Updated 2010-09-01 19:25:28 ID=621:0

© 2010 The Romantic Table
©2008 The Romantic Table, Susan McGourty's Table Talk, a California Central Coast Lifestyle blog. 2011-06-09 16:33:16:80
©2008 The Romantic Table

Susan McGourty's Table Talk

Finally on the Home-Stretch, Our Seventh Week of Kitchen Exile Keeps Up the Challenges

We had a short respite last week (our sixth week of exile) with no contractors while we tried to organize ourselves and started to acclimate to the new kitchen cabinet arrangement and assigned organization. We waited patiently for all the remaining special orders that we needed to finish this project. By the end of the sixth week of kitchen exile, all the back orders came in. We felt so relieved that the worse was finally over and we celebrated that we were well on our way to the "home stretch," but little did we know what unexpected curve ball we would be thrown again!

Monday morning arrived and we were full of energy and pep as we looked forward to when the contractor would be by to introduce us to the tile man that he had lined up to put in our kitchen back splash. We were expecting him sometime in the afternoon, but around three p.m., we got a call that he and the tile guy would be out early Tuesday morning instead. We were a bit deflated because we "wanted to rock and roll" and get this sucker done! But it had to wait until Tuesday.

Tuesday morning we got up early and waited for the twosome to show up. They did and I hoped that everything would go like clockwork. Ha! Ha! Boy was I naive!

My husband left to make an emergency run to the tile shop to buy some additional tile. While he was gone, I was over in our home-office doing bookwork, when I heard a knock at the door.

Evan, the tile guy, asked me since the quartz back splash wasn't finished properly, what were we planning to cover it with. "W-W-WHAT?" I asked in disbelief. I walked over to the house where he showed me that the top of the quartz counter back splash was NOT polished as it's supposed to be, and we want him to tile down to it, but there's a big gap between the depth of the back splash top (unpolished) that the tile can't conceal the unfinished nature of the counter's top.---I guess I spoke too soon with praises for the quartz counter guys!

I stood there in disbelief. We thought it was supposed to be like that! In the meantime, Evan had called the contractor and told him about it. (He too hadn't noticed that the top was not polished.) The contractor didn't know what to do and wanted to talk to my husband.--But he was still gone.

The thought of tearing the counter out and redoing it properly, made me absolutely sick! I could feel my ulcer having conniptions!

I tried to track my husband down, but he was en route between the tile store and home. So I just had to wait--and pace.

Finally when my husband returned I ran to the garage. "Hurry!" I screamed, "We have another curve ball! ---The counter wasn't finished properly!! What can we do?
Can't we put in a transition piece or something?"

My husband, who is normally pretty calm, jumped out of the car and ran to the house. "Lets see," he said. There waiting for us was Evan who explained that "this is usually never left unfinished." My husband said even if it had been polished, we needed a transition from the polished quartz to the rough surface of the tile. Evan then suggested using dome liners to transition from the counter back splash to the tile. He showed us a sample that he had in his truck. All of us agreed that if anything, it would enhance the whole "look." Now, all we had to do was find the right dome liners in the right color--and the right size-- and the right amount, and we'd only gain an extra day or so of kitchen exile.

My husband took off in a flash. He was on a mission! He HAD to find the right missing parts. He wants our kitchen back as much as I do! He found some at Lowes, rushing home with them, only to get a color and size veto from Evan and I.

Evan then suggested a new stone place in town that we weren't aware of. Then my husband rushed there. (I wish Evan had offered that piece of information earlier!) Bulls eye! They were perfect! Oh! They looked nice!

Evan got to work right away and he had all the dome liners in by his quitting time.

That night at dinner (cooked in the mudroom and eaten in our home-office) we toasted and hoped that by the following night we'd be deccoed and tiled.

The next day we were up early again waiting for Evan, but he didn't show up until two hours later than what we expected. In the meantime, my nerves got worn out just thinking about all the potential other curve balls that were going to be sent our way. But he finally showed up and got to work. So far so good!

As I write this, it's three o'clock in the afternoon, and these contractors like to leave early, but I just checked on Evan, and he's working away methodically making the kitchen take on fantastic personalities and dimension! Normally contractors like to take off about mid-afternoon, but Evan shows no sign of abandoning his commitment to getting this job done on time. (Thank God! A real rarity these days! )
He said, he plans to finish putting in all the tile today. He'll be back tomorrow morning to grout and finish up.

My husband (who had to leave for an evening appointment) and I had an early dinner at six over in the office. Evan was still working. Evan finally finished up at seven, after eight hours of really nice work. Evan said that normally he doesn't get to do anything this elaborate. He really likes the look (and I'm sure is very proud of his work) as much as we do.

All in all, it had been a counter mistake that was "made to happen." We're so happy with how things worked out!

Friday will be another day. That's when Alan, the cabinet installer, (see previous blogs) will return to take on the "evil spud" cabinet along with my husband and try to modify it to look acceptable. It should be interesting!

I'll keep you posted!

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A tip from Sue!

Cooking with onions and garlic

When your recipe calls for both sauted onions and garlic, saute the onions first - they take longer to soften. Then when the onions are almost softened, add the garlic.The garlic doesn't need very long to become fragrant - and you don't want to burn your garlic and turn it bitter!