Sunday, October 5, 2008

Cottonwood Falls and Love's Fatal Arrow

A recent trip with my bookclub to historic Cottonwood Falls Kansas, a jewel of a small town set right in the center of the Flint Hills, set my pulse to racing and my heart to pattering, as I was able to view some very fine architectural details in the Chase County Courthouse as well as tour a beautiful turn of the century farmhouse.

WooHoo!  Was that a run-on sentence or what?

Maybe I should break it down in an outline so it will be easier to grasp...

1.  Book club to Cottonwood Falls
a.  Jewel of a small town
b.  Center of the Flint Hills
c.  Pulse races
d.  Heart goes pitter pat

2.  Chase County Court House
a.  Beautiful architectural details
b.  I got to see 'em

3.  Farmhouse
a.  Turn of the century
b.  Still clinging to the butler's pantry.
c.  Wait!  That comes later
d.  Nevermind!

What more could an architecture junkie ask for?

The courthouse, which is currently undergoing an extensive renovation features some massive trim.  The windows have deep sills that are set into the thick limestone walls of the 1872 building.

A curving staircase reaches all the way to the third floor.

As you ascend, you can visit the courtroom.

And the jail, where I hope your stay will be very brief!

Many lovely sights will greet you once you again gain your freedom...

...and begin your descent back into the town itself.

Where, if you don't stop for a piece of pie at the Emma Chase Cafe,  with your friend and your other friend... you might as well not have come in the first place!

The main event of the day for me, was touring the childhood home of my friend Nancy, of Three Blondes and the Law.

Other than the addition of a main floor bathroom and mudroom, this gorgeous turn of the century farmhouse has not been altered in any significant way from it's original floor plan.  

Which includes a Butler's Pantry... 

A Butler's Pantry...

A Butler's Pantry that I fell deeply, deeply, DEEPLY in love with.

I also struggled in leaving this dining room behind.

But not nearly as much as I struggled in disentangling myself from the heated embrace of the butler's pantry.

There were some trim details that included an outer ribbon of chocolaty wood encasing a rich golden inner layer of wood that did cause me to suffer a few unladylike palpitations.

And an INGLENOOK that brought me to my knees!

Until I remembered the butler's pantry and all that we had been through.

His noble gait, his broad shoulders, his steady gaze, and I re-pledged my troth to be his and his alone and I felt whole and unviolated again.

So that the "come hither" curve of a certain beguiling stone wall.

and the ferocious virility of a large red barn may have caused me to tremble for a second... or two seconds... or maybe three...

Still...  nothing made me as fluttery and as weak kneed, and as quivery as the love of my fragile youth... the butler's pantry.

And our love will live on in my heart... like a quiet burning ember of love... stricken through by the cruel arrow of fate... but still beating, beating, beating... and yes still... throbbing, throbbing, throbbing.... and still quivering, quivering, quivering... like a green gelatin salad... with sweet little marshmallows inside... quivering in love... quaking in love... until the sands of time are no more.

Fare thee well my love. 




Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Hand Made Barn Doors

On my days off from work, I have a strong tendency to occupy myself with the one or more of the following activites.

1. Stare blankly into space for hours.

2. Stare blankly at ceiling fan for hours.

3. Attempt to guide tea and sandwich into mouth while staring blankly at walls and fan.

4. Miss mouth while trying for several minutes to guide tea and sandwich into cheek, ear, eyebrow, and forehead.

5. Finally, find mouth and give self food and drink.

6. Wipe drool from chin with back of hand.

7. Nap.

The Country Doctor on the other hand is a whole different animal. He happily gyrates from one insane project to another. A few days ago he informed me that "September was yard month" and "October is barn month." To celebrate the start of "Barn Month" the Country Doctor built himself some doors.

To build the doors, the Country Doctor used some left over tongue and groove pine floor boards from our mudroom flooring.

He managed to work in a few cute "barn type" details into the door.  

He enlisted Ethan to help him paint.

One of the doors has a window and one does not.  

He originally planned to purchase ready made doors, but at the last minute he decided to try and build some himself.

I am really glad he did.  

I wonder what other projects "Barn Month" has in store?  

I hope there aren't any stanchions... or horse stalls involved.  

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Hutch Saga Continues

Kitchen Hutch - (from before the house was completely finished)

This is what the hutch now looks like with two coats of "Cottage Cream" paint from Sherwin Williams. 

Yes, I went with cream. 

Yes, I realize that cream was not really an option before. 

Yes, I seriously considered many of the suggestions that were offered in the previous hutch spasm story.

Yes, I almost went with black and then I almost went with the same color as the walls, but in the end I wimped out with cream. Or maybe I whipped out with cream! 

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha - boy am I funny today.

So back to me, me, me and more me, and also my hutch.

Here are all my problems for you to solve.

1. So far I have not painted the inside of the hutch with the cream paint. Can you even tell from the picture? Or does it all look the same?
If by some miracle, you can tell that the inside is still a pale blue/green and the exterior is now a warm cream, I really would appreciate your opinion as to if I should go ahead and paint the inside cream as well.  Or if I should paint it an entirely different color.  Or if I can leave the inside of the hutch the pale green/blue color and maybe have a slim chance of getting the damn... I mean DANG thing finished in this lifetime.

PS - If you vote for painting it cream or painting it an entirely different color - YOU HAVE TO COME OVER AND DO IT FOR ME!!!

2. My second problem is even spazzier than the first. Do you see how the top of the hutch is currently sitting on the bottom of the hutch? I don't know if you realize this, but the top of the hutch used to hang on the wall suspend about a foot above the bottom of the hutch.

Like the above pic.

This is not how I intended for the hutch to be. I originally drew the hutch to be a single piece, but the country doctor was concerned that we would not have enough counter space, and so at the last minute, the cabinet makers hung the top of the hutch a foot above the bottom of the hutch. We could not hang it any higher because of the vent on the wall. And guess what? We do really use that counter space. Mostly to catch all the junk mail, and the permission slips and the book orders, and the soccer schedules and the school picture packets... which keeps the other counters free from all that junk, which makes me pretty happy.  On the other hand, I always though that the two part hutch looked kind of odd.

3. Can you also tell that we took off the crown moulding and we moved the hutch out from the wall?  Am I the only person on the planet who cares this much about my silly little hutch?  If there is anyone still reading this - I always wanted my kitchen hutch to LOOK LIKE A HUTCH! But it never really did. So I am considering giving it a complete makeover. I want to move it away from the wall, put on a new countertop that is edged all the way around, find a smaller crown moulding for the top. I would also like the cabinet makers to build a piece that goes in between the countertop and the upper cabinet that sort of connects the two pieces together so it looks like a whole. I know this is all terribly confusing so look... I drew a really bad picture...

Is it all crystal clear now?

Do you think that it will look terrible and I should just put it back like it was? Should I keep the upper cabinet on the lower cabinet? Is anyone still with me?


So cream inside or cream not inside?

Upper on lower or upper not on lower?

Out from the wall or not out from the wall?

Place her in psychiatric care immediately or sedate her and lobotomize the frontal lobe?

Tell me what you think.  

Muchas Gracias!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Kitchen Hutch Does Funny Cowboy Dance

I have mentioned before, that we ordered about half of all the cabinets in our house in "paint grade poplar" meaning the cabinets were delivered and installed unpainted in order to save a few shekels.  I really enjoy painting and thought it would be no trouble at all to paint twenty odd cabinets myself.  

Har Har Har!

I think I will have unpainted cabinets in my house until I am ninety years old at this point.  And even funnier is that I actually did paint the kitchen hutch already!

Yeah - isn't that funny!  

Isn't that just the funniest thing you ever heard?!?

I am laughing really, really hard right now.

Tears are just streaming down my face, I am laughing so hard.

Wait!  I'm not laughing... I am sobbing!

But I have never really liked this faded greed on the hutch.  Actually - I do like the color.  I just don't like it on the hutch.  Actually I do like it on the hutch.  I just don't like it on the hutch in this room.  The kitchen is painted in a very nice warm yellow and the washed out greenish/blueish hutch has never looked right to me.

Believe it or not the door above is actually painted in two different colors.  One side is a deep orange and other side is a cardinal red.  I ragged a brown glaze over both colors.  What do you think?  Can you even see a difference?

This is the closest color I could find to a pumpkin... because I just had to try a pumpkin color on my hutch.  I also used the brown glaze over the top and I love this color... I am just not sure I want my kitchen hutch to be this color.  

This is a deeper red with the brown glaze over the top.

Then I got tired of the reds...

So I decided to try a few greens.  I just had to try them.  The samples are cheap and I just had to see if a "harder green" would do the trick for me.  I especially like the darker green, but again I am not sure it is the right choice for the hutch.

Do you see a color that looks perfect?

Please don't tell my you like the original color!

Because it is not going to be easy to cover up all that red paint!

While I was at the paint store, I happened to notice that they had a huge wallpaper book collection, so I took a break from my hutch paint color spasms and flipped through a few books.

I am usually the type of person that likes to drag home as many samples of certain materials as I can get away with.  I will lug twelve carpet samples, nineteen tile boards, and four hundred paint chips home, spread them all out, and glory in all the possibilities for days.  But the wallpaper books were different.  After looking through several, I stumbled upon one that instantly made my heartbeat erratic.  My pulse quickened.  My skin glistened with sweat.  My bosom heaved.  Every page in the wallpaper book felt like a scene from a Jane Austen novel.

I guess you could say that I judged the book by it's cover.

And as tears rained down on my cheeks....

I whispered the dearest feelings of my heart...

You had me at hello...

You... had.... ME... at... HELLO!  


Oh yeah - so if you have an opinion on a good color for that horrifying hutch up there please let me know.  

Because the clown look is really not working for me.

Muy Muy Appreciado,



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