Chugging Along, Slowly

Well, after our “quiet” weekend and Monday here and gone, hubby and I can hopefully get over this slump we’ve been in.  Sometimes, the state of the house (stacks of boxes, dust, and such)  can be quite overwhelming and I think our “unplanned quiet weekends” are actually “overwhelm shutdowns”.  As each project is completed, little by little we’re able to dig ourselves out of the “stuff”.  Like the kitchen.  At first,  the room was pretty much empty with a lot of ugly and tons of repair work ahead of us.  Did I mention the tons of ice and the two coolers we used for food storage? We had no power in the kitchen for several months. Must have blocked that out of my memory.

Up to this point, we used a couple of plastic folding tables for kitchen storage.  We’d stack daily dry goods on top of the table and infrequently used items below in boxes (and in banker boxes in various places in the kitchen).  We had a small portable oven that could barely fit a couple of “pocket meals” in and we’d keep a supply of paper plates, plastic utensils, plastic cups and condiments out on the table.  I hate to admit this, but our main food staple at that time was local fast food. Uck!

Yup this was the state of our kitchen early on. The boxes my beautiful Ginger is sitting on were boxes of food, spices, etc. One of our folding tables was just off to the right of the photo.

Slowly we got through the “really big projects” like reframe the wall, fix the plumbing and electrical, and insulate.  After this major work was complete, we had a huge functional breakthrough in the kitchen. We were able to temporarily place a few garage cabinets in the kitchen so I could have a place to store a few things rather than store them on a table top (I desperately needed a clutter free flat surface to “prepare” food items without having to push things aside all the time).  In addition to the cabinets, we were able to bring in our refrigerator (though we had to set it up near the living room so we could plug it in) and we bought a small microwave.  I’m not a big fan of microwaves, but it really did save us from having to eat fast food all the time.  Oh happy days!

After we installed the drywall, the kitchen went through another “functional” makeover.  Hallelujah!  We were able to place the refrigerator into its final resting spot (though it will have to be moved again to repair the floor tiles and paint the walls).  We were also able to move in yet another garage cabinet – more storage-YES!  Still unable to use my stove at this point, we were able to clear off the other table and bring out cooking reinforcements… an electric skillet and a crock pot. My mom gave us a “Pasta Boat” and once I got the hang of it, I could easily cook pasta. I was styling now. We were also able to use the smaller table as an island.  Have you ever tried to wash a sink full of dishes by hand and have no place to set them after rinsing?

Now if only we could keep my tiny little make-shift island clear – sorry for the TP in the photo 😛

Then we brought in some stock cabinets (temporarily set in place) which I plan to paint (hopefully with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint) in the next couple of weeks.  I was pleased as punch to have the additional work surface. Wouldn’t you?

Stock cabinets

And with our most recent functional update… all but one cabinet has been moved to the garage which gave us room to bring in and setup our kitchen table.  How did this happen?  We were finally able to set up storage in our new pantry which freed up much needed floor space.  The pantry doors are a bit tricky to work with, though.  See, the doors are  still “knob-less” so we keep one side of the double door propped open a bit so it’s easy to access.  If the door gets shut, which it does, we have to bend over and pull the bottom of the door to re-open it.  Unfortunately, there’s no room at the top to do this.

Max had to get in the picture, on the table no less :0  Guess he likes it there too!

And what’s behind door number 1, 2 or 3? STORAGE!

The “vibe” in the kitchen is starting to feel better to me now that it’s less cluttered and so much more functional than it was at the beginning.  It has a way to go before we can call it finished, but we’re like the tortoise in the “tortoise and hare” story.  We’re gettin’ it done slowly but surely, one small step at a time.

Talk about feeling better, hubby and I actually did a tiny bit of work in the living room yesterday.  We moved out a few big clunky items that were taking up a lot of space, vacuumed up leftover dust bunnies hiding in the crevices (and sorry to say, out in the open) and actually cleared one corner of the room. Let me tell you, there’s nothing better than making a small “clean area” in a room to get you motivated.  Clear room – clear mind 🙂

You know, it’s the little things these days that bring me joy. I am so much more appreciative of things now than I ever was.  In general, I feel most folks have taken a lot of things for granted (myself included), like the fact that we have running water or an electrical outlet we can plug something into and it does in fact, work. Things are financially tight right now (for most folks these days), but I do feel blessed to have what I have in my life right now.

God Bless,

The Artistic Desert Gardener



Filed under Home Projects

3 responses to “Chugging Along, Slowly

  1. Lois Zablockis

    Looks like you have done alot. I’m sure it will only get better.

  2. April,
    I just wanted to say how nice it is to hear about your lives on a regular basis! We miss you guys. Any trips to CA planned in your future?

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