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Kitchen Demolition is Over! Now help me paint…

We’ve lived in our house for over 10 years now, but we’ve never really treated it like “home”.  Jim’s job has had us transferred in the past, and when we arrived in New Jersey and he began traveling, well, it seemed like this might not be our permanent home.

A small “don’t let the blind guy cook” kitchen fire occurred not too long ago, and with my admission to nursing school a done deal, it seemed like a good time to spruce the place up.

Except, for the most part, I suck at that!

So, I need to choose a color to paint not only my kitchen, but I have an old built in corner hutch that I want to strip and repaint.  Jim seems to think we can just paint it a honey color and let it be, but I think it needs to be stripped.  Please feel free to weigh in, as we are significantly design challenged.

So – here’s the kitchen:

This is a close up of the tile used as an accent border on the back splash – I think these are the colors I want to draw from to paint.

I kind of like the goldish/yellowish/light greenish color, but obviously, have no clue what the actual color is!

And this is my currently way too white for this room corner hutch.  Strip and stain to match the cabinets, or paint?

I must have some gifted designer friends out there!  Throw some ideas at me, and I’ll invite you over when the hot tub arrives!!

Love My Kumato!

What the hell?  I know what you’re thinking – she’s typo-ing again.  She’s letting her iPhone auto-correct.  Is this a new Japanese car?

None of the above.  It’s this:

What’s that, you ask?  Why, yes it is one damn ugly colored tomato!

My biggest fear in sharing these fabulous fruits with you is that they will revoke my Jersey Girl card for being a traitor to the finest tomato in the land – the Jersey tomato – but this is really a delicious tomato!

Found in my local Wegman’s – right near the Jersey tomatoes – were packages of these brownish, rustyish, green tinged, ugly colored tomatoes.  I have raised some genetically mutated children who do not eat tomatoes (none of them do – making it harder to believe it was a switched at birth thing), and I thought these might be an awesome way to hide tomatoes in foods so the kids didn’t know what they were eating.  Well, the kids were too smart for that – identifying them immediately as tomatoes – but that leaves more for me!

These are sort of on the sweet side, with just a bit of the tomato “tang” you are probably familiar with.  Don’t let the color fool you – these are not rotten, mushy tomatoes.  The flesh is firm, the skin is tight (without the benefit of the wicked mad surgical skills of Dr. Veitia), and it has almost a crunch to it when you bite in.

I tossed mine into a salad so that I could appreciate the tomato in it’s simplest form, and I can’t help but wonder how these would be fried.  They are a bit on the small side, but I think they might be really tasty, and hold up well to the frying pan.  These would also be delicious in a caprese salad – not to mention beautiful against the white mozzarella cheese!

Even if you live in Jersey, look for the Kumatos the next time you go shopping.  You just might find that Jersey has some stiff competition!

Some of My Favorites…

As I sit here, not studying for the Anatomy and Physiology test I have on Monday, I am thinking of the vacation I’m not on.  While that may sound regretful, and yes, I do wish I was anywhere in the world except school at the moment, it gives me a chance to reflect on some of the places we’ve been and seen.  Here are some of my favorite photographs from previous vacations.  I certainly feel blessed to have been able to visit so many wonderful places – and a little less sad about not being somewhere other than home right now!


Bow of the Grand Princess

Bow of the Grand Princess

From a Gondola in Venice

From a Gondola in Venice

Urquhart Castle Ruins, Scotland

Urquhart Castle Ruins, Scotland

La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain

La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain

Jesus in Liverpool, England

Jesus in Liverpool

Lunch in Castel Gandolfo, Italy - summer home of the Pope

Castelgandolfo, Italy – summer home of the Pope – I can see why!

Fort Dubrovnik, Croatia

The French Riviera – I didn’t go topless – maybe with the newly repositioned boobs?

Oh yeah, the most magical place of all!

Didn't think I'd miss this favorite, did you??


Why Yes, This Does Make Me Certifiable. Thanks for Asking.

Awhile back, I posted about how I was very close to cracking under the pressure from my children to purchase a dog.  We had been searching out a hypoallergenic dog that wouldn’t cause Granuaile to itch like mad, tear like crazy, and proclaim herself allergy free, but sleep deprived.  Fortunately, Benedryl was a good remedy for sleep deprivation, too.

So, after interviewing potentially perfect pooches, I put it on the back burner until I thought we were at a point where the family could raise a puppy, give it attention, and properly train it.

And then there were two.

Harper the Havanese and Lusi the Lagotto

We found the Havanese puppies quite accidentally, as they don’t turn up on every list of possibly hypoallergenic dogs.  Right after finding them, we saw a Dog 101 clip on them from Animal Planet, and I was smitten.  I knew this would be the breed that finally caused me to cave.  We looked around, found a few un-reputable breeders and a bit of frustration, and then we found Harper.  She’s four pounds of pure adrenalin puppy power – keeping up not only with the kids, but with Jim, with me, with the neighbors, with her soap operas – she’s 110% energy, and the rest is pure personality.

Literally days after we decided to bring Harper home, Jim got an email from a breeder in Italy.  Jim had hoped to find a hypoallergenic breed that was a little bit bigger than the ones I was finding – one that he might be able to train and work with as a service dog.  We considered poodles, but having lived down the street from Mrs. Kelly’s kid hating, snarling, growling, nasty poodle as a child, I quickly removed poodles from the list.  (please write me and tell me how amazing your poodle is – I do want to know that they don’t all turn out to be evil, Satanic, snarling flesh eaters)  We interviewed an Irish Water Spaniel (epic fail on several levels there) and then the Portuguese Water Dog (Jim wasn’t terribly appreciative of their association with a democratic government), and then found the Lagotto Romagnolo.  Sweet, adorable, and nearly completely unavailable in the US.

Jim got on a waiting list, and, as this long story goes, just after we chose Harper, a Lagotto became available.  Jim jumped at the chance to bring Maria Luise (Lusi) to the United States, and she is now considered AKC Foundation Stock here in the US.  She’s loud and proud.  And Loud.  Did I mention loud?

And then there were two.  Oh, I said that already.

And I agreed that there should be two.

I know there is a padded room, waiting for me somewhere.