Friday, March 28, 2014

Construction - Finsihed Product - Before and After

We are actually back in our kitchen!   And our house is clean!!!

Our porch

The Kitchen

Going from Kitchen to Dining Room


Kitchen and new island

From Kitchen to new Indoor/Outdoor Room

New Island now with sink looking into the Dining Room

From Indoor/Outdoor room looking to the Dining Room

Indoor/Outdoor room looking toward Kitchen pass through

Indoor/Outdoor room from the outside

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Construction Just About Over!

We're hoping that on Friday we have the final inspections done and the builder does their cleaning of the house.  Wife has already started moving things back in an cleaning out cupboards.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Cooking Enabled - Return of the Wok

With our new gas powered cook top with super hot 16000 BTU burner, I have gotten back to real cooking for the first time since the remodel began.  AND I brought back into action my beloved Wok.  The story behind the wok is that it is the one and only thing I ever purchased from an infomercial. 

It was during the late 80's.  I was doing something in our kitchen at our house in Columbia, MD on a Saturday afternoon.  The kids were doing something and for some reason this infomercial was playing.  I started to pay attention.  They were talking about the virtues of a real Chinese wok.  That they were hand made and that they had thicker bottoms than sides and this led to better heat distribution, etc, etc and this is essential to get the real hot temperatures that create that distinctive Chinese stir fried flavor. 

I'm watching the video of the workmen pounding out the woks as I am dialing the 1-800 number.  As they show the wok in action, I'm placing my order.  "Of course I want the extra bamboo steamers at only some nominal cost."

Truth be told, the wok was everything it was cracked up to be.  It totally changed how my Asian food came out.  With its adapter ring I made it work fine on the old style electric stoves we had.  But when we moved to our current house, we got one of the ceramic smooth top stove and I could no longer use the wok.  So it has sat idle for 13 years.

But today, it was called out of retirement and it was as if it had never been gone.  Dinner was Cambodian and it was great.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Construction Home Stretch - Appliance Day

Only a couple of more weeks.  Today they took out our old appliances and brought in the new ones.

Dishwasher, stove top, oven, refrigerator - all gone

New appliances arriving

New dishwasher, exhaust hood, stove top, oven and refrigerator in
(It's all stainless steel but there are protective covers on a number for the time being)

Friday, March 14, 2014

Quick Construction Update - We's In The Final Stretch

They've been putting in the tile all this week.  A slow process that has meant we have no use of the kitchen.  Put the refrigerator in the garage so we're accessing food through the garage door (can't walk on the newly laid tile) and using paper plates and the microwave.  Fun.  But it should only be another couple of weeks until its done.

New Tiling - Sans Grout

The new stainless steel back splash is in too

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Construction Progress Report

Things are really starting to come together.  Since my last update, they have painted, finished the exterior stucco, and brought in the new cabinet island.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Not Quite The Baby Whisperer

I got to go out to Washington DC and meet the newest addition to the de-I clan and catch up with the entire Pulandia clan.  I lucked out with the weather (they got another snow dump just 24 hours after I left).

How one relates to a new generation

2.2 is not much for talking with Grandpa
BUT she will text...a lot
Here she is with me while we text to each other

And of course there is the quality time that comes from 2.2 and 2.3 simultaneously plopping themselves down and showing you their video games (Mine Craft in this case).  2.3 is particularly insistent that you pay close attention while he shows you all the things he's doing at breakneck speed.

Proper procedure for making use of a grandparent

 Ah the joy of being a Mother with your lovely 6 week old son

"Well hello there Daddy-o"

"See how sweet and quiet he is.  I'm sure he'd be just an angel for you and I could sure use to take a shower, brush my teeth, answer emails, go out and visit friends...."

Baby now transferred and waking up
"Hey wait a minute.  This isn't Mom"

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Ambush in Chicago - Another de-I/Magical Unicorn Pony God of Travel Thriller

In the foothills of Mount Olympus is the not so renowned Mount Olympless, where all those not quite ready for prime time sub-deities like Morfag - God of Southern California Traffic, and Quexcatotyl - God of Heat in Ethnic Food Dishes live, carrying out their duties and hoping that some major god like Apollo, or Hera, or Thor or Vishnu or somebody will screw up and they can move up the deity ladder of promotion

And her simmering in her own stew of self-made spite sits Magical Unicorn Pony God of Travel (MUPGT the Great in her own mind) watches her display screen of travel.  Plotting revenge.  Revenge and the traveler who has consistently been thumbing his nose at her.  The cursed de-I!

This past week I was in Denver for business on Wednesday and Thursday.  Then on Thursday I flew to Washington from Denver to spend a couple of days in Pulandia with Venerable Daughter #2 and the newest heir, 2.4 not to mention spend time with the rest of the clan.  All has gone well.  I even got upgraded on my Denver to DC flight to a business class, lay flat seat, with a meal...sweet.  I had a lovely time just hanging around, doing my turns with little 2.4 (more on that in another post) and just catching up.  So Sunday morning I headed home on a flight that had a change of planes in Chicago.

MUPGT, The Great Only in Her Head, watches as de-I heads to Reagan National to catch his plane.  Hmmmm she thinks, I have heretofore been going at this dratted mortal head on - mano a equine deitieo - with notable lack of success.  It is time to use a more subtle approach...lull him into a sense of false security...and then SPRING THE TRAP!  Bwahahahahahahahahahahaha.

The flight to Chicago is no problem.  I once again am bringing warmth and good weather.  It was below freezing in DC when I arrived but went to the upper 40's the day after.  There is a huge storm coming in on Monday.  But it is going south of Chicago so will not affect the flights there.  No problems.

Oh yes, de-I.  That's right.  There's nothing to worry about.  Bwahahahahahahahaha

We actually land at O'Hara early.  Sweet.  I have a pretty tight connection so I can use the extra time to refill my water bottle and get a snack for the 3 hour flight to Albuquerque.  I'm reading my book as we taxi in when the Captain announces, "We're early but the gate isn't open yet so we will sit here for 8 minutes or so."

Mmpff, chuckle, mmpff

8 minutes becomes 10 minutes becomes 15 minutes.  My window of time is getting less and less.  20 minutes.  30 minutes.  The Captain.  "I don't know why we haven't been given a gate yet?"  I am having a horrible feeling.  This feels like the work of....MAGICAL UNICORN PONY GOD OF TRAVEL!

Yes, YES, YES! Bwahahahahahahahahaha.  You will be stuck in Chicago just like I got your lovely Wife just weeks ago puny mortal!

We finally get into the gate and I have less than 15 minutes to get to my plane before the doors close.

Oh and did I tell you de-I that I thought I would give you this little bit of hope but will squash by having you arrive in gate C24 and have to get to gate F11C as far as is possible to go in the United terminal?   Bwahahahahahahahahaha

I get out of the plane.  I already knew the gate distance by checking on my phone before we got to the gate.  I knew the challenge.  I dash down the terminal.  I avoid the escalator down to the walk tunnel between C and B terminals and run down the steps.  The moving sidewalks are clear and I can move quickly.  The escalator up is clear so I can bound up it.  MUPGT has forgotten to factor in one thing.  I am in shape!  I am moving.  I get to the F terminal.  It can be packed but isn't and I can keep my pace to its far end.  I am still minutes later than the close doors time.  I bound down the escalator to the gate.  It's still open. 

NOOOOOOO.  He can't have made it!  How could he!

Not only do I make it but I am given the last First Class Upgrade.  As we take off - on time - I toast the Magical Unicorn Pony God of Travel with my Gin and Tonic while taking a bite of my imported from Jordan, no preservative hummus (really).  Better luck next time old chap.