Sunday, April 20, 2008

Winter in April

This morning's snowfall came as no surprise, and as I write, the beauty of it remains only in these photos.

So as the folks are attempting to finish laying the tile on our kitchen floor, I thought I'd share a few of these with you. . .

from the windows. . .

from the bedroom, left, then right. . .

the kitchen's view. . .

and moving back to normal. . .

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Not in 97 Years

Yesterday as I sat at the computer and glanced outside my studio window, I did a double-take as the falling petals from our Magnolia stellata appeared as snowflakes.

This morning however, there is no doubt. Although most of the snow has now melted and the blossoms of the weeping cherry (Prunus subhirtella var. pendula) appear to be intact, we awoke to 32 degrees and a snow-covered garden. Another 6 inches is forecast in higher elevations, adding to the base at ski resorts.

Today marked a record: not in 97 years (April 11, 1911) have we had measurable snow this late in April. And since the temperature is expected to be in the high 20's by tomorrow morning (over 50 years since that happened), we best cover those vegetables which have already been planted.

Hmm. . . must be global warming. Not.

George Taylor, the director of Oregon's Climate Service, who is responsible for monitoring and predicting the state's weather, has "retired". Taylor has a master's degree in meteorology and has been Oregon's climatologist since 1991. In an interview this week, he stated that we have actually had global cooling from 1934 to 2007.

Well, don't present facts to Oregon's Democrat Governor Ted Kulongoski (former attorney and career politician), who stripped George Taylor's title and who has his own ideas about global warming. It seems Kulongoski has named a task force to support his personal agenda, and oh by the way, they will be housed in the same place that Taylor vacates.

And despite scientific facts against the warming of the earth, Al Gore will not be dissuaded as he flies around the country in his fuel-burning jet in support of his recent massive $300-million-dollar campaign blitz. The indoctrination of global warming is about to get in full gear.

So there you have it. You vill believe in it even though the scientific facts are showing otherwise!

Guess that's enough for today. . . they are laying tile in our kitchen at the moment, and surely they are in need my supervision.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Kitchen Redo

After 15 years we are once again updating our kitchen. On occasion we have discussed 'if we were to redo this room, how do we see it', until we decided that the time is now. Tearing it all out and starting over has not been the plan, but rather making quality cosmetic changes while keeping costs contained.

Several of our appliances still look like new and work great, but after 25 years of age we are likely pushing our luck, and the white tile, which was inexpensive and a quick-fix at the time we bought the house, is in need of a refresh. So much of our day is lived in this area, that it is important to enjoy it in conjunction with the adjacent screen-covered gazebo we added last summer.

We selected a new sink (one deep enough to wash a sizable pot), faucet (expensive but quality and pretty sweet), microwave and oven (both convection), and the granite and floor tile in very short order. Since I tend to be partial to earth tones - sand, sienna, pale yellow ochre, jade green - the choices become limited, thus immediate decisions can be made - either you like it or you don't. . . a quick mental yes or no is in order. I have found that should I stand and ponder for a very long period, then likely it would not be the correct choice.

It only required one short visit to a cabinet maker to realize that our kitchen cabinets, although 25 years old, are current in design, in great condition and are quality double-framed, solid-wood construction, so we decided to give them an opportunity to shine and search out ways to preserve them.

A recent Home Show introduced us to a product, N-hance (, and two bright and industrious young men who own the business and with whom it was a delight to work. It was surprisingly economical and cost-effective, while the process was odor-free, water-based, and offered a great like-new result. Thank you Sam and Tim!

Our fabricator for the granite and tile was selected from several bids and dates are confirmed for rippin' out the old and puttin' in the new. Electrical changes have nearly been complete, and the plumber has coordinated his work with the fabricator.

So far, so good as all seems to be falling into place. We'll keep you posted.

Oh, one more thing: we went shopping yesterday for a brief period. As we entered the going-out-of-business furniture store of wall-to-wall items, a pleasant young man greeted us. We asked, "Where are your bar stools?", to which he replied, "Well, if we have any, they'll be in the far left corner" (pointing). We proceeded in that direction and realized he was following when we heard, "How many do you need?"

"Four", we responded.

He asked, "Do you want them to match?"

(I won't go on and tell you that as we approached the area and saw the space void of bar stools, that the young man then asked if we wanted swivel or fixed. . . )

But I do want to ask you one question: do you suppose people have any formation of thoughts prior to posing a question to customers?