Friday, April 19, 2019

Change Part 2

See Part 1 here.

I have a kitchen and it's not so much that it's tiny but that it's poorly designed. I have had smaller kitchens that have worked so efficiently - well laid out, everything reasonably within reach, all my appliances comfortably at hand. This one drove me bonkers from Day 1. No room for a dishwasher - seriously. I've had one for most of my adult life and this was a downer of a flaw. I investigated a multitude of possibilities, under sink, drawer, above sink, one tenant has one she would slide out from her pantry and wheel it over to the sink to do the job and gave up as her strength was failing with the heavy pushing. So I bit the bullet and hand wash nightly and make it a meditative process, reviewing my day, planning for tomorrow.

I'm good at re-invisioning space. I wanted to eat more at home as I was relying far too much on unhealthy takeout and restaurants. My processor, old and heavy was too heavy to lift up out of the bottom cupboards and there was no counter space, ditto my Kitchen Aid. I redesigned the space on paper and went shopping for a wee island with shelves underneath. Solid, heavy, wood, on wheels. For over a year I've been looking. The cost of any quality was beyond my budget. The FB local and buy and sell had many flimsies.

Then, to my heart stopping delight, this one popped up in the local FB market place. Solid as a rock, beautiful wood, heavy and wait for it, $60. I called immediately. Rhonda was in the middle of a kitchen design and this island no longer fitted into her plans. I told her I was a senior and wouldn't mind paying for delivery. Now don't you bother, she said, I will bring it over this minute to you, you will love it.

And she did and refused to take delivery money. And gave me another set of wheels that were bigger, brand new, if I wanted to change the wheels out. It was unused looking, polished and gleaming. I'm in love with this thing. (To give you an idea of the pantry size, it runs the entire length behind it. And is inadequately shelved to add to design fail.)

And this island? It has made a huge difference to my life. My heavy small appliances sit on it with their parts on one of the shelves. I have a long extension cord in the drawer for plugging them in. And guys, I ate all my meals at home this week. Healthy, sensible meals. Things like Spaghetti Squash Lasagna, chicken curry salad, Asian noodles with shrimp. I shifted away from gluten completely,and sugar and crispy things and gravy, all the leaden stuff. I'm on 1200 calories a day as my mobility challenges affect my physicality. I am hoping that will improve.

I put my processor to work with shredding, my Kitchen Aid on mixing and I'm on a roll. I don't feel deprived, in fact I feel reborn.

Amazing what a tiny re-design can do.

I will post recipes if anyone wants. I haven't eaten this healthy since marathon training and it feels good.

And more on this later.

44 comments:

  1. That is a great find of the kitchen island, just what you wanted, and now you are cooking and eating in a healthy way. Wow.

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    1. A small thing can make a huge difference Terra. I found meal prep before exhausting. It also sits opposite my fridge for ease of removing fresh ingredients, there is no counter beside the fridge (!!!)

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    2. I don't understand some of the newer kitchen designs, like no counter next to the fridge or the oven. What happened to the work triangle for kitchen design? I learned that back in the 70s in a design class and always check for it in any kitchen I see. The new, modern kitchens don't seem to have a workable triangle.

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  2. It's beautiful! I'm glad you found it before anyone else did. I have a tiny kitchen too and being in a rental place I can't be redesigning any part of it and it's just too small to change anything anyway. I can stand in the middle, stretch out my arms and touch the fridge on one side and the sink on the other, then turn 90* and touch the stove on one side and the open doorway to the living room with the other hand and I'm only five feet tall!
    I keep telling myself I will eat healthier food too, but that's a work in progress.

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    1. It is difficult River when the space isn't accommodating. Because our apartments are handicapped friendly in a few areas, doorways are wide so the entrance to my kitchen can accommodate this baby.
      I wish single cooking adults could redesign kitchens everywhere, particularly women who are shorter and less strong.

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  3. Brilliant find. And small steps can make a HUGE difference. My processor lives in the cupboard. There is no room on the bench, and I can no longer lift it out of the cupboard unaided.

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    1. Exactly EC so did mine, used it a few times and with all the lifting (and danger of this) was exhausted and thought no more. It's hard to express how thrilled I am.

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    2. My 1980s Cuisnart died a couple of years ago and I was devastated. Everything I looked at would not fit on my counter, under the hanging cabinets. Finally found a smaller version that fit and it was inexpensive--$99 vs $400. Although it fits on the counter, it does not work as well as the old one.

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  4. I'm hearing ya! My kitchen is medium sized and packed full. An island might make life easier but there's really nowhere to put it.
    Today I got a calorie tracking app. I know how to eat but I do all the wrong things. Maybe if I have to look at the numbers I'll improve?

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    1. I'm not normally a calorie person Kylie but realized when at the doc's there's a pink elephant in the room (!) and said to him would losing weight help my conditions? His answer was very inspiring because it was brief and to the point "Immensely!" and then we moved on. No lecturen no dietary assistance (I'm an expert, ha!)and I found that so helpful as I didn't feel judged (he knows I was a runner/racer before all this went down).
      I feel better already tho a long way to go, a day at a time.

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  5. So happy for you. Have very long beautiful table handy when when family arrives (which is now seldom) guess it is a memory piece which in past was filled. Have a pub table in storage room and I love it and could use. Would be a miracle to receive tables worth, could donate to library.

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    1. Thank you Ernestine. I remember the pictures of your lovely table, lots of great memories. Could you work better on the pub table?

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  6. My kitchen is not very efficient either. It's long and thin with little counter space. There are appliances I would love to have, but they just don't fit. That is a gorgeous table. What a find it was.

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    1. I am thrilled mxt, and the price is laughable isn't it. I can't believe the storage beneath it too and a nice big drawer. I want to sleep with it I'm so happy. LOL.

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  7. Very clever. You could be better off without a dishwasher anyway -- they develop mold and spray it all over your dishes.

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    1. Even the hot water and detergent doesn't kill those spores Tom? Wow, I'll take your word for it.

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  8. Good things keep happening to good people WWW!

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    1. I will dig them out, they're mainly my own. The Asian noodle is to die.

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  10. Good that you enjoy it so much. But, don't plug appliances that change temperature (e.g., microwaves) into extension cords because it could cause a fire. We plugged our microwave, coffee maker, and toaster into the wall, not a power strip, for that reason. We were told to do this by the fire department. You don't want a fire.

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    1. Thanks for the tip, Gigi, I wasn't aware of that!

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  11. Quite a bargain. Kitchen design should be a woman's job as they are generally the ones who spend the most time in them. While ours in not bad, the corner cupboards are absurdly difficult to get into, and the top shelves are a get out the steps job for most people.

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    1. I agree Andrew I have a long inaccessible lower cupboard beside the sink (!!) and one would need a towing rope or a long tongs to drag anything out of there. Incredibly poorly designed.

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  12. This is so good. I wondered how, when Laura is gone, I'll be able to get the Kitchen Aid lifted from cupboard to counter, and then said Duh, it can live on the counter now, ready for duty! I've eaten healthy for many years, and even more healthy the last three, and don't intend to quit now. So good for you and persevering to that great find.

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    1. Oddly enough (well no considering the terrible design) my counter tops are so close to the upper cupboards that nothing fits on the back of them including said Kitchen Aid and processor!!

      Good for you living so healthy. I had a bad fall on top of mad grieving on top of PVD which made me give up on myself for a few years.

      It's good to feel this body-mind positive for a change.

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  13. Congratulations! The spirits that be must have been honed in on your needs.

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    1. I must write about the mental process of this, Joared, thanks for the idea.

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  14. A giant, small step. It was made for you.

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    1. Thank you Uglemor, it's been such a boon in my life!

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  15. A nice example of the internet's (and Facebook's) positive side - so pleased you happened to be searching at exactly the right time too! Intuition? Inspiration? Chance? Fate? :)

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    1. I had put a tag in for "Kitchen cart" which brings up new listings but they'd all been rubbish prior to them. So very fortunate I was the first to message her.

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  16. Great find! Isn't it amazing how something like that can make such a big change in one's life. I'm glad that happened.

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  17. So true Annie, I truly can't believe it still. I pet it as I go by!
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  18. Goodness...you are on a roll.:) Great people out there to help as well. Amazing how a difference in ease can make you feel so much better and food , good for you.

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    1. GP all the difference in the world, it is great, now I'm planning more delicious healthy meals:)

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  19. That is one handsome island. So glad you're now able to really hunker down and cook and all that you mention sounds delicious. I'm gluten free myself and would like to see your Asian noodle and shrimp recipe. If you did not use GF noodles, I will substitute them. Enjoy your new kitchen layout!

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    1. Yes I'm using GF noodles, Marge. the rice vermicelli kind I will post this soon.
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  20. I too love a kitchen that is user friendly and I too have those that are not. Right now I share the kitchen with our son and family for living quarters does not have one. We put a small fridge in our living room and there is counter space for a micro, toaster and coffee pot, but nothing else so I do all my cooking in the kitchen I share. Thank God my husband helps me keep it clean for I hate cooking in a messy kitchen and just adding more mess. It seems not to bother my daughter in law. Good things come to people who wait.

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  21. Thank you WH - and welcome to my blog. You seem to cope well with your living arrangements tho it can't be easy with a shared kitchen. I've been there. Everybody's cooking style is different. I am a solitary cook, always have been and find working with even one other throws me off my stride.

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  22. Glad to hear you finally found your ideal island - and at a reasonable price. And I'm sure all those freshly-cooked meals will be doing you a power of good. The number of weird chemicals and additives in ready meals is alarming.

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    1. I know Nick, awful stuff when one reads the ingredients, so many chemicals and unidentified flying objects (!)

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