Kitchen REVEAL (A Group Remodeling Project: The FINAL Chapter)

I know. This reveal has taken months. And months and months. Which is a terrible repayment to all of you who weighed in with your placement, design and decorating decisions on parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 67, and 8 of this project. I mean — you’re the people who took us from I Don’t Want to Start My Stove with an Ice Pick Anymore to TODAY.

The bad news is this: we LOVE EVERYTHING about the new kitchen, and we’re painfully aware we wouldn’t have made, like, 70% of these choices without you (quartz countertops, moving the stove out from under the window, wall and color choices that gave us the farmhouse industrial look we hoped to have), so you’re officially on the hook for every Woolsey design project from here on out. Honestly, you have only yourselves to blame, so I don’t want to hear you complain about this. If you had thought ahead and given us crap advice, we wouldn’t be relying on you now. But you DIDN’T think ahead, it looks AMAZING, and it functions even better, so you’re stuck. Forever. You made your bed, friends.

The good news, however, is this: we don’t remodel frequently, so it may be a while before we throw ourselves on you for assistance again. Oh, we have a thousands things that NEED remodeling. We just don’t usually have the time, energy, capacity, or willingness to spend the money in order to accomplish them. So you can rest. For now.

Which bring us to …


The last time we saw Betty, she looked like this:

She was IN PLACE in the kitchen, but the rest, obviously, was unfinished.

Here’s what her space looked like BEFORE she moved there:

And here she is NOW:

I kind of feel like if the rest of this post was filled with nothing but that one picture, it would all be worthwhile.


Just one more time:

I feel like I’m DREAMING.

Can we just recall for one second that I was starting this…

…with an ice pick? surrounded by orange counters?

And now I COOK HERE:



From the Family Room before:

From the Family Room after:

I love all of it. ALL of it. But my very favorite part of the remodel is in the picture below, where Betty sits, and to her left. Above her, there’s fantastic light and a totally unnecessary, fabulous, luxurious pot filler. I’ve already made stocks and soups, and I adore this feature.

To Betty’s left is the pull-out garbage and recycling drawer. The fact that it’s not under the sink is a little troubling to guests, but it’s IDEAL for cooking and baking. With the baking cabinet just above the mixer, also to Betty’s left…

…I can work in that space, throwing away wrappers, eggshells, etc. as I open them. SO MUCH LESS MESS. Which in our house is the same thing as a MIRACLE.

And then there’s this, which those of you with a keen eye for details and a TINY bit of OCD have already noticed. It’s the one knob that doesn’t match, which was the Christmas present I forced Greg to buy me. See it?

It’s my beer bear.

Its mouth opens bottles.

Which is the same thing as saying it’s a Necessary Kitchen Device, I know, but Greg felt like that was less than obvious.

I tried to get Greg to buy it for me last year, from Planet Dork on Etsy, but it was too close to Christmas for shipping to make it to us on time, so nope. No beer bear bottle opener for me to display in our kitchen from Greg. It was a sad time.

THIS year, though, I made SURE in OCTOBER to remind Greg to order early because I PLAN AHEAD.

Greg didn’t order it in October.

That’s OK, though, because I reminded him again in November.

Greg didn’t order in November.

That’s OK, though, because I reminded him again in December.

Which is when Greg said, “SHOOT! Sorry. It’s too late to order it now.” He clearly felt AWFUL that he hadn’t ordered it in time for Christmas. I mean, he tried to fake like he didn’t feel horrible by saying things like, “I already got you an ENTIRE KITCHEN REMODEL for Christmas,” and, “Seriously, Beth? You really want to hang a bear head trophy in our newly remodeled kitchen?” and, “You know it costs $40, right? FORTY dollars plus international shipping for a bottle opener.”

I reassured him, though, that he needn’t feel bad, that it wasn’t too late, and that he shouldn’t worry that he tried to give me an incomplete kitchen remodel for Christmas when it would only take one, tiny, practically free steel sculpture tastefully handmade by an independent artist in the south of France to make it perfect. I even offered to go ahead and place the order for Greg because I am a Christian wife and we are our husbands’ helpmeets, and I mentioned it would be ideal, anyway, because if I placed the order I would also be able to order the sculpture by the same artist titled Dog with Unfeasibly Large Testicles which carries the loving words, “You’re the Dog’s Bollox!” and would make Greg an ideal birthday gift. Two birds, one stone! Greg said that was unnecessary, that he would actually be happy to order my beer bear, that I didn’t need to worry my pretty little head about a thing, and GUESS WHAT? The order magically came in time for Christmas!

So now the beer bear lives next to Betty to keep her company, and the kitchen remodel is complete except that he needs a name.

Bently the Beer Bear? Brewster the Beer Bear? Buzz? I mean, obviously, with Betty next to him and Syphilis wandering past, we can’t have the bear there not knowing how to introduce himself.

Taking name suggestions now.

With love,




P.S. This is what my children do when I tell them to stay out of the kitchen for 15 minutes so I can take pictures of an artificially CLEAN space:

Chemistry experiments. “Stay out and keep things clean for 15 MINUTES ONLY” = CHEMISTRY experiments.

We Woolseys, I tell you; we are GREAT at following the rules.

P.P.S. Also, yes, that is our Christmas tree. And yes, it is the tail end of February. And no. No, we have no plans to take it down soon.

P.P.P.S. There are last-minute spots available for the Mindfulness Retreat, March 9-12. If you’re needing rest, respite and a reset at the lovely Oregon Coast for the weekend, please come! Given our current political climate, I cannot think of a better time to relax with friends, new and old, have lovely meals prepared for us, and learn how to be present in our world with curiosity instead of judgement. Contact me if you have any questions about this retreat! If you’re a teacher or minister, ask about the teacher/ministry discount, please. I’m at Or you can contact Maggie, the retreat coordinator, at I would LOVE to hang out with you for the weekend!


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19 responses to “Kitchen REVEAL (A Group Remodeling Project: The FINAL Chapter)”

  1. Did Greg ever tell you that, when he had that potluck while you were in Africa, that your Beer Bear full on snapped off the neck of my beer bottle?

    …just in case you hadn’t heard.

    P.S. I noticed that in at least one of your photos of Betty, you clearly had something baking in the oven. Who the hell are you??

    • Well, of COURSE he snapped the neck off your beer bottle. He IS a bear.

      P.S. We are clear that BETTY was cooking and NOT me, right? Because she’s MAGICAL. 😉

      P.P.S. Fine. It was me AND Betty. We’re a good team. And as much as Greg gulped and choked over the cost of this remodel, I am LOVING cooking again, so he’s now fully on board.

      P.P.P.S. Those are drumsticks in the oven. Cheapest food on the planet. $1.29/lb. And my kids LOVE them. 12 lbs. brined overnight in 1/4 c. salt, 1/2 c. sugar, 1 bay leaf and some peppercorns. They are unbelievably delicious. Plus cheap. Plus easy. Like me — delicious, cheap and easy. Greg will attest.

      • I’m glad they’re just chicken drumsticks because I stared at that picture for a full two minutes and I swear they looked like babydoll heads. Which, ok, interesting decor choice, no judgement here.

  2. OMG!!! I rarely have time to read anymore, but I read almost every word of this post (I thought you should know that). However, when I clicked on the post, I intended to only look at the pictures, which I also did while I read. And I kept seeing that weird black spot on the front of the drawer and I kept thinking, “What IS that???” And really, that’s WHY I read almost the whole post because surely you were going to address that. And then there was the close up. “OHHHHH!!!!” That’s what it was! And I laughed. Out loud. At work. So now I need one. LOL Because I need all things that can make me laugh out loud. One can never have too much joy in their life, right???

  3. Your kitchen is AMAZING. A wonderful stage for Betty. I like “Jughead” or “Archie” for your beer bear.

    From the nerd contingent!

  4. Betty, you look great in your photo shoot. So good, in fact, that Beth was totally right in showcasing your loveliness two times. But really, the piece de resistance is that your good pal Beth actually took your picture WHILE YOU WERE COOKING. Those biscuits in your oven (or whatever deliciousness you were whipping up there) show us that you’re not just a pretty toy. You’re a fantastic cook, too! Way to go, Betty. Way to go. All of the internet loves you.

    • PS – I think the bear should be Barry. Betty and Barry. It’s a classic midcentury dude’s name, that totally works for a bear. (I’m also partial to Ernest.)

  5. Your kitchen turned out AWESOME!!! Now that Betty is installed in all of her glory, I’m pretty sure I owe you a cake. I didn’t realize your kitchen would come with an entire baking cupboard and section. Baker’s paradise… One of these days when I’m not flying about the world for work I’ll make it onto a standby flight and into your neck of the woods.

    Kudos to the new kitchen. Betty looks amazing!

  6. My tree is still up and my mantle is still decorated. Tomorrow is March 1st but as I said before, likely not coming down until the end of March when hockey season is over. There’s a Greek beer called Vergina. Seems like a good name for beer bear that shares his space with Syphilis and Betty. Although Yeastus Christ (the name of a beer from Denmark) might work as well. Keep the posts coming. We all need a little levity these days. 😉

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