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The Kitchen Remodel, 1994

Murder on Taft Avenue


Our old kitchen, in our house on Taft Avenue, was a good "starter."
With its circa 1970 mini-bar countertop and its ancient linoleum,
Alissa cooked up loads of lovely cuisine and tasty treats for her
family (and I helped!). She never really liked the design, though. I
couldn't understand why. It had a total of nine spacious plywood
cabinets, a picturesque zee-brick wall housing the microwave, and
a cute one-square-foot counterette between the refrigerator and the
admittedly worn-out electric stove. She said it all had to go.

We had just returned from our mini-honeymoon...

The old kitchen,
& the lovely Alissa
22 December 1993

Time for a little brunch, maybe

Brianna at the bar
in the old kitchen
25 December 1993

The night before the cabinets came...

Painting all night
before cabinets...
7 June 1994

The night before the cabinets came...

One way to cover
up the fly specks
7 June 1994

The night before the cabinets came...

Yep. Funny girl.
She got me.
7 June 1994

It was around the first of June that we sprang into action. Pensively.
Pulling out the cabinets was surprisingly easy, thanks to my crowbar.
Using our bathroom for a kitchen was a little tight, which made tearing
out the zee-brick wall seem easy. The crowbar made that downright fun.
We replaced the wall with sheet rock, and that's when I learned how
to mud seams, and about the inconvenience of vigorous sanding.

We picked out some nice honey oak cabinets - 22 of them - and a
new glass-top electric stove. I think we bought a new dishwasher too.
We hung the wall cabinets first, just me and Alissa, she being seven
months pregnant. Once, I was holding up a heavy double cabinet, and she
put in a single screw, stood back admiring her work, telling me that
was the first time she'd driven in a screw using a drill. My muscles were
starting to tremble with over-exertion as I congratulated her, begging her
to drive in another one, which she did. Finally. The base cabinets were
no trouble at all, for us anyway. They weren't very even on top, but I was
counting on the countertop expert to deal with that precision solution.

I think this was a cake Brianna made for us...

Our wedding cake
baked by Brianna
6 August 1994

Kara's 5th birthday preparations

Cooking up Kara's
5th birthday party
6 October 1994

Happy birthday to you!

The birthday girl,
Kara, turns five!
6 October 1994

Hello, Turkey Day!

3-month-old Eli,
Thanksgiving dinner
25 November 1994

When to countertop/floor specialist showed up, he complained that the
base cabinets weren't level. I answered that this was the reason we'd
bidded out the job to him. He was painstakingly accurate with his work.
Following Alissa's instruction, he applied the backsplash to the entire walls
above the counters. He also did a great job coving the linoleum. It took him
longer to finish the job than it'd taken us to tear out the old cabinets & install
the new ones. Frequently, he phoned a consultant from our land line for
advice and support during that long week. Additionally, I had a plumber stop
in to rearrange my horrible attempt at installing the sink and water works.

The spoon wasn't big enough!

Eli taste-testing...
(can't say for sure!)
9 January 1995

By now, we'd forgotten the old kitchen.

Brianna & Alissa
work in the kitchen
9 January 1995

Yyyeah, I CAN smell 'em!

Eli sharing his
carrots with me
25 February 1996

You want some too?

Hey! Thanks for
sharing, My Son!
25 February 1996

When it was all finished, we made good use of our cozy kitchen.
By the time Taylor was born, we needed a larger house, and Alissa's
kitchen is what sold the place, according to Bo Short, our agent.
It sure did turn out nicely, and gave me the confidence to try my
hand at many other home projects in the following years.

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2012 EBBoykinJr

All Right Preserves

Thank you, Mister Crowbar.