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Kevin and I went to the Rocky Mountain Wildlife Foundation
today with the Colorado Springs Photography Learning Group. It's a small sanctuary in Guffey, Colorado that is free to tour as long as you make a reservation (donations appreciated.)
They have some pure wolves and some wolf-dog hybrids... we got to go inside the cages and snuggle with them just like they were household pets. It's amazing how an animal can learn to love again after being abused...
it just goes to show you what big hearts they have. (Along with their big eyes... and big teeth!)
If the video doesn't show, try clicking this link
to go to the set on Flickr.
Yes, it's finally done. It was actually done a couple weeks ago, but everything was still a mess and then we had another water issue behind the stove, so the stove was in the middle of the kitchen for a little while (long story).
This is picture heavy!
This is a picture from the realtor's website... this is what it looked like when we moved in. The floor was engineered wood and looked every bit it's 40 years.
There was a wall separating the kitchen from the dining room (which we made into a sitting room.) Sorry about the small pic, this was the only one I could find.
We replaced the floors with hickory hardwood and had the wall torn down.
Now, if this was a movie, people would be pointing out inconsistencies. The first picture looks like we had the floors replaced before we had the wall torn down. The second picture looks like we had the wall torn down before the new floors were in.
The answer is: Both. We had the floors done in February 2011. In October 2011, we had a flood in the kitchen and the new floors had to be torn out. While they were being replaced, we had the wall taken out.
There's some kind of a note for myself that I taped on the refrigerator. Yeah, I do those things.
So, things were getting underway. We LOVE the big open space and can't even imagine it with that wall there anymore. Next to tackle: the ceiling, lighting, and counter tops.
Formica... doesn't look too bad from a distance.
Yeah... it's pretty bad.
The wood behind the sink.
Or you get this:
Now, on to the good stuff!
Tile replaces the wood in the garden window...
(yes, that's snow.)
The tile is Florim Stonefire Beige... I like it because it looks like natural stone, but it's porcelain, so it doesn't need to be sealed.
Our new sink is Silgranit II by Blanco America. It's granite composite and supposed to be virtually indestructible. We'll see about that... my clumsiness knows no bounds. I bought a Kohler strainer and garbage disposal flange because reviews said that the Silgranit ones are too small to fit the hole and they leave a lip that can collect muck.
We also got a new filtration faucet.
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We had a gas line put in and got a new range... GE Profile. It's a dual fuel range (gas cook top with electric oven) and it has a baking drawer in the bottom that has separate temperature controls, so it's essentially a double oven.
We decided to go with black instead of stainless because stainless shows fingerprints and drips too easily, and I'm glad we did because it looks a lot better with the granite, which has black running through it.
The granite is called Giallo Ornamental, and was actually one of the cheaper grades (yay!)
The island has cabinets and drawers on the front, a set of 4 drawers on the left side and a mixer lifter on the right side. It gives us 20 more square feet of counter space, and interestingly, the kitchen doesn't look any smaller with it in there.
Eventually I am going to paint the outlet covers to match the island so they don't stick out like a sore thumb. Same with the walls.
A cool piece of pottery we got in Salida...
And here's a picture of the raised ceiling... you don't really get the full effect from a photo, but it actually looks really nice. We had some ducts and plumbing to work around, which is why it's a coffered ceiling. I think this is Kevin's favorite part!
The only things left to do in here are paint the outlet covers, paint the cabinet hardware (another long story that we'll leave to another day), and eventually I would like to replace the refrigerator and get a black one so that all our appliances are black.
It's sooo nice to finally be done with it... I have been using the stove and the oven a little, but it's been so busy around here that I haven't really cooked anything interesting. I think I might make some banana bread this weekend... mmm, getting hungry just thinking about it!
Until next time!
The cabinets for our new kitchen island arrived today (one day early!) Our contractor is going to finish setting them on Wednesday and then the granite folks will come in and put the top on, as well as replace the rest of the kitchen counters. Our master plan is finally coming together!We ordered the cabinets through Joy at Kitchens by Design, the same people who did the guest bathroom.
The cabinets are the Cayhill style by Dynasty in the color "pesto". Why pesto, you ask? Wellllll, lemme tell ya.We have a lot of wood in this room... the floors are hickory, the cabinets are walnut (or hickory, depending on who you ask) and both are attention grabbers. (I just noticed in this picture that the upper cabinets look like they're a different color than the lower ones, but they're not. Weird.)Anyway. My first thought was to choose a wood with a very subtle grain and stain it a color that matched the cabinets. I was unanimously voted off the island on the Gardenweb kitchens forum, and they all said the same thing my contractor said. You'll never match it exactly, and the worst thing you can ever have is a bad match. So, painted cabinets it was.Of all the different cabinet makers out there, they all have the same basic colors: black, navy blue, gray, some shade of sage green, fire engine red, and about 73 different colors of white/cream/ivory
. Kevin wanted black, but I thought it was too dark. Navy blue was out for the same reason. Gray was too cold. Red was.... well, red. So I tried to convince Kevin that cream was the way to go. He didn't like it. He fought me on it. I thought I almost had him... and then I did a Photoshop mock-up of it, and went "Huh. Yeah, he's right, that's terrible."So, sage green it was. That narrowed our choices down to three. Willow, Pesto and Sage, with willow being the lightest one and sage being the darkest. I liked willow the best, but it was too washed out against our granite. Sage actually looked the best with the granite, but when we brought it into the room, it was too dark. So, pesto won out.
The island is going to be 5 feet long and 4 feet wide with the granite top (there's going to be a 12 inch overhang on the back side where we will put some counter-height swivel chairs.
Still not sure when the granite is happening, but you know we'll post pics as soon as it does!
Our contractor tore the short back splash off the counter yesterday. Six -- count 'em, SIX different wallpapers plastered on top of each other in the kitchen area. Well, okay, some of these look like they're from the 80s... like the first three, they have that country look that was so popular back then. But the other ones, oh yeah... that's 70s all the way, baby!!
Gotta love that olive green... reminds me of the appliances my mom had when I was little.
Oh, and here's something else we found after he took off the back splash...
This, friends, is why you don't put wood moulding behind your sink. Or any moulding, for that matter. Or any wood, for that matter.
Do you know how nasty this wood is right now? Do you know how many times I have reached with wet hands to turn off the faucet and slopped water on it? And I've only lived here for a year and a half. 20-some-odd year-old wood behind the sink... it's looking a little more than sad right now. Luckily, we've got some nice tile all picked out for our lovely garden window, and then it will be so much happier!
More to come... stay tuned!
Well, the big kitchen project has commenced! We've been dreaming about this moment ever since our 7-ft tall realtor almost hit his head on the ceiling.
See that checkerboard light fixture?
It's EVIL. What you can't see in this picture is that in those squares, there are 40-year old pieces of discolored plexiglass, held together by clear packing tape because if you even look at them wrong, they crack. And what you can't see behind that is the two different kinds of florescent lights that the previous owner probably got at a garage sale. And the buzzing. Oh Lord, the buzzing!!
Die, ceiling, die!!!
We wanted to raise the entire ceiling, but there's some ductwork in the way, so we're doing a coffered ceiling that's raised in the middle with recessed lights around the outside.
After that's done, we have more big plans for this room, so stay tuned!
We have a lot of wildlife in our neighborhood... we've seen deer, coyotes, fox, and there are a lot of reports of a black bear momma and two cubs that roam around, though we've never seen them.
We decided to hook up a game camera in the back yard to catch some of these critters in action... unfortunately, we haven't had too much luck yet. But here's a good one of a deer...
(ignore the 2009 date, we didn't set the date on camera).
Squirrel in Motion
Squirrel Not In Motion
Plus it took a bunch at night, but for some reason the flash isn't going off, so we'll have to see what's up with that!
Last weekend we took a road trip to Salida, which is southwest of Colorado Springs and on the edge of the San Isabel National Forest. We've been to Salida a number of times before -- Monarch Mountain is only about 20 minutes away, so whenever we go skiing, we stay in Salida. But this time we went to enjoy the little town in the summertime!
We stayed at a B&B called the Mountain Goat Lodge
. Gorgeous property with mountain views and acres of pasture. The owner keeps goats as pets and uses the milk to make homemade Greek yogurt to serve with fruit and granola at breakfast. They also have chickens and serve their eggs for breakfast, as well as locally made sausage and bacon. They have a cheese-making class there, which we didn't get to take because we had already scheduled our zip-lining tour for Saturday morning, but I did get to learn how to milk a goat, and I got to meet the "guard llama" who protects the goats from coyotes.
We also went ziplining with Captain Zipline
, which was great fun! When we went ziplining on our honeymoon in Hawaii, they taught you to steer with your hand on your caribiner and you didn't have to brake because the line did it for you. At Captain Zipline, you steer with your [gloved] hand on the line behind you, and you brake
by pushing up on the line. I got a little worried when they started talking about hand signals, thinking I was never going to remember this once I get out there, but it was actually really easy. A must-do if you ever get the chance!
We also took a drive to St. Elmo, which is a little preserved ghost town founded in 1880 and and took the bumpy dirt road back to town which was a fun "off-roading" experience once I was able to remove my fingernails from the car seat.
Our yard was apparently the establishment of choice for breakfast this morning...
This guy dug himself a little hole so he could lay down in the cool dirt...
He's got his eye on me...
We've made several updates to the house since the last time I posted any pics, so I finally got off my behind and took some.This is a new table I picked up at HomeGoods. Our vet sent us this plant when Sasha passed away and we had it sitting on a nasty folding TV table for a while. So when I saw this green
telephone table, I snatched it up without even sending a cell phone pic to Kevin (which is my usual tactic to make sure he likes it before I buy it.) The color goes great with the light green walls in our sitting room. On the bottom shelf is our Scentsy warmer (which is not turned on in this pic). The sconces on the wall were a Christmas present, they are battery operated and have a timer so they will come on at the same time every day and go off after 5 hours. They flicker like a "candle", but they're not fooling anybody ;-)
Above the plant on the wall is a beautiful quilted tapestry that my mom made of Sasha enjoying her time on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge. She always loved hiking and being outdoors... here it looks like she is keeping a close eye on that moose!
Moving on to the "Raven Room", otherwise known as the den depending on who you ask. The room is very long with a reading nook at one end. When we first moved in, I painted the main section of the room a medium blue color with a dark blue wall behind the sofa. The reading nook was left unpainted, so it was just white.
In the old house, the dark blue looked great with the raven painting, but it just wasn't sitting right with me in the new house for several reasons. First of all, the people who painted the room white got paint all over the brown trim. So when I painted the walls dark, the little bits of white that were on the dark trim just slapped you in the face. (Well, maybe I'm the only one that noticed, but it really bothered me!) Secondly, the wall in the other house was a true rectangle, and this wall is not, it has "wings" over each door at either end. So, the look was not as concise as it had been in the other house. And thirdly, this house doesn't get as much natural light, so the dark blue just didn't look as good as it did in the old house.
So... after a year and half of it grating on my nerves, I finally painted over it. And I painted the reading nook, too, so the whole room is now the medium blue color.
View from one end of the room to the other...
The little wall that kind of separates the reading nook from the rest of the room...
Two shelves of cookbooks and one shelf of travel guides... can you tell what my favorite hobbies are?
A few of my favorite things...
Our wedding cake topper and the cookbook Kevin bought me in Venice.
Kevin's groom's cake topper and Flyers garter...
One of Kevin's teapots and an art print we got at a crafts fair in Hawaii.
The Mountain Man sculpture that was given to me when I left Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station (by local artist Michael Garmin). Does anyone else think this looks like my Uncle Mike?
A totally awesome picture of a baby hawk that my friend Stacey took in her back yard...
So, that's it for now! Not sure what the next project is going to be... maybe painting the upstairs hallway... it's in dire need. Until later!
P.S. Kevin also installed a new light in the laundry room, which is not really picture-worthy, but at least we don't have to use a table lamp now. Which is good because I almost electrocuted myself by knocking the lamp into the utility sink while the faucet was on.