Monday, August 27, 2018

For Better or For Worse, but for a New Kitchen, Too?

For Better or For Worse, but for a New Kitchen, Too? 

by Erin Murphy, from the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries by Leslie Budewitz

When the ink on the mortgage was dry and it was time to start remodeling the Orchard House – the house my Murphy grandparents built in the 1950s, the house where my father and his brothers were raised, and where he and my mother raised the three of us – Adam proved once again that he is my Mr. Right. Before we picked up a hammer or a paintbrush, he put his hands on my shoulders and said “No matter what happens, I love you.”

We were just going to remodel the kitchen and update one bathroom. Before we knew it, we’d combined two small bedrooms into one and created a master bath, refaced the fireplace, and added new windows to the dining room so we can drink in the fabulous lake and mountain views while sipping wine and eating the classic lasagna my mother taught Adam to make. We’d painted every wall and recovered every surface. And yes, we brought the kitchen into the current century, too.
And then there were the surprises in the basement, but I’ll let you read about those in AS THE CHRISTMAS COOKIE CRUMBLES.

You know how remodeling goes. There are always surprises. The biggest one, the one that knocked me off my feet, was seeing how hard it was for my mother to watch us change the house. Even though she pored over plans and paint chips and wood samples right along with us. Seeing the changes in the flesh, so to speak?

Well, I had to put my hands on her shoulders and say “This is still my Happy Place. The Orchard House might be ours now, but it still holds all the memories you cherish.

And no matter what happens, I love you.”

Have you remodeled a room or home? What’s your advice for Erin and Adam? 

"Budewitz's finely drawn characters, sharp ear for dialogue, and well-paced puzzle make Jewel Bay a destination for every cozy fan." - Kirkus Reviews


From the cover of AS THE CHRISTMAS COOKIE CRUMBLES, Food Lovers' Village Mystery #5 (Midnight Ink, June 2018, available in trade paper, e-book, and audio): 

Jewel Bay---Montana's Christmas Village---all is merry and bright. At Murphy’s Mercantile, AKA the Merc, manager Erin Murphy is ringing in the holiday season with food, drink, and a new friend: Merrily Thornton. A local girl gone wrong, Merrily’s turned her life around. But her parents have publicly shunned her, and they nurse a bitterness that chills Erin.

When Merrily goes missing and her boss discovers he’s been robbed, fingers point to Merrily—until she’s found dead, a string of lights around her neck. The clues and danger snowball from there. Can Erin nab the killer—and keep herself in one piece—in time for a special Christmas Eve?

Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. A past president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat, an avid bird-watcher.

Swing by my website and join the mailing list for my seasonal newsletter. And join me on Facebook where I announce lots of giveaways from my cozy writer friends.

10 comments:

  1. Oh, yes, we remodeled more than once. In one house we tore out the kitchen floor and removed a defunct chimney. The prior owners had already carved a bathroom out of one bedroom, but with a child in diapers we added a new one downstairs. And the list goes on.

    I love your husband's comment--he's a keeper.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Adding a bathroom is A Big Deal. We moved one once, and are so glad we did -- it allowed us to open the back of the house to the view and create French doors to a deck -- but figuring out where to put it was a PITA!

      Delete
  2. The remodels for our house have been a little at a time due to many reasons, some financial, some time constraints, some for sanity's sake. About every six months or so we do something, sometimes it's a year or more between the bigger ones like wood floor install that my husband did or new windows or bathroom redo for the one my daughter and I share or the granite counters in the kitchen and downstairs bathroom and wet bar. Those we had done by professionals. We made sure we had another bathroom to use, takeaway for dinner for the kitchen counters, someone was home to keep the two Doodles mellow.
    We are going through a redo at my dad's house. We keep finding more stuff that needs doing because he neglected preventive maintenance. It helps that my sister and I are close and best friends or this could cause issues. Make sure everyone loves and likes each other in the family. That is the most important.
    I love your books, Leslie. I've added to my spice racks and recipes thanks to you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, gosh, Vixen, sounds like you're the remodeling champs! Kudos to you and your sister for managing the remodel at your dad's house -- juggling two sets of opinions as well as everything else -- though if neither of you lives there, that helps.

      And thanks for the kind words. More spicery in the works!

      Delete
  3. The closest I've come to remodeling is painting. I hope I never need to do more than that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Too funny! I'm the veteran of 2-1/2 whole house remodels -- in the first two houses, I did a lot of the work myself, including painting the exteriors of two 2-story houses. I've retired from painting all but one-day jobs -- closets, window sills, touch-up -- and as soon as the current job is done, I'm probably done with all the rest, too!

      Delete
  4. We doubled the size of our kitchen and all I can say is that remodeling takes twice as long as predicted and twice the estimated cost. But, I do love cooking in my new kitchen.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Congrats on your beautiful new kitchen! I lucked out on my first two major remodels -- kitchen-plus -- both came in on time and on budget. This one, not so much! But the results are wonderful.

      Delete
  5. We are in the process of some remodeling and have been for a while so my advice is to be patient and don't have a deadline in mind.

    ReplyDelete