Friday, April 24, 2009


It's Friday and the weekend is upon us. No doubt most of you will be outside enjoying the beautiful weather, relaxing, having fun. I'm planning a bit of fun myself, outside.
I'm ready to spruce up the 2nd floor deck out back and the patio down on the basement level of the house. I'm ready. But I'm not doing anything about it because who has time to sit outside these days? Certainly not me. But you know, I'm taking some "me time" and tickled pink to be doing so.
Last night I went to a friend's to do a load of laundry. We had a chance to check out her craft room, plunder through her art, flip the pages of magazines, and just enjoy one another's company. Then we went for dinner (Mexican) and sat there chatting til 10pm! Fun I tell you. Lots of fun.
Tonight I'm going with another friend to the Southern Women's Show, and really looking forward to that. With my allergies so active right now I've got to avoid those booths with the babes spritzing perfume on every passerby, but it'll be fun.
Tomorrow at oh-dark-thirty we're off to the Liberty Antique Festival for a full day of shopping and hunting. Foreign postage stamps, old rusty keys, postcards, ledger books, tokens, tickets, and of course old b&w photos for my collage classes. Can't begin to tell you how excited I am about that big adventure.
And then we're headed to Mom's to spend the night, eat a fabulous home-cooked meal, do a few loads of laundry that can be hung on the line to dry (nothing's better in this world than the smell of my mother's laundry), and of course to play dominoes for a few hours. It's addictive. I love it. I lose consistently and still I love it. She tells me you play til someone hits 400 and then you start a new game. One night I was losing so horribly that I wouldn't let them stop and declare me the all time loser. So we played to 500...600...750. I'm not joking, when we hit 1200 I was still losing my arse and we called it quits. Persevere, be steadfast, think positively, and then laugh hysterically when you admit defeat.
When we do come home on Sunday we'll be bringing Mini Cooper and Mercedes Benz home with us. Will they remember me? What will they think of the new floors? The empty rooms? The dry dog food? The boring milk bones? I can see their little faces, so expressive, looking for rawhides and Beggin Strips and then looking at one another thinking "how the hell do we get back to Grandma's?".

The cabinets are being hung even as we speak. It's pretty exciting. I'm actually breathless with anticipation. One of the many granite companies is coming at noon to measure. Keep your fingers crossed that the cabinets are actually finished when he shows up. So I've gotta tell you about shopping for granite.
At the cabinet store they had 2 drawers filled with 6" or maybe 8" squares of granite. One drawer was "level 1" priced at $40 per square foot. Second drawer was "level 2" priced at $45 per square foot. If we buy through them, the sink is included in that price, as is whatever edge style we choose and installation of course, complete with holes cut out for the faucet, soap dispenser, sinks, etc. Sounds pretty good to me except that none of her samples knocked my socks off.
So Wednesday I spent an hour or so looking at granite from a different showroom. Huge, great slabs standing up on their sides but so close together you couldn't tell anything about them. A huge array of 12" squares displayed in the showroom, but again, no bells, no whistles. So I left there and went to yet another place and honey, did you hear the sirens and screams? It was me! I was over the moon in love with so many of them it was ridiculous. I kept thinking I needed post it notes to mark them all, and yet at the end of an hour I'd narrowed it down to 3 pieces from one pattern and then one more. Clearly finding 3 I liked that were from the same quarry was very telling, don't you think?
Don't get too excited, these were "level 4" pieces I loved. $80 per square foot, but on sale for $60. Do the math, that's a lot of ca-ching for that bling. Hubby says no way. Bummer. Disappointed but not surprised. In the back of my tiny blonde head I knew it.

Yesterday it was his turn to hunt again. And he thinks he's hit the jackpot because they have great granite and presumably great prices. (A referral from a friend who's used them numerous times with great satisfaction steered us in their direction.) And he brings home a few samples. So when I finally get home last night he brings them into the kitchen and places them down by the flooring with a cabinet panel standing against the wall so we can try to visualize the end result.
4 were absolute losers...much the same as we'd seen everywhere. Very common patterns. No thank you. Two looked almost identical to each other, with lots of small, delicate veins running through it with a color almost coral or deep peach amid a sea of golden yellows, with hints of cranberry and black. One piece had more yellow with accents of that coral color while the other had more coral. That got a thumbs up from both of us, though my heart didn't flutter. Will I love that color installed? After a week? A month? A year? A lifetime? I'm betting not, but we sure can't afford to change it when I change my mind. If we go with a creamy butter yellow on the walls will it whisper "girl, you got it right" or will it shout "what were you thinking?".
And then he pulls out this small odd-shaped piece that looked almost like marble. The guy didn't have a sample so he literally broke off a corner, hence the small, odd shape. It's a shade of white, though not true white but not cream, with grays and blacks and lots of quartz for sparkle. The most unusual thing I've ever seen and I just can't tell if I'm in love with it because it's so small. Think the size of my hand small. It's just unusual enough that we might like it, especially if we leave the wall color Silver Seed (pale, pale gray that's almost white it's so pale).
And I look over at the fireplace. Fabulous white woodwork all around it, with a lovely mantle, and the marble surround and hearth are white and gray. From a distance it looked like this might actually match. Until you walked it over there and laid it on the hearth and then you see it isn't white at all. And the veining is so totally different that I worry they'll be battling with one another the rest of my life.
I need to see the big slab...with one of my cabinet doors next to it and a piece or 2 of my flooring. But when can we find the time to get over there with my social calendar so full? When those fabulous mocha cabinets are hung with their black accents in all the grooves, I'm gonna need 2 things. Hardware and granite.
I know it's insane but I can't even choose my knobs and pulls. Too many choices. Too expensive. But this is no time to start skimping on costs! And we've simply got to decide on a paint color. Those custom built plantation shutters will be here for installation and the windows have to be painted!!!! (I can hear Henry Fonda in On Golden Pond telling the kid "Get it in gear turkey!"
I have no vision for this finished remodel. None. Me, the woman who can design bangles and beads, paper arts, journals, assemblages of every size and shape, backgrounds with every color and pattern ... I cannot see my new kitchen. Just like all these shopping trips we've made this week for new rugs, I'm not finding them. How can I choose a rug when I don't know what color I'm putting on the wall? So why can't I make up my mind about the paint? Not a clue.

You know you have a smart husband when he refuses to steer you in any direction. He's not gonna listen to me for the next 20 years saying I never should've picked that. Nope. He's smiling and happy and willing to wait me out. To a point. He wants real dishes and silverware. He wants a supper of pork tenderloin cooked on his George Foreman grill. He wants a London Broil off the gas grill. He wants seafood grilled on cedar planks.
And that means he wants a table in the kitchen to sit down and eat. Did I mention we can't find a table? My mother is so in love with my old, her new table & chairs that she's special ordered a carpet to put underneath it. I tell you this because getting it back ain't gonna happen. We've simply got to find a table & chairs.
Right after we pick out the granite.
And the hardware.
And the paint color.

Aren't all these porches and patios cheery and calming and welcoming? I love them all, which is why my deck and patio are in their state of limbo. Like my house on the inside. Like my brain. There are too many options in life. It's like a box of Crayola crayons. A box of 16 is good but a box of 32 is better. So why did they come out with a box of 64? It's too much. I go through and select my favorites, ignoring the ones that don't make the cut.
My studio is filled with hundreds of ink pads and paints, yet I'm drawn to the same color pallete for everything I do. Silver Seed has been just fine for 7 years. Is yellow in my future? It's absolutely my favorite color. Always has been, always will be. But will I find the right shade to paint every wall of every room and still love it 7 years from now? I'm thinking cream. Not white. Not yellow. A nice warm welcoming cream, better than that cool gray.
Oh good grief, we haven't even looked at the tile for my backsplashes!! Help me Rhonda. Sing it with me, Help, help me Rhonda!

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