The meet a reader series is on a bit of a hiatus at the moment because I have now published all of the submitted interviews I’ve received.
So, if you’d like to be featured, let me know and I’ll send you the questions.
Anyway, in lieu of an interview this week, we’ll do a Q&A.
As mentioned in the profile about me so kindly featured on your site, I am wrangling a kitchen renovation.
I don’t know how people design whole homes – I am overwhelmed by one room! We’ve got a design (not much change to layout as it’s a small space) but I don’t know how to decide where to splurge and where to save.
Both wooden cabinets and stone countertops would be a good investment in the house and serve us and future owners well (I figure we’ll be here for another 10-15 years). However, MDF and stone composite are clearly more affordable and seem to be quite functional.
The simple answer is to stick with what we can afford from what we’ve saved. However, we could get creative and come up with more if need be – I’m just not sure if we should.
Thanks so much,
I hear you on the home decision overwhelm. I hate making home design decisions, especially big ones like flooring or cabinets.
Here’s my advice:
Splurge on the wood cabinets
I have seen an awful lot of MDF cabinets that have not stood the test of time. Often, the vinyl coating on the outside begins to peel off, especially in areas where there’s a lot of heat, like near the stove.
Once the coating comes off, the cabinets are hard to rescue; you can’t just sand them down and paint them!
I would hate to be stuck in that situation down the road when you sell, so I would spring for the wooden cabinets.
Lucky for me, my ugly pickled oak cabinets were solid wood, so I was able to sand them down and repaint them. The out-of-pocket cost was very minimal; it was mostly a time investment. But I was so, so glad they were real wood!
(this photo is obviously from before we got our new countertops)
Save on the countertops
Based on what I know, composite countertops have a respectable lifetime expectancy (this Spruce article mentions up to 30 years), so this seems like a better place to save.
Another option if you want to go with the granite: if you don’t need huge pieces of granite, look for a shop in your area that sells remnants (leftover pieces from larger jobs).
Since none of our counters are very large, we were able to go the remnant route and that brought the price down for us.
I hope that helps a little!
It seems as though I have followed your blog forever. I appreciate all that you do. It always is a bright spot in my day.
I am a 65-year-old woman and feel like my grammar and my writing skills aren’t up to par. I have a lot of difficulty with commas and lay, lie and laid. I know there is other stuff. Since you home school, I thought you might have a suggestion. I need a very basic grammar book. Do you have any that you can recommend?
Thanks ever so much,
I think it’s awesome that you are wanting to keep on learning. Good for you!
I’ll share a few ideas, but I’m hoping my readers will be able to help out with this question because I’m not sure I have great answers.
Grammarly is a free program that checks your writing in real-time, and I thought of it for you because it corrects my comma usage all the time. Ha. If you use that as you write, I bet you will learn a lot from the mistakes it catches.
I honestly picked up most of my spelling and grammar knowledge from all the reading I have done in my lifetime. I was a voracious reader as a kid, and I was able to be a good writer in school mainly because I knew if something sounded or looked right or not.
Even if I didn’t know the official rule, I still usually knew if I was writing something correctly or not.
So, if you are already a reader, keep it up. And if you don’t read much in the way of books, try to work that into your routine more often.
Try Easy Grammar books
All of my kids have worked through the Easy Grammar line of books; they offer daily practice with things like punctuation, subject-verb agreement, prepositions, lay-lie-laid, and such. They’re not very expensive, so they’d be a low-risk way to try some grammar practice.
These books are not explicitly Christian, but Christianbook.com usually has the lowest prices on these in their homeschool department.
You can see sample pages of each book at the link above and that should help you figure out what grade level would be helpful for you.
Once you know which book you want, you could also search on eBay to see if any are for sale.
I’m guessing there are a lot of other online resources that could help you, and perhaps there are even some grammar books geared toward adults.