A while back, maybe last week? No, it was earlier than that, probably the week before. Anyway, a while back Tom noticed that something was leaking in our kitchen. There was stuff between the stove and the cabinet to its left. He was sure Natalie or I had spilled something while cooking, but we both swore we hadn't.
(It was quite a lot of stuff, whatever it was, it would be hard to spill that much and not remember it.)
Well, after some investigating, he figured out that the stuff was Stuff. Bad Stuff. Water and wet dust bunnies...and also mold. Further investigation revealed that the water was coming from somewhere near the wall and that it had apparently been coming out for quite a little while. It turns out the water line to the ice maker had a small leak. The sides of the cabinet are particle board and absorbent and yellow and porous are they. Et voila...moldy ruined cabinet.
Tom removed the cabinet, replaced the water line, and dried up the wall and floor. He also built a frame of two-by-fours to attach the countertop to, and placed a small table under it to hold the most crucially needed things from the cabinet. The kitchen is once again functional, although a bit odd-looking. We need to do something about the latter.
Option 1: Replace just the cabinet. There is a building salvage store in our town that sells a similar, but not identical, cabinet in the correct size. It might be close enough in appearance to get by. There are also online cabinet companies we could order a similar cabinet from.
Option 2: Replace the cabinet with something unusual and frugal and funky. My mother is the primary champion for this approach. She's thinking in terms of open shelves covered with cute gingham curtains.
Option 3: Replace a bunch of cabinets. The online cabinet companies sell much better cabinets than we have now, for quite reasonable prices. (The prices are good because you have to put them together and install them; this is well within Tom's ability.) We could change a few details of the layout, add a few inches of counter space and increase the utility of the kitchen. We could do all the bottom cabinets at once and do the uppers later (the designs are close enough or different enough, depending on which style we choose, that it would work), or we could plunge in and do the whole shebang at one time. This option also involves replacing the 12-year-old countertop which was cheap and flimsy in its prime and could stand to be replaced.
Obviously Option 3 gives us the most overall excitement and change in our kitchen. It's also the most time-consuming, life-disrupting, and expensive. That last there is what keeps bugging me. We can afford to do this, we would be improving the overall value of the kitchen, and we would not be going into debt or spending money that is allotted for anything else.
BUT...we would be Spending Money. On something other than big whacking bags of Survival Rice and cases of Cans O. Beans. Spending Money during the Financial Crisis...Spending Money during what might be TEOTWAWKI!! Peak Oil! Goats! Chickens!! Victory Gardens!! Cabinets??? Formica???
Astute readers will grasp the turmoil this has produced in my mind. Do we spend money on Frivolity and Cabinets? Or do we hide it under the mattress...oh wait, it won't be worth anything. Do we exchange it for gold...oh wait, it wouldn't get us much. Do we buy goats? (And EAT them???)
And that doesn't even begin to address all the other dilemmas ripe for the picking...oak vs. white vs. maple? Dark countertop vs. light? Formica vs. Corian vs. Silestone? Green vs. tan vs. cream wall paint?
Moral of this rant: Beware of icemakers. They will steal your contentment.