to be the best YOU you and be.

Once you SGAFWPT, you may find that the lack of worry and noise will allow you to find your own voice, and that's the only voice that matters.

For heaven's sake, little ones, SGAFWPT!

Monday, September 21, 2015

The Kitchen Journey: The Final Piece

This weekend my master craftsman cabinet maker, Craig, and his wife Deb (one of my lifetime friends), came over to spent some time in the pretty and to install the last piece of the kitchen remodel - the bookcase cabinet:

It is filled with cookbooks, recipe boxes, cooking magazines, and some extra pots and pans. And there's room for more! 

Now all that's left is some finish work (baseboards, some touch-up painting). Our dream kitchen is now a reality, and I LOVE it!!!!

A big THANK YOU to Craig, Andy (the contractor/tiler), Steve (the electrician), and Jim (the plumber). And the biggest thank you goes out to my late was part of her legacy that allowed us to create this dream kitchen.

I've been cooking in this wonderful kitchen since July, and I'm lovin' it! So much cabinet space, so very much prep space (which is a real joy after the no-prep-space crap kitchen we had before), and I'm loving the new oven (bakes awesome angel food cakes!). I look forward to cooking in this dream of a kitchen for many years to come.

Dream those dreams, little ones, and work toward them as best you can....cuz' dreams can, and do, come true!

Friday, July 10, 2015

The Kitchen Journey, Nearing the End

Well, it's almost all over, little ones. All the appliances are in and we have a fully functional remodeled kitchen!

The only thing we are still awaiting is the bookcase cabinet that will go next to the oven cabinet, and that won't be here for a while yet.

I plan to cook and bake my little heart out this weekend!

When you undertake a long journey, little ones, keep your eyes on the prize....

Friday, July 03, 2015

The Kitchen Journey, Day 34

The oven/microwave combo and the dishwasher have been installed. The tile has been grouted. And we almost have a full kitchen again!

Just the gas cooktop is left to be installed. The grout needs to be sealed and some caulking needs to be done. The journey is ever closer to being over....and that makes me happy, little ones...very happy!

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

The Kitchen Journey, Day 32

The backsplash went up today (yea!) and the sink was plumbed in. Tomorrow the dishwasher and oven/microwave combo will be installed and the backsplash will be grouted.

We had some backsplash tile left over, so we had one of the bathrooms done as well:

It is my hope that this journey will end soon, little ones.....I'm feeling a bit tired, but happy with the results so far.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Kitchen Journey, Day 27

Chuck and I got all the handles on we have had a small, actual hand in the creation of this beautiful kitchen. ;)

Filling the cabinets and drawers started yesterday and will continue today (and throughout the coming week). Of course, the first area filled is where Sprocket's stuff will be kept:

And here's close-ups of the cabinet countertop:

And the island countertop:

The amount of space in these cabinets is almost overwhelming. We are finally able to have all our food in the kitchen (instead of half of it in the basement). There are so many cabinets that we might actually have "extra" storage space...what a concept!

We cannot thank the master craftspeople who have helped this dream come true enough. Andy Booth, contractor, did the tile and will do the backsplash; Craig Carroll took our vision and made it come to life with the wormy maple cabinets; Mike & Karla Kelly built us the most beautiful solid-surface countertops; Steve Wicks rewired the kitchen so it was not all on one circuit (still don't understand why the hell it was like that....) and put in the new track lighting; Jim Conklin will plumb in the sink and dishwasher, and run the propane line for the gas cooktop; and Eli of Hunters Home Center helped us pick out appliances, and he and his crew will be where later in the week to install them all. All of these people have worked hard to help us realize our dream kitchen, and we thank them all so very much.

Dream those big kitchen remodel dreams, little ones, and someday they might well come true!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Kitchen Journey, Day 24

The island is set, all the cabinets are in, the doors are going on, the countertops are going's been a busy day and evening. And the results are slowly being revealed...

This is gonna be one kick@ss kitchen, little ones!!!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Kitchen Journey, Day 23

The cabinets showed up today, along with the master craftsman cabinet maker and his son....they worked very hard all day and this is the result:

Wait until you see the doors and drawers...these things are outstandingly beautiful!

The countertops will arrive tomorrow. All should be installed by the end of Friday, then we'll have a few "down" days until the finish work and appliance installation can happen. It is my hope that by the 4th of July, we'll have a completed kitchen.

It makes my heart so happy to see this progress happening. Be thankful always, little ones, for the good things, like progress.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

The Kitchen Journey, Day 20

Progress has been ongoing - slow, but ongoing. This week the new track lighting was installed. The electrician didn't much enjoy installing it, but he got it done.

Because of the structural beam and the fact that ceiling and roof are not very far apart in this place, we are limited as to where/how we can put lighting. This track light system will fit our needs well by allowing us to move the 3 short lights along the cables and tilt them to provide countertop lighting, and the longer light on each end is adjustable downward to provide lighting to the other side of the danged structural beam.

Tomorrow the rest of the caulking on the floor will be completed, and the cabinets are scheduled to arrive on Tuesday.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel, little ones, and it just might not be a train. ;)

Sunday, June 14, 2015

The Kitchen Journey, Day 13

The tile is in and grouted. The new kitchen floor looks pretty darned good - our contractor (Andy) did a GREAT job!

The floor will be sealed on Tuesday. I'm hoping to have the electrician back later this week to install the new track lighting. I need to line up the propane company this week as well. Things are moving forward, little ones, and that makes me very happy.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Kitchen Journey, Day 10

The kitchen floor is coming right along. It should all be laid by tomorrow, and grouted on Saturday. Things are ever-so-slowly coming together.

All the old cabinets are gone, and the garage now has room for the new cabinets when they show up. I'm hoping we can get the new track lighting installed next week.

Baby steps, little ones, baby steps....

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Kitchen Journey, Day 9

After three "down" days, things were moving again today. Turns out the wood floor is a tich out of alignment, which meant that first row of tile had to be cut (teeny bits at a time) to fit and keep things straight, thus not a whole lot of progress was made today. When our contractor (Andy) started laying out the tiles, he asked me if I wanted to follow "a pattern" based on the tiles' design. I said "isn't random a pattern? I prefer chaos, please." So, the tiles are being laid in a totally random order.

I think the plan tomorrow and Friday is to get all the tiles laid, then grout things on Saturday. Now, if we can just keep Sprocket off of 'em...he keeps knocking those little spacers out....

Develop a taste for chaos, little ones....

Saturday, June 06, 2015

The Kitchen Journey, Day 5

Today the backer board went down in preparation for the tile.

Andy put down the thin-set and the backer board, and Chuck screwed it down....almost 900 screws. Then Andy did the taping and mudding. And now it's ready for tile come Wednesday.

After Andy left, I spent an hour trying to knock back the layers of fine dust...but that's like backin' water with a pitchfork. ;)

You need to be able to just chill when your life has a little chaos in it, little ones...time for a beer on the deck. ;)

Friday, June 05, 2015

The Kitchen Journey, Day 3

The kitchen has been rewired so that once everything is done, we'll be able to make toast and coffee at the same time without causing the refrigerator to lose power!

One step at a time, little ones, one step at a time.....

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

The Kitchen Journey, Day 1

Today Chuck and Andy (the contractor) spent a long day getting the cabinets out of the kitchen, and removing about two-thirds of the flooring. This is what things look like in the kitchen tonight:

And this is what the garage looks like tonight:

Chuck is pooped, as is Andy I'm sure. Tomorrow the rest of the flooring comes out, then on Thursday the electrician will be here to do some much-needed rewiring. Who in the world puts all the outlets in a kitchen on the same circuit, you ask? Well, that would be the folks who remodeled the kitchen before we bought the place...not the sharpest knives in the drawer, those folks.

Right now, I don't clearly see a light at the end of the tunnel, but I have faith it's there and that it's not an oncoming train. 

Live the journey, little ones, with all it's twists and turns, gutting and rebuilding, etc. Live the journey....

Sunday, May 31, 2015

And So It Begins....

I spent last week clearing out the kitchen cabinets, and today Chuck started removing a few drawers. On Tuesday, our contractor will be here to help Chuck remove all the cabinets and the island, and then the work to update the kitchen will start in earnest.

So, for posterity's sake, here are the "before" shots of what the kitchen looks like right now:

I will post the journey as it unfolds, little ones. 

Friday, March 06, 2015

It's Deja Vu All Over Again

In 2011 we spent a couple of months and a lot of money remodeling the kitchen in our house in Chadron, NE. Then in 2013 we sold that house and moved to our mountain paradise in Alpine, WY. And this summer, we are going to gut the kitchen and remodel....'cuz it was so dang much fun the first time. ;)

While we love our mountain paradise home, we have never been very in love with the kitchen. So we decided to, once again, create our dream kitchen. We will have custom-made wormy maple cabinets, solid surface countertops, a huge island with the sink and dishwasher, a gas cooktop, a convection oven/confection microwave wall unit, and new tile floor, and rewiring (to address the current problem of having 16 outlets on one damn circuit). It's gonna be hell while it's happening, but so damn kickass when it's all done!

Materials we've picked out so far:

Backsplash tile (on right, 3" squares) w/accent tile (on left, 4"x 12" tiles) and countertop pattern (in middle)
Solid surface countertop
Solid surface countertop for bookcase cabinet
Solid surface countertop for island  
Floor tile (13 x 13 squares) with all 3 sold surface countertops

The real work will start with demolition of the current kitchen around the first of June. I'll keep you posted as we's gonna be another challenging, frustrating, messy journey....but boy will the pay off be awesome!

Sometimes, little ones, deja vu is worth the work....

Thursday, January 01, 2015

A New Year, A New Chance...

As we close the book on 2014 (which for one, I am very glad to do), we move forward into 2015 with empty pages waiting to be written. May this coming year bring you joy, challenge, adventure, and love. And may you live each day in gratitude.

Write your stories well, little ones, and fill them with joy, challenge, adventure, love, and gratitude...