Family · Home · Kitchen

Kitchen is FINISHED! Before and After

The Kitchen is FINISHED!

This was a long process, but well worth the wait. I LOVE the open space and the flow of the kitchen, inspiring me to cook even more (good thing with all of the CSA fruits and vegetables I get each week).

Initially I was worried that I would lose storage by removing the cabinets over the peninsula, but found that I have plenty of storage with more efficient, pull-out drawers in the lower cabinets and taller cabinets as a result of popping the ceiling.

I had the good fortune of working with a wonderful contractor and his team and absolutely love the results!

KITCHEN BEFORE

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The photo above was taken in 2008 and shows how the cabinets over the peninsula blocked the view and light. You also have a peak into the formal dining room.

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This photo was taken right before the kitchen demo began in May 2015. We had already removed the cabinets over the peninsula. which opened up the kitchen a great deal but not to the extent it would when we removed the wall into the dining room.

KITCHEN AFTER

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The open view into the kitchen is a dramatic change, opening up the house more than I could ever imagine.

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The kitchen sink remained in the same place under the window to the sun room and the backyard.

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This photo is taken from the peninsula toward the cooktop and the opening to the formal living room. Lala the Chihuahua took advantage of the photo op!

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The cooktop moved from the former wall between the kitchen and dining room to the wall along with the refrigerator. We closed the opening into the formal living room about 12 inches to accommodate the cooktop and the extra cabinets.  The change had no significant impact on the opening to the living room and provides for great flow in the kitchen.

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This photo shows the sliding barn door that we installed into the sun room. I LOVE this door and admit it is open 90% of the time. The sliding barn door is far more efficient that the previous, traditional door.

Fork-Lore Kitchen Remodel Past Posts:

https://fork-lore.com/2015/06/05/kitchen-remodel-what-led-up-to-this-decision/
https://fork-lore.com/2015/06/14/kitchen-memories/
https://fork-lore.com/2015/06/19/kitchen-remodel-here-we-go-no-wait/
https://fork-lore.com/2015/06/26/kitchen-is-on-the-uphill-slide/

Family · Holidays · Home

Generations of Mother’s Day Sentiments

Mother’s Day holds a special place in our hearts that grows each and every year. This Mother’s Day I ventured down Memory Lane reading sentiments shared through the generations and, again, realized the love we hold for Mother’s is so very dear. How I miss my Mother and wish I could hug her and talk with her one more time.

My Mother often expressed her feelings in poetry and I found a poem she wrote in 1956 about her sweet Mother, Susie:

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HOW WELL I DO REMEMBER

By Betty Gaunt Smaha

How well I do remember
My Mother sweet and fair,
Who was the first to hold me
And utter a thanks in prayer.

She taught me first to sit up straight
Then baby words to talk,
She gently led me around the room
Until I learned to walk.

She sat me down upon her knee
And taught me how to say,
‘Now I lay me down to sleep’
So I’d know how to pray.

She also taught me how to love
My sisters and my brothers,
To share my toys and not complain
Twas a trying time for Mother.

She proudly sent me off to school
With a smile upon her face,
And assured us all twas well
As off to school we’d race.

She could look at me and always smile
With a twinkle in her eyes,
She loved me in a clean starched dress
Or knee deep in mud pies.

As years passed by and I left home
Mother silently shed some tears,
For she wanted just my happiness
For the many coming years.

But now I am a Mother
With children of my own,
But ‘Mother’s Day’ is special
For that dear sweet Mom back home.
—————————
Most of my childhood drawings and cards are long gone, but one card survived.  I only wish I had inherited my Mother’s poetry gene.

Mother’s Day card to my Mother about 1958 (age 5)

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There is nothing more precious that the hand-made cards from the girls through the years. I’ve saved many of their cards and drawings and want to share two of my favorites.

Mother’s Day card from my daughter, Sarah

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Mother’s Day Poem from Daughter, Megan

Mothers Day Poem from Megan 1995

To Mother’s everywhere, have a wonderful Mother’s Day this weekend!

Holidays · Home · Humor

Valentine’s Day…through the years

Valentine’s Day is a day we cherished as children, exchanging Valentines with our classmates, carefully choosing cards for each person. We would spend what seemed like hours on our Valentines for our parents.

Our Mothers would bake cookies to bring to class and we would have a big ‘sugar high’ before our sweet teachers would  watch us leave the classroom for one crazy ride home on the bus. Cathys Valentine 1969

As I got older, Valentine’s Day became more about romance, setting expectations of what we should give and receive of this day full of cupid, hearts and roses.  More often than not, this day was a let-down. This week on CBS Sunday morning I saw one of my favorite comedians, Jim Gaffigan, share his thoughts on Valentine’s Day. He captures it well!

With children, Valentine’s Day would bring me back to my childhood, helping the girls pick out their favorite cartoon-themed Valentine’s, baking heart-shaped cookies, and often receiving the precious Valentines from their sweet little hands.

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Today, Valentine’s Day is a day to show love by sharing a gift of food with family and friends, calling a lonely friend, and being thankful and full of love for this precious gift of life….today!

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

 

Family

Father’s Day and Memories

I only celebrated 12 Father’s Days with my Dad since he died in a farm accident my 12th year. His death was a great shock and loss to our entire family. I often wonder what it would have been like to know my Dad as an adult, to have him hold my children in his arms, to talk to him about his life,  his experiences and to hug him once again.

Cathy & her Dad about 1954
Cathy & her Dad about 1954

What I do remember, with tremendous fondness, is…

  • riding in the back of his Turquoise Chevy pickup letting the wind blow on my face and hair
  • following him around the hog house and watching him do never-ending farm chores
  • riding to one of the small farming communities to visit the grain elevator, hardware store or local gathering place
  • building a cage and capturing a pigeon for me to take to school for ‘show and tell’
  • caring for baby bunnies that had been abandoned by their Mommy
  • his love of Adolph the cat and our good old farm dog, Skipper
  • hanging a tire swing for me and his grandchildren to enjoy
  • watching him crank the old home-made ice cream freezer as I anticipated the luscious results
  • riding on the tractor with him
  • feeling very grown up filling the gas tanks of the car or truck
  • going on picnics and fishing
  • watching favorite TV shows together including Bonanza, Lassie, Daniel Boone, Ed Sullivan, etc.
  • the piano he bought for me at the State Fair a month before he died
  • laughter and teasing (with love)

He was a good guy with a wonderful sense of humor and a dedicated, farmer’s work ethic.

He is missed.  Love you, Dad.

Czech Heritage · Family · My Roots

Father’s Day Memories

My Dad,  Archie, was one of the funniest men I ever knew.  His sense of humor was direct, often dry, and accepted by all.  He could say things to people that no one else could say and they would laugh heartily and love him dearly.  Love of laughter is one of the great gifts my Father gave to me.  I miss him.

When I was 12 years old my Father died as a result of a farming accident. From that day forward my life changed forever. He would never attend one of my high school sporting or music events…he wouldn’t walk me down the aisle…he wouldn’t get to hold my children in his arms and play with them. But he is always with me…always.

Photographs of my Father and I are near and dear to my heart because there are few. Taking a photograph ‘back in the day’ required film, developing, flash bulbs and they were treasured….not to mention that my Father was camera-shy.

Before my Mother died, she passed on photos my Uncle Mahlon ‘Sparky’ took when I was little.  These are some of the most treasured photos of my childhood.

Archie and Cathy Smaha

The sweater my Father is wearing in this picture, is one I wore through high school and still have in my Mother’s cedar chest (if you’re under 50, you probably don’t know what that is).

Dad, I know you’re listening, and know I love you and miss you! Heavenly hugs to you and to Mom.

Family

Joy of a New Grandmother!

I’m in love, again, with a beautiful baby boy…Evan Michael.  For years I have heard about the tremendous love a grandparent feels for their grandchildren and now I get to experience that joy!

As our children grow up it is hard to imagine that they, too, will once be parents.  Not only is there joy in meeting your grandbaby but joy in seeing the eternal love that the new Momma and Papa have for their sweet baby boy.

Daughter, Sarah and her husband, Kyle, had their precious baby on April 24. Mother, Father, and baby are doing well.  I am so happy for them and wish them good health, much love, and happiness for their family.

baby evan 1 sarah hands and evan feet

We Love You, Little One

We loved you from the very start,
You stole our breath, embraced our heart.

Our life together has just begun,
You’re part of us our little one.

From the day we first knew,
Our mind was filled with thoughts of you.

We’d daydream of the things we’d share,
Like bedtime stories and teddy bears.

Like first steps and skinned knees,
Like nursery rhymes and ABC’s.

We thought of things you’d want to know,
Like how birds fly and flowers grow.

We thought of lessons we’d need to share,
Like standing tall and playing fair.

Each naptime we lay you down to sleep,
We gently kiss your head and cheek.

We count your little fingers and toes,
We memorize your eyes and nose.

We linger at your nursery door,
Awed each day we love you more.

Through misty eyes, we dim the light,
We whisper “We Love You” every night.

We loved you from the very start,
You stole our breath, embraced our heart.

As grandparents and grandchild our journey’s begun,
Our hearts are yours, forever, little one.

~~ Author Unknown ~~