Saturday, May 30, 2015

Internal Operations

New kitchen counter tops and built in appliances. Love it!! I've said that before. So ~ I am using my new kitchen outsides as an excuse to delve into my kitchen insides and clear and clean cabinets. And it is necessary to do that chore while I have still have the energy and excitement ergo the motivation around my "new" kitchen because as soon as it becomes my regular ordinary every day kitchen, the job won't get done.

I am allowing my self time. It can take as long as it takes. This morning a chunk of it happened and it feels so good. Bring out the questionable objects and put them on carts on the deck. Together we will make a decision about what is thrown, what is donated and what goes into the camper. The things that are used regularly and I know I want to keep will be left in place. Once there are empty spaces, those things will be moved into more convenient places. I'm pleased with the progress so far.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Final Kitchen Blog

Well, here it is, folks. The kitchen is done until Dean gets the pine cut and prepared for the other two counter tops. We are both so excited. Kitchen technology has certainly improved since our kitchen was built almost 30 years ago.

So here's the sink. On our left, a hot water on demand faucet. Tea whenever we want it.
The main water faucet has a motion sensor. Put your hand over the top, the water comes out and stays on until you put your hand back. Put something under the faucet (say a bowl of salad greens or glass to be filled), the water comes on and stays on until you move the bowl or glass. It also has a spray.
Which brings us to the disposal which you cannot see, but trust me is there. We bought the top of the line InSinkerator. Wow. Given the picture on the side of the box, the first thing I put in it was a banana peel. Whoosh. Gone. Dean has put cherry pits down it. Whoosh. Gone. And the whoosh is so silent you almost can't hear it. Wow. I'm loving my sink.

Cook top. Induction cooking. Amazing. Heat goes up or down in 1/2 steps (1 1/2, 2, 2 1/2 etc). I have found out steaming green beans that once the water is boiling, 7 1/2 turns off the boil, 8 leaves it on a low boil. It is faster and more precise than gas. I'm going to love this control. It also has a Lock that you can turn on so that while cleaning the stove top, there is no chance of accidentally turning it on. Now you know about my kitchen ~ unless something more amazing happens, your next kitchen up date will be when Dean has the other counters ready for installation. For a non-cook, I certainly am happy with this stove top. 

Saturday, May 23, 2015

And So It Continues

You saw all the cleared counters in the last blog. Counters cleared and we left home.

We came home to this: our kitchen wrapped in plastic
to contain the dust . . .

. . . and tile and plywood removed.

The first granite top is finally installed.

Carlos and Jose spent a long day installing. First of all Jose wasn't even supposed to be on this job. He came at the last minute when Buddy's wife went into labor 3 weeks early.
The pipes needed moving around so I made a rather frantic call to a plumber and Jonas arrived, very efficient and professional, so the sink could be installed. 

And here it is - our new kitchen counters - 

Very beautiful and totally unusable until Tuesday when everyone returns from their 3 day weekend and can install the stove top and the sink with faucet, disposal and hot water dispenser. If I had been told the appliances couldn't be installed until 24 hours after the granite, I wouldn't have set the time on a Friday before a long weekend. Oh well. All I can do is laugh and be graceful and stand and look at my lovely, lovely new kitchen counters. Now if there was just a way to keep them as uncluttered as they are in these pictures, but I guess I will have to bring more appliances off the dining table and tuck them into their corners again. For now I am enjoying the look if not the use. The counters are not totally done: Dean is creating the tops for the island and the section above the cook top. They will be beautiful wood, sanded and polished in his shop. That's for another day very soon. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

And So It Begins

January 24th - ah, yes, I remember it well - we chose new granite for the counter tops and new appliances. Due to one broken sink, a dock strike, and very nice people being told the wrong form to fill out, we are getting our remodeled kitchen starting this next week.
Our wonderful Benjamin is coming to remove the tile before we return from our trip so this morning, we cleared the kitchen counters. Yes, there are a few things left until after breakfast in the morning. Those will be removed to the dining table with all the other stuff. And here it is, bare and ready for a change. Finally!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Mothers' Day

When I arrived home from Ashland the other day, there was a package at my front door. It said it was from a fruit company in Oregon. I was just in Oregon. Had just arrived home. Who would be sending me something from Oregon and why? Well, because today is Mothers' Day and Robert and Lu had sent me a package of goodies.

6 pears, 2 apples, cheeses, nuts, crackers, cinnamon toast popcorn and a delicious, scrumptious, almost like fudge brownie. And although Rob assures me I don't have to, I am sharing so Dean has had an apple and half the brownie. It's a lovely Mothers' Day gift and one greatly appreciated.

In remembrance of my mom not only on Mothers' Day but because today is her birthday. She was a lovely gracious lady and a lot of fun. I still miss her. Happy Birthday, mom! 

Friday, May 8, 2015

Family Faces

Random family photos from my days in Ashland.

Sam and Joshua who remain a happy, engaged couple.

Owlet, who was just sitting there.

Puck with his curls long and flowing.

Puck with his curls pulled back.

Puck and Owlet joined by their Aunt Mame.

And then by their mama

So good to have Meredith and David with us all the way from New England.

My daughters and the sons they brought into the family.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Sour Cream Pound Cake

Forty-seven years ago I was living in Denver, the mile high city, when my Aunt Lalah from North Carolina came to visit. She was going to bake her sour cream pound cake for dessert. I had not lived in Denver long enough to understand how to change a recipe for high altitude baking and so Aunt Lalah's cake fell, a first for her. She was as crushed as the cake although it still tasted great. Because I have never done well with cakes, I never tried the cake and now of course I live at an altitude even higher than Denver's mile. I had sent the recipe to Michelle and requested that during my trip, she make Aunt Lalah's sour cream pound cake and so she did.

With careful help from Owlet of course.

The batter is rich and thick.

No falling here.

The chef and her success

She put it in a decorative bundt pan - wow!

Cutting into it, hoping the family likes it.
And they did! With fruit and whipped cream. 
Plain. Toasted for breakfast. With ice cream.
I have told Michelle that if she is coming to see me, she may bring one with her. And I may take the recipe to a baker I know here and ask her how to adjust it for altitude. This is Way too good to leave the recipe in a file for another 47 years.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Ashland Adventure

Intrepid adventurers we.  Owlet wanted to show us The Pond so on a lovely Sunday afternoon, Puck and I joined her on a hike to who knew where. Owlet did. And as she is a navigator par excellence, we set off behind our parasol waving guide to find The Pond. 

The Pond had lovely views and was much bigger than either Puck or I imagined a pond to be.

Across the bridge and back again. 
On the way back up the hill we discovered a very nice man working in his yard.
We asked if his watering hose might offer up a water bottle full of the wet stuff
so we might continue on our way with ease. He was very gracious and filled up
our bottle. It was a lovely trip and Owlet was able to show off The Pond.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

They Had Hats!

Delighted to have Meredith and David in Ashland at the same time I am.
Meredith and I spent all day yesterday together wandering around Ashland and stopped at our favorite sweet shop, Mix Sweets. Yes, that is the name.
I had paid for our Chai and was turning to pick them up when I heard Meredith say, rather quietly, 
"Mama". I turned. "Mama. They have hats."
And sure enough there they were, hats with our name emblazoned on the front.

We put them on and never took them off. As I was purchasing them, much to the delight of the young woman (I don't think they sell a lot of them), I said, "Check the name on the credit card."
She looked at the card, looked back at me with a big grin on her face and said "Oh my."
Oh my, indeed, my dear!
We have hats.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Ashland Ponies

Lovely, easy trip to Ashland on Friday to visit family. 
This morning Puck and I went for a walk and he took me
a way I wouldn't have known to go on my own.
We went by a pasture with these lovely little horses
grazing. Puck fed the white maned one (Choco) some grass.

Puck wanted me to meet the sheep named Goat but we 
didn't see him. It was a lovely walk.