Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Big yellow Taxi: You don’t know what you got till its gone!

It’s been 41 days 22 hours 14 minutes since my wife and mother of my children left me… but who’s counting? Me! that’s who!

I can count on one hand the number of meals I have actually fix for the kids and me since my wife left. My wife and I usually divide and concur when it come to doing things around the house. My tasks involve the morning routine, which includes waking and feeding kids and making lunches and the nightly routine, which includes doing homework, reading, and chores. The remainder of the “other” things she does.

I say “other” things because I think that is how most of us see what our significant other does… I do all of this (see above) and they do the “other” things… hence significant “other”. Right? It sounds kind of bad when you say it that way, and well, frankly it is! I am not even going to try and attempt to write all the “other” things that she does… it would take too long and I am certain I would forget something.

Please don’t feel sorry for me though… I am a very capable person. For any of you that know my wife’s cooking, I can hold my own right up there with her. I was a product of a single dad with two older brothers and two older sisters and in that house we had chores and had to learn how to do everything: cook, clean, and sew. I am not sure how many people can actually cook, clean, and sew now a day… well I say I can, but in all actually reality, I don’t!

What do I do? You may ask.

Well… I work! We are a single income family. I like to think of us as a 1950’s family with all the modern day problems families experience with kids and technology. Ninety nine percent of the time Shannon makes dinner and has it waiting for when the kids and I come home from work and school. We eat at the dinner table and try to pry out of the kids the events of the day.

How was school?

That’s it for school. The topic most often turns to world facts from Alonzo – our very own little Poindexter. We often talk about world events and see what the kids think about what is going on. You would be surprised what kids think.

Since my wife left, less than three percent of the means have been made and dinner is never waiting for the kids and me when I get home. But we do still eat at the table and we still have our conversations. It was tonight’s conversation with Alonzo that brought me to writing this post.

Me: How’s dinner?
Alonzo: I can’t wait to see mom.
Me: why?
Alonzo: I can’t wait to eat something healthy!
Me: You don’t like what we are having for dinner… you picked it!
Alonzo: I know. I just want moms food. She cooks it from scratch.

It was at that point that the other two started to chime in about how much they miss their moms cooking.

*note: the kids chose dinner and it was pizza from Papa Johns.

To me this was profound. My kids finally realized that they missed their mom and enjoy eating healthy.

I too cannot wait to be back with my wife! She cooks!… from scratch!… and it’s healthy!!!

I have come to have a great appreciation for Shannon and all the “other” things she does. I can tell you other stories from earlier on in our marriage where I learned appreciation, but will save that for another time.

I am grateful for my wife and everything she does for the kids and me.  I am so blessed to have her and a job that allows her to stay home and do what she love to do… taking care of her family.

You don’t know what you got till its gone!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Tape, Miles and Miles of Tape

It's another kitchen reno update.  I know I'm obsessing about the kitchen, but seriously it is all I am doing morning to night right  now, so it's all I've got to blog about.  And if you've ever lived in government housing where you have no choice in furnishings, curtains, or even the house itself, then you understand  how excited I am to be playing with my own little house.

Today I got up and decided I would knock out the backsplash on the second side of the kitchen,  I figured I could do it all in one day, no problem.  I already know what to do since I did the other side of my little galley kitchen last week.  Yeah, that worked. Either I am an incurable optimist when it comes to DIY projects in spite of being a glass half empty kind person in the rest of my life, or the paint fumes have gotten to me. I didn't even come close to finishing up today.

10 am blocking in the area to be painted with wide tape to protect the cabinets, counters, window and what ever I can possibly splash paint on while creating the faux tiles.

At this point I thought I was making good progress. Paint fumes I tell you, paint fumes. I worked pretty steadily until around 2:30 or so when some family dropped by to see the progress.  I love being someplace where family can just drop by.  We visited for a while, it was great.  You never realize what a luxury that is until you live some place where it takes a couple day's travel for family to "drop by."

After they left I got back to work, but realized fairly quickly that I probably won't be painting today, but I was confident I would finish up the taping at a reasonable hour (paint fumes!!) and have a relaxing evening.  Yeah, that didn't work either.

6:00 still have the part of the area behind the fridge and most of the area around the window to do, plus all the little vertical pieces that make it look like tile instead of stripes. At this point I'm starting to think it's going to be long night, but I was still confident I would finish up before I headed to bed. Yeah, riiiight! It has to be paint fumes, no one is this delusion, I mean optimistic. Yeah, I totally meant optimistic, not delusional. Whose delusional?  I don't know what you are talking about.

9:00  The window.  Oh the window.  At this point I should probably apologize to my high school geometry teacher.  Perhaps if I had paid more attention to Ms. Lange that window would have been easier to tape. Suffice it to say that stupid window was taped and untaped and retaped several times today.  There has to be an easier way than the way I did it. I measured, marked, and taped only to find when I got to the top of the window the two sides didn't match up.  Starting at the ceiling and working down didn't work either, apparently the ceiling isn't level. The result were even worse.

10:30 VICTORY!!!  The window is finally taped.  Whew!  I finally taped the very top of the window, and then worked up and down from there.  Several rows are a tiny bit wider or narrower than the rest to make it all work.  The difference is so small I don't think anyone will ever be able to tell unless they take a ruler to the wall.

I still need to add in most of the little vertical stripes. I will be spending several hours in the morning doing this.  Yay, more tape.  I'm so excited. No really, I am.

I am confident that by bedtime tomorrow I will be done with the backslashes, except for applying the polycrylic sealer in a few days. Please don't let this be paint fumes talking.  I really want to be finished with this step.

In the meantime I am going to enjoy some beer and brats with a side of salad for a very late dinner. Good night y'all!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

It's Starting To Come Together.

All of my cabinets have doors again.

Finally I can see how it's going to look when it's all done.  The little space above the microwave will be a wine rack which David will install when he gets here, along with crown molding, handles, and shelves.  I think it is going to look amazing.

There is work for me too. The opposite side of the room still needs the backsplash painted, and both sides need to sealed with polycrylic to make protect the faux tile and make it scrubbable. The wine rack needs to be sanded and painted to match the cabinets.  I still need to  clear away the the painting gear and pack it up for another day. And I probably should mow the lawn before David shows up.

It looks so plain without the backsplash painted. I can hardly wait to see how it looks when it is finished.

In the dining room it is out with the sawhorses and in with the carpet, table and chairs.  It feels like a house again, instead of a disaster area.

I am wrapping up another busy day with a celebratory dinner.

Yes, Oman friends, those are pork chops. Pork chops, baked potato, and salad...Yummm!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Kitchen Update

I had planned on blogging the kitchen as I went a bit each day.  What I hadn't counted on was the amount of work, and the amount of time it would take to do that work solo.  It all sounded so easy.  Move the cabinets up a bit, slap a little paint on the cabinets add a few shelves and viola a whole new kitchen!  Yeah. Not exactly.  The only easy part of this was moving the cabinet, and that was easy because I paid someone to come move them for me.

Just to review my kitchen started like this

Not bad, a little generic but not bad.

By the next day it looked like this.

I call this stage the Oh My Gawd!  What have I done?? stage. It is too late to turn back, but there seems to be no end in sight. It just goes on

And on

And on.

And just when you think you are making progress the Mother Nature decides to make things more interesting.

I am using oil paints even though they smell horrible and are awful to clean up.  They give the most amazing hard smooth finish, perfect for kitchen cabinets.  I learned something else about oil paint. If it's raining they don't dry.  I had all the doors set up in the garage to keep the stench in the house to a minimum. A friend who has done this a time or two told me to move everything into the house and drop the A/C to help control the humidity.  It worked like a charm.  Of course now my house looks like this. And it smells.

But I finally started seeing thing slowly come back together.

 At last I could start on the back splashes. The tutorial I found on line said it took her 2 - 4 hours depending on the complexity of the design. Add 10 hours to that and thats about right.  I started at 10 in the morning and finished up at 11:45 at night.  By the time I cleaned up and realized I never ate supper (not too sure if I ate lunch come to think of it) it was after midnight.  I ate my sandwich while staring at the wall.  It makes me smile very time I walk by it.

Yes that is all painters tape.  Miles and miles of skinny tape.

Paint in progress

Finished product.  I love it!!!

There is still plenty to do, like the backslash on the other side of the kitchen. Today I put the last coat of paint on the top doors, YAY!! I am waiting for them to dry completely so I can hang them in the morning. Here is a shot of a finished door.

I love the way the wood grain shows.  I can't wait to get it all back together.  There are a few things David will take care of when he gets here: new light over sink, shelves at the height of the cabinets before I moved them and of course some cabinet jewelry (handles and drawer pulls).  Then it will be finished.  And totally uniquely ours.