Saturday, December 22, 2012

Kitchen Remodel: Lights! Shelves! Bar Top!

Much to the chagrin of some of our blog readers (you know who you are), I have been oh-so-gently reminded that I haven’t put up a new post in over a week. Actually, what I was told is that they were tired of pulling up the blog and seeing the stupid bougainvillea still up there. Yeah, the flowers are pretty, but move on to something else. So as to not disappoint our loyal follwers, here’s what’s been happening in our kitchen the last handful of days.

The first project was that David installed the first task light and is at this very moment working on the second installation.

I love these lights. We had them in our previous kitchen and they give just the perfect amount of brightness. In the coming weeks, we’ll tidy up the cement work around the outlets where he had to tap into the line for the wiring and will start installing the backsplash tiles.
The other project that kept David busy and his back in a twisted pretzel was building and installing shelves in the lower cabinets.


The shelves run the full length of the sink cabinet as well as the smaller cabinet on the other side of the range. Now instead of having to stack pots, pans, and whatnot, everything can be better organized.
The other element in the works is the glass bar top for the island.
This has been a stop-and-go exercise, if there ever was one.
Back around October, we stopped in Corozal Glass, right here in town. We spoke to a guy there who, after hearing what we wanted, said, “Sure, no problem. We can do the job.” We said we would drop off the plans in the next couple of days.
David returned to the shop, plans in hand, and spoke to another guy. He said it wouldn’t be possible to cut the radius on one piece of glass. After some discussion and brainstorming, he was asked if it would be possible to cut the radius if the glass was in two pieces. The guy said, “Sure, no problem. We can do it.” So David went back to his trusty laptop and reworked the design so the glass top would be in two pieces.
When he returned to the shop, plans in hand, he was told that the machine needed to cut the radius was broken and a part was on order from Mexico. No word on when the machine would be back in operation. On top of that, the woman who worked the counter at the store was “out of town” and he wouldn’t be able to manage the counter and the glass cutting until she returned.
In the meantime, we shared our story with the guy building our cabinets. He let us know that the woman who manned the counter was the glass guy’s wife who had left him. The chances of us getting our bar top anytime soon were slim and none. However, our cabinet guy had a source in Chetumal, Mexico that he was pretty sure could do the job and have it done in one piece.
On Wednesday of this week, David made the trip to Chetumal with the cabinet maker’s wife. As it was David’s first trip across the border, it was helpful to have someone who knew the ropes and spoke Spanish. We agreed it didn’t make much sense for me to tag along, because the only value-add I would bring to the glass shop discussion would be to say, “Yup, works for me.”  Not exactly worth the $38 to cross the border.
With it being so close to the Christmas holiday, the line to cross the border was longer than normal. It took David about and an hour and a half to get through customs. From there, it was a short ride to the glass shop.
After discussing the design with the glass shop guys, them faxing the plans to their factory for input, and waiting an hour for the reply, it was agreed they could do the job. However, instead of using ½” glass, it will be ¾” thick and will be tempered (the shop in town couldn’t provide tempering). Because the glass guys wanted to ensure they made the cut exactly how we wanted it, they asked David to make a template for them and have it in their hands by the next day.
Fortunately, David was able to purchase a four-foot long piece of paper from a store here in town, and holed himself up in his shop to do all the measurements and markings. Thank goodness the man is a whiz at math, because I’m just hopeless at it.
Once the template was done, we dropped it off at the cabinet shop the next morning. Turns out the cabinet maker’s wife was going back to Chetumal that day and offered to drop it off at the glass shop for us.
If all goes according to plan, the bar top should be completed by the end of January (which probably means some time in February). David will be making a return trip once the job is complete to sign off on the final piece and pay the balance due. At that point, the top will be delivered across the border to the cabinet maker, who will then coordinate the delivery to us. Piece of cake, right? Let’s hope so.
And just so you don’t think that I’ve been just lazing around, eating bonbons, and watching dreck TV, I’ve been busy painting the kitchen walls and went on a cooking binge. Maybe because it felt so long since I could just cook without having to dodge plastic tarps and concrete dust, but I just needed to spend time in the kitchen.
In one day, I made chocolate chip cookies,

 A batch of Yorkshire puddings,

and filled a roasting pan with potatoes, onions, carrots, and two decent sized bone-in chicken breasts and let that do its thing in the oven.
I’ve also cranked out corn muffins, fish fillet sandwiches, roasted potato wedges, a big batch of pasta sauce, French-style bread, and pizza dough, to name just a few. Man, do I love having the space to spread out and prep. Without a doubt, my kitchen ROCKS!
We hope that after the holidays are over we can take delivery of the range hood shelf and the final piece of countertop that goes behind the range. When they show up, you guys will be among the first to know.
P.S. With today being the official start of winter, the weather here definitely has a nip in the air. Right now, it's about 64 degrees with a brisk wind. Sweaters, jeans, and socks have been dug out of storage and donned. If this keeps up, mittens may be required.

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