The White Cottage


No Dream Come True Is Perfect

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With every breath I take, I’m gasping to hold back my excitement. We’ve finally gone and done it – ordered that new dream kitchen I’ve always wanted. All white cabinetry with butcher block countertop.

I had seen this kitchen in an Ikea catalogue so many years ago, I’ve long forgotten how many. It’s also been a huge surprise to me that Ikea has always maintained some sort of variation of this style for, again, as long as I can remember. In my youth I always imagined my dream kitchen, but in my heart I knew dream kitchens rarely become reality.

This dream kitchen of mine was, naturally, on the list of renovations for “this old house” when we purchased it back in 2007. If you’ve been following me long enough, you’ll know that so many other renovations, repairs and expensive surprises kept cropping up that had to be dealt with first. The time has now come and it’s going to be an emotional, exhausting and somewhat expensive journey my hubby and I are about to take.

This past Friday, we started that journey. We went to the new Ikea St. Catharines store and put in our order. The tweaks, purchase orders, financing help and research had all been completed and it was time to sign on the dotted line and begin this whole process. We cannot thank the Ikea staff enough – whether in Burlington or in St. Catharines – for their kind, friendly assistance, help and suggestions. We were even given advance warning of an Ikea Kitchen Event starting in 2 days, and that if we brought in our receipt Ikea would acknowledge our early purchase and reward us with the sales special – for every $1,000.00 you spend you would receive a $100.00 gift card. Who were we to ignore any warnings??

With the kitchen order placed, it was now time to take care of the flooring we had picked out. We had also decided that since the kitchen was being ripped out, why not rip up the carpet in the dining room next door and complete two tasks at once. This would make the whole area look more cohesive and finally complete the dining room. We attended Home Depot Tuesday afternoon with our sample flooring in hand. Once we scoured the store for help, we were given great assistance in getting the 14 cases required, so while Nat was taking care of that business, I wandered over to rent a Home Depot van so we could take our extremely heavy load home. As it happened the whole process of bringing the flooring home and returning the van only took about an hour and a half, which was of great help. “Ruby” (our car) couldn’t have done the job and renting the van helped a lot.

The kitchen boxes (of which I assume there will be dozens) will arrive mid-March and will be stored along the perimeters of the garage, waiting for Nat (and hopefully me) to assemble everything. The flooring will be stored along the front hallway and where we store the boxes and boxes of kitchen stuff (food, appliances, utensils, dishes, decorative items, etc) is keeping my brain active trying to come up with ideas. We’ll also have to find a small corner for a temporary kitchen where we can make lunches and suppers while the renovations are going on.

In the midst of our running around for the new kitchen, the sump pump decided to give up one of its parts and we had to rely on the back up pump until the plumber could install a new pump. The old part that broke was not worth the effort in repairing so, naturally, a new one was installed just to add to the other plumbing expenses – leaky water pipe downstairs and new shower head – all of which have reared their ugly heads this year. I suppose our plumber delayed sending us his bill thinking there would be more problems, and he was right. But 3 times a charm, so I’m guessing his bill is in the mail!!

Wednesday saw the two of us doing a couple of chores – Nat wanted to get the garden hose ready for Spring and I baked a coconut loaf. While I was cleaning up after baking, the hot water decided to stop running. I called Nat, and sure enough we were back to that “air block” problem from a few months back when the water meter was changed. Frustration could be seen on Nat’s face as he headed downstairs and began to bang on the pipes again. For the longest time, nothing was working. He even went outside and ran the outside hose tap for several minutes, hoping that would clear out the block. Back downstairs, more banging on pipes, more twisting and turning of faucet handles, more frustration. He ended up turning the taps to the downstairs laundry tub off and on repeatedly with a bit of force and while upstairs I could hear huge pops or air burst bangs coming from behind the walls. Once in awhile the upstairs bathroom tap would start to work just fine and then fizzle out. Over and over – this went on for close to10 minutes, and each time there was a good flow and then fizzle.

Nat was about to give up in total frustration and anger, when finally, at last, the hot water tank started up and the hot water began to flow with consistency. WHEW! The banging and tap turning had finally worked. We couldn’t believe our eyes, and hoped to hell the water would keep flowing without any further problems. I even managed to take a nice warm shower that evening.

I’ve repeated this many times before that, for some reason, any time Nat and I take on a project, it seems this new old house decides to hit us in the pocketbook with an unexpected problem that causes us total anxiety and/or expense.

I can only hope that the kitchen installation will go on without a hitch. However, a few decisions regarding lighting and shelving have to be decided, which can be frustrating before you see the final result. Decision making on the spot are not our forte´. We’ll be glad when this whole process is over and we can get back to our old boring selves. I will, however continue to blog about our kitchen reno adventures so we’ll be able to look back and tell ourselves we really bit off more than we could chew but we, at least, did DO it.


Author: Twila

Born and raised in a small town in Ontario, Canada, with 5 sisters and a brother. Now retired, my husband and I travel, play golf and am slowly renovating our new (old) home. After my kidney transplant in 1999, we've learned to enjoy life to the fullest. Nat and I have driven across Canada, taken an Alaskan cruise and drove home via the Northern United States. We've also been to Mexico, the Caribbean, the East Coast of Canada and Cape Breton. We've done the "Snowbird" thing, having lived in Destin, Florida for a couple of months of the year. In 2007 we changed our travel plans in order to move into and renovate our new "old" home, but hope to someday get back on the road again. We also love returning to Scotland (Nat's origin of birth) to visit his family and tour the Highlands and surrounding Isles.

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