Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Painting, chickens, and babies!

Here's the color, folks...

Since photos don't work so well in that area of the house (less natural light), here's a link to the Behr sample swatch online

I almost went one shade lighter (it was called "Bleached Denim", and let me tell you, it looked blueish on the swatch, but battleship gray on the walls. This paint color looked more blue, and it sure is lovely on the walls. It makes the trimwork "pop", and looks wonderful with the tile flooring. NICE! :-)

We've got a mirror solution for over the sink. And *may* have a new light fixture up sometime this weekend (if El Husbando can get a mounting bracket for the antique light fixture "cover" built and installed properly...). I am probably going to get a new sink/countertop combo sometime in the next month--the local Home Depot has a sink on their clearance rack that would fit, matches perfectly, and has been sitting on the clearance rack for 3+ mos hopefully it will last another couple of weeks and I can go in and get it around the end of the month. I need to find a new faucet, though, that I like and can

I am not sure if we'll have the valances and curtains up before the family visits this next week--I can hope so, but not 100%. We've sold a couple of our meat birds to some friends, since they were butchered, and we'll hopefully be seeing some cash flow in from those. When you think $4/lb, five birds, and the smallest was 5.5 lbs....wellllll....that can add up fast.

I still have 11 birds here for us (we lost five Friday to heat stroke/complications of the high heat and low winds). One is actually in the soup El Husbando and the children like chicken soup. It is just too hot for me to be craving soup at the

And, in some very interesting "news of the weird"..our broody hen that lost that clutch of eight eggs, had two of the three eggs she was sitting on, hatch this weekend. Yeppers, folks. Eggs that I didn't *think* she could have sat on for more than 5 days, hatched. Definitely full term chicks, though. So while I don't know precisely *what* happened, or *how*, I am pleased nonetheless. Two little fluffballs to add to the home flock? Nothing to be displeased at, there. Just hoping that they are pullets. :-) More layers, you know.

Other than massive quantities of housework, though, and some final painting in the family room, I am going to be doing the 'chicken with its head cut off' routine...with family possibly arriving on Monday, I want to get as much done as I can as fast as I can (and yet, here I am on the computer). El Husbando has a couple of days off and so he will be attending to the yard and such, hopefully, getting it into better shape. I will get to do some finish mowing on the front and around the trees and such out back once he is done...

But whew. Done with the meat birds for this year. Got to get the turkeys bigger, for this fall. And hopefully coddle these latest hatchlings along til we get them grown enough...

Hope you are having a great week, everyone...

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Well, the mudroom is blue

Actually, a very deep blue. Darker than I had originally thought I would like...but it does look good with the white trim and almond flooring (actually, kind of the colors here on Blogger, when one is typing up a post!--coincidentally, of course, lol).

I've got the new towel ring up (it will come down for painting) and I need to spackle and get more paint for the bathroom and mudroom (and hallway, maybe). But we'll see what I can get done, and when.

The kitchen ceiling light looks SO much better than it did before (both the "bare bulb" look, and the oak surround are far inferior to this...seriously). Just some cleaning, and some ORB spray paint. 20 minutes. Seriously. Makes a world of difference...And the room looks so much more "finished" (even though it is far from it) than it did before.

Now to get the lights in the hallway taped/papered off and painted, as well...and the walls. Etc, etc.

If I could "just" find a light for the mudroom and the bathroom, and a countertop/sink combo for the bath...

Ah, well, it will all come together in bits and pieces, it may just take a while. :-) I am sure you all know how that goes!

For now...

Friday, July 16, 2010

I must be high...

From spray paint fumes, that is. Between using a high gloss white to spray the ceiling in the kitchen (to cover an "oops" of my darling husband's involving a pressure cooker and pinto beans), spraying around the main ceiling light fixture, finishing the spraying (outdoors) of some fixtures for the mudroom bathroom, and deciding on/spraying the color I am using on my thread rack ($1/yard sale--holds something like 63 spools of thread!), and small wall-mounted corner shelf ($1/yard sale)....well, I've been a spray painting fool today. Yesterday, I taped off and sprayed a ceiling light fixture (because removing it from the ceiling would have required my husband's assistance, and he was not home), the larger oak-finish surround for the main light in the kitchen (which since everything else is going oil-rubbed bronze, and there isn't a bit of oak in the room, it was simply a matter of time), and I got the first few coats of ORB sprayed onto the bathroom hardware (a simple matter, really).

Hopefully, today will see the kitchen light hooked up and covered for the first time in a loooong time. Its been hooked up, but working sporadically (we got a new ballast for it while running errands this morning, and El Husbando is changing it out as I type) it will be nice to have reliable (if not completely agreeable to my tastes) overhead lighting.

After that, I'm hoping to have the bathroom hardware put up (taking the old down, first, of course), and God willing, I will paint some of the sample colors I got today on the walls in the mudroom and the adjacent bath. Then we'll see.

OH! And I found a perfect lace panel curtain for the mudroom bath window for a $.25 at a yard sale yesterday, and boy, is it nice...Definitely better than the nasty dollar store forest green monstrosity that had been hanging there since before we moved in...not having anything else to take it's place, and knowing that this is the one bathroom that people outside *can* walk by and see into the window, well, it seemed prudent to wait til we had a better option than "naked window"....Now to get the valance up....That'll wait til after the painting is done in there, though, just in case...

Today is El Husbando's last day off for this week, so we are hoping to get some mowing done as well. We'll see what time and energy allots for. Tomorrow is the Peach Festival here in town, and we're looking forward to heading out there tomorrow morning early--to avoid crowds and heat. I got a good majority of the mowing done earlier this week (probably about 3/4s of an acre's worth), at least, the finish mowing, not the brute/crude "chop it down/back with the brush hog and the tractor"...

I figure, I can finish mow with the push mower in the very front, and the areas we really need to walk through regularly, as well as the parts he cannot mow with the tractor. The rest of it is up to him. And Mr. John Deere :-) .

But I'm getting there, folks. Hopefully I'll get two more of those small ceiling lights taped off and painted this next week (brutally hot that close to the ceiling, it seems), as well as getting the mudroom painted. Well, I can pray on that. It won't take much, given the real lack of wall space. It will just take a final decision on my part, and a trip to town, as well, to get more than the "sample" size of paint....assuming I make a decision, that is. :-)

Folks, pray I can get all of this work done quickly...we've got some family coming in on the 27th, and I'd really like to have as much of this done as is humanly possible, between now and then...well, pray I can do it and not have a breakdown in the (we just found out yesterday morning that they are coming...for sure...and when).

Til later...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Mudrooms, snakes, and a sheet cake

Not much in common it might get your attention! :-)

To answer Therese, from the previous post, a mudroom is (typically) a space at/near the backdoor, where the family can come in, drop the nasty stuff, and go into the house clean. In a home like mine, there is a completely seperate entrance for the mudroom. Some mudrooms have the laundry facilities and a bathroom right there, so that dirty folks (muddy booted farmers, soaking wet children, etc) can come in, do their business, and head back outside, without leaving a trail of icky sticky black clay, puddles of water, or, worse yet, sometimes both. We were very blessed that this house had one--a seperate entrance near the backdoor, laundry with cabinets overhead on your left, a small closet for the hwh just past that...the bathroom is on your right, and has a shower, but no tub. There is a small, open closet with shelves, where I keep my cleaning supplies and larger items like my 22 qt electric roaster, crockpots, well as the paint and painting supplies I need for the rest of the house. There is tile on the floor, and that makes clean up much easier.

One article I read some years back, referred to a particular family's mudroom space (much nicer than mine, btw) as a "decontamination chamber". They had even made the bathroom fully tiled floor to ceiling, and put a drain in the middle of the floor, etc. Nice tile, as I recall. They wanted to be able to wash their dogs indoors, after a walk through the rain/mud outdoors...

Now...snakes...we *had* a hen that had gone broody and was sitting on eight eggs. But sometime overnight, a snake ate all of the eggs. Dang it. I was really hoping for another addition to the home flock. Try, try again. Big Momma is still broody, but in a different nest box. :-(

Sheet cake...yum. Cake. I like cake. I like cake ALOT...but in small doses. The husband called last night, and asked me to make a cake (nothing fancy) for him to bring in to work this afternoon, as the shift he is currently on, is planning to make dinner there...he decided to bring a dessert. So I pulled out my handy dandy copy of the Pioneer Woman's The Best Chocolate Sheet Cake. Ever. Figured I ought to get it done this morning, while it was still cool....definitely a wise idea around here in the summertime, folks. Smells DIVINE...

Here's a link, if you would like to try it.

It sounds like it might be more difficult, but it really is not. Oh, and YUMMMO on the topping. Small pieces, folks! SMALL pieces (of course, I will undoubtedly eat mine while drinking a Dr Pepper, so the sugar rush should be complete!). And yes, the recipe for the topping and the cake itself calls for almost a full pound of butter. But oh my goodness gracious, this stuff is goooooood. Take it to the church social good. Bring it to a girls' night in with your friends. Serve it warm with vanilla ice cream for the family. But it is definitely a keeper. I've made this one before, and it never fails to is simple enough that I will likely let my 10 yr old up and coming chef make it herself next time (with adequate adult supervision, of course).

No painting going on right now--I managed to get the rest of the front yard mowed yesterday, and today I am hoping to get the weed whacker going (I cannot figure out how to get the string out so I can replace it--one of those "He had better show me how" things...).

Hope you all are having a great day!

Monday, July 12, 2010


Well, I've made a decision on the mudroom paint. It is going to be blue. Maybe. Probably. Something in the denim family. Kind of the "my husband's favorite pants, after a couple of years of wear. :-) Maybe a bit darker than that (more of the "My husband's *new* favorite pair of jeans, fresh from the retailer--but the same size/style etc as his previous and now worn out pair"). But you get the idea. It will, unfortunately, require a couple of different samples, undoubtedly, to get the right shade (given the fabric I intend to use on the windows), but we will see how many. And yes, those sample jars? DEFINITELY a good idea. Saved me a TON of trouble--as I wanted to paint the family room blue, originally...and after painting some sample colors on the walls, changed my mind! :-) It also helped confirm which shade I wanted in the master bedroom (still not painted, but it is better than nothing!)....

I have, however, gotten *most* of the family room done. It is still a work in progress--I have to move the two, very heavy on their own, bookshelves--and all of the *many* books on them. Most of those books are heavy, too. Joy. That and the stack of bags of outgrown/out of season clothing of the girls/boys/whomever, that need boxing up and put away, but the rubbermaid totes have to be purchased (will hopefully be starting on that on Friday). Basically, about 4 feet in each direction, from one corner of the family room, and about 2-2 1/2 feet on one wall, next to the fireplace. But we are getting there!

Right now, though, the focus is on mowing--again. Rain rain rain rain and what do you get? No chance to mow for about 2 weeks. And that equals a lot of trouble. Especially with nice grass in the yard (kept well fertilized by free-ranging chickens, geese, and a duck...!).

Speaking of animals, we have added to the home flock--originally, it was 6 turkey poults and 9 ducklings, but something (not sure what) was able to get into their somewhat secure nursery coop, and make off with several of them. So we are down to two poults, and five ducklings. Not too bad, but it will make for some expensive turkeys come Thanksgiving (assuming that they make it that long, of course!). And, our one hen who seems to go broody every 2-3 mos in spring/summer--is sitting again--two weeks into this round, as of tomorrow. So, by the middle of *next* week, maybe we will have some new babies. We can keep our fingers crossed. Homehatched babies just seem to do better...

After I get done with the family room, I have a lot of furniture projects to work on--a bed for the master bedroom, desk for my office space, two chairs for the master bedroom, hopefully a coffee table and a mirror(to be turned into something else--either a bulletin board or a chalkboard, not sure which!)...I'm also looking for a couple of larger pieces for the family room, but those will be long-term keeping my eyes open for the right piece kind of thing...I'm sure you know what I am talking about.... It has to be "cheap", but well made, and somewhat accessible to me with my vehicle availability and geographical ties...we'll have to see how long it takes me...

I do hope you all are having a good summer. It is too hot to say "Delightful"'s sakes, its awful (raining so often, with heat in the Too hot). Our garden is limping along as best as it can. Hopefully, we will have a break from the rain so we can get out there and work some more....pray! :-)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Projects begun...

Have you ever started a project and gotten halfway through, looked around and thought, Oh mercy...what was I *THINKING?!*...well, I'm sure 99.9% of us have at one time or another...

My current hurdle is my mudroom. Oh, I know I said I was going to paint the family room first. But the paneling behind the washer and dryer (an icky greenish faux wood "Blecchy" award winner from the late 70s) was screaming at me and put me on my last nerve.

I prime (Zinsser works wonders to eliminate the inherent blechiness of green faux bois! ;-)). That was yesterday, involved moving the dryer and front loading washer (those suckers are heavy!)...all while actually doing laundry and keeping tabs on the gruesome twosome (now three and!!!). The big ones (#s1-3) are at Vacation Bible School this week, at our wonderful parish (Totus Tuus, a program run/put out by the diocese of Wichita, is a wonnnnnderrrrfullll program, and if you can get one started where you are, GO FOR IT!).

I primed for hours, and the fumes, dear ladies. I had a pounder (even with windows open and the vent fan running in the adjoining bathroom. Oh my...I cannot imagine having to prime anything else...whew...

Today, 24 hours later, I was able to get started with the next layer. OIL based paint. Now, aside from the expense (I had no idea it was easily 2xs the price of latex, did you?), I have heard that it stinks, takes forever to dry, etc, etc. Well, my experience so far says it smells FAR less than the aforementioned primer (whewww, Zinsser's needs to come out with a low-odor version!), and while it doesn't dry terribly quickly, it *is* drying.

Now, before you get all "WHY did you use oil-based!?", let me remind you that our home was owned previously by a contractor. And he used oil based on the paneling...and the cabinets....and the trimwork...throughout the entire house.

Fortunately for me, I was able to use his discount at the local SW, and got my gallon for contractor price, not for standard retail (if you know a contractor who uses SW paints, see if you can use their number when you are buying some on your own--saves $$$!). ANd after I got the paint on the paneling, I went around and did touchups throughout the rest of the house...whew.

But I've got soooo much more to do. I've been spray painting (outside, better ventilation and definitely better dry times with the sun and wind we've had), and I've got some things ready to go up on the walls in the mudroom once I get the paneling dry enough. I'm going to be starting on some of the ceiling light fixtures, etc, as time passes. Tomorrow is the older children's last day at VBS, so we will be back to "normal" life next week. Which is good, and bad. Its been nice to be out and about earlier in the day, but honestly, I *like* being home.

I'll hopefully get some "after" pics once I get the things on the wall. I didn't take any before, sorry. :-) I did think about it, but honestly, between the bad lighting, and just bad paneling, it was NOT something you wanted to see. Looks MUCH better now.

Of course, now I get to paint the regular walls in there, as well as work on the family room. I'm going to be painting the trim in the family room as well, as I go--for some odd reason, the trimwork in there is all wood stain...while it is painted glossy in every other room (wait--except for the office, but that is a room all on its own, not open to other public spaces). I haven't figured that out. As if they just decided "Okay, we'll put high gloss white here...and here...but good golly no, we'll put WOOD trim in the family room...yeah, I know you can see it from the kitchen and dining room, and it is the first room one walks into...but who cares!?"

I care. It *will* be changed. It seems (especially with the deep window wells we have) to absorb the light coming in--of which there is not much to start with, what with overhangs and porches and the like. Anything I can do to lighten that room up, the better!

Hopefully, you all are staying cool where you are--its been in the mid-90s for the past few weeks, and while some things are enjoying it (corn...flies...tomatoes) other things (me. Me. ME!) are not. :-)

Monday, June 7, 2010

An interesting weekend

This weekend, the family made our first trip to Texas....Dallas/Ft Worth to be more precise.

While I think if I was going to go shopping, I'd love it...I don't think I will ever go back. There are simply WAAAYYYYY too many people...way too much congestion and traffic...and while I am sure it is a fine place, in its way, I can shop online, thank-you-very-much. We moved here to get away from such....'stuff' (traffic, large population centers, etc).

Anyway, that was my weekend. Hot, dry, and definitely something I don't care to repeat anytime soon. We did visit with some great friends, which was the only *good* part about it. But I don't think I will be encouraging any returns to Texas any time soon...


That being said, I am trying to get caught up around the house, and online, as well, and found this article and website. Very interesting, even for the non-Catholics out there. These issues should, to my mind, concern all people, Christian or not. But most especially, the Christian faithful.

Anyway, that was some of the morning's gleanings from my email inbox and other assorted online reading. I've got a ton of laundry to do, housekeeping (general) to do, and plans to make for the rest of the week. Fortunately, I have an understanding husband, and he specifically told me to *not* do anything outside today. After a very long, hot, weekend, he wants us to stay put inside today...thank goodness...

I have devised a better plan for getting my walls painted...and will be working on that late this week and early next that doesn't involve me trying to paint around two mischievous three year old boys, who are entranced by any open paint

Til Then...