Last Gasp of the Renovation Budget

When we bought this broken down, abandoned, very small house 10 years ago, it was a “tear down”. We have been renovating for this whole time, mostly addressing structural issues.

Covid-19 means our income, which was just a few dollars above the poverty line, has dropped way below the poverty line. We are managing to buy our food, and garden supplies, keep up with the mortgage and monthly bills. But long-term, I think our remaining, larger renovation plans are cancelled, probably forever.

One of my long-term wishes was to update the original kitchen cabinets. They were hand built, and sturdy, but the cupboard doors don’t close and the drawers drop down when you open them, and they don’t provide a lot of storage. We make them work.

Accepting that we are probably never going to get around to updating the kitchen cabinetry, and knowing that we need more storage and counter space, I decided to put function over form, budget over aesthetics, and ordered two new cabinets that were on sale, to complete the kitchen. These babies make a HUGE difference for day-to-day food preparation and preservation!!

They look beautiful to me, as I see them through the lens of making our time in the kitchen so much more enjoyable. We now have room for food in the kitchen, that was previously stored in the basement, which will reduce my time conveying items up and down a narrow, tricky stair. We now have drawers that don’t flop down when you open them, and fall out when opened too far. We now have cabinet doors that close. I guess none of those things are a very big deal in the larger picture of human life on earth, they are just a very big deal to me right now. My kitchen is completed, bring on the summer and fall harvests for preservation!

Here it is, my big kitchen renovation! We know our renovation budget is shot, so this is a last gasp purchase, on sale, to give us some decent storage space, and counter space, in our tiny kitchen. We used to have a table in this space, but no more, it is now dedicated to storage and work space. These cabinets were easy to install, built to last, and the price was right!
To the left you see my six gallon bucket of wheat berries for milling flour. Above the cabinets is the shelf Attila build to store my herbs and spices. To the right is a cabinet that holds our one gallon jars of dried goods. On the counter top is a dish with washed egg shells, drying so that I can use the mortar and pestle to turn them into a powder, for soil amendment in the garden. On the right of the window sill is my attempt to grow ginger, from a small chunk of fresh ginger from the grocery store, and it is growing!
Everything is now where I can reach it without having to move anything out of the way, or needing two hands to open a drawer to prevent it from flopping down!!
And we have a butcher block counter top!



Date: 11:00 AM EDT Saturday 23 May 2020
Condition: Mainly Sunny
Pressure: 101.8 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 22.7°C
Dew point: 10.1°C
Humidity: 44%
Wind: NNE 15 km/h
Humidex: 24
Visibility: 24 km


“If we attend continually and promptly to the little that we can do, we shall ere long be surprised to find how little remains that we cannot do.”
Samuel Butler
1835 – 1902

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Eileen Barton

Very nice. My kitchen is tiny so I know how valuable every bit of extra storage and work space is. Enjoy your new cabinets. 🙂


Maggie that’s a beautiful kitchen set-up. It looks like you’ll have a lot more storage space now. Can you use the cabinet tops as a food prep area?


Woohoo! New cabinets! Considering we have those problems at the cottage, plus spicy smelly cabinets that contaminate our foods, I can definitely appreciate what a difference this makes for you. Congratulations!

Joan Lansberry

A perfect solution! I rejoice with you!

Bex Crowell

In my opinion, these rolling cabinets are much better than the other kind! Perfect!


I love walk-in pantries. I’ve only lived in two places over the years that had that type of pantry.


Oh, Maggie…I kind of fell off the face of the earth the past few weeks. For some reason, I have been focused on my memories. Of family, and really about Jason. The twins birthday is June 7th….I am certain that has caused my depressed, awful mood. Anyway, I just haven’t been on the WWW, have been doing a lot of reading, and trying like heck to be ok. It is hot, humid, stormy…30 miles NW of us had hail the size of melons the other night. That is even excessive for Texas. My personal pity party…I want to be able to do things like I used to. And, since I can’t, it just pisses me off. I like the cabinets and the butcher top. The people in Texas are nuts…everything is back open, but less than half are wearing masks or keeping distance. We are continuing to stay home with Mike only going to buy groceries q 2 weeks. Drive thru at pharmacy and we are still disinfecting everything before it is brought into the house. I think we are in for a few months until we truly know what we are dealing with. My heart breaks for so many deaths. Stay safe.
Xxoo Margarett