Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I'm Dreaming of a New Kitchen....

My kitchen needs an update!
I'm forever stuck in the '90s...or maybe farther back than that!

We built our home in 1979 & it is not the open floor plan that is so popular now.
But it has good "bones" & I don't want to toss it all out the door.
And I am going to have to try to do what I can on a budget
since Mr. Fix It decided he is retired & our income took a nose dive!

What I have is a hodge-podge of probably mostly country decor.  Ug...that is a lot of clutter.
I told you I was stuck in the '90s!
But try as I might, that is what I go back to.

Our cabinets will have to stay.  I did recently change out the ceramic handles with the blue & mauve hearts on them, to the more up to date Venetian bronzed pulls.  It made a world of difference.
Counter tops have been replace once (originally the Formica butcher block!), and are now almond flecked.
I would love, love, love to have granite, but may have to settle for Corian or some lighter weight material as we do have a span problem with the floor.

This shows the other side of the kitchen...and some problem areas I would like to correct.
Notice how the frig is in a corner by the wall. 
The right hand door only opens as far as the wall allows...& that keeps me from being able to remove the bottom 2 drawers.  I realized that problem one time when someone spilled orange juice! 
My thought is to jocky the cabinets around & move the frig away from that dead corner.  Wouldn't a stainless French door frig look lovely there? 
Then notice the 2 black appliances--the top one is the microwave & the lower one is my oven.
After living here for years, I finally realized that my oven is NOT full sized, will not hold a very big bird at Thanksgiving, & limits my ability to bake more than 2 dishes at once.  On holidays & special occasions I have to do a lot of shuffling & reheating.
Then there is the flooring...
Armstrong vinyl that was installed about 15 years ago,
thankfully has kept it's no-wax appearance..but needs to go.
I'm torn between ceramic tile or wood floors.
And ideas???

This island is where most of the cooking is done.
Originally the cooktop had the coil electric burners.  The ceramic top was put in several years ago & I love it.  My idea is to redo the island & include a full sized range, with a large oven & ceramic top...maybe even a down draft vent, if such a thing exists.  I've always wanted a bar area but don't know if I want to take up that much space out of my kitchen.  Would I use it?  I know I could use the counter space!

The border definitely has to go!
Trouble is...I remember putting this border over one that was already there--
& I dread to even think about stripping the border & wallpaper off!

My dream kitchen has a "farmhouse apron" sink!
The problem I have with this sink is the disposal is in the small side--
& for some reason that is where I do my dish washing.  Let me tell you...large pots don't fit!
As you can see, I'm a Hobby Lobby/junk collector & I love my shelf.
But I can see this being replaced by a plate rack.
Do I want a plate rack enough that I would give up my shelf?

I have begged hubby to knock this bay window area out & extend our eating area.  Nope...Mr. Handy Dandy builder says it can't be done.  (I bet he could do it for someone else!!!)
The sun shades are only 2 years old & I like them.
I thought I liked them without window treatments but I'm thinking it is too plain.  Not sure what type of window treatment to go with though.  We do have a beautiful view of the back yard & flower garden, so most of the time the shades are rolled up.
Maybe I just need a valance??? 
The table will have to stay--but the chairs may be replaced.
Table has 2 large leafs that enlarge it to seat 8.
Almond colored/dirt colored wallpaper has to go. 
More stripping...
This wall & the bulkhead (with border) will be only areas to be painted.
More decisions...
what color do I want?
This faces the west so I do get a lot of bright afternoon sun.
I was thinking about "restrained gold" or maybe something a shade lighter.
Then I found "rainwashed" & fell in love with it.
I'm getting more confused the longer I put this project off! 
 This may never turn out to be the kitchen of my dreams.
But I'm ready to start doing some shopping & making some decisions.
I know I want ceramic tile between the cabinets-
under counter mounted lighting-
new flooring/maybe a distressed wood
a new sink!
new counter tops
and possibly a redesigned island. 

Your thoughts and suggestions are more than welcome!
Hubby has built houses for years,
but when it comes to doing something at home,
it takes a while to get done.

I don't even know where to begin!
(It may be a very long winter....)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Snapshots of Kansas

If you have ever visited Kansas City,
you would know that it is the city of fountains.
We found the fountain on 63rd Street had turned pink!!!
In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Now how cool is that?

And you would also know that Kansas City...
and the 'burbs-
are well know for their barbecue!
My sister is the pro at grilling-

-and she served up a platter of melt in your mouth
pork steak!
Mmmmm...tasted just like Dad's used to taste.

This is where we could find Jake late in the afternoons.
He had tons of homework from some of the advanced classes he is in.
(I can't believe he is a Freshman!)

And I want you to meet the Queen of the house-
Who in the world would have thought to name a dog
after our Grandma?
Exie loved to snuggle up to me every time she saw me on the couch.
Growing up, we always had a chihuahua,
but never a long haired one.

When in Prairie Village, we have to make a stop at Curious Sofa.
I found this little shop while surfing through blogland one day
& was so surprised to find that it was not far away from Carol.

We found the shop decorated to the hilt for Halloween.
This little shop owner has so much fun with the ghosts & ghouls of the season!
I wasn't brave enough to take indoor shots,
but believe me when I tell you there were rats & bats,
bloody fingers, spiders, & all kinds of creepy critters in there!
But more than that, Curious Sofa is a great place for home decorating.
Don't miss it if you are near Prairie Village Shopping Center.

Since all we did was shop & eat while I was there-
Hey! Isn't that what sisters do?
-we decided not to make the trip to Atchison,
but instead, went to Nell Hills at Briarcliff.
We found it loaded with home decor also,
along with the beginnings of their Christmas displays.
I was happy to find out that they were more than willing to ship
my purchases--so I grabbed a basket & loaded up!

Carol thinks she lives in the Midwest
(I think she lives in cowboy country)
  I think I live in the Midwest
(& she thinks I must be close to the east coast!)
We actually live 2 states & 520 some miles apart.
But when I go back to the Kansas City area,
I always feel like I am a bit farther west than the map shows.
We stopped at The Corner Cafe for lunch & I saw more than one cowboy!

Thankfully we split a tenderloin sandwich
& onion rings.
It was delicious!

For one of our last adventures
we went where Garry tells me I'm not allowed to go...
the Nebraska Furniture Mart-
which is not in Nebraska, but in Kansas.
Seems like every time Carol & I go there
I talk her into buying a room full of furniture.
Since we were on a mission to find Jake a new bunk bed
with storage & a computer desk,
I didn't get in trouble this time.
You cannot imagine how much stuff is in this building!
We could have spent a whole day browsing.

I did spot a horrendous bedroom suit
that I know a couple of my grandsons
would have begged for!
How would you like to decorate around that?
Pineapple motif anyone?

And we stopped by to see Mom & Dad.
Carol always sees to it that the grass is trimmed
& the flowers are replaced seasonally.

We traded family tales, shared a few heartaches,
laughed like we were teenagers,
& just enjoyed being together.
Just after I left, she went back to work at the hospital full time
so the visits won't be quite as easy to make.
But I'm sure we will manage to squeeze in some sister time
every now & then.

Love you, sis...& see you soon!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Indiana Autumn

We are in drought conditions here in south-central Indiana.
For the last two months we have had very little rain,
leaving everything crispy & crunchy
with some of our trees in distress.
Lawns that were not watered have turned a dirty brown.
And although we have a sprinkler system & were able to water,
the extreme heat of the summer let the crabgrass & spurge
take root in my yard.
I'm actually glad to see the summer come to an end.

In spite of dry conditions, we are seeing some color.
Other trees have already dropped their leaves
or their leaves have turned into a petrified drab green.

I snapped this photo out my rolled down window at our
bank drive-thru window one day last week. 
The Linden trees had turned a glorious golden yellow,
but the winds quickly swept them away
& they are now bare.

Our lady "Eos" welcomes us to our local city park,
Mill Race,
along the banks of the White River.
Very little color showed up in the trees in the park.
I usually see more color on our street
& just off the road that we live on.
People drive for hours to visit Brown County State Park,
just 20 minutes west of us.
I rarely go there this time of the year,
never wanting to fight the traffic & crowds.

Hedge Apples

Years ago, Mom used to gather these up, slice them in thick sections,
& bake them in a slow oven to make the edges curl.
Then she would run a wire through them
& make "hedge apple roses"
for an autumn bouquet of dried wildflowers & seed pods.
I'm sure I helped...back in my crafty days.

I still have some flower beds to clean out & leaves to rake.
But the cold weather is coming & hopefully with it, rain.
I always feel like Mother Nature is getting her garden
ready for a little rest this time of year,
& I need to do the same.

It won't be long until
"The Frost is on the Punkin' "

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Show Me the Sunflower State!

It was the night before I was to be on an early morning flight
when I began to feel the rumblings in my tummy
& I knew I was in trouble!
Without going into graphic detail,
I will just tell you that at 3:30 a.m.
I wasn't too convinced that I would be able
to board the plane to K.C.

I remember moaning out a quick prayer...
"Lord, please don't let me throw up on the plane!!!"
and I began to feel better.
Amazingly, I made it!
The rude little man sitting next to the window on my flight
had no clue that he was being exposed to the flu bug.
I only hope that he took his Airborne!

Day One
 is sort of a faded memory for me.
Thankfully, our flight wasn't full. 
We were flying high & fast as we arrived 20 minutes early!
Carol & Kylie picked me up curbside
& off we went to Cracker Barrel
where I surprised myself by enjoying some peach pancakes.

I do remember taking a 2 hour nap
while Carol made a grocery store run.
And in the fog, I remember agreeing to go
to Jake's football game...
not even thinking about it possibly being 2 HOURS long
& having to sit on metal bleachers,
facing the sweltering afternoon sun!!!
  (Wasn't that the famous George that used to play
for the Royals that just walked by us?)
I should have taken my camera...
- - -
Day Two
 was a "just sisters" day.
Carol & I did a run to Marshall's & then headed towards The Plaza.
She had recently discovered a little French restaurant
in the Brookside area of Kansas City,
which was at the end of the street in the above photograph.
Of course we checked out the shops!

My appetite had returned & we had a cup of delicious
French Onion Soup
(...since we were at a French restaurant!)
and---burgers & fries!
Probably the best fries I've ever had
& the burger was fresh, organic beef.
Well, that is how we justified ordering such a typical
American meal!

It was a gorgeous autumn day
& we enjoyed dining alfresco!

After lunch we drove around a little,
ending up back on the Kansas side.
I've always loved downtown Overland Park
and some of the shops on Sante Fe Drive.

Day Three
  was planned to be a "cousins" day.
Two cousins, one from Omaha & another from Manhattan
were unable to come at the last minute.

We headed back across the Missouri line,
driving north to St. Joseph
where we met up with cousins for lunch at Cheddars.

Our mother's & father were brother & sisters & we have always been
a close knit family.
Now we are the oldest generation.
Distance keeps us from seeing each other often
but we are trying to keep the family tied together.

From the left...
I live in Columbus, Indiana
cousin Cherie lives in St Joseph, Missouri
cousin Luana lives in Gardner, Kansas
cousin Hazel Dean lives in Fremont, Nebraska
and my sister, Carol, lives in Overland Park, Kansas
We are now scattered all across the Midwest.

Dean & Sid made a 3 hour drive one way
just for lunch!  They had evening plans so headed
back home after we ate.
I'm thinking they may have made pretty good time
in that buggy!

Cherie invited us over to see her beautiful new home
and we visited the afternoon away.

Hugs were given-
promises were made to do it again-
and we went our separate ways,
after a day of more memory making.

And we crossed the Missouri River once again,
returning to Kansas.

...to be continued...

Monday, October 4, 2010

Fall Break

I'm going away for a few days to the Land of Oz!
...to visit with my little sister
& the rest of the little Wheelers!

We plan to do a lot of catching up,
have lunch with some cousins,
& just do what sisters do.

And who knows where we'll end up!
I'm hoping that their trees are a bit more colorful than ours...
that the girls have time from their classes & work
to do our "auntie" thing...
that I get a chance to go to that little hillside
& have a few quiet moments
for Mom &Dad..
that maybe we might grab a "Winstead's" burger...
and I'm sure Garry will be thrilled for us to go to
the Nebraska Furniture Mart!
(I just love picking out stuff for Carol!)

So for just a few days
I'm taking a much needed break.
Kansas City...here I come!