Buckle up people it's gonna be a long post. Apologies that I've been late in posting, it is summer and things are busy at work and home even with the other craziness of the world. I still am hole up here and honestly, just puttering away. Not a whole lot different than most summers with the exception of no dog events or family visiting which does indeed make me very sad. Enough of that!
We are headed into our summer heat and the gardens are showing their hot flowers. I honestly didn't have great flowering in the gardens this year. We had a really odd spring and early summer and I think that is why I had little to no iris blooming this year which was odd. The grasshoppers have now eaten the remaining rhubarb and even the day lillies aren't showing much budding. Here are a few shots of what we see right now tho.
The baby hawks left the nest in the last few weeks seemingly somewhat permanently. Once they had their first flights they still hung around the nest for about 2 weeks. Screaming and yelling for food from parents (which didn't arrive) every morning. In the past week they've not been around much. They fly over quite a bit but are not returning to the nest at all. Ball-sy little buggers though as I saw them tailing a young bald eagle one day that had flown over our back yard.
We've had some deck time but now that the hawks are gone and I feel we can play out front (agility practice at least and only if I am out there doing something) - it is too hot. So it goes. The pack and I are very stressed as we see Elliott starting to fade (he has cancer) and I do my best to keep him comfortable. I resorted to trying a cone for him to keep him from licking his open lesions - but 4 days of that only resulted in him shaking his head so much he wore sores into the back of his ears. So I am now just keeping an eye on him, reminding him to not lick so much and giving him some herbaprin to help with pain and calm. He is losing weight quickly as well. Sadly I think we are nearing the end but we will see. He still loves laying in the sun alternating with indoors for cool and he does occasionally come lay with me on the couch or swing.
My poor dogs are so bored right now (we'd normally be busy doing shows and training and stuff) so I broke out the food treat balls for the poodles to eat their breakfast a few days last week. They enjoyed it.
I love being able to sit out front or in the back patio with my coffee with them some mornings and some evenings (before it got hot).
Okay so now on to the project....are you still with me? I am over the hump (thanks Linda). It has been a rock and roll time for sure. The cabinets arrived the week after the 4th and they delivered them. Well they had one of their new employees drive them out without any help! So that college student learned the art of working smarter not harder. I dug out my hand truck and we opened the boxes on the truck so we'd have something to grab on to, put each on the cart and brought them in the house. Check!
Installation was next. Nope never done this before. I treated myself to a new laser level to help. It did but not nearly as "easy to use" as the magic I was lead to believe it had.
Got my lines drawn on the wall for the tops (because the floors are not level in any house). Next was to install my EZ-Level cabinet leveling system. I'd found this online and will say it does make things really nice. The lesson I did learn though is that for my situation, I really should have had 2 sets on each of the cabinets over by the sink because my sink cabinet needed to be lifted over the plumbing it wasn't realistic to attach the run of cabinets together then level them (which is how we did the other wall of cabinets). Regardless I did get them installed and it is a super slick system for doing base cabinets. Made in the USA and shipped from Florida. Worth the $120-ish.
As with most projects, I have to do things by myself so I also learn to improvise. Tape helped hold them in place while I screwed them on to the cabinets. Each of those little boxes has a little flipper in it that as you turn the screw rods will move up and down.
So cabinets went in in about 8 hours with Linda's help and her great suggestions on how to get the sink cabinet down in its spot correctly (after I drilled out the plumbing holes).
I absolutely LOVE the drawers and was able to move all my crap scattered around the house into them. Yes I'll need to unload some when I put the counter tops on but it is worth it. Drawers ARE THE TICKET. They are full extension and soft close. No more having to get on my hands and knees to get into base cupboards. If you ever do your own kitchen I highly recommend going that way!
In the past week one of my counter tops arrived. If you remember I had all planned out that I was going to order stock, cheapo laminate counter tops and just do the Leggari epoxy on them (you saw the samples in an earlier post). Well, while the counters I wanted are available, apparently those of us in Montana cannot have them. Once I set "my store" (required to get the free store pickup) to Helena, the counters I selected were not available - not even to deliver to my home! WTF! I was so ticked off! Change of plans then, based on the total cost of that and epoxy I was able to order butcher block for about the same amount. Apparently the Universe thought that was a better choice. Over the weekend I sucked it up and cut the pieces for the sink wall including the sink cut out. I will tell you that first cut is hard when you know if you screw it up you are out $300 of counter! Also cutting through 1 1/2 inches of hardwood is not for the faint of heart. I ordered ash (cheapest and lightest color) and spent a week researching finishes. I've landed on using oil and oil/wax conditioner. Yes, there are more plastic durable top coats but I don't think something I need to use a respirator to apply is something I want in my kitchen. Actually that was good because I ended up doing the sink cut out in my kitchen and therefore am finishing it there. I did a sample of the oil on the bottom of one, turned out too dark, landed on one coat of Annie Sloan Old White chalk paint as a wash on it first, sand it, then start using Howard Butcher Block Oil to season it, which will then be coated with Howard Butcher Block Conditioner (oil/wax) to completely seal. Praise God the sink cut out worked and the sink fits!
Oh and I got the hardware on the cabinets. Still have to find 2 more glass knobs (hopefully Hobby Lobby will restock) and again, drilling that first hole in my expensive cabinets caused me some stress.
So there we are as of right now. Oiling the counter I have, waiting for the other to be delivered (apparently it is in Butte but I've not heard a peep on delivery). Then sink install and plumbing and the big stuff is done. Trim will happen after that. Hope by mid August this project will be in the books - fingers crossed. It's been a learning experience!