It rained this weekend.

It’s early for rain in northern California. It happens – on September 17, 2001, the night we received a stage 4 cancer diagnosis for my Dad, we drove home in the mother of all thunderstorms, hoping against hope it wasn’t a bad omen (it was). But rain in September is rare.

On Saturday night, after a day of buying doors and decking, we woke up to rain – real rain, loud rain, persistent rain. We went back to sleep, hoping we would wake up to clear skies, but instead we woke up to a steady, persistent drizzle. So, instead of decking, we assembled cabinets.

Beth points to large stack of cardboard boxes containing ready-to-assemble cabinets
Cabinets, RTA

After much investigation and consideration (see Adventures in Kitchen Design 1, 2, 34, and 5), we settled on kitchen cabinets from The Cabinet Authority. They were delivered to the Schoolhouse last week – all 17 or so boxes, weighing hundreds of pounds. In our initial foray into cabinet construction, we focused on the three cabinets that occupy the north wall, because these need to be in place for The Guys to complete the construction on that wall – a 36” corner base cabinet with a lazy Susan, a 96” tall pantry cabinet, and a 36” over-the-refrigerator cabinet.

Putting together RTA (ready to assemble) cabinets is both simple and complex. Simple (at least in the case of Cabinet Authority cabinets), because the pieces are pre-cut and for the most part can only fit one way; complex because no matter how many pages of directions you’ve printed out (many) there are always a few things, like the pull-out trays for the pantry, that prove to be more complex than the directions reveal.

Beth kneels in long pantry cabinet as she glues the back
Pantry cabinet
Steve assembles the lazy-suzan mechanism for the corner cabinet
Lazy Susan, in record time

It took us 8 1/2 hours to assemble three cabinets, not including the doors. As advised, we started with the wall cabinet, the simplest one. We moved on to the pantry cabinet, which was challenging simply because of its size and unwieldy shape. I spent 45 minutes studying the directions for installing the lazy susan in the corner cabinet, and still didn’t understand them. It took my handy husband less than half that time to actually install it, but it then took us an hour to get the back on the cabinet. We never did figure out the pantry shelves.

We finished at 6:25, as we were losing the light, stopped at home to let the cats in at 8:15, and headed to Britt Marie’s, one of our favorite local restaurants, for a restorative Chianti and roast chicken dinner. Tomorrow: back to work.

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