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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Remodel...Kitchen Be Gone!!

In my next act, I will make my kitchen disappear!!!   WHOOOSH!! 

I signed a contract for the new kitchen cabinets, granite, and porcelain floors this week, so now the rush is ON!   In the midst of all that, wardrobes will be constructed in the master and guest bedrooms.  It's going to be a chaotic couple weeks.  Everything has to line up in order because one thing depends on the other being done before it.  Aside from that, I had to have new brakes put on the car today, a friend who's been in the hospital 5 weeks is finally out and desperately trying to return to the US where he will most likely live no more than another month.  So, his friends are scrambling to get him packed, take care of all the loose ends, get flights and housing, etc.   Some sponsors got him a flight out of Quito to Houston and today I got him a ticket from here to Quito.   Anyhoo, and I have my FIRST guest coming from Seattle (yeah, yeah...doesn't it rain there all the time?) and she's arriving June 22nd.  Hopefully, I will have most of this chaos wrapped up by then.

I called up the guy who handled all my interior painting and bartered with him.  In exchange for him cutting a new breakfast bar hole in my wall and taking out what's left of the kitchen cabinets...he can HAVE the old kitchen cabinets, sink, faucet, old closet, and old floor moldings I removed when the new floors were put in.  Deal.  His guys would be here 8am manana.  And, they were here...the very next day.

Great to see the guys Carlos (24) and Rene (17) again.  They're great guys who bust their butts and do a damn good job without having to be watched over.  No sloughing off, no whining, no nothing but quality work.  Rene (again....17!!) is pint-sized, maybe 5' 6" and 130 lbs.  He was hauling out gunny-sacks full of broken brick like he was taking out the garbage, never asking for help.  He's probably making $3 an hour.

I was worried about cutting the concrete/brick walls for all the dust.  They sealed off the room to prevent dust from wafting thru the house, and wore scarfs over their faces and created a huge cloud of dust that billowed out the back door and open window.  That worked.  However, they had to take small sledge hammers to break out the wall from both sides and there was no way to seal it off.  So, my house ONCE AGAIN got slaughtered with dust.  It's awful.

By the end of the day, we had accomplished moving all the cabinets out of the kitchen into the garage where I now have a makeshift drive-in kitchen, cut and removed all the concrete creating a new see-thru breakfast window, and smoothed out the new opening with fresh concrete, ready for painting.

Tomorrow, they return to install new electrical outlets for the dishwasher and garbage disposal (two things that are rare here), and a below-counter outlet for the new cooktop.  When all is said and done, when cooking, the cook will be facing the breakfast window and anyone sitting/standing on the other side.

Of course, photos follow to show you what we accomplished today (besides making a big dusty mess of the rest of my house).

Before we started.  I had previously removed some cabinets on my own weeks before.

Rene and Carlos removing the longest run of cabinets

Ugly, ain't it?  So glad to see that blue plaid wallpaper go!

Where they ended up...in the driveway.  GET OUT OF THE PICTURE GRACIE!!

Whacking out the hole from both sides of the wall.  No, that isn't dust on my camera lens, that's the dust in the AIR!!!

That WAS my kitchen

My very very dusty dining room table...an indication of what wafted through my house!!  UGH

Hole finished by the end of the day.  Fresh cement around the edges smoothed out all what was rough.  Looking from the kitchen into the dining room

My temporary drive-in kitchen.  Fully functional in the garage.  Anyone for an omelet?

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About Me

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Cuenca, Azuay, Ecuador
This is all about my transition from an American lifestyle and culture to my newest adventure, life in Cuenca and greater Ecuador. I'll be recapping some of my day-to-day experiences (and mishaps) to highlight what it's like to live here.

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