Saturday, December 18, 2010

Backsplash

First: the context.  A modern italian kitchen.
Project: add a backsplash where there is now drywall.  I'm thinking tile. (I've previously considered stainless steel and back-painted glass.


I think I'm down to two leading candidates.

A smokey brown glass tile in a "waterfall" layout (don't know if that's a real tile layout name, or the manufacturer's, Maniscalco).  Tile backsplashes are very on trend right now.  The dark neutral I want to do wouldn't be a universal appeal, but I think it would work really well in the context between a cream countertop and cream laminate cabinet doors.  I like that it's a very finished, tailored, not-rustic look for my modern kitchen.  But, will it play well with my neo-retro caeserstone countertops?

Caeserstone Nougat countertop.  Love it.  That's a quarter on the counter for size reference.





A matte 2x2 tiles with lines on it, which has almost a fabric sort of look.  This mosaic lays them cross grain to each other, to give the effect of a weave.  I certainly haven't seen this in a shelter magazine, though I have seen linen-look tiles as flooring.   I really like this, but once again I'm not sure it will play with my neo-retro caeserstone counter.

Edited to add: Tonight these are looking too neutral to me.  I'm looking again at the red glass tile (looks like candy) and the glass mosaic tile in a classic small size.

fun with Photoshop







Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Menu Week

Monday: Mini-hamburgers on rolls (or provolone on a roll), cream of romanescu soup, milk, tangerine.

(major complaints about the romanescu.  I forgot to save out some as topping decoration, so it was the color of sad pea soup with no explanation.)

Tuesday: Roast Leg of Lamb, mushroom couscous, baked acorn squash rings, green salad, applesauce.

Wednesday: Mushroom Ravioli

And the rest of the week was catch-as-can leftovers.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Back in Time, Opera I have missed.

I would have loved to see EVERY ONE of the shows that SF Opera put on its last season.  But ring cycle this summer?  I thought it was too much of one thing until I discovered it's one thing FOUR NIGHTS IN A ROW.  Well, Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday-Sunday.

Next season's tickets go on sale in February. Time to mark my calendar for that now.

Monday, December 6, 2010

backsplash tile hunt

oceanside glass

can't figure out if this size is called Prose or Elevations, or if those refer to colorways or sets.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Buy Nothing Day


I've been holding my own private Day-After-Thanksgiving protest for years.  

It's good to know there are others who share my views.

File Cabinet

Okay, I need a file cabinet.  It needs to be lateral, two drawer.  I've decided that it should be steel probably--though wood is good enough for home use, our home can be a little intense.

the room is modern with oak trim.  I've never met an oak modern-style filing cabinet. Frankly, I'm more about the classic look.  Which in the case of a filing cabinet might be rather utilitarian.

Which is why, though it's wood, the Pottery Barn lateral filing cabinet looks so good.  They're marketing to my demographic.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Stairs notebook

My architect laughingly refers to all the open rail-less stairs in the shelter magazines as "stair porn."

Today I discovered there is an actual site by that name.  Rated PG, unless you're a city safety regulator.

http://www.stairporn.org/

from there I found this site:

http://www.eestairs.com/

Earlier this week I got to visit the studio at West Edge Metals, who make some pretty amazing stairs and other architectural metal pieces locally.  I'd love to work with them.  I'm still not clear on what I'd like to do exactly, other than THE STAIRS MUST BE CHANGED.

http://www.westedgemetals.com/

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Kitchen progress

Your mom may have pulled out the counters and backsplash, but it's still a great place to do homework.

Another backsplash idea: glass tile with subtle irridescent color

I'm a reader of Susan Serra's Kitchen Designer blog (see sidebar)  I enjoyed Susan Serra's post on this East Hampton kitchen.  Her comments on ventilation cracked me up--I'm a ventilation girl myself, but if you're going to do it inadequately, ventilating with an old-style wall fan would still get my vote.  Lovely in general--who can argue with those matched-grain flat-front cabinets, but more to the point for me, a good example of the kind of beachy glassy tile I admired in the store.

http://www.thekitchendesigner.org/journal/2010/11/20/an-east-hampton-kitchen.html

Just not sure it will look good in my purposely "artificial ingredients" easy-care modern kitchen: laminate cupboards, nickel trim handles, soon-to-be-installed white nougat caesarstone counters.

Replace front door hardware with Baldwin

The Baldwin entry hardware that the house came with has fallen apart.  Maybe it was scrapped up by using copy keys.  I don't know.  It was probably installed in 1979.

I want to replace it with the same thing.  Though maybe I'd switch from brass finish to nickel finish (on an oak door?  can I do that?)

Looks like what I've got now is the Baldwin New York series.  Thank you, internet.

I'd prefer a combo lock on the front door, but I haven't yet seen one I can stomach.  That's the problem with a lovely front porch--it makes me picky.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Shopping in Hayes Valley, San Francisco

After we found Kohler Karbon faucets at Bath + Beyond, my husband took me to Hayes Valley to Christopher Elbow for hot chocolate and lunch.  As we walked along the street, marrimekko in the window drew us into minimal where there were amazing wool felt pillows, and Finnish dishes, and cool table pieces, and Tivoli radios, which I love but hadn't known where to see and buy in person anymore.  I saw so many cool things I felt like I was back on my Stockholm anniversary vacation.

Then we went to Lotus Bleu where I discovered Madeline Weinrib rugs, though I went in to look at throw pillows.  Because, if I am ever am going to spend money, it's good to know there are things I could buy that I would want.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

kitchen faucet hunt

Edited to add: the Kohler Karbon won.


Minta by Groh

e
I like this square with rounded corners look.  Later I realized the faucet that came with the prep sink, which I really like, echoes this.

Hansgrohe Axor Uno2

Not crazy about the handle though.  But this is a good example of a large graceful modern gooseneck, which I seem to be drawn to but my husband seems to be averse to.

Talking about it tonight, I think it's all the gooseneck faucets in medical/hospital settings that put him off them.


KWC Eve
My friend loves her KWC faucet, so that line seemed very safe for quality.  Looking over what KWC has, I was drawn to this "Eve" tall gooseneck, which my husband think is boring and common.  I think it's elegant, but I'm not sure it's right for my kitchen.

Dornbracht Meta 2.0
In the Fixtures N Faucets showroom, this Dornbracht was on display away from the other faucets, in the front window.  It just looks great in person.  The sprayer amuses me because it's heavy.  The salesperson joked I could crack walnuts with the sprayer.

Dornbracht Lot

I brought the Dornbracht catalog home, just to have my husband hate the Meta 2.0 but love this demainding Lot.  I think this was the other Dornbracht in the window.  It impressed me as cool but a little bit scary.  All those squared-off edges are severe.  And, is the boxy-style stainless steel sink going to look sloppy next to it?

Kohler Karbon
Then, in another direction, the Kohler Karbon is fun.  I like how you can articulate it and it would stay there.  I like how it would reach different areas of the sink.  I like how I saw it on t.v. and they posed it as a dauchshund.  

The obvious drawback: kids posing this to spray someone across the room when it's turned on.

Brizio Venuto with Smart Touch
We like the idea of the Smart Touch faucet.  But we're not so excited about the look.  And I wonder about how well made it would be compared to say, a KWC.

The other Brizio Smart Touch faucets look even less appealing.
Now I discovered MGS, made in Italy.  Here's one in that shape 

pull out spout

Grohe "Essence"
What I like about this solution: the control on top makes it easier for the spout to be used by either right- or left-handed people.  And in this house, I think we're just about evenly divided among those camps, and I hadn't given it a thought, being in the right-hand camp.

Grohe Essence with sprayer pulled out.


What I don't like is, the pull out has to be pulled towards you, instead of down.  I think--I'm not really sure how the pull-out works on this one.

WhiteHaus "Deco Haus"
And then there's just being honest with myself: I do seem to be converging on the look of a pot filler.  Why not just put in a really great sculptural pot filler?   But, am I brazen enough to deal with it when an outsider comes into my kitchen and thinks "hm, that's a potfiller at her sink. That's weird."  I do hate how my new house tends to make me class conscious or something like that.


Kitchen under construction

Today my dishwasher was effectively unplugged from the garbage disposal and therefore would not run.  The counters were already stripped down to their old plywood base, which is a surface you can't really work on, or drip hand washed dishes onto.  It was my first flirt with having a kitchen unavailable during remodeling.

So, lots of no cooking going on at my house.  We had from-frozen chicken enchiladas Monday, leftovers of the same yesterday, and take-out cheeseburgers tonight.

Edited to add: another no cook, no mess: chef salad from Honey Baked Ham, and a tub of mashed potato and gravy.

It's the little things, like feeling you can't dirty a glass, which get to you.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Family Dinner Menus

Monday: Family Salad Nicoise, French Bread
Tuesday: Hot Dogs or Hamburgers, crab bisque soup from deli, rosemary bread
Wednesday: tomato curry, pulao rice, crockpot chicken
Thursday: I have no idea yet.
Friday: Pizza

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Midweek Dinners

Tuesday: Shrimp Scampi.  Frozen cooked shrimp was thawed in fridge over previous two days.  Then butter and garlic into saute pan, shrimp and cooked spaghetti added.  Some kids liked it--I thought it was disgusting.

Wednesday: Benson Burritos/Bean burritos.  with tomato, lettuce.  Chips.  Milk.

I started browning the hamburger, then I had to drive kid to appointment.  I finished making dinner.  We ate, and I finished I before the kids and left to go to a midweek silent worship at the Friends meetinghouse.  Then I got back to take the kids to church and scouts.  Then I helped the Smallest Kid with her homework, went back and picked up the kids at church, and cetera.

Thursday:
marinara sauce over leftover shrimp scampi.  Rewarmed in microwave in casserole dish.
green beans with salad nicoise dressing.
Orange slices
water

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Good granite and caeserstone place

http://www.artisticstoneinc.com/

IceStone colors I might use

Alpine White and Ivory Cloud
These two only differ in the color of the concrete medium.  Ivory cloud is slightly darker.  My upper cabinets fall between the two colors.  afaic, I could use either one equally well.

White Pearl
Is very pretty.  I held it up to some irridescent backplash tiles that included some blue in the store and it blew me away with gorgeous.  The gold/tan in the flecks is pronounced.  Makes me wonder about all the silver tone trim on the cabinets, and the sinks.

Sky Pearl Image from replacementcounters.com
Sky Pearl
The blue glass chips in the surface are just enough color.  A surface I would enjoy working on.
Next to the same irridescent backsplash tile, it was diminished, less exciting.  Again, check for use with silvertones, but seems to be less problematic than White Pearl.

Persimmon
practically the same color as the tiles I have now.  Definitely a color I love, generally speaking.  Does still look dated paired with the brown.   I like Sky Pearl better in the kitchen.

Blue Sky.
Now finally a blue counter.  I like it with the brown (though I am thinking 2007/8?) but there's something a little medicinal about it, especially with my cream and brown laminate cabinets, as if Pepto Bismo came out with a blue version.  

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

other granite to check out.

blue eyes
luna pearl

Edit to add: turns out these aren't quarried in USA either.  So nevermind.

All Is Well necklace.

Dang, this is cool.  Having the bird on it is important too.  Crystal Bueller made it for Nie Nie.  Therhouse made a silver version.  But they're all sold out.

The fact of the matter is I don't wear necklaces.  But this one sums up what I'm getting out of reading Nie Nie blog this morning.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Dinners served over 3 hours.

Though not much cooking.

The older kids all had places to be, so I went out to dinner with the youngest.  Chipotle, her favorite, which she doesn't get to often because a couple siblings hate it.  It was just shy of 5 PM, and I've been trying to get dinner served crazy earlier, between 4 and 5

After we got home, so did her brother.  So I made him a cheeseburger.  Around 6.

My husband offered to pick up the older one from her class.  I suggested they go out to dinner together, since three of us had already eaten.  Around 6:30.

Finally, I picked up the Pescatarian and gave her and her friend and their bikes a ride home.  She was hungry so I made her a Bertolli Shrimp Scampi & Linguini from frozen.  The Youngest said she was hungry again and ate the other half.  Then her brother saw it and wanted some too, so I made another package of it.  So, dinners again around 8.

I think a family dinner between 4:30 and 5, with some light snack between 7:30 and 8:30 can work very well.  I noticed that the littles ate about half their usual serving of pasta.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Salad Nicoise and Cheeseburgers

Salad Nicoise (first time+)
Cheeseburgers/Boca Burger
Milk or Orangina

This was a hit.  The littles ate cheeseburgers, with a little salad as their vegetable.  It would be fun next time to make broiled buttery "french bread," and use some of it as buns for the burger eaters.

I made the Salad Nicoise from the Simply Recipes site, half a recipe.  This would count as more than a first time, since the last time I attempted Salad Nicoise, years ago, was a yucky never-again disaster.

It was good, here are my notes:
I did use canned tuna.
I did have a real lemon.
I substituted canned olives that we like.
I substituted dried oregano/thyme/basil, measuring 1/3rd as much as fresh.

I'm looking for more green bean recipes.  I've got two pounds of green beans still to go this week.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Deli Dinner

a selection of sandwiches from the deli
leftover chicken and potato for her that doesn't like sandwiches
drink milk, skip vegetables.
I had potato chips and plums out, but no one bothered with them.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Chicken and arugula orecchiette

Chicken and fingerling potatoes in crock pot
Arugula-goat cheese orecchiette.
Milk

Around noon, the frozen boneless chicken thighs go into the crock pot with fingerling potatoes.  I sprinkled my standard garlic salt, paprika, and cumin.  On high for 4 hour hours.

I chopped the arugula into goat cheese and creme fraiche for a pasta sauce.   It was my version of a Mariquita Farm recipe, using what I had on hand.

Experiments with Hunch

Glasshouse by Charles Stross
Go Away War, Gone Away World, by Nick Harkaway
The Man in the High Castle, Philip K. Dick
Diaspora, Greg Egan
Only Forward, by Michael Marshall Smith

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Lazy crazy night

served kirkland mac 'n cheese, and spiral cut apples.  Made the kids drink water, as I was low on milk.

I had the last ciabatta roll (day old), with leftover chicken on it, and sliced tomato.  And dipped it in the gazpacho.  Because I'm not afraid of leftovers, I get to eat better.

Gazpacho dinner

I served Gazpacho, herb slab bakery bread, brie (it was on sale $2/lb!) and chicken.

The chicken I'd cooked in the crock pot, very simply.

The vegetarian ate the soup with bread and cheese (the soup didn't come out quite as tasty as usual though.  Too much siricha, and made too soon before dinner to be chilled.)
The Littles had chicken and bread dipped a little in soup.
As usual, I ate everything.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Worst Mom Ever

Hey Mom Your(sic) the worst Mom ever. My bike is still at the drop. P.S. You owe me 40 dollars it should be eighty for giving me a tardy.

I just think it's awesome that when he discovered his bike wasn't in the side yard, he remembered why it wasn't there, and to it upon himself to walk to school. He was only a two minutes late. I wasn't home because I was driving his sister to her school after she missed the bus.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Dinners

Since the kids started school, I've been diligently cooking dinners.  So here I go back to listing my dinners for the week.

remembering week of August 30th
Monday: American Dover Sole, breaded with panko and pan fried (first time).  Can't remember what we had with it.
Tuesday: homemade shortcut empanadas (first time): using Pillsbury Grands for dough, rolling each roll to a flat 4" circle, then stuffed with seasoned chicken and/or yams.
Wednesday: Sloppy Joes
Thursday: Taquitos.
Friday: first ever ratatoille.  Jane Brody recipe, using my weekly coop veges.
Saturday: chili dogs with vegetarian chili and cheese.  Vegetarians skip the dog.  Whiny children skip the chili.

remembering Week of September 6th
Monday: BBQ Ribs (premade, warm in oven).  Cornbread.  Broccoli.  The vegetarian is happy with cornbread, milk, and vegetable.
Tuesday: I picked up a prepared chicken alfredo pasta at the store, warmed it up, and the two youngest children ate it ALL.  The rest of us made do with leftovers and self-serve.
Wednesday: Variety of Sandwiches from Deli.
Thursday: Ratatoille.  Chili-Lime Chicken
Friday: Roman History/Latin party: two deli roast chickens, figs, grapes, Italian flat bread, grape juice, sparkling cider, ice water.  Also, because it's a party: pepperoni pizza, cashews, and chex mix.  Notice these are all ready-to-eat foods.  Store-bought Pie for dessert.
Saturday: Big lunch with friends over: Taco Salad.  Watermelon.  Pies and cakes for dessert.


Week of September 13th
Monday:

  • Homemade Spaetzle, 
  • broccoli, 
  • sauteed mushrooms (rather than mushroom gravy), 
  • leftover roast chicken from Thursday and Friday, warmed in a pan, like a hash without other ingredients.

to be updated.  I get my produce box mid-week, but I went to the store to get some milk and meat and snacks.  I've been buying some chicken and hamburger each week, not knowing what vegetables were coming.  Today I followed an impulse and got turkey burger, lamb shoulder chops, and thin boneless pork chops.

Tuesday

  • Thin Pork Chops cooked in a pan (a first)  I put a little margarine in the pan, and seasoned them with paprika and Lawry's Season Salt.  
  • "Asian" bagged salad, to which I added my last cucumber and leftover butter lettuce.
  • Applesauce
  • Sliced Italian Bread, leftover from the Roman Party
  • Milk, since I went to the store yesterday.
  • But no Spaetzle.  There was a spaetzle rebellion.  My how the favorite foods have fallen.
I ended up having to make dinner superfast, since I got home more than 30 minutes late.  The pork chops cooked in about 7 minutes, to my delight and astonishment, reaching an internal temp of 135 F.  Because of that, we were all able to sit down and eat before my husband and daughter had to leave to get her to her workshop.

Wednesday


  • Pizza dinner at the middle school

Thursday

Friday, August 27, 2010

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Packing full trash cans, library books, and unwashed towels

tomorrow is packing day for the move.

And, I still have dirty dishes and dirty laundry.  Each day I spend so much time taking children to summer activities to keep them from underfoot, running errands/meeting tradespeople to prep the current house for sale, arranging address forwards and such for the move, taking kids to the doctor/orthodontist/dentist, tending sick kids, being sick myself...those poor guys have to come here and pack my mess, which will arrive as a mess at the new place.

I know how to pack and move, and I've done so beautifully and organized before.  So I don't have to do it that way again.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I bought a kitchen (with a house around it.)

For those of you following my hand-wringing indecisive kitchen remodel saga, the drama has come to abrupt end. I found our dream house for sale a couple blocks away, and I bought it.


Let's compare my new kitchen to my old wish list.


Size? current kitchen is a 17'x8.5' galley New room will be 20x25, and will be kitchen, dining, and sm. family area.
The new-to-me Kitchen is the same 17'x8.5 galley as my current one. Except, one side of that galley is mostly island open to family room and backyard.


Kitchen will be against 17 foot-long wall. Looking into cost of moving sink & dishwasher to island so i can look at family area/ backyard windows instead of 17-foot-wall.
The new-to-me kitchen was remodeled in the late 1970s. Without moving they footprint of the kitchen, they moved the wall between the sink and the backyard. Bravo.
beautiful city loft kitchen I admired was 22'x10.5' And this kitchen is totally different.


Things I definitely want



and got:

  • Lots of natural light
  • rectilinear.  Put your french curve away.
  • Full-size oven.
  • gas cooktop.
  • pantry space for my shelf staples.
  • Place to keep 25 or 50 pounds of flour on hand.
  • larger fridge.  Or, at least easier to get into.
  • handy place for broom, dustpan.
  • nearly got:
  • Dishwasher to right of sink.
  • it's on the left.
  • Appliance garage so my kitchen aid stand mixer is handy.
  • There's this sort of unabtrusive long cubby with electrical outlets, where I can line up my small appliances, but have plenty of counter space in front, and there's not so visually in the way.
    and not at all:
  • pull-out trashcan/recycling holders to the left of sink.
  • I'll have a trash can out, and not near the sink.
  • command/control center in the room, for family scheduling, bills.  
  • Not sure where I'll have this in the new house.
  • Large, deep sink.  Stainless steel works.
  • It's an ordinary sized-stainless steel sink. Unexpected bonus: there's a second prep sink at the other end of the counter.
  • Storage for my big pieces: soup tureen, party drinks bucket, pressure cooker
  • There might be, but I'm not sure.
  • Somewhere to place my ubiquitous bowl of fruit.
  • On the counter somewhere I'll find a good spot.
  • Vertical storage for cookie sheets/cutting boards.
  • for all I know it's there. But maybe it's not.


Things I might like:

  • open shelving to store tomatoes, onions, and winter squash.
  • Double-size fridge/freezer.
  • Somewhere to stick the laptop when I use a recipe straight off the internet.
  • Double oven.  So vegetarian food cooks separately from meat food.  Or dessert bakes concurrent with dinner.



I got the double ovens. Convection.


I'd like it, but the appeal is not universal:
  • I need a place to hang my huge white board. Can't think if I can't draw.
  • crazy thought: smart board.


Perhaps in the adjoining family room. Haven't decided. No place in the kitchen though.
Openness. I never wanted a kitchen/family room combo, but I'll do anything to get my kitchen into the back of the house.  Counter-height islands look lovely in model homes, but there's a mess on the counters every night when we eat dinner.  I'm wondering about half walls, not counter height, to conceal the makings of dinner.  Possibly higher than bar height.
The sink overlooks the family room/backyard windows, but otherwise it's pretty much a galley kitchen, tucked visually away from the adjoining spaces. And I like it.
Cabinet ideas: --Not into exotic woods, or even apparently expensive woods cherry.  Though wood is nice.  But I'm open to non-wood. --Modern probably means flat front. However, floating panels were invented to keep cabinet doors from warping so flat-front wood looks a bit contrived to me now. --bamboo? --those stripes of wood framed in metal Jennifer put in at City Lofts --Those cabinets like Jennifer put in the bathrooms in that other City Loft (I took picture) --Not espresso. I've seen so many espresso cabinets, I've decided it's 2008. --my friend's Arclinea kitchen is beautiful.
The lowers have wood or wood-laminate doors, and are mostly drawers, which is very prescient in a late 1970s remodel. The uppers are painted off-white cabinets, same color as walls (no luan paneling in new-to-me house, sad.) I didn't poke around with the cabinets too much, as they were full of someone else's stuff, but my sense of the few drawers and doors I opened was of dependable quality.


Brown is my favorite color. The handles are that metal groove the length of the panels--not the long bar pulls I really like, but am a little tired of seeing everywhere.


Counters.
Quartz.
or Granite.
and/or some stainless steel.
love marble, but don't see it in an Eichler.



And currently, the kitchen counter is, wait for it...TILE??!!


Hate to work on tile.


Therefore, almost immediately, I'm replacing the counters with manufactured quartz. Must pick color: gray cement color, or something else.


Flooring
will be the same throughout the house.  Probably tile.  Current kitchen is tile, fwiw.


Entire first floor is brown 6x6 tiles. I love them: low key, nearly indestructible, style-appropriate. Do Not Want, at this point. --Pot filler. I don't like pasta, though I'm making it once a week. --Don't like glass doors, since things inside the cabinets are a bit of a jumble. --Especially don't like open shelving, because without cabinet doors we get dust. --Second prep sink. Just don't get it. I don't think I want the kitchen big enough to justify it. --Second dishwasher. I was against this before, but I am getting a little seduced by the idea.
Everyone told me to want a second prep sink. Well, now I have one. I wouldn't have paid to put one in, but it's out of the way, and maybe I'll become a believer.


I'm going to set it up as a drink-of-water stand.
Extravagant ideas:

  • gaggenau hood. Because removing smoke and odors is a priority. I love a great exhaust fan.
  • I've got a downdraft hood on a JennAir *gas* cooktop. Hopefully, it will be up to the stinky food I love to prepare and eat. Oddly enough, I have gaggenau ovens.
  • 48-inch double oven range, with six burners and grill. http://www.us-appliance.com/vgcc5486gss.html
  • I have four gas burners on the cooktop, placed closer together than is usual nowadays or usual with expensive cooktops. But they're gas! Which is the main thing! My husband was looking into inserting a Wolf cooktop, but venting it would be a challenge. I can't go up and out through the ceiling, because there's a second story to this house. If I pipe it sideways to the exterior wall, I have to go under my big Eichler beams, and lose the cupboards in the way. I'm really excited about cooking on gas again. I might have enjoyed this extravagance, but I don't regret losing it for what I'm getting instead: No full-house remodel.
  • Farmhouse sink. In stainless steel?  Probably prefer undermount.
  • The sink is fine. But it's not even undermount. Don't know if it can be undermounted when the new counter goes in. How tacky is it to overmount on a quartz countertop?
  • Sink without ring around the drain.
They're cool. But I won't think of it unless reminded.


Summary:
It's amazing we found a house that fits our off-beat needs, with a kitchen I'm feeling pretty delighted about. Looking forward to settling in and cooking, in less than a month.


And, so grateful I won't be living through a remodel during my children's school year. I feel RESCUED.

Monday, June 7, 2010

that tile

you always forget the name of?

Atlas Concorde Fibra
http://www.mosaictileco.com/atlas_concorde_fibra_sage_porcelain_tiles_options.htm

Monday, May 10, 2010

More links of where I was

http://bettyjung.wordpress.com/2009/11/28/color-trends-for-2011-kitchen-remodel/

A Portland Real Estate agent comments on kitchen color trends.  Also, in a related post, she doesn't like granite.


Kitchen list (yes, updated from last year's Facebook note)

Size?
current kitchen is a 17'x8.5' galley

New room will be 20x25, and will be kitchen, dining, and sm. family area.
Kitchen will be against 17 foot-long wall.
Looking into cost of moving sink & dishwasher to island so i can look at family area/ backyard windows instead of 17-foot-wall.

beautiful city loft kitchen I admired was 22'x10.5'



Things I definitely want

  • Lots of natural light
  • rectilinear.  Put your french curve away.
  • Full-size oven.
  • gas cooktop.
  • pull-out trashcan/recycling holders to the left of sink.
  • Dishwasher to right of sink.
  • pantry space for my shelf staples.
  • Place to keep 25 or 50 pounds of flour on hand.
  • larger fridge.  Or, at least easier to get into.
  • command/control center in the room, for family scheduling, bills.  
  • Large, deep sink.  Stainless steel works.
  • Storage for my big pieces: soup tureen, party drinks bucket, pressure cooker
  • Somewhere to place my ubiquitous bowl of fruit.
  • Appliance garage so my kitchen aid stand mixer is handy.
  • Vertical storage for cookie sheets/cutting boards.
  • handy place for broom, dustpan.

Things I might like:

  • open shelving to store tomatoes, onions, and winter squash.
  • Double-size fridge/freezer.
  • Somewhere to stick the laptop when I use a recipe straight off the internet.
  • Double oven.  So vegetarian food cooks separately from meat food.  Or dessert bakes concurrent with dinner.

I'd like it, but the appeal is not universal:

  • I need a place to hang my huge white board. Can't think if I can't draw.
  • crazy thought: smart board.

Openness.
I never wanted a kitchen/family room combo, but I'll do anything to get my kitchen into the back of the house.  Counter-height islands look lovely in model homes, but there's a mess on the counters every night when we eat dinner.  I'm wondering about half walls, not counter height, to conceal the makings of dinner.  Possibly higher than bar height.

Cabinet ideas:
--Not into exotic woods, or even apparently expensive woods cherry.  Though wood is nice.  But I'm open to non-wood.
--Modern probably means flat front. However, floating panels were invented to keep cabinet doors from warping so flat-front wood looks a bit contrived to me now.
--bamboo?
--those stripes of wood framed in metal Jennifer put in at City Lofts
--Those cabinets like Jennifer put in the bathrooms in that other City Loft (I took picture)
--Not espresso. I've seen so many espresso cabinets, I've decided it's 2008.
--my friend's Arclinea kitchen is beautiful.


Counters.
Quartz.
or Granite.
and/or some stainless steel.
love marble, but don't see it in an Eichler.

Flooring
will be the same throughout the house.  Probably tile.  Current kitchen is tile, fwiw.


Do Not Want, at this point.
--Pot filler. I don't like pasta, though I'm making it once a week.
--Don't like glass doors, since things inside the cabinets are a bit of a jumble.
--Especially don't like open shelving, because without cabinet doors we get dust.
--Second prep sink. Just don't get it. I don't think I want the kitchen big enough to justify it.
--Second dishwasher. I was against this before, but I am getting a little seduced by the idea.

Extravagant ideas:

  • gaggenau hood. Because removing smoke and odors is a priority. I love a great exhaust fan.
  • 48-inch double oven range, with six burners and grill. http://www.us-appliance.com/vgcc5486gss.html
  • Farmhouse sink. In stainless steel?  Probably prefer undermount.
  • Sink without ring around the drain.


Kitchen I saw on T.V.
  • http://www.bigcoatproductions.com/episodeDetails.php?showId=78&episodeId=700
  • I related to it because the room was narrow.
  • And the floor-to-ceiling cabinet pantry stuck with me, since I probably can't get a drywall pantry.
  • It made me think maybe a big table in the kitchen (I'm always trying to move the dining OUT of the kitchen) might be fun.
  • I liked the wall of pantry cabinets opposed to a wall that had lower but not upper cabinets. Though I'm usually against open dust-collecting shelves.
  • Nice use of silestone counters.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Love an Underdog.

Last picked in the NFL draft. Went to the Detroit Lions--not the winningest team. Small guy for football. White guy with dreadlocks.

This may be the hook by which I take an interest in Football.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Meet Natasha.

http://www.becomingsomething.com/

I think I love her blog.

Also, her advocacy for gratitude has me wanting to start adding gratitude lists to the end of each post.


1. Found Kama Sutra Dark Drinking Chocolate in the cupboard, which my husband bought in New York. Made myself a lovely cup. Isn't it lovely to consume something I didn't buy and arrange for myself for a change?

2. Encouraging progress made on PTA paperwork, after weeks of stuckness.

3. Grateful for a friends' remark, that though younger children are hard work, they also are rewarding in the way they love and appreciate Mom--so start considering it normal that mothering a teenager may lack that warm fuzzy feedback and even feel draining.

4. My kids love each other. My neighbor even remarked on it today.

5. I love the color gray. So calming. Thank you God for gray.

Bike More

http://www.bikeforums.net/

I'm lurking here, gathering advice, finding new places to ride.

I tried to post twice tonight--spent so long writing each time that my login timed out.  Ouch.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Containment. Excellent SF Reading

by Christian Cantrell.

Most fun science fiction reading in two years.  Or more.  All the fun techie stuff, paranoid stuff, near-future predictions, space colony stuff.  And, iirc, no words or scenes to offend Mormons, which I didn't even notice until I wanted to tell everyone about it and realized I could.

Only costs $1 as ebook, or free in HTML.  Don't be fooled by the cheap price.

I hope his day job will leave enough time to write more novels.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Bunny Slippers

You laugh, but I've been looking for large bunny slippers for almost three years now.

http://www.bunnyslippers.com/

Saturday, April 3, 2010

It's spring, and a thoughts turn to love. Outdoor Furniture love.

http://babmar.com/i-972575-verano-outdoor-sofa-set-one-piece-sofa.html

with delivery, $2600. Whew.

I wonder if it is at all comfortable to sit on however.

That's the one thing about mall retailers like Pottery Barn.  They've prescreened for such concerns.

What I like about this set: the arms are not too thick.  Get a lot of seating for the footprint.  Modern square look good for my house.  Sofa is not a sectional, therefore it won't separate when we all sit on it, or when I'm napping on it with a novel.

It may say "2009," but before I saw this kind of thing last year (and saw it everywhere) I don't think I'd ever seen any patio furniture I wanted.  The year before I saw this kind of thing in front of our hotel in Berlin.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

And the beautiful Sabbath meal was

hot dogs with buns, vegetarian chili, cheese, pickles, salad.
no placemats, no china.

Sometimes being together is beautiful enough.

yay lucky me!

I won a handful of consulting hours from Karman Ng of Cantilever Design at the school fundraising auction.

Which is good, because I love, love, love my house, but I am stuck, stuck, stuck, about how to bring it up to speed.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Beautiful Sabbath Meal

I used to be such a great mother.  I made hot breakfast every school morning, often whole-pancakes.  And, the meal included getting a serving a fruit into each child before they left the house.

Then, the advent of the second teenager.  I was told by all parties I was not leaving enough room for her independence.  So, now that teen, and all the others, serve themselves cold cereal, no fruit, and I stay out of it.

And now making a hot breakfast seems like unwanted extra work on a school morning.  Because it doesn't have the benefit of routine.

For 2010, we're on the afternoon church schedule.  The last time we were on it, I for the most part stopped making lovely sabbath meals.  So, my once-a-week china has been living in the cupboard for a long time.

The children don't even remember Sunday meals anymore.

So, Saturday I actually made preparations.  I thought of a meal that would please everyone (spaghetti with meat on the side, salad, rolls, grapes.)  Warned RoutineGirl that something different would happen and got her preapproval on the food.  Bought the food.

But, Forgot to either clean up the Saturday night kitchen, or make a kid do it.

So, where I needed to have the meal on the table at 11, I was instead trying to clean up the ubermess the kids made while I was out Saturday night.  And, KoolAidGirl wouldn't clean up her mess unless I left the kitchen, because she's "claustrophobic."  So the kitchen wasn't usable until nearly noon, and dinner didn't get on the table until 12:15.  When RoutineGirl said she couldn't stay to eat with us, because she would be walking to church with her friend.

But at least RoutineGirl noticed how pretty the table was and seemed to have some regret.  She said she's come back after church and eat grapes and salad.

So, we shoveled down our food, frantically changed into church clothes (which couldn't be worn near spaghetti sauce,) I had to take some time to box up and refrigerate the perishable leftovers.

We got to church ten minutes late.

And saw it was Fast Sunday.

y'know, it's okay.  i'm that much closer to having it work next time.

Progressive Lens

I have my new prescription but I haven't filled it yet.  My optician said the new glasses need to be at least 27 mm high, and my current glasses, which I love, are only 23mm.

He helped me pick out a flattering and inoffensive new frame.  And I didn't order them.  So boring.  So old.  Needing the modern equivalent of bifocals has me feeling SO OLD.  and not in a good way.

I think I'm going to be disloyal and try a different optician today.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Vegan Supper/Violin-electronica concert

Tonight was the long-planned concert/dinner date.  At the venue a five-course vegan dinner is served.  A concert is given before the last course (dessert).

Full house; 20.  Even mix of men and women.

Really fabulous food.  Music incredible, violinist extremely talented and skilled, use of computers, looping, gesture glove intelligent and not gimmick.  My amusical opinion seconded by my musical husband.

And of course, what I really care about.  What were they wearing.  The violinist was dressed for recital, conservative with enough bling for a soloist.  The food people were extremely casual, looking like t-shirt vegans.  The crowd was another San Francisco mix of dark neutrals, not dressy, but much more than casual.

I was overshot again.  Silk dress in ivory/green/gray, strappy sandals, pearl earrings.   However, we were seated in the corner, and since we were late we were out of the eddy of conversation.  DH got up and circulated before we left.

I think I keep overshooting in an effort to show respect for the music, especially since I don't get the music as much as I suspect it deserves.

The performer came over and talked to us, and I really enjoyed meeting her and talking to her.  But beyond the fact she was intelligent and fascinating, I may have already felt her an ally, since she and I were the only two in the room wearing anything shiny.  She had read about me on my husband's FB page, which was oddly flattering.

I Don't Tell My Child What to Believe

http://www.jrganymede.com/2009/12/31/i-dont-tell-my-child-what-to-believe/

file for future reference.

is a response to:
http://uumormon.blogspot.com/2009/10/agnostic-morality.html

has me thinking about:
1. The fact I didn't care when my preschooler went through his sun worship phase.
2. My belief that all parents do pass on their top three values, and most of their top ten, whether or not they intended.  Their actual values, not their stated values.  And, a value can be passed on in reaction: e.g. the mom who makes punctuality such an issue that her children spend their entire adult lives insisting on the right to be late.
3. Glenn and I have always had different approaches to church.  And thank heaven, since I would have attended three times a week so I could go hiking; and would find a way to avoid all social interaction with people in the ward instead of loving them.  However I have wondered what happens to kids when their parents are cheerfully, openly different in faith.  Or, if they're cheerfully, privately/unstatedly different in faith.  To some extent I think children will receive some idea of what parents really believe, even when the parents state otherwise.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Date Night

It's Date Night, and I haven't planned anything.  My husband just called to say he was looking forward to it, and did I have any ideas of what I'd like to do?

A few years ago, we started going to the movies a lot.  I think I see every movie I'm interested in before it hits video these days.

When I was young and single, I had disgust for people who went to movies on a date.  If you were going to spend a couple hours with someone and get to know them, it was stupid to do so at the movies where you could hardly interact.

Today is cloudy and rainy and mostly what I want to do is climb under the covers with a good book.  I've already been at a PTA meeting, then I've got to go to the doctor, then take our pet to the vet where I'll probably inquire about putting the poor thing out of its misery, then kid pickups and kid negotiation through homework and chores.  At least the house is clean.  But the laundry has stacked up after an all-day power outage and I don't see when I'll get to it.  And tomorrow we throw a big party.

My 25-year-old self would be shocked at me.  Even my 35-year-old self would be quite disappointed.  Now that the kids are older I have a lot more options for a weekly date.  We can travel even to the near large cities, we can stay away longer, we don't need to hire a babysitter.  You'd think I'd be going to the opera, seeing plays, art galleries, and all the things I dreamed I'd do when I was an undergrad.   I've never been in a batting cage--can I do that?  Last night I turned down the chance to accompany my husband to some avant guard music recital, because I didn't want to deal with the fallout of what happens to unsupervised kids who want to avoid their homework.

Phooey, my job rating as a spouse right now would be very low, if anyone objective were doing the review.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

23 Roses

It's our 23rd Valentine's Day together

Sunday, February 7, 2010

District 9, Gattaca

Just saw District 9 (yes, despite the R rating). Okay, violent, and lots of the f-word, though pronounced just off enough in another country's accent to not sound like a cuss word to me. good movie. Glad I saw it.

I like it like I like Gattaca. Think-y entertaining science fiction movie.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Modern Doorbell button

The doorbell stopped working at some point during the garage remodel project. Derek the miracle worker got the bell working again (old house, but I didn't want to have to load batteries in my doorbell.) I'm thinking of replacing the inoffensive doorbell button with one of these lovely Spore de-light doorbells.








Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Health Care/Infrastructure

Giving drugs without food is like washing your hands and drying them in the dirt.

Haitian proverb
http://pih.org/issues/foodwaterhousing.html

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

At least she didn't blame the dog.

Child: So there I was, sitting in my room, innocently reading The Economist, and that's why I haven't done any homework today.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

argument over

Argument ongoing:

Wife: Don't make me say $%#* in five languages!

Husband: (pausing, argument suddenly over) what, can you do that?

Wife: rocking back and forth on her decades-old undergraduate linguistics degree: well, no, but...

Husband: (laughing hysterically)

Kitchens to admire: Mod FruGal's $16K kitchen

http://modfrugal.com/2009/04/budget-kitchen-remodel/

Monday, January 4, 2010

Lice??!!!

As an extra Christmas present, half the family is hosting lice. I've never dealt with this before, so here's what I'm picking up on the internet, and what I'm doing to solve the problem.

Get it off their heads: The first kid I found had a bad infestation. At least, it was shocking to me. I ran down to the drugstore, sabbath or not, and bought a RID kit. Shampooed her hair in Piperonyl butoxide, then combed through her hair, using the gel in the kit to ease the way, alternating between the plastic comb in the kit, and the metal comb I'd bought. After each pass, I'd wipe the comb off with a paper towel and put that in the trash.

Then I started looking around on the internet, overwhelmed by how much cleaning, laundering, and vacuuming I'd need to do to remove any lice from the house. There I discovered the Robi comb. I went back to the drugstore that night and bought one, and used that to find and remove many lice from the next kid's hair, and a few from mine. It's a comb with a little electrical current to catch and kill the lice as it moves through the hair. Ugh! Kid Two and Me still need combing to remove eggs.

The good news: they like the dark, so the lice aren't going to be in our eyebrows or on our arms. If we can be clear for ten days, we've probably gotten rid of them.

I think my next plan is to get Cetaphil lotion and use that for nit comb-thrus. I guess I need to train a teenager to comb through my hair. I suppose we'll all be getting in touch with our inner ape this week, grooming each other this way.

Get it out of the house: Because otherwise they'll move from the pillow, floor, clothing, towels, and just be back in your hair. Adults can live 55 hours on a textile, but I'm not sure if the eggs keep longer.

Down comforter I ran it through the dryer for 40 minutes. I hope the heat did them in, if anything was there. The cotton cover looks scorched.

Other bed linen Wash and dry in hot. That's a lot of laundry with a houseful of kids, but I'm working through it. I've decided everyone's only getting one blanket back, so I can rewash everyone's bed linens every day for the next little while.

carpet Vacuum, vacuum, vacuum. Our vacuum doesn't have bags, so I hope none of them rise in a cloud back into my hair when I dump the bag. Of course, some of the kids' floors are covered in post-Christmas toy mess, so there's prep work to the vacuuming.

upholstery At this point I realized all our upholstery is leather, which basically means we're in luck. What can you do really, wipe it down? I don't think the lice can live on it.

Stuffed Animals I'm not sure what to do at this point. I've read that we could leave the house for three days, and when we returned all the lice would be dead for lack of host. But I've also read I've got to put the stuffed animals in an airtight bag for two weeks to kill what may be in them. Is the longer period for killing the eggs? If so, wouldn't the eggs be surviving on the carpet or towels longer than three days?

I've put the stuffed animals in non-airtight garbage bags out of the way for now.

Clothing I don't think I have to wash the clothes hanging in the closets, since we're just getting back from a two-week vacation. But everything else, and the closet of little Miss Dress Up, has got to run through the system.

I'm staging everything in stacks in the tile-floor hall. I'm thinking of getting big garbage bags to keep it in, just because the site of possibly contaminated laundry is scaring me. And, we've all got to brush by it to get to the bathroom. I know they don't fly, but still...

Friday, January 1, 2010

I got socks



My sister is TLC Stitches, and she made them. So I got a better present than you.