Distractions are Back

Beartooth Highway

His favorite part of the trip was Beartooth Highway

My husband’s been on a long-haul motorcycle ride vacation out west. (And no, that’s not the distraction the title’s referring to, LOL.) He’d planned to be away for almost three weeks, but plans changed with one of his companions, and he returned a week early.

Which was fine with me. 🙂 I realized, while he was gone, that a few days of him away is a “vacation,” as my mom calls it, but more is just too quiet. It gives me even more respect and gratitude to military spouses–something I would not be good at being. The important thing (besides his safe return) was that he had a great time and saw some really awesome (literally) parts of the country.

What the kitchen looked like a week ago

What the kitchen looked like a week ago

His plan was to start the kitchen remodel as soon as he got back. THAT has been the distraction–and thank goodness, a good one!

I had the kitchen already packed up before he returned. He slept most of the day, but the day after that, he jumped right in, with the help of a few friends.

On the left, you can get an idea of what the kitchen looked like before. It’s very small–this photo was taken from the opposite corner, which as you can see, is not very far away.

Kitchen gutted

The kitchen when I arrived home from work on Tuesday

It would have been great to enlarge the kitchen, but the back wall backs up to the bathroom, and the other side backs up to a staircase. The other two walls are exterior. So opening up the kitchen would require an addition, which was definitely not in our budget. So we decided to keep it small, but maximize the space and make it very nice.

The other big problem with this kitchen is that everything is old and worn out, and its layout was very inefficient–see the dumb, wasted space between the stove and dishwasher? And no storage over the stove or refrigerator? That  will all change. And let’s not even start on the oh-so-seventies floor or cabinets–ugh.

This can’t happen too soon, and my DH agreed. He and two friends dug into it on Tuesday. My DH does not waste any time. 😀 After everything was removed, we found some good news, and some bad. The bad was that we had a lot of old, galvanized pipes that were rusting and needed to be replaced. Fortunately, the plumber is a friend, and charged us about half his normal rate. The good news was that my husband expected to need to replace the subfloor–but it turned out to be in great shape, with no damage at all!

We had the plumbing for the sink moved to beneath the window on Friday, along with the bad pipes replaced. Now, DH and an electrician friend are rewiring the whole kitchen, because like many things in our 1950s house, the electric was never completely updated, or done right. With the new kitchen, I’ll be able to use the microwave and an electric skillet at the same time without throwing a breaker. 🙂 Next up, flooring!

It sounds like DH is doing all the work, right? He is, but that work includes many trips to Lowe’s, where I go with him to pick out stuff or to simply help load/unload. And he has had questions while installing the electric, so those are the distractions. But they’re distractions I don’t mind.

Friends_FortuneWhat I’ve been reading: Friends and Fortune Cookies, by Elizabeth Bemis. This is the book I mentioned a while back, when I read another by her, Love and Oreos. Liz was one of my very first critique partners many years ago, and while I’d never read Love at all, I did read and critique a very early incarnation of Friends. It was fun to read the published book and spot little things I remembered from way back then. These included the main characters, their names, and their professions, as well as the main premise of the story: the couple had been friends for most of their lives, but whenever their relationship started to progress to something more, they always screwed it up. There were, of course, a lot of differences in the published book. The main one was that there was a lot more conflict between the hero and heroine, and more baggage preventing them from easily getting their HEA (happily ever after), which made it an enjoyable read. So if you enjoy contemporary romance, grab this one for sure! If you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited, it’s free.

ROW80Logo175ROW80 Update: As you can guess from the rest of this post, I did not accomplish much at all with my writing. The distractions are part of the problem, but the other is that I’m revising a book I wrote half of during NaNoWriMo 2013, and it was written very sloppily. Some of the scenes just need a bit of touch up here and there, but the one I’m working on now needs a lot of fill-in, so it’s a bunch of not-much-fun fixup work, and going very slowly. If I get this scene finished this week, I’ll be happy with that. Anything else is a bonus.

What about you–have you had any distractions lately? What have you been reading, and what do you normally like? How are you doing on whatever goals you might have, whether writing or otherwise? Please share in the comments–I’d love to  hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

9 Responses to \

  1. My husband went on a camping trip with his dad a few years ago. And while I enjoyed my solitude, it completely threw me off not having him around! It was downright weird. They had to come back early, and boy was I relieved!

    Wow, awesome that you’re renovating your kitchen! Good luck with that!

    I’ve been distracted by pain, as you know. I’m hoping to heal quickly so I can get back to regular life.

  2. A newly remodeled kitchen sounds wonderful, especially if you’re making the layout more functional and improving the flow of the space. I look forward to seeing pictures when it’s done!

    I love reading fantasy and paranormal romance, with some Regency romance and cozy mysteries thrown in. I try to mix in some classics, too, and some nonfiction.

    As far as distractions, we’ve been trying to fix up our townhouse. The next step is finishing painting the dining room and kitchen. The colors are fine, but the paint job is old and needs a refresh. After that I’d like to paint the rest of the downstairs and work my way to painting the hall and rooms upstairs. Home ownership is such an adventure!

  3. My main distraction the past couple of weeks was judging a writer contest. And I promised to judge eight. EIGHT! So glad I got them done before we left for our mini-vacation to Chicago this weekend. It was a nice break from all that judging. 🙂 Tomorrow it’s back to my revisions. Can’t wait to dive back into it. My head is swimming with ideas!!

  4. Yay and how exciting! We’re talking about re-hauling our laundry room (the one upstairs where 90% of the washing happens) and I’m excited about that. Not sure it’ll be this year yet, but soon.

    I can’t wait for the after pictures.

    I’m glad your hubby had his little get-away. Nothing like a road trip to clear the mind. Now, crack that whip sista’, let’s get that kitchen functional again.

    Have a great week Jennette!

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

  5. Erin, thanks! And I hope you feel better soon.

    Denise, have fun with the painting! It’s amazing how much that can do for our space – and how much work it is!

    Stacy, good luck with the revisions! Now if you could send some of that excitement to me…

    Patricia, thanks! I can’t wait.

  6. Jenette, thanks to you and your husband for giving me and mine a chance to reminisce. You see, not quite fifteen years ago, my husband and I were in our little Toyota pickup on the Beartooth Highway, because I was into my 43rd week of pregnancy for our first child. We’d been told that Beartooth was a good bet for a labor starter.

    That was the Thursday before Labor Day. My back hurt. On Friday night, I went into labor, and, at 3am on Sunday, in Livingston, Montana, our son was born.

    It is a gorgeous part of the country, and I’m glad he got the chance to experience it.

    I’ve been distracted by life these last few weeks. With the emotionally turbulent July now behind us,I’m feeling more focused and settled. =D

  7. I completely get what you mean about a few days away is a vacation but anything more can get lonely! I’m great at working alone and independently, i can do that all day, but i look forward to hanging with my hub/or at least just being in the house together in the evening. Good luck with the kitchen remodel. Oh and also read your post about finding a new property. Exciting! Hope you have a great week.

  8. Distractions are good – I am currently reading Hamilton by Ron Chernow and Dead Wake by Erik Larson. Dead Wake is a much easier read and it keeps me reading when I should be doing other things – like chores and other things around the house… it’s all good and they’ll eventually get done, maybe. Have a great weekend.

  9. Shan, what a great story! Thanks for sharing, and glad things are getting a little more settled for you now.

    Coleen, thanks!

    Clay, it’s so easy to be distracted by a good book when there are not-fun things to do, isn’t it? Thanks for stopping by!