Thursday, May 10, 2012

 In August 2011, I spent a long weekend in Portland, Oregon, at the first Vida Vegan Con.

Let me explain:  after several months of major stress due to Jim's surgeries (oops, should have posted that first), I needed some time off. Having been vegan for many years now, I felt lucky to have found out about this event. It was a conference for vegan bloggers - there are an incredible number of vegan blogs out there! I'm not a vegan blogger, but I've wanted to go to Portland and I figured the food should be great! It was.

Opening reception

 More explanation needed here - while doing physical therapy for my ankle (still bothering me after more than year), I sprained my right thumb - see the brace? The monkey came with me from the PT office - got a free T-shirt when I showed them this pic!

One of the lunches

Cupcakes! Vegan cupcakes!
 It was a fun weekend, and it was fun not to have to worry about getting the kind of food I want! The variety of people was incredible, especially the counter-culture types. It's a big world out there.
  One of the stressful/exciting things that happened these past months was that we ended up "having to" do some major kitchen remodeling. It began with the great idea that we should replace the kitchen windows. Well. When the workers took out the old windows they found some rotten wood - it was powdery, from water leakage. We have a porch on the second floor that wasn't draining properly (yes, we have some significant rain occasionally), so it seeped down into the kitchen wall.

So the porch had to be repaired, and then the wood replaced around the windows, then the wall was replaced, and then someone had to come to restucco the wall.

There was a small (thank goodness) amount of mold that was growing on the back wall of one of the cupboards. In order to remove the back of the cupboard, they had to remove the countertops! So we replaced them with granite. The old ones were nasty anyway - 4-inch white tile - a VERY impractical kitchen counter, difficult to keep clean. The old countertop had been backsplash also, so all that had to be ripped out.

Because of cost, we chose tile for the backsplash.

THEN - as they were moving the stove while installing the countertops, somehow the glass window in the oven door self-destructed - ever see a windshield shatter? Like that. So we also bought a new stove. Our old one was very old, although one of the best operating stoves I've ever had. The workers gave us a hefty credit on the counters to apply to the new stove.

Pictures! (Taken with phone, so colors look a little weird)

Counter plus new backsplash

Counter plus new stove!

Closeup of new countertops

We're very happy with it (although not so happy about the extra expense!) and have been enjoying the new space.