Saturday, March 24, 2007

Still here! Got a few new lovelies!

Oh, it's been so long since I've posted anything here! Things have gotten really really quiet on the home improvement front. Since we've finished the kitchen (minus a few things here and there that we can afford to take a good long time to complete), we've gotten all lazy and stuff.

Well, that's not entirely true. After all those weeks of having our lives be totally consumed by the kitchen and the renovation of it, we're enjoying just sitting back and enjoying the fruits of our labor. That, and The Viking has been filling his time after work doing handyman jobs here and there so we can finish paying for the new kitchen. Things went a little over budget, of course, so he's doing some extra work to make up the difference. He's been going to work early so he can leave early and put in a few hours doing the side jobs before coming home for a late dinner and an hour with the kids before they all crash into bed. I haven't seen him much, but it's just temporary and a small price to pay to avoid going further into debt.

I've been holding down the fort and enjoying my most lovely kitchen! I've been cooking a lot more and keeping the room much cleaner than I ever have before. I've learned it's a lot easier to keep a room clean when there's enough space to store everything and the room actually looks sparkling clean when you're done (that old, crappy kitchen never looked clean no matter how much I toiled away at it).

We had our first post-renovation dinner party last weekend. Mrs. C handled marinated pork loin, scalloped potatoes and steamed sugar snap peas for 12 with style and ease. It was the first time we entertained in a kitchen and dining room we could be proud of. All the fancy dishes were easy to retrieve because they were conveniently located in the recently cleared out hutch and handy pantry. Before, I had so much stuff crammed into and on top of the dining room hutch (my only storage for party ware) things were hard to get to, use and put away. I actually enjoyed entertaining this time. I think this kitchen is going to be good for our social life.

I'm still on the lookout for baskets, a plate rack and a coat/backpack/sports equipment storage solution. We have a "dead" space behind the entrance to the kitchen we're not sure what to do with.

Both the trash can and the big red thing are both gone so it is now a nice, good-sized space just waiting to be used somehow. That door is the one we use to enter and exit the house and it is a natural dump zone so it seems to make sense to use it as we did before, to stash jackets, backpacks, sports equipment, lunch bags, hats, etc. but I don't want it to start looking like it used to:

I tried to remember to declutter that area and clean it out at least once a week, but it always looked junky. And I don't want to let that happen in this newly beautiful room! My original plan was to install a kind of coat cupboard complete with doors that would shut the mess up away from view. The Viking, rather tired of building things at the moment, wants me to just find a pre-made hall tree but doesn't want to spend over $200 for it. So he wants me to build bricks with no straw.

Anyway, I did manage to get my hands on a few more nifty little knick-knacks this week. My mom is helping a friend clean out an old house she just bought and in exchange for a few hours help, I got to bring home a few treats.

I'm not sure how or when I'll use them, but I couldn't resist these wine and cordial glasses (6 of each)! The teacup and saucer are very similar to a tea set I already have and came with three other unmated saucers which works for me very well since I've actually had three lonely teacups lingering on my hutch without saucers for three years. I really love the look of mismatched, but similar, sets of china so it's all very serendipitous for me. The dessert plates, too (8 of them) go well with my tea set so now I can feel like a grand lady when I have friends over for tea and scones.

These little beauties are going to sit on top of the fridge with my great-grandmother's egg beater. The one on the right is an old chopper of sorts, but I'm really not sure what the one on the left is for. The Viking thought maybe it was a cheese grater but I'm not sure there was that great a need for or interest in grating cheese back when this was made so I don't really know. Anyone got any ideas? I just like the look of them and the fact that they're red.

I also got this pretty little juicer that I just might be able to use! I wish I could find a way to mount it in one of the windows cause I love how the light shines through it.

There was an entire shopping bag full of old spice jars and cans and these are the ones I think I'm going to keep. I love the old labels and some even have recipes on the back, "Prepare chicken. Disjoint. Melt enough lard in hot pan..."

And these I haven't decided what to do with yet. The pitcher was pretty grimy so I don't know if I'll be able to bring myself to use it for anything but holding flowers. And the percolator (I think that's what it is) cleaned up really nice on the outside but is still caked with mildew all on the inside. I'm sure there's probably a way to wipe that out, but I'm just not sure how to do it. I was hoping to use it to serve coffee so The Viking will stop plopping the oh-so-pretty carafe from the coffee maker on top of a pot holder in the middle of the dining room table when serving dessert to our guests, but until I can de-gross it, it will serve as decor and nothing more.

I also acquired an old enameled pot but it proved to be useless for any indoor use because of copious amounts of rust and chippage. It will make a perfect flower pot for my front porch, though. I'll post a pic once I fill it with something lovely and fragrant.

So, we're still alive and kicking here at our Wit's End, but things have slowed down a lot. I'm enjoying the lull because I know it's just a matter of time before The Viking catches his breath and is ready to tackle the next project. He's already been scanning the living room with purposeful eyes and we're mere days away from his annual Spring Fever Landscaping Madness. That will be pure blog fodder!