Day 2 of the Great Kitchen Makeover

I awoke to a flooded kitchen! Yup the bucket containing the drip had overflowed during the night. I grabbed a bunch of old towels and began the mop up.  Right at 8 am the door bell rang and my two perky installers arrived ready for a full days work. I explained that the pail had over flowed and we pondered the problem for a bit. Then they started on their main business, the cabinets.

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I went out to locate our property manager who then called in a drain specialist to address the water problem. They only made it worse so the cabinet guys came up with a plan that seemed to solve the drip. They diverted it to a higher point so it was now running downhill into the drain. After all water can’t run uphill.

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The cats were underfoot all day! The noise was deafening with the sanders and hand saw. You would have thought they would have stayed hidden with all the commotion!

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The plastic drapes were hung today as a lot of sawdust was being generated, They had their big shop vac running to add to the mayhem.

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But I am beginning to see progress. Can’t wait til the doors go on and I can really see the new look! A lot different from those old dark cabinets.

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I think the kitty cats are down for the count. Should be a quiet night!

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Let The Tear Out Begin

Things really started happening fast. Friday the counter top people came in and made templates of the counters. Then Saturday I got a call from Home Depot that the materials had come in and they were ready to start. They wanted to start Monday!

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I had Sunday to take everything out of the cabinets! I am now living in boxes. That show about hoarders has nothing on me.

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I used the clean out as an opportunity to toss all the old  plastic containers that always seem to get saved and accumulated. Do I use them? Sometimes but much less since I’ve been working from home so bye bye. I’ll just start collecting again.

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2 guys from Home Depot arrived right on time at 9:30. It was a nasty rainy day out so they didn’t want to set up all their equipment in the rain so all they did was the tear out. Good bye yellow tiles! They were done by noon.

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The cats had a lot of exploring to do.

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The guys left the fridge pulled out for me so I could vacuum the coils and mop the floor behind it. They found a treasure trove of cat toys. Both of the installers told me they had cats a of their own at home so they found Buddy’s antics funny and they saved all of the toys from behind the fridge!

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They found a leak under the sink but since a plumber will be coming out anyway we just stuck a bucket under it for now.

While they were tearing everything out I got a call from the counter people. They will come out between 8-9 on Friday to install the counters.  Everything should be done by Friday!

The plumber might have to come out on Saturday but we are hoping not. I have to buy the over the oven microwave and arrange for my electrician to come out and we will be done!





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Thank You To All Who Serve

It’s Veteran’s day and no matter which war or what time, life as we know it would not exist without our Veterans. Thank you to all who served, sacrificed and continue to serve.



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Learning Curve

Maybe I should call this post “be careful what you wish for”.

After I had been using my D3000 camera for about a year I began to get a little frustrated with its limitations. Oh there were ways to work around them but I came down with a bad case of camera lust.

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At the time Ritz Camera was still around and I spent some time playing with a Nikon D7000. It seemed to have what I wanted. It could be set to automatically bracket for HDR and it had a place for a manual remote trigger. Those were the 2 biggies I was interested in at the time.

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But time passes and I never seemed to get the money together. Then Ritz closed. More time passed and I spotted the D7100. I didn’t run into much buzz about the D7000 any more so I began researching the 7100. I wanted it it but there is something to be said for wanting things from afar.


The opportunity arose this weekend for me to pick up the D7100 for a very reasonable price and I jumped on it. I couldn’t wait to get it home and charge up the batteries.

By the time the first battery was charged it was dark so I plunked myself in my recliner with the camera to play. The first thing  that threw me a curve was that I was taking pictures but nothing showed up on the live view.


I thought I was doing something wrong. Now if I had looked in  the instruction manual I would have seen (in about 5 minutes or less) that to view the photos you need to push a little arrow and Voila! there they are.

Now I went searching for the histograms and (Shame on me) a way to get out of auto. The dial was 2 tiered and I had no idea what those choices were!


My oh my it will be awhile before I’m as comfortable with this baby as I was with my old entry level D3000. I have my work cut out for me.

By the end of the 2nd day I had managed to get all my settings in the camera and managed to get to the aperture and shutter modes so I am making progress but it still feels a bit like a struggle.

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Practice Shot of Rocky taken from across the livingroom

Like I said, be careful what you wish for. I’m going to have quite a learning curve on this one!

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It’s going to be a Busy few Months

Hello again everyone. Work is beginning to slow down for the agents. It hasn’t for me yet because we still have a lot of closings in the pipeline. Once those are done my lull will begin.

In the meantime I had the representative from Home Depot out to look at my kitchen and give me options. I’d considered several local firms but they were really expensive. Then I saw a home that had been done by Home Depot. I couldn’t believe it. It was beautiful. I think of Home Depot as DIY but they have a whole crew for remodels and like my company, they are paid on customer satisfaction.

At first I was going to do a remodel and knock down a wall, pull out all the cabinets and so on but there was a hitch. The electrical panel in my unit wasn’t up to code. To do a remodel would mean redoing the electric in the unit. Very  expensive on top of the remodel cost plus we’d have to pull permits for all the work.Work that requires permits can be tricky if you want to sell. I’ve run across that more than once when getting the documents together  for a closing.

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So option 2. Leave the wall, and do a “Reface”. It’s not much less than a remodel but it doesn’t require permits. I liked that idea better than adding an extra $10 K to the project so I picked out new doors, hardware, back splash, tile, counters and wrote a very big check. Still I can see what it will look like in my minds eye. It will be so different and I’ll be able to open the drawers without them cracking and breaking in my hands!

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About a week after the salesman was out I got a call from the estimator. The salesman had measured but this guy was out to confirm the measurements and my choices of color, tile etc.  Good thing because the wrong tile was on the order.  We caught that and made the correction. This guy was very meticulous.

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I’ve got one more appointment before they can start. The counter top people have to come out and make templates. They will be here on Friday. I requested that day off so I can get everything off the counters and round up the cats while they work and measure.

Once the work starts it is expected to take 1 week. They start on Monday and finish on Friday. I can’t wait!

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It was a Cold but Sunny Day

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Last Sunday was cold! Good thing it was sunny because if it had rained it probably would have turned to snow. It was windy too but that didn’t slow down Dawn and Alex, my guests with their mother at my company’s annual Customer Appreciation Event.

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This year it was at Belkin Outlook Farm in Natick. The farm has apple picking, a play area with little animals and a train to get you around the property.

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Each attendee got to pick a pumpkin and there were loads of pumpkins!  The grape arbors are gorgeous even if they were past grape peak.

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The company served a barbecue lunch with ribs, hot dogs and hamburgers. Well maybe we should call them cold dogs because in spite of the chefs best efforts the food chilled as soon as it came off the grill.

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I don’t know if it was special because of the event or if they always feature an animal ride but this time they had a camel ride. Dawn was in line for that in a flash but Alex preferred the warmer inside of the Lego building.

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It was cold enough that the battery for the camera died way too soon. The spare was in the car because I didn’t take the cold into consideration.

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OOPS! But the photos I got seemed to catch the atmosphere and the fun.

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Keene NH

My friend Nancy, her children and I headed up to Keene, NH for the annual Pumpkin Festival. Who knew a bunch of immature, rowdy college kids would steal the limelight. We didn’t see any of it. We heard the sirens, saw lots of flashing lights and ambulances but nothing else. As we parked our car the lot attendant said they didn’t know what was going on but that they had heard there was an “incident”.


They said be careful and have a good time. So that’s what we did. I’ll save my remarks about idiot college kids for another post. It won’t be a pretty one.

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It was quite a walk from the car to the center of Keene where the pumpkins lined the Main St. Keene holds the World Record for most number of lit jack-o-lanterns on display. In 2013 the total was 30,581. Kind of mind boggling. I don’t know if they won this year but there were Jack-o- lanterns everywhere.

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Near the Ferris Wheel the was a “Dome” of pumpkins being set up.

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There were wooden shelves set up along the center of Main street where more jack-o-lanterns perched.

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They surrounded tress, made rows along  the curbs and piled against fences and jersey barriers.

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Almost anywhere you could imagine there were carved pumpkins. They were even in the trees.

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It was packed! There were quite a few Halloween Characters around who posed for pictures with the kids. One of the first ones and one of the best ones was Batman. He even had his car. He patiently stood by waving to the crowd and posed for pictures. Very nicley done Batman!

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While Alex was meeting and smoozing with the caped crusader Dawn was doing her version of pole dancing. She was more interested in the metal handrail in front of the large brick building than pumpkins or Batman.

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I had promised to go on the Ferris Wheel with Dawn but when we got to it the kids were more interested in getting a pumpkin to carve. For a $5.00 donation you got to carve a pumpkin that got counted toward the total. At our first stop where we made our donation the pumpkins were pretty soggy so we moved on to another stand only to find the same thing there.

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Along the way we marveled at the creativity of the carvers and Dawn and Alex signed a cardboard wall with their names.

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Finally down near the craft fair and food Alex and I located some semi solid pumpkins, Dawn was getting her face painted. The man helping us explained that the pumpkins are all hollowed out by volunteers before the festival starts. They begin the process 2-3 days before the big date so the pumpkins begin to go downhill in a hurry.

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The sun was setting as we put the finishing touches on our Jack-o-lanterns and began to work our way back to Main Street for the Pumpkin Tower. The pumpkins spell out words, I think of the sponsors of the event, but it’s a pretty amazing sight.

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Did they win again? I don’t know. I googled it but couldn’t find 2014. The other burning question is….Pumpkin , Fruit or Vegetable?

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(The answer is Fruit)




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