Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Making do

The greens in my vegetable garden are officially dead. For a while I thought some of them might revive after the cold snap we had in December, but I have learned that a slimy brown mess pretty much means the end. We still have a few carrots, beets and rutabagas buried under straw, but nothing that meets the fresh and green criteria. And so last week, I bought a box of salad mix from the grocery store - the first since April last year. It felt horrible, buying that box.


What to do, what to do? And then it struck me: sprouts! So out came the sprouter and now, three days later, two batches - one of pea sprouts and one of a spicy mix that will be great on sandwiches. It will be another day or two until they're ready, but when they are we'll get the homegrown, fresh from the garden (the garden in this case being the kitchen counter) goodness we've been missing. That's more than making do - sprouts are great all on their own.


We've also been making do when it comes to our current bathroom renovation. After finishing the floor in the family room (which, incidentally, meant we could move bookshelves into place so I could unpack the twenty or so boxes of books I haven't seen for about 16 months - heaven!) we turned our attention to the downstairs bathroom, spurred on by a possible visit later this month from my dad. After all, this is the guest bathroom.



The old bathroom, like much in the house when we bought it, was just plain ugly. Concrete floor, stained toilet and sink, rusty medicine cabinet, and a light fixture and towel rails that came straight from the wood-means-rustic-which-means-attractive school of design. We got the toilet out (no, Dad, we're not going to plant flowers in it) and tiled the floor with the same slate tile that runs down the hallway. Then we disconnected the sink and wrestled the old blue fake marble (does real marble even come in blue?) laminate countertop out the door and into the go-to-the-dump pile that keeps getting bigger. Then we had to decide what to put it its place. Granite would be nice, but we wanted to do this as inexpensively as possible. Our next thought was a ready-made nicer looking laminate countertop from Rona that we would cut to size. But it just wasn't a fitting enough backdrop for the gorgeous sink we snagged. No good. Back to Rona. Next idea: use the same slate as we'd used on the floor. But when we laid it out, just to see, it looked like the floor, only on the countertop. No good. Back to Rona. We came home with some smaller porcelain tile made to look like slate. Too dark. No good. Back to Rona. We knew we wanted a smaller tile, but everything we saw that we liked was really expensive. How expensive? Enough that the price we thought was for the entire box was actually for each individual tile. No good. Back to Rona to return the tile - we are now on a first-name basis with 90% of the employees of the Duncan store.

Then Kim had her brilliant idea. We have lots of leftover slate tile, and a wicked wet saw for cutting it, so why not do just that and make our own smaller tiles? That's making do. That's a new countertop for just the cost of the plywood, since all the other materials are leftovers. Of course before we get too tickled with ourselves we actually have to complete the project...

2 comments:

jeanives said...

Looking forward to seeing this one. Smaller tiles is a way better look than having the same thing on the counter as the floor. We did our kitchen island in the floor tile so that it would disappear, which it does, but a backdrop for a gorgeous sink is a very different matter.

jeanives said...

Forgot to mention a book: "Year-Around Gardening on the Coast" by Linda Gilkeson, which I recently purchased at Dig This for $15.00. One of the opening lines is "how to have fresh salads 12 months of the year without a greenhouse"

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