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The past four months have been consumed with this kitchen. Ten, sometimes twelve hours a day, 6 or even 7 days a week on my knees laying tile, on ladders taping drywall, cutting trim, running electrical and plumbing and cleaning up. Oh yes, cleaning up.

Hours spent staring at some seemingly intractable problem trying this, that and the other to get something to fit, stay in place or just plain look good. It has been an adventure to put it mildly. Not the adventure of a lifetime, but certainly an adventure of a lifetime.

Some would say that this whole thing has been a foolhardy undertaking. I left a perfectly good job, took the money that was supposed to tide us over until other employment opportunities presented themselves and plowed it into a seemingly frivolous venture for which I had neither prior training nor experience. Foolhardy, perhaps, but every time I use this kitchen I can look around and say: "I did this". And I did it well.

The safe and easy path is, well, safe and easy -- and boring. I'm very fortunate to be blessed with a wife that shares my taste for adventure (we both rock climb and love to travel to remote, exotic climbing locales) and a child that seems to share our love if excitement as she seems utterly bereft of fear.

Babs was great throughout this whole thing. Despite the cramped conditions created by our temporary kitchen, the constant dust and dirt, the seemingly endless purchase of tools, the extra child care burden and my occasional handyman despair she rarely complained. Words of encouragement were frequent and she never wavered in her belief that this was the right thing to do. From time to time, she even had a good suggestion or two.

I also have to thank my friend Rick Hanheide for all his sage advice. Not having a need for employment and being of a generous nature meant he was always available for a quick phone call when I was clueless as to what do to next. George Vadasz is also due some thanks. He, too, provided handyman advice as well as the initial impetus for this whole project. He encouraged Babs who then pushed me along.

Below is a few pictures of the finished product. Yet to be done is the crown molding. Neither of us can decide if it's needed or not, but we're using the kitchen as is for now. Enjoy. I know I do.