Next Time, Buy The Floor Model

Heuer and I were planning a small get together for Memorial Day and when we started cleaning the grill in prep for the party, noted the hood tents were rusted and crumbling and several areas of the grill plates were past the point of no return. We had to replace them.

We headed to Home Depot, and after realizing we were going to spend almost $200 in new parts, decided to buy a new one instead.
Supposedly, one hour to put together. We are on hour two and not done. Everything bent, just a little bit.

When did IKEA start making grills?

Let’s just say that I would totally buy the floor model next time. This, was not fun.




Building a BBQ: Cuban Style

So my husband turns 40 this month. We plan to celebrate it. Big time. We shall ring in the next decade of his life, thankful we all made it through the last one . Heuer deserves a party. He has earned it.

When discussing food of choice…there was no hesitation in his voice. Heuer wanted a pig roast. A pig roast? Ok…so I offer to call around and see who can cater a pig roast. The big grin on his face told me he had others plans…

Heuer says, ‘we can do it ourselves. It will be awesome’.

You see, it seems there is this thing called the internet. And the internet told my husband we could build a pit in our back yard, and roast a pig. Me thinks I shall need to find a way to shut off this internet thing…this cannot end well. 😉

Actually, after reading through the website a few times, it all seemed really simple. A couple of cinder blocks, some tin foil and a couple feet of aluminum fencing. No problem. We head to Home Depot and pick up 48 cinder blocks. However, we did get a little surprise during our trip to ‘DIY land’ when we learn Home Depot does not carry aluminum fencing anymore, all they have is galvanized steel. Seems everything used for outdoor fencing now (chain link, chicken wire, etc.) is galvanized steel. The problem? You cannot let galvanized steel touch food you plan to eat as it rusts the minute something wet touches it. Bummer.

But onward we go. This is just one store. There are several lumber yards / hardware stores in the area, we just need to spend a little more time researching it. Confident we will find the aluminum fencing somewhere else, we load the 48 cinder blocks into the truck, head home and start building the base.

Chris' 40th Birthday Party

Three days later, 10+ calls and several in person trips to local lumber yards, we were still without the chain link for the ‘grill’. Wrench, meet our plan.

We started talking about option B: buying a pre-made Cuban box. Problem was we didn’t think we could get it shipped in time without paying through the nose for it. Then, talk of catering came back up. Several calls brought a price tag we could not afford. We had to solve for this.

I am in another frustrating round of calls, hearing the manager from a metal grating plant in Stockton tell me he can’t get his piece to me in time, when he says…’hey…if you are in San Francisco, you should try Flynn & Enslow’. Flynn & Enslow? Who the hell is that? A quick web search for their name, another phone call and low and behold – a business not five miles from our house can make exactly what we need, for the price that fits perfectly within our budget.

Unreal. I had searched the internet for four days. I used every key word I could think of. Flynn & Enslow never came up. Think maybe they should hire a SEO expert to improve their ranking. Gah. Would be nice to get my three days back, but nothing I can do about it now.

A couple of cuts, some metal wiring and poles that will provide the support…and we were on our way.

Chris' 40th Birthday Party

Happy to have this homegrown grill finally coming together, we order the pig. A 100lb pig. We are ready to party.

Farm Fresh to *ME*

Heuer and I have been discussing the need to support local vendors where we can, so we took the first step this weekend when we signed up for the Farm Fresh to You delivery service while visiting our local farmers market. The first box arrived today stuffed with Bing cherries, yellow nectarines, black plums, summer squash, broccoli, green beans, white corn, cucumber, romaine lettuce, basil, and Nantes carrots.


Farm Fresh To You

I am looking forward to watching the contents change with the seasons, and hoping it will force us out of the monotony of asparagus, cauliflower and squash – my three go to veggies in the grocery store. We also need to get back in the habit of eating fruit, as this box highlights the fact we do not consume anything outside of bananas and blueberries, on the few times we do remember to include this food group in our diet.

When costing the service out, we will end up paying a little bit more for our fruits and vegetables (we receive the ‘regular’ box that is $30 and comes every other week), but I love the fact that we are supporting local businesses and will continue to find other ways to do so.

Kiki gets what she wants.

I was patient. I did my research. I saved my pennies. And yes, I went against my husband’s wishes (ha!) when this weekend, while said husband was in Europe on business, I bought an outdoor sectional for our deck.

And man, WE (as in he and me) are so glad I did.

It is not exactly the set I wanted, BUT it looks pretty darn close, is $2k less and special bonus actually way more comfortable than the Pottery Barn set I had been staking out for three years. Woot!

Kiki Gets What She Wants

The only negative about the collection is I felt I was in Ikea-hell having to put it all together. Even came with those stupid key thingies you have to use to screw the bolts in. WTF? Is this how everyone does furniture now?

Oh well. They are all together now. It was worth it. My fingers will heal. The sectional is fantastic.

I have always loved our flat, and having a deck that gets a lot of afternoon sunshine. When our dining table got rusty, my deck time went away as I hated the white chairs we put in their place (temporary measure that lasted two years).

It is like we have our deck back. And it feels good.

Pottery Barn needs my money

I have wanted this set from Pottery Barn for the last three years. I go into Pottery Barn, sit on the seat, think about all the good times to be had while lounging on the set, then I look at the price tag.

Reality hits.

I then ‘cheap out’ out and buy thrift store pieces and low budget items from Target, but it never looks right and they never last. I always come back to this one.

I want. I need. I will have (eventually).

Trying to justify the expense as it would be $3k+ to fill up our deck. Hard pill to swallow, especially in these wonky financial times…but then I think, hey – if I had bought this three years ago, I would have had three years of enjoyment already.

Then I look at the price tag. I swallow. Actually, it is more like a gulp.

Would be awesome to get the matching outdoor table and chairs too…you know, when we win the lottery as I love the look and feel of this collection.

I keep saying ‘if we pay more, it means better quality and it will last longer’, but I think my subconscious does not believe that to be true.

For now, I shall just continue to walk into the Pottery Barn show room every few weeks and drool on their floor. ‘Close enough’ has to be ‘good enough’. For now, at least.

Near impossible to replace patio furniture

Well, in San Francisco [in November] any way.

We are in serious need of a new patio set. When Heuer and I moved into our flat three years ago, we bought a metal patio set from the Martha Stewart collection at Kmart. I don’t usually shop at Kmart, or buy Martha Stewart *anything*, but they were one of the few stores who still had patio furniture available in July when we were out shopping. It was nice and decently priced at the time so we decided to bring it home.

Fast forward three years and the table is severely rusted, several chair cushions are torn and the umbrella pole rusted inside the base and broke off.

After chatting with a Kmart rep, then someone from the Marth Stewart organization, it seems there is nothing to be done but to buy a new set. It is my first metal set (ever), so maybe this is normal. I don’t know. What I do know is that we are on the hunt for a higher quality WOOD patio set and I can guarantee it will not be from Kmart, and not be something branded with Martha’s name on it.