Showing posts from December, 2013

Day Eleven-d-hundred: Appliances

Not a whole lot happening around the kitchen. We put all of the shelves in the upper and lower cabinets and moved the foodstuffs into the pantry. We had a wire shelf like thing in the previous pantry and we are not going to be using in this least that's the plan for now. Our appliances also came today and we hooked up the range and left the fridge and the dishwasher in the garage. The microwave has been out there since 12-13 or so. Our new range So...we are still in a bit of a holding pattern as the other cabinets are not in yet. We'll have to see when we can get our contractor back in to install the rest of the appliances and hang the rest of the cabinets. The counters will be installed on 1-7-13 on the base cabinets that are installed. It would be great if the other 12 inch would come in by then but...we're not holding our breath. God is moving us along in His time for His purposes. I am sure if He enumerated all of the reasons why He was doing this it w

Day Ten: Baby steps

Not a whole lot to report on the kitchen install lately, but at least the standstill has been broken. Somewhat. Our cabinets were measured for the counter tops we ordered a while back and it looks like they are going to be on schedule for installation on January 7, 2014. Of course it remains to be seen whether we are ready to have them installed then, but the guy measuring them said that it did not matter all that much because, well, we could store them in our garage until we were ready to go. Thank God for a big garage. Not our kitchen, but what the counter top will look like We also received word that our appliances will be delivered on December 27th. This is not what we were expecting when we ordered them on November 23rd, but it is what God has given to us. I picked up a kit today to hook the range up to the gas line that was recently run so I should be able to make that happen in relatively short order after delivery. I will save the fridge and the dishwasher for the contr

Christmas as comfort and consolation

"Comfort, O comfort My people," says your God.  (Isaiah 40:1) And there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Spirit was upon him. (Luke 2:25) It is cold this morning and we are not expecting to get out of the teens all day today. Our main entrance is closed today so I had to park and walk a rather longish distance to get into the building for my half day of work today. When I buzzed myself in I was immediately met by the warmth of the building that I will occupy for the next four hours or so. That warmth, in no small measure, brought physical comfort to me and sense of well-being to my heart. This is where I should be rather than "out there" in the snow and cold. It is a rather fitting day for me to think of the comfort and consolation of both Israel and of me as a follower of Christ. I'll celebrate his birth tomorrow in a way that will mark that day as a d

Choosing my imprisonment

Return to your fortress,  you prisoners of hope;  even now I announce that I will restore twice  as much to you. Zechariah 9:12 Even though I hate to admit it, I lost it a couple of mornings ago. I was stressed out about this, that, and the other thing and then I spent close to 15 minutes trying to get our coffee maker to work. With each cup that didn't fill properly I got more and more agitated and lost my patience. The coffeemaker, the coffeemaker (!) sent me over the edge in front of my wife and children. I regained some of my composure before I left for work, but I definitely fouled the mood up in our house and I would venture to guess that the three of them were more than happy to see me go. I chose my imprisonment then: the circumstances that I found myself in. I was so focused on what was happening and knew that I was so undeserving of the inconvenience that I reacted in a way that I should not have. I forgot the larger imprisonment that I chose back in October of 1988.

Merely producers and consumers

Pope Francis I is making some waves isn't he? Independent of some of the doctrines of the Catholic church that I have come to not embrace I am excited about the direction he is taking the papacy and the church as a whole. I think that he is both more conservative and more liberal than either side is making him out to be, but that may just be me. I was listening to an NPR interview where the new head of American Catholic Bishops said something that gave me great pause. Here is a portion of the transcript: [Linda] WERTHEIMER: Now, you recently released his message for the World Day of Peace and the economic part of that message has gotten quite a bit of attention. He attacked the wealth gap in some parts of the world. How do you see American Catholics responding to that? KURTZ: Well, I think what our holy father is talking about, first of all, is we cannot look at people as consumers and as producers only (my emphasis). And that means that as individuals, as a church and as a s

Day Nine: Gas line and standstill

Not a whole lot to report on day nine other than the fact that we now have a gas line that runs up through the floor and into the kitchen ready for our new gas range. It will be fantastic to cook with gas again after spending 11 years with electric ranges. Our base cabinet and appliances have not made an appearance yet, nor do we really know when they are going to show up. For all we know they are figments of our imagination or are being built by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Hamsters in Duluth, Minnesota. Actually, ninjas don't do cabinetry work so that is a bit of an exaggeration. Sorry about that. The smell of a gas stove always reminds me of my grandma McKinley's house. When we would go there (especially for Christmas) I would always be fascinated by the blue flames of the stove and the gas wall heater that was in the bathroom. The smell was pleasant enough and I thought it was so great to see "fire" in a house as all I knew from our own home and the places we freque

Day Eight: Less Dust, More Fuss

Not a whole lot of new construction lately, but there is a lot of detail work happening while we wait and wait for our appliances and cabinets to arrive. The cabinet hardware is on the cabinets that are installed. The wire is for the dishwasher. This is is the island. It is three inches longer than the one we had before. We're fine with that. The lighting has trim. The top of the pantry is in the background. God has been good to us in that we have had the opportunity to eat with friends and family as our kitchen has been remodeled. We are praying that our appliances will be coming in this Thursday and that they are installed by the weekend. Nan is looking forward to cooking on the new range and I am looking forward to loading up the dishwasher and getting it going. It has been extraordinarily cold and snowy since the third day of construction. We have been shoveling the driveway a little bit more than usual to keep it nice and clean for the guys. These continue to be

Day Seven: They may have lost their minds

The guys worked hard tonight and left pretty close to 7:00 PM tonight. Yeah - sounds like a good time...I mean how else would someone want to spend their Friday night? They were definitely wanting to get the floor done and, well, they nailed it. Not literally as it is a floating floor and nailing it would be bad, but we are liking what they did with the molding and the quarter round. Here is the floor in the kitchen. The four base cabinets are attached to the wall and in place. The detail is great - they covered the exposed ends of the shoe molding. I did not expect that at all. This is the entry way. I think that the door looks a lot less out of place with the new floor. The 12 inch base cabinet is not here yet nor are the appliances. I am a little more accepting of this as the guy that needs to run the gas line hasn't shown up yet so the range would not have been operable anyway.  We are using the sink and temporary countertops now and are happy that we are getting

Day Six Part 2: Problem? What problem?

This is getting cool. Not that it wasn't before, but prep work is just not as exciting as the finishing work and this is Day 1 of the finishing side of things: Here's Tony from R.F. Remodeling - he has been the principal contractor and is at Northridge Church with us. Here is our temporary sink. No...we are not going with the plywood countertops. About a fifth of the laminate is down. Here is the look from the front door into the kitchen. The cabinets are going to be disorganized for a bit, but we are happy with the progress. To say that these guys are detail oriented is an understatement. They are doing all kinds of things that are making our lives more comfortable as they work on our kitchen. We even have some nice new drains, compression fittings, and shut-off valves for under our sink. That was a good way of course. Tomorrow is the day when it will be all done as we wait for the other base cabinets, wall cabinets, and appliances to come in. 

Day Six Part 1: Hoboken? We have a problem.

I just received a call from my wife stating that the cabinet that goes over the refrigerator is too tall. Way too tall. Even if we did not install the flooring under the refrigerator we would still not have enough room to get the fridge underneath it. And, well, the cabinet that goes over the stove to too tall as well if we want to hang the microwave. So, there is a way around this but it requires that we take the stove cabinet and put it over the refrigerator and use two three-inch filler strips so that there is enough room for the width of the fridge. Then we get to order another cabinet with the filler strips. As much as I hate spending more money we are still way ahead of ourselves in terms of how much we could have spent on cabinets and what we are spending now. Way ahead. I hope that this is the last issue we face. Actually, it is the first issue we faced where we had to plunk down some more money to make it go away. That's the way projects are sometimes. I am still looking

Day Five: Everything that can be done

OK...we are in the home stretch as everything that can be done is going to be done by Friday. So here is what happened today: This is the room as it was being painted. We have the same color in the kitchen that we have in our hallway. The cabinets are coming in now. They should all be in tomorrow save the island. This is a closeup of the cabinet that is going next to the dishwasher. This is getting pretty real and we are going to be seeing some pretty dramatic transformations in the next couple of days as the cabinets are going to be hung and the floor is going to be going down. Thankfully the delay in the delivery of the cabinets and the appliances that we are anticipating is not going to put our faithful contractor behind. At least that is what he is telling us so we'll go with it.  It is hard to just say "thanks" to God for all of this. He is exceeding our expectations in every way we can imagine. I think He likes to operate that way - at least that is

Day Four: Taping, mudding, sanding, boring

No new pictures for day 4 as the transformation was particularly underwhelming. Just boring preparation work for the real fun stuff today through the rest of the week I guess. The guys mentioned that the day-to-day changes would get a little less exciting for a while and they were right. At any rate we laid out the cabinets last night (not physically) and found that our island is actually going to be about 3 inches bigger than we had anticipated. I doubt we will notice the difference but we will see. We still haven't heard whether our appliances that we ordered on 11-23-13 or the extra cabinets and fillers we ordered on 11-29-13 will be in on Friday or not. I have a feeling that they won't be, but I would be happy to be surprised about it. In a positive way of course. It looks like more sanding and then painting today and, maybe, a wall cabinet or two. Everything will be ready by Friday for the countertop measurements (if the other base cabinet arrives) which means that in

Silence and then a heaping helping of weird

I have blogged before about certain situations and characters in the Bible that capture my imagination more than others. I think I found another one: how God chose to break the 400 years of silence between the Old and New Testaments. How strange it must have been for the nation of Israel to have had silence from God in those years. There is no doubt that God was at work. Even a cursory reading of the literature of the Apocrypha would reveal that. But no prophets in the land? That hadn't happened at any time in the Hebrew people's history until now. I can't imagine a dry time like that. Maybe I don't want to imagine it. But then things started to get weird. Gabriel - none other than Gabriel himself - was sent by God to visit Zechariah. Then dispatched to Mary. Oh to have been near the people that heard the news of the visitations! I can't imagine what they were thinking. They hadn't heard from God in so long and now, this time, this place, was pregnant wi

Day Three: Kids! Kids! The dust is back!

After a two-day reprieve from the dust (thanks to my wife) the crew decided to make their return known by putting up some drywall and get the place ready for some taping, mudding, finishing, and maybe some painting tomorrow. I do like the position of the recessed lighting and the work that they did today. We did receive word on a couple of details: It looks like our kitchen will be ready on Friday (12-13-13) for the countertops.  That is if we can get all the cabinets here in time. We still have one base and two wall cabinets to get here but I think that they'll be ready for me to pick them up Thursday (12-12-13) night. I think. Maybe. It also looks like our appliances will make it here on Friday too. I have less faith in the cabinets than I do in the appliances. We will be getting an electrician in to disconnect the 220 line from the box and pull it through the floor. It is left over from the electric stove we had. The counters will be measured on 12/24/13 with installation

Countertop frenzy

Our youngest son asked us last evening if the "countertop frenzy" was complete. It was. We had our minds made up that we were going to go with an acrylic (Corian) countertop as we thought that this would be in more in line with our budget than any other surface. The only thing we knew for sure is that we did not want laminate (Formica). But then when the weekend came to pull the trigger I got cold feet. I kept reading about people that have regretted installing their acrylic countertops (no matter what brand they happened to have) and a bunch of people raving about their granite and/or quartz counters so I broke the news to my wife that we should be looking at quartz. So, last weekend we shopped around at a couple of local stores for quartz counters and found quite a few designs that we really liked. One quote was a little high but doable in our budget and the next was out of budget so we could not consider it. We knew that Lowe's had some sales on quartz so we ended

Day Two: Let there be lights.

Day two saw the contractor putting stuff back together after tearing it all apart yesterday. I texted him a couple of times as he was working to let him know that we needed a 120 V outlet behind the range in addition to the gas line and to answer a couple of questions he had. Thankfully he was able to get an outlet in without too much hassle. I think it is a touch too high but he may have just made it underneath where it needs to be. Here is what it all looks like now: One of eight can lights that are installed and working There is going to be much more light in our kitchen now... ...and many more outlets. Three more that are accessible plus the one in the island. The underlayment is all screwed down and ready for the laminate. I think that they made an impressive amount of progress today but Tony did mention that the progress is going to be a tad bit slower as he is going to have to do drywall installation and finishing work. We bought the bulbs and the trim for t

Day One: Demolition

Well, we knew that our kitchen would look different from day one and we were right in that assumption. Here is what it looks like now: Our fridge and dishwasher are shrouded from the carnage. The ceiling is ripped down to make way for new lighting. At this point I would be in a panic, but these guys do this for a living so they are not sweating a bit. Here is the hallway leading out to the door. The flooring will extend from the kitchen to the door. There were a boatload of blessings today. It was 60 degrees which made the open door to vent the dust a lot less of an issue than it could have been. Also, I was able to stay home in the morning and work to give the guys the direction they needed. Which wasn't too much as I am not the authority here (like I had to write that). These guys work cleanly too which is nice. We also uncovered two different strips of wallpaper which you may be able to see on the left hand side of picture 1 and the right hand side of picture

The kitchen preparation continues...

This is our last full day with our old kitchen (12-4-13). As we're getting it ripped out tomorrow, here is what it looks like now: This is the classic "before" picture. Parting with this will not be hard. This stove is original to the house (1968). We're pretty sure it's not grounded. The desk next to the fridge has a leg that likes to lay on the floor. A lot. Good thing it can stand without it. This border rings our kitchen and reminds us of the Bonnie Hills of Wonderland. The soffit will be ripped out. Every ceiling light should come with a simulated wood grain sticker. This sink leaks a lot out of the stem. I am glad I never fixed it. Sort of. This is our dining room/temporary kitchen. All the food from the pantry is in the boxes to the left. All in all even though it has been a sub-optimal kitchen it has been, thanks be to God, a kitchen. We will not be too sad to see it all go the way of the Dodo, but we will reme

I can't (won't?) help it

This morning on my way to work I was going what I thought was pretty fast in the passing lane on Route 104. Well, around the spot where I pass Medley Center a driver behind me flashed his lights wanting me to let him through. I said, out loud, "You have got to be kidding me!" and moved over. Slowly. I like to do that when people annoy me. But the story gets better. Traffic was moving slower than usual due to a heavier than normal presence of New York State Troopers and there were plenty of people I could have flashed my lights at to move over. But I didn't because I am much too polite for that. Besides, the stress of people annoying me is lessened somewhat by my penchant to talk to myself. But, then, there it was: The guy that flashed his lights at me and that I so "graciously" moved over for was pulled over by a State Trooper. As I drove by I made a sound that I can't spell very well so I will leave it up to your imagination to determine what it was.