Friday, December 29, 2017

Rosy the Reviewer's One Liners: One Line Reviews for Busy Folks Who Just Want to Netflix and Chill!

It's that time of year: the middle of the Holiday Season where there is too much to do and too little time to do it in. 

And Rosy the Reviewer is also busy, busy, busy, so I am making it easy on all of us by giving you some movie reviews that are short and sweet.  Short?  One line.  Sweet?  Not all of them.  

The shows are all streaming on Netflix so you can just Netflix and chill and enjoy the rest of the holiday season!

And I mean actually sit and watch Netflix and chill...not that other thing.

Enjoy...and you can thank me later.

Streaming on Netflix

Jerry Before Seinfeld (2017)

Rosy the Reviewer says...if you are a Jerry fan or really loved the TV show "Seinfeld," then you will enjoy this very funny yet poignant documentary where Jerry returns to the Comic Strip Club where he got his start; he does some stand up interspersed with reminiscences about his childhood and who he was before he was "Seinfeld."

Blue Jay (2016)

Rosy the Reviewer says...two high school sweethearts meet up 20 years later in this black and white (why?) very talkie two-hander romantic story (think a less successful "Before Sunrise" but still worth seeing) starring Sarah Paulson, who is an amazingly real actress and proves she can play someone other than a tough Marcia Clark ("American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson") or a weird character in "American Horror Story" and writer/actor Mark Duplass, who I really liked in "The One I Love," but not so much in this.

The Watcher (2016)

Rosy the Reviewer says...this is one of those horror films about an unsuspecting couple who buy their dream home only to discover that some bad stuff happened in that house, and some bad stuff is going to happen to them too, but it's only Lifetime Movie kind of bad, and really over-the-top and campy bad, and actually so over-the-top and campy bad that it's on my list of possible camp classics which translates to lots of fun.

The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson (2017)

Rosy the Reviewer says...a fascinating documentary using never-before-seen footage and interviews that investigates the mysterious death of Marsha P. Johnson, a transgender activist and veteran of the 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York City, which was one of the most important events leading to the Gay Liberation Movement.

Big Family Cooking Showdown (2017)

Rosy the Reviewer says...if you loved "The Great British Baking Show" on PBS or, as it's known in the U.K, "The Great British Bake Off," you will love this new series that features sixteen British family teams who fight for the title Best Family of Cooks in this series presented by Zoe Ball and Nadiya Hussain (Hussain won "The Great British Bake-Off" in 2015).

And don't forget, "The Crown" which is now back for it's second season!

Thanks for Reading!

I hope you had a lovely holiday and continue to enjoy the holiday season. 

I wish you all a Happy New Year,

and I hope I will see you next year!


There will be a special
New Year's edition of
Rosy the Reviewer this coming Tuesday

"My Mother's Diary
(and a Meaningful New Year's Resolution for you to consider)"


If you enjoyed this post, feel free to copy and paste or click on the share buttons to share it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn, email it to your friends and LIKE me on Facebook at

Next time you are wondering whether or not to watch a particular film, check out my reviews on IMDB (The International Movie Database). 

Friday, December 22, 2017

"Mudbound" and The Week in Reviews

[I review the Netflix original film "Mudbound (nominated for two Golden Globes) as well as the DVDs "Patti Cake$" and "Ghost in the Shell." I also bring you up-to-date with "My 1001 Movies I Must See Before I Die Project" with "Wild Reeds."  NOTE:  I'm sorry there is no Book of the Week this week - hey, it's the holidays!)


Two families living in the Mississippi Delta during the 1940's intertwine tragically in this film that explores race and class in the Jim Crow South.

More and more, Netflix and other home viewing companies are providing quality content that we can all watch at home.  That's probably why the movie industry is suffering.  People would rather watch at home than venture out to the movies.  So Netflix has taken advantage of that and provided original TV series and movies that would otherwise never get made or languish unreleased. 

And so because of Netflix, we are able to see this incredibly raw, but incredibly compelling epic of two poor families, one white, one black, trying to survive in the Mississippi Delta after WW II, a film considered by some to one of the best films of the year.

Henry (Jason Clarke) and Jamie (Garrett Hedlund) McAllen are brothers.  Henry, the older brother, is kind of a dud.  He is educated but socially inept.  On the other hand, Jamie might not be as smart but he is handsome and charming.

Henry and Jamie are first seen trying to bury their father during a rainstorm.  As they dig the grave, the two are almost buried themselves in the mud.  A wagon with an African-American family pulls up and Henry asks them to help.  He is met with angry stares and thus begins this story of two families at odds.

Flashback to 1939 when Henry meets Laura (Carey Mulligan), a 31-year-old virgin spinster living with her parents.  She doesn't exactly fall in love with Henry, and in fact when she meets his more handsome and charming brother, Jamie, you can feel her attraction to him, but she wants to get married and have her own life so she marries Henry and they are living happily in Memphis when Henry gets this bright idea to live out his dream to own a farm.

He uproots the family, including his Pappy (Jonathan Banks), and they all move to Mississippi where Henry thinks he has rented a nice house on the land he bought but when they arrive, they discover the house has been sold out from under him and they are forced to live in one of the sharecropper's cabins alongside the black sharecroppers who are working the land, something Pappy is not happy about. You see, Pappy is a racist who throws the "n-word" around liberally and has no problem making that clear and throwing his weight around when he encounters black people.

Henry is basically a city guy and is not prepared for the hardships of working a farm. The McAllens live near the Jackson family - Hap (Rob Morgan) and Florence (Mary J. Blige) Jackson and their children.  The Jacksons are black sharecroppers and, though they are poor, their experiences on the land are very different from Henry's.  Hap is a pastor and has hopes and dreams of moving up and owning his own land.  Henry seems to be on the way down having been swindled and forced to live where he feels is below his station.

Meanwhile, WW II has started and Jamie has gone to war as has the Jackson's son, Ronsel (Jason Mitchell).  Jamie is an Air Force pilot and Ronsel is a tank commander.  Both experience the war very differently.  Jamie comes home guilty and shell-shocked for having bombed so many people.  Ronsel comes home liberated freed from the racism he had experienced at home. Yes, he was in an all black military unit and was segregated as he was at home but the Europeans did not exhibit the kind of racism he faced in America.  In fact, he was in love with a white German woman and was living with her until the war ended and he needed to go home.

But when both Jamie and Ronsel return home, they both come home to a war of another kind - Jamie is shell-shocked and returns to nothing but a disapproving father and his own guilty dreams and Ronsel to a racist world that continues to try to beat him down.  Jamie and Ronsel find solace in their shared experiences of the war but their friendship also leads to murder and tragedy.

Based on the novel by Hillary Jordan and adapted by Virgil Williams and directer Dee Rees, the film is told from each of the main characters' different viewpoints throughout the film giving the film a poetic feel and insight into the inner workings of each character. 

Carey Mulligan is always good but I get her mixed up all of the time with Michelle Williams.  The two could be twins, and Mulligan, who is British, plays so many Americans that it doesn't help.  Here her part is quite small but a pivotal one. 

Mary J. Blige as Florence plays a mother who grieves for a favored son who has gone off to war and is a steady presence for her family as they live a hardscrabble life. She also helps Laura during childbirth, and the two share an uneasy bond of motherhood and womanhood. The singing diva is almost unrecognizable as she sheds her makeup to play the no-nonsense Florence.  She has been nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Golden Globe for this performance, and though she is good, the part is not really that meaty to give Blige a chance to really stand out, so I'm on the fence about whether or not that nomination was deserving.  The Golden Globes and the Academy seem to reward women when they take off their make-up and go au natural but is that acting?

Clarke and Hedlund are excellent as the brothers who love each other but struggle with their differences but the film belongs to Jason Mitchell as Ronsel, the African American man who goes off to war and experiences being treated like a man for the first time but returns home to the humiliation of the white supremacist and KKK South. Mitchell stunned as Eazy-E in "Straight Outta Compton" and he stuns here too.

Directed by Dee Rees"Mudbound" is a good title and metaphor for this story of two families stuck literally and figuratively in the muddy cotton fields of the Mississippi Delta and the racism of the Jim Crow South. The film reminded me of Terence Malick's "Days of Heaven." Not having heard much about this film, I decided to watch it on Netflix when I saw Carey Mulligan on "The Graham Norton Show (BBC America)" and later heard the buzz about Mary J. Blige's performance and her Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actress, and I am glad I did.

I find as I watch these kinds of films about what black people in the United States have had to go through - holocaust films do the same - that I get so angry, so angry at the evil that men do.  The racism and horrors that African Americans have had to endure is shameful and should make us all mad.  No this isn't happy holiday fare.  You have the Lifetime and Hallmark channels for that. But the holiday season is a time to reflect on love for our fellow men and women, all of them, and if we all did that, not just during the holidays but all of the time, maybe we could end racism because racism is still alive and thriving in this country today.

Rosy the Reviewer says...stunning performances.  This film made me cry.  One of the best of the year!

***Some Movies You Might Have Missed***
(And Some You Will Be Glad You Did)!


Patti Cake$ (2017)

An unlikely rapper sensation emerges - an overweight white girl from New Jersey.

Patti, AKA Patricia Dombrowski AKA Killa P. AKA Dumbo (Danielle McDonald) is a 23-year-old who dreams of being a rap queen.  She practices her raps in the mirror and dreams of stardom while living with her alcoholic mom, Barb (Bridget Everett), who likes to bring strange men home.  Actually Barb is a slut who is mean to Patti and an embarrassment to her, but Patti takes care of her, holding her hair back when she throws up in the toilet after a night of partying.  Patti also lives with her Nana (played by Cathy Moriarity who I never would have recognized in a million years had I not seen her name in the credits) who has medical issues but encourages Patti and is her biggest fan. 

Patti is a bartender in a karaoke bar and sometimes her Mom comes in to sing.  Her mother is actually a really good singer who had a sort of career in the past, but now she comes in and sings and gets very drunk much to Patti's chagrin.  Patti wants to have a connection with her mother but her mother blames her for her lost career by becoming pregnant with her.

Patti's friend, Jheri (Siddharth Dhananjay), who works at the drug store, has a crush on her and encourages her dreams.  She, however, has a crush on the handsome pizza guy.

Patti's life is dead end and bleak, but she gets through it by listening to rap music and pretending to be a rapper.  She attends street rap jams and wows her fellow jammers, though they disrespect her by calling her Dumbo. She also meets a strange black musician who calls himself Basterd the AntiChrist (Mamoudou Athie), and she begs him to collaborate with her.  He is a mysterious, withdrawn guy who lives off the grid in a tunnel he has labeled The Gates of Hell.

Now you may ask, "What's a 69-year-old woman doing watching a movie like this, about a 23-year-old wanna be rapper?"  She's watching an awesome ass movie, that's what!

This is one of those stories of making it despite the odds, and we all know how it is going to go, but it's the getting there that is so great.

McDonald is wonderful.  She is so real and believable as Patti and Bridget Everett, who so far has been known mostly as a rather raunchy standup comedian and pal of Amy Schumer wows, not only as an actress, but as a singer.  I hope to see more of these two.

Written and directed by Geremy Jasper, this is a feel good film that takes you on an original and mesmerizing ride that you don't want to miss.

Rosy the Reviewer says...a really wonderful little film... AKA killa!

Ghost in the Shell (2017)

In the near future, Major (Scarlett Johansson) is the first of her kind: a cyber-enhanced body with a human brain. 

I have been struggling lately with whether or not Scarlett Johansson is a good actress or not.  I am leaning toward not and this film didn't help.  Don't get me wrong.  She is a beautiful woman and has certainly paid her dues.  She has been around for a long time, first as a child actor who made a splash in "The Horse Whisperer" and has steadily progressed ever since, but when I look at her body of work, I feel like she is competent but plays most of her roles the same.  I almost gave up on her with "Under the Skin," a movie I hated. Here ScarJo is a cyborg police woman named Major and playing a cyborg doesn't really give her much opportunity to change my mind about her acting.  

Major was once a human named Mira Killian, but she was caught in a terrorist attack that killed her parents and left her body beyond repair. Only her brain survived.  In this futuristic world that Mira lives in, it is common for people to get cyber augmentation to give them greater vision or strength and Hanka Robotics is the leader in this industry.  They are involved in a secret project to create a "shell" that can house a human brain rather than using AI and Mira is their perfect subject, and the project is successful.  Her designer, Dr. Ouelet (Juliette Binoche) decides to use her as a counter-terrorist operative. Major is dedicated to foiling cyber-criminals and hackers including one whose goal is to destroy the technology responsible for her very existence.  

A year later, Mira has attained the rank of Major in Section 9, an anti-terrorist division led by Aramaki (Takeshi Kitano), but she is starting to experience hallucinations and to wonder about her past, and through a series of adventures and misadventures and lots of karate chopping and kicking on ScarJo's part, Major goes back to find her past, who she really was, and learns her real name and in so doing, the film explores that whole issue of what makes us human.  Does just having a brain make us human?

Watching this film, one can't help but think of a female version of "Blade Runner: 2049."  Same concept but not as good.  Directed by Rupert Sanders (who you may remember was in a bit of a cheating scandal with Kristin Stewart awhile back) with a screenplay by Ehren Kruger, William Wheeler, and Jamie Moss, this one is a very stylized film version of Masamune Shirow's Manga series and the set design is quite extraordinary.  It reminded me of the film "The Fifth Element."  But the film is also very cartoonish which made it difficult to care about the characters.  It just failed to grab me.  And I am not prejudiced against cyborgs.  I loved "Ex Machina."  Maybe ScarJo just doesn't have the acting chops to make me care about this cyborg.

Rosy the Reviewer says...this film is kind of a confusing mess and ScarJo is no Meryl Streep, but I have to say, she has "The It Factor."  You can't take your eyes off of her.

***My 1001 Movies I Must See Before I Die Project***

161 to go!

Have YOU seen this classic film?

Wild Reeds (1994)
(Les Roseaux Sauvages)

Boarding school students in 1960's France.  I wonder what they get up to?

This film, directed by Andre Techine, tells the tale of the sexual awakenings of three male students at a French boys boarding school in 1962 during the last throes of the French-Algerian War. They are all in their last year of school before heading out into the world.

Francois (Gael Morel), Serge (Stephane Rideau) and Henri (Frederic Gorny) couldn't be more different.  Francois thinks he is in love with Maite (Elodie Bouchez) but is sexually naïve and struggling with his sexuality.  Francois is actually in love with the street smart and straight Serge. Henri is a French Algerian obsessed with the Algerian War.

At the wedding of Serge's brother, Pierre (Eric Kreikenmayer), a soldier fighting in Algeria, Pierre asks his ex-teacher Madame Alvarez (Michele Moretti) to help him desert.  She is a known Communist and he has heard that the Communists help soldiers desert from the Army.  Madame Alvarez is a teacher at the boarding school and is also Maite's mother.  She refuses and, when Pierre is killed in Algeria, Serge seeks revenge on Madame Alvarez blaming her resistance to helping Pierre desert as the reason he died.

Meanwhile, Serge, who is a bit of a bad boy and who reminded me of a young Matt Dillon seduces Francois even though Serge is straight and really lusts after Maite. Francois must face his burgeoning feelings for Serge and his homosexuality.  Henri, who looks like a young Hugh Grant, is an Algerian French National who has been expelled from Algeria because of the war.  He isn't really attracted to anyone.  He's angry about the war and, well, angry about everything, though he, too, is eventually drawn to Maite, despite their political differences. 

While Serge, Maite and Francois represent the personal angst that young people go through as they come of age, Henri represents the political climate that they will also have to navigate, but since we Americans probably know absolutely nothing about the French-Algerian War, which was to France what the Vietnam War was to America (and I must confess I actually didn't know anything about it), the political side of this film doesn't really resonate.

It's all a strange little adolescent love triangle, or actually it's a quadrangle, with Serge in the middle.  There is a touching and telling scene when Serge and Francois take a motorbike to Toulouse, with Serge driving and Francois riding behind him with his arms grasped tightly around Serge.  It beautifully shows how much Francois loves Serge and how he is going to have to deal with his feelings about him.

There is a side plot where Madame Alvarez has a breakdown because she too blames herself for Pierre's death but I thought that side plot  was over dramatic and bogged things down.

Despite the fact that these were engaging young actors, I am getting tired of coming of age stories and this one was a bit self-indulgent for me and difficult to relate to.  It starts out as a story about Francois, Maite and Serge but the second half of the film morphs into the story of Henri, who is a right winger and Maite, who is a Communist, and their political odds vs. personal odds. The film ends with a scene where they all go swimming together in what could be seen as their last burst of childhood before the personal and political upheaval of adulthood will take over, which to me is a cliché scene used many times in films like this.

Why it's a Must See:  "[This film] was the winner of Cesar awards (the French equivalent of the Oscars) for Best Picture, Director, Screenplay and 'New Female Discovery' (for Bouchez)."
---"1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die"

Rosy the Reviewer says...yawn.
(In French with English subtitles)

Thanks for reading!

See you next Friday 


"Rosy the Reviewer's One Liners:
One Line Reviews for Busy Folks who want to just 
Netflix and Chill" 


If you enjoyed this post, feel free to copy and paste or click on the share buttons to share it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn, email it to your friends and LIKE me on Facebook at

Check your local library for DVDs and books mentioned.

Next time you are wondering whether or not to watch a particular film, check out my reviews on IMDB (The International Movie Database). 

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

My New Kitchen, or, How I Survived a Kitchen Remodel But Told My Kids If I Ever Decided to Do Something Like That Again They Had My Permission To Put Me in a Home!

No that's not my new kitchen.  That's my old kitchen.  Before I get into the new kitchen, let me give you a little background on what started this whole thing.

A few months ago, when I was visiting my son and feeling a bit down, I said to him, "My life hasn't turned out the way I had hoped it would."  Now, I know, we aren't supposed to share that kind of thing with our kids, and frankly, I know that the happiness of their parents is not in the forefront of our kids' minds, but I said it anyway.  I went on to explain that I thought I would be living near my adult children and enjoying the grandchildren, when instead we were strewn all over the U.S.  I was actually kind of fishing to see if my son said something about how much he wished I would move closer.  He didn't. I had been thinking that perhaps Hubby and I should move back to California to be nearer to the grandkids.  But when he didn't bite, I fished some more and said, "How would you feel if I moved to Virginia to be nearer your sister?"  He didn't seem to care.  So that's when I realized Hubby was right.  Moving would be a huge hassle especially if the kids didn't care one way or another.

Then my son decided he would solve my problem. 

"Why don't you move into town, Mom?  You could walk to the Starbucks and meet all kinds of people."

Now I am not certain that being able to walk to Starbucks is going to insure I will meet people, but I know where he was coming from.  He wanted me to be happy.  Your kids don't want to have to worry about you so he was trying to help so that he didn't have to worry about me.  Though walking to Starbucks is important to me, I don't think it's going to necessarily make me feel better about my life, but he did spark my imagination. We currently live in a suburban area and, though it's very pretty, and we have a nice piece of land, I can't walk anywhere, so I thought, "He's right.  And I do love Starbucks.  So as soon as I got home, I told Hubby, "We're moving into town."  I'm impulsive like that.  Have you noticed?

So Hubby sighed (he's used to me by now) and got the ball rolling. We qualified for a big mortgage because that's what it would take to move into town, we called a realtor and started looking at houses.  Long story short, it only took one weekend of looking and not seeing anything as nice as what we had and yet  costing twice as much, and it didn't help that our realtor valued our house for a tat bit lower than we had hoped, so it wasn't difficult for us to decide we had it pretty good where we were, not being able to walk to Starbucks not withstanding.  This was probably not the time to make a big move.  Hubby sighed a huge sigh of relief.

But....hold on!

Oh, did I mention that when I was visiting my son, I got to see their new white kitchen?

Ding, ding, ding!

If we are not going to move, I want a new white kitchen!

Huge intake of breath from Hubby. Did I mention that I am impulsive?

Next thing we knew....

And can I now add...if we only knew?

The kitchen was demolished and the project manager says the electrical is going to cost double what we originally thought AND there will need to be more drywall than we originally thought AND a myriad of other things and then he asks, "Do you want to proceed?"  When you no longer have a kitchen, what is the correct response?

And we were already twenty grand over the original estimate.

Huge intake of breath from Hubby AND me! 

"Yes, we want to proceed."

Once it all sunk in what I had gotten us into, I started to panic and fall into a deep funk. 

Hence the title of this blog post.

But I will try to recover myself enough to continue with the story and actually give you some tips on what we learned along the way besides the fact that we are never, ever going to do this again.

I started to feel a little better when the cabinets and sink were installed after only a couple of weeks into the project.

And little details are nice

Things were moving along nicely and I was starting to really look forward to my new kitchen and having it ready for Christmas when our daughter and her husband would be coming.

And then THIS happened!

I had been concerned that the seam in the quartz for the countertop was going to be across the widest part of our counter space - the peninsula - the place where we sit and eat and spend most of our time.  But we were assured that once the veins were matched up the seam would not show very much.  So you can imagine what we felt when the countertop was installed and Hubby noticed THIS!  The work was halted, there was much discussion, many phone calls back and forth from the installers and the powers that be back at the main store, we met with everyone...and then, once it was determined that nothing could be done, we were asked THAT QUESTION again! 

Did we want to proceed?

Well, except for having them remove the countertop, choosing something else and losing the money for the original quartz, I guess we had to proceed.

That took a week off of our project and when the countertop was finalized, it really looked fine.  Looking back...I can't help but wonder if I would have even noticed that discrepancy had Hubby not noticed it first.  So I blame him!

So it was back to work and everything went smoothly after that. The project was not only finished on time - it was projected to take six weeks and it did, though it would have been finished in five weeks had we not had that meltdown about the veins in the countertop not matching - it was finished just in time for Christmas and I was very happy.

I wanted a white kitchen, especially since we live in a forested area and the kitchen was rather dark. However, I had liked some kitchens I had seen where the top part of the kitchen was white and the lower portion of the kitchen was a different color, so I decided to do that.  I wanted Shaker cabinets and had originally wanted to do white cabinets on top and gray on the bottom, but when we saw this sort of gray/green/blue cabinet which was Shaker-style but with a little extra detail, we liked the color and that detail. The color mitigated the coldness that can sometimes come from an all white kitchen and the little detail on the cabinets gave a boost to the Shaker style which can come off as quite plain.

We added a farmhouse sink, chimney style hood, gas cooktop (we had an electric stove before), wine fridge (duh), double wall ovens, the aforementioned quartz countertop, subway tile back splash, under-cabinet lighting, pendant lights over the peninsula and a pantry where a little desk had been to make up for losing our original pantry when we put in the double ovens where the pantry used to be.  

Other than moving a couple of things around and losing a bit of cabinet space, the kitchen footprint and the floors remained pretty much the same and even with that, our final cost was twice the original estimate. I always have had expensive taste.

But we are happy with the outcome and enjoying our new kitchen!

And that little hissy fit we had about the veins in the countertop not matching exactly?  It's hardly noticeable.



After it was finished, we went on a little weekend trip to California so it wasn't until we got back that it occurred to me that I had to actually put everything that was boxed up for the demolition of the kitchen BACK into the kitchen!

Now it's one thing to have to physically open every box and put everything away, but it's even more difficult to decide WHERE to put everything, especially if your kitchen is much different from your old one.  In our case, the footprint of the kitchen was pretty much the same but the addition of two wall ovens, the cabinet for the garbage and compost, the wine fridge and the chimney hood over the cooktop all decidedly ate into the cabinet space I once had so I had to spend quite a bit of time deciding where everything was now going to go in my new kitchen.

It's also sobering to go through everything as you put it back and wonder, "What the hell?  Why did I have five different kinds of salt and three huge bottles of balsamic vinegar?  And what is this can of baked beans with a Best Buy date of June 3, 2012?"

But one whole exhausting day later, it was all done and I am very, very happy. We celebrated when we finally had our first cooked meal from our new kitchen.

So what did this ordeal, er, I mean remodel teach me that I didn't already know?  

Even though we are newbies to major remodeling, I already knew that I should check out the credentials of the companies I was interested in working with and get estimates from more then one, which I did.  I narrowed it down to a couple of companies close to home and checked them out on Angie's List and the Better Business Bureau and the reviews were good and I was very happy with the team we chose.

But here are some things I didn't already know:


After a remodel, all of a sudden the rest of the house looks kind of dowdy.

Our kitchen is a sort of open plan that opens onto a family room.  Once the kitchen was brightened up, the family room, with its leather furniture and dark walls, suddenly just didn't work, so we had to also redo the family room and, now about $3000 later, it has walls that match the kitchen and new, brighter furniture. 

So be prepared for that to happen.  Remodeling has a domino effect. 


I learned I am more of a creature of habit than I thought.

My morning habit is to get up when I feel like it (usually by 9:30 but even if I am not asleep I stay in bed until at least 9am on principle because, hey, I'm retired!), waddle downstairs and plop myself down at the kitchen counter to read the newspaper and my many intellectual, high-brow magazines such as People and US Weekly.  I fill my tea cup with a tea bag and water from my instant hot water dispenser and enjoy an hour or two of reading,



In fact there wasn't even a kitchen, and every day there was a stranger working in there, so that was very, very difficult to get used to.  I had no idea just how much time I spent in the kitchen and how much of my daily life revolved around cooking for enjoyment.  Remodeling the kitchen has to be the worst when it comes to disrupting your life unless you were remodeling a bathroom and live in a house with only one bathroom.  That would be bad too.  But if you have more than one bathroom, at least if you remodel a bathroom you can use the other one.  When your kitchen is torn up, you have no kitchen and no access to food or anything else in your kitchen.


I learned that eating out every night is not as much fun as one would think. 

I consider myself a bit of a gourmand and nothing makes me happier than going into Seattle and trying a new restaurant, but going into Seattle every night was not an option so we had to eat closer to home. I never realized how few good restaurants there were near where I live. You would think it would be fun to eat out every night, but it wasn't.  The cost of doing that notwithstanding, eating out every night required getting dressed and looking at least a bit presentable, which some days I just didn't want to do, likewise eating food that most days I didn't want to eat.  When you eat out every night, the risk of gaining weight is monumental but believe it or not, I actually lost weight due to the stress of having to get dressed and look presentable every day and having to rotate between McDonald's, the Mongolian Grill and a sub-standard Mexican or Chinese restaurant.  I would fantasize about a nice piece of fish and a salad that wasn't made with iceberg lettuce.  And when I didn't want to make myself presentable, we heated up frozen dinners in the microwave. I can't believe I used to eat that stuff back in the day.  Just thinking about another Healthy Choice or Lean Cuisine frozen meal makes me feel queasy.

I also never realized how much of my time was spent in the kitchen cooking.  Trying out new recipes on Hubby is one of my favorite past times. 

I also didn't realize what a food snob I have become.


I also learned that in lieu of not having a kitchen, it's important to try to at least pretend life is going along as normally as possible.

To do that it's important to have a sort of kitchen-like staging area where you can at least make your tea or coffee, have some toast and heat up those god-awful frozen meals (when you just can't bare to get dressed and look presentable) or have available those items you can't live without. It's a long ordeal ahead so make sure you have some comfort food available that doesn't require a kitchen to prepare.

We have a dining room adjacent to the kitchen so we moved the coffeemaker and the microwave in there along with some supplies: bread, cutting board, knives, paper towels, garbage can and a huge bag of paper plates and plastic utensils along with some snacks.  Fortunately, the refrigerator was going to remain in the same spot in the kitchen, so it was kept plugged in and the workers were able to work around it though I felt a bit embarrassed how many times I went to the refrigerator to refill my glass of wine when the workers were there.  But, hey, I was stressed out!


And when you are a woman of a certain age, change gets more and more difficult.

As a young woman I moved across country several times and pretty much changed my life each time.  Only 13 years ago we packed up and moved from California to Seattle where we knew no one.  That was a big change.  But as I get older, I don't like change at all.  Now, I can't stand it if my daily dose of "The View" gets interrupted by breaking news or the mail doesn't come on time!  So even though as remodeling goes, ours went fairly well and on schedule, I think this will be our last remodel.  It's just too much change for this old broad to deal with.

So, like I said, I told my kids that if I say I want to remodel another room, they have my permission to put me in a home.

But until then, I love my new kitchen and I am glad we did it.  However, I confess that I am already starting to forget the inconvenience and pain of the remodel.  I have a feeling that remodeling is like childbirth.  After awhile, you forget the pain and think that maybe it's time to do it again. 

There is that upstairs bathroom that needs updating....

But for now, things are back to normal and my Happy Lucky Cat cookie jar and I are happy in the new kitchen!

Thanks for reading!

See you Friday 

for my review of  

A Netflix Original now streaming on Netflix  


 The Week in Reviews
(What to See or Read and What to Avoid)

 and the latest on

"My 1001 Movies I Must See Before 

 I Die Project."
If you enjoyed this post, feel free to copy and paste or click on the share buttons to share it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn, email it to your friends and LIKE me on Facebook at