Mise en Place

Everything in its place

True Confession Monday

We are having houseguests for the week.  We have no kitchen, and stuff that was in the kitchen is everywhere.  Being the good hostess, I have cleared drawer space in the guest room by unloading those drawers into suitcases that are stashed in closets.

Icy Moon Drops

That’s the name of the paint color for the kitchen.  Who names this stuff, the person who couldn’t cut it naming nail polish?


Ruth is the absolute best neighbor.  She offered her garage as a warehouse for our stuff during the kitchen remodel.  When we pointed out that we had a perfectly good garage to put stuff in, she said, “But I never park my car in the garage, and you guys don’t have a driveway.  You can’t park your nice cars on the street.”  So, her garage is now a warehouse, full of old appliances, the contractor’s drywall, saws and tools.  She also gave me a key to her house, with instructions to feel free to come over and cook in her kitchen if I needed to.  Last Friday, Lou and I were in her kitchen making dinner for her when she came home from work - Sea Bass Veracruz with couscous and a salad.  She thought that was very nice of us.  Good neighbors are the reason we chose to remodel rather than move.

I miss my kitchen.  Not the ugly-ass cheap cabinets and the dysfunctional layout, but the ability to cook and bake.  The last of the appliances and the sink were pulled over the weekend (thank goodness no ugly surprises in the sink wall).  We are now on option 5 for a range hood, as they keep running into I-beams holding things up and restricting/blocking the exhaust path.  I truly want to be able to exhaust to the outside, but it just may not be feasible.  We are now reduced to the grill and a toaster for cooking, although I managed a very good pizza Margherita for dinner last night, and a serviceable braised pork shoulder over the weekend.

New floors go in on Thursday/Friday! 

So, this week, is it over yet?

It’s been a week.

  • In Canada again.  They apparently have quite the notes on my file, because I was in immigration (again) for half an hour.  At the end of reading through everything on my file, he asked, “Are you here for the same thing this time?  Only 4 days?” Yes.  And yes.  ”OK, go ahead.”  
  • Drivers in Montreal are the worst.  It explains why my friend was repeatedly flipped off in Toronto.  He was driving a rental car with Quebec plates.  
  • Why, in the rest of Canada, are the signs in both English and French, but in Quebec, they are ONLY in French?  
  • My French-door double oven probably isn’t going to happen.  The contractor actually read through the installation instructions (what?) and pointed out that we lack the clearance for the doors.  Poop.  Regular old Viking double oven for me.  Feel sorry for me, people!
  • United sent me a text at 1 am that they cancelled my flight home today (Thursday). And rebooked me.  FOR SUNDAY.  Oh, hell, NO!  I got on the phone with the travel agent who booked my travel, and am leaving on Air Canada at the EXACT same time.  30 minutes later, I got an email from United that they had rebooked me on Air Canada.  I see what you did there, and United, you are full of shit.
  • I had an email from an old friend that her brother died.  He was my first boyfriend in high school, and was a great friend to me in a very awkward stage in my life. I was always the smart girl, and he made me feel like the beautiful smart girl.  I was always grateful for the confidence he gave me.  
  • The hotel this week was overrun with preteen girls and their mothers in Montreal for the North American Irish Dancing Championships.  I did not know that many rhinestones existed.  And really, girls, eat something.  I heard one mother make a comment to her daughter that she was really “pigging out.”  The girl responded that she was done with her competition and would “be good” next week.  It made me a little sad.
  • I’m working on the statement of work for my next project, trying to keep it to 20-25 hours per week.  People keep adding things, and I keep saying no.  I really want to wrap things up by the time Baby S arrives.  
  • At the airport, waiting to go home for a 4-day weekend.  Long posts like this are the result of too much time at the airport.  Have a happy and safe 4th, everyone! 

The tomatoes are growing, the basil bed is overflowing, the Hungarian hot pepper plant already has 3 peppers, one of which is fully grown.  And then there is my poor little Serrano pepper plant, which appears to have remained the exact same size for the last month.  It probably doesn’t help that the squirrels have dug it up twice already. 

What’s Going On…

  • The contractor called to tell me I have expensive taste.  Shocking.  The granite we selected is twice as much as he estimated in the contract.  We are picking different granite.  I liked it, but not twice as much as a couple of others.  We’ll be selecting one of these - probably the darker.
  • I have to leave for Canada on Monday, which means I will not be here for the framing of the walls this week.  I think I will be OK without all the hammering.
  • I made a strawberry pie from the berries at the Green City Market - so good!
  • Saturday morning date at the GMC with Em, looking adorably pregnant!

  • Went tile shopping, thought I liked this one, now not so sure.  Going back for alternatives.

Making Decisions

The kids came over on the weekend to help with the kitchen demolition again.  Who knew it would take so long to scrape off the paper backing of the wallpaper I hung so long ago?  I must say, I did a really good job putting it up, because that stuff was REALLY stuck to the walls.  Stupid walls are down, some electrical is disconnected, kitchen is barely functional.  We have rolled up the Oriental rug in the dining room, and set up a toast and coffee station.  The big-ass TV from the family room is up in our bedroom, complete with surround sound, and my living room looks like the lobby of a cheap hotel, with furniture from the family room stuffed into an arrangement with the living room furniture.  This is how we will live for the next 2 months.  Ugh.

I’m very excited that the cabinet maker is going to raise all my counters by 2 inches.  The kitchen currently has standard height counters, but I have always felt that they were a little too low for me.  Because our kitchen is so weird, all the cabinets have to be custom anyway, and he said he can accommodate the 2” add without additional cost.  We’ve chosen a natural maple in a simple style.  The tricky part will be finding the right hardware.  

Friday, we looked at granite for the countertops, and think we will go with Blue Ice, which is really more grey than blue. We have to go pick out our slab, but unless we see something really cool, this is the one.

Yesterday, we went looking for counter stools.  We did a couple of test sits, and found these at Room and Board.

Still to be determined:  pendant lights for over the peninsula, tile for the walls, and the aforementioned cabinet hardware.  The fun stuff.

Reconstruction starts Thursday!


  • Only billed 32 hours this week - that’s better!
  • Watching Ecuador and Honduras playing in Curitiba; some of the best Italian food I have ever had was in Curitiba.
  • Stripping woodwork in the kitchen - someone painted the WOODWORK pink at some point.
  • I forgot how ugly the parquet floor under the Pergo was.
  • We looked at granite today, and are thinking of one called Blue Ice (more grey, really.  I need to see the slabs before I can decide.
  • Looking for counter stools in natural maple that are comfortable.  Suggestions welcomed.
  • Looking forward to going to the farmer’s market with Em tomorrow.
  • The internet is very slow today!
Someone once painted this kitchen these colors.

Someone once painted this kitchen these colors.