As I carefully hop down from my perch atop the refrigerator in my dream kitchen, where I finished the “cutting in” of the edge where the ceiling meets the wall, using my left hand, I realize I may have taken in a few too many paint fumes as I recite a line from one of my top ten favorite movies, “The Princess Bride” …
“I know something you don’t know, I am not left-handed!”
My little daughter, Sweet Petite giggles at me and thinks I’m crazy, okay, she knows I’m crazy.
Oh yes siree, it’s September, so it must be Project Month at the Croft home! Yay!
My husband, Bryan, would argue that every month is project month around our little home in the big vineyard, but he won’t be able to say this until he gets back, as he is away in Ashland checking on some quickly ripening Pinot Gris and Riesling with our little son, Jakers, so Sweet Petite and mama can stay home to complete our Scantron Assessment for our new venture into the world of online home schooling.
Bryan also thinks me a bit mad to be painting our kitchen again, but as I explained while pulling his favorite apples from our tree pie out of the oven, to cool on the back deck,
“I have spent six years in this kitchen and we have worked very hard in demo and creating a dream space for me to play my two favorite games; cooking and baking. And while I adore the original paint colors: Burgundy wine, bountiful harvest, and grapevine green with the perfect touch of glossy black on my wainscot covered cabinetry (thank you Coco Chanel for the brilliant black part), when the Willamette Valley enters into the sometimes ever-so-long rainy/cloudy/little bit o’snowy season, it’s just too dark. Makes me feel blue.”
This blue feeling, I have heard some say, is sometimes called Seasonal Affectedness Disorder. I decided not participate if it could be helped, in the potential, yet close at hand SAD season and instead take my mental health into my own hands and literally move into the light.
My kitchen is in the physical center of our home as well as the spiritual heart of my home.
This means that the sun never shines directly through any of the windows. I do, however, have a stunning view out my kitchen windows which includes the raised bed vegetable and herb gardens, blocks 1 and 2 of the pinot gris and a forest of Douglas fir trees, just beyond.
In late autumn through late spring, with the exception of the firs, everything outside turns brown then gray, moving either into dormancy or death.
The charcoal skies and associated gloominess just don’t match with my personality, so I had to do something about it.
Also, with the amount of these kinds of very regular undertakings around here, I always take three super-important-to-me, things into account.
1. The reusing, reclaiming and/or making use of materials already available to me, either found out here on this property like Oregon barn oak from the out buildings dating back to 1885, barrels and lumber from the winery that would otherwise be discarded– I have my eye on a really cool door from the root cellar of the abandoned farm house that sits nearby to our home in the country–but that’s for a different time, tee hee:)
2. Our tight and tiny, sometimes non-existent budget.
3. That I am able to design, construct, execute and complete any project by myself and/or preferably with my family helping and learning, sweating and sometimes bleeding, building muscles and character, self sufficiently, right along with me .
Disassembling the cupboards was the easy part.
Then, the cleaning, lightly sanding, prepping and applying three coats of yummy Irish Cream paint to the previously glossy black cabinet doors, upper and lower was a little more time consuming but well worth the effort.
Earlier this spring my Bryan and I had added some beautiful wood wainscot to the face of the existing, cheap, peeling, “fake oak” which I call foak, doors.
I love this look, we used liquid nails, and now the cabinetry really exemplifies the fresh country living environment I enjoy as part of the warm, comforting feeling of our home.
Of course, I had to paint the walls to enhance the new look of the cupboards, so on Thursday, Jakers, Sweet Petite and I popped down the four miles of gravel road, finally met up with the pavement and very near to the feed store payed a visit to our paint guy at our small town’s lumber and hardware store for paint.
The babes chose a super great color called, Golden Sunray–perfect!
Even though this day is in the upper 90 degree range, and my little lady and I are working so, so hard, I can close my eyes and feel the bright, happy days and dark early nights of winter she and I will be enjoying in our joyful kitchen.
The aromas of roasts, homemade stocks and breads, mulling spices and cookies will fill our home as they have for six blessed winters, only in addition to the comfort and joy, there will be more light and love than ever before.
I wish you tons and bunches of Happy and only an ever so small pinch of S.A.D to balance all of your beautiful seasons ahead.
With lots of love living our American dream.