Kitch Update Jul 27, 2005

Bloged in kitchen remodel by mark Tuesday July 26, 2005

Hamlet Update July 27, 2005 – Kitchen NOT done

My oh my, July will end without having a finished kitchen. But we DO love the kitchen island now:

It doesn’t look it, but it’s about 5 feet long.

We lost one week in our schedule just because we realized the color of floor tile we’d picked out was not a good match for the kitchen. That issue discovered at the dedicated persistence of Mr. Rodger and the frustration of Mr. Mark because Rodger wanted to buy one case of the tiles to make “sure” the color matched and Mark was the one who had to “procure” them. Procuring them turned out to be a real hassle.

Do NOT go to Trinity Carpets here in Portland. They have NO business savvy about getting anything done. Our first clue should have been that one must have an “appointment” to meet with a salesperson. Oh well, anyway, they agreed to fax in one order of the selected “s-Tile AvantGard Coco” 18 x 18 floor tiles to the distributor, Cronin Company out on Swan Island. This was 2:30 pm, and I said it will take me 30 minutes to get there, Mr. Trinity Salesman, do you think your fax will be done by then? “Oh sure, and they probably close up about 4:30 so you’d better get going.” Preparing for a simple pick-up, I took the dog along even though the temp was about 85. Well, of course, the wholesaler Cronin had nothing for me when I got there and wouldn’t have had I not made several calls back to Trinity finally reaching a sales manager who actually took the issue on and processed the order. I had to then ask “s-Tile” contact Judy to please get the order immediately to Cronin……. She did. Although they close at 5:00 PM, and I’d watched the warehouse staff stream out, at 5:04 here comes out one last worker with a case of tile calling my name. Whew! Oh, by the way, this also meant I had to keep the dog cool for the 2 hours we were out. Luckily the dredged Willamette Slough (for unloading ships) was close and he had to swim in some murky water followed by a rinse at home.

Well the point of that story was that upon arriving home, Rodger was there and I put the tiles on the floor. He immediately pronounced they’re too brown. After my afternoon, I wasn’t ready to hear that…………..but begrudgingly, had to admit, they weren’t right. Well, the next day, Trinity wouldn’t take them back so we’re stuck with 5 tiles. So. We spent last weekend researching about every Tile wholesaler here, and there ARE a few in this Clay soaked country. We brought samples home from four places plus borrowed samples from neighbor-designer Lisa and spent an evening staring at the floor. Good thing no one got “stoned”, perhaps we would never have made a decision. I SWEAR, just a couple more tile samples and we could have finished the whole floor.

The GOOD thing is Dave & Deborah, both so very tuned into style and color both agreed strongly on the AvantGard Tile, but a different color, “VERT” . . . . a dark tile. So, today, not one hour ago, all of the supplies are now ordered from Color Tile and we will pick it all up Thursday morning at Cronin Company. Dave will loan us his wet saw and big level, then we must pick up screws, tape, etc………..and BEGIN.

Once again, a “to-do” list is growing: Hayes Cabinets will hopefully come in before we get the floor down to spend an entire day finishing up work and hopefully, stabilizing the island a little more. We must get everything out of the dining room, move the fridge and dishwasher, pick up supplies.

We’ll begin by laying down mortarboard onto a layer of thin-set mortar that’s been troweled out onto the woodern subfloor. We then fill in cracks, tape, and ensure it’s all level. Later in the weekend then, we can begin to tile. Hope we things level and centered.

Does the dog care? This dog Mac has discovered what a sprinkler can do for him. He has NO power to help himself when faced with water coming out of a metal object, but I admit, he looks like he’s having fun:

I mean lots-o-fun:

he goes back and back and back to that water….. I’m afraid we’ll have to tie him up once serious irrigation begins later this week.

Matter of fact, today and tomorrow temps will reach 90 and the land is seriously drying out. The new lettuce coming up is requiring a sprinkle about 3 times a day and the rest of the garden every two days at least until Friday. BUT………we’re sure enjoying the lettuce. Nothing like a salad with lettuce just clipped out of the garden:

And even though the garden isn’t even entirely planted this year because of the kitchen work, some nice pics are coming out of there. We had a great sunset one night and Rodger tried to capture all the colors. Not sure a small size pic will show you the colors, but a bug just happened to be flying in front of the flash:

But one thing we DO have growing, CORN is doing well. Here’s another sunset shot. The corn is now about 5 feet tall and should top out about 8 feet (Variety: Golden Jubilee):

The Catalpa tree produces a tree full of orchid like fragrant blooms every year:

On the down side, we can now show what our former forested 3 acres adjoining the one side of the house now looks like thanks to Mr. Ed:

Pretty desolate for a Portland location, eh? As I write this, I hear Ed out in that field with a running chain saw. I have NO idea what’s let for this guy to cut.

Hey! I almost forgot to mention…………. We actually bought groceries and ran the cook-top and oven through a little test. Rodger made a Chicken Pot Pie. It is delicious and interesting. It has less than two teaspoons of our dried thyme and that is a pleasant addition. The Pie Crust cooked well in our oven. Rodger also made Potatoes Au Gratin and I must say, I claim they’re the best I’ve ever eaten but he doesn’t agree. Mark made some Pork Chops and when half-way through the recipe realized this was supposed to be a layered oven creation with potatoes in the middle. So, he modified the thing and ended up with some delicious pork chops that had some browned onion-garlic sauce on top. THE OVEN cooked things beautifully.

We treated ourselves by baking a raspberry dish inside Phyllo dough (we bought this at Trader Joe’s) and once again, the oven produced beautiful, crisp, dough …..once we turned on the convection fan that last 3 minutes, you could watch the crust brown.

Oh well. That’s it, dear diary……………. Will we succeed on Flooring?

countertops et al

Bloged in kitchen remodel by mark Wednesday July 13, 2005

Hamlet Update JULY 13 2005

Summary:

Last update: June 23 – - Day of Cabinet Installations

Unbelievably that’s been two and a half weeks…………….how could that be? Yes, I suppose we have had MORE extra time somewhere in the last two weeks than the two months prior to that. We DID seem to nail a little time in to catch up one or two things needing work in the yard (and not even close to getting to all that needs to be done), and Rodger spent an entire day in the hot cramped attic getting the hood installed. We now have 7 mole traps set in the yard as neighbor Ed continues to drive equipment over his little property to loosen up old wood that drives the animals toward us. We’ve caught 11 in the last four weeks, all on that side.

We began to plan the rest of the kitchen lighting and have just scratched the surface of what kind of flooring we need to be thinking about.

Mark’s cousin Nancy and her sister Sandy visited for a while this past week. Sandy is here helping as much as she can. Warden continues radiation and chemo for the brain tumor and at this stage, it’s causing him lots of fatigue, brain swelling, memory losses, etc. This is not an easy path. However, despite that, Nancy mustered energy to prepare a fresh blackberry pie and bring up here to bake in the new oven. What a Fantastic treat that was. Sandy is here from Utah for one week, and it’s always great to see her. She is more in touch with the old home town of Vale than I ever have been, so that’s always fun to get some news. We discussed our “families” for a while, ate pie, watched birds, and I think all had a great three hours.

We DID take off this past w/e however. Competely away from the realm of this kitchen project and it was so much of a treat, I felt like I was a child “getting away with something” and kept thinking I was going to get caught. Just last Friday night, we took in a little play at the local Artist Rep Theater called, “Take Me Out” on the recommendation of the Smiths. What a fantastic story. Depending on whom you ask, it’s a story about the Love of Baseball, no, it’s about man’s inability to communicate, no, it’s about “Coming out and growing up”, NO, it’s just about how silly MEN are in general……………… or ………. Maybe it’s a bit of all of those subjects. This had some fun stuff, live lockeroom shower scenes, man-to-man talks that really don’t communicate clearly, and other subjects that were simply touching.

Then, the next morning, we took off for a trip to Eugene, or “Veneta, Oregon” actually. Veneta’s about 15 miles west of Eugene and is the site of the annual “Oregon Country Fair”. It somehow resembles a renaissance fair except taking place in the sixties, is on 300 hundred acres of land (200 acres are parking) and is no doubt Oregon’s largest hippy-craft fair, and matches anything of its kind anywhere. There are many many stages with performances going on, meditation or massage booths, food booths, and the entire thing just meanders through woods and forests. It IS on a wetland. In the winter, the ground is underwater……….and by July has just barely dried out.
We’ll probably go again and next time we will plan on an hour or two of just sitting to watch the passing parade of every kind of imaginable human reality pass by.

We joked that this was our first weekend ever of seeing naked people every day: 1) At the play Friday night, 2) plenty at the Country Fair—many painted up, 3) a trip Sunday to Sauvie Island for the dog to swim meant seeing one naked person way up the beach despite cloudy cool weather.

We came back to prepare for the countertops and today was the day. Oddly, even at this late stage, every chore completed creates an entirely NEW “to-do” list. This week of course, once the granite was done, we can now finish the lighting work, paint touch-up, plumbing, oven and cooktop, and floor. The place is torn up again, but will quickly come together as we begin tomorrow to hook up the oven again, cooktop for the first time, and now, at least, a true dream come true, a plumber is coming up Thursday afternoon. Of everything missed, I almost have to give the prize to running water IN the kitchen.

The plumber we didn’t use just had a remodel error from Home Depot. Seems there’s quite a few of those kind of “horror” stories about Home Depot even though there are plenty of good ones as well. He and his wife ordered almost $30,000 worth of cabinets to be made by Thomasville from the line they sell at Home Depot. ALL of these cabinets came Wednesday morning, and as they opened every box they saw that every inspection went well except for one thing. Whoever set up all the box making, scanned in the wrong stain color. Home Depot is coming back next week just to pick them up, and will have to re-order every piece. The family now waits another 3-4 weeks for their cabinets.

Our granite installation exposed a planning flaw of ours that’s not disasterous but is consequential. We have only a little over 16 inches distance from the countertop to the under-cabinet trim pieces. The standard distance should be 18. That means our Stand Mixer cannot sit up on the counter as planned. So we made a mistake! The crew arrived just after 10:00 am:

The countertop work is beautiful in some spots, and a little tiny tiny bit rough on just a few of the seams so I figure the job in total was very good. We’re VERY glad we went to help plan how the slabs would be cut. The flow of the granite colors and shapes looks terrific. Hurray!

We’re still waiting for summer here. We haven’t had a 90 degree day yet, rain showers still hit us every few days so we have yet to pull out a sprinkler for the lawn and it’s the middle of July. Even though there are three reddish tomatoes out in the garden they are from blooms that were on the plant when we bought them at the sale in May. Maybe this will be one of the legendary Portland “Green Tomato Summers” we’ve heard about but not seen. This is the first month this year our furnace hasn’t run in the morning. An adventure awaits.

Oh well. Maybe we’ll start to have something interesting happen when the kitchen gets done in a couple weeks. We’re almost afraid to have a house-party for the room aftraid there will be high expectations because of the new cooking appliances……it was so much easier to just think of making a meatloaf and canned veggies, eh?

Mark & Rodger.

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