Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Kitchen Remodel Project and Bike Path Dangers

Tammy and I went to the Edina Art Fair last Friday morning. The closest parking we could find was a few blocks away and on our walk to the fair we met a man walking an older dog, a Lhasa Apso named Lily. Lily was moving a little slowly. We stopped and chatted with her owner and he commented that Lily is 20 years old. Wow! We were both stunned to learn a dog could live that long.  Lily doesn't hear much anymore and her vision is lacking some; just like Toby -- and like Toby she enjoys her daily walks.

On our drive home from the fair Tammy looked online and found that the oldest living dogs live nearly 30 years. I wouldn't have guessed that.

We're gearing up for a remodeling of the main level of our home and busting out of this oak look that was so common back in the day. We've been busy emptying the contents of our cabinets and cupboards and storing it all downstairs, or in some cases, giving it the heave-ho. I didn't realize we had so much stuff! Tammy was in overdrive yesterday making lots of headway on the project. We spent this morning looking at slabs of granite for our counter tops.

We had planned to do this project last year but we could never settle on a design that got us excited enough to move forward with it. We have that now. Keith came up with an overall idea. We then handed his sketches off to Karen for her to add her touches before going back to Keith for some more tweaks, and then back to Karen. I think we're nearly there but the entire project has us both a little anxious. There are still a few key decisions to be made.

The biggest change will be a large opening we're making between our kitchen and front room where there's currently a full wall. The front room will see the most dramatic change and will no longer be a quiet sitting room. Instead it will be an extension of our kitchen. Here are 3 different views.  View A; view B, and view C. The eyebrow arcs into the front room in the plans have been changed to horizontal lines after a discussion today with Karen. I liked the idea of a slight arc but this makes good design sense. Also, the columns into the front room will be squared and not cylindrical. We're also adding a window to the front room on the west side; something I've always felt was lacking.

We made it out to Alexis Bailly Vineyard in Hastings Saturday afternoon. We try and get there both spring and fall and spend a couple hours listening to the music, tasting the wines and chatting over a tray of olives, cheese and crackers. It's always a nice time.

I texted Tracee to ask if she and Keith had ever been there. They hadn't. I think we'll insist they come with us next time.

We talked about possibly volunteering this fall to help with the harvest. The man pouring our wine told us it's a lot of fun and that they're always looking for extra help.

I don't typically ride bike paths unless they're on a stretch of road where there are few if any crossing streets, and there's a reason for that. I recorded the 9 second video below when I was on a ride last week. I'm riding with the flow of traffic with a bike path off to my right -- a perfectly good bike path but I opt for the road instead. A car abruptly stops for the light and positions itself directly across the bike path. Riding the path would've forced me to yield to the vehicle when I actually had the right of way. I could tiptoe through each intersection but I'd prefer to not have to break my rhythm and the zen feeling I'm likely experiencing. I too have been guilty of being that driver who straddles a crosswalk just like in the video.

Most drivers are happy to share the road with me but as I've shown here on a few occasions lately that's not always the case. I hope this helps to give you a better understanding for why I ride the way I do in case you were wondering.


Neil said...

Hi Kevin,

Thanks for the post. I could not agree more? I bike many days from Farmington to my job in Burnsville and back again. With the distracted drivers these days, I am uncomfortable biking on the road. The worst stretch is Pilot Knob road. I have yet to make it across country road 42 or 46 without having to zig zag around cars or slam on my brakes in order to avoid getting hit. I don't think it is intentional, I think it is drivers that are distracted or forget about the bike paths. I haven't been hit yet, but some very close calls. I am at the point where I won't cross the bike path unless I make eye contact with the driver.

I hope drivers who read your blog will remember to give bikers room on the bike paths to cross.

Also, I am just catching up on your blog. I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your pup. It sounds like he won the doggie lottery ending up in your family. They bring so much happiness and ask for so little. Our Shih Tzu also named Charlie is what makes our family a family.


Kevin Gilmore said...

Thanks for your comment, Neil. Even more dangerous than negotiating intersections on bike paths is trying to safely cross a busy roundabout while walking. There's one on county rd 50 and 185th street that I'll occasionally walk through and it's quite dicey during busy times.

It's a busy world out there but at least it's not this!