Indoor Cold Storage – Project Accomplished!

New fridge

The new fridge finally arrived. Twice actually. The first time, the delivery truck couldn’t negotiate the deep snow in our drive way and had to abort the mission. With little hope that the snow would melt before spring, The Car Guy abandoned his plan to mow the grass one more time this fall. He removed the mower from the tractor and installed the snow blade. I helped him. We had some brief discussions about either buying a new tractor with easier implement changing, or moving to the city…

Two days later the fridge was delivered. If you have been following the Fridge in the Middle Story, you will note that the fridge just fit into the cabinet and all is right in the kitchen again. Now, and here is the ‘cool’ part, we have a water and ice dispenser – and not just cubed ice – crushed ice too!

Think of the summer drink possibilities – except now it is fall.

Fridge with a graphic filter

Or, it should be fall except  winter arrived first. The two seasons have been exchanging blows – snow, some melting, more snow, some more melting. Today we are back into snow.

I tried to dig the potatoes during one of the melting spells, but the garden was one large mud patch. It just wasn’t worth the effort for a bucket full of potatoes. It really is too bad, because the hills I did dig yielded very few potatoes, but they weren’t scabby. First time ever. The weather forecast says we return to normal fall weather next week. Maybe I’ll get the spuds out of the ground yet.

Spuds, taters – is there another word for potatoes in your part of the world?

I bought a big bag of potatoes and it’s growing eyes like crazy. Other foods rot. Potatoes want to see.
– Bill Callahan, Letters to Emma Bowlcut –

Another snow day

Fridge in the Middle

The Car Guy and I decided to replace our refrigerator. It is over 20 years old and well past its ‘best before’ date.

This is a haiku
Haiku’s don’t have to make sense
Refrigerator
– Author Unknown –

The appliance store had so many fridges to choose from – at least, that is what we thought when we first walked in the door! But, as our sales associate, Todd, walked us through the choices, it became clear that our new fridge would be ‘one of a kind’. Yes, if we wanted a fridge with an ice maker/water dispenser, with two upper doors and a lower freezer, that would fit in the space we had, in the colour white (to match the appliances we weren’t replacing) – our selection was one fridge.

So we ordered the fridge. It was supposed to be delivered in a week – two weeks tops! That was almost two months ago.

On a very local scale, a refrigerator is the center of the universe. On the inside is food essential to life, and on the outside of the door is a summary of the life events of the household.
– Robert Fulghum –

In the meantime, my old fridge is in a ‘not so convenient’ place in the kitchen. The Car Guy had to pull it out so that he could add the plumbing for the ice maker/water dispenser. He also had to raise the cabinet above the fridge by one inch.

He didn’t move the fridge back into the fridge ‘home’ because the fridge is heavy, awkward to move and only fits into the space if you give it a mighty shove… and the new fridge might arrive any day now!

Figuring out why people who choose not to do something don’t in fact do it is like attempting to interview the elves who live inside your refrigerator but come out only when the light is off.
– Eileen Pollack –

A fridge in the middle of the room seemed like a huge inconvenience initially. Now it is merely a mild annoyance. We can still use the fridge, even if the doors don’t open all the way. We can still get to the coffee maker and we can squeeze by the fridge to get from one room to another!

My theory on housework is, if the item doesn’t multiply, smell, catch fire, or block the refrigerator door, let it be. No one else cares. Why should you?
– Erma Bombeck –

In the grand scheme of  Red House Renos, the ‘fridge in the middle’ is way down the list of projects that seemed to take forever to finish!

Open your refrigerator door, and you summon forth more light than the total amount enjoyed by most households in the 18th century. The world at night, for much of history, was a very dark place indeed.
– Bill Bryson –

What is the oldest appliance in your house? Which one would you love to replace?

How many times have you been watching an episode of ‘South Park’ and thought, ‘I’d like to be able to watch this on my television while hooked into my mobile device, which is being controlled by my tablet device which is hooked into my oven, all while sitting in the refrigerator?’
– Trey Parker –

The Kitchen Reno – New Trend Stone Countertops

The Kitchen Reno was precipitated by two events. The first was the unfortunate choice of counter top surface that I made twenty years ago. The surface was a laminate with a very slight texture to it. In my defense, those little sample chips of laminate don’t really prepare the buyer for what the product is going to look like when it becomes a blanket of counter top. And in the case of this product, the slight texture wasn’t as slight as I thought, and dirt didn’t think it was slight either. Regular attacks of a bristly brush and lots of muscle power were required to keep it clean.

But I lived with it for 20 years before the second event set the ball rolling. A new business opened in the town nearby. It is called Granite Transformations.  I researched it on the web, and checked out it’s reputation. In the meantime, my Spousal Unit stopped by their showroom one day and was impressed with their product. So he invited them to come to our house and show us how they could transform our kitchen. Which they did.

Granite Transformations Tropico

The saleslady explained all about the product, then laid out the little sample chips on our counters. After much hemming and hawing, I finally chose several that I liked. But I wasn’t prepared to make a commitment to one of them. Then the saleslady went out to her car and brought in big samples of the product, so that I could see what they really looked like. That narrowed my choice down to one. But I wasn’t prepared to make a commitment.

Then the sales lady got out her tape measure and calculator, and next thing we knew she was ready to give us the price for our kitchen’s transformation. Which she did. But I wasn’t prepared to make a commitment… although by now I had spent several hours with the product and I could really see how it was going to look in my kitchen. And the big sample that I had chosen was happily sitting next to the cook top, acting like it was already part of the family.

So then the saleslady, who was also starting to feel like she belonged in my kitchen,  told us how much she was willing to budge on the price if we would like to make a commitment before she rounded up her product and set off into the night. She assured us, however,  that we had two weeks to completely back out of the commitment for no charge. Spousal Unit and I retired to the living room to review the contract terms, and  decide whether we should sign it. We signed.

For the next two weeks we did the research we would have done anyhow. We visited a lady who had recently had her kitchen done by Granite Transformations. She was happy. We looked at granite slabs and compared prices. We looked at other products.  At the end of the two weeks, we were content that we had made the right choice for our kitchen.

The product we are purchasing is called Trend Stone. It is an engineered product that is – wonderful, to hear them describe it. The counter top sections will be prefabricated in the shop from 1/4 inch thick product. Then they will be installed right over top of our existing counter tops. This has a lot of appeal to us. Our renovation philosophy is reuse or recycle, so not having to tear out our old counter tops and back splash is a big bonus.

Cook top and counter before reno

The cost? It is going to be about 4 times as much per square foot as what we spent 4 years ago for some laminate counter tops in the workshop. For that, we get 4 more features – hot pans can sit on it, knifes won’t scratch it, chemicals won’t stain it and flames won’t mar it. Who can argue when the numbers align like that?

I see that some designers are forecasting that granite counter tops have perhaps reached the peak of their popularity, and are heading towards being out of style. If that is the case, so be it. Our dining room set has been out of style since shortly after we bought it over 30 years ago. Ditto the kitchen flooring that is 20 years old. We’ve been married for 40 years, which is probably out of style too…

The installation was completed in two days, and was very professionally done. We are happy with the results, and look forward to many years of easy to care for counters!