Monday, March 31, 2008

Kitchen Remodel: Almost There

This picture was taken today of our *almost* finished kitchen remodel. So close! You'll probably notice a few things that are different... We have a solid surface counter! We have a sink with running water! We have a working dishwasher in a strategic new location! We have electrical outlets and fixtures installed! We also have an electrified refrigerator, garbage disposal & microwave! The only thing we are missing is the white subway tile back splash which will be done tomorrow. After that, we will move the stove back in and life will return to normal. The grueling drudgery of eating out or cooking on a hotplate in the dining room & washing dishes in the bathroom can stop. Honestly, I have never been so excited to cook and especially eat a home cooked meal in my entire life.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Weekly Roundup: Compounding is not Always Positive

We've got a lot to cover to let's get to it. Rear-ender First off, Tuesday night coming home from Designed Dinners, I was rear-ended on 520 westbound. I had stopped quickly in reaction to a truck that had stopped in front of me and the guy behind me attempted to stop but still hit me at 15-20 mph. Now I know some roller coasters/amusement park rides are probably more dynamically aggressive than that impact. But I was shaking from the shock of it all when I got out of the car to exchange information. The dude who hit me was actually the nicest guy which was such a relief. We had pulled off at the Roanoke exit onto a side street. As we were just about to leave, the cops showed up and were completely worthless. They didn't even write a report but just made sure we exchanged information and got us on our way. But not before scolding me for pulling over on the street as opposed to a nearby dark parking lot which I didn't even know was there. I wanted to say: Um, excuse me, but I didn't know if this guy who hit me was a harmless, nice guy or a psycho killer. So I'm not going to be pulling into an area where I can't be seen, ok? But thanks for all your help, Mr. Policeman. The really spooky thing is that just prior to getting on to 520 I drove by a horrific roll-over accident on 23rd. The way the police had funneled traffic, I went right by the car resting on it's roof with all the windows smashed in. I don't know if that laid any groundwork for what happened to me minutes later but I remember thinking, "wow crazy drivers out tonight". Do you ever notice times like that where no one is driving well and it's sort of a free for all? It's like the moon is full or something. So I am ok though my neck and back are tight, my right leg/hip that were tensed on the brake are sore, my jaw hurts (TMJ whiplash--dad says) and I am having some minor headaches. That night we went to Swedish Ballard, an ER I had not spent any time in yet, and they checked me out and deemed my own bodily injuries consistent with this type of an accident. I saw my naturopathic chiropractor the next day and she will be working up a regimen for me. I was advised to rest (no work) at least for Wednesday & Thursday which I did and now I feel good enough to go to work tomorrow. Our car's rear bumper has been imprinted with the license plate of the guy who hit me--which is kinda funny in an Indiana Jones, Raiders of the Lost Ark sort of way. The car is still completely drivable (obviously). Today, the Geico adjuster said it's about $600-700 worth of damage. But believe me when I tell you how frustrated I am with the timing of this accident. Among all the things going on at home with the remodel, at work and with other "stuff", this is the lamest of timing. Not that it's ever convenient to be in a car accident but you know what I mean. But I have the sweetest family and friends who have been emailing and calling with well wishes and offers of assistance since this happened and I really appreciate it. Thank you everyone. Kitchen Remodel, the continuing saga In remodeling news, we are inching ever closer to the goal of having a functional kitchen again. But the charmed schedule that we have been enjoying hit a wrinkle since next week the counter isn't coming on Monday as expected but instead on Tues or Wed. This throws off the tile install, final plumbing trim out and electrical trim out. Aye. But we're delighted with the progress of this week...The final floor went in: The appliances went in though they are not electrified: And all woodwork should be finalized by tomorrow: Props to my Man Somehow this didn't get posted last week but I wanted to send some love out to my main man Ken, who totally surprised me for my birthday and made/painted a brand new flower box. He had to sneak over to Mike & Georgie's house (our neighbors) and construct this in their garage because I was always around and never left the house for very long. I don't make it easy, Ken says. So as soon as all the cardboard and remodel crap is out of the garage this weekend, I will find my flower seeds and plant them in my new box. I fully intend to take it easy this weekend, maybe see that "Horton Who" movie. Because that's about all I can handle. It's been one hell of a week. (I wanted entitle this blog "Daddy's Gonna Pay for Your Crashed Car" after the U2 song, but that's a little too flip even for me.)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Birthday roadtrip

Taking a much needed break from the kitchen construction, Ken and I journeyed south this past weekend to Vancouver/Portland to see my parents, Austin, Angela, Sue, Bev and Burgerville*.

I had a wonderful time celebrating my birthday with the family. We ate at this cool place in the Fremont district of Portland called Tabla. We did a sampling of dishes family-style and everything was amazing. (Thank you Maria for the recommendation!) As with any time my cousin, brother and I are together, hilarity ensues. And we laugh often, loudly and for no reason. It's great.



Also notable this weekend, I handlily beat Bev in Heck (a highly competative multi-player solitaire game). That never happens so it's noteworthy and going on the blog. I also got to eat at Pig 'n Pancake with Sue this morning though I personally ate neither pig nor pancake whilst there (instead had eggs & an english muffin).

Overall, it was an awesome time.

*Burgerville is "where you go when you know." Because truly when you realize they have the best tasting burgers in all of the PNW, you don't ever go to any other burger places EVER again. And if you don't live near one like we don't, you count the days until you can have another Burgerville experience. I'm not kidding--ask Suzanne. The only other potential rival for best burger in the world might be In-n-Out Burger down in the SW United States but as you can imagine the frequency with which I make it down there for a burger is much less.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Cabinet Progress

Those last cabinet pics were taken the night we returned from my birthday celebration on Tuesday. There has been a little more progress since then but we'll have to wait for the final cabinet stuff to be done later next week. Tomorrow: painting.

Birthday Fire

What could be better than friends, dessert and danger? We celebrated my birthday this year at Waterfront Grill where they have the Emerald City Volcanoes aka Baked Alaska. It was in England of all places that I first learned of the concept of ice cream surrounded by meringue then baked in a hot oven. How novel and amazing. Well in more upscale restaurants here you can find folks who make it by dousing the meringue in alcohol and lighting it on fire. It's fantastic. Dessert and a show.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Show Me Some Real Progress

Yeah, those last pictures aren't what you came see, right? Yesterday the cabinets started going in! The installer is back again today to finish the job. We are so thrilled with the quality of the cabinets and how they look/operate. One tries to do one's best when you pick them out but if they are not exactly what is in the showroom, there is still a little margin for error. But we are so pleased. The cabinets do look a little more orange in the pictures then they do in real life (just in case you were wondering.) I will post pics and talk more about the lovely birthday celebration we had last night a little later when I myself have recovered. I'm dragging this morning but it was worth it.

Pictures I meant to post in the last blog

Here is a hole that goes through the kitchen down to the laundry room. Delightful. Per our cabinet installers we had to reroute our kitchen pipes into the wall so the cabinet would sit flush against the wall. Ken is very proud of the fact that he replaced the sash cord in this old window. I would have just assumed replace it but Ken reminds me of the "charm" and that we are putting one less thing in a landfill. Oh, alright. Here is the gorgeous plastering job on the ceiling. (To be painted this Friday with the rest of the walls.)

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Big Week Ahead

This coming week we are looking forward to the greatest amount of progress in the on-going saga of Kitchen Remodel 2008.

I have confirmed that we will be receiving cabinets tomorrow--a day earlier than promised. Can you believe it? Bright and early too (7:30am) so Ken has already made a temporary space to store them in the garage. The floor will also be going in which is a welcome relief to the dirty slats we find ourselves with now.

But the cabinets will spend little over 24 hours in the garage because on Tuesday & Wednesday the cabinet installers will work their magic. We will begin to see our new kitchen take shape! On Thursday the Caesarstone counter template is made. Lots of measurements are taken for an exact fit on top of the installed cabinets and to fit our overmount sink. Once that is done we have to wait 2 weeks or so for the Quartz composite slabs to be ready and installed.

Friday we're going to try painting--again. What happened was that the plaster guy came in at the beginning of last week and did a fabulous job on the ceiling but didn't quite get all the wall areas we needed. When the painters came in mid-week, the plaster was also not dry so they happily patched the areas we needed and pushed out the actual painting to this week. Our walls will soon be Miller Paint's Kettlecorn yellow (#0874).

(Blogger is having a problem and won't let me upload pics today.) You're just going to have to imagine all the pieces of plaster, old nails, bits of wood, dust and general rubble have accumulated along the walls and between board slats in the kitchen. I am so grateful the floor guy is coming with a shop vac tomorrow. Oliver seems to love tracking dirt/dust into other parts of the house. He's so helpful that way. You'd think a cat would be fastidious about being clean but no.

In other news, we just finished watching the first season of Heroes on Netflix. It really is as good as people say it is. And it's been a nice distraction while my normal shows have been side-lined by the strike. I guess we better queue up Heroes Season 2 now.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Weekend Progress

It's the second weekend of the Moore/Sakai 2008 Kitchen Remodel and might I say the current state of limitation, dust and clutter is just beginning to get a bit trying. Sometimes I just want to use an oven and a few burners at one time and not have to wash the dishes in the bathtub. But it'll be over soon and worth it, I know... Progress? Yes, we have some of that. Over the weekend our floor guy removed not only the very ugly yellowed vinyl tiles but also the next layer, leaving us with just the sub floor. We don't get a new floor until the week of March 10th which is okay because in this coming week we are looking forward to plaster wall repair and painting. But now you dare not walk through the kitchen to the downstairs or vice versa without shoes. Since we are general contracting this project ourselves, the schedule is squarely our responsibility. What is interesting in a 12-15 step remodel like this is (a) how pivotal the order of the vendors is and (b) some of the tidbits of detailed knowledge that come to light at the last minute which save us from making major mistakes. Such as needing an electrical inspection so we don't have to back track and rip stuff out. Or having the electrician follow the plumber in the final installs so that the disposal & dishwasher can be tested once they are hooked up to power. Or that replacing the floor means not just the vinyl tiles but the 1" layer of wood it's attached to. My greatest fear is that possibly, perhaps, maybe in the week of the 10th, the cabinets will not be delivered when they've been promised. The manufacturer and distributor have said nothing of the sort but almost everyone we've talked to bemoans the cruelty of not getting cabinets when they were promised. And we've based the timing of all the other vendors upon this delivery date. So we are thinking really positive thoughts right now that all will be well.
"Seriously, what is all this noise and mess about?"
"I got your snips right here..." Ken shows his HVAC handwork by sealing off a heat vent which will soon be blocked by cabinets.
The kitchen now minus the floor.