Saturday, May 16, 2015


My Mammaw had a saying for the passing of time with nothing much happening---“Well, things rocked on, and then . . .”   And I must say, things seem to have been rocking mighty slowly with the kitchen plans, but I do realize they’ve practically gone into warp speed, compared to most renovations.

So here’s where we are, two-weeks-today since the demolition, and five since we cleared out the kitchen for a possible date “soon.” 

I’m moving in a bit of tension-easing limbo today, after having slept for FOURTEEN hours.  Not many words to be had, and too much to say.

The dollhouse kitchen of my childhood dreams.  I'd collected enough paint swabs and swatches and enough of those colour-cards from the ninety-eleven home stores around town to paper the walls with THOSE if need be.   I told my painter "Sweet 'n' Low packet pink" and I think she nailed it.   There’s even a pink breaker-box.  

And so, moirĂ© non, til the counter-tops arrive and I get those pink drawer-liners and silky-flowered curtains and all the other little preliminary anticipations into place. The sink is sitting here awaiting the countertops on Monday, and the new fridge arrives on Wednesday.   I planned my last kitchen with all the anticipatory joy and wishfuls as I did my first---this time just the way I wanted it, in pink and white, and everything to hand.

  I wish you as fulfilling a Pink Saturday as you’ve ever had.

Thursday, May 7, 2015


Life and clutter and STUFF are interfering with any kind of communication as we alter and build our nest, so perhaps a little focus on the Mama Cardinal building her own home outside our window, and a happy thought from the first Spring of LAWN TEA:

My little cardinal family is back in the big round Luck Bush that covers the sitting-room windows. They've re-furbished that nest for three years now, threading in new string and bits and bobs, coming back from bird-Ikea with all sorts of new furniture and appliances. I was so afraid this week's intrusion of the window-washers into the edge of their territory would frighten them away---the first year they nested, they'd not been there long when house guests over-enjoyed the little show. They pulled up the blinds and threw back the sheers to press interested faces to the glass time and again, causing the little fellows to flit in alarm.

But these guys were a gentle presence, moving the limbs carefully, talking softly as they shined, inside and out. And the birds returned almost as soon as the men moved the ladder and themselves a couple of yards down the wall.

M'sieu et Madame Rouge have raised their family twice now in the widescreen view with no interruptions or harm, so they just return, do a bit of Vernage, and settle down to roost. I've loved their trusting propinquity, their gentle song, their firm devotion to nest and chicks. And their own joy in the day is quite contagious; just a quiet cup in the small blue chair, as the sun peeks through and they talk over their schedules---what a nice way to start the morning.

They have quite the sense of fun, as well. A couple of summers ago, they had become used to my presence, and would come quite close, especially if they saw the hose being reeled out. They do love a damp ground for worm-catching, and are quite fond of a bath, as well.

From my journal of July, 2007:

My cardinal family came to join me today, as I sat out in the arbor, watching the slow sweep and rain of the sprinkler on the thirsty plants. The guy bird perched atop the wire of a tomato cage, watching the slow patter approaching. He flew the couple of feet to the top of the cucumber fence, and sat, letting it rain upon him time after time. I could almost see the smile on his little face.

The lady bird, however, was a rowdier sort. She found a puddle and frolicked away, flinging the water, flapping her wings, shaking her head, and when the spray was due to come her way each time, she faced it joyously, her wet-draggled face feathers taking the onslaught. She played there for quite some time, each blast of the fountain across her face giving her the happy look of a goofy old dog in the window of
a fast car.

I hope the Summer to come is as pleasant for them.

Monday, May 4, 2015


THE BARE NECESSITIES:  Coffee, tea, a gingham tea cozy, a sippy straw for the young one, a cocktail glass, some spices, the cinnamon-sugar shaker, a Book-On-CD for the Bose, sugar bowl, the ancient Rubbermaid of Sweet’n’Low, which has been with us through four houses now, and assorted stuff set down with nowhere else to put ‘em.

 Nothing left but rubber gloves.

I’m sure I mentioned that Chris decided that now would be the best time to clear out and put to rights THE ROOM, and started dragging out lugs and boxes and bags and great piles of things two weeks ago.

Anybody with any interest in the original clear Flintstones mugs, there are more than six dozen.  Just come get ‘em.

 Though he’s made fantastic progress with disposing of countless bags of STUFF to garbage and Goodwill, this is still our path through the house. I insisted on at least a wide enough berth for the guys hauling up the discarded cabinets and debris.

Hoarders called, but they changed their minds.

You can see, above and below, that we’ve invested quite a bit of our retirement funds into the coffers of the companies SOLO and CHINET.

Needfuls for when I might need ‘em.

Like bones in an elephant graveyard.

Still sturdy and beautiful.   I wanted to keep the top ones and paint them, but Caro and Chris insisted that I have all new everything.

A sad vignette of nothing in particular.   You can see the papers stuck in the back, from when this kitchen was added on in 1990, the year we moved to Indiana.   Sort of a full circle, somehow.

Before.   How little we knew, and I hope that does not become a mantra in the next few weeks.

I’m truly ashamed of how I let things pile up and let things go, but I’ll never apologize for what was covered by something I could not move.  Those aren't dust bunnies, they're wild Jackalopes run amok.

I swear, this room was put together out of Legos and rubber bands.

But solace awaits upstairs:  Caro has invited us up for an early Cinco de Mayo supper tonight, and I just go up to “her house” and look around at the serene, quiet rooms.

And the Fairy Dell on the back lawn has grown to about 40’ by 50’---it’s covered in violets, and invites me to come for a soothing stroll anytime I want.

Like til June.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Thursday, April 23, 2015


This is post #1111---gotta be some kinda meaning in there.   Linking to Beverly's PINK SATURDAY.

The downstairs kitchen---it’s one of the reasons we bought this house---the other two being The Tree in the back yard, and our wonderful neighbor Honey, who chatted over the gate each time we came to look at the house.  We’ve had some water coming in every couple of years with the heaviest rains, and slowly, the footing of the cabinets is melting away, leaving them to sag and become slow and draggy.

See the slope of drawers and doors, with that widening wedge of space between cabinet and countertop.

The coffee-corner, which will be enlarged a teense by having the new countertop extended to the wall, and sort of floated over the ice machine.

The widening gap is even more visible in this one, and some time ago, the sag caused the dishwasher door to scrape against the underside of countertop, making it harder and harder to open.   Knowing we were going to be remodeling in the next year, I had 2 2x4s cut to the height of the counter, and spanged them into place with a little rubber sledgehammer.  I designed a foundation of PVC for the new counters to rest on, high and dry.

Turn the corner, where all the sugars and salts and handy things live.

I really, really love my big old sink, but Chris says let’s get all new, so a twin will be coming to replace her.  I hope she’s as easy to shine.  

Scrubby Duck is not replaceable, nor are the brush and two bottles, one of Dawn and the other a mixture of two parts Sam’s pearly hand soap to one part Dawn, mixed into a wonderful creamy green-apple hand wash.

Only the top cabinets and hood will be replaced here---I couldn’t part with Miss Frankie, she of the shiny red earbobs and slightly disheveled hemline, where I’ve scrubbed all the paint off her ankles.

The colour I’d really love---it looks almost edible, as if you'd made panna cotta with strawberries and peaches.

And why does THIS:

Sometimes turn out like THIS:

Why is it that we think fruit the appropriate art for a kitchen?   This lot will be going back to Goodwill, whence it came, with the exception of the big top one. 

Don’t think I can part with it, though it will be a bit dark in all senses, for the new colour scheme.  The signature says C. JOHN, but I’ve always thought it should read F. KRUGER.

Almost, but not quite:   the countertops and all cabinets will be bright white, and the pink a very subdued “Fifties Pink” of all those clips and snips and nostalgic photos I’ve been collecting. 

My windows are bigger, and there will be pretty little curtains.  All to come,  nine light-years worth of work away.


While I just sit here dreaming.   

Moire non,

I hope you'll drop in on my new blog:    PAXTON PEOPLE