Sunday, August 30, 2015

Paint. Beautiful All White Paint.

Yesterday all the paint happened at our little place.  They climbed up ladders and painted the narrow ceilings up to the skylights, all those yellowed doors and the woodwork.  I've already forgotten how bad it looked in there.  Lighting has been removed, those phone jacks, that sweet cassette player and the medicine cabinets.  Drywall and paint makes it seem as if that stuff never existed.  But I have the pictures to prove it!

I realize pictures of an empty house with only white paint aren't very exciting, but I'm wanting to document it all.


Oil rubbed bronze door handles and hinges are ready to be installed.


That kitchen is going to have three schoolhouse lights in a row with a fun oil rubbed bronze fixture over the sink.  


My beachy wood floors are going in on Monday.  Floors are everything to me, so I can't wait for this next step.

The white shaker cabinets have been delayed, moving the entire project out two full weeks.  That news didn't make for the best Friday night.  Again, first world problems.  We'll find a way.

Unpacking my kitchen is going to feel like Christmas.  I miss baking!

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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Day Four

Drywall is done, electrical boxes are in and everything is taped for paint.
The wall is prepped for my oven hood and the overhead fluorescent lighting is gone forever.  I can hardly wait to see the three schoolhouse lights in that little galley kitchen.c
Cabinets arrive Monday.
Swiss coffee is the paint color.  White everywhere!

Things are happening fast.  Check back for updates.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

And so it begins

They've started!  It's exciting and a little nerve-wracking all at the same time. 

Take a peek...
















This is my kitchen!  With a wall knocked out.  See that insulation?



Is this dumpster big enough?


September 18th is the target day.  Check back for progress.

FYI, the old people smell is completely gone!

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Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened













I will not whine.  It wouldn't be right.  I spent eight days in paradise doing nothing but reading, staring at the ocean and dreaming of my next meal.  Eventually it had to end, and end it did.  It was heaven.

Can we talk about food trends?  Because there's a trend in Orange County right now and it's called butter cake.  The crazy thing about this is I've been making a butter cake for thirty years . . . and the trend is that butter cake.  Three Laguna/Newport Beach restaurants serve a butter cake.  The one you're looking at was at The Red O, a Rick Bayless restaurant in Newport Beach.  We are Rick Bayless fans, first from watching his PBS show and then, later, watching him win Top Chef Masters.  This particular butter cake was served with a passion fruit crème, coconut ice cream, marinated berries and a cookie crumb.  It was the highlight of my dinner.  Forget that steak.   

Second was this deconstructed Mexican corn.  We were supposed to share that but, you know, marriage.  It had the queso and the cilantro, all blackened in that cast iron skillet.  I can still taste it.  Again, forget the steak.



Later that night I arrived home at the Blue Cottage and picked some lemons off this tree. 



And then I saw the pomegranates and wondered if I could come back in December and pick some - and dip them in gold to hang on my Christmas tree!  Will they be on that tree in December?  Because I'd do it.



I sat on my patio almost every night to read until sunset.  Six books and I loved every single one.



We decided to make a breakfast tradition the day we leave vacation every year, so we went to Nick's on Pacific Coast Highway.  So here's the chicken and waffles.  It was a light breakfast.



My chilaquiles.  SO GOOD.



My view for the week.



This was Treasure Island Beach and it's my favorite.  I also was knocked down by a wave and then another one. 



Beautiful, yes?




The walk out of my cottage to the beach.










Goodbye, Laguna.  I will miss you.

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Friday, August 14, 2015

It was a rough day



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Great Maple and way to start vacation ...

BLT with avocado.  Perhaps six or seven slices of bacon?


Sage Parm Popovers

Apple pie with vanilla gelato.
Maple bacon donuts warm out of the oven.


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And you thought I was kidding about the books...



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Things are happening...

 
Vacation begins tomorrow morning and, as luck would have it, the call came this week to be ready for day one of renovation the day after we return from Laguna Beach.  That left us with about a day to find a furnished rental (mission accomplished!) and to move out everything but our bed.  To clarify, we get home Sunday, sleep in our bed that night and move into the rental the next morning.  Our rental is a few blocks away from our house, so we will be able to check on the contractors' progress daily.  I promise to report in, especially the minute I notice that old smell is starting to disappear.

Just to recap...

 
We are going to miss that chandelier.


 
We did manage to update the outside lighting and we're extra pleased with the results. 
 


 
Lighting.  Did I mention lighting?  I think that's been the most fun, choosing lighting.  We took that on ourselves because a couple of us are extra picky about interior lighting.  Schoolhouse lighting has been ordered for the kitchen, pendants for the front hall entryway and maybe a little crystal flush mount chandelier-like fixture for my closet.  THAT was fun.
 
I also did not expect choosing a kitchen sink to rock my world, but it did.  It's the little things...
 
I have 22 vacation books in my Boston Public Library book bag (thank you, Missa) and I'm ready to tackle the sand and work on my famous Irish tan.  We haven't left the city once in 2015 (first world problems) and this year we are extra excited to spend eight days in our favorite place.
 
Onward.
 
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Friday, July 31, 2015

Way to feel young...

If you want to feel young again, move to a 55 and over community.  All of a sudden I want to put on a bathing suit and swim in the pool!  I feel sporty driving my Toyota Camry, you guys.  My local Smith's has a place for shoppers to park their golf carts.  And all those parking spaces are taken.  There are bridge clubs and sewing clubs and bocce ball groups.  Cribbage and canasta.  Woodworking and arts and crafts!  Special speakers come and talk about estate planning and knee replacement surgery.  Young, I tell you.  I feel young!

Also, it's exceptionally quiet here.  Like you hear nothing.  One neighbor is 90-plus and when my spouse tried to ask her what time the mail typically arrived she hollered, "I CAN'T HEAR YOU."  The other guy, well, let's just take a peek at the empty box on the top of his trash can this morning.  Yes, that's an empty box of Ensure.


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