Thursday, January 29, 2009

Mom's Orchid Parties

From Jan. 2009 Product Reviews and Recipes

A funny thing usually happens in February at my mom's house. She and Dave have gatherings to celebrate their orchids. Well, more precisely, they celebrate the blooming of the orchids. Which is not to say that there aren't orchids blooming all year 'round (because they do, especially in my parents' greenhouse as you've seen before), but this is a very special time of year when the plants go bananas.

From Jan. 2009 Product Reviews and Recipes

This year, Mom and Dave scheduled two parties, on successive Sundays, this month rather than in February because the plants were just doing their thing a bit earlier than usual. They also did something very different last Sunday when I attended. They had live music supplied by Mom's oldest friend (since kindergarten) and her friend who played the violin.

From Jan. 2009 Product Reviews and Recipes

It was marvelous. Those folks played beautifully. You'd hardly guess they were amateurs.

From Jan. 2009 Product Reviews and Recipes

So, between the gorgeous, colorful orchids; the lovely live music; the delicious food (I brought my baba ganoush); and the great company, a fine time was had by all.

From Jan. 2009 Product Reviews and Recipes

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Just In Time

From Jan. 2009 Product Reviews and Recipes

Just in time for school today, the wall is finished. All the painting is done, and my kitchen is nearly finished (still waiting for the floor and new fridge, but it may be several months before that happens). Best of all, I repainted the kitchen, and Ken and I repainted the dining room with Benjamin Moore's Dorset Gold. It is a HUGE improvement on the previous "fleshy" color, as Ken put it. (Whose flesh, I just don't know, but he had someone in mind when he said it.)

From Jan. 2009 Product Reviews and Recipes

It's just so nice not to have to duck under plastic sheeting (read: dropcloths) or mince my way around the downstairs because everything that had been in the dining room and kitchen was put into the livingroom for ease of work. The biggest relief is that I won't have all this hanging over me while I go to school.

The only trivial bits left are to put clearcoats on the Acadia White trim paint in the plant window and on the top of the half wall (seen in the top photo).

From Jan. 2009 Product Reviews and Recipes

The surprise bonus came when after all the paint had dried, we noticed how nicely the gold in the lamps pops, echoing the Dorset Gold on the walls. The biggest lesson of all this is not to be afraid of vibrant colors. Try something new!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Hole in the Wall

From Before and After Photos of the Kitchen

That's the hole that has been in our half wall between the dining room and kitchen for a few weeks since Mark the Plumber (seen in the photo above) had to change the plumbing in order to make our garbage disposal up to code. We had the final inspection last week and have been in a whirlwind of re-building/spackling/sanding and painting ever since.

From Jan. 2009 Product Reviews and Recipes

Ken's been here drywalling, spackling, and sanding for days, and will probably continue for a few more to get everything just perfect. In the meantime, I've been prepping, spackling, and sanding the kitchen to paint it. This morning, I peeled off the blue masking tape and found that there was a little touch up to be done. All in all, it looks good. I'll be taking more photos soon, but there's so much stuff stacked up everywhere from the dining room that I need to deal with that first. I don't even want to tell you how my home office looks.

I've been really pushing everything because I start school in a week and won't have time to deal with all this once school starts. So, the office is next on the list.

Stay tuned for the new photos!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

What's in Your Drawers?

From Jan. 2009 Product Reviews and Recipes

Yep, we're still putting things away from when we emptied out the kitchen for the renovation. We're in the home stretch, though, as you can see from the newly sorted giant drawer above.

This drawer, by the way, is the one above the pullout drawer cabinet where we stored the pots and pans. John and I had been looking for weeks for either dividers or some kind of utensil holders that would make sense in such a wide drawer. While we were out in Utah visiting my in-laws, I stopped into a Bed Bath and Beyond store to see if it would have anything. It did.

If you look closely at the photo, you can see the acrylic utensil holders I found. They're in a few shapes and sizes, but this worked the best way for us. Another drawer holds more of the green knives and all of our myriad tongs. The spatulas, wooden spoons, and large utensils are still in plain sight in a Polish pottery container.

It's nice to be organized again. For a while, I just didn't feel like I could find anything. In a world where life is increasingly difficult for many people, I'm grateful for my little problems.