The kitchen project

Friday, July 9

We went and did a thing. No sooner’n we finished our second cuppa coffee we heard the side-by-side off in the distance which meant our guests were leaving. They had big plans for the day at Red River Gorge so they were on their way. We decided to get the cabin ready for tonight’s guests then go to town(s) and do some errands. We needed another two sets of sheets for the cabin and a replacement set for one that got ruined; we needed milk from the health food store and a few things from the big box store. We were also talking about our oven this morning; trying to figure out exactly what’s wrong with it and how to fix it. Or, maybe just get a new one. We stopped to see a friend who works at an appliance & furniture store. We walked out having gotten a good deal on an oven still in the warehouse from last year. It is nothing like the one we had. There’s no charm, no style, no nothing but the price was right. We just couldn’t see paying $15,000 (yes, that’s correct) or more on an appliance just because we wanted it to look like it belonged in the ol’ house. The discounted oven was propane so we are switching from electric to propane. We called the propane company when we got home and they’ll be out a week from today to run the line. Whether they tie into our existing line or run a new one remains to be seen. Either way they assure us it’s no big deal. So, a little over a week from now we will have a plain jane oven in the ol’ farmhouse but we’ll have one that works and one where we can fit more than one thing at a time in.

The rest of the day was spent washing the new and used sheets, relaxing, gathering eggs and harvesting a few goodies from the garden…

Once our guest arrived we popped some popcorn. Before sitting down to watch a movie with our bowls of popcorn we took a few minutes and listed the ol’ oven on Facebook Marketplace…

I’m gonna miss that ol’ thing however it will be nice to have an oven large enough to fit a roasting pan and that works properly.

Saturday, July 10

I had no idea there would be so much interest in the ol’ oven. The messages started pouring in around 9 o’clock – just a few hours after listing it. I finally turned my iPad off at 10:30 so I could get some sleep. When I turned it back on this morning there were another half dozen messages asking if it was still available. Last night, before I turned it off I had someone coming to see it today. I wrote a response to one of the inquirers then copied and pasted it to all the others. I had replied that if the buyer fell through I would contact them. It did fall through so I contacted the next one that looked promising and hadn’t asked us what’s the least we would take. They drove almost three hours to come look at it. They loved it, paid us, and said they would be back next weekend with several strong arms and a furniture dolly. Yay!

I seriously had no idea that it would sell that quickly. During coffee this morning we laughed about not having a stove or oven for over a week and wondered, briefly, what we would do. I figured we would have to dust off the coffee pot, use the electric single burner and the Oster roaster oven during that time or we’d have to break in that new fire pit. I had prayed, however, that the right person would buy the stove at the price we were asking and that’s exactly what happened. The buyers’ husband is a master electrician so he would have no problem getting the stove in working order. Thank you Lord!

Falling asleep thinking the oven may be gone after today I knew it would be a busy morning. One, we had a pile of cucumbers in the fridge that needed pickling. With yesterday’s harvest we now had enough to do a half batch. Two, the whole exterior of the oven needed a good scrubbing. While CountryBoy washed a mess of eggs I started gathering jars and prepping to start pickling. We wound up with 9 pint jars of Kosher Dill pickles and had plenty of cucumber spears left over.

Once the jars were out of the hot water I used the water and started scrubbing. Yuck. What a mess grease makes. It took me a while but it looks better. While I was scrubbing CountryBoy cleaned the cabin.

We stopped and had a lunch of cheese & crackers and watermelon. Just before another rain shower we picked some more cucumbers and I picked our first tomato. It was a Pink Bumble Bee cherry tomato and it was so good!

The rest of the day was spent waiting. Waiting for the buyers and waiting on tonight’s guest. In between I did some cross-stitching, reading and enjoyed a rain shower while sitting on the porch.

Sunday, July 11

There was a nice, cool breeze this morning and we opened up the windows. It’s been a really nice summer so far.

It was a slow start to the day but once we left for church the day picked up speed and never slowed down until I was on my way home from work. Five hours of non-stop ironing. I was hot, sore and sticky. Came home and had to take another shower

CountryBoy cleaned the cabin and had a supper of grilled chicken and baked potatoes ready when I got home. I contributed some slushy, ice cold watermelon soup I had brought home from the B&B. It cooled me down from the inside out and was so yummy!

He even made another loaf of artisan bread. This loaf needs to hold us over for a week until we get our new oven.

We spent what was left of the evening with our feet up. Just before the sun went down we went to the garden and harvested more cucumbers and yellow wax beans.

Tomorrow is another busy day. We made lunch plans with another couple from church; we have guests arriving in the afternoon; and, the people that bought the oven are coming to pick it up early evening. My prayer is the timing works out and everything goes smooth. Now time to do a little reading then it’s lights out.

Monday, July 12

I’m up early. The coffee is percolating one last time on the ol’ stove top. It’s bittersweet. We just love the look of the oven/stove but it really hasn’t been very practical for our needs especially as of late so it was time to let it go.

The day unfolded as I prayed it would. Lunch was quite enjoyable and we traveled down some roads we had never been on which we love doing. ‘Uncharted territory’ as we say! The people that bought the oven showed up before the cabin guests but the heavy thing was loaded without incident (whew!) and the guests arrived shortly after that. All was said and done two minutes before five o’clock. Time to relax.

While we were waiting I sat on the porch and cross-stitched. I worked a little bit more on it this evening but I mostly spent time browsing Pinterest for some kitchen inspiration and I prepped our temporary cooking situation by setting up the hot plate with a cast iron skillet on it and pulling out the Mr. Coffee coffee pot. I brewed two carafes of water to get any dust particles out then CountryBoy ground some coffee beans and prepped the coffee pot for tomorrow morning. I have a feeling we’re going to miss the percolator and percolated coffee. It just tastes so much better.

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It’s been such a busy day that we’re off to bed before it’s even dark.

Tuesday, July 13

Last night I had a wild hair and the motivation to do some painting. Luckily that wild hair and motivation was still there when I woke up this morning so as soon as I finished my coffee (which was OK, by the way, but still not as good as percolated on the stove top. It’s only a few more days…) I started gathering my painting supplies. Here’s what I’m tackling…

There were just too many different wood tones going on and now that the kitchen is going to get a new, more modern look it was the perfect time to do something about it. My first thought was to simply paint the door and window trim a nice, crisp white but the more I got looking at the faux wood wall the more I wanted to paint it. I had tried to stain it the same color as our wood walls but I later discovered that our walls were more than likely stained with used motor oil. Yep, used motor oil. Try matching that with one of today’s wood stains, ha! It’s pretty but I didn’t even come close to matching it which created yet another wood tone and all in all they just didn’t look that great together. Yesterday, as I was getting a dress out of the closet in our guest room I noticed the same wood paneling in there that I had painted white and I really like it. Since our house is so dark I thought, why not just go for it. Maybe it will lighten the space up a bit.

I thought it would only take a couple hours but the trim needed a second coat and then I decided to do the kitchen window. Six hours later I was finally cleaning brushes and packing up the painting supplies. I opted for the rustic look (not a solid white) on the wall which made that part go really quickly. I really like how it all turned out.

Although now my kitchen walls look yellowed and dingy which I’m sure is from years of wood smoke from the fire place. sigh. I had originally white-washed the walls. Part of me wants to clean the walls and paint but the other part of me says there’s too much stuff on the walls to paint around. My plan, for now, is to wash the walls and see what happens. I’m hoping they will brighten up a tad and be tolerable. I do plan on taking down the light fixtures, giving them a good scrub, and painting the ceiling. It’s amazing how one thing leads to the other. We simply bought a new oven, hahaha!

Meanwhile, CountryBoy did a trash run for the B&B and did some errands while he was in town. He also took care of the cabin and graded the cabin road again. We had a quick gully washer yesterday that left another rut in the road.

Guests are coming and going like crazy this whole month. Mostly one-nighters so there’s lots of cabin cleaning and waiting for their arrivals and departures. With me being home more one of can do whatever needs to be done while the other tends to the cabin. It has been nice.

Speaking of being home, I received a message yesterday afternoon from the editor at the newspaper which said they were going to try it without me tomorrow. I wished them luck. One more day of freedom!

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I did some cross-stitching off and on the rest of the day while waiting for our guests to arrive then we called it a day when the darkness overtook the light of day.

Wednesday, July 14

It was a typical Wednesday. I went in early to do some more work on the Contacts projects but there were a lot of interruptions so I didn’t get through as many as I would’ve liked but some is better than none.

My focus this week has been on the kitchen. It was LONG overdue for a deep cleaning and a refreshed look was in order. Last night I had another wild hair so after work today I drove on into town to get some brown paint. And supper. We wanted a salad from one of the restaurants but they were closed (only open from Thursday – Sunday). sigh. Now what? I decided to get the paint and ponder where to eat while I waited for it to be mixed. While waiting I remembered that the restaurant we tried last week had salads. After getting the paint I headed over there and ordered a salad with grilled chicken for CountryBoy and a Chef’s Salad for me along with an order of… corn nuggets! I hadn’t had a chance to tell CountryBoy that I had to go to another restaurant so when he bit into what he thought would be a fried mushroom he was pleasantly surprised to be eating a corn nugget!

While I was at work CountryBoy cleaned the cabin and mowed the jungle. We’ve had a lot of rain lately which makes it difficult to mow and yet the grass just gets taller.

The rest of the evening was spent relaxing when I should’ve been weeding.

Thursday, July 15

The morning started off in the kitchen. The day’s plan was to do some painting in the kitchen. Knowing that neither of us would want to think about or mess with supper today we had thawed a whole chicken out overnight. As soon as we drank the last of the coffee I started chopping veggies to put in the crock pot along with the chicken. As soon as I was out of the way CountryBoy made a batch of banana breads for the cabin. While those cooked we took the lights down (took us a minute to figure out how to do that, duh) and I scrubbed the grease off them. yuck. After that I started wiping down the ceiling.

It was basically a layer of wood smoke and they cleaned up nicely. I was thrilled because that meant that I didn’t have to paint the ceiling! With that discovery I could start on my wild hair project – painting the joists a rich brown to mimmic beams. It was a tricky job, up and down and moving the ladder, standing on countertops or in the sink to reach the corners. Due to poor vision I leaned back to try and see better and felt my head hit the other joist which had just been painted. Yep, paint in the hair. It never fails! I quickly deduced that I would have to paint one side of the beams and then go back and paint the other side giving them time to dry a bit. It was after six o’clock by the time I finished. And that’s just the first coat. I’ll tackle the second coat on Saturday. That will be plenty of time for the paint to dry and for my feet to recover from being on them all day.

Friday, July 16

It was a piddlin’ kind of day. The propane people were coming today to install the new line for the new oven and we didn’t really want to be in the middle of anything. I made some tuna salad this morning for lunch and I emptied a bunch of soggy pickles that we had canned a couple years ago. I didn’t have the stuff that keeps the pickles crisp at the time and boy did they get soggy. We needed the jars and the space for new pickles.

Speaking of jars, our local hardware store had a good supply of jars. Good to know.

The propane guys showed up a little after nine. They were able to tee off the existing line to the house with minimal damage to the yard. CountryBoy will have to make a piece of trim with a channel in it to hide the copper line that’s visible in the house and the rest of it will be hidden behind the oven.

One major ordeal was/is the demolition of the heavy duty platform CountryBoy had built for the old oven to sit on. The old oven was 31 inches high. The new oven is 36 5/8. If the platform remained I’m pretty sure we would not have been able to see the contents of a stock pot so it had to go. He was originally going to cut a 31 inch opening and slide the oven in but after making some cuts he realized it was a solid platform made out of 2×4’s and 2×12’s. What an ordeal. At any rate, he removed most of it last night and will do the finish work after the oven arrives and is in place.

I did some cross-stitching today and washed the rags, shower curtain and mop heads. I also filed LizzieBelle’s nails with Oster nail trimmer. She can’t stand me touching her feet or doing her nails which always makes it quite a job for both of us. She did OK today and no matter how it goes she always gets a treat.

We’re off to our neighbor’s house in a few minutes for a cookout to celebrate their son’s birthday. It’s amazing how quickly these younguns grow up. I remember when he was born!

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What a great time we had at the cookout! Lots and lots of people from both sides of his family and even the neighbors gathered to celebrate the now two year old. It was fun to watch him open his gifts. Gifts such as a toy drill set, toy chain saw, small John Deere wheel barrows, and a tricycle that looks like a dirt bike to name a few. Gifts for outdoor work and adventures. Gifts very different from the norm these days. It was refreshing.

We bid everyone goodnight a couple hours later so we could check on LizzieBelle. She knew we were going somewhere. She could smell CountryBoy’s cologne and she started whimpering and walking around looking for us and wondering if she was going to get to go. I had taken her out before we started getting ready and she had settled in her bed until she caught a whiff of the cologne. It just broke my heart to leave her but thankfully she was sound asleep when we returned. My poor girl.

Saturday, July 17

The entire day was spent painting. From the moment I finished my coffee until well after supper time. The kitchen has become a major project all because of the new oven. It’s amazing how one thing leads to another and before you know it not one thing has been untouched. I guess the big project I was anticipating several weeks ago wound up being the kitchen. It’s all good though.

As I was finishing up the second coat on the joists my eye kept going to the walls. The now obviously yellowed, dingy walls. I really did not want to paint them (mainly because of all the stuff that needed to be moved before I could paint) but I also wasn’t pleased with the walls now. I asked CountryBoy for his honest opinion on the walls and he said they needed painted. sigh. I said I would paint them if he would help move the stuff and take shelves down. He did and so I spent the rest of the afternoon painting. He came and helped and we were able to get two thirds of it painted. Our main focus today was the wall behind the oven and we got one other wall painted. I have to say it’s looking really good but I’ve not taken any time to take any photos of the process.

After the brushes were clean and some of the stuff put back we had popcorn for supper. Later some more neighbors stopped by for eggs. (Another neighbor who recently moved in came by this morning for a dozen.) We chatted with them for a while then called it a night.

Sunday, July 18

I went in to work early today. There was a big dinner happening on the porch that evening and the cook was coming in early to do the baking and prep work for the dinner. It’s hot enough dealing with hot sheets from the dryer but it gets miserably hot with all the ovens and the iron going at the same time. I had hoped to knock out most of the sheets before she came in. I would have succeeded except I decided I needed to tackle the stained sheet pile as the shelves were starting to look a little bare even with all the sheets washed and ironed. Two loads later of treated, washed, dried and ironed sheets it was mid-afternoon and I was a hot, sticky mess. I came home and hopped in the shower.

We were deciding what to do for dinner (can’t wait for the new oven to be delivered tomorrow!) when a neighbor stopped by to see if I wanted to accompany her to the Weisenberger Mill, Sam’s Club, and a few other places so that she could re-stock her little store for its grand opening on Saturday. (She had opened it up for her son’s birthday party that we attended last Friday and the kids put a huge dent in her inventory, ha!). I said I would go and even donated two of my metal Coca-Cola signs for some interior decor. I’m so excited for her and pray it goes well.

It reminds me of the corner store in the neighborhood where I grew up. We kids loved riding our bikes over there and seeing what candies and goodies we could get with whatever monies we had. I imagine once the word gets out she will do well since we are thirty minutes from anywhere.

Now back to supper… we decided on Papalenos. CountryBoy got the spaghetti he was craving and I got a half pizza sub. We then walked around the corner and bought some fudge and an ice cream cone. We could have done without the latter but we love supporting local and small businesses and are thankful that both of these came through the whole covid shutdown ordeal. I’m sure they still have a ways to go to catch up so hopefully our meager purchase will help towards that end.

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Despite my focus being on the kitchen this past week the garden continues to grow. The cucumbers and yellow wax beans have gone mad and we’ve no way to process them. I think we’re going to break in the new stovetop with processing a batch of pickles and blanching some beans!

Monday, July 19

The neighbor and I left bright and early this morning at 7 o’clock. Our first stop was the Weisenberger Mill which is over an hour away on the other side of Lexington. We perused their shopping list and placed our orders. While we waited for our orders to be pulled we walked across a one lane bridge to capture the waterfall beside the mill…

Surprisingly, it was a rather busy road with traffic stopping one way or the other to cross the bridge so we didn’t linger very long.

By the time we walked back to the loading dock it was time to load our goodies. I bought a 25 pound bag of unbleached all-purpose flour, a 25 pound bag of bread flour, a 5 pound bag of yellow self-rising cornmeal, a packet of lemon poppy seed muffin mix and a packet of sour cream scones mix for $36. Not bad. The neighbor bought a bunch of mixes and a 50 pound bag of corn to grind into meal to stock her store. We were loaded down after one stop.

Next up was Sam’s Club. It has been a very long time since I’ve been to a Sam’s. As I walked in I had to remind myself to stay focused. I lost that focus when my head and stomach reminded me that we hadn’t eaten anything yet. Peanut butter pretzels, a bag each of nut clusters, pistachios, and white & dark fudge covered popcorn were in the cart without a second thought. (At least I tried to keep the snacks somewhat healthy, ha!) We both decided we were hungry so we each grabbed a bite at the snack bar which stopped the hunger and curbed the desire to throw more snacks in the cart. I also picked up a cantaloupe, three books, coffee beans, crunchy peanut butter, toilet paper and paper towels. It was more than I intended to buy but they’re all things we use on a normal basis. The books were my only splurge but I love to read and have a weakness for books!

After that we headed to Goodwill. I found a long skirt and shirt to go with it and a long sleeve plaid shirt for winter. My neighbor scored four oil lamps and several other goodies for her store. Once we stuffed everything into her SUV we headed back to the hills.

The next stop was the library where we typed the instructions on how to make cornbread using the meal from the freshly ground corn. We printed them out and she’ll attach them to the bags. I scored two free books from the free book cart in the lobby. Five new books in one day!

After a quick stop at the post office and the school to pick up bags of food (part of the summer feeding program) we finally headed home – the entire back of the SUV (with the back seat folded down) was full to the brim. It was a fun day.

Now to get the goods put away and start two loads of laundry.

Meanwhile, CountryBoy left shortly after we did to do the B&B trash run. He was back home in plenty of time before the oven was delivered. Once it was installed and tested for leaks we were to leave in on for an hour before cooking with it. I got home shortly after the technician left and we opened the oven door to discover that it was not hot. great. We were out of propane. We knew we were low at the end of last winter but apparently there was only enough propane left in the tank to test it but that was it. We told the propane company that we needed propane when we called about installing the gas line last week. CountryBoy called this afternoon to double check and we are on the list for delivery. We have no idea when that will be so here we finally have our new oven after being without for a week and we still can’t use it. sigh.

Tuesday, July 20

As my dear o’ Dad reminded me last night that it’s been over a week since I’ve published a blog post I must make it a priority today to do just that!!!

The morning sky during our second cuppa coffee…

I went to bed last night with the intention of painting the remaining unpainted wall in the kitchen. However, this morning I woke up with no desire whatsoever to paint anything. I felt tired and the thought of finding places to put the plates and casserole dishes that were on the shelf that needs to be taken down so that I could paint was more than I could handle today. My plan is to sand the tops of the shelves down some more, re-stain them and then cover them with several coats of polyurethane then put them back up. I’m also adding two more shelves and I will need to do the same to them. That process is going to take several days due to time constraints and drying time. Knowing that if I painted today all that stuff would be sitting around somewhere until the shelves were ready to hang I decided to forego the painting and concentrate on the shelves.

CountryBoy worked on putting the platform back in place to the right of the oven. Eventually we both came to a stopping point on what we were working on that demanded a trip to Lowe’s. We needed some plywood for the shelves we’re adding beside the oven and I needed more polyurethane and foam brushes. I also needed new shelf brackets since we were adding more shelves so off to Lowe’s we went.

Upon returning home we all took a long nap, LizzieBelle included. Even with a trip to town and a nap we managed to get a few more things done to the kitchen. Before we left I had cleaned all the cast iron and got them hung back up so there’s a few less things scattered around.

I’ve not taken any photos of what’s been done already. We’re doing bits and pieces and it’s so haphazard that I just don’t feel that anything is photo worthy at the moment. It’s getting there and it won’t be long once the shelves are ready. I tell ya what, it sure will be nice to have a functioning, organized kitchen again! Now where’s that propane truck?!

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