Kitchen Transition.


There are times in our lives that we transition. It's more than just a new job, relationship or life event, it's the moment your head and consciousness catch up with the physical action. Some lucky enlightened folks hone in on the subtle feelings before or as it is happening in "real time" and are able to ride the wave with just the sails. Other young souls miss the boat completely and never learn the lesson. It's kind of like going up the creek without a paddle. Some very seemingly intelligent people rarely assimilate, they just memorize as other tuned minds follow the curve of the wind, the smell of the sun, and the kiss of the water. It's being connected with all things and how you fit into the bigger picture. Our oneness. The God energy.

Some feel that these thoughts and ideas are esoteric, unnecessary, and live simply for the moment and this one existence. Others believe that in this infinite universe of universes that each step in our lesson on this planet, at this time, in this point in history has a special meaning as a minute particle in our collective being. The Butterfly Effect.


I am starting to re-inhabit the house with the purpose of living. The kitchen is for all practicality completed and as it is the workhorse and heart of the home, I'm back on the beat. It's where we cook, clean, entertain, start our days and end them. Nothing is truly finished until there's soup on the stove and cold milk in the fridge.


In a fresh build, you move right in and place things into your new life. In a renovation you fight with your past. What was. How it functioned. How you did things before. The memory ebb of your past is coming in full crash with the flow of your present and future. The details will occupy your weekends and evenings for months to come

As I start to fill the cabinets, doors need tweaking, hardware added and shelving re-pained and papered, but I have decided to move forward to keep the ball rolling and save some of these small but time consuming chores for the snowy days that are soon to come.

While the weather is permissible many other tasks take priority and quite honestly I need this particular progress at this specific moment. I need to see it, feel it and open the cabinet for a tea bag, find the cup, heat the water and sit back and contemplate this life shift in real time. How will I be living here? What is the most realistic placement for my daily needs? What no longer serves me? How shall I prepare for my maturity in the coming years? What works compared to what is just habit and familiar? This takes honesty. Commitment from your heart, your head and your soul and those are three little boys that all want to play fire chief, hold the hose and spray the others. Giving in to the facts of yourself can be the hardest compromise of all.

I struggle with decisions. I didn't used to in my youth, but just a jump to the left and a step to the right over the decades could have produced an entirely different time warp of retirement, finances, relationships and artistic successes. I'm more cautious. More cynical, and yes more afraid. I don't have as many get out of jail free cards. I'm still too pretty for prison and too old to run from Bubba and slip on the soap in the shower and break a hip. I'd have to lay there and take it like a man, scream like a girl and ain't nobody got time fo' dat!. I'd be the last sudsy man standing in the corner singing an old hymn, praying for some previous life cognition to end up reading the inmates a copy of Norman Vincent Peale over cookies and milk before lights-out.


Don't be afraid to borrow or buy a laser level. In an old house especially, a template may put the hardware on the same place of each cabinet or drawer, but if there is anything out of plum. the laser line will give you a visual "level" of perfection.



The hardware on the cabinets is from the bathroom aisle. The oversized lower handles are towel bars turned vertically. The uppers and drawers will be the matching bath robe hooks turned upside down. It turned out to be closely related to a line of upscale hardware that I found on line, but ended up costing less than 1/4 the price.



The cabinetry was repurposed. They were simple in design and would save me thousands. We painted them with a Porter Paint product called "break through". It's a self leveling paint made only for rolling and spraying and comes exclusively in gloss and satin. It runs about $70 a gallon and the results are worth it.

The original homeowner built the cabinets.  I chose to reuse them for many reasons with one being budget.  I could save thousands and already knew that I would already be thousands over budget and it was a good place to start. We used a Porter Paint product called "breath through".  It is a self leveling roll and spray paint that only comes in satin and gloss costing about $70 a gallon.  The results are very professional and the price is justified.  I also used bathrooms fixtures as hardware.   The oversized handles are towel bars turned vertically and the pulls on the upper cabinets and drawers are the matching bath robe hooks turned upside down.  It gives an amazing industrial look at 1/4 the price of something special ordered.  Also don't be afraid to purchase or borrow a laser level.  Templates make work on new plum cabinets, but never underestimate the ability of an old house to sit crooked.  A laser line will give you that perfect "visual" alignment.

Over the years I have developed my own sense of coping skills while covering my ass! Our unique flowchart of experience has made each of us a unique and quality expression of life. As Sammy Davis Jr. sang with his little man big voice, "I Gotta Be Me", it reminds me that even those with one eye can see more clearly than those with two. As it could be sensually limiting, it may also be interpreted mono-vision focus. Looking straight ahead with selective blinders can be quite liberating.

Your inner angel on one shoulder and sassy satan on the other can leave you in purgatory. We must move forward. Choose! And choose wisely Grasshopper and as if your life depends upon it................because it does.

I'm starting to lose Mack to other projects and jobs. That was the deal and I need to stick to my word. This journey is not just about me and my needs, but to get him back on track after an unexpected year of personal set backs. I knew that this day would come, and it comes with its problems. We still have a solid page of details that bring this phase to a close. Trim, caulking, lighting, hardware, repairs and touch ups of all kinds are being crossed off the list at a pace that seems slow and cumbersome. However his rebirth and re-found movement and excitement for his life and passions are as important , if not more so, than the completion of this finite experience.

I try on a daily basis to do what I can, re-furnish the floor plan and fill the cabinets and closets trying not to get ahead of work that still needs to be finished. I am human though and often find myself walking in circles shaking my head just at the shear magnitude of time, work and details. In these times I think of my Grandma Ellis, envision her Aunt Jemima smile in my mind and have a cup of Lipton. She'd listen patiently with love that only a saint could procure and remind me to just put one foot in front of the other. Always keep moving and breathe. You eat an elephant one bite at a time and sometimes it's easier to eat the ass end first and not procrastinate the crappy jobs. They all need to be done so don't overthink it. I have given this advice often in my life to others, but it's more difficult to walk the walk, and the elephant walk is slow and steady and never forgets. I will never forget her and more importantly WHY her advice is important and what the relationship that we shared has meant in my life and will continues to mold me as I too pass on the legacy of those that made us. We choose those in our lives for what they have to teach us, and I chose wisely.

Dad has been back on the "stock exchange floor" with the verve that he had last year. He was not quite himself earlier this year and seems to be trying to make up time. In the past couple of weeks I have gotten out of bed later than usual as I am just running on empty to find him power washing "everything". Mowing the grass, trimming trees, cleaning the barn, stacking wood, moving furniture, repairing tools, installing garage door openers, sealing and touch up painting the trailer, repairing gutters, delivering dinner and of course talking to the puss patrol like they're his grandchildren and making sure that City Kitty knows that She is Queen of the house.

Dad works so hard. It's all that he has ever known and it's his way of showing love. Mom may have been an artistic force in so many ways, but Dad has always been the hands and fortitude to get things done. He is a beast and if I can be half the man that he is, I can grow into twice the man of most that I know. When the time comes in my life that his energy leaves my physical needs, his heart will be with me in a way that will propel my soul into Mr. Ellis that will hopefully "Kenny" other young and struggling men and women into their personal destiny. There seems to be a profound reason that Mom was taken first as His energy and love that I struggled with in my childhood is exactly what I need now. When the day arrives that I too become an orphan, the balance that I have received from their duality will then ultimately produce the man that I was meant to be. Alone, but not lonely. Singular, but whole. Complete yet still yearning for personal expression with the drive and tools to make it happen. I talk a lot about "choosing wisely" and our selves is truly made of those that inhabit our DNA. I have no regrets, and as rare as it seems, I have no words.


There's still trim to be touched up, built-ins to be completed, stone on chimneys and trim of the house, another bathroom reno, flooring in 2 more rooms. decking to be stained, exterior to be painted, pictures to be hung, plants to be potted, draperies, pillows, and NO these pictures are not the final product. It's just the beginning of the "re-load". Does it ever end? I certainly hope not............................It's only the beginning.