When we moved into our home five and a half years ago, I was so excited about our new stainless steel appliances. Unfortunately, we’ve had trouble with all three: the oven, microwave, and dishwasher. The biggest problem has been our over-the-range microwave. First the fan stopped working, and then it quit cooking. For years it’s been nothing more than a light over the stove.

When our church sold its building two years ago, we borrowed one of the microwaves that was heading into storage. I hated losing the counter space, but it’s a hard appliance to give up once you’re used to it.

Replacing our over-the-range microwave was my tax refund goal this year. Our final pick—a black and stainless steel Samsung—was chosen based on glowing online product reviews (reports of an accurate popcorn sensor sealed the deal).

The holes from the old microwave weren’t in the right spots for mounting the new one and apparently it takes a special bit to drill through tile without cracking it. We put our Saturday night project on hold until Sunday. At this point there were two microwaves in the floor and the new one sitting on the counter.

Perfect popcorn at the touch of a button was something I had to see to believe, so I plugged it in and popped a bag. The next night my husband drilled the holes and mounted our new microwave, and discovered this underneath.

I’d forgotten to unplug it after making the bag of popcorn and one of our little people turned on the light on the bottom. It burned the counter top, even completely through in spots.

I’m pretty sure replacing a counter top costs more than replacing a microwave.

I’d looked forward to freeing up that extra counter space—the cookbooks on the shelf above it have reached overflow level. I thought it would be nice to put some favorites within easy reach, but I spent a week just feeling sick when I saw the burn, not even thinking about anything else.

The next Sunday I saw a beautiful marble pastry board at T.J. Maxx and bought it, both to hide the spot and protect it (I’ve worried about water getting inside the counter top).

I need to figure out all that you can do with a pastry board. The kids think it’s a good place for bananas. Eventually the counter top will need replaced—I don’t even want to think about the cost—but for now I’m enjoying the extra space, my cookbooks, and my fancy chunk of marble.

Would you believe I actually forgot to include a picture of my snazzy new microwave? Here it is!

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