No, this gorgeous fully-in-bloom fragrant Mountain Laurel is not in my yard. My Mountain Laurel has ample bud spikes, but no blooms yet. This bursting-with-blooms 12′ shrub (small tree?) was near my home at a shopping center, planted side by side with another identical tree of the same size that had absolutely no blooms on it at all. What is the difference? Why did this one bloom early in full glory, and the one 3 feet away didn’t? Does anyone have any clues? They appeared to have the same sun, but I could be wrong. Whatever the reason, I enjoyed this grapette-scented display as I walked into the store.
The Mountain Laurel in bloom is a long way from what it is looking like around my house these days. Demolition has progressed on the kitchen, and the upper wall between the living room and kitchen was opened up. This not only updates the rooms to the 21st century, it allows much needed light from the living room southern-facing French doors to enter the formerly dark kitchen. To give you a little perspective, this photo was taken while standing in the living room, looking at the kitchen wall. On the right, that small notch in the opening is the edge of the former passthru window over the old sink. It is now modernized to open up entirely to the living room.
Because I lost many important upper cabinets by removing this wall, I enlarged my pantry to be a full 3′ x 6′ walk-in storage pantry. Joy! My new cabinetry will also extend to ceiling height, giving me upper shelf storage for china and occasional items. I’m also getting large drawers on the bottom cabinetry instead of the standard shelving with door fronts, which are so awkward to utilize fully. You can see construction of the new pantry in the edge of the left side of this picture. This is my current kitchen (ha!)
I’m getting excited now; the visual imagery is easier to see with that wall gone. Finishing the new drywall and installing the new cabinets is next. One small setback is this large hole in the ceiling where the electrician fell through it yesterday while working in the attic. Fortunately, he was a big strong guy, and he caught himself before he fell all the way through. Unfortunately, all of the loose-blown insulation from the attic came crashing down with this piece of sheetrock and covered his working partner down below. What a mess it was!