*Lyrics from Matthew Wilder’s hit 80’s song “Break My Stride.” The video is pretty remarkable – the fashion, the dancing, the Solid Gold. I’ve been saving this one up for today’s post.
Day 1: Client Kitchen & Bath Renovation
It’s hard to imagine that last year at this time Jeff and I were excitedly and nervously counting the days in our own renovation, already hitting day 11 by the beginning of August. Well, today was day 1 for my clients’ (heretofore known as Mr & Mrs K) kitchen and bathroom renovation. I don’t know that they’re as nervous or excited as we were, but I know that they’ll be counting the days as we did. How can you not? I mean, when more than half of your house is taken over by teams of people, tools and materials; when the only sounds you can hear during the daytime are hammers banging, power tools vibrating, and things being heaved into a large, and loud, dumpster, it’s pretty hard not to pay attention.
So, the only time I allow myself a blog title that’s not a song is for Cupcake Monthly. I’ll admit, I’ve missed a few months. I may have to start calling it Cupcake Quarterly though, since my plans for the future include reigning in my sweet tooth. Anyway, several weeks ago, our dear friends Dave (of Team Carpentry) and Abbie’s lovely son, Eli, had his first birthday. And I was enlisted to provide his first ever(!) cupcake.
*Lyrics from Janelle Monae’s song Locked Inside from her album ArchAndroid. If you don’t already own this album, buy it. It’s incredible.
New things are happening all around us. Google+ just (soft) launched, we now have Spotify in the U.S., and now I have a place to hang my step stool. (I don’t see how those things don’t relate, so stop laughing.) Though not as exciting as new technology, Jeff and I managed to get excited about a mini-makeover of sorts on our basement stairway. Which I now call the kitchen closet.
*Lyrics from Billy Idol’s Hot In The City.
Ok, so the lyrics are a cop out (even though that video is amazing). But it’s friggin’ hot out there! Brain = melted. So, in honor of summer’s full court press (or whatever expression makes you understand that summer is here, and she’s not taking no for an answer), I submit to you this recipe, as discovered in the lovely Canadian magazine House & Home.
Lavender Lemonade – makes about 6 adult sized glasses
When you have a good friend, and they have a birthday, and you’re craving sweet things anyway… well, you extend your only-one-batch-of-cupcakes-per-month rule and say, okay, maybe two. I love baking, and frankly I needed the shift in focus (nothing like watching news, or worrying and crying about devastating natural and man-made disasters a la post 9/11). I needed a little cheer to lift me up, and make me remember why we all love life so much. It’s because of cupcakes, obviously.
No, you didn’t miss February. I did. I’ve been working hard on, er, correcting my eating habits, and creating an exercise routine, and I just couldn’t mess with anything tempting in February. But, March is my mom’s birthday month, and I simply couldn’t let her go without a tempting treat on her birthday (what sort of daughter would that make me?).
This is the AFTER post. There are no days or weeks to quantify, save for the 16 (plus) weeks that have passed full of work (that’s over 80 days!), and the months prior to that full of planning, shopping, drawing, contemplating, anticipating. There are no more major events happening (I hardly think the installation of a new panel schedule for the new electrical warrants a photo shoot). All that’s left is to enjoy. Oh, and completely rearrange our second floor, and deal with the basement that looks like a stage 3 hoarding situation is happening. But I digress.
First, I must thank everyone who wished us well, who read up on what was happening (even if reading up only included looking at the photos), who showed us love and interest during this life altering process (who partied with us on Saturday!). Your support, your interest, your excitement helped when things got tough. Which they did. And when they were going well, your interest fanned the flames of our passion for the project. I am so glad I took the time to blog it out. It made the whole process so much more fun.
Mid-week 15, day 73, and the plumbing is finally done! Shockingly, the heating install went well, smoothly even, and the last tasks to complete the punch-list for Team Plumbing were done in less than one day. Relief, disbelief, joy. Wow, we’re seriously almost done now. (Thanks, Matt!) We’ll still need a final plumbing inspection, but it’s looking good, working, and helps us get to the next (last) stage of our renovation: completion.
Team Carpentry was back, including Dave (duh), J.J. (as a jack-of-all-trades helper again), and Jonas (the cabinet/furniture guru among them). Dave worked the last bits of baseboard trim, completed the cutest (can I say “cute” about something that’s made of wood and metal?) little radiator cover that cleverly removes (!!) for access to the heater, and began the process of moving out of the garage (that could take days). J.J. worked his way down the punch-list, painting windows, corbels, touch-ups on walls and doors, and vacuuming debris along the way. Oh, and he fixed a tile that got cracked during a small carpentry adjustment. All in a day’s work, eh, J.J.?
Week 14 ended today, day 70, like the soft closing of a napping baby’s bedroom door. It’s hard to say that we even had a week 14 as the days are so concentrated now, so task oriented. Once something is completed, it’s done. There are no more weeks of work anticipated, only lists of things to finish, lists which (much to our chagrin) keep getting longer as we keep noticing (minor, but plentiful) things that are undone.
Okay, so it’s been a bit since my last post. About a week. Week (mostly lucky) 13. Days 61 through 65. What a week. If I can even remember back to the beginning, last Monday, day 61 (which was a holiday, or so I’m told) was just Dave and I trying to stay focused, and on task for another big week. Dave spent some time building light rails (to hide the undercabinet lighting), and finished up working on the infrastructure for the floating shelves in the baking nook (not as simple a task as one might think!). I spent the day painting – what I was painting I can barely recall – and would still be painting now were it not for the flu that snatched me from vertical to horizontal sometime on Thursday (hence the mostly lucky week 13). But I don’t want to jump ahead.