Who knew we had all this space?

If there’s anything I would change about the house we bought, it’s the cabinets. Don’t get me wrong – they’re beautiful. Solid wood, amazing construction, built by hand to last forever. Also built before “family size” was a thing. Each shelf is only 8 inches tall, so good luck trying to fit the 50-lbs of nutmeg I just bought at Costco. Which was a very good price, by the way. (Apologies if you’re not a Simpsons fan and missed the reference.)

At any rate, we had a lot of things stored on the counters. A lot. I’m no Martha Stewart by any means, but cluttered counters have always vexed me mightily. The last straw was the 5-gallon water filter contraption that Gene stored on the counter when our water filter pitchers kept dying. It’s two huge white buckets that are like 3 feet tall combined. And that puppy took up a lot of valuable real estate. It’s not that I don’t appreciate delicious water, but having to move it from side to side depending on which upper cabinet I wanted to access got real old, real quick.

I guess Gene finally got tired of me flipping the channel over to “Hoarders,” looking at the counters, and heaving mighty sighs every time he walked in the room, because a few days ago he built me a pantry! It’s got a custom fit cubby for the filter, plus plenty of storage for canisters, boxes, and assorted snacks. I painted the inside the same tropical blue that’s in our bathroom, because I firmly believe all pantries need a pop of color. And I’m definitely enjoying all the new counter space!

I’m glad he’s done with this DIY project, because I’ve already got another one lined up. We were doing the monthly shopping in Virginia the other day, and decided to explore some of the back roads a little. I saw the most magical thing – a fully enclosed cat pagoda in someone’s front yard that was accessed via a plastic pipe leading from the enclosure up to a window! Sure it looked kind of tacky how they’d taped off the window to hold up the pipe, and 8 feet of black plastic tubing hanging out of the house would probably make the collective heads of any HOA board members explode (good thing there’s none of those in a 300-mile radius!) but I know when Gene builds it for me, it will be super chic and incredible looking.

He was quick to point out we don’t have any suitable windows for that sort of thing in the entire house, and didn’t seem enthused when I reminded him how dryers were vented by cutting a hole in the wall and this was just a slightly larger, way more functional version of that. But he’ll come around, I’m sure of it. My only concern is how do you get the cats to use it for the first time?

Our little one, Charlie, tends to be a bit spikey when she’s unsure of a situation, and I can pretty much guarantee shoving her down a dark tube leading to the Great Unknown counts as a “Situation”. Even if I did screech “go towards the light, kitty!!!” while I was doing it. And let’s be honest – it’s gonna have to be a big pipe if Thing 2 uses it. While he’s nowhere near Chunk’s stature (miss you everyday, big boy), there’s a certain diameter, not to mention reinforcing, that’s going to required.

So ya, Gene’s got some planning to do. Especially the part about keeping it heated in the wintertime. But I’m sure he’ll come up with something spectacular!

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