~ Keven Sinnott, The Art and Craft of Coffee: An Enthusiast’s Guide To Selecting, Roasting, and Brewing Exquisite Coffee
If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that it has been a good week. I’ve added exercise back into my daily routine, and I’m finally beginning to feel like my normal self again. I knew for sure that things were going well when I went out to play in the snow on Thursday. During our previous snowfall, I tired easily while I was out walking around through the snow. On Thursday I walked for at least an hour, built a snowman (with M’s help, of course, because he didn’t want to be left out of the fun), and threw a few snowballs. All of that without much dwindling of personal energy.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that we finally made a decision regarding the backsplash in the kitchen. We picked out tiles way back when we were working on the renovation and design of the kitchen, but the estimates for the tile and the installation were so high that we decided we would do it ourselves. The estimates ranged from a high of $1200 to a low of $600. The area we want to tile is so small (I think it’s something like 18 x 24 inches) that the prices seemed outrageous to us. That was the case with many of the estimates we received while we were working on the kitchen. In the event you weren’t around during the kitchen renovations, this is what we started with:
There were no cabinets. Just the pantry you see next to the fridge. The counter top was nothing more than some varnished wood planks (terribly dirty, greasy varnished wood planks). There were mouse droppings and insects and holes in the floor. It was pretty bad.
This is what we changed it to:
See the white microwave with the black stove underneath it? That small area of wall between them is where we want to put a backsplash. Because cooking can get messy, especially in such a small space. In case you’re wondering, we have both black and white appliances because we kept some of the appliances that were already here (to save some money and because they were working), including the white refrigerator and the black stove/range.
Since we were working with black and white appliances, and since it seemed to work out much better than I thought when we started the kitchen project, I eventually decided we would use black and white subway tiles for the backsplash. We looked at the tiles a few times, and then a week or two ago we went to one of those big box hardware stores with our measurements and laid out the tile to see what it would look like. It didn’t take long for me to realize the tiles were, to my eye, too big for the small space. We brought home samples of smaller tiles, including those sheets of tiles with glass and ceramic (“peel and stick mosaic tiles”). Well. I didn’t like any of them. One of the problems I have with the big box stores is that it doesn’t matter where you go in the country, they all have the same stuff. That means that eventually homes will all look pretty much alike, the way certain sections of towns do now. You probably know which sections I mean. The areas you drive through that are a long strip of fast food joints, big box stores, and chain restaurants. Anywhere, U.S.A.
After much searching on the internet, I came across tin tiles used for backsplashes, ordered some samples, and we finally found something that suits us. See the tile on the far right? That’s the color we decided on. The third tile from the left is the pattern (which, it happens, matches some of the architectural elements in the house). If you come back in a couple of weeks, we should have the tiles installed. Hopefully it will work out the way I picture it. The best part is that the cost is only $84 plus shipping (since we can’t find anyone selling it out here in the Middle of Nowhere). About $100 when all is said and done.
If we were having coffee, I’d apologize for hogging the conversation with kitchen renovation talk. How are YOU? What you have you been up to this week? Read any good books lately? Seen any good movies? I’m currently reading a John Grisham novel that someone gave me. I haven’t read one his books in a very long time. It’s a fast read, and I should be finished with it soon. As for movies, M and I recently watched Boyhood, and today we’re going to see Interstellar In an IMAX theater. (As you might recall, seeing at least one film in a theater was on my list of 15 Things to do this year.)
If we were having coffee, I would thank you for stopping by and visiting with me. Let’s go look at the 10,000 blackbirds before you leave. They’re still here, and I think you’ll enjoy watching and listening to them. They’re out front, in the meadows, where they have obviously found something good to eat.
Be careful going out the driveway. It’s snow covered again, but you should be fine as it isn’t slippery. We had a slight thaw on Friday. You might have noticed that when you saw the snowman outside the kitchen window. He lost his eyes. I’ll walk you out so I can go put them back on for him. Did you see that bluebird sitting on top of his head earlier? The birds like him.
Be good, be kind, be loving. Just Be. 🙂