Monday, December 31, 2007

This is the last day of the month, the last day of the year. We are just past the shortest day of the year...a day with little sunlight. No or low sunlight always makes me discouraged. I know I have many blessings. It is easy to lose sight of them when it is cold and dark...with high utility bills.
Today I am going to a demolition place to look at St. Charles kitchen cabinets. This brand is even better than the Youngstown cabinets I am pursuing. I all ready know that they won't fit into my existing kitchen, but perhaps the demolition warehouse will have something else for me to look at.
Sunday, Spence and I drove to Habitat For Humanity to look at cabinets. There were lots of windows and bathroom vanities...nothing for my kitchen. Wasn't it nice that Spence offered to come with me? Wouldn't it be even nicer if We found something I could use?
Well, I will look at the St. Charles cabinets and look around the warehouse. Bet the farm that there is nothing there I can use.
In the back of my mind, I see myself hiring a cabinetmaker to make custom cabinets. They will be exactly the right size. I see myself sending the upper cabinet doors to Costa Rica to have ox cart designs painted on them.
I called several asbestos abatement businesses to give me a price on removing the old floor tiles. Neither one of them has called me back. I bet they don't believe me....that I want the tiles removed before installing a new floor. Most of their business is commercial. Commerce has to remove or encapsulate asbestos, by law. Homeowners usually encapsulate the old tiles by installing the new floor over the old one. It's cheaper.
I went to a tile place to find a floor covering that met "green" guidelines. I saw beautiful glass tiles for the walls, lovely ceramic tiles for the walls...all from recycled material. Nothing for the floor. I am seriously considering old fashioned linoleum. It is still being made.


Saturday, December 22, 2007

(See previous blog entry)
Kitchen Cabinet Blues

One round trip and I'm back home
Sitting in the kitchen, all alone
Looking at the walls. The walls are bare
There are no cabinets hanging there.
Went to buy them from the man
he said, "come get them if you can.
Buy them cheap. They have to go.
We want a new kitchen before the snow."
The cabinets were painted pudding brown.
Rust was where the water went down.
He wanted more than I said I'd spend
The deal soon came to an awful end..
So disappointed at the sight
Shook my head and said,"good night."


Spence met me at 6AM. We picked up the U Haul and headed out to the Dover, Delaware area from Connecticut. The weather was a little warmer than expected for December...sweater weather.I took off my coat and put it in the back of the U Haul truck. We loaded the U haul with blankets and bungee cords to shelter the cabinets on the return trip. Pat loaned me a blanket. The sky was overcast. At least We were not in for the long drive in the middle of a snow storm...the one that hit several days after our return. We were going to look at the Youngstown Kitchen cabinets advertised on the web.
Rick emailed me, sent photos and dimensions. I thought these cabinets were going to be installed in my kitchen. I had called the local body shop, alerted them that I was bringing in a bunch of metal cabinets for refinishing. Rob agreed to the job. In my mind, the cabinets were rescued from Delaware, refinished locally, and installed in my kitchen. In imagination, I stand in my kitchen , at last with kitchen cabinets, admiring the light bouncing off my newly painted white cabinets. Satisfaction.
It didn't work that way. It was noon when We pulled up to Rick's house. He had taken the cabinets out of the kitchen of a house He was moving into. His plan was to enlarge his kitchen. He didn't need the old cabinets. He said He would be pleased if they got a new home. I thought We had a deal.
Oh, Oh. The cabinets have contact paper inside. There is a lot of rust on the cabinet that was next to the sink. Grease was on the top of the upper cabinets. All of that could be overcome, but Rick wanted more money than I would spend for used cabinets. Spence said that a lot of people he knew that ripped out kitchens, would have given the cabinets away, just to clear the site. Not this guy.
I raised my offer. He refused the offer. I explained the cost of the trip and the anticipated cost of reconditioning the cabinets. Add it all up and I could get new cabinets for the same price. Nope. Rick wouldn't budge. He got rude. He slammed shut windows, turned his back on us, complained that We were holding him up from work. It was time for us to go.
Rick didn't say good bye, sorry We can't come to an agreement. He didn't walk us to the door. We let ourselves out. We closed up the U Haul and left.
Some good things happened on that trip. There is a very good seafood buffet in some little town along the route back. I forget the name of the town. We had crab bisque, salmon in cream sauce....lots of very good things to eat. I enjoyed some good jazz on the radio, despite the wind noise of traveling on an interstate highway...and I learned to never answer an ad for something I want, unless it is within the state of Connecticut.
The last stop was to return the U Haul. Renting a U Haul is on y $20, but the mileage is .59 a mile. I picked up a van with a full tank. I returned the van with a full tank. Add in New Jersey tolls. Total cost for the round trip that accomplished nothing was $500. I am $500 into my kitchen project with nothing to show for it. Stay tuned.


Saturday, December 15, 2007

LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE Who is Annie? What is her relationship to Daddy Warbucks? If He is so rich, why does He allow Annie to stay in the orphanage? Why doesn't he spring her? What kind of an orphanage would allow a ward of the state to have a dog?
CINDERELLA...THE REST OF THE STORY So, Cinderella marries her prince charming and moves into the castle. The prince's parents and court members welcomed her, but soon cooled to her. Her mannerisms were those of common folk. Cinderella found she had nothing to do. Every thing was done for her. She wandered the castle bored to death. Cinderella was more comfortable with the staff than with royal family members. Soon she spent a lot of time talking to the cleaning staff...showing them pointers she had the best way to clean cinders out of the fireplace. The prince was horrified. Cinderella could not make clever table talk...a necessity to keep every one around the table amused. She liked to talk about how nice mice were. Court intrigue was beyond her understanding. Cinderella became very unhappy, definitely out of her league. She spent many nights in tears. Finally, her fairy godmother took pity on her. The fairy godmother threw the wicked stepmother and her children out of Cinderella's ancestral home and returned Cinderella to her own land...Cinderella moved back into the house, socialized with her human neighbors ,played with her pets and raised mice. She spent her time working in her garden raising pumpkins, feeding the birds, knitting hats for charity. baking bread and keeping her house in order. Cinderella lived happily ever after as a
local celebrity, living on the endowment her father left her.

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Thursday, December 06, 2007

I'm getting a new (to me) kitchen. The first thing I thought when I saw the old kitchen is, how did my mother-in-law function in such an awful kitchen? It has no cabinets. ..not a one. She must have worked at the sink, or at the stove. My temporary solution was to move in furniture. A table against the wall functioned as countertop. A cart held small appliances. This temporary solution has been in place for 13 years. I inherited this house when my husband died.
Two of my girlfriends are getting new kitchens. They're getting fancy ones and spending plenty of money. Perhaps that was the reason I took another look at my rustic kitchen. Both friends went for granite countertops , inset lighting...plenty of fancy stuff. My needs are more modest.
I've functioned in a Youngstown Kitchen when my girls were little. I like the metal cabinets. They can be spray painted when the paint gets marred. They can be wiped down with a little bleach on a cloth to make them sanitary. There is a Youngstown sink base in my current kitchen. Why not stay with the same maker and style? The trouble is, this manufacturer has been out of business for some time.
Other people like Youngstown Kitchens, too. There is a market for the cabinets. Perhaps they will ultimately become antiques, like Hoosier cabinets are today...and some styles of stoves. I put a wanted ad on the Bob Villa website. Rick answered my ad.
We corresponded by email. He sent me photos and dimensions. Yes. They will fit into my existing space. There are no dents. I will pick them up next week...renting a U Haul to get them. The local auto body shop will spray paint them for me. (I was going to do it myself, but it would take all of next summer to complete this project.)
I need to have my stove and sink disconnected so that Russo Floors can put in a new floor, wall to wall. I hope to have this done before the renovated cabinets are ready for installation. Well, I could have the upper cabinets installed . This means I will have no kitchen over Christmas. I will deal with it. Perhaps Christmas will move to Melba Street, where Chris is.
Replacing the door and windows can wait for spring.