This picture our son took of our youngest granddaughter says Spring and Sunshine to me.
It captures that essence as well as our granddaughter's thoughtful and curious nature.
I know it's not officially Spring yet but sunshine and daffodils are as good as a spring tonic to me.
I'm just craving light after so many rainy days, are you?
RH helped me have more light in my kitchen recently when he drastically pruned two big holly bushes that are up against the house, one that completely blocked the smaller window in our kitchen.
I've never shown the "black hole" on that end of the kitchen but here's a picture from Christmas where you can see it down at the end. That small window that is covered with a holly bush is the exact same one that you can see in the corner of the big window. Huge bush and made that end of the kitchen so dark.
Now here is the same small window with much of the lower part of the bush removed. Light! Even on a cloudy day.
I know that most of you would probably have cut down the whole bush--but then where would our large finch family live? And where would the cardinals shelter from the rain? They were upset enough with us from this trim job. You should have heard them fussing!
And even the big window has more light now and I can see more of our yard to check up on BreeBree and James Mason when they're in the pen playing. (That green pile on the ground was just one of the huge piles of holly branches that has now been taken to our neighbor's burn pile.)
I'm perfectly happy with the additional light now in my kitchen, so happy that I went around snapping pictures as RH was snipping away outside.
That's my pink, green and blue blouse reflected below in the silver tray behind my cooking spirits. Okay, I lied about it being a blouse, I still had my gown and robe on. But not a lie about the liquor being used only for cooking--RH enjoys his glass of wine before supper or a cold beer after cutting the grass but honestly, all of that there is what I use in recipes.
Well, there is that bottle of citron Gray Goose that Doreen's husband gave us. That's going to make excellent Bloody Mary's when we have the family over for brunch this spring, my occasional indulgence when they're as good as the men in our family make them.
And then the sun came out for a peek and I went nuts snapping photos of it shining on things in my kitchen that weren't used to seeing it.
If you remember, the open shelves and pot hanger was the first project RH did here after we moved in two years ago in January, with the help of his brother.
Oh, look at my little brown-eyed girl basking in the sunshine!
Here's the two old agate enamelware buckets we use to hold potatoes and onions. We've had them almost as long as we've been married and that's a long time.
I know I already showed you my pot rack but it's just the absolute best solution for a small galley kitchen. The stainless steel rod had been in the barn at the old house for years and is one example of RH being right in never throwing anything away.
One example but many more examples that might not agree with that if you think about how many dumpsters Zack and Courtney had to rent just to empty out two barns, a smokehouse and cowshed when they bought our place.
Here's another space saver, a granite lazy susan that our daughter Christy gave RH for Father's Day one year. It holds all my vinegars and oils.
Benita, honey, I know you're just dying to clear off all my kitchen counters and hide my stuff away. You too, Doreen! But for all of my friends and family whose fingers are itching to do the same thing, you have to accept that I'm one of the few who likes my stuff out keeping me company. I've tried the other way and got lonesome.
And you'll find post-it-notes up on my cabinets, and granddaughters' drawings, and quotes I'm loving, and prayer lists that I can see every day.
A new addition to my kitchen is the oil painting I commissioned from my daughter-in-law years ago with a paraphrased Bible verse from Proverbs done in raised letters all over the painting. I couldn't capture the writing in the photograph but it says:
Words satisfy the mind as much as fruit does the stomach; good talk is as satisfying as a good harvest.It originally hung over my dining table at Valley View, a reminder of how important good conversation is, then moved over the bathroom mirror here, the only place I had room for it.
But with a planned bathroom repainting here soon and finding a quirky old black and white picture at an antique store in December added to the bathroom, and another second one, with plans to look for more, I took all pictures and objects with color out of that room and found the perfect place for this in my kitchen over the door leading to our breakfast room/dining room/sitting room.
Here's a picture of RH's kitchen project of last summer. He, with the help of two sons, replaced the old tiles that were not only ugly but downright dangerous with luxury vinyl plank flooring in a pattern I chose called Scratched Stone. I absolutely love it and after 12 years of having black and white checkerboard tile in our kitchen at Valley View--gorgeous but showed dirt so easily--this distressed look is wonderful for giving RH an excuse to put off his mopping chore. That white streak is sunshine!
After putting down the new floor they moved a cabinet over some five or six inches where it would be snug against the stove. The gap, of course, was because stoves were much larger when this house was built in 1935. I toyed with the idea of choosing a retro replica because I badly wanted a white range to match the white dishwasher and fridge. I checked with the company that Rue's stove was from but hers is gas and ours would have to be electric and they didn't have the same good reputation as the gas ones.
And the really expensive white larger electric stoves were just that, really expensive. So I settled for a new one that cooks great and has a beautiful blue enamel interior but is no star in a blog-worthy world of beautiful gas stoves.
I'm just glad there is no longer a gap between stove and counter.
Here, see below how the coffee pot counter is moved down from where the upper cabinet is? That's the cabinet the guys moved. I love the little bit of extra floor space it gives us and makes a perfect place for my babies' water bowl on the floor but if you're the one putting down a fresh bowl of water for BreeBree and James Mason, watch out for your head on that upper cabinet!
Both RH and I have seen STARS a time or two until we learned our lesson.
And there's something else I taped up on my cabinets, a menu I want to make soon and don't want to forget.
After the new floor was finished we went looking for something to put in the space below to hold stuff. We looked at expensive made-in-china cabinets and rolling tables, etc. in stores and I got stubbornly passive-aggressive and refused to buy any of them.
We were both frustrated with the whole day but I asked to be taken to the nearest antique mall where we split up with a focus on any possible contraption that could hold stuff and still have character.
RH found a dry sink! 20% off and under $70 with tax! And oh my goodness, it fit right in there with a 1/4 of an inch to spare! I tell you, passive-aggressive sometimes works!
That's me reflected in the black hole to record my victory. James Mason was very interested in it even before snacks got put inside.
But look at that raw wood showing on the cabinet next to it...wouldn't you think that we would have thought to paint it before we put the cabinet in? Or even when the kitchen walls got painted white after the new floor was put down?
Neither of us noticed it then.
And who's going to do it now after the dry sink is loaded down with stuff? Most of you would!
You're going to laugh when I tell you that the guys did paint the other side of this white cabinet when they painted the room. You can see it painted white two pictures down. I mean...?
But I was so thankful for this white cabinet that we brought with us from Florida that was leftover from a job RH was on. Rejected because the measurements were wrong, it has three drawers of storage space for all my baking things, and the cabinet guy found a beautiful piece of marble for RH to top it with.
We had intended to someday paint the wood cabinet of drawers that the microwave sits on, in the picture below. This cabinet was a tool box for RH in our old house. But I claimed the top three drawers here for spices, etc. and tools remain in the bottom two. Compromise.
Now, to a few more hopefully planned little projects--all of our projects will be little ones from now on, we've promised ourselves.
See the long florescent light on the ceiling? I don't want to insult anyone else's florescent lights, but I hate them! And since the kitchen here is one of the warmest rooms in the house I really think we need to replace it with a simple white ceiling fan with one light in it.
There's even a picture of a fan on an upper cabinet. And it will stay there until that florescent light is gone. You would be very surprised how many things actually get done if I just put a picture of it over the coffee pot.
I think I'm skipping around in order here with my pics. I put these pictures all up on the post last weekend and now am trying to write the story to go with them, not my usual way to post.
I think I just wanted to show you my solution here for storing the stacks of clean white dishtowels on top of the fridge.
The kitchen door, below. It and the trim around it need painting badly. The claw marks from five basset hounds that lived here before us are still on the outside of the door.
I'm so grateful that RH installed a storm door here after we moved. I keep the door open to the light whenever I'm in the kitchen. And BreeBree and James Mason don't have to claw on the door to get back inside from their pen, all they have to do is look at me through the glass door. Those poor bassets!
The first thing we do when we come in the kitchen in the morning is open the door to see the pond and to see if the geese have flown in yet for the day. Part of the year they sleep on another pond in the neighborhood.
And there's another little project, that blue kitchen porch railing was supposed to be painted green by now. Anyone know a good painter who would work for room and board? Oh, I forgot--that's RH!
Here's another mini project, see the light fixture over the sink in the picture below? Guess who picked that out? Ha!
Looking for something else there, folks, not sure what but I'll know it when I see it.
The kitchen cabinets could use painting too but for now I'm just calling them distressed.
The light fixture down by the open shelves is a sweet little inexpensive chandelier that was over the sink at Valley View. A sentimental favorite but I'm wanting something easier to clean for the sink area.
I kept hoping the sun would stay bright for these pictures but that's shy March for you, springtime one moment, winter the next.
It will come though, and the sun with it!
Whether March is sunny or cloudy, it is still beautiful, a harbinger of beautiful Spring.
Here's a cloudy springtime photo of our other granddaughter, taken last spring--or was it two springs ago? Maybe so because she has just had her hair cut and donated 10 inches of that blonde hair.
I'll have to ask permission to show you her new hairdo soon, after I get over the shock of our little girl growing up so quickly.
Thanks to their father for their beautiful photographs!
Wish I'd had him here to take my kitchen pictures. On the first day of Spring I'll be taking the picture below of his down and changing it to one of Spring blossoms.
A few years ago for Christmas he gave me pictures he had taken representing the four seasons of the year and I love them so much and have made a little ritual of changing them on every equinox. This winter one is frozen ice bubbles around the dogwood buds in his yard.
I know this is another one of my long posts and I hope to do much shorter ones next, but I hope you enjoyed it. I know that I always love to see the kitchens of my friends, whether they are big showstopper kitchens or small cottage kitchens.
Our daughter and son-in-law recently moved from Florida to Montana and it made me so happy to have a FaceTime tour through their house the other night.
You just have to be able to picture where your children live, don't you? And the kitchen was the room I was most waiting to see. It was gorgeous!
Thank you for bearing with me on this long post, even if you did scroll quickly through it! I wouldn't blame you at all if you did, honestly. But I love this little galley kitchen of ours so much and wanted to share it with you, now that there is more light in it.