Tuesday, July 31, 2007

A Normal Life

After nearly a month of feeling like a guest in my own home, things are nearly back to normal.

The contractor's guys finished grouting the new tile on the backsplash over the kitchen counter, put the handles on the kitchen cabinets and a few other little things. I spent the evening dragging stuff up from boxes in the basement and putting it away-- and cooking.

Some people find cooking a drag and a hassle. I love to cook. I find it relaxing, and I can cook healthy, tasty meals for a fraction of the cost that take-out or frozen meals would cost. I've missed it for the last month.

There are still a couple of things to do. There's a cabinet missing-- there should be one over the coffee-maker, to the left of the sink. The contractor mismeasured, and so it had to be remade. It'll be a couple of weeks. Also, Kim and I are going to buy some more shelves of our own to put over the extra counter we bought.

I know it must sound totally bourgeois, but while cooking and putting stuff away tonight, I was thrilled with a bunch of things.

First, it's nice to have a stove that heats quickly, and doesn't shoot flames out when the pilot light fails to light the gas in the stove. My best friend Jim lost his eyebrows one night to the old stove, when cooking a pizza while watching Adam for me a few years ago.

It's also great to have a lazy susan to store our big pots and pans.

Also, the new sink is much bigger than the old one-- my big roasting pan fits in it with ease, and my big Calphalon pan as well. Those were always a headache to wash in the old, small sink.

One other thing. When I bought Kim the new refrigerator in December, I spent a little extra money and got the automatic icemaker with it, although we didn't have a hook-up for it. By spending the extra money, it bumped the price up to where delivery was free and they hauled the old one away free as well. And in the renovation, they installed a hook-up for the icemaker.

And on top of it all, we have a pantry with shelves that don't sag at a 10 or 15 degree angle.

The bathroom also looks great.

Oh, one more thing. On the way back from IKEA to buy the countertop a couple of Sundays ago, we stopped at a couple of stores and managed to purchase what was probably the last patio set left in Chicago. It's a beautiful wrought-iron set with a granite table-top. The set was on clearance, so it set us back only $89.00 and tax.

I'm sitting at it now on this lovely July Chicago night with a glass of Malbec, writing this post.

Tomorrow, I'll tackle organizing the pantry and finish putting everything away there.

Next month, I'll be here in this place 9 years. It's funny-- when I looked at this place the first time, I found the 1950's kitchen charming. Now I'm thrilled to be done with it.

Also, the day after I moved in here nine years ago, I started my first "official" teaching job, at Spencer Elementary, and was excited and nervous about it. This week, I'm working my last day as a teacher, and am excited-- and nervous-- about that.


Flannery Alden said...

Lovely! So many changes...

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...


Andi said...

It sounds like you've come full circle in your home. I'm excited for you and your new endeavors!

Beautiful kitchen and bathroom. I would KILL for that lazy susan!

MacGuffin said...

Looks great, congrats!

vikkitikkitavi said...

Looks very nice! Makes me miss my cute little apartment in Chicago!

GETkristiLOVE said...

Looks great, I'm glad someone is done with their kitchen/bath.

I love Malbec! I stayed with a couple in Argentina once who had a dog named Malbec.

Danielle said...

Ahhh a pantry, and a lazy susan!!!

Definitely things on my wish list.

The remodeling looks great, really great!

cheer34 said...

Love it all, looks like serious cooking pots and pans,who is the chef?

SamuraiFrog said...

Looking good. I can't remember if you've said where you live. Parts of your home always look so much like one of the houses my dad used to live in on the south side, but the neighborhood seems way too nice.

Johnny Yen said...

Yes, many changes, all good.

Thanks! It's nice to have a kitchen that's less than a half century old.

Thanks, yes-- lots of good stuff going on.

That lazy susan is a godsend. It hold pots that seem too big to fit in it. And now I don't have to physically crawl in the cabinet to find stuff that got shoved to the back.


Those little Chicago apartments sure are charming, aren't they?

Adam has spent his whole life in apartments with hardwood floors, and loves them (he told me this recently). I think that he'll have a problem if he has to live in something with carpetting when he's in college.

I almost felt bad posting this, knowing that you and SD are still in renovation hell.

I have really started loving Malbecs the last couple of years. Trader Joe's has a great one, "La Boca," for $3.99 a bottle.

It's amazing how much easier it is to store stuff on shelves that aren't leaning.

We're planning to put one of those little freezers in there in the near future. With two kids, as I'm sure you know, you can never have too much food around.

I'm the cook. Kim cooks too, but most of that stuff is mine. I love to cook.

I live on the north side, in a neighborhood called North Center. It's near Ravenswood and the recently-very-popular Lincoln Square.