My apologies; mea culpa. I have been remiss in my oinking responsibilities. My thanks to those of you who gently prodded to get me back online. I have no excuse for my absence other than: Life got in the way.

Is there anyone out there who considers time to be a fluid, relaxed space? Time is compressed in my world. I think I must orbit a black hole that peels time from me second by second. I start most days with: Oh please, let me sleep just five more minutes! And end with: Is that the 11 o’clock news? The moments in-between are filled with quick assessments: Is it possible to retrieve Nora from school, snack her, make it through eight traffic lights, get her skates laced and her onto the ice in less than 20 minutes? Can I make it to Lowe’s, the grocery store, the post office and the bank in the hour before the kids get home? If school started 10 minutes ago and I drive 60 miles per hour, will he be more than 15 minutes late?

When I posted last, we had just adopted Paco. In the weeks that followed, we packed and then demolished our kitchen, learned that Paco likes to mark, bought a new dishwasher, met with Liam’s math teacher, ordered replacement parts for the stove after the microwave accidentally fell on it, borrowed a dog crate, primed and painted part of the upstairs of our friends’ house, attended seven other meetings at two schools, tested for a red belt, scheduled and rescheduled appointments to get our hair cut, helped organize a night of silent and live auctions, hand-washed dishes in bins in the bathtub, had two field trips, got our hair cut, connected the replacement parts for the stove, competed in one Tae Kwon Do tournament, dealt with a temporary kitchen sink, bought gifts for four birthday parties-went to three, hosted one, primed and painted the backsplash, walls and ceiling, stopped using the dog crate, oversaw the installation of new cabinets and countertop, made fruitless calls to seven home improvement stores looking for oil-rubbed bronze sink drains, bought white sink drains, dyed Easter eggs at our friends’ house and…finally…unpacked the kitchen.

Poor dog. He had no idea what he was in for when we walked into his life.

**

Before demo, our kitchen had brown ceramic floor tiles, yellow laminate counters, oak and pressboard cabinets whose shelves sometimes tipped, a tiled backsplash with brown grout and a too-large peninsula that trapped guests in one half of the room or the other when I opened the refrigerator.

Demo was pretty satisfying:

And now, I am thrilled to have cherry cabinets, seamless hi-mac countertops, drawers that glide open and close softly, an extra deep sink and a super-quiet dishwasher. Floors and backsplash to be installed later this year. A big thank you to all our friends who lent expertise, muscle and fun to this project. You know we couldn’t have done it without you!

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