Meanwhile, we made ourselves crazy trying to choose black counter tops and white subway tiles. This is a white tile:
They all look alike. Until you hold them up to the Italian tile backsplash I've had stashed away in a kitchen-remodel hope chest for all these years. Then I see that there are at least 37 shades of "white" tile -- none of which match the Italian backsplash.
Black counter tops are equally frustrating. There are only so many slabs of soapstone in warehouses in Portland at a given point in time. I've looked at them all. The good ones are on hold for other people. The available ones have what looks like a map of the Columbia River watershed across the middle. Many aren't black, they are green. Too little veining, too much veining, weird blotches. None match the picture in my brain.
As with kitchen remodels, as with life. You learn not to sacrifice the good in quest for the perfect. No one but me will see that the tiles are off slightly and we'll hide the weird blotch in the soapstone under the toaster. Call it good.
In the midst of these petty frustrations, my dear friend Kirsten Rian was a saving angel. She appeared on our porch with a care basket overflowing with goodness -- a pre-made salad, fresh bread, wine, homemade butternut squash soup, and an over-sized, over-stuffed frittata with roasted peppers, kale, smoked salmon, and goat cheese on a layer of thin-sliced potatoes.
Blessings on her head! Kirsten is an incredible poet, artist, musician, professor, and curator, and on top of it all she can mix up the best frittata I've ever eaten. I love this woman!