It's crunch time in Schlueterville kitchen


You are about to read a 30-minute column, written from start to finish in the time it takes to make tacos. Prepare yourself for less than stellar results.

That's all the time I have to devote to column-writing right now. I've told you about the transformation that is taking place in Schlueterville, including a significant backyard renovation project and replacing our weary, '60s-era kitchen with something far more bright and appealing.

I've discussed why we're doing it immediately after making the final tuition payment on our youngest son's undergraduate degree. This project happened when it did because our oldest son, Rocket, will marry his lovely bride, Trooper, in our backyard on June 29.

I've told you about burying our pool table with everything kitchen-oriented while cabinets were being replaced; digging for dinner ingredients, coffee mugs, and serving spoons under billiard balls in corner pockets. I've revealed my sub-par ability to roll with the punches, melting into a blubbering mess as drywall dust settled into my sock drawer. That stuff lands ev … ery … where.

But I've also told you about the legions of family and friends who have pitched in to save us from our over-ambitious tendencies, in time for the big celebration. I swear, the people bearing staple guns and paint brushes, cement grinders and casserole dinners in and around the Schlueterville compound wear halos as bright as the noonday sun.

But there's so much I haven't told you, too. I haven't told you about meeting Lisa, who sold me the vintage doilies used to decorate her own daughter's wedding. "My daughter had a vintage, rustic theme, too!" she said. "I collected doilies for months!" I told her about my ridiculously large cache of china plates to be used during Rocket and Trooper's reception, and we snort-laughed over the goofy stuff parents do for our kids.

I haven't told you about the Dumpster-destined dresser I painted turquoise blue, filled with geraniums, and parked on my lawn next to a rusty old bike. Take that, Pinterest.

I haven't told you about the vintage, claw-footed bathtub that will soon become a giant, ice-filled beverage cooler, or the concrete kitchen countertops currently curing over backyard petunias. If the countertops are not in their rightful place by the time you read this column, I may need that beverage earlier than expected. Panic is starting to rise, just a bit.

I haven't told you how I hover over my friends' intact kitchens until they threaten to call the cops, wondering if faucet stalking is an arrest-worthy offense.

There's no adequate way to share the upheaval, noise, mess, chaos, rebirth, and delightful surprise that occurs while undertaking a major project under a ridiculously short deadline.

But without a doubt, my biggest oversight is neglecting to tell you how Hunka Burnin' Hubby has poured countless hours and muscle-busting effort into the project. I pinch him once in a while to be sure he's real. He's doing everything humanly possible to be sure the day will be lovely and construction zone-free when the bride and groom recite their vows on their big day. Whether Hunka will stay awake through the ceremony has yet to be seen. Either way, we couldn't be happier or more honored to be part of the fun.

There is still a lot to accomplish before hundreds of family and friends gather in the Schlueterville backyard, and I still have occasional bouts of bawl-baby angst. But I'm amazed at how far we've come in five short weeks.

The clock churns on, with the bridal couple arriving tomorrow to wrap up last-minute details. My goal is to have the house and yard complete enough to keep my soon-to-be daughter-in-law from fainting on the spot. But she's named Trooper for a reason. I'll let you know how it goes.


Tamera Schlueter

Tam Schlueter adopts a "strike-fast-and-keep-them-laughing" approach to writing. Her column appears every Thursday in the Hastings Tribune, and showcases the wonder of family, dogs, muscle cars, and folks with blue collars and no-nonsense attitudes.

Copyright © 2014