Sunday, March 8, 2015

Home on the Range - Range Update

As you know, the Range is a 100 year old work in progress.The current project is the kitchen. I love the memories in that kitchen, but it hadn't been updated since the 30's and it showed (though someone in the 60's put contact paper over ALL the cupboards, which actually had been really good quality).
Tile for the floor was chosen - the dark midnight blue on the lower left to be the border and the light slate grey in the upper right corner to be the rest.  Walls will be a very soft cream (almost yellow) with off-white cupboards.  Since I have a lot of Scandahoovian decorative pieces of my Mom's - that will match nicely. . .

and not clash with the firearms.
But with the entire house being rewired and replumbed in addition to all of the wood restoration, inside and out, this had been put on hold for about 3 years. We're paying cash for everything, raiding neither the IRA's or the savings (we each keep a year's salary in the bank for emergencies), nor putting it on credit (been there, done THAT mistake).

When we have enough for each project - we simply raid Bank of Minion.
But I was ready for something to be done with the kitchen.
So, after many clue-by-fours to Partner in Crime about the horrid peeling red plastic floor and the ugly cupboards, I came home this weekend to find the 70 year old Abominable Stoveman in the dining room, and the white storage cupboard occupying space there, as well.

I guess supper today is going to be something using the crockpot.

Drunken Beans with bourbon and bacon on baked potatoes. Recipe in the comments.

This will be a much needed update. Downstairs there is plenty of storage
When Northern Europeans prep.

But in the kitchen---there's not a lot of space---so an antique sink is going against  the wall under the stained glass window we already put in, with storage space below and the entire other counter which is now two small work areas broken up by sink will be ALL counter with storage underneath.

Above is our mental version of the kitchen in autocad. The sink in the right hand side of the picture isn't exactly where it will sit,level wise, but you get the idea.

This last weeks project - ripping out the sub flooring. All the old linoleum was removed and new underlayment was fitted. Unfortunately, the old linoleum had paper/felt backing which, though put in before the years asbestos was more common, was treated as if it was asbestos, with all the proper protocols, precautions, sealing and clean up done (that's not a project for amateurs. and something Partner has dealt with in his line of work).

Yes, we could have professionals come in and do all the plumbing and wiring and wood and plaster and restore this entire house. It was priced for a cash sale as a fixer upper. We could raid the savings and pick up the phone and write a big check, but we're doing it all ourselves, over 7-8 years. Why? That leaves money for emergencies and Dad's care and
I offered to help rip out the floor. Yes, a respirator, suit, and goggles adds 10 pounds, but I"m sort of used to wearing one.  But Partner had it taken care of before I finished my two week work stint; the clean up and disposal taken care of before I arrived.
There - the subflooring is laying down nicely (though now the sunporch is covered in wood dust) The light fixture was from an old storefront in our village and purchased for $15 with the fixture part assembled in the bat shop. The red ceiling will soon be gone!
Partner is going to lay down the floor tiles after I head back to work, but the prep work is done. After that, we need to redo a sewer line downstairs adding a combination check/gate valve as we had some flooding issues this year, followed by a sump pump. After that, the kitchen will be finished, sometime this summer.

I can repaint and hang up the things I love again.

You know---despite the delays and the mess and all of the work, I wouldn't trade this old house for the fanciest McMansion.
Because after all - it IS Home on the Range.
And I share it with the ones I love.


  1. Drunken Beans

    4 pieces (uncooked) bacon, diced
    1 small yellow onion, finely diced
    1 carrot diced fine
    1/2 cup roasted corn
    1 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded and diced
    3 garlic cloves, minced
    1/2 cup barbecue sauce (your favorite)
    2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
    2 Tablespoons Molasses
    2 Tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon bourbon
    2 teaspoons Worcestershire
    4 (15-ounce) cans cooked beans, rinsed and drained (I use assorted red beans but anything works)
    2 Tablespoons brown sugar
    1 teaspoon dried oregano
    1 teaspoon chili powder
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon cumin


    Cook bacon in a large saute pan over medium-high heat until crispy, stirring occasionally. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and transfer to a separate plate. Set aside.
    Meanwhile, reserve 1 tablespoon of bacon grease in the saute pan, discarding the extra. Add the onion carrot, corn and jalapeno, and saute for 5 minutes or until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the garlic, and saute for an additional 1-2 minutes until fragrant.Add the remaining ingredients.. Continue cooking until the beans reach a simmer. Then reduce heat to medium-low, and continue simmering uncovered for about 15 minutes. While that cooks, chop the bacon into fine pieces.
    When ready to serve, stir in the bacon. If you like it less thick, stir in 2--3 Tablespoons of additional barbecue sauce

    No stove directions: cook bacon on microwave safe plate, pour grease into crockpot preheated to high. Remove bacon, add onion, corn, carrot and garlic, cover and cook on high 30 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and turn to low and cook for 6-8 hours.

  2. . Ah !!!!! All the British groceries !!!! You are tempting me severely, LOL.


    Wichita,Kansas......if you are in the neighborhood

  4. I always loved Jacob's Cream Crackers, and Crunchie candy bars...Oh and Wensleydale cheddar which is difficult to find in the US.

    Glad you got the pkg, btw. I am enjoying watching your homeremodeling work as it progresses. Your home is lovely.

  5. Your remodeling efforts are similar to my brother's. He is remodeling his 100+ year old house's kitchen. Similar arched passageway. Gonna send him a link to this. He has a four burner gas rig on 2x4s til he fits a stove in.

  6. What are the new floor tiles made from?

    My stepson has quite a bit of experience doing various kinds of tile work, so if you have questions, I can ask them for you.

  7. Dr. Jim - The brand name is Marmoleum. It comes in sheet and tile form and comes from a company called Forbo. It is considered to be with more of the more "sustainable" products, made with linseed oil and various pigments. One of the advantages over vinyl, is that the color goes through the linoleum , compared to most vinyls where it is just printed on top.

    1. Cool!

      That sounds like real "Old School" linoleum!

  8. Marmoleum? Thanks for that info....we're going to redo the kitchen and bathroom floors eventually (maybe even the mudroom) and I'd love something a bit more authentic and definitely sustainable.

    And thanks for the recipe, 2nd Man made some cornbread tonight, I bet drunken beans would be wonderful with that (next time, ha).

    Stay warm!

  9. Slow and easy wins the day, AND leaves money for emergencies... Smart move!

  10. I'm just tired enough this morning that "Tomato Paste" was read as "Tomato Pete".

    The recipe sounds good, though. :)

  11. Best of luck with your kitchen! Hope the tile goes down well.

    Our kitchen is nowhere near done yet, but we did spring for professionally installed real linoleum sheet for our floor because putting it bluntly, it is nowhere near being a flat surface. Sheet linoleum can stretch a bit if you've got bumps and dips that just can't be flattened out. We prepped the floor with the prescribed underlayment, but the rented pneumatic staple gun did not drive the staples in far enough, so we had to go back and pound them in the rest of the way with hammers. The pro did a very good job, especially on the back stairwell where he ran the linoleum up the risers too. Note of reference, sheet linoleum is best installed on a hot summer day, especially if it has to be bent into a curve.

    Note to 1st Man
    Oddly enough linoleum is not recommended for places that get wet a lot. Check with the manufacturer before installing it in a bathroom or mudroom.


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