This Moment

I’ve been stewing on what to post. I feel like my dear readers expect a certain amount of bitching and moaning from me. I mean why read this if you can’t look at your own life and say, “Well, at least that’s not my life!” and maybe feel better about your lot.

OK, yep, that was your snark.

As for me, I’m at peace in this moment.

Do I expect it will last?


So I’m enjoying it while it’s here.

Yesterday I emptied the last box, washed the last glass, painted the last of the construction dings, and declared my kitchen complete.

Well, except for the ways it isn’t.

My garage is back to being a garage and not a storage unit. The last of the trash got taken away this morning. I do have a donation box that is being filled, but that’s a constant around here.

I’ve even been cooking. A lot. Like a 15-pound turkey’s worth. Tomorrow I’m using the last bit to make pot pies. I picked up a tube of biscuits to make some pot pie cupcakes. Don’t make that face, they are the bomb! And you can eat them in the car! Yes, a tube of biscuits, I’m a Northern gal, I don’t normally do biscuits.

I’m including the address because I know secretly you’re curious:

I had lunch with Dominique today. I think I told you we’re doing a Mexican restaurant tour of town. Every month we pick a different place to try and I keep notes on how we liked it. Today’s was her favorite so far.

Yesterday while I was weeding, I saw this:

It’s my first nasturtium! The greens are looking pretty rough, but maybe it will best the elements and cover the whole bed!

Yeah, right. It’s probably only blooming because the hibiscus in front of it is finally providing some shade.

My newly moved petunias are getting some legs under them, so that’s hopeful. Potted tomatoes are still holding their own, and some catnip got harvested and dehydrated this week. It’s not much, comparatively speaking, but it’s what we’ve got. The only thing really thriving here is my rosemary.

Tomorrow is June. I think I need to get a handle on my trip north. I’ve been looking for places to stop on the route and I’m coming up blank. We may just drive the 2 days, stop for a friend visit, drive again and stay with the Kraken for a few days, move to another visit spot, and then blow town. I want to stop at Oakes Daylilies on the way home and maybe get a few unusual ones for the yard. Maybe stop again in Alabama before going home. So far, that’s all I have planned. I need to get logistics nailed down before too long.

And I need to find a pet sitter. Ugh.

In knitting news, I’m still plugging away at my purple shawl. It’s SO boring though. I have halted the tumbling blocks blanket in favor of this blanket:

So far it’s going well. It’s a cool knit, not too hard, but interesting. I’m using a wool/silk blend that was supposed to be a sweater.

Finally, here’s your dose of cute for today:

Memorial Day

I hope everyone is having a good first weekend of summer!

The weather so far has been glorious here. Warm, not humid, sunny, and beautiful.

Yesterday Brandon was here early to finish the kitchen. That’s right, the kitchen is officially finished!

Just in time, too, because this morning was time to take my turkey out of the brine.

Yep, while you were having a cookout, we were making a turkey dinner!

While Brandon was busy in the kitchen, we were busy in the backyard.

We extended the moat, and planted some stolen Mexican petunias.

OK, yeah, it’s not overly dramatic, but it’s a small amount of progress. I also think I’m gonna leave my pelican/duck here for a while to see if he likes the view.

I put a couple petunias over here, too:

They look pretty unhappy at present, but I’m hopeful they will soon perk up and start growing.

In the kitchen, the last cabinet went up:

Not sure what I’m gonna put in it yet, but I’m sure something will end up in there.

Here’s the whole thing complete with turkey stock boiling in the pot:

I will admit, I am having warm feelings about the place today.

It’s a memorial day miracle, I don’t hate this house today!

We went to the beach after dinner:

Clear blue sky, calm waters, we even saw a skate.

Not sure what makes these weird chimneys:

I think we probably don’t want to know, either!

A beautiful day at the beach is always welcome!

I made a boo-boo on my purple shawl, so I took it all out and restarted it last night. I’m about 45 rows in again. Hopefully, I’ll have better luck this go round.

I’m starting to see the tumbling blocks:

Well, I was. I’m not seeing them in this picture. I’m wondering if this particular yarn (which was once a failed sweater) is too dark. But whatever. My head got turned and I started another blanket out of another failed sweater!

I hope in the middle of the BBQs and celebrating the opening of summer season, you are taking time this weekend to reflect.

RIP Tina

Auntie just told me Tina Turner passed. What a loss for the world, she was an amazing performer. I know we still have all her stuff, but it’s just sad when a powerhouse is no longer in this life. Maybe I’ll get to meet her in the next.

The days here have been rainy and unsettled. Which has been pretty perfect for reloading the kitchen as there is nothing to steal my attention.

I unpacked the last kitchen box this morning. Well, except for a hoard of wine glasses that need to be washed and put on top of a cabinet that has yet to be installed. No rush on that one!

Rainy day:

My cooking is not going over well with the Hubs. I think he would prefer I stay with the usual fare of beef, pork, normal chicken. I made the Thai peanut noodles last night and really liked them. I will make them spicier next time as I know the Hubs will not be partaking. Tonight I am giving him a break and not cooking.

I took the suggestion LDSVenus put forth and made some Paint pictures of the mailbox in black, white, and the current color to see which one I liked best. I added some robust purple flowers and decided the current color wins. It looked the best and 3 days into it, I’m not unhappy with it. I still need to do touchups, and now that it’s rained, the box should be clean-ish. I can evaluate if it needs painting as well. Now all that has to happen is plant survival!

I’ve been making slow progress on my new blanket:

I’m not seeing it yet, but it’s a tumbling blocks pattern. It’s fairly easy to follow the pattern and watch TV, but I have had to undo chunks here and there. All the markers help me not get too off course.

This afternoon 3 seconds after I sat down this happened:

This is Mayhem smooshed against me while I try to knit. He doesn’t seem to mind being elbowed, though.

I was working on this shawl:

I bought one skein of a hand painted sock yarn ages ago and have been looking at it and wondering how to do it justice. It’s from Done Roving Yarns, their Frolicking Feet line. The yarn feels really wonderful while working it, but I’m a little disappointed in the way it’s looking. I don’t know what I was expecting, but it wasn’t this. I still find it pretty, but I don’t love the way the colors are coming out. It’s also really dark (which is why I loved it on the hank) so it’s hard to work at night.

But that’s OK, Mayhem and I smoosh up close in the afternoons and do a few rows!

Yesterday I started hanging my tiles in the kitchen:

The Kraken brought this and another one back from Portugal. I’ve been waiting to hang them forever. I put up my other tiles around the window. The kitchen is now looking more lived in and less sterile. It’s good to have the normal chaos happening on my walls again!

About a Box

Over the weekend Brandon returned and did some trim work. There is still more to go, and the last cabinet needs to go up, but essentially the kitchen is looking and acting like a kitchen.

Tonight I made lemon dill chicken thighs (with fresh dill from my garden), I spread all the way out and used my kitchen counters. I made a mess. I used all the dishes. It was glorious! And I thought they were the bees knees. The Hubs tolerated them. But that’s OK, because now I have something for lunch tomorrow.

Tomorrow night I’m making peanut butter noodles.

I’m trying to cook more. I am thinking about going to the fish market and picking up something wonderful. I rarely do seafood because the Hubs is not a fan, but he’s just as happy with a PB&J, so maybe I need to cook something I want on those nights.


While Brandon was slaving away in the kitchen, we were outside doing yard work. When that was done, I started the mailbox project.

We had this post, with tape like nerd glasses:

I think the post was broken and it’s been taped together. It’s been holding, but it looks like, well, you can see what it looks like.

So my head was thinking, “What can I do to make this better?”

And I came up with using blocks because then I would not have to dig up the post and replant one and use cement.

When we told Brandon about it, he said, “Did you run out of small tires?”

Which made me doubt my vision.

But we did it anyway.

Last week I painted the blocks to match the front door. I dug up the area and collected all the supplies, including the Hubs, who was not on board with this project.

He manhandled the mailbox apart and did most of the heavy lifting. When he was done, we mixed in some compost and made a little garden with the Mexican petunias.

And it looks like this:

I need it to rain to wash off the box, and yes, I am kicking myself that I didn’t paint it while it was all apart. But I still can if I need to.

I have mixed feelings about this because it is low class. It’s sturdy, so that’s an improvement. Once the flowers grow it’ll look better. I wanted something unique and this is it. But I also wanted something pretty and I don’t think it’s there yet.

The best part of it was we got to meet the new neighbor. She wandered over while we were working and started talking to us. She revealed that she was was from Washington and they don’t know yet if they are staying. She complimented my flowers and said she needs to pick my brain on gardening.

I wanted to laugh! If she only knew how many losses we’ve had over here she might change her mind. On the other hand, her pool is green, so she may need lots of help!

We did get the impression she was thinking, “Good heavens, I moved in next to the rednecks!” And we were thinking, “Gah, I hope she’s not a progressive liberal.”

Time will tell.

Today I dropped off my 3 blankets. The woman at the desk seemed pleased to get them. But I’m always plagued with doubt about whether or not they are just being kind.

I started a new one last night. It’s supposed to be for me, but I’m only half committed to it. I’ll show you when it looks like something.

I had this bright idea to make the Kraken a cookbook. I told her about it this afternoon and she got quiet. I plunged on and asked what recipes she might like. She says, “You already made me one.” and proceeded to tell me all about the cookbook I made her a few years ago. Because she is kind, she told me I can print some new recipes to add to her book.

I might be losing my mind. Or, I might be a 1-trick pony. Well, 2-tricks, I make her blankets, too.

Tomorrow the Hubs is going to work so I am going to bring in the last 2 boxes of kitchen stuff from the garage. I am having a hard time filling all the drawers. I don’t know if I am stuffing too much into each drawer, or I genuinely have more room than I need.

Singing Angels

I have a kitchen!

A real, functioning, not gross, actual kitchen!

Last night I made dinner, and noticed I was crowding all the prep in a tiny area despite having all the counter space this kitchen can offer! I think it will take a while for me to get over the camp kitchen.

We’ve likened it to being emotionally battered. You get, it gets taken away, you get, it gets taken away.

But it’s here. To stay. I can hardly believe it.

Yesterday morning Walter came over and hooked up the sink and the disposal. After he left I was going all over the house trying to find more things to wash! The neighbor came over to see the place. I think it’s the first time she’s been in here since we moved in. She was blown away by the change. That felt nice.

Here is the faucet:

Full disclosure, I am having trouble remembering where the hot is. I assumed the wheel would pull out, hot would spin back and cold spin front. The wheel actually tilts, and you roll backward for hot which makes the wheel tilt forward, which I keep thinking is cold.

Turns out, the struggle IS real.

I have some first impressions of my new sink. It’s a “workstation” sink, I wanted it for the strainer basket and the roll-out rack you see part of above. I have not yet used the basket, but I have used the rack. It works well for a few dishes, but it has no tilt to it, so water sits in any recess of the clean dish. Not a deal breaker, but something to note. It also came with a cutting board I don’t think I will use at all. It’s wooden and except for slicing bread, I use plastic boards. Plus, it sits below the counter height and I think that would be odd cutting.

So to recap, this is where we started many moons ago:

The train stopped here for a beat:

And finally, we arrived here:

And here:

There’s finishing work to be done (toe kicks, behind the peninsula, backsplash), but this is essentially it.

I know it’s not anyone’s idea of the perfect kitchen, but it’s functional and it looks at home here in this house. I even think it’s pretty and in this moment, I do not want my house to burn to the ground.

I need some art, to fill the drawers, and to style the shelves better. It’s not for everyone, but it pretty much reflects how we actually live.

I’ll be christening the kitchen next Saturday or Sunday with a full turkey dinner. Why?

Besides, I wrecked the roux last time I made gravy and I want a rematch!

In gardening news, we’re not talking about veggies anymore, just flowers and shrubs.

My porch pot is doing pretty well:

I soaped it yesterday to combat whatever is poking holes in the leaves, hopefully that works.

I’ve got some new daylilies:

All but 6 are blooming. But those 6 look healthy for now. I did plant them for different height and blooming times, so maybe they are late summer bloomers.

It’s coming along. I do have a few holes to fill, and some to replace. Overall I’m calling this a success. Most of the plants are perennials, but I wanted a couple to get changed out with whatever strikes my fancy. Over time I’ll figure out what works and how to keep the pot filled and blooming for each season.

This weekend we’re doing a project with the mailbox. Here is a teaser:

I’ve been working on this on and off all week. Tomorrow the Hubs said he would help me put it together. Don’t worry, I’ll post before pix so you can see where I’m headed.

Did I show you this?

I was thinking about a rectangle sink for the guest bath, but this has me wondering if that is the right plan:

Rainy Day

What is it about a rainy afternoon that makes you want to read? If only I was reading something good, this would be a perfect afternoon.

It’s rainy and thundery and Mayhem isn’t even scared. Havoc on the other hand is nowhere to be found.

Yesterday since the Hubs was at work, I took the opportunity to clean out all the drawers and cabinets. I could not fill them because they didn’t have knobs and that was gonna cause a mess.

After dinner the Hubs was all about getting that chore done. Sure, yeah, the cabinets and drawers need to be re-cleaned, but it’s just the front parts.

I was going to use different knobs for the peninsula, but it would have equaled a lot more work for very little gain, so we used these. I reserve the right to change my mind down the road, however.

I sent this pic to Big Sister in the afternoon to help me decide placement:

I couldn’t decide if I liked them better in the middle or at the top. She said middle:

She was right!

Tomorrow the plumber is coming to hook up the sink. The kitchen will be functional at that point, well except for all the empty cabinets and drawers!

Meanwhile, the blue bearded repair man has been back 3 times so far. Today he discovered the ice maker line was frozen up again – which he should have checked last time he was here, but didn’t. He assured me today that it should all be working fine now.

For some reason LG sent me an invitation to review their product.

So I did.

I’m not sure they will quite appreciate my “honest and thoughtful” review.

Last question was, “Would you buy LG again?” I said, “I might buy a TV (but probably not), but I will NOT buy another kitchen appliance from a tech company. Lesson learned.”

I finally finished my square blanket:

It’s sort of square! The pattern said to do stockinette stitch for the last few rows so it doesn’t curl. Well, for some reason I stopped increasing while I was doing that because the pattern was unclear. That turned out to be a mistake! If I had kept increasing, it would lie flat.

Lotta lessons learned this week!

Anyway, here is a link to the pattern: ( )

It’s a super easy and very customizable blanket.

I now have 3 blankets ready to go. Next time I head over to that side of town, I’ll drop them off and hopefully they will find good homes!

This is how kittens spend sunny afternoons:

I love that they still snuggle.

Even if it is a thinly veiled power struggle.

On Being Wrong

I don’t mind being wrong. Especially when it works in my favor.

First things first.

Brandon spent Friday and Saturday getting my kitchen ready for counters. Again.

By the time he left Saturday afternoon, we were in pretty good shape. We knew we irritated the counter guy, so we were not expecting that part to happen anytime soon.

But we had cabinets!

While I know this kitchen is not ideal, I think we put together something workable.

The peninsula is pretty much the key to space and counters.

Today at 9:15 I called the counter guy. I figured I would be all sweet and just let him know we were ready for counters. He said, “Really ready?” which made me bristle a bit, but I said, “Really.”

And to my utter shock, he said, “Lunchtime work?”

Like today?

Yes, today.

You could have knocked me over with a feather. I really expected him to make me wait. I was wrong.

Dead on noon he showed up with my counters and sink.

He did a little Brandon bashing, which I did not appreciate. He didn’t caulk, which super pissed me off. But he put in the counters without breaking them, sealed them, and left.

Which I appreciated.

Are they perfect?


Can I live with the defects? God, I hope so because one thing he left me was a crease near the sink drain hole. I hope the plumber I’ve scheduled for Thursday can work with that and I don’t have a perpetual leak in my sink.


I think they look cool, they have a lot of movement, which will distract from any flaws we discover.

Oh, I almost forgot to show you this:

This is the cabinet Brandon built me. It’s where the dishwasher was using up space, we reclaimed a ton of wasted corner space in here. It’s not fancy, but it’s hugely functional.

Yesterday I put sealer on it:

It’s ready to fill, and it looks like it’s always been there:

My plan is to store pots and pans in there. But who knows, tomorrow when I’m filling up the kitchen, I might change my mind!

Just look at all that lovely counter space!

More lovely:

Saturday Brandon is coming back to do all the trim work and put the cabinet in over the fridge. Which I kinda don’t want anymore…

I will have to drag myself off to the tile store and pick a backsplash and make an appointment for installation. I’m hoping the guys who did the floor come back and do it. In addition to the backsplash, they will be repairing the holes the pillars left, and if I can get my act together, tiling under the guest room vanity. It’s a lot and I’m gonna need a moment to figure out what I want.

I’m thinking I can put all that off til fall.

In the meantime, we are contemplating a trip north, maybe in August. It’s a little silly to leave paradise for the swamp in high summer, but whatever. We’re looking for a pet sitter while all sorts of other logistics get put in place. The cost is a little staggering, but I feel like if I don’t go there I will never see the Kraken again. Which is all very dramatic, but somewhat true. She’s holding on to some items for me, so we’ll be picking those up. Besides, she has a(nother) new beau and I want to meet him so I can tell her if he’s good enough for her. And she has some new tattoos I wanna see. I can’t believe my little girlie girlie is a tatted up 30 year old. I have to see this for myself!

Tomorrow I’m gonna put all the kitchen stuff in the middle of the floor and fill up each cabinet thoughtfully.

Or I’ll just empty boxes and throw stuff where it fits.

Stay tuned to know which road I choose!

Called It

Yesterday the counter guy called me and wanted to install my counters today at 9:30. I had to tell him we were cabinet-less. He was less than thrilled. And then insisted I had told him I needed them installed by the 15th or I wasn’t gonna buy from him.


Instead of haranguing me about it, you probably should be looking for the person who actually said that and get their order going!

To say we hung up with me feeling great would be a lie. In fact, I am pretty sure he’s gonna stuff me to the back of the line before installing my counters. I suppose eventually he will need the space my counters are taking up in his shop and get them installed.

In the meanwhile, Brandon is coming back tomorrow to get the cabinets installed.

I hope.

Auntie thinks I should get these and put them in my yard:

My people have this rooster thing going on, they are good luck and you’re supposed to have at least one in your house. Which I do, thanks to Auntie.

I’m actually thinking about this. I wonder if they will discourage whatever is eating my garden. It has me looking at all sorts of yard art.

I have repainted my rubber duck-looking pelican:

The Hubs is happy with it. He’s currently curing in the shed. Not sure where he will end up. The more I look at it, the more it looks like a duck.

I found a concrete seller in town. I need to pay them a visit and see if their prices are reasonable. My yard really needs some zhuzh.

Because I can’t learn, I planted a couple more tomatoes:

I made them a nice icky mix of soil, peat moss, compost, and cow shit. I even put mulch on top for good measure. I will keep them on the patio and hope they don’t get chewed up.

This is how Mayhem defines comfort:

Looks more like asking for a stiff neck, but what do I know about relaxation?

More Of The Same

I have a PSA for you:

If you have not already bought one, an LG fridge is not a good buy. Of course a year into owning mine, I find this out. It’s like the internet vomits up all this information EXCEPT what you need, until after it’s too late.

We had to call a repair guy. Who informed me this is under warranty. Except I have spent hours on the phone trying to get a warranty person to come out, or even acknowledge we have an issue. Even the Hubs tried and he always succeeds where I fail. Turns out the ONE authorized repair person within 500 miles of here has had to take another job. So I took the bullet and called someone. He came out today.

Can I just ask? WTF is it with blue hair?

This guy had a blue Unix beard and a dreadlock. Yes, just one. But he was kind, and told me LG appliances are not great.

Thanks for that.

He told me other things I did not know about my fridge, which was helpful. And then he fixed it. Turns out there is a leak in the water doohickey and it was ever so slowly dripping and finally, it froze and cracked the part we replaced already. But I need a new water doohickey, which of course has to be ordered. He’ll be back when it comes in to replace it.

In other happenings, the counter guy called me this morning and wanted me to come out and look at my counter before he cuts it.

Of course he does, because I don’t have a car today.

He sent a pic of the layout, though:

I told him I could come in the AM if he could wait, otherwise I’m happy with it. I’m thinking he has never seen this relatively common stone in anything but polished because he was just gushing about how stunning it looks.

I have to be honest, at this point I don’t really care all that much. What I am happy about is the lack of seams. I love that! If they manage not to break it, this all should just drop into place and be done. I am sure there will be drama, like he’ll wanna deliver it Thursday when I still have no cabinets. But in this moment, I am pretending this is all gonna work out.

And no seams!

The Hubs is experiencing pretty good outcomes with his onions.

Here is his first one:

Still needs to be separated, but it’s looking pretty healthy so far.

Here is the next batch, he’s been adding them as they get ready:

There are 3 more in the kitchen growing roots.

The catnip is doing well:

Whatever was eating it can’t work out the screening. At least the cats will have fresh veggies this summer.

As a contrast, my fig is suffering and I am not sure what to do for it:

Something has made a snack of my tomato:

All three of the peppers are also dying. I don’t think there is any coming back from this. I’m kinda pissed off, kinda demoralized, and very much done in-ground gardening this year. I’ll take the edging down and just let the grass grow.

It’s all I can do not to call someone to put in a paver patio to cover the whole frigging back yard.

The Hubs suggested putting a tomato in a pot, but quite frankly, it’s just been too many losses this year. I just can’t. I’ll concentrate on trying to get flowers to grow and pretend I hate fresh tomatoes.

If all else fails, I will keep dividing Mexican petunias and that’ll have to be enough!

Week End

Another weekend has passed. My mood has tempered a bit and I don’t actively hope my house burns to the ground.

I said actively.

Yesterday Brandon came over and did this:

Looks like we’ve done this already. Honestly, if I was an emotional gal, I would have cried. Mostly, I sat in the dining room reading. When I wasn’t reading I was rocking back and forth chanting, “this is NOT happening.”

In the meanwhile, the Hubs replaced this:

Yes, that is the very last ball light in this house. It’s taken me forever to choose a new light, and on a whim this is what I picked:

Normally, I would have done a sparkly chandelier, but I could not find one that didn’t hang too low, so this is the compromise. It’s not earth shatteringly beautiful, but it is a little glitzy and very bright. We can actually see what’s in the closet now!

Before Brandon left, he put down some self-leveling concrete:

It has a 16-hour cure, so he left.

And I was glad.

We left right after he did. I don’t know what we did, but nobody wanted to go home. When we finally did, it still looked like this.

I had to do something, so we pulled up the tape, vacuumed, and and washed the floor.

Yeah, that’ll fix it.

This morning after breakfast we started some yard work. I moved most of the rocks from the moat project out of where I had them:

At some point I’ll plant something here. Maybe.

I think it maybe looks better than the rocks:

Brandon showed up to get us back up and running:

I can cook and wash dishes now.

This is taking the work triangle to a new level!

He is making arrangements to come back on Friday and Saturday to finish this off. This week we will make do. It sucks, and if the stupid cabinets aren’t in and level Saturday afternoon, I’m getting in a car and driving north.

After Brandon left, we worked a little on the rain barrel side. Over the next few days I’ll do more edging and spread the rocks I have. I’ll have to go get more rocks this week to finish off this portion.

If I ever get this done, it should be loads easier to keep this area looking neat. There won’t be a need to weed whack around all this cabling. That alone makes it worth the effort.

Tomorrow I’m gonna make pot roast in my crock pot. It’ll be like we don’t live in a house without a kitchen.

Or it’ll be an epic fail.

Time will tell.