Update – a long, dry, spell…….

I haven’t posted anything for a really long time.  Things around here have been in such an upheaval that everything else is just not happening.  I thought I’d post some photos now that the light is finally showing through then tunnel….

IMG_2818

The hole in the bathroom

Tearing out the bathroom walls.

Tearing out the bathroom walls.

…holes in the ceilings…..

…holes in the ceilings…..

…and holes in the walls.

…and holes in the walls.

Patching began in the entry…...

Patching began in the entry……

then on to the laundry room, bathrooms and living room.

then on to the laundry room, bathrooms and living room.

Finally, the kitchen ceiling was skim coated and retextured.

Finally, the kitchen ceiling was skim coated and retextured.

We began adding board and batten panels to the entry, the powder room and pantry.

We began adding board and batten panels to the entry, the powder room and pantry.

The Oregon white oak arrived and had to be spread out all over the rooms to acclimate.

The Oregon white oak arrived and had to be spread out all over the rooms to acclimate.

In the mean time, we had to finish ripping out the flooring and sub flooring in the kitchen and have new plywood installed.

In the mean time, we had to finish ripping out the flooring and sub flooring in the kitchen and have new plywood installed.

So now the floors are down and being sanded and filled.  They look great in the dining room…...

So now the floors are down and being sanded and filled. They look great in the dining room……

….the powder room…….

….the powder room…….

…and the kitchen.

…and the kitchen.

Next Week – the adventure continues – - floor sanding and finishing, paneling in the pantry, toilet and new sink installed in the powder room, new faucets in the kitchen, paint touchups, appliances reinstalled, and furniture back in place.

Still to do casters for the piano, tile repair in the master bathroom, carpet installation, garage sale………….

Posted in summer 2014 | Leave a comment

Here we go…….. Again

On April 22 we discovered that, once again, we had a broken CPVC pipe.  This is our third pipe breaking resulting in damage to our home.  This time it was under the powder room on the main floor  - two 1″ hot water pipes and a 1/2″ pipe all had been leaking for months.

IMG_0361The insurance company is fantastic.  They came in and set up dryers, hepa-filters and air scrubbers and began to dry the place out. The process they thought would take 2 days ended up lasting 12 days.  The photo is from inside “the bubble” were it was about 96 degrees.  The moisture in the floor decking had to go from 65% down to below 12%.

IMG_0359 IMG_0360These pictures show the damage to the flooring in the powder room (at left) and the entry (at right).  All of the flooring in the entry, powder room, dining room and kitchen will have to be replaced and the sheet rock repaired.

We thought the worst was over when the plastic bubble came down and the blowers all left (it was crazy loud for days) but then I stepped on the edge of the bathroom floor and notice an odd crunching sound.  Not only did the water damage the floor and the subfloor, but the decking was rotting too.  To make matters worse, while checking our the rotting boards, they found another broken pipe.  TheIMG_0395

IMG_0394The picture on the right is the rotten floor decking and that on the left is the hole in the bathroom floor and the bucket we use to catch the water from the broken pipe.  We have come to the conclusion that the entire house must be repiped and that spending another few hundred dollars to fix another leak that will just get ripped out with the repipe. So we turn off the hot water when we aren’t using it and empty the bucket frequently.

Hopefully we will be able to get a plumbing company in for the repipe soon.  The estimates are 7 days of work and about $9,000.00 with another $3,000.00 in dry wall repair to the walls and ceilings.

The bad news is, this part is not covered by our insurance.

The good news is, the living room does not currently look like this……IMG_0346

                                  ………………….. but it will again soon

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In like a Lion – March 2014

We’ve had a cold rain storm blow in this weekend, so much rain that our old nemesis, the leaky kitchen window, has started up again.  We don’t have the time to mess around too much, nor the money to have someone else mess around so we come up with a solution to hopefully keep up dry until summer.  We already had one patio umbrella on the upper deck over the hot tub, and several more in the garage so we added more layers of umbrella, it’s an umbrella wonderland.  Hopefully this will help!

I’m also, now that parent-student loan #2 has started, trying to save as much as possible to pay it off faster.  I spent about $31.00 (saved about $45.00) today on the weekly groceries – let’s see what that bought.

2 pounds of hot Italian sausage
4 pounds of chicken wings
lamb neck bones
1 pound organic ground beef

4 romaine lettuce hearts
spinach
1 green bell pepper
3 bunches scallions
8oz mushrooms
2.5 pound bananas
1 package baby green beans

12 hard-boiled, peeled eggs
1 container creme fraiche (splurge!)
1 bottle salad dressing – free
large container yogurt
white cheddar cheese
yellow cheddar cheese
cinnamon rolls – free
food color

We should be able to Fix

  • sausage and spinach orzo for supper
  • scotch eggs  with cheesy potatoes for supper
  • chicken wings  with green beans for supper
  • hamburger pasta with salad for supper
  • breakfast burritos
  • egg salad for lunches
  • bone broth (lamb and chicken)
  • cinnamon rolls
  • yogurt / banana smoothies

 

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Hat Number Two – Feb Knit & Purl

photo-2

After the striped stocking hat, I decided to try another hat to see if I could improve my technique. I love these circular hat because there is so much less counting than my scarf sampler. I used a teal wool (primary) that I purchased with a coupon and alternated it with apple green wool (secondary) from an unwound sweater.

I did tear out a bunch after my son tried it on and told me it needed to be longer and slouch some so I don’t have much of a pattern.

Cast 78 stitches of the primary color on to the circular needle. Making sure the stitches are all on the inside of the circular needle, join the stitches and mark the beginning of round.
Create 3.5″ of ribbing using knit 2, purl 2.

Knit a row using both colors combined. This gave the stripes a interesting random pattern and helped me avoid some of the loose holes I had in the previous hat.

Using just with the secondary color, create 5 rows of stockinette by knitting every round on the circular needles. Alternate colors every 5 rows, adding a combined row at each color transition.

When the hat is long enough for you taste, start reducing, alternating colors if you wish. I finished up with just the teal again.

Knit 2 together, knit 12 for one row (don’t worry if it’s not a complete set on the row)
Knit 2 together, knit 11 for one row
Knit 2 together, knit 10 for one row
Knit 2 together, knit 9 for one row
Knit 2 together, knit 8 for one row
Knit 2 together, knit 7 for one row
Knit 2 together, knit 6 for one row
Knit 2 together, knit 5 for one row
Knit 2 together, knit 4 for one row – Here I had to switch over to 4 double point needles
Knit 2 together, knit 3 for one row
Knit 2 together, knit 2 for one row
Knit 2 together, knit 1 for one row
Cast off, pulling the top of the hat closed.

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Knit and Purl: February

This moth I decided to try to knit a hat on circular needles.  I also learned how to do K2Together as my stitch of the month.  Not very difficult, but when combined with the circular needles, knitting in the round and finishing on double point needles it was plenty for me.  I need to work on getting the joined sections together more attractively.

Striped Stocking Capphoto of hat

Materials:

  • I used cashmere that I unwound from a sweater and dyed with Kool-Aid.  I had both red and violet.
  • Size 10 US 16 inch circular needles
  • Size 10 US double pointed needles (Change to double points when the stitches no longer fit on the circular needles)

Instructions

Cast 78 stitches of the primary color on to the circular needle.  Making sure the stitches are all on the inside of the circular needle, join the stitches and mark the beginning of round.
Create 3.5″ of ribbing using knit 2, purl 2.
Starting with the secondary color, create 5.5″ of stockinette by knitting every round on the circular needles.  Alternate colors every 5 rows.

Set 1: Primary Color
Row 1: With Primary: K2tog, K11; repeat
Row 2: Knit all
Row 3: K2tog, K10; repeat
Row 4: Knit all
Row 5: K2tog, K9; repeat (60 stitches)

Set 2: Secondary Color
Row 1: Knit all
Row 2: *K2tog, K8; repeat (54 stitches)
Row 3, 4 and 5: Knit all

Set 3: Primary Color
Row 1: Knit all
Row 2: *K2tog, K7; repeat (48 stitches)
Row 3, 4 and 5: Knit all

Set 4: Primary Color
Row 1: Knit all
Row 2: *K2tog, K6; repeat (42 stitches)
Row 3, 4 and 5: Knit all

Set 5: Primary Color
Row 1: Knit all
Row 2: *K2tog, K5; repeat (36 stitches)
Row 3, 4 and 5: Knit all

Set 6: Primary Color
Row 1: Knit all
Row 2: *K2tog, K4; repeat (30 stitches)
Row 3, 4 and 5: Knit all

Set 3: Primary Color
Row 1: Knit all
Row 2: *K2tog, K3; repeat (24 stitches)
Row 3, 4 and 5: Knit all

Set 3: Primary Color
Row 1: Knit all
Row 2: *K2tog, K2; repeat (18 stitches)
Row 3, 4 and 5: Knit all

Cut the yarn to about 8 inches.

Make the Braid And Tassel

Cut 12 strands of yarn approximately 24″ in length. Fold in half and braid. Make the free ends into a tassel.  Thread trough the hole in the top of the hat so that it is on the right side.
Cut the yarn and thread it through tapestry needle. Slip stitches through stitches on the hat (don’t forget to thread through the traded tassel) and pull tightly to close top of hat.

Posted in 2014, Knitting | Leave a comment

Knit-Purl Knitting

I am a beginning knitter.  I can cast on, knit, purl and cast off.  Over the course of this year I hope to choose a new skill each month and add a new pattern each month.  My goal for the year is to make each of my boys a hat for next Christmas, fight now all I can make are scarves.

January Pattern  IMG_2741

I found this pattern as part of a baby blanket and modified it for a scarf.  I used #10 bamboo needles.

First, I cast on 52 stitches

rows 1-16:  k52
row 17: k8 p6 k4 p6 k4 p6 k8
row 18: k52
row 19: k8 p6 k4 p6 k4 p6 k8
row 20: k52
row 21: k8 p6 k4 p6 k4 p6 k8
row 22: k52
row 23: k8 p6 k4 p6 k4 p6 k8
row 24: k52
row 25: k8 p6 k4 p6 k4 p6 k8
row 26: k52
row 27: k8 p6 k4 p6 k4 p6 k8
row 28: k52IMG_2740
row 29: k52
row 30: k52
row 31: k52
row 32: k52
row 33: k52
row 34: k52

repeat rows 17-34 until you have the length you would like

finish with 16 rows of k52

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Dyeing Wool: the Kool-Aid Way

yarnsA few weeks ago I found a lovely cashmere cardigan at the local thrift store for under $10.00.  What makes it special is the gauge of the yarn, it is very think compared to all of the other cashmere sweaters I had found. I unraveled it and have five nice batches of yarn to use.  Now for the down side.  The sweater, and therefor the yarn, is a really unattractive shade of pink – very similar to Pepto Bismol.

I had read a few things about dyeing yarn and was not sure the dye would take at all, but I decided to go for it after finding information about dyeing animal fibers with unsweetened Kool-Aid. I do have to say that I am no photographer and these yarns are much prettier in person. The whole process was, cheap, easy, fun and sticklers – I’m hooked.

I purchased 10 packets of Kool-Aid for $2.50 and dove right in.  I simmered water in an enamel pot and added 3 packets of Black Cherry Kool-Aid.  After wetting down the yarn, being careful not to agitate (and felt) the yarn, I dunked it into the dye pot.  In a few minutes the color had completely disappeared from the dye pot and I wanted a more intense color so I added 2 more packets of Fruit Punch.  I “cooked” the yarn at a low simmer for 10 minutes then turned off the heat and allowed the yarn to cool to room temperature.  I rinsed the yarn in luke warm water with a drop of dish soap (again, don’t agitate) and followed with clear water.  Then I just squeezed out the excess water and hung it to dry.  The variations in colors are due to the later addition of the dye as well as the skein being tied together in several places – I really like it.

IMG_2738

Black Cherry and Tropical Punch

For the violet yarn, I started with the same pink cashmere, added grape Kool Aid and then a few drops of blue food color. The citric acid in the Kool Aid helps the dyes in both the mix and the food color adhere to the yarn.

Grape with a few drops of blue food color.

Grape with a few drops of blue food color.

The last batch was cream colored wool dyed with 3 packs of Orange and 2 packs of Cherry. I used so much so I would get a vibrant color. The photo show the yarn still wet.

Orange and Cherry

Orange and Cherry

Kenton was unimpressed

Kenton was unimpressed

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Turkey 2013 7.0

3:23 pm
1 hour 37 minutes to go…..

The potatoes are peeled and in the pot on the stove.  I think I’ll turn on the heat about 3:45-ish.

DH helped set the tables.  The serving dishes are all out on the buffet.  The chairs have moved in and the dog is napping in the recliner.

I still have no idea what’s happening with the turkey, maybe I’ll send DH up to check on it.

I’ve changed out of my flour-infused clothing into something comfortable but presentable because DH’s side of the family often shows up very early – no worries – the more the merrier.

More to come – photos too…….

Posted in November 2013 | Leave a comment

Turkey 2013 6.0

1:56pm
3 hours 4 minutes to go…..

Now I’m feeling like I’m too far ahead….weird?  Oh well

The turkey is still in the hands of my MIL.

The pies are all finished and cooling on the table.

The crock pots are chugging away on low with stuffing and sweet potatoes.

The green beans are blanched and cooling in ice water before heading to the refrigerator until I finish them on the stove with almonds and butter.

 

Still to come:  mashed potatoes, gravy, rolls (ok in a panic I asked DH to pick up Heat-n-Serve.  I was afraid the oven was going to give me too much trouble)…….

Posted in November 2013 | Leave a comment

Turkey 2013 5.0

12:15pm
4 hours 45 minutes to go…….

The turkey just went up to my MIL house to roast.  Our oven is acting up and I really don’t want turkey problems.  I rinsed off the buttermilk brine, dryer her well, stuffed in a few lemons, oranges, onions and celery,  trussed the legs, rubbed a bit of leftover bacon grease from breakfast on her, added a little stock and butter to the roasting pan and sent her up over the hill with DH.

The apple pie is in the oven at 425 degrees for 10 minutes.  After that, I’ll lower the temperature to 350 degrees for another hour or until done.

  • 6 Granny Smith apples
  • 3/4 cup castor sugar
  • 2 T cornstarch
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1/2 t nutmeg
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/2 t chai tea spice

The kitchen is cleaned up and dishes done.  Time for a half hour rest.  After that I need to prep green beans, peel potatoes, make chocolate ganache with DS-14…..

……more soon

Posted in November 2013 | Leave a comment