The White Cottage

MY DAYS IN RETIREMENT

Kitchen Renos – You’re Not Serious??

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Simon and his workmate, Dale, arrived promptly at 8:30 this morning. I, for one, slept in just a tad longer than yesterday, only because I was exhausted the night before.

Nat and I couldn’t believe the progress the two men made. Now that the kitchen was completely gutted it was time for patching numerous holes, cleaning up the original kitchen floor and laying the new flooring, including in the dining room. Almost as soon as Simon walked in the door, we told him we were heading into St. Catharines to purchase the kitchen faucet, range hood and floor vents. We knew exactly what we wanted and had arranged with our son-in-law (an employee of this particular store) to meet us there. Yes, we were going to take advantage of his store discount but he would also benefit from a small commission. Plus he practically insisted we use him for such things. Who were we to argue.

It didn’t take us long to find the exact faucet we wanted but the range hood was swapped out from what we wanted to an almost exact double. It’s a typical range hood – who takes a look at such things?? After dear Tom did some running around – bless him, he really wants to help in any way – we were on our way. We had even found floor vents that were the same colour as the floor. So far, so good for our day, right??

We arrived home and couldn’t believe our eyes. The dining room floor was already done and looked fabulous. Such a dramatic change from the horrific carpeting that was there before. New, fresh and clean. Damn, Simon had also fixed the gaps in the hallway flooring just beyond the kitchen entry that drove me nuts. Such a half-baked job but now you’d never know!! The two men continued to work away, as they should, while Nat and I twiddled our thumbs trying to think of things to do. We ended up with our usual morning routine – Nat on the crossword and me checking Twitter.

As the afternoon hours wound down, Nat and I would peak into the kitchen now and then and could NOT believe the progress Simon and Dale were making. Without batting an eye the north wall upper and lower cabinets were already in place. Damn, again!! This was now really looking great. One small glitch, as the height of the wall cabinets had to be moved up by one inch – I’m not really that short. A minor fix with the Ikea rail system and were fixed within 5 minutes as Nat and I looked on. Much better looking and still within my reach without standing on my tiptoes!!

The boys were now starting to clean up and Simon was planning for what had to be done tomorrow. With some confusion between 3 minds in the mix, it was thought we were missing some end panels and maybe a filler, or two. I could understand the fillers, as the arrangement of the cabinets had been changed and fillers would now be needed. But the end panels threw me for a loop. I knew they were ordered, but between the two men my mind was spinning as to what was in the garage, what was on the order form and what was now needed between the stove and the dishwasher. These two appliances were now going to be side-by-side and would need something inbetween to cover up the foam padding on the dishwasher and a bit of a break from the oven. Nat was getting anxious, frustrated and disappointed again. Another screw up. Again, not so fast boys!!

As Simon left we all agreed to regroup tomorrow to figure this out. Nat, on the other hand, was bound, set and determined to unpack a few more boxes right at supper time hoping to look for the side panels that should have been ordered. As we were struggling to make supper (supplies and food in every room but the kitchen), he was out there digging and unpacking. Not wanting to take time to sit back and go at this thing with a clear head, Nat dove right in. I can’t begin to emphasize how frustrated he gets when things don’t go perfectly. I ask you, what project doesn’t have hiccups? Right after supper,  I sat down in the office, reviewed our purchase order form and what to my surprise, the side panels were, in fact, ordered and in the garage somewhere.  As I’m making notes for Simon and marking out the items, in walks Nat. With his note in hand he proceeded to tell me he had found the side panels and how many there were. At least he was satisfied they had, in fact, been ordered, but I did have to explain why some were plain and some matched the doors and drawer fronts. He hadn’t remembered our “discussion” at Ikea but who could blame him. There was so much going on that day, he was entitled. Finally somewhat satisfied this matter was going to be resolved he headed for the living room to watch his beloved Toronto Maple Leafs.

Sometimes I can see in Nat’s eyes that this whole project is getting to him. Too many hiccups, too many goofs or errors but I have to remind myself this is how he is. It’s happened in past projects but once any project is completed the glow in his eyes return and his blood pressure goes back to normal. As it happened last night he was physically sick and didn’t get much sleep. I know it wasn’t what we ate, as I was fine, but his mind gets going so fast and his stomach begins to rotate it’s no wonder he doesn’t have an ulcer. We know he doesn’t,  he’s been tested. This is the last major, major project this house needs to go through and I hope it will be smooth sailing from now on. But then again, can anyone predict the future?

Starting to take shape:

Day 2 - Results - North WallDay 2 -Getting So CloseDay 2 ResultsDining Room Floor

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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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