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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Chipping Away At The Goals List

I am crossing off another item from my goals list today because my lovely groom and I finally got around to replacing the last light fixture in the kitchen yesterday afternoon. I am going with track lighting because it is the least expensive way to get a lot of lighting where I need it.  Real honest-to-goodness recessed lighting would have been swell, but it would have also required a swell budget, which we don't have, especially when cheap track lighting will get the job done and we can do it ourselves.

I can hear Steve scurrying around the kitchen as I write this post, his steps purposeful and quick.  Today is a bottling day, and getting the beer safely into the immaculately clean bottles is always a stressful time for him.  The slightest bit of bacteria could ruin a whole batch of beer, which aside from being a frightful waste of materials, time and energy, would also be a tragic waste of beer.  But that is why there is a big stainless steel fermenter on the counter.  That's Bubbles, and she's holding a German-style steam beer (called Dampfbier in German).  Steve has figured out that by using a one foot hose instead of a much longer one, he can do the bottling by himself and doesn't need me to help (yay!), in addition to saving on hose costs.  He puts the full fermenter on the counter over the dishwasher the night before he bottles so that the beer can come to room temperature and so he can bottle over the open dishwasher door, which does a great job keeping the floor clean.  All he has to do when he's done bottling is close the door and it pours into the dishwasher anything he's spilled on the door.

Very soon I'll be able to get started on the breakfast and dining nook projects.  I finished the plans today for the dining nook up until the molding pieces so that I could put together my lumber and materials estimate.  The molding can wait because I'm not sure what I want to do with it exactly and molding is small enough to fit in the back of the car.  I tell Steve that this weekend after I come home from the Master Gardener Show with Rae and KT that I want to go to Home Depot for my materials so that I can start my projects next week. "Oh so if I want to brew beer while you're gone Saturday morning, I need to go to Steinbart on Friday afternoon," he says, which suggests dinner in Portland to me.  I mention this to him.  "Sure," he agrees, "we can hit the food carts at that one corner."

So that leaves only ordering the water filter, making the alcohol stove and copying water filtering pages from my hurricane book left on my list of major to-dos for this week.  I decide on Doulton water filters because Doulton has been making them for a very long time, and they are used by both the US and British militaries for treating water.  In 1835 Queen Victoria had commissioned Doulton to make water filters for her household, so yes indeed, they have been making them a very long time.

I order the Doulton water filter from FiltersFast through Google Checkout because they have the best price online, the cheapest shipping, and the highest rating of all those sellers on the list (4.8 stars out of 5 from more than 4,000 reviewers).  I also order extra filters, which are pricey at thirty-five dollars apiece, to say the least, because although you can extend the life of the filter by scrubbing the exterior with a stiff brush, Doulton recommends changing the filter at least annually.

Since Steve will be bottling for awhile and I can't get started on the dinner until he's out of my way, I'll go down to his office at the end of the hall and start copying portions of my hurricane preparedness book that I want to keep.  I've promised the book to Tamar and I need to get it to her well before the start of hurricane season on the first of June, which I make a note to myself to do next week.

In the meantime, that leaves only the stove, which I'll work on tomorrow.  I'll need something to do then.


Rae said...

Kitchen looks great! Congrats!

Paula said...

Thanks Rae!

Rachel said...

what does Steve think of all your preparedeness plans? Does he just humor you or is he as motivated as you to make sure everything is in order in case the worst happens? My husband humors me but frankly doesn't worry about the state of things like I do.

Paula said...

That was a really good question Rachel, so I posed it to Steve and his answer was , "No, I'm fence-sitting between humoring you and being fully on board."

Which doesn't surprise me in the least. As an agnostic, he's fence-sitting between the belief in the existence of God and the lack of any real proof that there is one.

In any case, this suits my purpose because he's allowing me to make preparations that make me feel better, and he's willing to re-do the roof with metal earlier than I expected him to, which means that I can get my rainwater harvesting system online well before I expected to, which is good.

Jennifer Montero said...

I love the idea of a preparedness plan. And I love making lists. And your kitchen is SO clean!

Paula said...

Jennifer- my kitchen is not clean. Hell, it's not even tidy. But I'm working on that. Black and white, and a little stainless steel does tend to make things look a little more sterile, but my kitchen is not that clean. I still haven't attacked the stove top which I've been meaning to do since Wednesday. And the likelihood of it (the kitchen) getting a good going over now that I've building materials is not very good, especially since building usually means dust.

Good thing I fashioned a dust cover for the hopper this morning.

But thank you for think so well of me. I love making lists too, but not as much as I love crossing things off of them. I'm definitely accomplishment motivated.

I think everyone should have a preparedness plan. Life throws a spanner in the works from time to time- much better to be ready than not. I'm feeling much more calm these days because I am much more ready for things. I'm still learning the gardening thing though. That will probably take awhile. I hope I'm ready for gardening for when it really counts!