Monday, July 14, 2008

Time flies

Wow... in some ways it's hard to believe that almost two weeks have passed since my last post. In other ways, it seems like we've done so much stuff that surely it must have been months not weeks! So what's been up in the LizKnit's household? Lots! Pull up a chair and let's take a look at some photos, shall we?

Last time we talked, Little Black Kitty had just gotten back from the vet. LBK, now known affectionately as Zinn, now has a place of honor in the house.

This week he went back in for a second surgery. Big stuff this time. The leg unfortunately hadn't healed up so they went in, cleaned up more, and stitched it back up. Keep your fingers crossed that this time it takes! Also on the agenda, removal of four canines (that would be teeth, not dogs, =] ) and one neutering. Seems our little guy has really had a tough life... all four of his canines were broken off and had to be removed. He's been a little trooper though... all happy and healthy after surgery.

In fact, this is the sweetest, most friendly cat I've ever come across. Zinn constantly, and I do mean constantly, wants to be with you. On your lap, in your arms, being petted, laying on your legs. I guess food was not the only thing he was starving for outside. It's hard to imagine how this sweet little fluff managed to get along out there for so long. Even harder to put together what I know about him now with the mean, tom cat image he put off when he was living outside. I thought he was mean... my neighbor told me she was scared of him. Funny how you can so misperceive a cat.

Regardless, we're all comfy inside, Zinn in his special room (and sometimes in the kitchen). Issac, Dylan, and Sterling have the run of the rest of the house. The separation is definitely the hardest part. I spend part of my time with Zinn and part of the time with the other guys. There's never enough time to go around for everyone though. Zinn is definitely FIV+ (the second test did come back +) so no playing with other kitties. We're still taking it one day at a time, but I love them all so much I feel like I need to be two or three of me to spread myself around.

In addition to kitty hospital, we've also had company over the past week. S's mom came to visit. Always looking for entertaining diversions, we took her to see both high art and, well, let's call it less high art.

Our first stop, the Museum of Jurassic Technology.

I'm not even sure where to start in describing this museum. Maybe sharing that some of the exhibits are a portrait gallery of all the dogs sent up in the soviet space program and carvings that are in the eye of a needle and on the head of a pin is a starting place. It's almost indescribable. Any one who likes things off the beaten track should definitely check this place out.

My favorite thing... the Floral Radiographs of Albert G Richards

You view these amazing "photos" with 3D glasses (not the cheap cardboard stuff, but special glasses that give you a three dimensional effect) and they are stunning. In the LA area and looking for an interesting way to spend some time? It's going to be hard to find anything much more interesting than this!

After this excursion, we headed over for a bit more high brow artsy fartsy stuff... the Getty.

Don't S and his mom look happy here? I think that I've shared that my favorite part of the Getty is definitely the grounds. There were several interesting photography exibits and an exhibit of Maria Sibylla Merian's watercolor studies of butterflies, but the views from the Getty are definitely the best. It was a terribly smoggy day, but beautiful even still.

And then even better, we spent a night at Crystal Cove State Park. The Cove has a group of cottages that have recently (last year or two) been renovated and opened to the public for rentals. It's affordable and you are right on the beach! The trick is getting one. Reservations open on the first of the month, for seven months in the future, and the cabins are all usually gone within 10 minutes. S braved the internet back in December and got us one night, his birthday even!

The highest cabin there on the left, that's where we stayed. It was divine!

How 'bout a view of the beach with your window?

We did lots of walking and enjoyed the afternoon and evening immensely.

The cabin was perfect ... just your basic cabin (but with a million dollar California beachline view!).

There is nothing like getting to watch sunset at the beach knowing you won't have to drive home after dark. These two photos are my favorites from this trip.

And even better, getting up early the next morning to walk on the beach and take a swim before almost anyone else is around.

It's pretty super to get to enjoy this without being a bazillionaire who can afford to buy it all up privately. Here's to the Crystal Cove Foundation and the state for keeping this great asset going!

But a couple of museums, a trip to the beach, this doesn't sound like two weeks of business does it? Well, no that's no the least of it. The real reason for J's visit... work. Since we moved to California three years ago, we've wanted to renovate the kitchen. This summer we committed to getting it done. J volunteered to come and help with the work. The museums and beach were bribes [laugh].

And work we did.

We started from the top and will work our way all the way down to the bottom. First up, we had to fix up the ceiling (seen here in it's glorious post-spakled, pre-painted glory).

Next up, cabinets. We wanted to being as minimally environmentally deterimental as we could (considering that any renovation creates waste and uses resources) so we decided to keep all the cabinets and just repaint (VOC free paint... Pittsburgh Paint... we love it... try it!). Last Sunday we plunged in, emptied out the cabinets, took off the doors, and took the plunge.

That's me above in what became a very familiar pose all week. In the midst you'll notice the over-the-stove microwave we've already installed, the new kitchen island, as well as the new light fixtures. (Yes I know it probably would have made more sense to install the fixtures after we painted... but we had to put them out to make sure they were what we wanted. And yes I know buying all these things new isn't exactly no-impact, but the other stuff was terrible!).

J did an amazing job with the shelves and cabinet doors ... assisted by the ever porch-loving pooch, Sterling.

Over a week later, I'm pleased to report that "most" of the painting is now done. We put up crown moulding on Saturday and realized we will have to caulk all of it as there are gaps where it hits the ceilings and walls (the joys of a 1930s house). So we'll have to break the paint back out to touch up the ceiling and wall after that's done and of course the moulding itself will need a touch up too. The biggest part of the painting is done though. Next comes countertops and floors. These I suspect won't happen anytime soon (maybe not until the spring since S will be in Indiana all fall).

I'll share post-paint pre-floor & countertop pictures after we clean up the disaster that's left in the kitchen. It's amazing how three adults and one renovation can create so much havoc in a small space!

And that my friends is what has kept me busy. And knitting you might ask? Well just when do you think I would have had time to knit (snort!)? Truthfully, I did pick up my rotating garter stitch socks after Zinn came into the house as a small sit-with-the-cat project. I had forgotten how much fun turning a heel can be. Now I'm in the long foot stretch. So a bit of knitting, but it pales in comparison to the painting!

I hope to be back soon with more knitting progress (and a clean kitchen!).


Queen of the froggers said...

You have been so busy. I love the look of that beach.

Lola and Ava said...

After seeing the photos of the beach, I know why A) the Flyer loves California so much and B) he doesn't want to take me . . . because I probably wouldn't get on the plane to come home and would list our house from the hotel.

Kitchens are a bitch to redo but so worth it in the end. Good luck!

Hilary said...

Wow, you've been busy! It all looks so fun though, even the kitchen renovation. :)

Oh how I love and miss the Getty! Those views are the best. I think I see my alma mater in the background!

tiennie said...

I want to stay there!

I have to say - I nearly fell over when I saw your remodel pics. I'm in the midst of all of that too. My cabinets were already white but the scene looks too familiar!