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[personal profile] hudebnik
The first phase of kitchen renovation has finished. The guy from the countertop company came on Thursday to measure the cabinets and make a template; now we wait two weeks for the "quartz" countertop to be made to order, after which they'll install the countertop, sink, dishwasher, and backsplash, apply finish paint to the window frames, door frame, and base molding, install a doorknob in the basement door, and various other minor things.

The bamboo floor is lovely. The ceiling (drywall rather than hung acoustical tile) is lovely. The wall paint (over the aforementioned five layers or so of various wallpapers) is lovely. The new oven, range, and microwave are nice (although I don't think we've actually used the new microwave yet). The light fixtures are lovely.

The new fridge has the same footprint as the old one and is six inches taller, so theoretically it should have more capacity. But I think it also has more insulation, hence less capacity. And it has different internal organization: no cheese drawer, one big fruit-and-vegetable drawer rather than two smaller ones, and the only place tall things can possibly fit is on the doors. (Since the fruit-and-vegetable drawer is full width, you can't open it without opening both doors.) We picked up some fridge-organizing bins at the Container Store yesterday, and are starting to move things into them in hopes of being able to find stuff. It has two pull-out freezer drawers rather than one big freezer door, which means ice trays have to be put on top of other (flat) things rather than having their own slide-in-from-the-front compartment. And, in a bit of bad design, things can easily fall off the back of a pulled-out freezer drawer: retrieving the fallen object requires reaching under the lip of the compartment above, over the back of the drawer, and down to wherever the object fell, and you won't be able to close the drawer until you retrieve the fallen object. We may need to buy a small trunk freezer and put it in the basement.

The cabinets appear to be sturdy, well-built, and well-installed, but the finishes look and feel more "faux-wood-grain" and plasticky than the sample we saw at the store. ([personal profile] shalmestere says it feels like living in a cheap motel room from the 1990's.) [personal profile] shalmestere did some asking on Facebook and some searching on the Web of How-To Videos, and concluded that we may be able to solve the problem by taking off the shine with 220-grit sandpaper or fine steel wool, then applying a coat of satin-finish (as opposed to glossy) Polyshades or something like that. Which I'm confident will work for the real-wood parts of the cabinets, but I'm not sure what effect it'll have on the veneer-over-plywood parts. I've written to the installers, and to the cabinet manufacturers, to ask.

We (mostly [personal profile] shalmestere) came up with a couple of boxes of clothes and seldom-used kitchen stuff to donate to the St Vincent de Paul thrift store yesterday. I dropped them off at their loading dock without sticking around to find out whether they were acceptable. We looked around the thrift store, but escaped without buying anything.

Went to the Greenmarket yesterday to acquire lamb for the Paschal feast, which in recent years has been a lamb-and-prune tagine inspired by Katniss Everdeen's favorite dish in the Capitol. Our preferred purveyor of lamb was out of boneless shoulder, and out of stew meat, so I ended up with leg steaks; still not sure whether we'll cut them up for stewing or cook them as steaks.

While I was there, I also picked up a couple of baby Thai-basil plants, which yesterday afternoon I put variously into raised boxes in the back yard, and the ground around the quince trees in the front yard. Also pulled up a bunch of weedy, stringy stuff from dead patches in the lawn, sprinkled grass seed over them, and watered them.

Today: Easter service, install a new motion-sensing lantern outside the front door, cook Easter dinner, consume mass quantities of chocolate, continue dusting and vacuuming after the kitchen reno, maybe mow the lawn, maybe do some more weeding, maybe visit the hardware store for more grass seed and refinishing supplies, maybe arrange rehearsal dates for a non-SCA loud band gig that is now less than five weeks away.


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