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While stripping wallpaper in the dining room over the weekend, I uncovered the word “Library” scrawled on the bare plaster. Same black pencil as the word “Parlor” I found in the living room. So, this house was built with a Parlor and a Library (cute!), but… where did they eat? Where did they sleep? The original floor plan of this house remains a mystery.

After many meetings and measurings and estimates, we’re back to the drawing board on our kitchen remodel. Which is kind of frustrating, but I’m keeping it all in perspective. Thinking about last week’s earthquake–on the very same day of the catastrophic San Francisco earthquake in 1906– helps keep me grounded: there is a very fine line between a terrible disaster and a fascinating act of nature that is scary only for a moment but is harmless in the end. I’m reminded daily how lucky we are to have what we have. Whether we remodel on a grand scale or a very conservative one (yes, please!), or not at all (urk), doesn’t matter.

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BUSY weekend. Highlights follow:

…chalk drawing… some zinnias came over and planted beer on my porch… or some beer came over and planted zinnias, i don’t know… baseball practice… tony and rosie painted our new picnic table…

So, it wasn’t an airplane taking off, or a tree falling on the house, or Rosemarie jumping out of bed and running around her room. It was an earthquake, this morning at about 5:30. Tony and I were both already mostly awake and when it started we exchanged this conversation: Me: “Humph?” Tony: “Wha?” Me:”Is that?” Tony: “EARTHQUAKE! GET THE KIDS!” So we flew out of bed and ran upstairs to grab the little people, and I think by that time it was over. The shaking lasted a little less than a minute, I guess. What are you really supposed to do in an earthquake, go outside? I’m not sure, but that’s what I did. We are all okay, no damage anywhere that we can tell right away. (Damn! Why couldn’t it have demolished the kitchen??) A letter organizer fell of the desk upstairs, but I think that’s all. It seems like the only damage in the city so far has been part of the facade fell off an older building downtown, maybe two miles from here. It seems like everyone is waking up and going on with the day. It was a very weird, very shaky, feeling. Apparently a 5.4 on the Richter.

Erin and I are taking off work today to take Marie and Anthony to the zoo, the weather has been phenomenal. More updates and pictures later. 

Don’t you love fireworks? They make me feel like a little kid. So shiny! So sparkly! Saturday was the biggest fireworks display in the US, held every year to kick off the Kentucky Derby Festival, Thunder Over Louisville. Thirty solid minutes of purty sparkly stuff blowing up, set to music. Thunder is pretty much one of my favorite holidays. There is an air show all day with military jets and the little tumbly aerobatic planes, and then the fireworks after dark. We didn’t go this year, because unfortunately the weather was horrible–cold and rainy. Shlepping two kids downtown with a few hundred thousand other people in the cold gray rain? Yeah, I’ll pass. We won’t even talk about the traffic. Apparently we were not the only ones who had the idea because the crowd was way below normal at only 350,000 people. I tried to keep Rosie up so she could watch it on TV with me, but by the time the two astronauts at the International Space Station did the countdown to launch, she was snoring. The fireworks were fabulous, as always, and now we’re only three weeks away from Derby. My other favorite holiday.

I’ve heard from a few people who’ve made their way to our new blog (HI AUNT SUE!), and I just want to say, thanks for reading! Please feel free to hit the “comments” button anytime to leave us a message. We want to hear from you!

Things at the house are creeping right along. We dove into some outdoor projects over the weekend while the kids played outside and enjoyed the nice weather (finally). Hopefully we’ll have more kitchen news to share when our contractor gets back into town….

Erin brought Marie over to play!

WELL. Here we are at the new blog. With new news! Well, a little news. We got the second set of drawings from Pete, the kitchen designer (who, by the way, has been great to work with so far). He designed and quoted our kitchen with three separate elements: the perimeter cabinets, the hutch (a freestanding piece on the currently blank north wall), and the island. So we can configure the kitchen as our budget allows. The hutch, at over eight feet tall, eight feet wide and twelve inches deep, cost almost as much as the entire run of perimeter cabinets! Who knew?! So, as lovely as it would be, we’ll probably not install that at this time. The island? Maybe, maybe not. We may use an old 48″ round table that was our dinner table growing up, put that in the center of the kitchen to double as workspace and dining space.

The cabinets we are planning on are from DuraSupreme, and I was so excited to have a look at them in the showroom. They really are beautiful, sturdy, solid. They look “crafted” more than manufactured. And they have these soft-close thingies on the drawers so that when you close them, they kind of magically siiiiigh closed the last few inches–you can’t slam them! Fun! We picked the quarter-sawn oak door, in a simple recessed-panel style:

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We haven’t picked a countertop yet. Or appliances for that matter. We have to get our order placed in the next two weeks to hopefully take advantage of a promotion DuraSupreme is running, to save 12% on the cabinets.

It looks like we’re going to pull out (sounds so easy, doesn’t it??) the old chimney and put windows all across the back. You can see the chimney in this ooold picture, right in the middle there. It goes all the up from the floor through the ceiling. Taking it out would allow us to run cabinetry all across this wall, instead of being interrupted in the middle there, as well as adding another window (squeeee!). This of course all depends on having the contractor get another good look at it, but we’re hoping it’s feasible.

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This is a crazy process, so many decisions (so much money! yikes!). We’re trying to keep it all in perspective and focus on making this place OUR HOME. I can’t wait to really get started, and I really REALLY can’t wait to be finished.

I hope you’ve found us!

There are little metal catches in the floor to hold the french doors in the front of the house closed. One in the entrance to the parlor, one in the entrance to the dining room. They are not quite identical, but I think you can tell which one sits in front of the completed room, and which one sits in front of the unfinished room which is making miserably slow progress.