Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Not many people photograph zip lock bags. Most people also do not decorate their yards with them. I wasnt doing either, well ok fine I took a picture of it but that was to show you that it was frosty.This was our first morning of frost and somehow there was a plastic bag in the yard. I didnt leave it there, that would be tacky.
Frost on the car. This was an early frost, earlier than other years past. It has been pretty cold some mornings!
Nathalie's vocano, there is a sandy area in the field and she created a grass and dirt volcano then took photos of it so that you could all see it.
I had a piece of purple stretch terry, my mom bought 20 yds of this, of 3 different colors. This is the last of 20 yds purchased 8 yrs ago. I made Nathalie some pj pants, and then made 4 wipes out of the rest. I sell these, give them away or use them. They are household cloth. The striped ones are "kleenex." I know that is a brand, but we use the word anyway. The stripey fabric was a pr of PJ pants that I have worn for 8 yrs, and they finally fell apart. I have mended/fixed them twice, and replaced the waist elastic last yr. This is all about recycling right? No. I miss my pants...
So he wasnt in a good mood and had some weird hair thing going on. This is a new jacket/pullover that I made for him. He loves the half zip, he uses it over his t shirts so he doesnt have to wear long sleeves. It is made of heavy weight waterproof/windproof Polartec fleece and has neat pockets!
The toggle and elastic in the hem allows for it to be pulled tightly, then add a coat and the wind going up a coat doesnt affect as badly. Since we are moving to Ak... The pockets are pretty neat, they look good and are very deep-the kids and I decided to seam up the sides halfway because it looks good and closes up the bottom of the pocket.
Nathalie's, once again not a great photo. The kids are super excited about upcoming events and are not into posing. Her jacket is a midweight-polartec waterproof fleece. Her doll has a matching one that I made.
Once again, the pocket and toggle. She says she needs 2 of these because we have it in lavender as well.
Nathalie was sewing during the same time, she was sewing and learning. We made patterns for her baby, dress, shirt and leggings. Oh and Nathalie made "sock" patterns which is basically 2 halves sewn up on one side, other side on a fold and its more like a baby's bootie only long. She makes them up to the knees so her baby is warm. The baby has on the socks here though they match her pants.
Cutting out her baby's dress, or possibly its a nightgown. Nathalie has a matching nightgown that I made 2 yrs ago. She still wears it despite the fact that it only reaches her elbows.
Her patterns and pieces all cut out. She has become quite the avid seamstress. She loves to sew and sews with or without help.
She learned to use the serger this summer working on a 4h project but is still more comfortable using the sewing machine. She is convinced the serger will eat her fingers or at least a thumb.
Finished product getting a trim. I still help with the neckline and she didnt hem the little sleeves. It was such a tiny hole. Using clear elastic was easier than making cuffs, so she just trimmed the sleeve ends.
We got new snow boots! These are Baffin, supposed to be one of the best rated brands for arctic wear. We want to be very warm. I can tell the difference in traditional LL Bean snow boots and these. These are almost like dirt bike gear boots. They are a bit stiff, though are easy to walk in. Heavy, and well padded. They have sort of a wool liner thing in them, 2 of them, that can come out if they get damp.
Kids boots are rated to -78 assuming they are wearing 1 pr cotton socks, and 1 pr wool socks. They are very nice boots, they should be for their cost!
These are mine, weird pic it was in the mirror. They look a lot like the kids boots. The site said do not size up, but I did by 1 size for each of us and I am glad I did. They fit fine with cotton socks, comfortably snug with 2 pr socks. They are a little heavy and will take getting used to but they are tall, warm and waterproof. I do not want cold feet, the few people that I have met who didnt like Ak, didnt like it because they had improper gear. We all have very good coats, wool long johns, wool outer clothes, lined pants/overalls, good boots and will also have good snow pants.
Nathalie sporting her boots while in PJs still, she is outside on a warm-ish day (60s maybe) in a short sleeve, jeans and these boots. She is in love. She says she loves the way they feel and they make her look bigger.
We are taking a short break on remodeling, my wrist and back need it. I have been sewing instead. Have completed many more sewing projects not pictured yet.
Friday, October 21, 2011
Janice was my mama's best friend. She was her best friend for a long time. She was killed yesterday by her estranged husband who then took his own life. My mama is truly suffering right now from a deep hurt, both from the loss of a best friend and the injustice of life. Janice was wonderful, she was beautiful and caring. She had children and grandchildren. She was young and had a lot of life before her. I have no words to express the hurt I that I know my mother feels.
-In Memory of Janice.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
The photos are not related to cooking. I took a lot of pictures recently of a sunset, I will miss the Ks sunsets. You can sort of see Tad to the right of the photo.
The children are playing in my construction waste, bits of 2x4s, drywall, hardibacker, tile scraps. They set up little games for people and little animals and play their world for them. They spend their offtime doing this.
So onto the cooking. Between crock pots and a traditional oven/stove that is electrical-crock pot almost always wins. However, enter a gas stove top and it depends. They use a different measurement, and the price of gas isnt always the same. The biggest thing I have learned is this. If you have a fire pit/fireplace/wood stove and cast iron pots/pans/skillets-you are already prepared to cook in an efficient manner. My friend Amanda cooks this way for much of the winter. I have not known another person who could save money on gas/electric bill better than her in the winter, both for her heating and cooking. Her home stays very toasty and her stove top cooked meals are excellent and cost effective. This is the difference in frugal and stingy. I want a warm house and good food, not spend the winter frozen eating foods that use little stovetop.
We are moving to Ak, and we are making a lot of changes now and in route. We are selling most of our household goods and will be living on a much smaller scale. We have been recycling, gardening, preserving food, raising livestock, using washable vs throw away items and many other things for 8 yrs now. Not all of those things, the livestock was only 3 yrs. My children wore cloth diapers, and so would any subsequent children. I make most of our clothes, and try to buy on sale/used what I do not make. I recycle even our worn out clothes. The little things that I/we do are both for the environment and to avoid being wasteful of funds.
We are excited about some of our new ideas, we are adding on to the list of things that we already do and plan to drastically reduce the amount of money and space that we use.
Monday, October 17, 2011
I have to say, we have bought a lot of packaged foods since I began our property and home remodel. I try to stick with (mostly) healthy foods. I generally make my own pasta sauce and we grind our own meat. We grind it from goat meat (we butchered this) or we buy whole turkeys on sale and grind it. Sigh... I am really tired and not on top of my game right now! This is our cast of characters for Alphabettios.
In my opinion, these were pricey. 1.99 for a bag of noodles! It made a HUGE amount though! Nathalie wanted Alphabet Spagettios when we were in the store yesterday. She did have a bit of a breakdown when I refused to buy them, she wont eat them but she says the letters are cute. She loves tiny cute things and honestly, she thinks small foods taste better than normal-large ones.
I figured if a cheap can of alphabet spagettios (alphabettios) was .69 cents and its truly horrible for her, then I could spend the 2$ on alphabet noodles, 1 $ on pasta sauce and 1.59 on the lb of turkey and make our own. She doesnt usually break down in the grocery store... just as a fact, nor do I wish to condone the breakdown. However, she is really at the end of her rope waiting on Daddy's homecoming. So as a treat, I found these noodles.
Nathalie loves to cook and is capable of making meat sauce (homemade marinara on seasoned ground meat usually) and the noodles, she even drains them herself which worried me at first. She can make and bake bread from scratch-so this was an easy and fun meal for her.
Here are our noodles-I didnt see any other brand of alphabet noodles and the da vinci brand are actually pretty healthy. We normally eat whatever the Sam's brand of noodles are...
And here is the finished product! She loved it very much and while some people do not like pasta that has been frozen, we dont mind it. We froze it in portions for her. I wanted to can it, but I havent canned pasta. I have canned meat so I know the protocol for that, but I am going to assume that canned noodles should only be al dente. They would otherwise get pretty squishy I think. I will read up on how to can noodles, chicken noodle soup and spaghetti would be great to have canned for quick lunches. We are trying to move more into food preservation that doesnt require electricity, we freeze meat and many other things but would like to can and dry more in the future.
Sunday, October 16, 2011
This is the last one! The shower walls still need to be tiled, but I sort of wore out. I did lay the tile in this bathroom, I have photos of laying the backerboard and laying the tile but I dont have those for you yet...
I laid the tile, grouted then put the toilet back which did cause me some grief but here it is. No leaking! This is the 2nd toilet which I have put down alone! Its nice to have a toilet back.
Friday, October 14, 2011
You are tired of painting? Wow me too. This is the hall, I mudded all the paneling lines in here, primed and painted 3 x. Then, the lines cracked. Only a few of them, but still. So Eric and his son textured it. Then I had to prime, and paint. It looks wonderful! They did great job. I cut in everything first after priming, I cut in light switches, outlets, ceilings and door frames.
I lined these benches and stools up, well the children did, for me to cut in at the ceiling level. These are benches that my grampie made when my mama was a little girl. I have the matching table.
This was the first roll, so I didnt actually cut in the center but everything else I did. This is the front door area, also was paneling.
Why is this photo here twice? let me get back to you. I am not going to try to delete it.
Living room vaulted ceiling, and my way of rolling it! I borrowed Erics ladder, in a previous post you saw me cutting this ceiling in. Then I sent the ladder home, not considering the impossibility of me rolling that high with no ladder. At about 2 a.m. this idea seemed good, and I am still alive so I was right.
A dizzying view, I hate looking up this way it makes me feel as though I am spinning. However, here it is. The rolled spots are still light from being wet, but in actuality its all complete just not dry. It was done in different stages.
I went into the kitchen to clean up, and I found this. Nathalie's way of covering the tea... She forgot to put it in the fridge.
It really does look more red-less pink in person. It is a dark red, I love red doors. I look poor in red, yet its one of my favorite colors. I hardly ever decorate but if I can paint something red, I will. Our door, as you see, was dingy and dark. The inside has been painted a cream color and our siding is light beige so the red compliments both. The old door handle was broken inside and secured with a screw... Other than that, it just looked cheap. I primed the door, painted 2 coats of red and put on a new door handle and lock assembly. The further I painted away from this side of the door, the worse I painted! the last coat was put on at 1 a.m. and I was pretty tired. It does need a 3rd coat on most of the door but it is much better looking!
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Saturday, October 8, 2011
Okay so this isnt textured, nor is it the hall and foyer which were textured yesterday. This is the kitchen, those who have been to my house know that there was some nasty wallpaper, and weird fake grape vine decorations on the wall. Now it is just painted a nice cream color! Really does lighten it up, make it look less 1970s. The cabinets are still dark and dated, but only 10 things at a time right?
Yesterday, Eric and the kids textured. I went to Lowes with Nathalie in the morning, to pick up what we would need and additional remodel items, Tad hung out with Eric riding the Harley and working on shop things at his house. I picked up a box of drywall mud and Eric (with the children's expert help-all 4 of them- mixed it with the right amount of water to make texture.
Why would I post 2 of the same pictures? They are not the same! It is just Eric's signature, "you really asked that question?" look and Tad gave several no-brainer questions out for the world.
"Dad!" Jeff alerts us to a forseen problem in the hall. We ignore him several times. Then Dad answers and goes down the hall, works on air compressor then comes back to finish mixing.
This hall is the one that I mudded the paneling lines on. 4 times. Sanded each time. Never could get it quite right. Primed it, painted 3 coats of cream color. It wasnt right still. Then some of the deeper lines cracked. Justina and Eric are expert at remodeling, they have done a lot of it. They both said texturing was the only answer. So here we are! I am so grateful that they had the tools, the time and the knowledge to help me (again.) seems they save me a lot???
I have a hard time getting pictures of Tristin, he doesnt pose much and he rarely smiles for photos. He smiles, laughs and jokes often just not when I grab a camera. He asked me 3 times yesterday how many photos did I possibly need!
Nathalie needs to get a closer view apparently, thankfully she didnt step in the additional mud. She managed to get mud on her new jeans though she didnt do any work!
Tristin helping dad mix, it has to be the consistency of oatmeal. Arguably different people like soupier oatmeal. So I would venture to say it has to be the consistency of the oatmeal that Eric makes.
Nathalie was gonna just climb into the bucket but Eric said she shouldnt this time. She also asked him what it tasted like, he told her Not Oatmeal! He said chalk, though I was surprised he didnt offer her a taste!
Now Jeff and Eric are working on the air compressor, it didnt like my house and it said no thanks to being helpful but they got it back on track. You can see to the right the first texture part. These photos are clearly out of order...
They mixed a small amount to start out with and then just mixed more. It didnt take long, the texture gun (I think it is called this) only uses a certain amount at once, then you refill it. It goes a long way also, such a small amount would spread over a huge amount of wall.
I believe Nathalie is giving me the evil eye here! What did I do??
Jeff steps in to help. He did all of the texturing himself. His dad helped him some, making suggestions but mostly he did it alone. He has done it once before but seen his parents doing it as well.
Aww look! I got a smile! I took about 20 pictures to get this one. He has a piece of candy in the side of his cheek, but its a smile! I didnt even sneak up on him to get it.
I taped off the door frames, well Jeff taped some last wk then we ran out, so I finished. I also taped off light switches and sockets. We took off their covers first. The floor has brown paper and plastic, but really the bits of mud that got on the carpet vaccum up easily.
The hall is hard because there is no space to stand back. If he steps into one doorway, then when he comes out he cannot get as far back from the next bit of wall. He did a great job staying even despite this.
Now Jeff is learning how to mix. He knew when it was too much/not enough water both by sight and mixing himself.
The drill here has a paint mixer on the end. I am glad Eric brought his as I forgot to get one. This is one of the things that we did have in the shop which of course we have no more.
If you look at both of them from the back you would swear that Jeff was the parent. He is already bigger than Eric! He will turn 16 in a few days. These two were telling me here how Mom is the expert at texturing. She wasnt here yet, she arrived from work shortly before the job was done.
Now how many people does it take to fix a garbage disposal? Really just one. Two of them are here to watch, one is here to help and be next to his wife, and the wife is the one who is the ultimate plumber.
She found a penny stuck in there, under something. I have tried to go fish and find what was in there, but without success. Partly because I hate garbage disposals and also because, I dont know what I am doing.
This picture is fuzzy I know, but I like to watch Tad and Jeff talk. Like his dad, Jeff needs his hands and facial expressions or I think he would be mute. When Tad is with him, he expresses himself much the same way as if it is contagious.
They used a flashlight, running water and a screwdriver. It took several minutes of messing around with it and Eric was ready to take it out/drop it down when she found the penny.
They also fixed some stuff in the bathroom, and Justina helped me figure out how the toilet flange repair should work. The flange is broken a little and I dont want to completely replace it.
I am so glad that they came to help me, the hallway looked quite terrible. Last night the kids and I (kids couldnt sleep) sprayed down the door frame parts that I didnt paint and wiped them down, the excess texture wipes right off with a wet cloth 2 min after I spray it with charlies cleaner. Today I need to prime and paint the walls in there and then it is done except molding. Then my bathroom still needs tile! Work is endless right?