Fish Out of Water

Musings and observations about life from an East Coast native now living on the Left Coast in the California State Capitol since 2004. This fish has made her home in Madison, WI (7 years); Portland, OR (2 years); Las Vegas, NV (7 months); Middlebury, VT (3 summers); Marne-la-Vallee, a small town east of Paris, France (6 months); Middletown, CT (3 years); and Marshfield, MA, the fish's coastal hometown 40 miles south of Boston (17 years).

Location: Sacramento, California, United States


Island, Cabinets, Tile

Custom-built island from Tri-County Cabinets (on large casters so we can move it around easily)

New tile (Home Depot) on powder-room floor & new yellow paint (Lowe's Valspar low-VOC "Sunbeam") on walls

Kitchen cabinets (Ikea birch), granite ("Blue Pearl"), and glass tile as seen from living room

Kitchen cabinets, granite, and glass tile (closer view)

Up close with the kitchen tile (from

Who Needs a Cat Tree???

We finally got a new computer desk chair last week from Ikea. And, like most Ikea items, the chair came in a box. While Mr. E assembled the chair, he left the box on the floor of the office, intending to take it to the recycle bin once he had finished.

The furry kids, however, had different ideas (see below). I guess we can't get rid of the box now!!! Who needs an expensive pet-store cat tree when you've got such inventive kitties who are totally into the sustainable idea of "reuse" for everyday items?!

How many kitties in a box?

"Look at my lovely green eyes"

Kitty out of the box!

Calypso contemplates her surroundings as Jack teeters on the edge

"Hey! Where are you going?"

Now the lady gets the superior viewpoint

"OK, I'm outta here!"


Remodel Updates (Long Overdue)

I can't believe it's been over a month since I've posted about our remodel project! At this point, it looks like we're heading quickly towards the finish line. This post provides some detailed looks at the construction work. I'll do a separate post to show some of the "prettier" work that's happened recently (cabinet installation, tiles, etc.).

This new beam (upper right) extends across the entire ceiling so that we could remove the wall between the kitchen and living room. The duct was put back into place alongside the beam.

No more walls between the kitchen and living room!

Mr. E hard at work with his new friend, "Mr. Chipper," removing the nasty adhesive that was left on the floor after we took up the grey tiles

New recessed lighting in the living room and new drywall covering the holes that had been made to do the necessary new electrical work

The new wall extension along the stairs and around the corner to create a nook for the fridge

Starting to work on polishing the floor prior to staining with a mixture of two greys

No more tile or sink in the powder room!

The shiny new floor (as seen from above)

Our emblem etched into the floor at the end of the entrance hallway

J building Ikea cabinets in the garage

Cabinets ready to be installed