We’re Back On! (A Group Remodeling Project: Part 7)

September 11, 2016 in Beth by Beth Woolsey

Alrighty, folks; it’s been a little while since we’ve discussed this, so for those of you who’d like a refresher, feel free to check out the first 6 installments our Group Remodeling Project:

In short, we were TOTALLY UNDERWAY for our kitchen remodel in April/May before we fell rather dramatically apart and basically are just now, 4 months later, getting our crap together enough to dive back in.

We ARE, however, diving ALL the way back in, as we’re wont to do, and so we’ll commence torturing Greg together again STAT.

To date, we’ve agreed the old, crappy stove we start with the ice pick has to go, along with the orange counters. We’ve agreed I cannot be trusted to make ANY kitchen decisions without you (reference: orange counters). We’ve decided we’ll put subway tile up the walls in the kitchen area. We’ve met Betty, our new old stove and the Hero of this Tale, and we’ve decided to put her against the wall between the fridge and the sink where she’ll shine without blocking the window.

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We left you hanging when it came to the range hood, but we’d previously agreed either a stainless hood against a tiled wall…

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…or a hood mounted under a cabinet…

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…would be fine, so Greg and I left the decision up to the expense.

The contractors tell us the former option (stainless steel hood against tiled wall) is cheapest, so SOLD.

NOW, ANNOUNCEMENT TIME!

Are you ready??

CONSTRUCTION HAS BEGUN, and Betty’s new home is being prepared.

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Please note, for those of you not yet convinced of my inability to decorate in any way that resembles a grown-up with, say, taste, that mint green wall you see with the cabinets removed is, in fact, the original wall color I picked on purpose… wait for it… to go with the orange counters. DO YOU SEE WHY I NEED YOU?

Yes. Yes, I need you to the moon.

Which brings me to the latest.

We, um, have started construction without all our decisions made. Like counters. NO IDEA WHAT TO DO ABOUT COUNTERS. And Not Knowing will hold up construction since they can’t tile ’til the counters are in place. But the construction guys were ready to roll, and I’ve been procrastinating the heck out of this project, so I told them to go ahead and start, and I’d try to catch up.

That’s what I said.

Go ahead and start, and I’ll try to catch up. After all, if we don’t start by doing something, we might end up doing nothing, and I CAN’T START MY STOVE WITH AN ICE PICK FOREVER.

Guys, this is totally like life. Because Oh My WORD, friends; oh my word. Sometimes we just have to START ANYWAY, you know? Even without knowing the end goal. And even if we’re fully aware others will outpace us. Sometimes we have to just GO AHEAD and say all the Hail Marys and hope we can catch up. Amen? AMEN.

Which is why today’s subject is Belated Counters. Specifically, what type of material to use and what color.

Here are the factors for type of countertop material:

  1. We can’t take care of stuff. <– We can’t. We’re terrible at maintaining things and treating them gently, so if there’s a type of counter top has to be handled carefully or must be babied, polished, sealed, oiled or sanded, it’s out, friends. It will die a horrible, terrible death at my house, and no one wants that.
  2. Due to #1, we’ve ruled out granite, soapstone, wood and tile.
  3. Confession: I’ve loved our orange countertops. All except the color. They’re laminate countertops, and they are so easy to clean and maintain! They don’t stain. You can’t break them by sitting on them. They’re easy to wash with soap and water. And we never have to polish, seal or oil them.
  4. So we’re considering laminate again… I hear laminate’s gotten better. Prettier? Less plasticky? With lovely edges now? So I want to seriously consider laminate unless you all are, like, NO WAY, BETH; WE ARE HERE TO SAVE YOU FROM YOURSELF. Check out these pics at Decor Chick, though, before you yell at me, K? I think you’ll see what I mean.
  5. …or maybe stainless steel? Now, I’m not actually sure we can afford these, but I like the idea in theory — countertops that can take what a lab dishes out can surely take what my kids dish, right? Plus they don’t stain. I have heard I won’t like all the fingerprints on them before the years it takes to develop a nice patina, and my friend, Emily, who’s weighed in, says they’re too cold for the space. Emily is good people with a pretty house, so I tend to believe her. Added to the possible high cost (we did rule out whether the steel shop in town was willing to make them — they’re not 🙁 ), and I’m not certain this is high enough on the list but wanted to throw it out there.

So, Question #1 is countertop type. Can I go ahead with laminate? Or must I consider other options?

Next, we have to discuss color. I do like high contrast looks like our dark wood floor with our white cabinets, but I’m wondering if the counter should also be a contrast to the cabinets (dark brown? dark grey?) or if it should blend in with the cabinets (lighter gray, maybe?). I DON’T KNOW ANYTHING, FRIENDS. HELP ME.

On the one hand, I’m a short, round woman, and I’ve always been told not to break things up too much — do not wear a skirt of one color and a top of a totally different color, Beth; it chops you up! — but on the other hand, I’ve never actually heeded that advice, BECAUSE IT’S CRAP, and I’ll defend to the death my kitchen’s right to wear whatever she darn well pleases.

Glad we had this chat.

Nevertheless, my kitchen can’t change her counters as frequently as I change my skirt, so I want to do well by her.

Like, take a look at this photo is from HGTV’s Fixer Upper

hicontrastfarmhouseindustrialkitchen

The color scheme and farmhouse industrial feel above closely match the vibe in our kitchen, from the darker wood floors and the reclaimed wood table top to the subway tile walls and white cabinets. Their counters have that light/medium gray thing going on, which makes me think we’d be on the right track with something similar. Yay or nay??

So Question #2 is countertop color. Light grey? Dark grey? Something else entirely??

In conclusion, help a girl out. You’re my only hope.

Sincerely,

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P.S. In other news, I do not have to murder Greg, after all! Which is, frankly, hours of planning and premeditation wasted. However, because it DID turn out to be a handsaw he let the 9-year-old use and NOT the power saw AND because he didn’t let that child purchase or build a forge for melting metal and also inevitably his own flesh, now Greg thinks I owe him cake.

But First, Tacos

June 2, 2016 in Beth by Beth Woolsey

Things you should know:

  1. I’m still alive, and
  2. I’m missing writing here,
  3. but one kid had surgery,
  4. and one kid has mono,
  5. and one kid, who’s in the special education class, told another kid in the special education class that she was taking out a hit on him because he didn’t let her help him with science, and everyone knows when someone doesn’t let you help with science the only reasonable solution is to threaten that person with death.
  6. Also, one kid has a tiny concussion. And maybe mono, too. But probably just the concussion. I told him if he has mono like his sister, I’ll spank him, so he decided not to have it, after all.
  7. I won’t actually spank him; partly because it turns out I’m not a spanker, and partly because he’s hard to catch, even with a concussion.
  8. Also-also, one kid is graduating high school Saturday, so we are preparing to Fake Having a Clean House for the party. The struggle is real.
  9. Also-also-also, my Coma Friend had a heart attack last week, which she did not technically do at me or to me, but it was still unacceptable and uncalled for. She has apologized, so we can forgive her, but we are writing it into the Friendship Contract that she shall not have another. On the bright side, I got a free night’s lodging at the hospital.
  10. This morning, I threw away my mostly-consumed tub of Pillsbury Creamy Supreme Chocolate Fudge frosting (aka, COPING MECHANISM) because I do NOT need to eat ANY MORE of that crap at night while reading Meljean Brooks’ steampunk romance novels,
  11. BUT DO NOT WORRY because this evening I dug that tub of processed sugar out of the bathroom garbage and am finishing it now.

All of these things are happening, and also more things — All of the Things, really — and we may get to them in the coming days, but first, tacos.

First, tacos, because I feel they are emblematic of All the Things and particularly emblematic of the last two weeks.

I saw this in my Facebook feed:

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“Start typing @m [in the comments] and the first person that pops up has to buy you tacos (no cheating)”

I thought, “Ooooh. I love tacos. I could TOTALLY USE tacos right now. I could stuff, like, A DOZEN FEELINGS about illnesses and momming and busy-ness and heart attacks with a plate of tacos. I would EAT THE HECK out of those tacos!”

So I did it, friends. I typed “@m” in the comments while I thought, “I wonder which of my friends will have to buy me tacos?! Maybe Melissa. Or Mindy. Or Monica. Or Mary Ellen. These are all friends I see regularly. These are all friends who have, in the past, bought me actual, literal tacos. These are all friends who, if I’m pathetic enough, will buy me tacos AND margaritas. This is a WIN!” Which is when I saw my results…

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… and the Universe cackled at me because the Universe sucks sometimes. “You know who’s going to buy you tacos, Beth?” the Universe laughed, “NO ONE IS WHO. You are ALL ALONE and TACOLESS.”

I wish I had a happy ending to this post, but the Universe stole it.

Waving in the (tacoless) dark anyway,
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P.S. One of the kids just stole the rest of my frosting.

P.P.S. I can’t get it back, though, because she’s been known to threaten to take hits out on people.

P.P.P.S. Actually, I think I will go get it back. If I have to die, doing it for chocolate frosting feels like a worthy way to go.

How to Get Kids to Pick Up Quickly and Enthusiastically

May 19, 2016 in Family, Funny by Beth Woolsey

I asked my boys to tidy their room, which was a disaster, and, because they’re smart, capable, 9-year-old children who don’t need to have everything explained to them anymore in excruciating detail, I gave them two basic directions, as follows:

  1. When you are finished picking up your room, gentlemen, I should be able to both see and walk upon the floor.
  2. Your things should be organized in such a manner that you can easily find everything. I’m sure I don’t need to mention that you can certainly not find everything — including the shoes, jackets, books, homework folders, etc. that you cannot find ANY of the school mornings — if you shove it all underneath your bed or in the closet. Correct? I do not need to point this out? That there needs to be a better system? No? You get it? OK. OK, then, boys. Full speed ahead.

They finished in 10 minutes.

They have NEVER finished cleaning ANYTHING in 10 minutes, but there they were, tumbling down the stairs in holey socks with giant smiles, proclaiming completion.

I clarified.

Me: I can see AND walk on the floor?

Them: Yep!

Me: And not just a teeny, tiny sliver of the floor?

Them: Nope!

Me: And you have organized your belongings?

Them: Yep!

Me: ALL of your belongings or SOME of your belongings?

Them: ALL!

Me: And I will find how many items shoved under your bed?

Them: None!

Me: And you have completed this entire task in 10 minutes?

Them: Yep!

Me: And it’s SO complete that you feel good about me inspecting it?

Them: Yes!

Me: Now?

Them: Let’s go!

We trooped up the stairs for inspection, and I patted myself on the back on the way because friends — friends — if you give your children FREEDOM to complete tasks THEIR WAY, and you DO NOT INSIST ON YOUR OWN, they finish jobs QUICKLY and ENTHUSIASTICALLY, and it’s a MIRACLE. I should write a Parenting Book! I have finally figured it out!

Also, here is their system:

CleanRoom1

As they say, “A clear path for walking and all of our belongings at our fingertips!” There is nothing under the bed anymore, and, in fact, nothing left in the closet, either, because they pulled everything out of it. Everything. To create their New System of Organization.

I asked where they got such a terrible, terrible idea, and they said — I kid you not — “We learned it from watching you.”

In conclusion, bless their hearts. Bless their punky, butt-nuggetty hearts.

Keepin’ it real,

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P.S. Their room still looks like that because they pointed out there’s WAY less vacuuming this way, and “it’s likely to smother all the bugs.” I’m having trouble arguing with their logic. Well played, boys; well played.

 

Hold Everything! (A Group Remodeling Project: Part 6)

May 4, 2016 in Beth by Beth Woolsey

Regarding the range hood, HOLD EVERYTHING, friends.

Our friend, Katherine, just sent us this picture, and I suspect it’s the Perfect Thing.

VintageHoods

That’s a “Vintage Hood” made to order by the folks at Antique Vintage Appliances. They can make it in any color and any size with several trims. So all the advantages of a modern hood, all the lovely of vintage. Here’s their shtick:

We manufacture range hoods patterned after a classic stove hood built in the 1940’s through the early 1950’s. We have updated the fan section with a Broan insert with variable speed blowers, removable filters and a two position light switch. A mounting bracket will be provided for easy installation. This bracket creates a 1/4” space on the wall so you can install a painted, tiled or stainless backsplash of your choice with a finished edge. These are manufactured in widths of 30” to 60” and can be painted to match any decor. The trim pieces and logo can be plated in copper, nickel, chrome or brass.

Questions for the Team:

  1. I assume if this doesn’t cost one thousand million ka-jillion dollars, we must have it as it is the perfect hat for Betty. Correct?? << This is the part where you weigh in quickly because I’m Mostly Sold already, so if this isn’t the thing, you must talk me down. If you need tips for talking me down, Greg can provide you with details, though, as an overview, you can try distracting me (food, blood and nudity are most effective) or looking like you ate something rancid and, when I ask what’s wrong with your face, saying, “Your life choices, Beth; your life choices are what is wrong with my face.”
  2. I further assume we shall order this in white with chrome trim because that’s what Betty’s wearing, and every lady from the 1950’s knows your hat must coordinate with your shoes and handbag.

The only downside I can see here is the fact that it reinforces it’s worth it to wait for the Right Thing rather than Rush the Job. As a lifelong fan of Rushing the Job, I’m afraid this is the kind of thing that will force me to reevaluate my priorities, and that kind of bites.

Thoughts, friends? Do share!

With bated breath,

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P.S. I emailed the Vintage Hood people 2 whole hours ago and have heard NOTHING yet. I suggest we all call them and kindly note that I need an answer. ASAP. Because I’m Very Bad at Waiting. I’m sure they’ll understand. Their number is 1-520-326-6849.

P.P.S. Here’s a pic of Betty with the Vintage Hood pic, too:

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I think they might be soulmates.

Several Problems with the Kitchen Remodel, Mostly Emotional (A Group Remodeling Project: Part 5)

May 3, 2016 in Beth by Beth Woolsey

Friends! GOOD NEWS! Greg and I fought about the kitchen!

This means he’s not being crafty or wily or luring us into complacency before he springs his trap to derail us.

Unless he’s being crafty and wily by arguing to throw us off the crafty and wily scent. He IS better at chess than me. Probably. I’ve never played chess with him, but I assume, based on his passion for mathematics and strategy, and my inability to sit at a table for longer than two minutes before feeling jittery and panicky and like there are twelve other things I should be doing with my time, that he’s better at chess than me. Greg’s definitely better at Scrabble, though, so I feel like we can extrapolate. He takes five hundred thousand million years to take his turn so he can graph every possible letter combination and permutation and the trajectory of their positions on the board, and then he gets crabby when I poke him in the shoulder and say, “Greg, Greg, Greg, Greg, Greg, Greg, Greg. Are you going to go now? How ’bout now? Now? How ’bout now?”

The point being, Greg takes the EXCRUCIATINGLY LONG view of things so he could be throwing us off by arguing with us about the kitchen.

But I don’t think so. I think we’re in the clear. I think he’s genuinely disgruntled about a couple things, so WE’RE BACK ON TRACK and all’s good! We can proceed as NORMAL.

Which leads me to the problems we’re having with the kitchen remodel, none of which have to do with the remodel and all of which have to do with the counseling, encouragement and tough love you’re going to need to provide if we’re going to get anywhere. 

Specifically, our problems are as follows:

  1. Greg is Having an Issue with the chimney range hood concept (option 1 from the previous post). He does not like it. Does Not. Unequivocally. He only likes the idea of a cabinet and under-cabinet mount (which was option 2). Now, obviously this should not be a problem because Greg is entitled to have an opinion, I said I like both, and most of Us are all, “Meh. Whatever. No super strong opinion.” So whatever, right? I believe my exact words were, “I tend to like both and can easily be talked into either.” What I meant was I can easily be talked into either by YOU. Not by Greg. There is nothing — nothing — more likely to sway me toward pizza than Greg saying he absolutely MUST have a burger. So I found I NEEDED the chimney range hood, after all, and did NOT want — in fact, COULD NOT TOLERATE — the cabinet there. See how this complication is all Greg’s fault? Me, neither. 🙁 I came around. Eventual Maturity, I call it. I’d prefer just Maturity, but I’m not always issued that in my personality tool box.
  2. Greg is ALSO Having an Issue with placing the dishwasher further to the right of the sink than immediately next to it. I considered making this decision harder than it had to be, like I did with the range hood, but, since Greg does more dishes than me, he gets to pick. Me = Problem Solver! Also, Me = Dishes Avoider!
  3. But the Main Problem is we are officially 8 days into this project, and I would like to quit now. It’s not that I’ve suddenly decided I like starting my stove with an ice pick. The problem is I cannot sustain this much interest in myself or my house over the long term. This is the part where you say, “But, Beth, you are a BLOGGER. It’s your literal JOB to sustain this much interest in yourself.” And that’s when I’ll answer, “This is why I’m So Bad at Things; I do them wrong. CONSTANTLY,” and often on purpose. For example, I read articles that tell me my blog posts MUST be shorter — 500-800 words is “optimal length” — and I IMMEDIATELY sit down and write 1200 words as rebellion because No One Can Tell Me What to Do.

Now, I’m not rebelling against the remodel. I want to do it. It makes sense to do it. It’s just — it’s been 8 days — and I’d like to be done now because I’m driving Me crazy pestering myself with kitchen questions. It’s like one half of my brain is Me playing Scrabble, making hasty decisions and plunking down letters and Getting on with Life because there are More Important Things than Thinking Decisions Through and Being SURE About Them, and the other half of me is Greg playing Scrabble, talking through Every Possible Permutation. The Greg half is all, “Wait! I have to think of ALL THE THINGS,” and the Beth half is all, “Beth, Beth, Beth, Beth, Beth, Beth, Beth. Are you done yet? Can you go now? How ’bout now? How ’bout now?” until I WANT TO SLAP ME.

You guys. You guys. There are Serious Things Happening in the Real World. Trump is the presumptive presidential nominee for the Republican Party; THIS IS SOMETHING THAT IS HAPPENING. We should all be laying on the floor like Nancy Kerrigan when she got her knee beat to crap during the Olympic ice skating trials — laying there yelling Why? Why? WHY? And we are talking about a KITCHEN REMODEL, instead.

Which, I suppose, is exactly why we MUST talk about a kitchen remodel, yes? BECAUSE WE WILL SING WHILE THE SHIP GOES DOWN.

Blerg.

In conclusion, if anyone has any free counseling to offer, or encouragement, or pats on the head, or “there, there, sweet bunnies,” or kicks in the rear to offer, we’re at your disposal.

In the meantime, I’m sending love and waving in the dark,

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IMG_9476P.S. We DID have our contractor friends in to bid on the cabinet work. We’re waiting that to see whether there’s much of a cost difference in the range hoods/cabinet options, and we’ll tell you more when we know more.

P.P.S. Please do not be too worried about Future Arguments. I have explained to Greg that arguing with me in the future is actually arguing with All of Us as the Kitchen Remodel Collective. I helped him understand that we are the Borg, we will assimilate him, and resistance is futile. He took it well.

 

 

Under Cabinet or Wall-Mount Range Hood? (Where You Tell Me How to Improve My House: Part 4)

May 1, 2016 in Beth by Beth Woolsey

Alright, folks; we have a winner!

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84% of us voted to put Betty against the wall between the fridge and the sink. Whether we were motivated by the desire not to obstruct the window or because we want to jump naked out of a cake for Greg remains unclear and is, frankly, irrelevant.

Our conclusions are clear:

  1. Betty goes against the wall between the fridge and the sink,
  2. I’ll have to move the dishwasher further to the right so it’s not too close to the sink, and…
  3. We need to buy a really, really big, hollow cake, approximately the size of Rhoad Island so a) we all fit and b) Greg becomes too distracted to check our bank account ever, ever again. I just want to clarify that we are very egalitarian in these parts so the naked cake-jumping is not limited to a single gender; please begin mentally preparing yourselves now for close, sweaty, naked quarters inside the cake cave and to champion all body types, because we will shame no one for skinny or fluffy bodies, and to explain to your well-meaning friends and relatives that just because we’re sans-clothes together does not imply anything sexual or untoward. This is simply the World’s Best Distraction technique which is required in order to serve a Higher Purpose; namely, Helping Greg Through a Very Difficult Time because we care about him to the moon, and we don’t want him to have a heart attack. So really what we’re doing is Heart Attack Prevention, and when they ask if you’re crazy, you should ask if THEY’RE crazy for wanting people to die of heart attacks.

Incidentally, the other 16% of us aren’t necessarily opposed to putting Betty against the wall. We just wanted to be sure we’d explored all the options first. Some of our ideas included building Betty an island, putting Betty where the hutch or fridge are, or keeping Betty in the current stove spot but using a retractable hood or downdraft vent. These are all technically possible, but, in the end, there are various reasons I rejected them: the bulkiness of a downdraft unit, the fact that Betty’s high back would block its effectiveness, my dislike of a heat-sucking downdraft next to a stove, my adoration of our farm table, the desire to stay married to Greg and not drive him away with a full kitchen remodel, and, ultimately, the appeal of leaving the window totally unobstructed by Betty’s back or a pull-down hood. Those factors combined with a whopping 86% in favor of the move make the choice straight forward. But I like the creative way we think! We are going to need to keep this up as we go forward.

So we have a decision! Hooray!

What we do NOT have is Greg freaking out.

To emphasize, Greg knows what our decision is, and he is not looking nauseated or sighing excessively or curling his lip in that particular Beth Insists on Using an iPhone Even Though I TELL Her and TELL Her an Android Is Cheaper look of disdain.

This is the same man who wasn’t sure we needed to purchase a $30 Ikea laminate bookshelf because he had a few leftover 2x4s and some scrap plywood in the garage, so he thought we could put some combination of that on the wall, instead. Hahahahaha! No. Nope. No. Looking back, Greg and I should’ve known that bookshelf was a Slippery Slope to other Big Ideas. Greg must have had an inkling, though; you’ve never seen a man fight so hard not to spend $30.

This current Not Freaking Out behavior is, in other words, very, very strange and obviously due to one of two things. Either:

  1. Greg watched your comments come in, knew which way the wind is blowing, and these two factors somehow magically bypassed his usual response to my Grand Schemes, which is the same as the 5 Stages of Grief — denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance, OR, and this is my big fear…
  2. HE’S BEING WILY and TRYING TO FAKE US OUT and we must be very, very wary, friends. On the lookout for sabotage. Watching our backs.

Although I suspect the reason for the Non-Freakout is #2 because Greg is getting Very Crafty in his older age, if the reason turns out to be #1, and you have Magic Powers, we will heretofore be making ALL life choices together. Consider yourselves warned, friends.

And, with that warning that we’ve gotta be on our game, it’s time to move to our Next Decision.

The Next Decision – HOORAY! – which is this:

The Range Hood

Since Ms. Betty is going against the wall, we must decide what range hood will go above her. It feels important to note at this juncture I am thinking we will most likely cover our exposed kitchen walls (not a lot of space, actually) with white subway tiles. This is something you will rubber stamp for me later or force me to change my mind, but I’ve been in love with the look forever, it adds to the farmhouse industrial thing we’ve got going on, and my friend Emily says it’s inexpensive to do. So you’d have to present me with some compelling information (like you did about putting Betty in front of a window) to change my mind.

What I’m primarily after with the range hood decision is the BEST FRAME FOR BETTY. We have tons of cupboard space in the kitchen. You can’t see the double pantry around the corner past the hutch, but it’s floor to 9′ ceiling, 64″ wide and 24″ deep. Tons and tons of space. Even with losing the upper cabinet above Ms. Betty’s new location, we’re fine on space. So what I really need to know as you look at this is which looks better; option 1 or option 2?

Given that info on white tiled walls and the what’s-prettier parameters, I’ve pulled some pics from the internets to show our range hood options, as follows.

ONE: A wall-mounted range hood, left plain without cupboards above, which might look something like this…

RangeHood1Photo Source: maybe Michael Robinson Photography – that’s as far as I could track the pic 

RangeHood2Photo Source: unknown — let me know if you find out so I can properly credit this

RangeHood3Photo Source: A Diary of Lovely

*ahem* Note the stove faucet on that last pic. SO unnecessary with Betty next to the sink, but SO lovely I think we should consider it anyway.

TWO: An under-cabinet range hood which might look something like this…

RangeHood4

Photo Source: Birmingham Home and Garden

RangeHood5

Photo Source: unknown — let me know if you find out so I can properly credit this

Back to you!

Which of these options — #1 Wall-Mounted Range Hood WITHOUT Cabinetry OR #1 Under Cabinet Range Hood will look better with Ms. Betty? 

AND — follow-up question — HOW MUCH do you care? I tend to like both and can easily be talked into either, but if we find out one option is significantly less expensive than the other, can we make this decision based on cost? Cheaper wins? This might assuage Greg’s future freak-out (which may never come because of Magical YOU) and give us some street cred to use later when Things Cost More Than We Anticipated, which is inevitable, though we should never tell Greg we admitted that aloud.

I love you very much for not making me do this alone. WE ARE BETTER TOGETHER, VILLAGE.

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P.S. Speaking of being naked, which we haven’t spoken of since the beginning of this post, paragraphs and paragraphs ago, but I’m bringing up again now anyway… I dreamt last night I got my hair cut at a new salon full of naked male hairdressers. Not, like, the cultural definition of HOT naked males or anything sexy, you understand. Just ordinary dudes with sparse body hair in strange patches and paunches and dangly bits, which was strangely hot because these men OWNED IT. They were all, We are naked male hairdressers. What are YOU staring at? Like my staring was my problem and not theirs, which was kind of rad, actually, and felt like the most true part of the dream. Long story short, I got my hair cut while babysitting my hairdresser’s toddler because he couldn’t find a sitter, and my hair looked GOOD. The End.

The Stove Has a Name, I Took Better Pics, and I Need Your Opinions Again (Where You Tell Me How to Improve My House: Part 3)

April 29, 2016 in Beth by Beth Woolsey

Back to Important Things instead of that detour we took yesterday to talk about feelings, and doing the Right Thing, and Making Mistakes, and working, always, on Listening and Loving Well . Back to Important Work on the Kitchen Remodel now. Because PRIORITIES, FRIENDS. Priorities.

We have results from our recent poll on What to Do With the Stove and How to Approach the Remodel. And, of course, we have New Decisions to make. 

But first, I have received a few emails like this:

Dear Beth,

I say this in love.

You are an adorable, sweet, darling woman, and I care for you deeply, but you CANNOT ask us to make INFORMED design decisions with crappy photos. You’re going to need to give us better pictures so we know what in the world we’re talking about.

You asked for help and WE ARE HERE FOR YOU; give us what we need so we can do our damn job, lady. 

Love,
The Designers Among Us

So, fine. I get it. As Carrie Fisher said in When Harry Met Sally when Sally told Carrie the married man she was dating was never going to leave his wife, not ever,  “You’re right. You’re right. I know you’re right.”

You’re right, friends. You’re right. know you’re right. I can’t expect you to give me the Very Best Advice while I’m providing you with Substandard Tools. And, since the Whole Point of asking you for help is to AVOID the Substandard, I have done the unthinkable and cleaned my kitchen and walked all the way upstairs to get the good camera and took these new and improved pics for you.

The Whole Kitchen
taken from the living room perspective:IMG_9466-001

The Affected Corner of the Kitchen:IMG_9467

The Stove Area:IMG_9469-002

Better, yes?

Yes.

Now we can see what we’re working with.

Unfortunately, I have also just proven we Woolseys can technically clean up after ourselves if we would just get our butts in gear. That’s sad, but we shall ignore that bit of news like we’ve been doing for years and move swiftly on.

Here are our results.

WE MADE ONE ESSENTIAL DECISION!
GOOD JOB, US!

  1. We are overwhelmingly pro-window. I have tallied Team Beth’s opinions on Options 1 and 2, as follows: 73% of us chose Option #1 (keep the window and put the oven and range hood in front of it), 14% of us chose Option #2 (remove the window and construct a wall in its place with smaller windows on either side so the hood isn’t awkwardly in front of the window), and 13% of us chose Option #3 (both of the options suck, so can we please find any other way to keep the window and not obstruct it??)
  2. As a result, we have made ONE IMPORTANT DECISION, based on 86% of the vote. We will NOT be getting rid of the window. 
  3. HOWEVER, we have not decided it’s best to obstruct the window, either. There was Very Much Concern over this, so we must discuss.

HERE ARE OUR TEAM COMMENTS:

  1. The 1950’s stove was the most awesome idea ever. Yes! Yes, she was! And thank you!
  2. She should have a name, though.
  3. Jessie suggested we name her Betty, and since a) Betty was my grandmother’s name (until she named herself after me), and b) my grandmother had an abiding fancy streak and zero budget, and c) “a Betty” is synonymous with a gorgeous, super hot lady, we agree with Jessie. Betty is perfect. Problem solved. Case closed. Betty is our stove’s name.
  4. Can we just not install a range hood? Leave it off entirely? Maybe install just the stove in front of the window and no silly hood, thus solving the window obstruction issue? The answer, friends, sadly, is no. Oregon law requires an exhaust system, not just ventilation, so we must have a hood. I know, I know; boo.
  5. If we must have a hood, is there anywhere else we can put Betty so she’s not blocking the window? Blocking the window will drive us CRAZY. The answer is… actually, maybe we can. Maybe we can put Betty against a wall and not the window. Let’s chat. 

Which bring us to…

THE DECISION, ROUND 2

The Decision, Round 2, is where we operate within the parameters already decided, which are 1) we’re keeping Betty, 2) we’re keeping the window as is.

That leaves us with either of the following:

ONE: A NEW idea… we put Betty against the same wall as the fridge, sort of like this:

IMG_9466mostrecent

You may have to zoom in on the photo to see where Betty, the hood, the dishwasher and cabinets might go.

This is the more expensive of the two options because we would have to restub the gas line, move the dishwasher to the right of the sink, and do a fairly extensive cabinet remodel.

Please note: our neighbors just had their gas line moved, and they say it’s not too expensive. However, these same neighbors keep their house clean and purchase certain items like clothes and shoes and the occasional electronic device motivated by Investing Wisely in Things That Will Bring Pleasure for the Long Term and NOT motivated by DEAR GOD OF COURSE I HAVE TO HAVE THAT BECAUSE IT COSTS $0, so they’re not exactly reliable sources of “not too expensive.” They BUY THINGS, you guys. With MONEY. Like some things are Worth Paying For! I’m just saying we should take their advice with a grain of salt, you know?

On the other hand, if we bite the bullet and swallow the expense, Betty would be closer to the fridge and sink, which is far more convenient for cooking, and would have cabinets above, which I’ve missed, actually, quite a lot since we’ve lived in this house.

For another view of Option #1, here’s where the dishwasher would move and how cabinets would be positioned in the former stove location:IMG_9469-002

TWO: Or, Option 2, we put Betty in nearly the same location as the current stove and suck it up on window obstruction, kind of like this:IMG_9469-001

This option is clearly MUCH cheaper than the first option because it would require very little remodeling of cabinets, no restubbing of the gas line, and no moving the dishwasher. The reason I haven’t shown it centered in the window is because many of you pointed out it would be too close to the sink to be practical, and my friend, Emily came over and verified. We could move it to the right a little, but we run into a similar issue with being too close to the door. Centering it between the sink and the door seems to be the best place if we choose this option.

So, friends? Considering these newest developments what’s your verdict?

Option #1 (Betty goes against the wall) or Option #2 (Betty goes in front of the window)? I’ll tally every opinion and give you the results soon!

Also, GOD BLESS YOU for not making me do this alone.

With love,

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P.S. Here’s the Pinterest Board Rachel put together for us. WOOHOO, RACHEL! She has titled it “Beth’s ‘We aren’t being cheap like Greg anymore’ House Idea Board,” so we can rest assured she gets us.

P.P.S. If we decide on Option #1, which is the way I’m leaning, we need to think of creative ways to explain the added expense to Greg. I’m thinking maybe popping naked out of a cake. Thoughts and suggestions appreciated.