Saturday, January 25, 2014

Why I love my kitchen ( part one)

I think the story will explain why I love my kitchen. It was truly everything I wanted do while still living in the same home. We built out home in 1973 and have lived here our whole married life. In 1973 there were not as many choices as today or maybe I just wasn't aware. I had no true idea of what I liked....antiques? No, how about dark pine and new? Ok so people and tastes change. Anyway back to my kitchen...

If you did not see the story on my kitchen remodel you can look HERE. I did a brief story on this and always meant to get back and do a proper post. We renovated the kitchen in 2007. We started the research and development on the project about 2 years before that. We drew a floor plan and quickly realized that I couldn't fit all I wanted into the space we had. My basic u shaped kitchen would always look the same if we didn't make a change in the structure. We took more pictures and couldn't figure the roof lines ourselves. So we called an architect, we met with him, showed him our ideas and told him our stumbling blocks. A few weeks later he came back with plans...they were perfect! He had really listened. He figured a way for me to get my much wanted pantry, my oversized window and more storage. We could bump the wall out, but only a certain amount due to the location of our septic. We could not make it wider without losing porch apace, which would be a step down or the dining area which is the perfect size for us now.
This was the back of the house before. We gave this picture to the architect to show the roof lines. The hot tub and one porch door will go away,(there were four) along with the brick step. Notice my typical small over the kitchen sink window.
 Then came the demo of my old kitchen. We had painted the cabinets Bennington Gray and I loved it so much we decided to use it for the new cabinets. Plain and Fancy would use any Benjamin Moore color. I loved their product so we used them for our new cabinets. Here are the three most important men in my life hard at work. My hubby, my son and my grandson.~ smiles~

Our best helper! He loved the demo part of all this.
                           The brick step  & patio had to be removed. The brought in a giant saw to cut it away from the foundation.
Then in came the machine to lift it all away.
This is the poured 7 x16 addition to my kitchen. We lost one door on our porch, but gained a walk in pantry. My cute grandson loved the adventure of it all. Time flies, he is almost 20 yrs old now.

     When they cut the brick step they also cut a doorway from the basement to the new area which would become a great storage closet later on. The huge hunk of cement went right in the hole for the addition.

The outside is weather tight and you can tell it is getting warmer here. See my five ft. window and it is bumped out so I have a nice deep window sill. 
The contractor was great he kept my dishwasher and sink connected as long as he could. We had most of the kitchen set up on the porch and used the grill a lot. Eating out  or doing take out when you have to gets old fast. Having your kitchen torn apart is no fun. I just had to keep my eye on the prize. We pulled our permit on May 1st 2007 and it was October when we finished. There were bumps and glitches along the way. pssst can you see the small window that will be my pantry :)

 New doors on the back of the porch and shingles on the outside. Let the clean up begin.
Now we can move inside, yes my sink is gone, new plumbing and electrical is all roughed in. The pantry has a door ( a pocket door) and there has been a lot of painting going on.

The appliances are here and we switched over to the new refrigerator. The stove isn't hooked up yet. Waiting for the gas company was the longest wait. My hubby decides that we should do a new heating system and switch to gas also. So more people, more disruptions. Gosh I was so tired of there being workers at my door every morning at 7 AM. I am kinda of a nut...I wanted to be showered, dressed and makeup on when they got here. So we had many early mornings to say the least. 

 I was so nervous the day the cabinets arrived, what if I didn't like them? What if, what if?
 Then came a major glitch. The designer forgot to make a change that we needed to do most of the upper cabinets. Now they took six weeks to get these to us...the custom color makes it a bit longer and they are six weeks out to start with. They can go no further with the installation. (Funny thing is when the right cabinet came it must have been dropped off the truck and guess what it was broken....we needed to order another one. I did cry, honestly.) Vermont Soapstone is scheduled so the installer did get all the bases in so they could come on time. Which by the way if you ever want soapstone they were the BEST people to deal with. The BEST of the whole project. They were on time...polite, kind and just plain wonderful. I love my soapstone. The designer tried to talk me out of it and I stuck to my guns. I wanted soapstone. I spoke to several people who had it and they loved it. I got prices from a couple other places. I have to tell you this company that does only soapstone had the best of the stone! Everyone from the girl on the phone to the installers were the absolute BEST to deal with. The prep sink was too big for the cabinet. It was non returnable too. I called the designer three times and she kept assuring me it was the right size. Guess who was right? ME plain old me. My hubby drove to Vermont and got a sink from Vermont soapstone to fit my bar, So the installers kept working and he got back in time for them to put in the sink the following day. The installers came up with the solution and it worked. Now I have two soapstone sinks. It was like a four hour drive each way. My hubby is the best too. Needless to say if you are considering soapstone check out the website for Vermont Soapstone. I am not being compensated by them. I am just a consumer who loves them!
I think this is a good place to stop. I will be posting pictures of the finished project in my next post. I know this has gotten a bit long so until next time. Stay warm!

Friday, January 17, 2014

A little homemade granola

Homemade Granola

I was catching up on some of my blog reading because it is so darn cold outside and I have flipped from one blog to another, to another and can't remember where I started but I found a nice blog, chock full of great ideas. Next thing I am printing some new recipes and one was for this granola. I have made granola before, but this one is delish. I had everything except the sesame seeds. I substituted ground flax seed.  Oh my it just came out so good. You can find the recipe HERE

Oh my it disappeared so was really good :)

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


It has been below 10 degrees all day and man is it cold. Although I hear it is colder in other parts of the country. It will be a bit better tomorrow.

Ok I hate doing a sad post so I will give an update on my Bitty  cat. He is still not eating, but his heartbeat is getting a bit better, Then the poor sweetie is having trouble going the bathroom, so he has more medicine. The magic is that he is a bit better, so keep praying for him. Thank you for all of the emails with suggestions and kind words. It really means a lot.

Sunday, January 5, 2014


First of all let me Welcome in 2014. We had a quiet evening at home. I made Jambalaya with lots of shrimp and turkey kielbasa. It was yummy with crusty bread and wine on such a cold wintery night.

Since just before Christmas my Bitty, my grey cat had been under the weather. At first I thought he was pouting because I have taken in this black male cat that had been hanging around my compost bin for a year. He was still a kitten when he started appearing last fall in October. He would come and stay and then leave. We bought a kitty house to keep him warm. He didn't like to stay in the house. Well I decided to make an appointment at the vet to get him some shots. We named him Hobo. (I am sure you can guess why) Next thing I know he appears at the door with a pretty new red collar. So I put a note on it and it seems he has been going down the street to a house for about the same time. They said they call him Tooth. Who calls a cat Tooth?  Anyway they want to claim I sadly say OK. I ask  them about the vet and they say they will take thing I know Hobo is here and he seems to be staying. He sleeps in a chair on the patio and never seems to leave. He eats four times a day and still looks oh so thin. Mind you his compost days are long gone. I buy him some yummy wet food. He stays and stays. I get an email from the neighbor down the street asking after the cat. I tell him he has been here. I ask about the vet, oh yeah they never took him. He is so thin.
:( Anyway I wait and I wait. Hobo stays and is coming in more now. I email the neighbors and tell them I will take him to the vet. I am worried. They say ok we will split it. It was never a priority for them. I think if you want the cat you take care of him. I made the appointment.
 Our newest family member "Hobo" He is a big boy and still growing~
This is Hobo and Bitty. They get along just fine. I have really gotten sidetracked. I thought Bitty was jealous. Then Bitty was getting too thin. I mentioned it to the vet and he said well watch him and come back in two months. Well, Hobo got his shots and he was natured. I never called the neighbor to split the vets bill. Funny how things happened. He doesn't leave any more and stays in the house a lot. He even sleeps in the house. I guess he has decided we are his family. Then Bitty is just not getting better, so I called the vet the day after Christmas. He said bring him right down. It seems my Bitty has congestive heart failure. After lots of tests and x-rays. So now he has three types of meds and it has been a week and a half. He responded a bit, but still is not eating. I go back to the vet tomorrow. So say a little prayer for my Bitty. He is just 10 and a half years old and he is my best buddy. He sits on my desk as I type, he follows me in the garden and he sleeps with me at night. He is truly my cat. He loves everyone and is oh so sweet, but he is truly my buddy. My Mom's cat had kittens just before she passed away and Bitty is from her litter. I always feel he was her last gift to me.

Now work has stayed a bit busy through the holidays and I have several first time buyers. In case you don't know it I find homes for people and I sell homes too.  I has been cold and snowy here and I have traipsed through cold wet snow stood in unheated houses....gosh it chills you right to the bones. Thank gosh for warm boots and gloves. I showed houses that are dirty, nasty and just plain stink. Some just need a dumpster parked in the driveway and filled with stuff. I mean can't they even throw the garbage out before I show the house? Is it too much to ask for a light in the basement? A plot plan of the land. There are listing agents who just throw a lock box on the house and give you the combo. What ever happened to going to the home opening it up, turning on the lights? Maybe you could help the Sellers know how to present the house. Beds unmade and just dirty....really, you want to sell your home? What makes anyone want to live there? Dirty dirty, dirty and smokers stale air. YUK. Don't you guys watch HGTV?

Mind you it is not always like this. Some people do a beautiful job. Fresh, clean and appealing. I have had my fair share of beautiful listings. I give advice and I show my listings. Ok, sorry for the rant. I came home made some gingerbread and beef stew. It makes me nest, clean and cook more. I just couldn't live like some people.

I am sorry to be on such a rant today. I am grateful to have my sweet kitty for the past 10 and a half wonderful years and will gladly take what ever time is left and enjoy each moment.

I am grateful that I have a job that can bring such pleasure at times. Seeing that first time Buyer get their first home!! Seeing that joy and knowing that I have helped them or helping someone sell their home for the best price and move on to their next home. Matching someone up to a home that suits them so well. For this I am grateful. I am grateful that I enjoy my own home and love to nest. ~Life is good~