Good Friday

:: read the rest of Good Friday

Good Friday in My Heart!

Good Friday in my heart!

GOOD FRIDAY in my heart! Fear and affright!
My thoughts are the Disciples when they fled,
My words the words that priest and soldier said,
My deed the spear to desecrate the dead.
And day, Thy death therein, is changed to night.

Then Easter in my heart sends up the sun.
My thoughts are Mary, when she turned to see.
My words are Peter, answering, ‘Lov’st thou Me?’
My deeds are all Thine own drawn close to Thee,
And night and day, since Thou dost rise, are one.

~ Mary Elizabeth Coleridge

:: read the rest of Good Friday in My Heart!


Akurum Adel IKEA Kitchen Tweaks

So, we have ordered a full set of IKEA's Akurum frames with Adel fronts.  In addition, we are adding the following tweaks:

Extra shelves.  For almost every cabinet I ordered one extra shelf so that I can fit more in and so that I have a back-up shelf for the future.

Costco's Slide-a-Shelf pull-outs for the baking pantry and for under the sink.  Why not just use IKEA's Rationell pull-out? Because I want real wood for these oft used and/or dampish locations.

TIP: If you use the Integral hinge dampers your hinges will use up 3 inches of your width (1.5 each side), so keep this in mind if you are ordering inserts for your cabinets.

From Lowe's I ordered Rev-a-Shelf's false front tip-out adaptor hinges and trays
I will use these to turn the false panels of my cooktop base cabinet into wooden spoon trays.

I also ordered Rev-a-Shelf 's pegboard system for the plate drawers.  I think it is much prettier and more durable looking than the IKEA offering.

And last, I ordered Rev-a-Shelf's Bread Drawer kit to keep all our yummy loaves fresh.
And because I used eBates, I got 2-5% back on all of this!

:: read the rest of Akurum Adel IKEA Kitchen Tweaks


The Floor Is In!

We have a ceiling and a floor now.  Very exciting.  Alas, we lost the sink in the process: collateral damage I suppose.  We disconnected it to put in the floor and when it was time to put it back all the valves leaked.  They were at least 20 years old, so it's not terribly surprising, but distressing nonetheless.  All that is left in the kitchen now is the fridge, a wee bit of doorless wall shelving, the bit of countertop in the bay window, a card table, and the frame of one cabinet which I set up in order to visualize and measure the baking pantry arrangements.  Fortunately we have a laundry room sink, so we are not quite to the Dishes in Bathtub stage.

The floor is Harmonics Brazilian Cherry laminate click flooring which we bought at Costco ten years ago or so.  This project has been in the works for a long time.

We are very lucky that the floor coloring is flattering to Nutmeg.  It would be a pity to have to take it out and start over.

In spite of all this I am still cooking!  Where there is a will (and a hungry husband and teenager and tweenager) there is a way.  Tonight we are having Chickeny Bacony Spicy Cheesy Rice which I made this morning in the electric skillet and will set to heat up in the crock-pot when we leave for lacrosse practice (4 days a week!).

:: read the rest of The Floor Is In!


My New Kitchen

:: read the rest of My New Kitchen

Curtains and Dog Bed Cover

:: read the rest of Curtains and Dog Bed Cover


Our New Kitchen Selections

Here ya go!

Cabinets: Adel by Ikea 20% off sale

Hardware: by Martini at Home Depot

Countertops: Numerar by IKEA 20% off sale

Windows: Milgard Tuscany Line Double Hung from Home Depot 15% off sale!

French Doors to Dining Room from Home Depot 15% off sale!  We can close the doors to keep kitchen smells in and/or to muffle the sound of children bickering over the dishes.  But when we want the door open, it will be just two 18 inch doors standing open, not one huge 36 incher.

Door to Laundry Room: Orepac 15-lite from Home Depot 15% off sale!

The laundry room gets fantastic late afternoon sun and I want that sunlight in my kitchen, hence the windows.

Ovens: Double Wall Oven with Convection by JennAir at Deward and Bode's President's Day Sale + Floor Model discount = ovens of my dreams.

This was my big splurge for which we are forgoing subway tile backsplashes and all sorts of other small niceties. 

Dishwasher: Integrated by IKEA 20% off sale.  Integrated means it will take a cabinet door and blend in with the other cupboards.

Backsplash: White beadboard.  I know it won't last forever, but I can always replace it later.

Sink: by IKEA 20% off sale
It sits on the base cabinet -- not in it -- so you get the old timey effect.

Potfiller (goes above the cooktop): Fontaine from Home Depot

Flooring: Brazilian Cherry by Harmonics

Ceiling treatment: Wide Beadboard from Lowe's, painted in Pale Sunshine by Behr at Home Depot.  The color is much nicer than this shows.  I have it in my dining room already.

Main Light: Style Selections 5-light Antique White Chandelier at Lowes.

Still struggling with the other lighting.

We will reuse our existing faucet and cooktop and fridge.

:: read the rest of Our New Kitchen Selections


My New Kitchen

I found a fun new app, Polyvore, which is way more fun than finding places for all the stuff that got hauled out of the kitchen yesterday.

The ceiling will be a bit paler than this.  I already own the cooktop and fridge.  Still deciding on tile.  Imagine there is a Dutch Door in here too, with glass on the top half.

:: read the rest of My New Kitchen

Best Apps for Remodeling

Well you know I love techno gadgets, so naturally starting a remodel means find new apps.

I tried a bunch of them. Here are the ones that I'm keeping.

IKEA Kitchen Planner: free. This is awesome for entering the dimensions of the room and then moving cabinets etc. around to see what would fit where. Then we could visualize it as a Birdseye or 3-D WalkThrough. 

I struggled with couple of things for a bit.  Here they are so that you can avoid the hassle.
  • When saving, if you use your mouse at all it won't let you change the name and save multiple drafts. 
  • Also to see it in high-resolution, you have to hit shift-control-alt-H. There's no documentation for that, I just learned it from the IKEA salesman. The high-resoltion only works on Windows computers.

ToDo Cloud: not free. This works on my phone, my desktop as an app, and on the web.  It is a list multi-user app that allows us to keep track of all of the things we have to do.  All the subtasks. All the deadlines.  We can allocate certain subtasks to either one of us. And we can include on any task contact information for outside vendors, price comparisons, whatever.   We can comment on our own, and each other's tasks.  We can assign priority.  We can schedule delivery dates. It is the brain of the project.

Also, we can tag a subtask to a certain location (actually they call it "setting a context"). If it is something we need to look at at Lowe's we can tag it accordingly. And then when we are at Lowe's, we can have it show us a list of all the stuff we need to look at.   Note bene: take a screenshot of your Lowe's list in case you get in there and lose service. 

This screenshot shows all the tasks that have a high priority setting or that have a subtask with that setting.  These are all things that need to be taken care of first.
 This screenshot shows all the details of the Windows task.  You can see how each is assigned.  I starred "Shop for Bargains" to indicate that that is in the works.  I am waiting on bids.

HomeZada: free.  This is my desktop budgeting app.  It auto-populated a long list of things a typical kitchen remodel needs. I deleted some items and added some others, and then I entered educated guesses for what things would cost. It tallied up my totals for me so I could see if what I had in the savings account was close to what I was going to need.  As actual figures come in of course those totals are adjusted.

HomeZada has a mobile app, but it's not nearly as robust. Even though it does offer a comparison-shopping feature, I won't use it. I far prefer the To Do Cloud memo function for that.  Here is the link, in case you want to try it.

Houzz: free. This is a great tearsheet app. When my mom was remodeling we tore sheets of paper out of magazines and kept the scraps of paper in a big pile. Houzz is the iPhone generation's version of that. See something pretty you like? And it to your Houzz collection. It's rather like Pinterest only more dedicated to home improvement and decor.

And of course, there is an iphone Houzz app.

My Measures & Dimensions PRO: not free. Remodeling means measuring everything and keeping track of the dimensions everything.   With My Measure Pro, you take picture and then you can overlay the measurements onto the picture.

I'm using it to keep track of appliances I need to find homes for.  I'm hoping to house these two in a coffee garage.  This shows me the height, width, and depth in a way that make sense to me.  

 It's also really handy when I am getting window bids.

What remodeling apps do you favor?

:: read the rest of Best Apps for Remodeling


hope for America

DIY Chicken Coop!

me! me! me!

Here I chatter about books, parenting, election 2008, recipes, teaching college writing, and the adventures of getting settled in with our two freshly (Fall 06) adopted school-age children from Russia. This blog is chapter two; chapter one is posted at Jamie & Suzanne go to Russia. I live in the City of Subdued Excitement, Cascadia, Land of the Free.

I am the wife of a man I call My Gift from a Generous God. I am mama to two lovely children, Dandy and Chickadee that became ours in September 2006 in a court-room in Siberia. I am the daughter of two people whom I love and admire. One of them, my dad, is a new (Dec 06) paraplegic.

In my previous life (B.C. - before children), I was a college English teacher, specializing in composition and ESL composition.

:: click here to read my 8 things meme


recent successes

future endeavors



older child adoption


top 10 posts



This blog started life as hackosphere's neo and has been heavily tweaked and widgetized by Suzanne :: I got all the coding for the peek-a-boo posts over at hackosphere :: All my pretty little icons came from famfamfam :: The coding for the rotating banners came from Vince Liu :: The very cool tabbed sidebar widgets are thanks to the very cool hoctro :: The fun "Feeling Lucky?" toy -- which is currently disabled -- came from phydeaux3 (fido 3?) :: The pretty label cloud also came from phydeaux3 :: The elegant and easy to install related posts widget came from Jackbook :: I got all the social bookmarking icons nicely packaged for me at the aptly named Social Bookmarking Script Generator :: The 3 column footer came from Technodia :: The pretty sliding photo galleries are from CSSplay :: The recent comments widget is from Hackosphere::