Back in November, right after Thanksgiving, we decided to install a new dishwasher in the main house here at Chokecherry Acres. We pulled the old one out and noticed something.

Mushrooms.

Now, I am a forager and herbalist but trust me when I say I was not excited to see mushrooms growing out of the (very saturated) subflooring for multiple reasons.

  • The “ummm, am I about to fall through the floor” worry.
  • The “this dishwasher swap just got a lot more expensive” cringe.
  • The “noooo, we just redid the roof” series of expletives.
  • The “these aren’t even edible fungi!” moment.

Not that I would want to eat something that grew out of hazardous chemical laden mdf subflooring mind you, but you know I still thought about it enough to identify them.

Back to the kitchen though, we started pulling out the cabinets adjacent to the dishwasher. The subfloor was damaged. We started pulling up a few tiles. The subfloor was damaged. We pulled the cupboards up across the kitchen, still damp. We pulled some drywall. We started on the (ugly eighties-tastic) wood laminate flooring that was into the dining area and finally found dry mdf. That said, that laminate floor was horrible with almost forty years of breakdown and grossness, so we tore it up over to the living room carpet because we were already in for new cabinets, flooring, and drywall.

Basically at this point, as Andrea put’s it “is money even real anymore?” Yes. Yes it is, and with that we decided we were able to take the plunge into properly redoing the kitchen. Yes, we could have patched up a lot to make it functional for less and a lot sooner, however, I teach my herbalism classes in the main house. Andrea and Peter’s bedroom is there. We cook almost all our meals there. The one room is the center for seven people.

So we took out half a wall the open up the space (at least less to drywall to buy?) because Andrea and I hate being stuck in the kitchen while people are having exciting conversations across the wall. On the dining room side there will now be a long bar where people can sit while someone is cooking (or teaching!) from the kitchen since. Jeremiah redid almost all the outlets and added several to the bar side. Peter CAD modeled the space as we measured for cabinets. Cabinets that Caswallon later assembled as we saved a bit on ordering them disassembled.

A month and a half later and tada!

We still aren’t done.

However we are starting to feel like it might be done soon. (Knock on 2x4s.) All the drywall is up, mudded, sanded, and painted. The new subflooring and nice flooring is down. The cabinets are almost all up. We put the range and oven back the other day (YAY for no more Instant Pot meals for quite awhile.) The hood vent is going up soon. The new light fixture is up. The sink is mostly in. The counters are being done. The fridge is back in the kitchen. We also have kickdrawers on the cupboards that were Andrea’s labour of love and so awesome.

The new dishwasher is in.

That means we are back to where we started right? Wellllll…

We still need to do the lights over the bar. Build said bar. Install the sink faucet. Finish the counters. Cut in some paint. I need to tile the backsplash and behind the bar. We need to trim the window and pick and install drawer pulls.

Trust me though, this list is closer to the finish line than the start.

This post was originally going to be about why I have not been working my way through a backlog of herbal preparations, and why I am temporarily closed to art commissions, but… I think this whole thing speaks for itself.

I’m so greatful we are doing the work and learning how we all work together as an intentional community, that said, next Yule, let us just stay in our jammies, eat popcorn, and watch Die Hard.