Every year, when the Olympics begins, I ask myself, why don’t I spend more time watching short-track speed skating? Every four years is too long to stay away from this crazy shit. And then, when the Olympics ends, I think, eh, see you folks in four. If speed skating was that thrilling to watch, we wouldn’t need football.
Although we’re all thinking about baseball now, aren’t we? Spring training is underway in Florida and Arizona, and the winter is in retreat, with the usual skirmishes as it does so. Now we’re just counting the days, literally. A nursery near my house has a countdown-to-spring sign it puts up right around now. The light is different on my late-afternoon dog walk. There are worst things to notice as I wait for the p.m. canine bowel movement.
Oh, look — more speed skating on the teevee.
May I have a drumroll, please? It is finished.
Yes, very happy, especially considering this is what we started with, from approximately the same angle:
I cooked my first meal on a gas stove tonight, and man, it felt good. Now to dirty this room up with life. It’ll never look this good again.
I’m restocking slowly and methodically. Everything has to be washed, and why not get a start on death cleaning by pitching the extra loaf pans, is what I always say.
I’d like to say something about the events of the day – CPAC, Wayne LaPierre, pothole hell – but it’s the end of the week, I worked hard today and all I want to do is put my small appliances back where they belong.
At least speed-skating appears to be over for the time being.
A good weekend, all.
Ann said on February 22, 2018 at 10:50 pm
Boy that was fast. I think when we did it we were without a kitchen for at least two months. It looks great.
beb said on February 22, 2018 at 10:58 pm
CPAC, Wayner LaPierre, etc. We don’t need to talk about them. Like the students of Parkland, we should focus on change and not the flotsom of ancient societies.
Joe Kobiela said on February 22, 2018 at 11:01 pm
Looks fantastic, Enjoy it.
Jolene said on February 22, 2018 at 11:28 pm
Looks great. Is the counter at the bottom of the photo (the short leg of the L) a place where people can sit or not?
basset said on February 22, 2018 at 11:45 pm
Very nice! And the bottle opener is the first kitchen tool in sight.
If I bring you some venison, will you cook it?
alex said on February 23, 2018 at 12:02 am
Gorgeous! And I promise you that you’ll love cooking with gas.
Dexter said on February 23, 2018 at 3:23 am
Fried eggs taste better when cooked with gas. Enjoy the new kitchen. It reminds me of when Dad retired in 1980, and took his big retirement bonus and hired contractors to come in and re-do the kitchen, gas stove also. I was happy for Mom and him, it was very nice.
And I, the late-sleeping retiree, was up at 6:00, and after coffee I got to it: vacuuming, deep carpet cleaning, scrubbing sinks and the tub, cleaning toilets, mopping the kitchen, stripping the bed and pillows and washing everything in the machine, then running out to Dollar General for all sorts of wipes, bleach, air fresheners, sprays…more stuff but you surely are bored already…Carla Lee is coming home in about nine hours. She has not seen Friendo the cat since December 3, nor Pogo Labbie Dog since about the 11th of December. I already know I am soon to catch holy hell for my efforts, surely not good enough. She will adjust to my slovenly ways I hope. We tried to find a cleaning lady but they want steady work…nobody here wants to turn a couple C-notes for a couple days light cleaning, not here in this town. Damn, I have been up for almost 22 straight hours. Time to crash. https://thumb7.shutterstock.com/display_pic_with_logo/3054116/443846959/stock-vector-vector-illustration-of-a-bald-businessman-asleep-443846959.jpg
Deborah said on February 23, 2018 at 3:40 am
Bravo! It looks wonderful. I envy the cooking with gas. I don’t remember ever having a gas stove.
Dexter, keeping you and your wife in my thoughts, hope everything goes well this time.
ROGirl said on February 23, 2018 at 4:35 am
Looks really nice, I was admiring that stove. You don’t know what you’ve been missing until you start cooking on a gas stove.
For a pothole insurance claim it has to be filed against the agency in charge of the road and you have to prove that they had prior knowledge of the pothole. I don’t even know the exact location. I’m starting a new job the week after next, which will send me to better roads, but until then it’s back through the craters and mine fields.
Dorothy said on February 23, 2018 at 5:11 am
It looks glorious. I’m so happy for you! We had three acres out in rural Knox County OH but there was natural gas on that road, so I was happy to have a gas stove again. We have electric here in Dayton and I’ve gotten used to it, but I’d rather have gas. Next house will be our last and damn well better have gas!
Olivia is with us for two days and nights while her mama attends a conference in Yellow Springs so Gram and Grandad have some spoiling to do. Can you believe she’ll be one in two weeks?!
alex said on February 23, 2018 at 7:06 am
Dex, I’d bet a couple of C-notes that our cleaning lady from Auburn would probably schlep out to Williams County for a one-time gig. There are some weeks when she wants to work but we haven’t trashed the house enough to give her anything to do.
I had to live with an electric range for the 15 years I lived in a high-rise in Chicago, and then for the first ten years in this house, which had a cool ginormous retro range that I didn’t want to get rid of until it finally bit the dust, which it did one Thanksgiving’s eve. We ended up having to demolish the kitchen in order to get the gas line where it needed to be, but it was worth it. Gas has truly upped my game as a cook.
Our rental next door has one of those ginormous old electric ranges and our tenant’s young son opened the oven door and stood on it in order to reach into the cabinets above, and it’s pretty well fucked. I can’t see putting in a new range of that size into the spot — they cost about $5K — and hope we can find a used one when the time finally comes. No gas line to that house (the furnace is an oil burner) so it’ll have to be electric. The door still closes, but not very well, and we’ll have to do something about it eventually for new tenants.
Pam said on February 23, 2018 at 7:45 am
Will you be keeping the old frig or getting a matching one? On our stove we really like having the controls on the front as opposed to the large control panel on the top. But there’s one problem and that is when Bill leans over the stove and bumps all the touch controls with his tummy. Once he managed to completely lock the stove and it took me much googling to set it straight. I still can’t convert to a gas stove after what happened on Barrington Rd. when the kitchen went up. Maybe because I don’t have a dog.
Dorothy said on February 23, 2018 at 8:50 am
Dexter I meant to say I bet your wife will be so thrilled to be home, she won’t say a word about whether it is clean enough for her standards. Enjoy her homecoming!
Mark P said on February 23, 2018 at 9:17 am
The kitchen is nice. I like that you eliminated the soffits and ran the cabinets all the way up to the ceiling. With 10-foot ceilings in our new house, it was just too expensive for us to do that, and anyway, we didn’t want to keep a ladder in the kitchen. The vent hood is nice, too.
A vacation from the news is not a bad idea. Dahlia Lithwick had an article on Slate about the Florida teens. She liked their approach of ignoring Trump and the other idiots who are part of the problem. Maybe we can do the same, at least for a while.
ninja3000 said on February 23, 2018 at 9:31 am
Once you go gas, you’ll never go back!
Icarus said on February 23, 2018 at 9:31 am
@Dexter, I don’t know your economic situation but there are cleaning services that will do a one time deep clean and if you continue using them you get a discount. Well worth the money to outsource that task.
@Mark P, not sure how cost prohibitive it was but having cabinets up to the ceiling reduces places for dust to form.
What’s the over/under that our hostess replaces that white fridge (when the time comes) with a fancy stainless steel smart one complete with video screen 🙂
ROGirl said on February 23, 2018 at 9:58 am
There was a hilarious smart fridge story line on silicon valley in the last series. All their code got downloaded to the fridge, along with a dirty picture.
Kayak woman said on February 23, 2018 at 9:58 am
Beautiful kitchen! We gutted ours a few years ago and I spent the first couple days just basking in the new one (3 week top-notch job, which we happily paid for after 30 years of fugly).
I love your backsplash. I’m normally a bright color gal (I have intense teal subway tile) but your multi-grays sparkle!
Jenine said on February 23, 2018 at 10:12 am
Ah, putting away the small appliances and the spices and so on. I hope it scratches your ocd itch like it does for me. Such a hopeful illusion of order and control. That is a great looking kitchen! Extending white cabinets to the white ceiling makes it look bigger for sure.
Connie said on February 23, 2018 at 10:17 am
Many moons ago I was in the hospital in Indianapolis for 77 days before my daughter was born. My husband drove some sixty miles back and forth to visit me and bring me work and books, almost daily. So Dexter, when I and the baby got home everything he brought home from the hospital was just in a pile. The house had not been cleaned. Mice had been wildly destroying the pantry contents. The changing table had been brought down from the attic but hadn’t been cleaned. There was no place for baby to sleep. There was a dissassembled crib in the garage. Her room contained the dirty changing table and a table made from a door. The house was a mess.
My co-workers showed up early on day 2 at home, with a crib mattress and a load of groceries bless their hearts.
And husband says to me: “the ladies at church offered to come and clean but I knew you wouldn’t them to see this mess.”
Show them the mess, admit that it is yours and let them clean. Next time.
I will note that jeff(tmmo) have figured out that he was doing some kind of chaplain intern work at the same hospital at the same time. We know this because we were both at the hospital for the great Indianapolis earthquake.
Julie Robinson said on February 23, 2018 at 10:25 am
Ooh! Pretty! Love, love, love that range hood! May the kitchen bring you much joy.
I second the superiority of gas over electric, having eaten burned fried eggs here, on my first morning back in Orlando. It always takes me a couple of days to readjust. Except for student apartments, I’ve been lucky enough to always have gas. Wonder how much it would cost to retrofit this house? It would probably have to be LP.
The Olympics is pretty much just about figure skating for me, and myself and other fans have been irked about NBC’s coverage. They’d show one or two skaters and then off to the speed skating, bobsled, or most irritating, practice runs on the ski slopes. I ended up sleeping through my favorites because they were on so late. Hubby say they know the skating fans are the most loyal. Loyal or patsies?
Dexter, may your reunion be joyous. And Dorothy, soak in that little girl!
Mark P said on February 23, 2018 at 10:51 am
@icarus — You’re right about cabinets collecting dust. Ours certainly do. But if you’ve built a house, you know you get into the mode of saying, “Well, that addition just costs a little bit; it’s not that much compared to the whole house,” but when you do that over and over again, the little bits add up. At some point you just have to say no more. There are a lot of things I would like to have done, but we didn’t win the lottery, so we didn’t do them all. Next time for sure!
Bitter Scribe said on February 23, 2018 at 11:59 am
I’d never heard of team speed-skating before, but I have to admit it was cool to watch. And a lot easier to follow than speed-skating relay races, which confused the hell out of me.
But I’m with Nancy: Every four years is enough.
Julie Robinson said on February 23, 2018 at 12:04 pm
Mark P, we’re in that mode here in Orlando. The insurance company made us put on a new roof, and we decided to replace the thin piece of aluminum that was the lanai, then we decided to extend it, and cover the rafters with wood, and why don’t we replace a window with a sliding door? Then the city made us do water mitigation with gutters and a French drain, and on andd on.
Next we saw how shabby the pool enclosure looked next to the new lanai, so guess what’s next? It’s going to be beautiful, and we’ve given ourselves a great new space for hanging out, so I’m glad we did it. Not fun to live through though.
Suzanne said on February 23, 2018 at 12:11 pm
New kitchen looks great!
I watched the team speed skating last night. I didn’t even know there was such a thing! It was in part hilarious because of the way they kind of shoved their teammates when they took over the next lap and part terrifying to watch all those blades in such close proximity.
And the poor Koreans kept wiping out. I watch speed skating and don’t get how anybody stays upright.
Scout said on February 23, 2018 at 1:07 pm
The kitchen is beautiful. You had the fastest team on the planet, I think. I’ve never seen a kitchen go from demo to completion that fast before!
I missed the ladies figure skating last night because we had play tickets. I’ll have to try to catch the highlights on the intertoobs. I really love to watch those young Russian ladies who won Gold and Silver. They have it all, technical skill plus artistry.
Regarding the speed in which the NRA seems to be taken down a notch – it’s a wonderful thing to see. Those teenagers from MSD HS are doing what nobody to date has been able to. They have poise, critical thinking and public speaking skills, plus they are the social media guru generation. All the usual NRA BS messaging seems to be losing its effect; fucking Wayne LaPierre sounds desperate and Dana Loesch has come out of this looking like the bitch on wheels that she is. Our ‘president’ has made an absolute ass out of himself with his empathy cue card and his asinine call to arm teachers. Could this actually be the start of the shift where association with the NRA becomes toxic for politicians and businesses? God, I hope so. Then maybe we can finally get some common sense legislation enacted.
Suzanne said on February 23, 2018 at 1:51 pm
And I just canceled an appointment I had made with Life Line Screening after discovering that they have an NRA affiliation. Instead, I scheduled a heart scan at the local hospital. It’s all about the money, it’s always all been about the money.
Heather said on February 23, 2018 at 1:56 pm
Nice kitchen! I’m getting renovation envy, though of course not for the process.
Jolene said on February 23, 2018 at 2:16 pm
“I missed the ladies figure skating last night because we had play tickets.”
Scout, if you have OnDemand, you can catch it there.
Scout said on February 23, 2018 at 2:20 pm
@Jolene: We just have an antenna for local stations and then Apple TV with subs for Netflix, Amazon Prime, Starz and Acorn. I think my Mom and Dad recorded it, though, so I may crash dinner at their place next week to see it all!
Jolene said on February 23, 2018 at 2:22 pm
The NRA seems to be taking some fairly substantial pocketbook hits. Apparently, like AARP and AAA, they have member discount programs with numerous companies, and those companies are terminating those agreements at a rapid rate. Banks, car rental companies, software vendors, and an insurance company have all announced that they are putting out.
Somewhere, I read that these discounts are a major reason that many people have retained their memberships, so, perhaps, there’ll be a follow-on effect on membership fees.
Jolene said on February 23, 2018 at 2:25 pm
”. . . I may crash dinner at their place next week to see it all!”
Excellent plan. And you’ll have the added benefits of a good meal and good company. Have seen your FB photos of good times with your parents. They seem like people who would be fun to know.
Jolene said on February 23, 2018 at 2:28 pm
@31 Pffft! Pulling out, not putting out.
Dave said on February 23, 2018 at 2:38 pm
There’s a lady (?) down here in Florida named Marion Hammer who is the Florida lobbyist for the NRA. When she says jump, all the Repugnant ones start jumping before she ever says how high. Do a little research on her, it’s disgusting and until someone breaks her spell, it will continue to be so.
alex said on February 23, 2018 at 3:55 pm
Love the backsplash–I think it’s neutral and classic enough to remain timeless. (Just make sure you seal the grout.) Also adore the recessed lighting and the retro/vintage-looking fixture–is that on a spindle or flush mount?–can’t tell from that particular picture. Anyway, totally faboo!
Scout said on February 23, 2018 at 4:45 pm
@ jolene – My parents are adorable. I’m so blessed they were brave enough at 82 and 76 to pick up and relocate 2400 miles from the only other place they ever called home to join me and all the rest of the family here in AZ.
A friend of mine on the bookFace today: “We are talking about ASSAULT RIFLES! Not the right to bear arms.” Exactly this. When attempting to debate sensible solutions with ammosexuals we must divert their attempts to drag us into the weeds to fight straw men. 95% of normal people only want to ban military grade weapons, not all weapons.
Deborah said on February 23, 2018 at 6:04 pm
We’re enjoying a relaxing afternoon in Abiquiu. LB reminded me that we did have a gas stove in one of the places we lived for about 6 years. It was a time when I was horrendously busy at work, lots of late hours, she probably cooked way more than I did and someone came in and did the cleaning. It was an older high rise in St. Louis, we lived on the 16th floor. It was a great place. Three bedrooms, a huge kitchen and a huge separate dining room. It was after my divorce. I blanked it out completely.
David C. said on February 23, 2018 at 6:05 pm
The gun nuts at work were in a froth today, so it was a grin and nod day for me. It’s really starting to get to them. When President Clinton invited the Chinese army to invade the US under the auspices of the UN, my gun nut father-in-law buried a shotgun and ammo in the back 40. After the plan was cancelled when W became President, he couldn’t find where he buried it. I do hope they all bury their AR-15s and lose them.
Colleen said on February 23, 2018 at 6:39 pm
I will add to the chorus of people who love the new kitchen.
Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 23, 2018 at 8:53 pm
Deborah, we’re heading to Ghost Ranch for a stretch right after July 4th; an old friend wants to celebrate a 90th birthday there, and we’re going to make it happen with a bunch of his old students. Former, that is. 😉
If anyone has questions about spasmodic dysphonia, and doesn’t know Diane Rehm personally, feel free to ask me questions. Got the botox injections a week ago today, still sound like Jiminy Cricket with asthma, but the iron fist clutching my throat is gone. An odd ailment to end up with, but life is funny that way.
Deborah said on February 23, 2018 at 9:19 pm
Jeff, have been reading your throat issues on FB. I hope things are getting better, hang in there. We’re definitely planning on a visit to Ghost Ranch tomorrow, we’ll probably take the hike along the creek because it’s lower and more sheltered because it’s going to be windy tomorrow. There are spots of snow on the ground but it’s melting.
Dexter said on February 23, 2018 at 9:37 pm
Thanks for the encouragement. Two hours late getting discharged, then 2 hours waiting for the pharmacy to straighten out a problem with a prescription, then a fast-food screw-up leaving me to eat a baloney sandwich instead, at home, but she is glad to be in her own bed , she has all her ‘scripts filled correctly, and now we take it from there. Right back clear to Cleveland for another checkup Wednesday. Personally, I would never go to Cleveland Clinic for one reason: too godddam far away.
LAMary said on February 23, 2018 at 10:59 pm
The new kitchen looks great even without the corn cob curtains. I grew up and learned to cook on an electric stove but as soon as I moved out I had a gas stove and I’ve never gone back. Aside from all the other things I prefer about gas, I love the way a pepper getting a quick roasting on the flame smells.
Dexter said on February 24, 2018 at 1:38 am
In spring of 1994 we took the kids to Daytona for spring break. A friend at work tipped me off about a great place to stay, a condo which rented by the week, in a tall tower on the beach. It was fabulous. The kitchen was fully stocked with equipment and folks even paid it forward by leaving all sorts of olive oils, pastas, spices, canned and jarred sauces, and the place had a gas stove. We had fun cooking a few lunches and dinners there and also eating some great mahi-mahi at The Dock Bar & Restaurant. I have had gas stoves in a few of the various apartments I have stayed in, but that cooking island in the middle of that large kitchen in that condo made cooking a lot of fun. I also remember the sharp knives in that kitchen. I don’t remember the brand, but absolutely, the sharpest knives I had ever seen.
Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 24, 2018 at 7:42 am
I’m impressed by how the screen on Nancy’s new refrigerator just blends right into the metal when it’s not activated. Very slick.
You do have a screen, right?
David C. said on February 24, 2018 at 8:35 am
The screen is on the range, but the content is pretty slow moving.
Lisa said on February 24, 2018 at 11:17 am
Absolutely gorgeous new kitchen!
I’m thrilled you have the gas stove. I’ve been using electric since we bought our home in 2001. I want the damn stove to die so I can buy a gas one!
Enjoy your new kitchen!
Icarus said on February 24, 2018 at 11:53 am
Would you be willing to share ballpark how much this project cost? Also, IIRC, they gutted to the studs, didn’t they? Did you add any additional insulation? It seems whichever previous owner updated our current kitchen skipped this step and it shows during cold Chicago winters.
Deborah said on February 24, 2018 at 4:19 pm
We wussed out in Abiquiu, it was COLD and windy last night, could feel the cabin rocking in the wind. We woke up and decided to bail on staying a second night since the high was only going to be in the 30s. When you load up the woodburning stove before you turn in and by 3am you wish you had enough energy to get up and start a new fire, you know it’s still winter. We left after breakfast. Now we’re in Santa Fe enjoying an afternoon fire in the fireplace. This is nice.
Deborah said on February 24, 2018 at 5:38 pm
I see that the Democrat response to the Nunes memo has come out on a Saturday afternoon.
Deborah said on February 24, 2018 at 10:25 pm
LB and I saw Lady Bird this evening. A great mother/daughter bonding experience. I could relate to both the mother and the daughter and so could she in a way that’s hard to explain.
brian stouder said on February 24, 2018 at 11:33 pm
Deborah – good to hear that you and yours bailed from the rockin’ cabin*, in favor of the comfy Santa Fe fireplace!
In general, I’m not big on the ‘wide-open spaces’ in the west; ‘great place to visit, but I wouldn’t wanna live there’, and all that.
Pam and the young folks and I did a westward-trek a few summers ago, and visited family friends in Haswell, Colorado. Lemme tell ya – when you’re in Haswell, you’re well and truly somewhere near the middle of absolutely nowhere!
When we were a few miles from the farmlane that leads back to where the folks live, we saw another lane, leading off (presumably) to someone else – and it had a hand-painted sign saying simply “We don’t call 9-1-1” – and featuring a large portrait of (what appeared to be) an assault-rifle, of some sort.
I joked with Pam that I don’t think I’d go up that lane to borrow a cup of sugar – or to ask for directions!
*and I even skipped the chance to make the “if this cabin’s rockin’, don’t come a knockin'” joke!
Deborah said on February 25, 2018 at 9:43 am
Brian, our cabin is an odd combo of tall, narrow and long, basically like a sail. Because its broadside faces the prevailing west wind we had a structural engineer help us come up with a system of moment frames that occur every 3 feet through the length. Essentially they’re a series of columns and beams that allow 3 second bursts of up to 100+ mph winds which is way way more than usual wind conditions. The cabin is made to rock a bit. If it didn’t it would crack and blow over. It can rock a few inches from side to side at the very top. You only feel the rocking if you’re on the upper level sleeping loft.
Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 25, 2018 at 3:10 pm
brian stouder said on February 25, 2018 at 3:35 pm
Here’s my question for the crowd: how stupid is the term “fake news”?
Or, more precisely, how ignorant/willfully ignorant/invincibly ignorant must one be, to subscribe to such a notion?
What is the opposite of “fake news”? Officially Certified News? (despots everywhere would vigorously nod in agreement with that, no doubt)
In American history, I’ll offer one example of a guy who was thought to be purveying “fake news”:
181 years ago a large mob attacked his Alton, Illinois warehouse, shot and killed him, and threw his press into the Mississippi River….but I’m sure our current president would say “there were good people on both sides”, or some such.
Sherri said on February 25, 2018 at 3:46 pm
If you’re thinking you’re not going to see Black Panther because it’s just another comic book movie, read this: https://filmcrithulk.blog/2018/02/17/black-panthers-right-thing/
Go see it. If for no other reason than because Michael B Jordan is fabulous.
brian stouder said on February 25, 2018 at 3:52 pm
Sherri – it’s on our radar; Chloe (our 13 year old) caught it yesterday at the matinee with a friend, and loved-loved-loved it! Plus, Joy Reid had an interesting segment on it today, and I think I would indeed like it, too