Someone’s in the kitchen…and garden

I’ve lived in eastern Pennsylvania long enough to know the miserableness of “hazy, hot, and humid” summers. Air conditioning helps, but a 90-year-old house with radiators does not provide easy installation of central air, so we get through the summers with room air conditioners where it counts the most for us, the bedrooms, one of which serves as the sewing room. Our 90-year-old house also needs the occasional update, such as dedicated circuits for the air conditioners in the bedrooms. The case for dedicated circuits became apparent when I kept popping the breaker when the iron was on, and the sewing machine, and the lights in the sewing room, and the dining room light, and the overhead kitchen light. Just a few too many things drawing the power necessitating the unexpected and grumbly trip to the basement to reset the breaker. The electrician solved that problem last week.  Most of our home improvements are DIY, and between hiring contractors for the big stuff and doing it ourselves for the not as technical work, no room in the 90-year-old house has gone untouched.

I dream of totally gutting the kitchen and adding a half-bath. The dream also includes having someone else pack everything in the cabinets, hiring a contractor, and me disappearing to the beach for six weeks. When I return, the new kitchen would be ready for me with a sustainable wood floor, new ceiling and lighting, new sink, counters and backsplash, and the new cabinets would be restocked. The only thing holding us back is the cost. I have no problem with the layout of the kitchen and find it is very efficient for cooking.

The cabinets, however, needed something fresh. While the cabinets are old, they are not original. They serve their purpose, but they are plain and brown. I’ve long wanted to paint them and discovered the process of painting cabinets involved sanding them first. This step always gave me pause as I imagined taking all the doors down, sanding them, taking everything out of the cabinets to sand the fronts, THEN prime and paint the raw wood, put everything back into the cabinets, finally rehanging the door. I became overwhelmed thinking about it.

But then I read about chalk painting which is all the craze on some DIY sites. This process did not require sanding, just a very good cleaning, and for that, I did not need to take everything out at the beginning and put it all back at the end. May would be the perfect time for this project, warm enough to paint the doors outside, yet still not too hot or humid to effect the painting and sealing times. The project took about a week, and in between the painting and sealing, I cleaned out the garden. Taking advantage of the nice weather for kitchen and garden meant no sewing time for most of the month of May. A lingering three-week cold cut down on running time, as well, and these last two weeks of June include vacation time with family at the Jersey shore and northern Wisconsin. Both provide time for the WPA applique blocks.

I am looking forward to a normal work schedule in July and August, along with the air conditioner in the sewing room, to get back to sewing. High on the must-finish-soon list is my stepdaughter’s wedding quilt for her September 1 wedding.


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