Monday, January 1, 2018

Menu Planning

Happy 2018!! I hope you all enjoyed your holidays.

We are currently revamping our menu-planning and cooking habits. We actually started a couple weeks ago, but I'm just now getting around to blogging about it.

We had fallen into some pretty bad habits food-wise; we were eating way too much junk food. So, Jeff is back cooking regularly again. I've been spending a fair amount of time doing menu planning to utilize the food from Jeff's pantry system and incorporate the canned food we have in the pantry and the produce we're getting from the food deliveries. I turned weekly deliveries of Organics to You back on starting today. This is our first Organics to You delivery of 2018.
I've created the menu spreadsheet in Google Sheets because Jeff can reference it on his computer or his smart phone and he can click on the links for the suggested recipes. I also made a second sheet for tracking the shopping list. I'm enjoying the menu research again because it distracts me from doing stupid things like online shopping.

I have really enjoyed the Allrecipes website because it allows you to look up recipes by ingredients, which is really helpful when you're looking for something to use up specific pantry items.

Next weekend, we'll be picking up 25 pounds of meat from Deck Family Farms. They have a deal where you buy two 25-pound boxes and pick them up on different dates. We usually pick up one box, use it up, then get the second box. They usually have a booth at our local farmer's market, which is part of the reason we buy from them.

Activity at Jeff's food blog should pick up again as he gets back to cooking.

Monday, December 25, 2017

White Christmas!

The weather is perfect to settle in with a cup of hot cocoa and cuddly blankets. We hope everyone has been enjoying their first week of winter.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Merry Christmas All

I hope all our friends and followers are having a nice holiday season. We're having a pretty quiet month so far. For the first time in over a decade, I actually managed to put up a little six-foot tree. We don't really celebrate the holiday anymore, but I do enjoy the colorful lights to brighten up our gray weather.
On the house front, I am still futzing around with the shed windows. We discovered that not only were they put in upside down, they were put in backwards (with the inside facing out). Jeff removed them and I spent a day trying to remove the old glazing compound. I'm not sure what they used, but it's like cement. I honestly don't think it was actually window glazing compound. I'm not sure what it is, but it is very hard to remove and I'm worried I'm going to break the glass panes trying to get it all off.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Leftover Tile Gone

I know it's a pretty minor accomplishment, but to me it feels a bit like an end of an era. I've been selling the dregs of that massive tile purchase for a while now and we finally got it down to a somewhat reasonable amount and I just listed everything left in one ad on craigslist at a liquidation price. This morning the last of it finally left our house and our lives.
Oops, sorry it's blurry. Too late to take another.
This was everything that was left. I only kept one partial box for repairs.

Oh, and about National Novel Writing Month. I finished before Thanksgiving. I got really motivated to finish before the holiday and did a big push to hit the 50K words last Wednesday. Jeff is currently at 44K words and I'm hoping he can stay motivated to pull in a finish. He has time to finish, but he's hit a rough patch in the writing process.

Now that we've mostly emerged from our video game addiction, and we're more engaged in real life, I think I may put up a tree this year. I don't have many holiday decorations as we got rid of most of them in 2006 when we moved down to California, but we do have a few things, especially all those ornaments I made in 2012. I'd enjoy having a tree with lights in our long, gray, rainy season.

Monday, November 20, 2017

2017 Project Review

I originally started drafting my project task list in 2016 after the last post in Dec 2015. Haha, I guess I never got back to it. I figured I may as well revisit it now as we come on the end of 2017.
  1. Finish master bathroom remodel
  2. Finish sewing room curtains
  3. Modify front porch  & install hybrid charging station
  4. Clean bricks and install "floor" under pergola
  5. Install backyard path
  6. Build chicken coop
  7. Front door leaded glass pattern
  8. Stencil the basement bathroom
  9. Buy that rug I've been lusting over for the living room
  10. Stencil the living room frieze
  11. Stencil the dining room frieze
  12. Reupholster that morris chair
And these things really should have been on the list...
  1. Fix the living room wall and woodwork
  2. Master bedroom cubes
  3. French drain
As I look out to 2018, I don't see a lot of house projects getting done unless we decide to sell the house, but there are a few I'm going to leave on the To Do List:
  1. Finish sewing room curtains
  2. Finish master bedroom closet cubes
  3. Repair the garden shed broken windows
  4. Paint the garden shed exterior
  5. Finish the interior of the shed with a chicken apartment

I have several rooms I still want to stencil, but we'll see if I get in the mood to do it. It's a lot of work. I'll be relegating those tasks to the Wouldn't it Be Nice List (the list I admit I probably won't get to, but I want to keep track of them):
  1. Stencil the living room frieze
  2. Stencil the dining room frieze
  3. Stencil the basement bathroom
  4. Make the leaded glass for the front door
  5. Install the hybrid charging station
I've turned into a big flake about working on the house. Who knows when we'll get to any of these tasks, but I enjoy living vicariously through all the blogs I follow.

For anyone who has gotten this far in the post, please have a nice Thanksgiving. We'll be spending time with friends over the holiday.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Refrigerator Panel Finally Repaired

Yes, it's been broken for a year and a half. It had been broken for so long, we had quite gotten used to opening it from the little metal ridge on the edge. It's pathetic that it's taken so long, but initially, I had hoped the contractor would repair it. When he refused I had these illusions that I would fight him and make him repair it, but I never did anything. I'm not good at confrontation. So, FYI, Craftsman Design & Renovation doesn't stand behind their work.

Originally, the frame holding the panel onto the refrigerator was simply stapled to it. No glue, no screws, nothing besides the staples. So, every time we opened the refrigerator door, it was slowly pulling the panel off the frame. After four years, it fell off in Jeff's hands.

Well, this time, Jeff not only glued the frame to the panel, but he also put in a number of screws from the backside to secure the two together. It should be a lot more secure. And once he finished, he was a little embarrassed it took this long. But, I'm just glad to have the panel back. Thanks Jeff!!
We've both been busy this month participating in National Novel Writing Month, usually called NaNoWriMo. We are both on target to meet the 50K word goal by the end of the month. I've been working on a novel set in the medieval period and I do quite a lot of google searches and I kept ranting about Pinterest. Pinterest has basically ruined google searches because quite often the picture you like leads you to Pinterest, which doesn't load the pin, it loads some page of pins and the image you want may or may not actually appear. I kept ranting about it, and then Jeff wisely looked up how to exclude Pinterest from search results. (Jeff is my hero.)

I'm going to share the solution with you guys, in case you're interested. When entering a search in google add -site:pinterest.** at the end of the search, i.e.
medieval clothing -site:pinterest.**

The two ** are wildcard characters because pinterest has a number of domains so the wildcard characters get rid of all of their sites.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Master Bath Mostly Finished

All I have left to do is to put another coat of varnish on the little shelf, and that project in the master bathroom is officially done. I'd also like to install grab bars in the shower, but we didn't get to that this week. We still need to pick up masonry drill bits.
Now that we have the towels and other stuff off the counter, we were able to oil the soapstone again. I much prefer the darker green color the oil brings out. And I also finished re-hemming the curtains so they'd fit in the windows again.
The curtain fabric is a cheery, bright William Morris pattern. The colors aren't period, but the pattern is.

I was also pretty excited that JCPenney's finally carried the dark green towel color again this year. I've been looking for nearly five years for towels that matched the soapstone—I knew they made them because I had bought one back in our old house in Forest Grove (around 2000)—finally this year they had the right color green, called Green Gables.

I bought them during their Labor Day Sale when they were marked down 50%, then I used a coupon for another 30% off! They were a really good deal. And now that I know they take so long to cycle around to this dark green color, I stocked up on hand towels.

I've made at least a dozen more squares in the past couple of days for my sewing room curtains. And when I was in there sewing last night I started gazing longingly at my fabric shelves. I couldn't understand why I wanted to make another quilt so bad until I realized it has been nearly five years since I finished my last one. No wonder I'm getting the itch to quilt again. I think I'll have to start another quilt in December, once I'm done with NaNoWriMo.