Sunday, January 26, 2014

My kitchen, at last!

A vast, vast improvement, don't you think?

Eventually I'd like to replace the stove with a white one, but it works fine so there's no need to replace it yet. The dishwasher was black, but when she was cleaning it, my aunt Janice discovered that the black flips over and is almond on the back, so that helped a lot. Below, a before picture of what the kitchen used to look like. Tiled counters, ugh!

And this is what it looks like now, from another angle.

I know my enthusiasm for cleaning won't last, but right now it's a positive joy to clean the kitchen. Everything's so clean and tidy and perfect! I've been cooking a lot too. For lunch today I roasted a chicken and had it with potatoes, and there's plenty left over for tomorrow when I get home from work. Last night I made enchiladas (leftovers will be good tonight). Last week I made sugar cookies, which I cut into pink hearts. I gave most of them to my good and deserving aunt and uncle, who were the ones who got me the new countertops for Christmas and who did almost all the work to transform the kitchen into the cozy, charming room it now is!

I still need to touch up the paint on the cabinets, which took something like four coats to cover the black paint that was on there before. But other than that, the room is done!

Monday, January 6, 2014

My kitchen, currently

I've been confusing everyone on Twitter, talking about how I can't cook food and have no kitchen, etc. Here's the deal.

I'm getting new countertops for my kitchen, thanks to my awesome aunt and uncle! Last week, on Thursday, we pulled the old counters out, since the new ones were supposed to be installed on Friday. Because I had such a short time to be without a functioning kitchen, we moved the fridge in front of the doorway to the tiny laundry room/dining room, which is also the room with the back door. We then unplugged the oven and moved it into the space where the fridge usually is. That way the countertop installer guy could get in where he needed to get.

Unfortunately, bad weather moved in that evening. It wasn't bad here, just a dusting of snow and some icy patches, but my countertop installer guy lives in the mountains and wasn't able to make it. We rescheduled for Monday morning. You know, today.

Last night we had even more snow and ice and bitterly cold temperatures. So my appointment has been postponed again, to Wednesday morning.

In the meantime, I have no access to the laundry room except through the back door, my stove is unplugged, and while I can get into the fridge it's a squeeze because the door's right up against the wall. Below: the space where my stove usually sits.

I bought an electric kettle, which is something I've been wanting anyway, and plugged in the toaster. So I have a steady supply of hot water for tea and soup and oatmeal, etc., and I also bought two loaves of raisin bread so I have ample yummy toast. I'm not precisely snowed in today because the roads look okay, but there's patchy ice and my work is closed today and I don't want to leave the house. So I've just tucked myself into the cozy little house and I've been drinking tea and tea and tea and playing video games while listening to music. Pretty soon I'll get back in bed to read for a while. It's only 15 degrees and the temperature will continue to drop overnight until we're right about zero or even just under. Brrr!

I'm really hoping my work will close tomorrow or at least open two hours late so I don't have to leave the house while it's still dark. I also really hope the weather will ease up so I can get my new counters installed and put my kitchen back together! Next step is to spackle, sand, and paint the walls, and finish sanding and paint the cabinets.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Welcome to 2014

Last year I made a list of new year's resolutions. I kept some of them. For instance, I did get a tattoo, and in fact tomorrow I go back to get it colored in. I will post pictures, I promise!

I also hiked more last year and lost a bit of weight (although I want to lose more) and did some interesting things and did actually improve my writing. I wrote a number of short stories--more, in fact, than I'd written since 2008--but only one book and a novella.

The kickass steampunk YA I wrote in 2013, The Steam-Powered Raven, has attracted some agent interest. We'll see how that works out. I haven't decided on my next writing project--I'm halfway through a Lizzy and Jo novel that I want to finish, have a few stories I need to revise, have a few novels I need to revise in major ways, and want to finally write the final book in the Bell-Man trilogy so I can find a good publisher for the whole thing. I also want to continue writing short stories. They helped me improve my writing a lot more than I expected.

I decided to keep my new year's resolutions really, really simple this year. I'm only making one: learn to play drums. I've wanted to learn drums since I was in college but never got around to it. Well, it's time. Because it's never too early to have a mid-life crisis.