Monday, July 14, 2014

Tiny Victories! Hooray For Kitchen Drawers!

We now have a fridge!
The work accomplished over the last week was definitely not planned, and the satisfaction that came from it was just as unexpected. 

So, for those eagerly following along for solar purposes, we didn't get to that this past week. I was traveling locally for work last week, and came home with a few things I wanted to put in the cooler. Maybe it was just the long day, or the heat that set me off, or the ice purchasing/juggling we have been doing over the last couple weeks since the move- but when I got home and opened our little iceless cooler to find everything in there at least 10 degrees warmer (even hot, I would say) than the already 85 degree house.... let's just say I had a little moment. 

In it's defense, the little Coleman Iceless cooler put in a good run. The thing is clearly meant for weekend excursions or temporary outings- not to be run constantly and at max capacity, I might add. It was a small space, and we tried to embrace the change. It certainly forced us to eat fresh, but we also lost quite a bit of food over the last 9 months or so, as we tried to adjust our shopping habits, get better at meal prep, and whatnot. When it was colder out, we could make use of the coolers outside. When it got into the spring, we were still okay, but the cooler can only bring temperatures down to "up to 40 degrees below the surrounding temperature". Keep in mind that is probably in immaculate conditions, fully vented space, and no one opening the damn door for three days- sure maybe then it would bring it down 40. Based on our experience, once the door is open for 0.2 seconds, all the cool air is gone. 

I digress. So the fridge was full of hot gross things like moldy hummus and warm cucumbers. I had already been driving 2 hours, but was simply hell bent of getting a damn unit that would keep our food- THAT NIGHT. I unpacked, changed, looked around on Craigslist (with little luck), then immediately headed out to purchase said unit. I got the small dorm size fridge, the smallest available, and even then it seemed huge compared to what we were used to. 

I was a bit worried about the affect it would have on our power load, but after looking it up and doing the math, I found that this little fridge uses just 20 watts more per hour than the iceless cooler. Not a big change- so I think we will be just fine. 

The next problem was where to put the thing. The cabinet storage was designed specifically around the iceless cooler, so the fridge wouldn't fit any which way I tried. No matter! I rolled up my sleeves and began pulling apart the cabinets. Had to happen some time, and I was on a roll so I kept at it. 

I wish I could have captured the look of pure boyish joy on Dan's face when he came home and saw the little fridge. One thing we have both really missed are cold beverages...and when it's consistently high 80s in your house, those cold beverages suddenly take on a much higher value. 

It's funny the things in life you can learn to over look or deal with, and even funnier still, how a small change to one of those over-looked things can provide such a huge impact. I hadn't really taken much time to consider how much of a pain it could be without a dependable source for cooling and keeping food. We had been making it work since October, and with SO MUCH else going on, who is going to sit around and obsess about keeping food cold? Not us! But since we got the new little fridge, it has been truly awesome. I can now put veggies, eggs, and meats in the fridge and KNOW that they will be good for use for several days. It was always a gamble before. 

We still have grand plans for using passive cooling techniques outside, but that's down the road. We have a lot to do first, just to consider our selves settled and fully set up here on the farm. 

Since I started tearing things apart on Thursday night, the weekend was given to putting things back together- among several other appointments and social engagements. We considered the dimensions we had to work with and built a new skeleton for the stair storage. We really like the new set up. It's hard to pinpoint what exactly makes us like it so much. It has a more open feel to it, and despite the fact that this fridge is bigger, I think the way the shelving is set up now- we get more use of the space. 

We popped the big door off and re-sized it to go in it's new location. We used several pieces of scrap wood, miscellaneous hardware, and more for the project. We didn't have to buy a single thing! We were both very pumped about that specific detail-- we made changes, but we used what we had on hand. No cost! 

With this new found zest for re-arranging the kitchen, we decided to push and get the drawers done too. Those stinking things have been on the to do list for months now. Dan had started to make a couple, but didn't get to finish. For the last 3-4 months we've simply been putting things on the shelves where the drawers would go. 

While I built drawers, Dan continued to rip up pallets for our siding. He thinks we have enough pallets to process- at the moment- to finish the back short wall. Then just the back long wall is left. After the drawers were done, it was time to apply color! My favorite! And while I was at it, I decided to do a bunch of touch ups inside, including painting and poly-coating specific high traffic areas in the house. The cubby seats were an area that bugged me. As people sit on the seats, their feet naturally hit against the bright pine faces leaving marks and scuffs. So I gave it some dark brown trim to match our counters, and slapped some poly on there to make it scrubbable. 

By the end of the weekend, we had our fridge installed in it's new custom built home, we had kitchen drawers (which I gleefully geeked out about as I finally was able to put silverware, towels, etc in their final homes. I love organization!! Maybe too much.) And we touched up our beat up counter and gave it another coat too. Things are looking pretty good inside! The last 5% of the interior is down to 2%! Now the only things left inside are some small paint jobs and putting the cabinet door in it's new location. 

This week we plan to get cranking on siding once again, and hopefully I can get more solar power reading done so we can get off the grid for good! 

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The kitchen colors are finally tying all together!
A peaceful bun-bun enjoying candlelight. 

1 comment:

  1. love the colours and your bunny looks very happy :)