Saturday, March 22, 2014

Kitchen Progress: Drawers

I woke up this morning dreaming in Spanish.

I don't speak Spanish.  Or, at least, I didn't think I did.  But now, I'm not so sure.

Unpacking boxes is lot easier when you have a place to put things (duh).  So this week was all about getting the drawers finished and reinstalled in my kitchen.  I did some light sanding, and added a coat of primer and a few coats of Behr's Alkyd Semi-Gloss Enamel in "Espresso Bean," (which took about 12 episodes of Law & Order: SVU and several days of drying time in between).

Cabinets before we bought the house.

Once the paint was no longer tacky, I lined the drawers with some adorable contact paper I found at Target, and installed the new, brushed nickle cup pulls I bought from Home Depot.  Oddly enough, the holes in one of the drawers were too close together by just a couple millimeters, and no matter what I did, I couldn't get the handle screwed on.

I haven't the foggiest clue how the previous owner installed the old handles.  Some kind of black magic, I'm sure.

So, I had to bust out the drill and shave off just a little at a time to widen the holes enough (without going overboard and making them too wide and loose).  In the process, I split some of the wood on the inside and broke the only drill bit we had to our name.


Luckily, Home Depot sells a small set of probably-crappy-but-functional bits for only a few dollars.  Which was a relief, because drill bits are apparently an investment.  Most of the other sets I saw were $25-50 bucks.  Talk about sticker shock!  I guess that shows what I know.

Now we're talking.

A little touch-up paint over the splintered area inside the drawer (shh!  No one has to know!) fixed that problem well enough, and now I have literally more drawer space than I know what to do with.  Granted, there are still about 476 boxes left to unpack, so I'm sure I'll find something to fill them.  Probably things like my little 2-cup food processor would fit nicely in one of the deeper drawers.  (How I ever functioned in that little apartment kitchen, I'll never know!)

Contact paper is the wrapping paper of the kitchen.

Next step: putting the doors on the cabinets.  Mostly because I don't think anyone needs to see under my sink every time they walk into my kitchen, but also because I recently discovered that one of my cats has taken a liking to sleeping in my pots and pans.

Don't even try to play innocent...
Yeah, that's gotta stop.


Thursday, March 6, 2014

Day 11: And I Still Don't Miss My Dishwasher...

Everyone knows the best way to keep readers interested in your blog is only to post once a month, right?

Since my last couple updates, the missing plumbing was replaced, and with the addition of that modern convenience came an influx of activity.  The past 4+ weeks has been more doing, less reflecting, as you can imagine; and as the last of the boxes begin to disappear and things settle into a routine, I'll be able to sit back and reminisce with you about the process.  And I look forward to that!

Temporary home

Right now, I'm writing from the temporary location we've chosen for our computer in the living room, and listening to a songbird warble a gentle promise of Spring in the morning sun just outside my window.  With the help of a team of friends and family (and one huge-ass truck - thank you, Tim), we moved last Sunday (11 days ago) and have been sleeping here ever since.  We gathered the last of our things a week ago today, and forfeited our keys to the apartment on the 28th.  We officially occupy our house as our primary and only residence.

Pretty little warbler

I would just like to take a moment to recognize that, not only was I fighting a cold/flu the day of our big move, but I had also taken my Krav Maga level 1 test the day before.  If you've never heard of this infamous test, it's essentially several hours of a high-cardio, technically precise workout where you basically prove that, even stressed and fatigued, you can kill anyone who tries to choke you from any angle.  It is intense, exhausting, a little painful... and everyone should do it once.

And I did mine with a cold, and then moved the following day.  Yes, I am Wonder Woman.

My "Wonder Woman" Look

But I digress...

I'm here to talk about our dishwasher.

Oh, tiny dishwasher... what shall we call you?

Yes, this guy.  The tiniest dishwasher in the world.  I feel like he needs a pet name (and not a particularly flattering one).

My new toy

I've used it exactly twice since we moved in.  It just somehow seems easier to wash everything by hand.  I bought myself a small dish drainer (on clearance at Target, thank-you-very-much) that tucks away nicely under the sink when not in use, and I place an old dishtowel under it to catch drips.  Fill the sink with hot water and a bit of dish soap, soak the dishes while I check my email, and come back at them with a sponge.  Let them dry, then put them (and the drainer) away.  It feels so novel to do it in my amazing kitchen that I love so much (more on that in the future) that I actually enjoy it more than loading up the machine.  I often have more than one drainer-full of dishes, so it requires coming back at it several times a day and refreshing the hot water a bit... and I don't care.  I can't explain it, and it probably won't last, but I look forward to this little chore every day.

Meanwhile, somewhere in Ohio, my Dad just stroked out a little and doesn't know why.  If only he knew "Today Me" half my life ago...

Somehow, it seems more manageable than the puzzle that is dishwasher-loading.  I mean, don't get me wrong: I love puzzles.  Sudoku is totally my drug.  But, when that puzzle results in some dishes being disappointingly unclean and needing to be hand washed anyway; or worse yet, with coffee grounds all over everything because I didn't rinse the Mill & Brew grinder-basket well enough... it's sucks the joy right out of it.

So for now, I'm addicted.

(Hi, my name is Lauren, and I wash my dishes by hand.

-Hi, Lauren!)

Which is probably good, because when it's time to replace that machine, I don't know what we're gonna do.  A larger one is the only answer that makes any sense, but that means losing valuable drawer space, unless we can figure out how to rearrange the lower cabinets somehow that makes it less noticeable....  Another dishwasher-related puzzle I'm dreading.

I'm off to drown my sorrows in dishwater.