Post of epic kitchen-ness (and tall cats)

We have discovered that it’s a good thing my Annie cat isn’t about two inches longer than she is. It looks like she knows how to open the screen door and she was trying reeeeealy hard yesterday to stretch herself long enough to do it.

She doesn’t like it when she can see her people (Mum was out on the deck, knitting in the sunshine) but not get to them.

The poor love also gets distressed when she knows her people are in the house not asleep and she can’t find them. It’s all rather traumatic, according to her, so she sits and cries over her lack of people. Oddly, she doesn’t mind if we’re asleep and she can’t find us. I’ve got no idea how she feels about us being out of the house, but rather suspect that doesn’t phase her at all.

Annie is an odd cat.

Thank goodness she can’t reach the screen door handle. We’d never be able to sit out on the deck if she could.

Tonight is the big kitchen design meeting. Last week was the estimate meeting. Sunday was the “talking to our handy guy about installing the kitchen instead of letting Home Depot do it” meeting. Yesterday was the electrician meeting, so that he could explain all the things we can do to make sure there is lighting in useful places in the kitchen.

The lighting is one of the things that drives me nuts. There is nowhere you can stand to prepare food where you’re not casting a shadow on what you’re doing. Argh.

So tonight we’ll be doing the big design thing where we work out exactly what will fit where and hopefully get some extra hints and tips from the designer. So far, we’ve changed a few ideas on the advice of professionals (always good advice, I hasten to add) and I’m anticipating some more fine-tuning of our ideas tonight. With any luck, this kitchen is going to be so much more usable than the current kitchen. To be honest, the kitchen currently looks quite nice and we’re not unhappy with that.

It’s just that there are so many things that make the kitchen hard to work in at the best of times. Some of the ‘features’ make it nearly impossible. The one that drives me nuts is the oven. It burns things on the bottom before the top even cooks properly, no matter what we do, and the repair guys insist that it works perfectly and we just don’t know how to cook. The roast chicken a couple of weeks ago was a joke and baking is nearly impossible. I say nearly, because I’ve just bought a stoneware tray that at least lets me do cookies, shortcakes and hopefully cheese straws without problems. Between the oven, the bad lighting, the counter tops with no lip, the ceramic tiles (impossible to keep clean – stuff gets stuck in the grouting and requires hands and knees with a toothbrush to get properly clean) and the awkward corner unit that has a really narrow access door and goes so deep that you lose things because you can’t reach them anymore, it’s a kitchen that looks nice but isn’t fun to use.

We’re going for a convection wall oven with a cook top, making for a better cooking experience (even heat distribution!) and an oven that my tall father with a bad back can reach. We’re improving the lighting. We’re replacing the tile with stone-effect laminate. The counter tops will have at least a one inch lip, so things don’t pour down the fronts of cupboards the moment you spill anything. we’re having a dishwasher without a big poky-up thing in the middle designed to make arranging stuff in the dishwasher difficult. We’re changing the fridge-freezer so that the freezer is at the bottom, again for my tall father with a bad back who can’t reach most of the contents of the fridge.

Mostly, we’re just making this a kitchen better suited to people who do a lot of cooking and baking and dislike working against a dozen bad design features.

Er, my father is getting pretty much no say in it except for approval of the cabinet fronts. He wanted the granite sink that they both hate in their kitchen in England. ‘Nuff said, I think.

The only downside to this new kitchen concept is all the thousands of meetings. I anticipate my brain being utterly fried by the time we escape. “Fire bad, tree pretty” may be a bit beyond my mental faculties when we get home. Trash TV and Pringles may be needed as a recovery plan.

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