{State of the Kitchen} Part 15: The Light is Brighter

We're a couple of steps closer to being finished!
We have countertops! And crown molding!!! Monday, I was given a 2:00-4:00 window for the countertop installation, so I left work a little early to make sure I would be home when the countertop people arrived. When 4:00 came and went, I called the office at 4:10 to find out what was going on and was told that their first job of the day ran over. I told the woman that it would have been nice if someone had called me since I left work early and my last 2 groups of students missed Speech Therapy that day. Of course she said she apologized and that they would be at the house after 6:00. And they were. 7:30 is after 6:00, right? They finished up around 10:00...about an hour after my bedtime. I was honestly about to cry. If they didn't make it on Monday, it was going to throw the plumber (who came yesterday) off schedule.
After having the missing trim on the floor for a week, it was installed on Tuesday! CG2 installed the trim and the crown molding.
How the kitchen looked Tues. night.
He also made a frame for the microwave, moved the upper pullout down, and installed the remaining one. He drilled a hole in the shelf for the microwave cord as well. 
I was able to gain a little more storage with the additional pullout...perfect for my really small appliances!
The plumber was at my house waiting for me when I got home yesterday. He hooked up the sink, disposal, and dishwasher.
It's a real, honest to goodness sink & faucet!
Oh, but that wasn't without something going wrong. A clamp was missing from the disposal so he had to buy another one.  We looked around for it but couldn't find it.  I guess that's par for the course, because we're also missing the panel for the dishwasher:
Will they, or won't they find a panel?
I asked CG2 about it, and he said it had to be around somewhere, but it's nowhere to be found. I told him it was there when the project started, and said I wondered if something happened to it during demo. Just more sloppy management. 

My friend will get started on the backsplash on Saturday, and then we'll have someone come in and paint the walls and ceiling. And then we'll have our house back...finally!
Wed. night's photo: We bought a dimmer switch for the undercabinet lighting to achieve the "ambience" I' was expecting; we  CH hasn't put it in yet.
The sink is IN!

{State of the Kitchen} Part 14: Same Ol' Same Ol'

Yep, this is what my kitchen still looks like. The missing piece arrived at my house on Friday, and I promptly texted the contractor to let him know. He said he would check with CG2 to see if he could come out one day next week (which is this week) to finish up. It is now 8:41 on Wednesday night, and I haven't had a text or a cabinet guy.
I called the countertop people on Tuesday to find out when they would be ready to make my appointment. The lady said that I was the next person on their list to call (isn't that a coincidence...yeah, like that's likely), and she made my appointment for Monday afternoon. I texted the contractor to let him know, because they have to come out and remove the temporary sink so the real sink can be installed. It's now 8:43 on Wed. night and I haven't received a text or call.
I forwarded the same text to the contractor (so he would have it again) as well as the Home Depot store manager. Yep, 8:44 pm on Wed. and no response.
I emailed the owner of the contract company, the manager at Home Depot, and the Kitchen Designer (who probably isn't working today) and included a screenshot of the texts from last Friday through today. Which means they are seeing 3 texts: 2 from me & 1 from the contractor saying he would get back with me.
I have a huge concern that the countertop people are going to show up on Monday to install my countertops and won't be able to because of the contract company. Then there's the concern about the strip in the ceiling (which I'm pretty sure we're going to have to fix on our own) and the piece of dishwasher that's missing.
Something has gone very right lately in the way of construction, but it has nothing to do with the kitchen. Last week I posted a picture of the wall that had finally given way and fallen.
The wall that finally gave way. It was cracked when we bought the house, so we knew it was just a matter of time.
I got in touch with a brick mason we know, and he came over fairly quickly to look at it and give us a quote. I had the quote that night, and CH & I discussed whether we wanted another wall put up, or if we just wanted the brick repaired. We decided to go ahead with the wall.
A footer was poured around the wall.
This guy is a very hard worker and wants to make sure he does things correctly. What a breath of fresh air after what we've been through with the kitchen!
Cement block wall to support the brick wall.
I think it looks great, and he said he wasn't quite done yet. He's coming back this morning to finish up and clean up.
The brick doesn't match exactly, but the house brick is no longer made. The brick on the wall that fell didn't match exactly, either, which makes me think it was added after the house was built.
It looks much better than the original wall!
This guy has pride in his work, and is extremely professional. Like a said...a breath of fresh air!

{State of the Kitchen} Part 13: A Light...Definitely a Light!

I can feel the finish line!
It's almost done...it's really almost done! The utility cabinet, last wall cabinet, and wine cubby were put in on Monday, along with (most of) the trim. I say "most of" because apparently someone didn't measure correctly, or enough pieces weren't ordered. As has been par for the course, something didn't go right.
There are still a few concerns.
A piece of trim is missing (in the red circle), so they'll have to come back again. I'm still wondering if they're going to finish fixing the strip in the ceiling (see the arrows).  You can see in the pictures that the boxes laying around are dwindling, so it feels like we're about to have our house back.
The utility cabinet with small appliances.
The utility cabinet has 3 drawers, but he only put in 2. CH is thinking that the shelf can go up a couple of notches, then the top drawer can be moved up a little, leaving some room for the 3rd drawer to be installed. I don't know why he didn't consult with CH (who worked from home that day so they could finish up) before he put the top drawer in, but he didn't.
The wine cubby!

Another view. I'm not sure where the missing piece to the dishwasher is, but I hope they find it, or replace it. (See the purple arrow!)

The electrician is coming this afternoon to put in the pendant lights, undercabinet lights, and finish the outlets.
The contractor told me that he spoke with the countertop people. They said that the hold up was because I had to decide whether to make the granite behind the range all 1 piece, or have 1 piece behind the range and a piece on either side. I told the lady that I wanted 3 pieces since she said I was asking for a disaster if I had it all 1 piece. She said that it could break easily before they installed it, so I told her 3 pieces. Then, the designer emailed me about the situation, and I told her I wanted 3 pieces. THEN, a couple of days later, someone from Home Depot called and asked me the same thing. So, no. It wasn't my fault...it was poor communication on HD's part. Anyway, they're supposed to call Friday to make an appointment for installation.
The never-ending kitchen reno looks like it's coming to an end. FINALLY.
Oh, but wait. This happened over the weekend:
When we bought the house, there was a crack in the wall, so we knew we'd eventually have to have it replaced. Over the past few months, we knew it was about to come down. Last week, I had someone give us an estimate on taking it down and rebuilding it. And then, over the weekend, the wall tumbled down.  The guy came yesterday and took the rest of it down. Now the rebuilding begins! The joys of an older home!

{State of the Kitchen} Part 12: Whole Lot of Nuttin'

What a mess.
A whole lot of nuttin' went on in the house this past week since nothing could be done until the last wall cabinet came in. It's in and will be delivered this afternoon. As of Wed. night, I haven't received a call from the countertop people to schedule installation. I was really hoping everything (except the backsplash) would be done by the end of next week, but now I'm not very hopeful.
The pictures above show what we're living in. The doors on the left side are the rough ones; we're not sure why they're still in our kitchen. The boxes on the right are the trim and crown molding. There are a couple of drawers that were replaced hanging out there, too.
I have to admit: last Friday I was pretty down about having everything that belongs in my kitchen strewn around my house. I'm not a big fan of clutter, and right now my house is one big clutter fest.  When I took everything out of the cabinets, I just put them in totes and boxes, thinking it was just going to be a few weeks before I'd be able to put them back in the cabinets. Yet, here we are, 8 weeks later, and I still have stuff in totes all around the house.
I decided to go ahead and do what I could...which wasn't much. I put some pans and cutting boards in my pan cabinet.
I put some things in the pan cabinet.
I also bought a couple of things to organize a couple of drawers:
Top drawer of pantry; I'm debating about ordering another set of these for the drawer.
Slide out utensil organizer: I can't put anything in it because the countertop isn't in.
I felt a little better after taking Saturday to clean the house a bit and reorganize some of the totes. Not as good as I'll feel when it's all done, but...!!!!

I've used the oven a few times, and last night we took the plunge & used the dishwasher for the first time. After the washing machine debacle, I was a bit wary of using the dishwasher, but I knew it needed to be done.

Hopefully it won't be too much longer!

{Friday Foto Friends} Sparsely Participating!

I'm participating sparsely with just a few pictures from this week & linking up with Deb from Breathing in Grace.
I thought this was a pretty cool picture. I took it one evening when I took the dogs down to my parents' house so they could run around the fenced-in yard. The big tree's reflection in the window caught my eye.
It kind of looks like the giant "leg lamp" from The Christmas Story!
Sunday evening, CH & I rode up to "The Peaceful Side of the Smokies" to meet up with some friends of ours from NJ who are vacationing down here. As we traveled close to my mountain school, we were amazed at the fire line from the fire back in November.
You can definitely see where the fire was.

This isn't a great picture, but you can see where the trees haven't grown back.
This old organ was in an area just outside of the restrooms.
We ate at a restaurant that I hadn't ever noticed before. It was very rustic inside and the food was excellent. Good Southern-style home cooking!
Halloween? Already???
This hit me when I walked into Michaels yesterday. It's 86 degrees outside in the middle of summer, and Halloween is already up? But...wait. I saw this when I turned a corner:
You've got to be kidding.
So...how is it in your neck of the woods? Hotter than blue blazes but the stores are trying to get you cooled off with visions of Halloween & Christmas being right around the corner? Ridiculous!

{State of the Kitchen} Part 11: This is a Short One

This is going to be a rather short post this week. The only thing that happened is the utility cabinet arriving. It hasn't been installed, but it is in place. I'm not sure where the doors are, but that's not my problem. When the cabinet with the blemish came in, 1 of the doors wasn't smooth. That one was to be replaced, but I don't know what happened to the other 3. Like I said: not my problem.
This cabinet is going to house my microwave and small appliances like the breadmaker, mixer, and slow-cooker. I'm also going to put papertowels in the top.
The door that did come in looks like this:
I'm not sure how this passed QC.
Can you believe those white lines? How did this pass QC? Maybe they thought that because it's the inside of the door it didn't matter? CH said he knows why the cabinets cost so much...they have to make them 3 times to get them right. Or, in our case, still not get them right. Incredible.
The owner of the contract company and the contractor delivered the utility cabinet on Monday. The owner asked about pendant lights going above the sink, and I showed them to him. I also asked to make sure someone was going to put the blind corner cabinet together and was told CG2 would do it. I didn't say anything about the strip in the ceiling or the electrical outlet for the microwave. I told the designer I was going to let her take care of that.
I started organizing my pantry:
The left side of the pantry 
The right side of the pantry
The paper towels won't stay in the pantry so that will give me a little more room in that side. I took one of the shelves out of the right side since I had some tall containers. There's still plenty of room on both sides.
Next week I hope to at least have an appointment for the countertops. It's getting closer to being finished!

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