Sorry for the mundanity of the post title, but I can't tell you how relieved I am. It's been about a month since we started living in the new house, and the whole time we had to wash our dishes by hand (it was mostly I doing the washing, although a couple of my friends -- such angels! -- would take on the duty whenever they visited). I know, I am SO SPOILED. But my dears! My hands were getting CUT UP from all of the dish-washing. The high-desert winter is much too rough on tender human skin.
In addition, we had a new sink and new faucet installed at the same time, and wow I'm so glad we did that even though it was not cheap. I had no idea that a faucet could cost more than the sink itself! We saved on the installation, however, since our plumber agreed to do it all for a flat fee. (If we had done the installation through Lowe's, for example, we would have had to pay for the installation of EACH appliance/accessory. No bueno.) So not only do I now have a working spray-hose faucet with a neat soap dispenser (things of beauty), but we also replaced the ugly black plastic/acrylic sink with a durable cast-iron one (ivory-tinted enamel), and now I can actually see how dirty my kitchen sink is!
(WARNING: Skip this paragraph if you want to avoid ranting!) We have this theory that the previous owners decorated the house and chose appliances based on what would show dirt the very least, because they didn't care to clean up after themselves. No, really. This house was really dark and cave-like before we came in. And yes, all of their kitchen appliances were black and, like many parts of the house, were left sticky and dirty, which we didn't find out until we set to cleaning the place because little of the dirtiness showed.... Can you tell that I am a little resentful of the previous owners? :-( This house wasn't a foreclosure, but it was a short sale, so it's true that they didn't need to clean up or fix anything for the next owners. At least, we didn't expect them to have to fix anything. However, it would have been common human decency to at least clean up the place for the next person, right? Right? I mean, they certainly had enough time; the house was basically empty for three months while it went through the short-sale process. We had to wait over a month before the bank agreed to short-sell to us, and then another month of escrow. Instead, they had the wife's parents clean up for them, since the wife's mom was the selling agent/realtor. (The parents didn't do such a great job, apparently.) They could also have hired a cleaning service for a day; from what we've learned, they had enough money -- two solid middle-class incomes = a VERY nice family income. They only had to move (and thus short-sell) because of a job relocation to L.A., making the commute a little too long. But! BUT! I strongly believe the commute was not long enough to prevent a quick trip on a Saturday or Sunday to their old house to undertake some much-needed scrubbing. They had at least 12 of those weekends to do it. I used to make that commute three days a week over a summer when I taught a university class in L.A. While I was pregnant and nauseated all the time. So no, I don't have any sympathy for them. And I'm just grossed out by them and never want to meet them in person again. (/end rant)
But back to the important thing: the before-and-after photos!
Before and After of the view inside the sink (the old sink strainer and disposer were pretty nasty as well as rusty)
Before and After of the faucet, closeup detail (while the old faucet wasn't bad, the new faucet is a Delta pull-down with magnet docking and spray-or-stream -- SUPER nifty!)
As you can imagine, it is now a pleasure for me to wash dishes! So pretty and shiny! In fact, I immediately did two loads in the dishwasher, and all the non-dishwasher-safe dishes and recycle-ables are all clean. *sigh of relief*