Let the DIY continue! This week I’ve been working on building a new kitchen island for us – out of scrap wood, of course – and so I’ve sourced the wood from our barn – the side (top) pieces being a length of one section of the small pasture’s fence that we’d taken down since it will no longer be horsey (no worries, the giant 2.5+ acre pasture is still there for future horsey pursuits!) I sanded down along with your basic scrap 2×4’s for the legs. I’m combining a couple of plans from Ana White (damn that site is addictive for DIY furniture that isn’t horrifyingly complicated to build!) as I want there to be shelves but also a way to scooch a couple of barstools on one side for snacking at the island or just sipping a cuppa while the other person cooks/preps. More to come as Dan has added the bottom shelf and is busy giving it another light sand and then I’m going to try my hand at staining it with ACV and steel wool – not sure why I never googled “diy staining” before, hmph! Oh and another something cool we learned? You DON’T need a $70 Kreg Jig to make pocket screws like her instructions always ask – check out this blog for how to do them with your regular ol’ drill.
We also took a day off (well, half day) from DIY’ing and went down to Short Sands to spread the ashes of our sweet pup Ruby who we lost this past November. As I did with my sweet girl Daisy in 2012, the path down through the forest, across the suspension bridge, alongside the creek and then ultimately, at the ocean’s edge, is where the majority of her ashes were spread. This time, however, we did two things differently – first, because Ruby was more of a homebody than Daisy, we’ve decided to save a small amount of her ashes to be planted with a tree here at home. It was very emotional and sweet and we’re honored to have been her family…and still miss her every day.
The girls have finally gotten brave and discovered Fertilizer Hill, as I’m now calling it – basically a huge hill in the small pasture the former owner created because I guess the owners before her had dumped trash there and then stuff grew over it, so rather than her cleaning it up she started dumping the manure from her horses onto it as well, creating this weirdly lush “hill”. There are spots where we know there is metal because she left a stake in the ground so she wouldn’t drive over it with the mower (jesus fucking christ, why people don’t just clean shit up is beyond my comprehension, she had a massive fucking tractor for god’s sake). Anyhow, the girls go completely silent while back there eating up all the worms and bugs. That being said, they were entertained by this for exactly two days then my husband started planting our potted blueberries into the ground near the house and they finally got over their fear of the gravel driveway and decided to attack that, come towards the new herbs, and even cross over to the neighbor’s yard to harass the fenced-in chickens. Oy. Um yeah so needless to say they are only free-ranging with supervision until we can get chicken wire on the bottom half of the pasture fencing to corral them in just that area of the property. 🙂
And the little bits of hell that make up a kitchen remodel. We’ve pulled all the top cabinetry out and today it was time to pull out the horrific can lighting out of this weird, massive rectangular box hanging from the ceiling, revealing – oh yes baby yes! – gaping holes, wheee! Well, all the more reason to update the godawful textured ceiling in there, and fortunately I found this article on The Spruce which talks about inexpensive ways to get rid of a textured ceiling which I’m totally digging, particularly the tongue-and-groove planks which appear to be cheaper than replacing the drywall, not to mention giving a slight shiplap look without going the full Chip-and-JoJo treatment. And I am antsy as hell to get our new appliances, I gotta say. I absolutely detest this island ceramic cooktop, the nearly non-functional wall oven, and the side-by-side fridge that seems to store about as much food as a dorm-style refrigerator. That being said, I’m still figuring out the cabinetry and if we want to: A) rip them all out and go full Ikea, B) sand them all down, paint and reface them, turning the doors into drawers, or C) get rid of everything and go commercial kitchen / modular style since I really don’t have anything to go into the cabinets anyhow. Everything that is not going on open shelving or in the pantry is in this cabinet thing (picture on right) – basically what used to be a horrific “country oak” faux built-in cabinet that I slathered white paint all over – so beyond a couple drawers for silverware and dish towels, not sure if we even need more than basic work tables in there. Funny, never thought I’d have so much space that I’d say “gee I don’t know what to put in here!” but that’s what minimalism will do to you…and I’m fine with that!