kitchen life

Today we received our property assessment in the mail. It's just a postcard from the city telling you the market value of your house, presumably so you can anticipate the amount of property taxes for the coming year. Normally, the assessment isn't something we look forward to. It just shows up and we glance at it, and that is that. But this one was the first official assessment of our home's value since the Very Expensive and Time-Consuming basement renovations last year. Now, I know that you never get back dollar for dollar what you put into home improvements, but we were hoping for a decent fraction of it, like half, or even a third. Alas, adding a second bathroom and 600 square feet of living space in our now-finished basement amounts to, according to the city of Madison, roughly the cost of replacing the furnace and buying a few new towels for the bathroom.

It was discouraging, to say the least. Not because we are eager to pay so much more in property taxes, mind you, but because we were really hoping there would be enough added worth that we could borrow more to extend the kitchen. I believe I've bitched and moaned mentioned in the past that our kitchen is rather cramped and badly in need of some updates. I can live with no garage, I can live with small bedrooms and shallow closets, and I can live with the narrow upstairs bathroom and the wobbly pedestal sink therein, but I was really, really hoping we could improve and embiggen the kitchen. (According to blogger, "embiggen" isn't a word, but I say it is. So there.)

It's just that I spend so much time in there. You can call me a SAHM, you can call me a housewife (though I'd rather you didn't), you can call me what you like, but the truth is, the most important and challenging aspect of my work at home is feeding my family. To say that it's important for us to eat healthily and eat well is an understatement. And since I have young children who are both rather finicky eaters and constantly in need of snacks and meals, well, it means I spend a lot of time and effort planning and preparing what we eat every day. It's a good thing I enjoy it. I mean, I love good food, and I love cooking good food, and I consider eating well one of the great joys of life. This means, though, that most of the time I spend at home is in my kitchen, and I was looking forward to making it bigger and nicer and also replacing our dying, held-together-with-duct-tape-and-cardboard fridge with a better one. And having a better place to store the breakfast cereal than on top of the microwave, which is on top of the sucky fridge. But it is not to be, at least for now.

It's okay. We're okay. I mean, it's better to eat well in a pain-in-the-ass kitchen than spend so much money on a nicer, bigger house that we can't afford good food. Or be working so hard to pay for it that we wouldn't have the time to prepare and enjoy meals together. I have things in perspective. I'm just kind of bummed about it.


Embiggen should totally be a word. Candidates for the opposite process could be debiggen, disbiggen, unbiggen, or smallenate.
Amanda said…
We got one of those cards in the mail, too. I was not happy about the number on it!
Claire said…
Yep, our neighborhood definitely got a solid kick in the pants, too. Sigh...
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