Excused Absence?

Hello, friends.  It’s been a couple of weeks since I posted after my recent “big comeback tour,” and I apologize.  I’m sure we’ve each been dealing with Covid-19 issues, whatever they may be, in our own little corners of the world, and I was no exception.  Thankfully, I have not been infected.  I was, however, afraid my daughter was.  She had been sick for more than two weeks, and the Health Department and hospital refused to test her because she hadn’t been out of the country in the past month.  Nearly three weeks in, she was finally able to get tested, and turns out she had the flu but was thankfully negative for Coronavirus.

You’ve also probably heard a lot about Hydroxychloroquine in the news lately.  I happen to take that to manage my Lupus, and even though some rumors were out there that people with Lupus could not get Coronavirus for this reason, several in a couple of Lupus groups I’m in who also take this medicine have turned up positive, and one case was pretty serious.  And then the “fatal side effects” news came along.  So, between worrying about my kiddo as well as dealing with the stress of my medication being on shortage when I needed a refill, and then stressing over the idea that it causes heart issues, my Lupus went into a full-blown flare, and I was pretty much incapacitated these last weeks.

Anyhoozle, I’ve been waiting to get all the other stuff out of the way that I’ve been saving up to blog about so that I could start sharing the “artsy” stuff I’ve been doing around the house.  That time has come.  It’s such an extreme difference in how it feels to finally own a house versus having always rented.  It really inspires me to create.  It also inspires Sister Michelle to utilize all her talents to their finest, such as painting the walls and trim, replacing the plumbing, etc. (among her other many talents), and it brings out Son Jeremy’s magnificent ability to watch YouTube and learn a new skill then conquer the heck out of it on the first try (such as replacing all the baseboards and crown molding).   As for me, my skill is in seeing a space and envisioning it to be something else, then making that happen.

When we moved in, there was a 90s “wall cubby” in the kitchen that was being used by the previous owner as a computer station.  But that wasn’t for us.  I wanted a large pantry that looked a lot more modern than the 1997 build-date of my house.  We hired a contractor to frame it out, and unfortunately, that was our first realization that contractors: 1) are difficult to find; 2) will likely drive up the price after they make a quote; and 3) may not hesitate to take advantage of women because they think we don’t know what they’re talking about.

The contractor who framed out our pantry: 1) didn’t make sure the door was level (not 45 degree angles around the door); 2) knew I intended to add shelves on both sides, yet didn’t add any additional bracing studs to hold shelves (which were obviously intended to hold heavy items such as cans); and 3) did not even tape and mud where the new walls met the existing wall, leaving large gaps.  As it turned out, his knockdown texture also didn’t match the existing pattern size, so I bought a hopper and skim-coated everything and re-textured it (and later, just about the entire house).

After Sister Michelle and I figured out the best way to get the shelves up and be sturdy, she painted and I got busy on the computer designing a transom window.  I bought a thick piece of glass and took it to a vinyl cutting shop where they printed and affixed my design, then I bought a sheet of frosted glass stick-on and applied it to the back of the glass, then had Michelle assist while I built the window frame.  She painted it, then with Jeremy’s help, she installed it, and I found the fancy corner brackets on Etsy (pictured in the bottom photo).

As for the inside, I got some different sized plastic bins and added chalkboard decals and wrote whatever categories of food would go in them with a white paint marker.  For the bins behind the first row, I made additional labels that I affixed to wooden clothespins so that the contents could be seen at a glance.

If you can see the wine shelf above, you don’t need to tell me that the bottles should be stored on their side… I know I need to build or buy something to lay them flat in, but I haven’t gotten to that yet.  Eventually, we hope to remodel the island area of the kitchen and add a wine refrigerator to the cabinet area underneath.

Let’s talk: How are you and your family holding up under the Pandemic?  Have you ever used a drywall hopper to texture a wall?  When was the last time you made a significant change to your house?

28 thoughts on “Excused Absence?

  1. It is quite great to see you back blogging, Rachel.
    This pantry is wonderful for your needs. It looks like you overcame the lackadaisical contractor, for sure.
    Keep on improving that great house, you all!

      • This old house of ours needs constant work to keep it standing. Then there’s the gardening; then ridding our cars from what the gulls left behind!

      • Meant to tell you the other day – Michelle parked under a heavily populated bird hangout tree a while back — By the time she left hours later, her car was covered in hardened bird poop that resembled a barnacle infestation in both texture and appearance. Took numerous car washes to even get it off there!

  2. Oooh, what awesome planning and final result, Kindred! I’m so sorry for your flare-up & the ridiculous issues around it and your medication. 2020 is far nuttier than I anticipated – which I really thought I had anticipated somewhat fairly in what to expect. Not even close. Stay safe, my friend, (not that I expect you’d do anything otherwise). xo

    • It’s definitely a crazy, up-in-the-air kind of year. (And our Florida governor is not helping my stress level!) I’ve been thinking of your and your sister. I hope you’ve been able to video visit and that you’re doing well with your fundraiser, Kindred! ❤

      • Ugh, I just can’t imagine having to manage all of this around a governor like yours! You have my deepest sympathy (on top of your inclusion in my regular smudges). I do enjoy having the contact with my sister, but you know… The fundraiser is on a break, while we figure out the next steps to come. The radiation is finally done and the scan is planned for mid-May. Honestly, I don’t think there’s anything that isn’t surreal in 2020.

      • I know what you mean — Thank goodness for Zoom and all the other video chat services available now so you can at least see each other when you talk! Let me know when the fundraiser goes back and I’ll do whatever I can to help spread the word. ❤ Stay safe yourself, and wash your hands. 😉 xoxo

  3. Rachel you are so clever! I love the look of your completed project. Also, I’m visiting your website not the WP reader. I love your raven typewriter design. Is this your creation too? I’m so sorry to hear of your lapse with lupus. These are hard, strange, scary times. Be as good to yourself as you are to others. People tell me I’m a pretty good listener. If you ever need to just get it out, you know how to reach me. XO

    • Aww, you are such a sweet friend! Thank you so much! xoxo Yes, I made the tiles for the raven/typewriter picture, and in fact, that’s one of my own photos of one of my own typewriters. Thank you for noticing — you’re the first one to mention it. 🙂 (This was my first attempt at creating a tile pattern in Photoshop, and you can see the lines where I had to slice the edges.) I may just take you up on talking/emailing with you… Not because I need to vent, but because you always make my heart smile. 🙂 Thank you, dear friend! ❤ xoxo

      • I mean it, for whatever reason, you know how to reach me. You are an amazing artist! I love that your logo is truly your own. It’s really beautiful and to think it’s an actual typewriter you own…way cool! xoxo

  4. That looks really cool. I have no talents along those lines so I’m impressed. We’ve done very little to the house since we bought it, and had a contractor do those little things.

  5. Talented lady! 🙂
    I’m so sorry to hear you weren’t feeling well! Sending healing ((((hugs)))). It has been a tough couple of months. It’s hard to focus on writing projects, that’s for sure, but that’s the least of it. Take care of you.
    (The typewriter on your background looks like the one I have in my office. I use it on the few occasions I write poetry.)

  6. Well done on all the alternations you’ve made in your house. You know, my dream would be to take a house in a poor state of repair, strip it from top to bottom, then decorate and fit it out exactly how I want it. We creative types create, in lots of different ways.
    Sorry you’ve had medical worries and scares about medicines. My son who has MS had a course of treatment just before the pandemic started which lowered his immune system to nothing. Sorry you had a full-blown flare up of lupus. I hope you’re on the up and up now.

    • Hi, Rosemary! Thank you so much! I think that’s a fine idea, and especially if someone else foots the bill for paying for the repairs. 🙂 LOL! I hope your son’s feeling better now. Stay safe! ❤ xo

      • Oh Rachel, I wouldn’t do the work myself. In my dream world, I’d have enough money to pay for workmen.

      • My son is never going to be better, I’m afraid. MS is incurable and progressive. I just pray it doesn’t progress too quickly in his case.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s