April 6, 2019:

Hola!

The income taxes are finished and were taken to the Post Office yesterday to send out via certified mail, which now costs nearly $16 for two 8 1/2 11 envelopes with return receipt. Yikes! But worth it because I have proof positive once I get the little green cards back that the returns were delivered and received. And just in case, there are tracking numbers that I can also tap the U.S. Post Office for to verify that delivery was made. In these times, it's better to be safe than sorry

I have been working in little bits and pieces outdoors whenever a window in our crappy weather has presented itself. Today, however, was the first day where I was able to spend an extended period of time outside. First, I cleaned up areas on the sidewalk and driveway along the edges where pine cones and branches tiny branches blown off during the seemingly wind storms we endured over fall and winter 2018-2019. After resting for a bit, and removing the winter hat, gloves and jacket, I moved to the back yard because I'm sick of feeling sick to my stomach every time I look at it through the patio doors in the dining room and window above the kitchen sink. This winter left it a true disaster zone. I worked steadily raking small areas and filled two trash can size black trash bags full of debris blown down from my arborvitaes and neighboring trees over the winter, in addition to about half a ton of nut shells. The nut shells are my fault because I feed all the neighborhood squirrels. They are so entertaining, and very smart! I also made a small dent in starting clean-up of the flower beds, where the "mild" (ahem) weather and thawed earth has encourages perennials to start popping through, whether I'm ready for them or not!

All in all, a somewhat decent start to making a larger dent in clean-up operations. I worked outdoors about 4 hours off and on. I didn't want to overdo it, and truth be told, I'm pooped! It's humbling to not be able to work as long or as hard as I used to. I can get it done, but I have to take lots of rest breaks so it takes quite a bit longer now. Good thing I'm retired

Jan

Monday, November 14, 2016

Kitchen Reno!!!

Hola everyone!  It has been a little while since I last posted, and I have been uber-busy with the garden, the yard, the Shezebo, the new privacy fence along the north lot line, and now, fall clean-up, which will end about next May.  And now, I am undertaking a reno project, my first - ever!

Ever since I moved into my retirement Maison Newton in July 2014, I've been wanting to open up the "window" that exists between the living room and my dinette area of the kitchen, and close off the existing doorway to the hall that leads to the bedrooms and bathroom. Closing off the existing doorway will give me room in the kitchen proper to slide my fridge over next to the existing cabinets and free-up space across from the peninsula and the dining area, while also giving me a more open traffic flow.

In the current arrangement the fridge is sitting in space that normally would be considered part of the dining area of the kitchen, and even though my fridge is Euro-style sleek, narrow and counter-depth it has always looked out of place to me, sort of stuck in a no-man's land between the kitchen and the dining area.  Here are some photos which show the less-than-optimum arrangement of the space:




Two of the identical floor-plan homes that I looked at before I bought this home had been remodeled so that the wall between dining area and living room was opened up and the former doorway to the kitchen off the hallway closed up.  The result was a modern-looking open space and flow between the kitchen/dinette and living room areas.  Here are a couple of photos of one of the houses where the wall was opened and how that looks:



And so, after much thinking about it and hemming/hawing, I decided to go ahead with a phased kitchen re-do that will, eventually, include a new countertop, new blacksplash, painted cabinets, new flooring, new cabinet hardware, and new light fixtures.  Eventually also a new range, dishwasher and microwave to go from black to stainless steel.

Phase I is opening up the wall between the dining area and living room and closing off the existing doorway.  The current "window" that is cut into the dinette/living room wall will be opened all the way to the floor and widened about 12 to 15 inches, depending upon stud location.  Today is the FIRST DAY!

Three guys are here and taped off the living spaces to contain the construction dust as much as possible, covered the carpeting with plastic and dropcloths; electrical outlets have already been moved and an inconveniently placed cold air return removed; they have also removed the woodwork in the construction area and have already cut the wall down to the floor!  Now they are working on relocating the electrical outlets.

Not sure how long they will be here today; originally the contractor told me they would be here all week, so I don't imagine they will be working 8-hour days for 5 days, not when the work is already progressing so quickly!

I am presently holed up in my den, which I somewhat cleaned up yesterday, knowing I would be working in here all week :)  It is amazing what an impending eviction from my dinette table (where I normally sit, looking out over my backyard through the patio doors) can do to motivate me to attack my messy den. It is now, at least, livable.  Eventually I will get around to finishing the taping I started in January (yes, in January), and repaint these dark and dreary walls!

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