I thought about splitting this blogpost into two entries or even three but after some careful musing, I decided to cram it all into one so that maybe you can get the same overwhelmed, amazed-at-the-suddenly-rapid-progress feeling I have experienced this past week or so.
I got back from my trip to Washington last Saturday and spent the weekend more or less passed out from exhaustion on my bed, not even able to muster up the energy to notice if any work had been done around the house. And even when I had gotten a little bit of energy back, I couldn’t see much difference than before my trip. Still no kitchen to speak of, no functioning bathroom and of course, no windows, although some progress had been made there. And of course there was unpacking to do, laundry to be washed, grocery shopping to catch up on- when momma leaves for a week, there is always plenty of catching up to do.
But I was wrong in my first surmise. Things had been done around the house. Plans had been made, parts been ordered and delivery dates for certain, important appliances had been set. Rome wasn’t built in a day, you know and not without a lot of preliminary work, I am sure. And so, somehow, this week decided to be the week where several things fell into place and allowed us to take a big jump forward in settling in.
Monday morning, the hubby told me that I should probably start cleaning out the trailer and moving everything that hadn’t been moved yet up to the house. I was reticent to do so, since it seemed like tempting fate to presume that we might be finally be done with the trailer at last. Surely something would come up to hinder progress yet again, I thought, and if there were actually any real wood anywhere in the trailer, I would have been knocking it every few minutes as I scrubbed windows, emptied out cupboards and bleached the minuscule shower curtain. Would it be possible, really, to say farewell so soon to my least favorite bathroom and kitchen in the world? While I pondered these questions, work really was going forward on better ones. It was usually late at night, after the poor, exhausted hubby got home from work, but slowly the bathroom went from looking like this
Of course, this is a temporary fix for the bathroom. (And when I say temporary, I mean it will probably stay this way for the next ten years or so) We planned on tiling the majority of it, but tile in such large quantities started to add up rather alarmingly, so we had to settle for this hideous looking green, gooey, waterproof membrane rolled onto the walls and floor.
But it looks better on the walls than in the bucket, it does the job it needs to and I would take this bathroom over the trailer one every day. My babies inaugurated the room by bathing in it tonight and I won’t tell you how excited I am for my shower tomorrow morning lest you think me ridiculous.
And then, there is my kitchen. This is also going to be a temporary fix until we can save up enough money for cabinetry etc., but it is more than passable for the time being. What we had set up before (to try and avoid running down to the trailer and back and forth for every meal) was really atrocious- a lopsided old table with a microwave, a toaster oven and coffee making supplies piled pell mell on top. This is what it looked like after I had been gone for a week. Don’t look, mother.
This side of the kitchen is where my good countertops and kitchen sink will eventually go, so I decided to get rid of the awful table and get creative using the other side of the kitchen for the time being. But in order to move my kitchen stuff out of the trailer and out of storage and into circulation again, I needed some kind of shelving. I have a nice pantry but no built in shelves and not a lot in reserve to be purchasing shelving. Luckily, my basement and porch are brimming over with scrap wood and even a few odd bits of furniture that came with the house.
This particular hutch had been sitting on my porch for at least a dozen years- seriously. It was unbelievably filthy and I wasn’t sure it was even salvageable, but I thought I might as well try.
I didn’t take any photos of the in between stages, but after a ton of sanding and painting and patchwork and a tasteful yard or two of fabric to cover up the less fixable areas, the boys and I succeeded in shoving it into the pantry where it fit perfectly and I had something quite usable.
That, along with my favorite technique of stacking board and bricks to make shelves, and my pantry was in business. It’s a cute little room, but rather difficult to get a good picture of.
I did something similar with another old hutch,although this one was in much better shape and hadn’t been sitting outside for the last decade. I just spruced it up with a cute piece of fabric and now my “red” collection is housed there.
I like red and decided it would be my accent color, which was easy to do since most everything I already owned in my kitchen was red.
This was the other side of the kitchen- a blank canvas, if you will.
I had a few more random pieces of shelving (one of which definitely needed to be covered with a tasteful curtain), a good solid piece of wooden countertop and my trusty old kitchen island that I rearranged twenty times over until I found an arrangement that worked and would give me at least some counter space.
As soon as I had finished that, my beautiful, fifty dollar Craig’s list fridge was delivered and finally filled that space that has been mocking me with its emptiness for so long. Oh the delight!
And then, this morning, best of all mornings, some dear people delivered a stove- a completely free gift that, like so many items now in our house, were apparently just looking for a good home. So this is my “temporary” kitchen.
We are very, very blessed.
It seemed fitting, somehow, that the first meal I cooked in this room should involve bacon.
So now, everything we need to function in our house has been installed- errrrr, everything but the kitchen sink. That’s still in a box. But she’s a beaut, no?
And of course, the windows and the heat and air and a hundred other little things that would allow us to call this place finished. But oh, we are so much closer to that goal than we were even a week ago.
We are looking at a hooootttt summer ahead of us but we are facing it with hope, joy, thankfulness and a fully functioning bathroom.