Here are a couple of pictures of the new kitchen! All cleaned up for shabbat, so I quickly took out the camera. I can't take credit for any of it. The contractor picked out everything - the cabinets, the floor, the counters, and the paint color. He has a lot of experience fixing up houses to go on the market, so we figured he would know what was most appealing to the general public. I especially like the countertops. I don't know if I would have picked out that color myself, but it hides every little spill and I LOVE the color. Also, the counter in the foreground doesn't come out as far as it did before (I think it's a good 10-12 inches shorter), but it is a few inches wider. We also have somewhat less cupboard space, but we also got rid of a lot of extraneous things and it came out even. I don't know what we'd do if we hadn't installed the entire opposite wall with cabinets when we moved in! Fortunately those could stay.
Overall we're very happy with it, and we really enjoyed working with our contractor. A couple of oopses happened and he just said, "No problem; we'll take care of it right away." And they did! Very easy to work with, and they very much wanted to ensure that you were pleased working with them.
In other news, we took a tour of Bob's Red Mill today and had a lot of fun seeing their big grain-grinding machines, the giant tricycles the employees use to wheel things around (the mill is 325,000 square feet!), and the jumbo sized sacks of ground grains (1,500 lbs!). And Bob himself is a truly inspiring individual. I got to take a picture with him and the kids. He's like a movie star to me. In fact, Bob's Red Mill is probably one of the Top 10 Things I'll miss about Portland (assuming we do move!).
Time to finish cleaning house. I'm excited to be having guests at dinner and lunch this shabbat. Really looking forward to good conversation and all those yummy salads!