It’s an exciting time, but it’s hectic, exhausting and frustrating. We’re gutting the main floor of our house, meaning I have no kitchen to cook in! It’s been an adventure, cooking from various kitchen gadgets in the basement bathroom (ActiFry, electric frying pan, slow cooker, rice cooker) and the BBQ. I’m washing dishes in plastic bins, standing at a small table in the shower and emptying the water in the toilet with just a little swing of my hips. If I use the toaster and electric frying pan at the same time, I blow the breaker because the small bar fridge I bought is also drawing power from the one outlet. I’ve burned more than a few things on the BBQ because I’m downstairs prepping the rest of the meal… and using the BBQ as an oven isn’t as simple as it sounds. But, we’ll have a brand new kitchen when this is all over! It’s been 36 days and we’ve finally taken a weekend off from doing renos. I’m still working full time, taking time off here and there to help, but Jay’s been working in the house all day, every day.
We haven’t eaten out as much as I thought we would, in part because it takes a lot of effort to get clean and presentable. Most of the time we just want to stay away from other people! Since I really have no prep space and no stove or oven, I’ve been getting creative with what I cook. Sadly, I’ve been using some pre-made food like pasta and potato salad (Costco has an awesome pasta salad they make in store), and bagged salads (there are a few good options at Costco that are way more cost effective than your local grocery store). Pre-sliced cheddar cheese (Cracker Barrel, again from Costco) and pre-washed individual leaves of red lettuce are great for sandwiches. Speaking of which, I’ve gotten creative with sandwiches – always having buns or bagels on hand – a good artichoke and asiago cheese dip makes a great sandwich spread!
I actually feel guilty at the grocery store, with all the pre-made stuff in my cart… we’ve tried store-bought lasagna (PC Blue Menu) – blech. Not sure why they consider it ‘meat sauce’ at all – just a bunch of noodles and sauce. Since I can’t boil water to make pasta I’ve also tried the frozen pasta and chicken skillet dinners from Swanson – actually not bad! (I bought it again!) I’ve made a lot of greek salad – always delicious and easy!
Initially I was fine eating off real plates, but slowly I’ve given into paper plates. We still use real cutlery and coffee mugs, but I’m OK using plastic cups and paper plates in order to minimize just how much time I need to stand at the shower washing dishes!
Here’s a summary of where we’re at:
- old corner fireplace removed & new fireplace installed
- plumbing updated in kitchen
- electrical updated and moved (pot lights added in the living room and more added to the kitchen, new fixture in the pantry)
- popcorn ceiling scraped and replaced with smooth finish; painted
- subfloor replaced in some spots (there was actually mould from where previous owners fish tank leaked)
- lots of drywall replaced because we had to access behind it for electrical
- all walls painted (although they’ll have to be touched up)
- built-in entertainment area framed in (beside fireplace)
- kitchen & entertainment area cabinets cut
- kitchen cabinet gables & microwave cabinets lacquered
- acacia hardwood floors almost all installed
- new toilet
- a whole lot more!