Friday, April 6, 2012

The Little Dream That Could.

It's just a dream...right?

This is the post I was sure I'd never write.

Or at least I was certain I'd never include photos.

But blogging should not be about duping people into thinking you live in a perfect world with perfect counters, perfect floors, perfect kids, perfect mothering skills, perfect relationships, and perfect faith.

I've learned a lot of lessons about myself in the past few months, the biggest of which is how great my desire has been to hide the ugly parts of my life from the world.

And I've come to realize this:

"An ounce of pretension is worth a pound of manure." 
-Keith Moore

So here goes!

We live in a very modest home.

It's a 1971 ranch-style house that was built with absolutely zero creative inspiration.  

But the price was right 11 years ago when Chris and I were newlyweds and had stars in our eyes at the prospect of owning our own home. 

The sheer volume of work to be done overwhelmed me.  I couldn't see past the ugliness and the deep, dark, dense, and depressing forest that surrounded the house.

But I married a visionary. 

So while I saw this view from our deck, 

my man saw this.

 And this.

Across the street from our home, 
the woods used to tell the same dark, depressing story.
Until Chris turned it into a park.
The park has become a neighborhood play area...exactly as we had hoped it would.  On many afternoons, I can look out of my kitchen window and spot anywhere from 20% to 100% of the neighborhood kids out there riding bikes, playing soccer, and building forts.  It's a dream come true for me.  

I've shown you all of these photos to say this:  until last year when we built a little addition, we had mostly focused our resources on the land surrounding our home.

And not on the interior of the house.

Have you ever noticed how zoomed-in my food photos are?

Look closely in all of those pics and you'll see my counters. 

That gold-flecked "marble" formica masterpiece is UGLY, and I've wanted to hide it from you like Mr. Rochester hid his crazy wife.

My kitchen could have been part of the "That 70s Show" set.

So are you ready for this?

Are you?

 The kitchen on the day we closed in September, 2001.
 (Now we did paint the cabinets and appliances in 2005.  
That helped a bit.
And we changed the outlet covers.  What were they thinking?)

But surely you can imagine my ecstatic delight when I pulled into the driveway on Sunday after being gone for four days to find this in my front yard:
For many reasons outside of his incredible skills as a handyman and a visionary, I love my husband.

But coming home to a gorgeous new sink and faucet and pretty new counters...

I just can't explain how it made me feel.

(Laying out the subway tile design for the backsplash.)

Now, I've shared this much with you.

I may as well show you the slave that I've kept locked in the "basement" of my blog.

She works hard in my kitchen.  And yet she's unsightly.  I keep her out of view so she won't cause me embarrassment.

But today, all things are new here at Cooking With Chopin.

It brings me great pleasure to introduce you to Gladys, my 1971 Kenmore stove.

Gladys got a makeover in 2005 when Chris spray-painted her white.  But she's been "distressed" over the last 7 years and you can see her original paint job under the dings and chips.

Three cheers for Gladys!  I love you, old girl. 

As I type this, the saws and drills are whirring away in the kitchen as Chris is making the space more user-friendly.

I can't wait to show it to you when it's done...whenever that may be!

Thanks for letting me share this with you.


(And Chris, I LOVE YOU, honey.  In a million ways.)


Kellie said...

Wow! Your yard is a dream!! In which State do you live? I love all the woods!

Heather said...

Wow! Yes. How incredibly exciting! I love how Chris always manages to treat you to a renovation surprise when you are away helping others. Im so excited to see one of your heart's dreams unfolding and your own fears of sharing your kitchen melting away. Beauty to behold. Beauty in process. Beauty in the revealing. Thank you for that little revelation this morning.

Anjie said...

wonderful! Awesome post Ginny : ))

Caneel said...

I love, love, LOVE this!!! So happy for you and proud of Chris. And thank you for writing this - my shots are also zoomed in to hide MANY things so much of the time! :) Happy Easter, my friend!

Annie said...

Yayyyy Ginny! So happy for you :) Mike and I bought our house two years ago and we've been SLOWLY chipping away at the yard and house. Somehow we thought we'd have everything done in a year... HA!

Thanks for sharing!

Sarah Brooks said...

LOVE how real this post was! All my pics of my kids seem to be in front of the front door. It's often the only clean spot in the house! LOL

Anonymous said...

I have a question about Gladys... How did you guys painted her? What kind of paint is best? We bought a house and all the appliances except the stove are black. We have so many renovations that replacing my "Lady Kenmore" is not in our immediate plans... But if I can paint her to match the rest of the appliances that would be so nice!

Ginny said...

Hi--we painted "Gladys" with high-heat appliance spray paint. My husband took "her" outside, very lightly sanded her, got her all cleaned up, taped off everything we didn't want to be white (the knob/clock area), and went to town. He very slowly and methodically applied the spray paint...and it took several days as he did many coats, but it made a huge difference. (I have seen YouTube videos on how to paint should check those out.) The paint has since chipped in spots where I've dinged it with pots, and we probably need to sand her down and paint her again, but getting the Harvest Gold eyesore out of the kitchen has been a game changer. My husband also painted our fridge which has been great, too.

Happy Painting!