House and Home

January 17, 2011


Do you have your dream kitchen, or do you hate to cook? Or both?

Well, I was awake at about 3:00 a.m. due to some cold symptoms - my children's and my own, and I found myself waxing nostalgic about the kitchens in my life. A few of the houses we looked at before we moved here had dream kitchens, but they were too far out of town for an everyday drive, so I had to whimper and wish. Our house now is probably the best kitchen we've had since marriage. So that I can read this in 5 years and think myself philosophical, here are the kitchens I remember.

The Parental House - This kitchen still belongs to and is used by (occasionally) my mother. It's compact but cozy, good for preparing food for a small family. The sink faces north, and the stove/oven are behind it - not a lot of room between the two. Certainly no islands in my mother's future. The view is to the back of the house, and growing up I had a good eyeful of the garden.

The College Dorm - You call that a kitchen? Ha! The first one - freshman year - was a staging area for a roomate's ramen noodle biological experiments. (I didn't use it much after that). Sophomore year, little functional thing with a fridge, electric skillet, and microwave. Same for junior year.

The First Apartment - For some reason, this one had almost a serving window like you were going to walk up to it and place an order with the surly cook. For a woman living alone, it was fine. Not going to run into someone trying to set the table, and cooking for one is easy. The second apartment must have been similar - was just across the building but in an apartment built for two. No real memories.

The Best Kitchen I Ever Had - I was 24, and we took on another roommate and moved south of Columbia into half of a duplex. It was just one year old, and the kitched ROCKED. Plenty of counter space that encircled the kitchen. Nice windowed view. I did a bunch of cooking - remember making several rhubarb pies (for I was newly dating a Mr. Brian Noggle who would come into town once every other week or so for a visit, and I had to put something in his lunchbox for when he made the long drive back to O'Fallon, MO).

The St. Louis Apartment Kitchen - Moved to St. Louis when things got serious with Brian. No real memory of the kitchen. Pretty sure I didn't cook much - was just for me.

The Original Marital Kitchen - When we first got married, we moved into a house in tiny Sycamore Hills - ancient house. The kitchen was huge, but it was all this funky black and white 50s tile, and that extended over the countertops, too. I remember never thinking it was clean. There was a dishwasher, but you had to pull it over to the sink to use it. We washed our dishes by hand. What a team.

Glenpark - We lived in this one for almost 7 years. Tiny kitchen, almost no cabinet space. Wonderful open view, but not really ideal if we were cooking for more than 2 of us. Thankfully, we were not.

Ridge - Lived here from just before birth of first child until we moved away. This is the house still for sale. Kitchen was a bit...brown for my taste. The renovator painted all the walls a tan/chocolate (consider the shade between the two), and it just made things a bit dreary. The window faced the neighbor's house and was smalll, so there was no real view. The kitchen itself was spacious, but it didn't really have lots of counter space, so it hardly seemed like an upgrade from the previous house in that regard.

Current - And now we arrive This kitchen boasts a FABULOUS view, but it's still a bit too cramped to add counter space to. We have a counter across from the cooking area, but it usually contains fruit and vegetables and other things that don't go in the refrigerator. This one also has one of those ceramic cooktops you have to scrub so hard (and every day) that you grit your teeth and file them. But the view - have I mentioned the view? Especially this time of year - we have an expansive view of the country, and the sunsets are outstanding.

So, a bit of drivel about kitchens. The current one's functional and pleasant. No complaints - just a bit of 3:00 a.m. dreaming.


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July 09, 2007

That's a Launch

Brian's started a new themed blog, No, you need not capitalize it, but it's very fitting to do so. hln

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October 10, 2006

"Giving" False Hope

Hope is defined (first definition) rather inelegantly by as "the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best."

In the last two weeks, I've heard the term "giving false hope" twice - once in a very personal situation with a family member and once on a television show. It got me thinking.

What is false hope? If hope is merely a feeling, an attitude, how can it be false? I know, I know, someone's feelings can be based on illogical premises. But the hope itself isn't logical, after all. If there's false hope, there must be true hope, no?

So I googled the concept of false hope. Here's what others say. - "Don't Let Any Woman Give You False Hope." I don't need to read this - the title alone covers it - someone else responsible for your hope or lack thereof. calls the promise of stem cell therapy false hope. And while the web page begins with some nice comments about hope, it lobs the term "false hope" a couple of times. Here's an example:
To offer false hope to the desperate as a means of advancing a political, social, or economic agenda is worse than merely cruel, it is objectively evil. Valuable resources are being diverted from other, perhaps more promising, areas of research, and, in the meantime, patients and their families are serving as pawns in a political arena. People facing the prospect of suffering and death deserve better than this. As patients, they deserve the best that science and medicine can offer. As human beings, they deserve honesty. No amount of false hope can alter the fact that after more than twenty years of unrestricted research on animal embryonic stem cells, this field has failed to yield a single cure for any human illness.
Unfortunately, "false hope" isn't ever defined for me. So I move on.

On July 2nd, the Washington Post ran an article "The False Hope of Biofuels," but the words appear only in the title.

I'll quit now - it's a buzzword. Why do we use the term?


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October 04, 2006

Up at 4:25 a.m. Musings

So we have this baby. And he started out as this cute-while-sleeping and/or not-wailing bundle of...something. "They" tell you to get ready for changes, but no one really gives you objective advice other than the vague "it gets better" that helps you through the first several weeks of "when do I get a human?" instead of Fussbucket-whom-I-cannot-console.

And then something happens - this human becomes HUMAN. He smiles. He develops at this amazingly rapid pace, both physically and mentally. My baby just turned 3 calendar months old. He's in primarily 6 - 9 month-old clothing. He makes this obnoxious, "thhhhhhhhhhhhh" noise that cracks me up. He laughs. He likes the mirror. He likes to kick on the floor to trance music. And he LIKES me...wild.

I've never been especially maternal. Wasn't too comfortable with the thought of amazing responsibility involved in rearing a child (but at least was cognizant that that responsibility is there if one chooses to do so). But here we are. Child. Rearing. Wow.

The first night he was home from the hospital I listened for him to stop breathing. I prayed and prayed and prayed that he would be healthy. That I would be competent. I think I set the record for human praying. I adopted a mantra of "every moment is a gift" which I repeated ad nauseum (I know, that's what one does with a mantra) even through nearly gritted teeth as the wriggling lump wouldn't stop crying. I watched myself become competent and then good.

It's weird to be all about "other" when most of life has been all about self. Other is far, far more rewarding. But, I'm also glad I was able to get "other" back to sleep. Now, for self...


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July 16, 2004

With Bated Breath...

...I eagerly await Martha Stewart's launch of her new magazine, Arresting House, with such features of "Five Months to a Completely Redone Home" and "Decorating With Orange: Your Next Challenge."


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June 26, 2004

Window Coverings

Could there be anything I am less interested in learning about? No. But our two non-standard sized windows in our bedroom need something, and I need complete dark for a good night's sleep. Any experts willing to give advice? All of the precision measurements and strange lengths of what we saw at Sears when we visited gave me one ugly headache.

Do you just deal with the fact that drapes/curtains (for I truly don't know the difference) are going to be way too long? Do I have to put on seamstress hat and cutslashhem? We know that horizontal blinds are a bad idea because that's what the house came with. Cats like to poke their heads (and often bodies) between them. That leaves some discombobulated (spelling?) horizontal blinds.

Can I borrow someone's fairly drapemother and just wake up tomorrow and have this be done?


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June 16, 2004

Turns of Phrase

I love original and strange turns of phrase, and I have to tell you folks, I'm married to the master turner. If you haven't read Brian today, go and read him just because of this line.
Just open up your maws, little cheepies, and mama CNN will regurgitate its truth down your gullet for your own good.
It may just be the bird humor that gets me. I'm still stuck on that "shut your seed-cracking beak" bit. I know, I know. You all are WAY tired of that.


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September 30, 2003

Interesting Household Discussion

Yeah, this one's going to be fun when Brian arrives home from work tonight:

"Hi honey. I'm sorry I opened your Playboy. I thought it was Reason."

(Ah, those magazines the aspiring author must collect).

I hope you're laughing as hard as I am.


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September 14, 2003

Brian's a Goof The Shidoshi

The Shidoshi of Paranoia Speaks about Ingestion, and, well, you'd better listen.


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September 11, 2003


Uh, honey.

Fabrications about our private life on the blog. Bad.

(I note that the spouse has spoken thus:)

    I don't even let my friends listen to my tapes or CDs for fear of violating my licensing restrictions, and I even forcibly prevent my gym-buffed wife from reading books I purchase for my own private, non-transferable enjoyment.
Pleh. You refuse even to arm wrestle me anymore.

Mutter mutter, spew spew. (hee hee)


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April 20, 2003

Visit the Spouse

Visit the Spouse

I'd be remiss if I didn't send you here. He makes me chortle.


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