It's not about the house.

Friday, February 22, 2008

You Just Mind Your Snails

I did not do Thing One in the cabinets last night, except settle an argument once and for all. I couldn't face them; after four hours of accomplishing fuck-all the night before, I just didn't have it in me. Of course, that whole four-hour thing itself was entirely my fault. It's not like four hours worth of work was getting done.

I'd say a good half of that time was spent standing in the middle of the kitchen, hands full, slack-jawed, just thinking. Not thinking good stuff, either, but more along the lines of: "Uhhh... should the flour go... in the... but what if... and where will the... and what about the rice!?"

Another half was spent second-guessing every decision I did manage to make, and re-shuffling every item -- at least twice -- after it was finally put away.

A third half altogether was spent labelling the jars of spices on top of their lids with a Sharpie marker. So that, you know, I wouldn't have to pick them up to know what-all they were.

It seemed like a good idea at the time.

I labelled them, alphabetized them, put the doubles in a bag and heaved it up the attic stairs, then divided the little bottles up by category: baking, cooking, pickling, and finishing (this last is a category I made up; it's for things you shake on top, like cajun flavor). I put the baking ones there and the pickling ones there, then decided that was dumb and switched them off. I put the cooking there and the finishing there, then ditto. Finally, I ditched my carefully-alphabetized system because what sense does it make for oregano to go all the way in back?

Then, when it was at-last, honestly finished, I made like I was looking for the tarragon, just to prove what a clever girl I am and how gosh-darn convenient those newly-Sharpied lids would be.

Very convenient. If you take the top of the cabinet off and go all Mission Impossible from the kitchen ceiling. Poor Johnny. He can't even see their factory-labelled fronts.

Fortunately, they're not going to live where they are forever (so it's a real good thing I spent so long fretting over it, what?). Which brings me to the argument I mentioned at the start.

Here's the issue:

We have one of those tucked-away ironing boards in the kitchen. See?

That's it there, behind the potatoes. (That's the wok brush hanging from the door-handle. For some reason, Johnny thinks that's where it goes. It's not.)

Okay wait, hang on. Maybe some of you don't know what I mean. It seems a perfectly normal thing to me to have an ironing board hidden in the wall of your kitchen, but I do know people who have never heard of this before. So I'll go open the door and show you how it works.

See? Ironing board. It opens out like this:

And there is a handy outlet on the bottom of the cabinet to plug your iron into:


In my defense, I believe this may be the first time I've opened that door since we moved in. Still, though, that's embarrassing. Oh well.

Now, there may be those of you out there (I'm sure there will be those of you out there) who will want to reach through the internet and choke me for saying this, but: I'm pretty sure we're taking that ironing-board out. Unless my father can give me some good reason to leave it in (and maybe even then we won't).

What I want to do is leave the plug live (it will have to be re-wired when we do the rest, but what's one more plug when you've got the walls torn open anyway?) and save the board up in the attic (in case somebody, sometime, wants to put it back). Then -- after a good hose-down and a coat of paint, of course -- I want to install some little shelves and turn the compartment into a cabinet for spices.

You see? How I manage to come back to the point? Eventually?

What Johnny wants to do is knock down the section of wall that the ironing-board's in and make the doorway wider. What you can't tell by these pictures, though, is that those two feet of wall are all that stop the master-bedroom door from opening directly to the kitchen. Also, look at that top photograph again... If we make the doorway wider, it will look out at the hallway wall. Not like we'd be creating a big old schmorganic, wide-open, architecty space.

He's wrong, right?

I told him last night that the fight was over. That the spice cabinet was the only way to go. I believe the words I used exactly were: "I'm doing it."

I'm right, right?


su said...

I totally love the "kitchieness" of the built in ironing board and the fact that it is a home made ironing board at that. So goes with the craftsman house. However knowing how small the kitchen is, and Johnnies height challenge, and inclination to buy every spice ever discovered at least once. The spice cupboard seems like a good idea too. Today, folks are not so much into ironing as they are into being foodies. But the character is so charming with the board. It could almost be used as a prep area or kitchen table and preserved. Certainly print the pics and attach them to the board if you take it down so futures will have the option and maybe even attach a note in the closet indicating this is the place for the board.

Ladyscot said...

I love the idea of the built-in ironing board(and yes, I have seen them before), but since you don't appear to actually use it, and since I'm as vertically challenged as Johnny, I like the idea of a spice cabinet even more!

Tara said...

If you're not going to use the ironing board, a spice cabinet is the next best thing for that space!! said...

I agree, I'd go with shelves for spices and maybe even glasses. The Fiance's grandparent's house has a similar set up and the put all their glassware in it.

jen said...

I like the ironing board, personally. If I were an ironing board? I'd want to be Right There. However. I like the spice rack idea. Actually? I love it. Oh! How I would love to have a spice rack where I could see all my spices staring out at me and not have to go on a Mission Impossible search for the effing corriander!
Johnnys wrong. I won't say that very often. Because, you know...I heart him.

Jennifer said...

Spice cabinet. No questions!

LadyCiani said...

Absolutely, you must do the spice cabinet. I am completely jealous of the thought, being only 5'4" myself.

It's not like if you removed the ironing board you'd be changing the architecture of the house, the way you would if you tore down the wall. And keeping the board in the attic for the next possible owners is a kind thought.

Plus, that board comes down with very little clearance between it and that counter. I don't see how you could possibly be expected to iron if every time you flip a shirt over it's in danger of a sleeve falling into the spaghetti sauce.

cake said...

I like the idea of a spice cabinet. Tell Johnny you're most certainly right...and if Canada says so, it must be so. *stamps the argument "Finished!" and files it away*

Johnny said...

It seems to me that it’s all lady readers out there. And most men of my profession have the need to tear things apart and change them. Anyways, who gives a rat’s ass about a spice rack? I’d still have to get on a ladder! Thanks, ladies, for your comments – but I need some men readers!

PS Yes, this is THE Johnny. His loving and beautiful and witty (and also still RIGHT) wife was kind enough to type it in for him.

PPS Johnny says I suck.

PPPS And at least he's right about that one. He DOES suck!

PPPPS Johnny says this sucks! I submit.

PPPPPS Good. Because I was never going to let you get the last word.

PPPPPPS Johnny says Bye.


theotherbear said...

I got rid of my ironing board and now I pay someone to do the ironing. I hate to iron. I vote you get rid of it, and get an ironing lady.

Green Fairy said...

We're having a similar "debate" in our house, as we have one of these ironing board cupboards in each of the kitchens. Rip 'em out? Fill 'em with spices? Leave 'em as is? So far, it hasn't come to bloodshed, but it's getting close. Who knew I'd ever feel so passionate about an ironing board?

I was at the book store this morning, drinking coffee and reading magazines I had no intention of paying for, when I spotted how one family dealt with the old ironing board cabinet: they put a glass door on it and lined it with tiny shelves. They were displaying knickknacks or something, but it looked kinda cool with the glass, and might be neat to display your spices and glassware.

Nate and Jen said...

Johnny, even I'm a man that loves working on stuff, tearing into walls, changing them around, etc. And even I think a spice rack is a better idea.

Io said...

Hello, random lurker here (I write an infertility blog, but I also own an old sometimes crappy bungalow.) I had a ironing nook and turned it into a spice cabinet - it worked out really well and I would be happy to send you a picture if you'd like. It was simple and looks oh-so-fantastic.