Saturday, September 19, 2009

Demolition: Day 1

Today was the last day of Gabbrielle's medications, which was perfect timing. I needed one less thing to do since we are starting the demolition of our kitchen. We received an estimate of $4,000 for the labor to do the demo and cabinet installation. That was way too steep for us, so we are seeing how much we can do ourselves. According to all the home improvement websites and the man who gave us the estimate on the labor, a kitchen remodel is an "easy" job.

I woke up early to finish painting the part of the fence that the horse's can chew. I'll finish the rest some other weekend. Then I began clearing everything off the kitchen counter and out of the cabinets.

You might think that's an easy job, but it took me eight hours to empty that kitchen. My husband and son were tearing wallpaper off the wall, removing shelves and drawers, removing the built-in appliances, and breaking up the tile counter top while I was still trying to get everything out of the cabinets.

My son made the comment that he'd hate to find out how much work it takes to move. If it took an entire day just to pack up the contents of one room in the house, we'll be in trouble when we do move. We would probably have to take a month off from work to get the entire job done.

We discovered the original kitchen wallpaper underneath the backsplash. Is that ugly or what?

We were planning on going shopping together for a new range and microwave, but I realized that shopping would take up too much of my day. I still had to clean stalls and the paddock. I sent my husband and son out with a blank check to pick out a range and microwave. He did a good job. I'm really amazed at how after 20 years of marriage, you can think so much alike that you can trust your husband to do the shopping. So far we have been in total agreement on every choice we've made during this kitchen remodeling project. We agreed on a refrigerator. We agreed on the cabinets and counter top. We agreed on the design.

I haven't decided on what I want for the new flooring yet. It's between laminate wood or Terracotta tile. We definitely don't want anymore wallpaper, so we are going to paint. My husband picked out a neutral earth color with a touch of orange, which should work well with both floors and the brown and black granite counter tops.

When he peeled back the old wallpaper, he found this note that either a construction worker or previous owner wrote to himself...

I didn't want to wrap and box everything since it will just go right back into the new cabinets at the end of the week, so I stuck all of our glasses, cups, saucers, bowls and dishes underneath the piano. It was interesting digging through all that different dishware. Some of it had been pushed so far back into cabinets that I forgot we had it. We have dishware from the 1950's, 60's, 70's, and more recent. As we went off to college, our parents gave us their old dishware and we've hung onto it.

My father and grandfather were big horse racing fans. They spent their weekends betting the horses at the Santa Anita, Hollywood Park, and Del Mar racetracks. On special days, Santa Anita handed out door prizes such as horse mugs...

The horse's tail is the handle on this one...

The end.


Cheryl Ann said...

My grandparents lived a couple of blocks from Santa Anita and I grew up a mile away from it, up in the Rancho. We could hear the track announcer! I used to go there with Grandad, after school. I'd take $2 and come home with $10 or so! Tee hee! Those were the days!

fernvalley01 said...

Good luck with the project ! I am sure it will look wonderful .I have to empty my cupboards soon for mine so I will see what treasures I find.I have a horse tail cup like that with Appy spots , we call it the horses a** award when we use it!

Groomer Angie said...

How cool are those cups? I love them!

Mrs Mom said...

Yay! The kitchen remodel!! Heres hoping it goes smooooth and easy for you guys.

I have that exact same horse mug.. and one with Appy spots too...ehehe Those Santa Anita mugs are awesome. Love those.

Fingers crossed for a great week out there for you guys!!

lytha said...

Ah, my grandfather took me to my first horse race. It was an unforgettable experience. I must have been 10 and I will never forget it. As a doorprize I got a black and white poster of one of the TBs that day. We also got a tour and there were items on display like racing silks, tack, and I remember a whip. The little sign next to the whip said, 'The whip is not used to punish the horse, but rather to steer the horse.' I was like, "Huh?" about that for the next 28 years.

When my grandparents died a few years ago, I got some of their race track stuff too! Precious stuff to me.

Those notes on your walls, oh, that is right up my alley. See, I love writing messages under unfinished walls, that someone might discover someday. I always write FRODO LIVES, my trademark "grafiti" and usually draw horses too. I did it in this house when we stripped the walls too. I also enjoy slipping into houses being built at night, and penciling horses on their unfinished beams. Later when people are living there, I know something they don't about their homes.


Laura said...

I think demos are the easiest part of renovations. You can make a bit of a mess and it doesn't really matter. We did our own small kitchen a few years ago.

Love the horse mugs from the track! I remember reading about Santa Anita when I was a kid and thinking how famous it was (is).

The D-Meister said...

Hmmm... I like what you've done with the place. ;-)

ms martyr said...

I lived in Arcadia down the street from Santa Anita 35 years ago. Small world.

I'm thinking those mugs might be collector's items.

I would donate the unused items to a charity - less stuff for you to eventually move.

Katharine Swan said...

Lytha -- oh my -- your comment made me laugh. I can just picture you sneaking into houses to draw horses and write "FRODO LIVES" on the walls. What a hoot!

NM, I'm excited for you guys to be finally redoing your kitchen! The wallpaper may be ugly, but it's a fun discovery -- as is the little note. And your son is right -- moving is a pain in the you-know-what! Be glad you haven't had to do it in so long that you've forgotten!

Julie G said...

We started our kitchen remodel 2 years ago come this Thanksgiving... (remember I said started I never said we finished)... anyways, peeling off the wallpaper and ripping out the old cabinets led to the discovery of the original wallpaper. Being an 82 year old house some of the wallpaper was handpainted! Quite interesting. Good luck with a speedy finish to your remodel.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Those horse head cups are very unique. Neat memories behind them, too.

I think the reason we don't have much 'stuff' is that we've moved a lot over the years. The most we've lived anywhere was in South Carolina for 7 years...and woweee! We had lots of stuff to get rid of with that move. We were moving back to New Mexico, so we literally 'cleaned house' and only took the bare minimum with us.

For me, it's a very cleansing, freeing feeling to get rid of stuff. I abhor clutter and feel bogged down by anything that isn't useful or that doesn't give me extreme pleasure just by having it. I think it boils down to hating to dust and clean, too. The more stuff you have, the more you have to dust, clean and organize. lol!

Looks like I have lots of catching up to do over here. You've been very very busy!