June 19, 2013

Kitchen Dreams

Oh my oh my, isn't our kitchen gorgeous?
What, you don't see a kitchen? It's right there in all those cardboard boxes stacked in the middle of the yet-to-be-painted living room. The green boxes contain the flooring, pre-finished solid bamboo. The sink is on the other side of the room behind me and the counter tops are behind the stacks of flat packed cabinets. The appliances will be delivered next week. Or in 3 week's time if I manage to get around to rescheduling the delivery. Yes, I accepted weeks ago that the kitchen will not be ready before we move in at the end of the month. That's just the way it is. And yesterday, SouleMama reinforced for me why this is OK:
Not yet. Someday. Someday maybe even soon. But not right now. I feel content in being decidedly not ready. And honestly, that feels quite liberating, that decision to hold steady with all that right now is. About a cow, about my studio above the barn not yet in progress, about so many things in life. It's not my greatest ability - patience with these kinds of things - but something I work on, and something I try to help my kids work on too. Because that mix of patience and faith means we can slow down and look around at what's right here and not miss a single beat. (Amanda Blake-Soule, www.soulemama.com)
The beat I've been missing as I spend every waking minute working on the house? I wish I could say tending my garden (don't have one this year), riding my bike (negatory), hiking the Miami woods trails in their summer glory (I wish). No, now is the time for packing and cleaning, not the time for leisurely wanderings. But the reason we are behind schedule on renovations is because we took a couple of breaks to travel and visit friends. One trip for the Hubs to accept an award/research grant, and a second trip for a summer camp wedding. I wouldn't trade either of those experiences for a completed kitchen. No way, no how.

That said, look at what we did over the weekend.
While painting the kitchen last week, I sanded raised spots damaged by water in the sub-flooring, filled low spots with flooring compound, and chipped away the high spots of mastic or cement that was left behind when we removed the tile floor. Friday, before dinner & after cleaning the dust and debris from the floor, we laid out 30 pound roofing felt (tar paper) as underlayment for our solid bamboo floor. Sounds weird to me, but it is the recommended material for hardwood underlay.
Then between 8pm and midnight, we got the starter row and a couple more rows nailed down by hand. After that, there was room to maneuver the floor nailer we rented. Only it split the tongues of our tongue and groove bamboo. So we decided to try the pneumatic finish nailer I bought earlier that day. It seemed to work OK, except I couldn't see well enough to position it at the proper 45 degree angle. Oh well, guess that means the Hubs gets to nail the entire floor himself. Lucky guy, no?  
Early into the process Saturday morning, the flooring fashionista that is the Hubs took a razor knife to his jeans - as he was wearing them! - to remove the bulk of the fabric that was bunching up under his knee pads and irritating his knees.
I laughed so hard he insisted I take photos as evidence of my amusement. I tried to convince him to keep the lower part of the jeans around his ankles as sexy leg warmers, but was not successful.
While we're doing foot shots, this is me walking on the bamboo for the first time. While installing we were being so careful not to mar the flooring in any way it felt wrong to actually walk on the floor. Silly, I know, but true.
Halfway done on Saturday, time for a break.
Installing the final strip of full pieces. The remaining gap, after subtracting the 3/8" space required at all ends, was a whopping inch and 1/8. The Hubs used his circular saw to rip boards to size.
Tah-dah! Just waiting for me to fill the nail holes on the edge pieces that had to be face nailed. This is going to be the most serene kitchen ever. Someday. When it is time.

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