Dangerous question #1: What would you like for a Christmas gift?

Several weeks ago Bonney asked me; “What would you like for a Christmas gift?” Now, that is a dangerous question. The problem is I have everything I need and almost everything I want but I still have to answer the question about a Christmas gift.

Kindle e-Book Reader

Bonney’s birthday was November 21 and I gave her a Kindle e-book reader as one of her birthday gifts. She really has been enjoying it. A free download came with the Kindle and she discovered a location where she could download books whose copyright had expired. The Public library also offers e-books for check-out but many of their books are wait listed when someone checks out the only available copy.

Apple iPad with 10" screen

While researching the Kindle I was attracted to the idea of owning a tablet like the i-pad or either a Kindle Fire or Nook color electronic reader. I had no idea how I would use any of them but I was attracted to the idea. I usually listen to audiobooks and download an audiocopy of the weekly Economist Magazine to which I subscribe. I listen to these on a MP-3 player I purchased years ago.

Nook e-reader

I explained my struggle with selection with my son Ben. He suggested I consider something different…an Apple iPod Touch! The iPod is similar to the iPhone except without the phone capability. It has many useful features but most important it serves as an audio MP3 player and also allows me to connect to the Internet and even read my e-mail wherever Wi-fi is available.(A Wi-Fi enabled device such as a PC, video game console, mobile phone, MP3 player or PDA can connect to the Internet when within range of a wireless network connected to the Internet. ) We have Wi-fi at home which allows both Bonney and I to connect with the Internet with separate computers. Wi-fi is also available at many coffee shops and fast food restaurants. But most important to me, the Apple Ipod Touch does not include a phone capability and I don’t have to pay a monthly telephone fee.

iPod Touch with Wi-fi capability

So, “Bonney, I would like an Apple iPod Touch.”


Remodeling and Updating Our Cloister Kitchen

Entry from Great Room

I have learned that whenever Bonney and I are working on a home remodeling and upgrading project it is best to make a drawing and written description of the work we wish done. Several neighbors recommended Tim Stutzman from Kingston Springs for our kitchen remodel. We went over our amateur drawing and written description with Tim. Within a week he came up with some additional recommendations and revised drawings and descriptions and a quote.

Units like ours have the kitchen entry from the hall and some have a pass through to the eating area of the Great room. Ours included a built-in pantry with a door and a boxed in cornice above the cabinets. We did not have a pass through to the great room. The entire kitchen arrangement was awkward and difficult. Here are some of the decisions we took:

Old Feature Modification Result
We removed the kitchen doorway entry from the hall and built a doorway into the Great room Built a doorway into the Great room No longer have to carry food through the hallway
Replaced the origional pantry closet and door. Awkward door and deep shelves caused wasted space and difficult access to back of shelves Installed floor to ceiling drawers with slides Side by side slider drawers and appliance storage on counter top increased storage space
Removed old cabinets and tore out soffit and cornice between cabinet tops and ceiling. Installed old cabinets in garage and new taller kitchen cabinets reaching to the ceiling Provided added storage in both garage and kitchen.
Items in the back of old Base and Wall Corner cabinets difficult to access New Corner Cabinets have rotating shelves Huge increase in corner shelf space
Closing in old doorway with wall left empty wall Converted to a display wall and sideboard arrangement Can use Buffet style for dinner guests just inside kitchen entry.

Moved Kitchen Entry

Moving door allowed decorative wall and sideboard/buffet

Walled in kitchen doorway in hall

Taller Cabinets Reach the Ceiling          Slide out Drawers

Ceiling Height Cabinets

Double Door Pantry Upgrade

To Sum it up….We Love Our New Kitchen

I’ll be Back in the Saddle Again

Gene Autry sang:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80NoPLp-Zl0&feature=player_detailpage

Rockin’ to and fro
Back in the saddle again
I go my way
Back in the saddle again

It has been 15 days since my knee surgery and I am recovering very well. Soon I will be Back in the Saddle again. Recovery started on Tuesday with 2 1/2 days in St Thomas Hospital and then to West Meade Place on the hill for several days. On Monday we decided I could do just as well at home than at West Meade Place and I could travel to Southern Joint Replacement Institute at St Thomas for physical therapy.

I  did not have the leg strength except to straighten a slight leg bend. We bought some raising blocks at the Bed and Bath store and raised the bed and we bought a bedside rail from Bradley Drugs on Charlotte. The raised bed and supporting rail allowed me to get into and out of the bed safely without help from anyone.

There have been some minor problems in my recovery but each day is better. It’s great to be back home!