Thursday January 6th, 2011

The exercise:

Let us write about: the first.

Since the kitchen was the first room we moved into.

Today's the final day of the before and after renovation pictures. We'll do Four Line Prose Friday tomorrow, Four Line Poem Saturday after that, and then I'll try to cobble together my 2010 year in review post for Sunday.

I finally got the smoke alarm attached to the ceiling today, after finding the drill bit I needed. Then I got the bedroom curtain put up. Then I went out and chopped a whole lot of wood, which felt good. Tomorrow I'm hoping to at last finish the baseboards.


I think this is my favorite before picture. Both because it really shows how terrible the kitchen was when we first saw it and because it perfectly captures Kat's disgust with the place:

On the floor on the left is the old bathroom sink. The hot water tank got tossed and we installed a full-sized one in the basement, where it's nicely out of the way. The cupboard doors were... around somewhere, desperately needing painting. Here's the view from the living room:

Oh, there are the cupboard doors - leaning on the old stove. Here's a proper look at the decrepit windows we replaced:

No, the one on the right didn't close properly, thanks for asking though. Here's the updated kitchen counter:

We bought an eight foot countertop because we wanted to extend it to the wall. We needed nine feet, but that would have required a custom countertop and that was well out of our budget. As it turned out, the bit we had to cut out for the sink fit perfectly in that last foot of space.

That's the stove we bought at the thrift shop, and beside it is the fridge one of Kat's relatives donated to the cause. The red garbage can was our first purchase for the new home, made shortly after seeing the inside for the first time. It was probably more symbolic than we realized.

Here's the updated view from the living room:

What's new: the countertop, the sink, the paint on the walls and cupboards and ceiling and door, the trim around the door, the baseboards on the ceiling, the light fixture, the window, the stove (sorta), the fridge (sorta), and the linoleum.

What's old: just the structure.

What's left to do: all the baseboards. We're thinking of getting an under the counter dishwasher at some point as well.

I shall leave you with one last picture - the sunset on our first night in the cabin:


Greg said...

Wow, you were right, the kitchen transformation is astounding. You've done a really great job with it too, I feel like I want to cook there! I'd want a little more counter space myself, but then I bake and that requires a bit of elbow room. I don't know why, but I really love that wood-burner that heats the rooms -- and the cast-iron pot on top of it that points out it doubles as a hot-plate is even better :)
Congratulations on the whole renovation project, it's superb!
(Oh, and the sunset picture is lovely.)

The first
They called him Primus because he was their first,
And each boy after that was similarly named.
Daughters were never cared for, all were called Helen,
And for that, their mother was blamed.

He left school early, the first to get free,
And married the first woman who'd have him,
The subsequent divorce, the first of three,
Made him the first to be stony and grim.

He was the first to work out, the first to compete,
He had his first heart attack on stage,
He was first to the hospital where they cut off his feet,
And told him to start acting his age.

Yet ninety years on he's now bucking the trend,
He's buried all but one of his brothers,
He's perfectly happy, doesn't want it to end,
Doesn't want to end up like the others.

[Ventiseptimus read the eulogy at Primus's funeral.]

morganna said...

"The first shall be last."

The booming voice echoed over the deep canyon shining in the sunset glow.

Richard turned to Penny. "How odd. What do you suppose that means?"

Penny smiled wickedly. "Oh, just you've been getting ahead of yourself lately.' She reached out and shoved Richard over the canyon edge.

She paused only long enough to see him hit the canyon floor before stepping into the arms of the big man behind her. She smiled at him. "Well, that takes care of that." Together, they climbed into her car and drove off into their new life.

morganna said...

Forgot to say, Marc, that kitchen looks amazing. I think I would have run screaming away at the first sight of that cabin. Congratulations to you and Kat for your fortitude and skill in returning it to a habitable state.

Vicki said...

He always complained that he wasn’t her first – her first kiss, her first lover, or her first husband. “We won’t have any firsts together,” he said.

“We’ll have plenty of firsts,” she said. “Neither of us have been to Hawaii. We could go there. That would be a first.”

“It doesn’t count,” he replied. “I don’t want to go to Hawaii.”

“Then what do you want?”

“I want those firsts. Those firsts that define who you are as a person. Those firsts that you never forget. Those firsts that I saved for someone like you. Why couldn’t you save your firsts for me?”

“Don’t you see?” she said. “I can’t change the past. Those firsts are gone. To be honest, I don’t really care about those firsts. What I do care about are the lasts. I want you to be the last one I kiss, the last lover I ever have, and the last person I see. Isn’t that so much more important than your firsts?”

summerfield said...

aww, marc, that kitchen looks splendid! and yes, like morganna, i'd have gone screaming at the sight of that kitchen, and more so the bathroom. whew! very nice.

and i love the photo of the sunset.

i wrote something very similar to vicki's so i had to change course. here's what i came up with.


The anomaly does not escape Kalan 's keen eye and it is the first thing he notices of this man who claims to be Father Richard.

The priest takes a pack of cigarette from his pocket, shakes it and a stick peeks out of the pack. He puts the stick between his lips and places the pack down on the coffee table in front of him. He takes the small book of matches from the table, the one that came from one of the restaurant near the church, The Queen's Plate. He sucks the cigarette and blows out the smoke.

"Sit down, Kalan. You know you're not going anywhere soon, so you might as well be..shall we say, friendly? At least?" 'Father Richard' says as he motions Kalan to sit on the arm chair opposite him.

"Who do you work for, and who are you? What do you want from me?" Kalan hisses.

"The documents that Patty took at the church. They're not complete. I reckon you have the rest of it."

"What document are you fuckin' talking about?" Thoughts run through Kalan's mind, trying to figure out what the sonofabitch is trying to say.

The door opens, the person wearing the heavy coat enters and motions at 'Father Richard'. He pulls from his right pants pocket a car key. And that confirms Kalan's first anomaly: the real Father Richard kept his car key in his left pocket because he was left handed. This impostor is definitely right handed.

But what of the face? Plastic surgery?

Then it occurred to Kalan: Father Richard has a twin?

Watermark said...

Marc: What a transformation!! I can fully understand Kat's before expression :) And that's a beautiful sunset :)

Didn't write a piece for today but just had to commend you on the kitchen :)

Enjoyed everyone's postings today too :)

Marc said...

Greg - yeah, we probably added two feet to what was there before and it's still not enough. But we don't have room for more, so it'll do for now. When we build the proper house a few years down the road, though...

Great poem. The last bit made me laugh :)

Morganna - haha, that was unexpected. Nicely done. And thank you for the comments on the renos :)

Vicki - I really like the woman's philosophy in that. Well stated. A rather brilliant way to end that argument, I reckon. At least, I hope it would :)

Summerfield - ack, an evil twin! This keeps getting better and better :)

Watermark - thanks very much :D

Zhongming said...


The first thing that I've got to do is to start writing again. I've got to seriously ignore that inner editor which keep obstructing and interfere with my thoughts. I have to remind myself that every new piece of writing is a new beginning and that makes me a beginner every time I start to write. Even if I have nothing to write I can always look at what's happening around me and put them into words with details that makes interesting for reader to read. I'm not happy with what I've written but who cares! Nobody is gonna give you credit for whatever messes you've created but so what! I am a writer and this place has all that is to nurture me. As long as I continue to write, someday I'll see the true picture behind my own hidden personality which I can't see but clearly presented on what I've written. So that makes it my first grumble of year 2011! 

Marc said...

Zhongming - good to see you back :)

And you've come to the right place to practice, so get to practicing! :)