I forgot to take "before" pictures to compare against the "after," but all of you who have seen our kitchen in its former incarnation should appreciate the improvement. The 10-year-old basic formica, annoyingly shallow double sink, and shoddy faucet are gone. Also gone (and I mean "gone" as the garbage men just picked them up this morning) are the cabinets that used to hang over the counter. (You remember those, Frank--the ones you used to bang your head against every time you visited?) We replaced those with the glass front cabinet you see against the wall in the picture. We also replaced the small, shallow cabinets that were around the fridge with fuller and deeper ones. Finally--and this was the best thing--we had the guys build a wall to support a second, bar-level counter.
The new counter is granite: Home Depot's new supposedly care-free granite. It's gorgeous; the pictures don't really do it justice. The only drawback of having such a lovely and classy-looking countertop is that it makes our crummy old builder's grade electric stove look even worse than it really is. Well, hopefully we can take care of that is a couple of years.
We love our new kitchen! The counter is simply beautiful. And we love being able to sit at the counter. It's so exciting to be able to pass things easily between the cooking and the eating areas, that we are getting rather silly about it. "Look, Mom, I am HANDING YOU my dish. Will you HAND ME the milk?" We are so easily amused. :o)
My Mason-Dixon dishcloths are proving quite handy, now that I am actually drying dishes and putting them away, rather than leaving them in the drying rack in one side of the double sink for days on end (cringe). My first two Mason-Dixon inspired placemats (using their log cabin knitting technique with washable dishcloth cotton yarn) are on the bar. My plan is to make six of these, changing the order in which I use the colors.
Here is a photo of the Bamboo yarn cropped cardigan, finally finished up. This turned out wonderfully, which actually was a very nice surprise. Before I sewed it together, I was feeling quite disappointed with it. The pieces just looked messy and plain awful--the pieces were small, and the yarn was so floppy, that I was having trouble looking past the messy ends to see the shape it would eventually take on. But once I finished it and tried it on, I knew I loved it. I've already worn it twice, and I only finished it about a week ago. The picture also shows ... (drum roll) ... my progress on the Endless Denim Cardigan. I promised I would get back to it, and I have. Maybe I'll finish it by Christmas (snort). Maybe pigs will fly. You never know.
Look at all the progress the kids have made on the potholder loop rug! I think we are about 2/3 finished, maybe more. It's going to look very cool when it is done. In the meantime, it sits in a basket between the TV and the fireplace, and any of us can pick it up and do a row or two, or loop together a bunch of loops. You never know when you might feel the need to be silly and crafty at the same time.
In Other News ... Next Tuesday, A starts his new school, The Montessori Academy of New Jersey (link provided, in case anyone wants to see pictures of the school). He is really looking forward to going back to school, although I know it will be an adjustment for him. I was flattered when his new teacher told me that he had told her he had enjoyed being homeschooled. I guess that's a compliment, isn't it? We are going to continue doing Latin at home, on our own, and we will continue to use our history and science resources to get suggestions for supplying his reading habit. Friends of ours already provided this school with a full set of The Story of the World (books and cds), which I think is a good sign. I also know that he will be able to do Algebra there, and physics, chemistry--pretty much anything that interests him. The school is eager to keep their upper elementary kids there, and is hoping to provide a curriculum that will take them through 8th grade. I have my fingers crossed.
Meanwhile, C starts 2nd Grade at her school next Wednesday. She does not have her best friend in her class, and she is very unhappy about that. However, she also does not have the horrible teacher that A had for 2nd grade (and who, let's be honest, probably drove us away from the school), and Rich and I are very happy about that.