Monday, February 23, 2015

diggin' out... catchin' up

The blog's been quiet the past week or so... there is no particular reason, good, bad or otherwise... except maybe Joe's current work schedule which requires me to get up (so I can get HIM up) at 4:30 each morning. 

That's too early for me. 

By an hour or so. (I'm SO not looking forward to "springing forward" with daylight savings time in a couple of weeks!) The early mornings tend to be my blogging time, but at 4:30 I'm not awake enough to think, much less write. Which has resulted in a quiet, neglected, blog.

I do eventually wake up though, and have been getting things crossed off my home project to-do list...

I pinned this photo the other day, thinking it would be the perfect way to store my old tin measuring cups. 

After over-thinking it for days, and almost deciding it would be too much work and skipping it altogether...

... I had a burst of energy, adapted the idea for my kitchen, and got it done. I do love how it turned out. 

The mudroom (which is in our tiny basement, off the garage) has been getting a mini-makeover in preparation for building and hanging a barn door to close it off from the spare room.  Here's the new almost done rack for barn coats, it still needs another row of hooks across the bottom... Can you guess what the wood base is made from?

The track for the barn door is up, and I have a plan for how I want to build it...

... next up will be buying the lumber and getting it built and hung. 

I've also been spending a fair amount of time shoveling snow and hauling firewood. We had a pretty good snow storm over the weekend (a foot or so of snow on the ground; a high yesterday of 9 degrees) but the trail to the barn is shoveled, and the house is warm. 

It's supposed to be a cold, snowy week... I'm guessing I'll being seeing a lot more of the snow shovel before it's all said and done. 

Stay warm! 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Thrifting Thursday (vintage tin measures)

I've kind of started a little collection lately...

...of vintage tin measuring cups and spoons.

I've loved old metal kitchen items for a long time, cast iron and tin are my two favorites. I have a wonderful set of vintage cast iron cookware (skillets and a griddle) that I use all the time. And there are my lovely old tin canisters that Joe got me for Christmas last year...

Not long ago, M and I were volunteering at the thrift store, going through donations getting them ready to set out, I found a couple of vintage tin measuring cups and decided they were going home with me. I'm not sure why I liked them so much... they are a little beat up and nothing special in terms of design, but I loved the look and feel of them (that's them in the top picture).

Since those first two, I've started watching for them and have found more, in different sizes but the same style, and snapped them up.

I've also found some vintage tin measuring spoons that followed me home.

Since starting to collect the tin ones, I've gotten rid of most of my plastic measuring cups and spoons. I love the treasure hunt of looking for the vintage ones.

Eventually I'd like to do something like this with them...

... inside my kitchen cabinet.

Cool, yes?  And I think it would be a big help to R too when she cooks....

So, are you collecting anything these days?

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Monday, February 9, 2015

Happy Monday

Crazy Casa K

What makes me happy?

Watching Cody and Max's canine friendship develop. Max is K's dog, staying with us until she gets home from the Peace Corps, and this might be the first time he's lived with another dog. Cody is very much a people dog... happiest to be with his people... but Max LOVES having Cody as a new  "big brother" and will follow him around, biting the back of his leg to try and get him to play, he thinks Cody is the coolest thing ever!

Cody is always a good sport and rarely loses patience with Max...


... even when Max interrupts a nap by squeezing into Cody's crate to cuddle up with him. (Afraid of "breaking the spell" by walking closer to them to take the picture, I took it from the dining room... sorry about the poor quality.)

Friday, February 6, 2015

fixing a dirty little secret, and finishing the blue sky bathroom

Remember when I painted my bathroom vanity about a year and a half ago?  I loved the change from the orange-y 1970's wood to a sleek black.

(This picture was taken before we moved in... the pink carpet is LONG gone!)

The vanity looked good... it looked finished... unless you got down on your hands and knees and peaked underneath.  Which no one did of course.

But if you had this is what you would have seen:

A big glaring dust-kitty catcher where the toe kick should have been.

It was gross...

I'd had the plan, when I first painted the vanity, to add a toe kick and also some chunky little legs. I even bought the legs... but then I got busy and, you know... out of sight out of mind... and I never got that last little bit done.

Until now.

All it took was a $3.00 piece of 1x3, a little creativity with the miter saw, and a little black paint. I'm not sure why I put it off for so long...

Measuring, cutting, painting and installing the 1x3 was easy. To attach it to the vanity, I just marked where the side supports were underneath the vanity, pre-drilled the toe kick, and used a few finishing nails to attach it.

Better, yes?

Unfortunately, the chunky little legs I'd bought back in 2013 to put under the front of the vanity were too wide to fit... With the toe kick in place, they ended up sticking out past the front of the vanity. I measured the space and realized that cutting one of the legs in half would give me just the right size to fit, and would make it easier to install because of the newly created flat side.

But how to cut that round little ball of wood in half without cutting off a finger or two in the process?

I ended up using scrap wood to make a box that held the leg tightly, making one side of the box extend out an extra 8" or so to use as a handle. Then all I had to do was hold the handle and cut the whole box in half with the miter saw. The leg was held firmly in place, my hands were far from the blade, and one leg ended up two.

(Towards the bottom of the cut one half got a little bigger, but it doesn't show now that they're in place.)

A little wood glue, and the vanity is finally done...

I like how the little legs update it, and give it a much more finished look... (MUCH more finished than the gaping dust bunny catcher!)

All that's left is painting the bathroom door, the rest of the room is done...

It hasn't changed much, but it's amazing how much the new paint brightens it up,  and I do love the shutters...

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

the day that never ends... (but eventually did)

When M was little he loved to watch "Lambchop" with Shari Lewis. I have no idea why he loved that show so much. I remember it being around when I was a kid, and it seemed really dated by the time M was watching... but he loved and and wanted to watch it every day.

I didn't.

I especially disliked the song they ended the show with... "The Song That Doesn't End" Each and every time I heard that song it got stuck in my head. That insipid song tortured me...

Just in case you aren't familiar with it, here's a clip... (misery loves company you know..)

Yesterday was the real life version of the song that doesn't end... only it was the day that didn't end... it "just goes on and on my friend". Yesterday just went on and on and on and on and on. I'd decided to schedule a bunch of doctor's appointments on one day, rather than spreading them out over several days... I thought it made sense to get them over with all at once.

It probably did make sense... they're done and out of the way now... but it was a looooooooong day... it just went on and on.

The day started with M's steroid injection. It was done at a surgical center, and was as quick and easy as something like that can be. (We're still waiting to see how much it's going to help, he should be getting good pain relief by the end of the week.) We celebrated it being OVER with Krispy Kreme donuts.... Mmmm. Then back to Parker, where I had an appointment to get a couple of old silver fillings replaced, and a months overdue mammogram. Along the way we stopped at the bank, then picked up M's new (to him) computer... (his old one, a freeby from the thrift store, finally gave up the ghost) shopped at Costco, made an emergency run to Petsmart for hamster medicine for my youngest grandson's pet, and finally made it home, for good, around 5:00... just in time to cook dinner and collapse.

R went to bed last night praying for an ice storm.

I was praying for a blizzard.

Either of which would have kept us home today.

We did wake up to a light dust of snow in the air, barely sticking to the ground, and no ice at all...

Despite the lack of major weather events, it looks like today will be a much easier day... a uke lesson for R this morning, and her new karate class this afternoon. I think I can manage that...

Monday, February 2, 2015




February 2, 2015

Outside my window... the sun isn't up yet, so it's cold and dark. Yesterday's snow is thick on the ground, but the forecast has me looking forward to sun and warmth today.

I am thinking... about an email I just received from M's previous pdoc. It was unexpected, and thoughtful of her to send. It brings back memories of the many years she was part of his life.

I am thankful... for the warm spot in front of the fire where I'm sitting to write this, and a quiet house in which to gather my thoughts.

In the kitchen... cookies are king. I've been baking a lot lately, but the cookie jar just keeps emptying. This morning I'm going to make Joe's mom's favorite cookie recipe... I hope they taste like they do when she makes them.

I am creating... a little music on my mando when I get a chance. Last night I twisted my fingers up on some jigs and reels (always so fun) but I do love playing the old O'Carolan tunes as well. 

I am reading... Same Kind of Different As Me... a book my niece reviewed on her blog a while ago. After reading her review I wanted to read the book and she was nice enough to share... 

I am hoping... the steroid injection M is having in his back tomorrow goes well and he gets some pain relief.

I am looking forward to... a peaceful low-key day today. The weekend was a busy one, and it will be nice to have a quieter day today.

Around the house... I'm finishing up the last few odds and ends in my blue sky bathroom. I'd be done by now except I can't find my little jar of finishing nails, so can't finish up the toe kick on the vanity. All I need are four finishing nails, and I can't find them anywhere. Sigh, I guess I'm going to have to make another trip to Home Depot.

A few plans for the rest of the week...a quiet day today, but lots of doctor appointments later in the week, R's new martial arts class on Wednesday. Finishing the week is a poker party M is hosting, and a trip to the Pace Center to see "The Wizard of Oz". 

A photo to share:

I found these sunrise photos on my camera the other day, I can't remember when I took them but I'm so glad I found them again.

~Prairie Sunrise~


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