Monday, November 10, 2014

A Less-Than-Planned Update

We have a coffee bar! Kind of...

I don't want to call the progress in our pantry "unplanned" because I've been sorting this all out for the year that we've lived here. The most accurate way to describe it is "not what I thought we'd be tackling next."

It all started because I actually had a weekend off with no commitments(!). Pat and I decided on Friday night that we were going to be super productive this weekend. We wanted to do some heavy-duty cleaning, winterize the house, and knock a project off our never ending to-do list.

I'm deadset on replacing every inch of wire shelving in our home and was fully prepared to start in the laundry room sooner rather than later. When I mentioned my plans to the hubs (cabinets, solid shelves, and hanging space), he said it was unnecessary, expensive, and we don't have the know-how (two of those are true...). Being as I was feeling particularly motivated and I wanted to get something done, I blurted "what about the pantry?"

Once again, "unneccessary, expensive, no know-how."

"Can we at least do the coffee bar?"

"We can look."

Now I hate wire shelving everywhere, but the section holding our Keurig is especially frustrating. Every time I close the Keurig or refill the water, the whole thing shakes violently. And when I'm adding my sugar, I have to perfectly balance my mug on three wires so it doesn't fall to the side. I have it down to an irritating science.

Looking back, I'm not sure why I wanted to start with the laundry room.

Initially, I had little luck finding the perfect piece of furniture (I had decided long ago to use furniture over installed cabinets for both aesthetic and financial reasons). Very few things were tall enough, not too wide, and not ridonkulously priced. The few things I did come across were clearly geared at wine, and I couldn't think of an alternative use for the slots clearly intended for bottles and stemmed glasses.

Then, by sheer luck, I stumbled across an the webpage for an "island" from Target's Threshold line.

At first look, I wasn't sure it would fit our space or our needs. But if we left that back leaf folded down and took off the towel bar on the left side... yes I think that'll do.

So we took off to our local Target to do some grocery shopping with a side of furniture hunting...and she came home with us!

As I got to work assembling this behemoth, Pat got to ripping out the shelves in that section of our pantry.  He was so fast, I couldn't even snap a before shot, but here's a halfway peak:

It's amazing: as many anchors as those shelves have, they're still remarkable weak, bowing under the slightest movement.

Then, she was in!

This is a really tight corner to photograph so please withhold judgement.

I can't believe how much I love this space already. The first cup of cider I made, I literally squealed with glee. It immediately feels more custom and spacious. Distinctly non-apartment.

Obviously, we still need to paint, especially after I patched what felt like 400 anchor holes. Since I wasn't quite planning on this addition this weekend, I really have no clue what color to paint in here, other than something light. And that top shelf still needs to go but Pat's help ended as The Walking Dead began.

I also want to add some shelves/hooks for our mugs so they're conveniently located where they're always used. In the end, we ended up not installing the leaf on the island, so we have a slab of leftover butcher block. If we can finagle it, we might have some matching butcher block shelves soon.

While I never look forward to waking up, this upgrade might make my morning routine a little more bearable.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Scat, 1995-2014

Yesterday, my mom texted me some sad news: our family cat, Scat, has passed. That's the kind of news it was, the kind that can be texted. As she was nearly 19, this news was not unexpected, and more of a reason to reminisce than grieve. She's been with us nearly my whole life and I hardly remember life pre-Scat.

She was the second most crotchety cat in our family (she was dethroned 5 years ago by her nephew, Atticus, the Joffrey of our family) and often had a look of disdain that made Grumpy Cat look like a ray of sunshine. Everyone knew you didn't move her, for she was wherever she was because she wanted to be there and nowhere else. Despite her crabby temperament, in her younger years, she was also one of the snuggliest cats I've ever had the pleasure of cuddling.

There's so much I could say, all of which would sound strangely negative to an outsider, but I say it all with love and fondness. My father, the real writer in the family, wrote her a lovely obituary on his blog.

Goodnight, Skitty on Come Walk With Me

There's one other noteworthy obit: the one my mom texted to all us kids.

That sums her up perfectly. Scat, you will be missed.