Been There, Done That: Renovation after renovation

Our house has almost literally been turned inside out lately. Since the plumber came and made a lot of our dreams come true, we’ve had our utility room as empty as we could get it. Cupboards that were supposed to be mounted on the walls, but never got that far, now sit on the back porch. They’re joined by nearly everything else we had stashed in hidey-holes. I haven’t been able to find anything in months.

The plumber was done long ago, but nothing much can go back in that room until the floor gets repaired. We’re up to Plan C or D on how that’s going to go.

OK then, moving on. The washer we got free from a friend no longer can do even little loads. We plan to call for service on it, but if it costs more than a new one, out it goes. And there’s the rub.

We can’t get it out. The big beautiful refrigerator we bought a couple of years ago is too big for the spot it’s in. It blocks at least a third of the doorway into the utility room. Dave has to go in there sideways.
The fridge needs to go back in the kitchen where it belongs. When we first moved here 27 years ago, we had a big behemoth of a fridge in there that made noises like the Starship Enterprise.

My aunt thought we should be alarmed about the noise. Nope, I’ll be alarmed if it stops making noise. It eventually did, which meant it went off to Valhalla and we got a smaller one that we put in the hallway for more kitchen space.

Now, we need more hallway space and so back to the kitchen it goes. But I’d really like to redo the kitchen floor first. That linoleum has served its time and has the battle scars to prove it.

I’ve been threatening to paint the kitchen for a while now, even bought the paint already. (I had planned on one more snow day last winter and wanted to be prepared). What better time to paint than when I don’t have to be careful about the floor?

The space where the fridge was going was currently occupied by two cabinets mounted up on the wall. That proved to be a challenge. For one thing, we couldn’t find a battery for Dave’s drill. I have a whole bag of chargers, and batteries, but not the one for the drill.

And we couldn’t find another drill. Seriously, we have a 30×40-foot garage and there isn’t a functional drill on the property? During my third extensive search of the garage, I finally found a drill with a battery and Dave got the smaller cupboard down.

The big one in the corner was a whole ‘nother story. A few screws were just spinning, not coming out. I was just going to have to paint around it and figure it out later. That kind of scared me. We tried everything to pull it off the wall. I was convinced it would just fall and crush me when I went underneath it to paint.

Our friend who installed the new floor was able to wrestle the cabinet down. He also moved the stove to get all the linoleum out. I learned I need to clean behind that thing a lot more often. He said it’s a good thing the oven doesn’t work or we’d have caught the place on fire.

I know why I don’t like to clean under it. The occasional penny and fuzzy chewstick from dogs who long ago crossed the Rainbow Bridge are nothing compared to the “spine” I actually touched. Still pretty freaked out about that.

It clogged the vacuum, I plucked it out of the end of the hose and set it on the stove. I thought it was some kind of pine tree dropping.

Dave picked it up and studied it for a second, before identifying it as the “spine of something.”
I continued vacuuming while that sunk in, finally registering that it must be the backbone of some tiny little creature. Like, ugh, a mouse. OMG!! I touched it!!

Now, we spend a lot of time walking past the refrigerator to get to where we think it is before remembering it isn’t.

I still have to work on the paint “hole” behind the fridge and I still can’t find anything as I now have even fewer cupboards and cubbies for stuff in the kitchen.

But, the kitchen is beautiful and the refrigerator holds a place of honor in it. Life is good.

Laura Nethken
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