My Cure For Cabin Fever

Every year about this time I start to feel the walls closing in around me. My house begins to feel old, messy, and shabby. I have the strong desire to repaint every room and completely redo each room's decor. Our tight budget keeps me from acting on those redecorating whims. There is something I've found that helps and it doesn't cost me a penny....spring winter cleaning. I take a room, clean out every corner, closet, and hidey hole, throw out or donate anything we no longer use and give the whole room a thorough cleaning.

Yesterday it was the kitchen's turn for a makeover. I cleaned out the cabinets a few weeks ago so it only took 3 hours to make my kitchen feel fresh and new. So, now that the kitchen is "company clean", I thought I'd give you a bit of a kitchen tour. Don't worry, it won't take long... my kitchen is small.
Here's the view looking into the dining/living room. To the right of the sink is the "chicken bucket" where we collect food scraps to be given to my mom's chickens. To the left of the sink is my Cinderella mug with my beloved fine-point markers that NO CHILD is allowed to touch. My children love to make dots with their markers rendering them blunt. I love to use colored markers to make my many, many lists more colorful. Blunt markers drive me nuts. So, this mug is only for Momma. Brightly colored, sharp-pointed markers... another one of my cures for cabin fever.
"Rainbow Fish" the female beta lives on the half-wall above the sink. She's really Charlotte's fish but after cleaning her out one day, I set her bowl on the half-wall and Charlotte hasn't cared that I've left her there. I'm so glad she doesn't mind. I love watching her swim while I'm at the sink. She swims over to the glass and watches me. Did you know that fish know people as individuals? Once I learned this, she became more of a pet to me then just a pretty fish in a bowl. I like to think she is happy to see me each morning but it probably has to do with the food in my hand.

If you turn clockwise, you'll see the stove wall. I'm glad to have a smooth-top stove because it acts as extra counter space since it's in short supply in this kitchen. I hung up a copper gingerbread man cookie cutter I bought at Williams-Sonoma this past Christmas. I like him above the stove.
Perched on top of the cabinets, next to the applesauce, sits the Wicked Witch Of the West. My Aunt Linda gave me her cookie jar. Jon has seen the musical "Wicked" twice now and his marching band had a "Wicked" themed show a few years ago. Evan and Charlotte love the music from from the show so Elphaba makes a fun addition to our kitchen.

If you turn again clockwise, you'll see our window wall. I hope one day to put a few cabinets along this wall to allow for more storage and counter space.
I love my chick salts in their little nesting boxes.
My Aunt Linda also gave me a roller washboard that she found at a thrift store years ago. It's a Mother Hubbard Roller Washboard. They were produced until 1935 when washing machines became popular. This roller design made washing much easier apparently. I hung it with the back facing out because I love to read the instructions on the back. The first two lines read, "Place tub high enough for operator to stand erect. Back aches are unnecessary." I don't know.... Just the thought of using a washboard gives me a back ache!

If you turn once more clockwise, you'll see the final side of our kitchen. Believe it or not, this is what the fridge looks like after it's been cleaned off. I sort through the art work about once a month or so and only keep the really special things. This is what has been created in the past week or two. The countertop to the right of the fridge is where I keep my stack of printed out recipes and my cookbooks. This counter also serves as our office space.... sorting out bills, mail, Jon's "empty his pockets when he gets home" basket, etc. It's a counter that gets messy fast so I was excited to take a picture of it while you could still see the countertop.
Our pantry is the door to the right and you can't see the small closet to the left of the fridge where we keep the cat box and pet supplies.
So, that's it. That's my kitchen. It's where I spend a good portion of my day. Now I can go into the kitchen and take a deep breath. The walls of the kitchen no longer feel as though they're closing in. I feel a little lighter and it makes winter seem a little more pleasant. I had good timing too with another winter storm brewing for the South. Yikes!