Thursday, May 31, 2012

kitchen vision

we are so happy to own our little house. people here in town have been moving lately & the horror stories about landlords & absurd price increases make me quite content to deal with our own home in our own way. it certainly helps that we pay either the same amount or less each month than most renters in this town. if ever you want to become a slumlord, i think this is the town where you can get away with it. i digress...

other than our big window/pass-through project & our anti-pass-through project of taking out the door behind the fridge (yes, there was a random door sans handle that connected our kitchen & our bedroom) we haven't done much work inside the house. i am kind of itching for a project, which is why i am pinning all kinds of kitchen ideas. one of these days i will actually post pictures of our kitchen as it is now. for today, i just want to put together my "vision" for our kitchen.

generally i am not a big fan of white cabinets. however, the blue-grey bottom cabinets & white upper cabinets in this picture have me swooning. i also love the white subway tile backsplash.
from here.
the hardware on our cabinets is really cool & i am pretty sure original (i.e., old, but in a vintagey way). this picture inspired me to keep our hardware, which is a big money saver, and just ORB it ala sherry at young house love.
i have always loved concrete counters, but i think my dad might actually consider killing me if i ever went through with installing them. he is vehemently opposed to them and given that he is a contractor who knows his stuff i suppose i should trust him. i found this great tutorial about making your own stainless steel counters. although the picture won't post well here, this is the counter inspiration i am currently sold on.
from here.
our floors are also black and white checker like this kitchen! bonus!
i also love wood & butcher block counters, which i think you can buy from ikea. i hear they take a fair amount of upkeep to prevent staining & watermarks though. while i am not totally convinced this isn't the route for us, as of today i prefer the look of stainless above. our sink is the original cast iron white sink & while it looks cool, i have always been drawn to the farmhouse sinks like the one below. the other problem with our cast iron sink is that it stains easily so i am going through bar keepers friend like a fiend over here!
from here.
to recap, my vision includes:
-keep our existing floors
-paint the lower cabinets peppercorn grey or something similar
-paint our upper cabinets white
-white subway tile the backsplash around the sink
-ORBing our existing hardware so it is nice and dark
-replace the counters with stainless steel or butcher block
-replace the existing sink with a farmhouse style (maybe--i could live with our current sink, which would save at least a couple of benjamins)
-installing a permanent dishwasher to the right of the sink

one day at a time, right?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

birds, blooms, & manure

this past weekend it was just me and the (mini) farm. brandon was away in woods hole, massachusetts completing his arctic safety training so he can be ready to fend off polar bears & build emergency fires this july on the glacier commonly known as greenland. 

the weekend gave me a better sense of how much the chickens have become brandon's "thing". in fact, a few weeks back he said, "you know how you have your dog people & your cat people? well, i think i'm more of a chicken person." chooks don't require too much, but they do require that you get up at a decent time to let them out of the coop, clean out their water dish morning and night, & put them to bed at a decent hour. our chickens have been entirely spoiled on a yard full of dandelions, so they also demand (yes, demand!) to be let out of their coop to roam & range our yard at least once a day. 
my money is on this one being a rooster. brandon is not convinced.
yard birds in action.

this is frankie, who is my favorite. she is a total loner & scared
of her own shadow, but i find all of that quite endearing.

the bleeding heart by our front steps is doing even better than last week.
i hope the lavender in the planter does as well. 
i finally got my garden prepped and ready. we will have two raised beds, an in ground bed (against the fence), two potato cage towers, & an experimental "gutter of greens" hanging from the top rail of the fence. i am hoping the llama manure i got from one of my coworkers is the black gold i am banking on!
the potato towers are in the bottom of this photo.
what a typical evening at our place looks like: drinks on the back deck while we enjoy the sounds of our yard birds clucking around from the comfort of our adirondack chairs. it is a good life indeed!
hey rowan, can you spot the sprinting chicken?

this is my experimental "gutter of greens".
i didn't want to allocate precious garden space in our raised beds
to lettuce so we gave this gutter a new life as a planter,
which hangs from the top rail of our fence.
this is my pea-bed, which is next to the chicken coop.
although it needs to be weeded quite badly,
the peas don't seem to mind their company.
 i plan to get my tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, kale, onions, garlic, broccoli, brussel sprouts, & carrots in over the course of the next few evenings. it feels wrong to plant my garden before my birthday here in this high altitude place we call home, but all the signs are there for a longer growing season. fingers crossed!

Monday, May 7, 2012

witty decoding

i just stumbled across this blog, suburban snapshots, and i managed to lose about an hour of my life perusing her witty takes on family and life. the author is quite down-to-earth in a way that pinterest and facebook do not permit, and she is a lovely reminder that the internet does not exist for the sole purpose of making women feel inadequate. my favorite post thus far is entitled spousal communications decoded. although she alludes to heterosexual relationships only, i suspect that similar things float around the homes of all couples, regardless of gender.

he said
  • i cleaned while you were gone. = anything i had to hand wash is still sitting in the sink fermenting what will eventually become the key ingredient in a herpes vaccine.
  • it's not in there, i checked. = when I opened the cabinet door and gingerly moved my head from right to left, then promptly exited the room, i didn't see the thing i was looking for.
  • does this shirt look okay? = does this shirt increase my chances of having sex with you later?
  • i have to run to home depot, need anything while i'm out? = i hope you don't need anything while i'm out, because chances are i'll take longer than the donner party and i already forgot what you asked for.
she said
  • i'm making such a good dinner tonight. = i'mma dirty every single pot and pan we own, even the good ones that need to be washed by hand.
  • 'give me five minutes, i just have to do a work thing. =  i just posted a picture to facebook and i'm compulsively refreshing my page until somebody comments.
  • check out my new jeans. = your odds of having sex with me later depend entirely on your answer.
  • i'm running to target for a birthday card, i'll be right back. = we have at least eighty dollars in the account, right?

Friday, May 4, 2012

stop waiting

yesterday i rode past a car with a bumper sticker that said "life is not a dress rehearsal." i didn't think much of it at the time, other than, "i bet their other bumper sticker is the ubiquitous 'tolerance' [comprised of various religious symbols] sticker." (which of course, it was. can you say predictable?)

today in spin class though, i felt overwhelmed by the realization that i do live life like it is a rehearsal for the "next thing." i am constantly envisioning what the next stage of life will bring and how things will be different (i.e. better). i recall selecting the name of our blog in hopes of being regularly reminded of my intention to live in the here-and-now. i guess this is to be an ongoing struggle for me, but for some reason, that purple bumper sticker wedged itself in my unconcious and forced me to face this reality today. ah, bumper stickers, changing the world one car at a time!

after class i stumbled upon this quote and it resonated with these thoughts i have rumbling around in my mind about being present:
the real struggle is about you: you, a person who has to learn to live in the real world. to inhabit her own skin, to know her own heart, to stop waiting for her life to begin. -caroline knapp 

my lovely bleeding hearts, just outside our front door.
one of the things on my "one day" list had always been to have bleeding heart flowers in my own yard. last fall i planted this one and have been taking extra-special care of it. (don't tell my other flowers.) it is lovely to have one of my favorite flowers greet me each time i come home. me and my bleeding heart love the sight of these bleeding hearts.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

haters gonna hate

this is probably wrong to find amusing, but i am mostly impressed with :1) the baby's total lack of reaction to the giant cat behind him and 2) the parents ability to not have launched into full-on freak-out mode. 
and the take-home message is: don't dress your baby like something viewed as deliciously edible by an apex predator while in the presence of said predators.