Cooler Heads

Slate tiles for the kitchen!

Getting back into the groove after a week in the Rockies. It was a tour of climbing up mountains and climbing into pint glasses. Colorado is ground zero for fabulous micro-brews, and we expanded our touring to a very large commercial facility in a golden place. For the record, I much preferred the local suds.

We hiked above the tree line and walked the path through the tundra–which is both hearty and fragile. We zipped our jackets up and huffed our way to the 12,005 foot mark. It’s work just to breathe for us sea level dwellers.

We saw elk and mule deer and these crazy cute marmots who live to sleep, eat and play. Frankly, marmots got it right. We saw bear scat (which is a cool way to say poop). We rafted and hiked and ate and drank with my own, beloved Bear.

The Spouse noted that this was the longest we’ve spent not talking about the house in, like, a long time. Instead we dangled feet in a creek fed by melted snow sheltered by a dappled canopy of willow trees, swatting away pesky yellow jackets and getting sprayed by the water that a trio of golden retrievers shook in our direction.

And, while we were out, the HVAC contractors showed up. They put in ducts that will blow in cool air. We’re keeping the radiators downstairs–there is truly nothing as comforting and warm as radiator heat despite the space they take up, or maybe because of the space they take up? Upstairs the non-functioning electric baseboard heat that we were afraid to turn on is getting replaced. We used space heaters to remove actual frost from the air, and we slept underneath a pile of blankets and quilts while wearing socks. I’d get dressed downstairs.

So we’re augmenting the heating upstairs with a heat pump that will also keep us cool all summer long. We will give up the hum and clank and rattling of the window unit that has kept stifling summer heat away.

Today I walked in the house and saw that the kitchen tile was delivered. I’m happy to replace the cracked, blue linoleum tiles. There was a patch that went missing. I hid that spot with a sisal runner.

The new tile is a cool, greenish slate. I ran my hand along it’s rough surface. It’s solid. It came from the ground. It’s rock. Like the mountains that surrounded us and greeted the sky. The mountains that supported plants and animals and harbored lakes cut by glaciers. I’m feeling like the slate was a good choice.

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