Harvest Monday, July 21, 2014 – Garlic Harvest + Temporary Kitchen

I am back, but may be temporary.

My last post, published May 26, 2014, I mentioned I would see you in a few weeks. That was nearly 2 months ago and my reno is still under way and may not be completed for another month may be 2. All this delay is causing me much stress and affecting my health. I think I have developed “tired” blood.

Lack the energy to spend a lot of time in the garden so most of the veggies are not growing well. Thinning, pruning,  weeding … need to be done. Hopefully next week I will feel more like myself and get caught up.

Managed to get to the garden this past week and dug up my German white garlic. Had to show them off.

garlic, German white (06489)

Garlic, German White

The garlic are curing in the shed (leaving the shed’s door open for ventilation during the day). Once the tops and roots have dried (3-4 weeks) I will cut them off, clean the heads, select and save the best heads for planting in October and enjoy the rest.

garlic, German whiteThis variety of garlic, German white, sends out nice fat tender scapes and the cloves (6 to a head) are large and easy to peel 
First time growing this variety, like the flavor a lot, will definitely grow again

◊ ◊ ◊

Because the upper and lower kitchen cabinets plus the countertop will be removed to take care of the winter damage to the walls and ceiling, decided to redo my entire kitchen – new cabinets, countertop and sink; new floor and new appliances.

Despite a few surprises when the ceiling and walls were removed everything was proceeding on schedule.

Then came words that the cabinets will be delayed and there was no way the reno could be completed before I leave for my scheduled trip. Unable to change my trip’s date, decided to leave the keys with the contractor who assured me the kitchen will be completed when I return home.

When I arrived home from my trip on June 30, the cabinets were installed, but where are the cabinets’ hardware? And where is the countertop?

Cabinets’ hardware was supposed to arrive in 4 days and installed while I was away. What happened?

On the eve of leaving for my trip I was told there will be delay in the delivery of the countertop. The slabs are on a ship at sea but should arrive on July 2. They did arrive at USA shores on July 2, but, guess what? They were sold to someone else. Yep, you read correctly my countertop, fully paid for, was sold to someone else. I was NOT a happy person. When a friend learned about it, her comment was: “It shows you have good taste.”

Slabs were reordered. When will they arrive? No idea. Install?????

On July 3, I spoke to the owner of the kitchen design store where I ordered my cabinets, countertop, cabinets’ hardware and sink. He suggested a face to face meeting to address the problems. After waiting 2+ weeks, his office finally called on Saturday, 7/19, to set up a meeting date for Wednesday, 7/23.

◊ ◊ ◊

While cleaning the cabinets I discovered a number of issues. Two company reps came and agreed these are issues that should not have occurred. Rep reported back to the company’s president/owner who called the same day and promised to rectify the problems, which means additional delays.

I appreciated the prompt personal phone call from the owner of the cabinet company and suppose to hear from him or his rep today to let me know what steps the company is going to take to rectify the problems and when I will have a completed kitchen.

◊ ◊ ◊

It was challenging to prepare meals with an electric wok on top of the washing machine and the microwave on top of the cloth dryer for so many weeks. With no idea how much longer before I will have a completed kitchen, I insisted on a temporary kitchen in my kitchen. It was installed on July 4th. Below are photos:

temporary kitchen sink (06503)

20 inch Countertop & Working Sink
Countertop prevents dishwasher door from opening so need to have a dish drainer

stove (06501)

Stove & Refrigerator are in place
Sheet pans & plywood make great countertop substitute
Still waiting for cabinets’ hardware

knickknacks (06515)

Plants, Vases & Knickknacks add a cheerful note to the unfinished kitchen

When will I have a fully functioning kitchen? Hope within the next few weeks as I am expecting company in August and need to have my house in order, especially a usable diningroom.

Will post photos of my fully functioning kitchen when it is completed and write an update on how all the issues were resolved.

…   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …  …   …

Copyright © by Norma Chang. All Rights Reserved. Do not use/repost any photos and/or articles without permission.

Visit Daphne’s Dandelions http://daphnesdandelions.blogspot.com/ for more Harvest Mondays

About Norma Chang

I am the author/publisher of 2 user-friendly Chinese cookbooks: "My Students' Favorite Chinese Recipes (updated edition)" and "Wokking Your Way to Low Fat Cooking" A gardener who enjoys cooking and eating and loves to think outside the box A garden volunteer at Locust Grove Heritage Vegetable Garden Conduct hands-on cooking workshops for teenagers Conduct cultural programs for children and family Conduct healthy cooking classes for adults
This entry was posted in Gardening, Harvest Monday, kitchen reno, Vegetables and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

62 Responses to Harvest Monday, July 21, 2014 – Garlic Harvest + Temporary Kitchen

  1. Oh Norma, I feel your pain. it is infuriating! Why can’t any job go according to plan. I think contractors lie to us with all the deadlines and expectations and once they start we are left no option but to carry on until it is complete. You are being pushed too far though! I am so sorry you are still battling with your renovation – I am sure it will be all worth it in the end.
    Have a super week ahead.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  2. daphnegould says:

    Oh how sad. I hate construction as you just never know what will happen, but you seem to have had the worst of it. I’d probably be grilling every day. I hope things are better soon.

  3. It’s good to hear from you again Norma! And I hope you got those project issues straightened out soon. I am keeping my fingers crossed that you will have your kitchen in working order soon. I can’t imagine going without one for as long as you did!

  4. Pat says:

    Hi Norma!
    I am glad your blog is back . It made me smile this morning. What I see of your kitchen is beautiful. I love the white cabinet and am glad you kept your sink near the window. It will be done soon I hope so that you can destress. Looking forward to seeing you Thursday.

  5. Eva Taylor says:

    Welcome back Norma, the garlic us gorgeous. I planted more garlic at the cottage this spring and have seen no action so I suspect the deer got to them too. My garlic on the garage is not doing well either.
    I’m sorry you’ve had issues with your contractor, it’s disgusting that the countertop was sold to someone else, I hope they are doing something nice for you. You should definitely review that company on line, in Canada we have Home Stars and it’s a great place to let people know your experiences with particular suppliers.
    I love the look of your cabinets, we have that same shaker look but ours are dark espresso brown. Did you get an induction stove? Can’t wait to see the completed kitchen.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Eva,
      I am glad to be back. No I did not get an induction stove, looked at one and was considering it, but in the end decided against it (forgot what the reason was) thinking of acquiring a portable one.

  6. Dave's SFG says:

    Your German White garlic are beautiful, that’s a great garlic to grow. Hope your renovation story improves, that’s a lot of aggravation to put up with, particularly for a cook banished from her kitchen for that long.

  7. Glad to see you back, Norma.
    Love your new kitchen…the white cabinets look pretty good, I hope you have a fully functioning kitchen SOON!

  8. Glad to see you back, Norma.
    Love your new kitchen…the white cabinets look pretty good, I hope you have a fully functioning kitchen SOON!
    p.s Norma, I posted a comment earlier, but it disappeared in the air. Lately I have been having problem with wordpress commenting gadget, so last comment could be in your spam folder.

  9. Barbie says:

    Dealing with this in my bathroom right now. But I can tell already, your new kitchen is going to be beautiful! (LOVELY garlic btw. it looks great)

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Barbie,
      Sorry to learn you are having issues with your bathroom reno, hope it will be over soon. I am looking forward to the day my kitchen is completed and fully functioning.

  10. Michelle says:

    I feel your pain, we had a 6 week remodel that took 6 months. There are few things more stressful than living with construction in your home. Wishing you a speedy resolution to your project and lots of enjoyment working in your new kitchen.

  11. mac says:

    Welcome back to blogging, the garlics are beautiful.
    I’ve had the same experience, a small repair turned into months and month, very stressful, I feel your pain. Hope the problems resolved soon and enjoy your new kitchen and gardening again.

  12. Hang in there! It’s going to be gorgeous!! I feel your frustration. When we had our kitchen redone my husband was basically the foreman making them correct wrong sized cabinets and so many other issues. It really was horrible service, but unfortunately not unusual!

  13. Wow, no wonder you are stressed. what a nightmare. sadly, this seems to be the norm. Our kitchen was torn up for three months, and of course things went wrong–like finding that some hidden plumbing leaked. We had to have the slab jack-hammered to fix the plumbing. We ended up eating out a lot, and making microwaved of BBQed meals a lot. A gardener NEEDS her kitchen. Best wishes for getting the job finished. Don’t stress, this will all get resolved with time.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Lou,
      Sad to learn from bloggers that what I am experiencing with my reno is the “norm”. Yes, a gardener needs her kitchen to wash, clean and prepare the harvest, hoping I do not have to wait too much longer.

  14. echolulu says:

    Hello, Norma, so glad to see your blogging again. Your garlic is gorgeous! We have been busy building raised beds these couple of weeks and I have planted some beans and Fall vegetables in them. Your new kitchen looks so inviting. I especially love the view that you have from your kitchen window!

  15. Phyllis smith says:

    Your kitchen is really pretty with the grey walls and pure white cabinets. Soon it will be done! Phyll

  16. Living through a renovation that doesn’t go according to plan is so frustrating! I hope your kitchen is completed very soon. I can imagine cooking is difficult when things are in disarray. The cabinets are beautiful and soon the whole kitchen will be too. Can’t wait to see this counter top that everyone wants!

  17. Here’s hoping the construction is completed sooner rather than later!

  18. ChgoJohn says:

    So sorry to hear of your renovation woes, Norma. One can always expect problems when contractors are involved but I think you’ve experienced more than your fair share. I hope your meeting on the 23rd goes well. You’ve gone without a kitchen long enough. I must admit, though, the parts of the kitchen that are in place look great. Love your new stove. And what a great crop of garlic!

  19. I’ve wondered how you were doing and in my mind you were having such a good time in your kitchen that you didn’t have time to write. You poor thing! I’d be very irritated. You’ve waited so long to have a working kitchen. We all take ours for granted. 🙂

  20. Margaret says:

    How terrible – The kitchen is definitely one of the most stressful renovating projects you can do. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a renovation going according to plan, but what you are going through is absolutely ridiculous. I suppose the one good thing about renos is that, once they are done, the construction misery recedes pretty quickly in the glow of a beautifully finished space. And those are some huge gorgeous garlic bulbs! I’m making a note of that one as I may have to replace a variety or two next year.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Margaret,
      I totally agree with your statement: “construction misery recedes pretty quickly in the glow of a beautifully finished space.”
      My other garlic varieties are all mixed up, this is the only variety that I can truly identify, hope I can keep it that way.

  21. Juliana says:

    So good to see you Norma…I miss seeing your harvest and always wonder how you were doing…sorry to hear about all the issues…and hopefully it will be all over and you get to enjoy your new kitchen and share all the goodies. In the meantime just try to relax…and take it easy.
    Thank you for stopping by…hope you have better news soon 😀

  22. Hello Norma, So sorry to hear that you are going through all of this. I know it is beyond frustrating but when it is done, it will be beautiful. I love your new cabinets they are so fresh and pretty.
    Wow those are some gorgeous garlic! I hope that by the time the fall is here you will be demeaning some beautiful dishes in your new kitchen with of course, lots of garlic. Take care, BAM

  23. So sorry typos..you will be MAKING some beautiful dishes.

  24. Your beautiful new, white kitchen looks fantastic, it is lovely to have you back 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

  25. What an ordeal Norma! I hope that everything is done (and the right way!!) asap!

  26. Wow, it’s great gardening Norma,
    i would love to if you share the garlic greens young leaves, hehehe

  27. cheri says:

    I have had no luck at all growing garlic, but yours look perfect. Hope everything works out soon, your white cabinets are beautiful.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Cheri,
      Are you growing soft neck or hard neck garlic? Garlic is really very easy to grow. Check with your area cooperative extention for variety recommendation suitable for your area.

  28. Kristy says:

    Oh Norma! Good luck. I can only imagine how tiring and stressful that is – especially when you had to come home from a trip to it. That’s never fun. I will be thinking of you and hope that things start to progress more quickly and satisfactorily.

  29. Oh Norma! I’m so sorry – I completely understand how stressful this can be! We remodeled our kitchen in the spring and had ‘issues’ with the guy who built an table-island with cabinets underneath. It was very stressful and we didn’t have nearly the problems you’ve run into. It sounds like they’re trying to be responsive (I can’t believe the slab was sold to someone else!!!!!) and this too shall pass. Just not quickly enough. Separately, your garlic is amazing. You’ve motivated me to grow my own!!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Susan,
      Garlic is amazingly easy to grow. I have images of you creating all kinds of wonderful dishes with the garlic green and garlic scape (these appear early spring) from your home grown garlic plants.

  30. Well, I liked this post because I’m happy to see you back, but I DON’T like what you’ve been through. That’s ridiculous. And it just underscores to me the lack of pride and care that people take in their work now. Your stress and frustration is what we experienced for 5 months last year. We could only get some measure of satisfaction by having what my husband called a “come to Jesus” meeting with our vendors, resulting in the work finally getting completed, but not as well done of a job as we expected. I do hope you get what you want and the level of quality soon, without any more stress.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Betsy,
      I actually was thinking of you and your construction and remembered you had issues. I am sorry to learn that the completed job was not to your expectation. I am going to do my best to stay on top of things and get the results I expect.

  31. hotlyspiced says:

    I’m so sorry to hear you’re having such a drama with getting a new kitchen installed. I have a friend in the exact same position. For four weeks she has been operating out of her laundry, washing up in a bucket with no way to cook except for her microwave perched on top of her washing machine. She’s absolutely had it. The bench top was supposed to be installed three weeks ago. I do hope your kitchen will be finished promptly! xx

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Charlie,
      I hope so too. I surely understand your friend’s frustration, cooking in the laundry room is a challenge. I hope by now her bench top has been installed, I am still waiting for mine.

  32. Sophie33 says:

    Your garlic bulbs look great & wonderful! Your new kitchen that is unfinished looks great too!

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