The Waiting is the Hardest Part

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Someone should teach a course in paper plate presentation

By Katherine

If all goes according to schedule our new kitchen cabinets should be installed this week. That clears the way for the counter people to come and take measurements. It will be another three to five weeks before those and our new sink are installed. In the meantime, kitchen cabinets have blocked off our dining room; there’s duck defrosting in the powder room vanity and we’re going through paper plates like there’s no tomorrow.

A few readers have commented on how we’ve still been able to crank out some good meals in the midst of the renovation. Truth be told, we’ve eaten lots of take out and restaurant meals, lots of deli food (see grainy smart phone photo above) and made use of our grill. The worst few days were when the oven was unplugged while Greg and his father laid tile. The refrigerator, a new dishwasher, vent hood and an outdoor table were all crammed into our living room, along with a kitchen buffet and the contents of our pantry. For someone who likes order, the worst parts of undergoing a renovation have been the futile efforts to keep the house clean and the constant need to move things. I’m grateful we have ample space. After living in far smaller abodes, 1,800 or so square feet has always felt a bit spacious for just the two of us.

I’m also grateful that my father-in-law was willing to spend nearly two weeks helping Greg mix cement, patch drywall, hang new doors and a host of other jobs that were tedious, long and backbreaking. Greg’s cracked hands are rougher than sandpaper. For a few days almost every one of his fingertips were wrapped in bandages. Working with a water saw when it’s 30 degrees outside can wreak havoc on the skin. His knees are also red and rough from the days spent crouched on them. His dad wears knee pads, but Greg is still young and, as Frank says, stubborn. While we normally have mild winters, almost every job that required outdoor work fell on a day that it was freezing and damp outside. On the days the sun shone and it felt like spring, Greg and his dad were hunkered indoors grouting or finding a connection up in the attic. While Greg and his father demonstrated their skills in carpentry, plumbing and cursing, I crunched numbers, tried to sort out what to feed everyone — in a pinch one can make hummus in the living room — and spent an entire day shuttling down the street to a friend’s house to do laundry. (Our washer and dryer were pulled out during the tiling work.) When I remarked at how hard they’d worked one day and that all I’d managed to do was laundry and housework, Greg’s dad said that it all needed to get done.

For now, things are all done our end. That just leaves the waiting and for me that’s the hardest part.

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About Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

This blog attempts to collect some of the things I try to create with food and booze. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fail. My hope is to entertain and maybe help people think a little harder about what they decide to eat and drink.
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9 Responses to The Waiting is the Hardest Part

  1. I didn’t know you were doing a big reno.. good luck with this, it’s such a big undertaking! But so so so worth every minute and penny. I can’t wait to see new recipes whipped up in the new kitchen!

  2. Sandra says:

    Waiting for your new kitchen to be finished is the hardest thing in the world when you love to cook, but it will be worth it.

  3. niasunset says:

    Good Luck dear Katherine and dear Greg, sounds so exciting… Thanks and Love, nia

  4. There is no mess like construction mess…Keep smiling, Katherine! It’ll be worth it when you’re done!
    (But you knew that already ;) )

  5. It is going to be soooo worth it, Katherine! And it’s wonderful that you have dedicated and knowledgeable guys to get it done!

  6. ohlidia says:

    Can’t wait to see your new kitchen! Love seeing new kitchen renos.

  7. RoSy says:

    So nice to get any help that you can. Nice fil :)

  8. Eva Taylor says:

    Your comments brought me right back to our kitchen reno, although it was a little more extensive and we didn’t have a kitchen for more than four months. We set up a little kitchen in the office and sequestered one of the sinks in our bathroom to be the ‘kitchen sink’ and the other was the bathroom sink. I never even thought of paper plates…would have been so much easier than washing dishes in the bathroom sink. Here is a link to our temporary kitchen! http://eiktaylor.wordpress.com/2007/05/27/the-romantic-side-to-renovationsway-not/
    You are so fortunate to have Greg and his Dad able to work on your renovation, such a savings. You should get Greg and manicure!

  9. Oh I so feel for you both. We’ve been there many times but at least this time round we’re not living through the reno on site. I have knee pads – tell Greg it’s not about age, it’s about looking after the knees you have! If you were down the road Big Man and I would be round in a flash to install those kitchen cabinets and worktops for you – we’re pretty good and fast at it now! I know it feels like forever, but not long now and you’ll be enjoying your wonderful new kitchen…

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