The Kitchen Renovation.
The last of the tear out.

Have you ever been so excited to get a project finished that you are almost dancing through the last bits of it?! Working night and day getting happier and happier that something you’ve been waiting for is almost here.  You get that extra boost of energy because the end is in sight.

Yeah, that’s not happening to me.

What I *am* becoming is someone who if given half a chance could be considered a danger to society.

Just yesterday I didn’t separate my recyclables.

I am fed up, miserable, and not enjoying one single second of this.  The only upside to any of this is, my new friend the spazzy eye twitch, which makes me  look psychotic enough for people to keep their distance from me.

I cannot be trusted with people.  I bite now.



I’ve kept as much of my kitchen intact as possible until the very last moment.   This is the last moment.







And this is pretty much how it will remain until the new kitchen is installed.



As I type this I am debating whether or not to just go to bed.  It’s 1:32 p.m.  I was in the kitchen earlier assessing what I still needed to do.

1.  Prime the walls and ceiling.

2.  Paint the walls and ceiling.

3.  Repair holes in the drywall.

4.  Patch the floor.

5.  Paint the trim.

6.  Check myself into some sort of “facility”.

And I’m going to start on that list immediately.  In reverse order.



  1. Mimi says:

    That Jura will help you make it through this! Mine saves me everyday!

    • Karen says:

      That Jura is sometimes the only thing that gets me up out of bed in the morning, lol. My sister bought another brand of semi-automatic espresso maker and had NOTHING but trouble with it for over a year. She finally ended up getting rid of it and buying the same Jura as mine. ~ karen!

  2. Sandy says:

    I feel for you! We remodeled our kitchen a couple years ago. What started out as a simple remodel ended up with the whole kitchen being gutted for various leaks, rotted floor, etc. I think the kitchen is the worse room to remodel. In the end though it will be beautiful. Just keep that in mind. Can’t wait for finished pictures.

  3. Bols says:

    Threshold delivery must be dumbest thing ever invented (didn’t know Costco does this).
    Years ago, I wanted to buy a treadmill and Canadian Tire told me they will deliver it to the door but not an inch further. Very helpful!!!

    Couple of years ago, I bought a snow blower (a big, massive beast, very heavy and not the easiest to operate – I am slowly discovering I am REALLY into S&M), also at Can. Tire. They are one of the stores who give you a whole afternoon window and refuse to narrow it down. I took the dogs for a brief walk just around the block and I left a note at the door stating I will be back in a few minutes.
    Didn’t they deliver the beast just the exact moment I disappeared past the 1st corner? What more,
    they did not want to leave the thing in front of the house (as if anybody would want to steal it at 2pm) and decided to somehow get it up 10 stairs (my house is a raised bungalow) and put it behind the gate into my yard.
    I was MAJORLY pissed. You have no idea how difficult it was to get it back to the garage level – I had to get guys from the neighbourhood to do this for me.

  4. toekneetoni says:

    looking beyond the madness (which could actually be a lot worse) and visualizing it’s potential. my conclusion: the brick looks great and the kitchen will be fabulous!

  5. kate-v says:

    OOh, I know what you mean!! When my husband and I tackled a remodel we worked liked dogs. It seems that ladders, lumber, tools, paint, drywall, drop clothes, mud and tape were everywhere all the time — it went on forever, it looked horrible and we were very tired and depressed. So, we picked everything up and walked away on a vacation from which we weren’t sure we would ever return. . Days pass, we have seen scenery, played with grandkids, partied and not washed a dish lifted a hammer, daubed any mud or smoothed any wall texture. It was fun – we forgot about the horrible situation at home. Then we went back – with new attitudes to be sure from not constantly thinking about what needed to be done next. We walked in the door and were amazed at what we had done, how well we had done it, how nice it looked — and how little was left to do!!! We had fresh new energy, we could actually see the light at the end of the tunnel. So, yes, Karen, go on vacation! No, not in a few minutes, go now!! Take a friend!! Have fun!! You will not regret it and we will enjoy your travelogue.

  6. Karen J says:

    The Island!
    Another teaser*!@#!

  7. Janet says:

    Right now, I’d say you’re going for the “Open Look”. It’s ok….there really will be a light at the end of the tunnel…maybe not this end, but definitely the other end.

  8. Mary Werner says:

    Looks like my kitchen but I’m not renovating. Oh well, at least I can have a new one virtually when you finish yours. Find anything interesting in the walls besides the brick wall? My husband used to renovate for others and always left something like 2 cents, or hand print, or note. You should think of a fun surprise to leave for some future renovator to find – like aspirin or an empty wine bottle, or a note of encouragement with a link to your blog post written – wonder what they will be using for communication when it gets renovated again.

  9. Melissa in North Carolina says:

    Wow…this is not encouraging to someone who will be going though the same mess, I mean experience later this year. Karen, you can do it!!! Make us smile, make us laugh, make us proud!!!! You go girl!

  10. karen l says:

    Oh honey! I’m prescribing a therapy day – grab your sisters and head for the hills. Do something, do anything that is not kitchen related!

  11. says:

    I actually wish I were there to help you… much as I hate painting I know you’d keep me laughing the whole time. What you’re going thru is kinda like childbirth… a month when it’s all over you wont remember all of the pain (and actually might be ready to do it all over again)

  12. Deb J. says:

    You will get there! Nothing quite like posting it for the world to see to motivate – but you would finish it anyway. And one day it will be all done and you will be sitting in it sipping coffee and enjoying the efficiency – and all this WILL be a distant memory. Keep your sense if humour, get your sleep (if only to prevent injury but also to keep your sense of humour) and keep us posted. Oh, and patch the drywall BEFORE you paint – much less work:)

  13. Ev says:

    One day at a time Karen. and when it’s over you will know that YOU did it! It will be a wonderful room and you are gonna love it! Maybe someone will send you a photo of that wretchedly cute kitten hanging on for dear life–you know, the one that says “Hang In There”! You could build a small fire (hopefully outside) and do a dance around it while you burn the photo! We’ll all keep a good thought for you. Weak, huh?

  14. Ann says:


    You do realize you are doing by yourself, what other similar projects require whole teams of men to do? Of course you are tired. Of course you are cross. Of course you need rest. And drugs.

    I know you will get it done. Everything, just one step at a time, will happen. I keep considering painting my kitchen cabinets one day. I just need to remember you did an entire kitchen and maybe the painting project won’t seem so hard.

  15. Lynne says:

    Is that your new stove I spy over in the corner?

  16. SuzyMcQ says:

    Forgive me, Karen, but all I could think of was how you could repurpose those glass-fronted cupboard doors.
    Please don’t drop me from your approved subscriber list……

  17. Reg says:

    Oh dear. Just looking at all that is making me hyperventilate recalling my kitchen reno. And that was 14 yrs ago.
    Maybe if we all softly sing Soft kitty, Warm kitty, Little ball of fur……

  18. karol says:

    Have you ever seen that show on HGTV where a group of people come in while a couple is out to dinner and complete renovate their entire kitchen as a big surprise? In a few hours. Do that… call those people. I bet you can pull some strings and make it happen. And here are a few more exclamation points!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. Danni says:

    Oh man, I’m having flashbacks!! I had to do all of that too, patch drywall, plaster, prime, paint… but it took weeks… months…
    Keep the coffee brewing and turn the clocks to the wall. Godspeed on your quest!

  20. Dagmar says:

    Maybe the eye twitch will be of some help, and you will accidentally pick up a nice contractor friend who will work some magic with you in your kitchen…and then maybe some other rooms of the house. Hmm.

  21. Jody says:

    How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Never mind being overwhelmed–just keep going even if it is one small thing. Just remember your kitchen is the art of DOING stuff.

  22. Karen J says:

    That Island! Another teaser! #*!

  23. Su says:

    I’m with Nikki – a spa is indeed a facility – especially one that lets you bring in wine…. remember it’s always darkest before the dawn

  24. Tigersmom says:

    Please tell me you saved the glass front cabinet doors.

    They will make a beautiful cold frame next year which will be about the time you will be able to look at a power tool again without a visit from your new friend, “Spazzy” the eye twitch.

    Hang in there and remember the end of all this is a wonderful new kitchen that functions perfectly for you. And please don’t work when you are over-tired. Speaking from experience, it only causes more work in the long run to rehab the inevitable injury and redo the work right.

  25. RosieW says:

    You rock, Karen. When I saw the picture of you taking off cabinet doors I thought you were going to try to remove the entire cabinet. DON’T. Too stinking heavy for one person.

    It’s going to be wonderful. Wish I could be there to help.

    Rosie, in icy Atlanta area

    • Karen says:

      HI RosieW. The cabinet is removed, lol! It’s just hard to tell from the pictures. The only thing left is one small piece of wood on the right that’s holding some electrical work. :) ~ karen

  26. Wendy says:

    Um. I know you do stuff, and I know you say it’s all simple enough if you plan and think it through, and I know you’re too cheap to pay people to do stuff after the whole expensive fence thing . . . but after the 120 day backyard thing . . . aren’t you a little tired? I mean, new kitchen’s are amazing and you are equally amazing . . . but are there no “troops” for you to call in at this point. I mean, where’s the sister with the pink tool Belt? Where’s Betty in her flipflops? Aren’t there other people who know how to do stuff around who owe you? I’m just sayin . . .

    • Karen says:

      Well, everyone else is just as busy as I am. And the sister with the pink toolbelt did come and help me move my stove inside when Costco left it on my front doorstep. (they do threshold delivery) I try to reserve asking people for help for when I really and truly absolutely cannot do something myself. ~ karen!

      • Jody says:

        ……like Tim the Plumber?

      • Amy in StL says:

        I do that too! Which is how I ended up lugging the two boxes containing my huge kitchen island with the granite top inside and nearly dying when I slipped on the rug. Turns out even the UPS guy had help with it; so I totally should have asked for help.

  27. Suzanne @ Le Farm says:

    I have been entertaining a major renovation…and you’re not helping one bit!
    Basically I want a sexy master suite with a fabulous bathroom and closets converted from my bedroom and a formal living room, a screened in porch heading down to a bricked patio with outdoor fireplace and cooking amenities, conversion of my center dining room into a cool living area with a huge wall of built-ins (and deep purple plush velvet love seats!), country french white-washed beams in several rooms, French doors to the new dining space with a transomed window, French doors to the screened in porch and a new access to the bathroom from the guest room……..that’s all!
    Any advice….? I almost hate to ask…

  28. Jenny W says:

    Oh Karen, now your scaring me! We had our first meeting with a contractor yesterday to discuss a complete gut & reno of our bathroom ( we only have the one ) back hall and kitchen. I do not think I am going to be able to handle, and live in the mess! I may need to be medicated for the duration!

  29. Kyle says:

    I actually live not too far from a psychiatric facility that actually has a thrift shop, which is dicey for me because I often feel I should stay.

  30. Danica says:

    I really love that you still have the chandelier hanging…that just offsets the mess. I am sure nobody will notice.

  31. Deb says:

    Call in all the fabulous women you are linked to by blood, love or blackmail. They can at least take the doors from you as you take them off cupboards, bring you food, separate recyclables, feed chickens, tell you when to stop for the night. You are my hero. I have to convince myself to scrub the toilet.

  32. mimiindublin says:

    Breathe, Karen, breathe!
    Your kitchen is going to be fabulous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Lol at the pic of you with glass door in hand, you look as though you’re going to throw it at someone!

  33. gabrielle says:

    Pizza. Beer. Chill.

    Repeat as required!

  34. Grammy says:

    It’s like raising children — there has to be a stressful period (anyone who’s lived with teenagers knows) so you are actually ready to “let go” when it’s time. Suffering before the transition makes the big change so much more wonderful and you embrace and savor it immediately. Hang in there and in no time you will be luxuriating in your dream kitchen.

  35. Julia says:

    If I could I would hop on a plane and come round to help. But who would look after my chickens?

  36. Kate says:

    I feel your stress. Actually, I do. I’m getting hyper and feeling a migraine coming on as I type.
    By the time our contractors got the kitchen cabinets in, I no longer cared. not. one. bit. I just wanted to walk out the door, leaving it wide open, and never return. Pretty much felt that way for a whole year post-renovation (a whole house reno of a ca. 1900 brick rowhouse) A year later, the stove went up in flames (No reason ever discovered; sometimes a lemon just rolls off the line, was my appliance guy’s comment). Eight firemen in full fire kit blew tramped through the house to congregate in the kitchen, by which time I had subdued the fire with the fire extinguisher. Made a claim against our homeowners insurance policy for the damage. When aforementioned policy came up for renewal two months later, it was cancelled. Because we filed a claim. Lesson learned: Never file a claim against your homeowners for small stuff. Wait until your house blows up. Had to buy insurance from Lloyds of London for the next three years. For lots more money. Fun times. But the firemen were really nice.
    That reno was 14 years ago, and those memories remain strong. REALLY strong. Bad memories.
    Please, go have a drink. Then another one, for me. I’ve still got work to do. Damn work.

  37. Tracie says:

    Oh, Karen, never hold off on wine….you may end up in a facility. And by facility, I don’t actually mean….spa. It’s all rather dangerous if you ask me. So drink wine. Always.

  38. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    I know it pretty useless to tell you to get help so I’ll just say I love the beautiful wood on the island and the white brick wall..just think how gorgeous it will be when it is finished!!!!!!!! I thought maybe some more exclamation points might

  39. Auntiepatch says:

    Oh, my……….

  40. SK Farm Girl says:

    There are a few facilities where I can get you a great discount; you can use my preferred customer discount! Tell them I sent you . . .

  41. Kathline says:

    My husband and I once renovated a house while we were living in it. Once.
    Lucky for us we were kind of a new couple at the time and still thought each other was cute.

  42. Barbie says:

    Oh Karen! I know how you feel! I really do! Hang in there it will be worth it in the end! You go get those rose colored glasses back out of your drawer right now and do NOT take them off again until the entire job is done! You NEED them to emotionally get through it trust me.

  43. Susan Preston says:

    The dust… It’s the dust! All I think about during renovations is my bathtub, and how nice it’ll all be when it’s finished…and the dust, all thru the house! Wanna come to my house for supper?

  44. Ella says:

    The island is gorgeous!

    • Laura Bee says:

      That was my first thought!
      Karen: You aren’t painting it are you?! Although in your state I won’t argue with you about it. Well, I probably would not argue about anything with you any other time.

      • Karen says:

        Oh lord no. I’m not painting that. What you all are seeing is just a tiny glimpse of it. You’re looking at the back of it. When the time is right, I’ll let you all see what it actually looks like, but I bought it at the beginning of this reno and have kind of based the whole kitchen around it. :) ~ karen

  45. Christie Thomas says:

    You are awesome, Karen!! Always make me laugh!

  46. Alison says:

    Also, wine helps

  47. Alison says:

    You can do it!! You are going to have such a spectacular kitchen!! We are all rooting for you lady!! So many exclamation points!!!! (Got a little excited there)

  48. jainegayer says:

    You sound like you need a drink, or lots of chocolate, or xanax or whatever it is they do in a “facility.”
    Poor girl.
    I’m going to bed and hope that I don’t have nightmares after looking at those kitchen pictures.

  49. Nikki Kelly says:

    I think a spa counts as a “facility”.

  50. Muff says:

    Oh my! Just ask and I can send you a photo of my kitchen mid-reno – my contractors (bless their wonderful hearts – I can’t say enough nice about them) took my threats seriously and believed me when I promised that if they left me at the end of each work day with a ‘working’ kitchen (running water, fridge, stove and counter space) I would keep the supply of cookies topped up. In a 9 month renovation of my whole house with a 6′ x 20′ addition to the kitchen I was without running water for a total of 36 hours and I was able to use the bathroom on the same floor for that time. They did, however, cut around the original plumbing with a chain saw and leave me just that sink part of the old wall for more than a couple of weeks while they got the new plumbing ready to go.

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