January 6, 2009

A New House

I can spill the beans now. We’ve bought a 36 acre parcel to build our “dream” home on. We just closed escrow on it yesterday, and since I’m superstitious and believe in voodoo, UFO’s, Leprechauns with hatchets, and not stepping on any cracks anywhere in the universe, I didn’t want to mention it until it was absolutely a done deal.

It’s spectacular and we’ve been looking for something just like this for something like 10 years. It borders millions of acres of National Forest AND a Designated Wilderness area (so important for keeping the ATV riding and beer bottle throwing cretins away), has plentiful water (this is akin to a gold mine in Arizona), plenty of trees and is very VERY private. Because I’m sort of a hermit – a hermit with a Blackberry and Facebook.

I am in love with this land. We can be more self-sufficient as soon as I figure out a good deer fence around the garden. I am afraid of snakes, so I have to work on that issue. Because this land is so…wild…there will be lots of snakes just waiting for a semi-blind gardener talking on her Blackberry.


I guess it’s sort of contrary to buy/build in this economy, but it has worked in our favor…good deal on the land, and supplies, equipment, and construction labor is getting very cheap. But we’ve saved and saved, and it’s definitely not a dumb thing to do, because the Spousal Unit is so…frugal...there’s no way this would happen unless it made financial sense.

I’m finding stuff like Traulsen refrigerators and Wolf ranges for 40 cents on the dollar! I may wet myself.

We’ll start building in a few months, once the weather clears. Right now I’m snake boot deep in design books, kitchen magazines and articles, a plethora of internet sites, and half-baked ideas on cocktail napkins. Cause you know, don’t you? This new kitchen will definitely make Eric Ripert want to come and visit. And, of course, he’ll fall in love with me, which will make things sketchy with the Spousal Unit, but will make for good blog posting. Stay tuned as Catherine and Eric make profiteroles together in her fabulous kitchen and Eric challenges the Spousal Unit to a dual!

My new kitchen is not going to be all disco-y and stupidly fancy and pretentiously useless. There will be no Greek columns, 3 dishwashers, or built-in niches for a small dog with a jeweled collar to sit and eat (yes, I just saw this in a magazine). It will be solidly workable and comfortable. I’ll never leave it. Which means I could give a rat’s ass about the rest of the house. Well…I care; it’s just that my focus will be on the kitchen. I guess doors and windows are a good idea. And a nice bathtub.

"Oh Eric, hand me the soap, will you??"

So, dear and gently understanding readers, that means you’ll be subjected to all manner of nonsense from me for the next year or so. Rantings and ravings, tears and fears, worries and questions – yes, a Dr. Phil show right here on The Dish. Stay tuned as Catherine rips a sub-contractor a new one!

First question for you guys….what would you absolutely NOT do in your dream kitchen? What disaster appliance, layout, or other aspect of kitchen-ness do you hate? I figure I’ll start with what DOESN’T work…then go from there. Because I’ll depend on you guys!!! I really want your opinions! Left to my own devices…well, I just don’t want to scare Eric away. You know?


Anonymous said...

Congrats! Sounds like heaven (but what's wrong with a little ATV riding and beer bottle throwing rednecks...) Oh and I'm not answering the NOT question I'm going to tell you you SHOULD get an Advantium oven. It is like a microwave but so much better! Look in to it!

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

Well I don't have any advice - but I am going to be avidly reading the comments here, so whenever we build OUR dream house, I will have some ideas! ;)

All I can say is that I am really excited for you guys! This is such awesome news! And hell, if I can live get over my fear of gators (still working on that) you can make nice with the snakes!

Jeff said...

Congrats on your purchase! My dream home is on acres where I can raise animals and a massive veggie garden.

My next kitchen is going to have:
butcherblock countertops
wood stove and dual convenction stoves
veritcal slide out spice and oil rack next to the stove

There really is not an appliance I don't use (I have a microwave in the livng room hidden under a table but I occasionally even use that).

As far as keeping out deers my grandpa use to swear by blood meal. I tried it last year and bunnies hated it. I think he also whizzed around the garden but well that would probably get me arrested.

Once again congrats!!

Heather said...

I'm too new to home ownership to have had time to hate anything, but I will say that I'd hurt a kid for Jamie Oliver's rustic farm kitchen and wood burning outdoor oven.

Heather said...

And omg congratulations on the score! I guess it just sounded so right and obvious that I forgot it was big news. :)

Sue said...

Congratulations! That is so exciting. I have 2 friends who have just built houses from scratch and I envy them and also don't (just a little).

I know one thing I would have done differently, but I really didn't have room, but you could make the room. I would have had 2 dishwashers. It might sound like a lot, but every single day, I have more dishes than space and I leave pots to soak almost every night.

Anyone I know that has just one oven regrets it. The more burners the merrier. Have a fan in the kitchen.

Those are the things that occur to me immediately, but I'm so looking forward to hearing all about it.

Mary said...

Trash compactor is not worth the money. A walk in pantry is. Hey, this is great news. What an adventure lies ahead.

Lisa said...

Wow, congratulations! I am so excited for you. I don't think I would want any Greek columns either....maybe just one thin one for pole dancing. But 3 dishwashers sounds like a good thing in case you have a lot of company.

Emily said...

Congrats! This all sounds amazing.

I've never thought about my dream kitchen because I still live with my parents. I think I would decorate it with French stuff.

Sue said...

Can I be a pain and suggest one more thing? A double front door. It's the greatest thing when that's one less to worry about everytime you have something delivered.

Catherine Wilkinson said...

LOVE all your comments! Mary, definitely not putting in a trash compactor! And Sue, double doors is brilliant...something one wouldn't think of! Great ideas and thanks so much everyone! I'll keep y'all posted!

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