Friday, July 31, 2015

Rebeling Against Old Sayings

Have you heard this ......

Life is what happens when you are making other plans.

Well -- I certainly hope not cuz all I have been doing lately is making plans.  And trying to put them into action ... in little ways.

Our lives will be changing very soon.  In less than 8 months maximum, Honey is retiring!  (Cue the bands and the cheering crowds!!!)  To say I am excited is an understatement. Ecstatic ... Elated ... Euphoric may also be included.

You heard some of the kitchen plans.

Now ... it is time for some of Miss Eff's plans.

One of my goals is to give a sense of place and privacy to our home.  If you explore 19th century architecture in rural communities, you don't find wide open spaces around the house.

This is our house in 1927 ..... the photo I have shown 15 billion times .... but notice the fence.

Here is another picture ........ that I stole from this site.  It is interesting reading and it is totally why we live very successfully without air conditioning.

There is a sense of enclosure.

And that is what is missing from our home.  A sense of enclosure and privacy.

So I have been working with Susan Anderson from Urban Eden to create a historically appropriate landscape plan for the house. 

As I told her .... I want it to look like a flower farmer lives here.

I am trying to a develop a sense of public and private spaces on the farm without huge signs that say "Stay out!  This is mine!" or gates that lock people out.  Susan has come up with a wonderful plan.  I won't share it with you until I have time to go over it with Honey ..... we always have to think and mull over ideas.

I will share some of the new plants that will be going in the garden this fall for next year's cutting ....... maybe.

First of all ......... I ordered this new peony.

photo courtesy of Van Engelen

They describe it as very fragrant and watermelon-colored.  YUM! 

I am trying to fill a time gap that I have in early June.  So I am working on some new planting techniques and some new plants.

Alliums are some of them.  I ordered Purple Sensation allium.  Tall with 4" blooms, they should be a nice addition to bouquets without being as over-powering. (Yet nothing is as spectacular as Globemaster which get 10" blooms!)

Photo courtesy of White Flower Farm

We also have more lilies, more peonies and more bulbs coming in this fall to plant.  And next spring .... ROSES!!!!!!

The plans are going into place now ... but in a few weeks ..... there will be a lot of life going on!!!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Kitchen Make-Over ..........

You have heard me talk about a kitchen make-over for .............. say, 2 years now.

You are lucky.  My poor sweet honey has heard about it for 19 years.

Yea .... you can feel sorry for him.

But it is happening.  Not until December but it is happening.  Between Christmas and New Years.  Because Honey is off work then and he doesn't have to mow in December.  If it snows .... he will get more done.

And if you want to ask us out to eat in the above mentioned time frame .... we will gladly accept your invitation.  Unless I go over budget ......... and then I will accept a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to go.

But between now and November ... a lot of decisions have to be made.  And I have made a few!

Today ... we will talk cabinets door styles and stain colors.

There were several things on "the list" that I considered important.

1) I wanted an all-wood cabinet.
2) I wanted 3/4" solid wood drawer box with dovetailed sides.
3) I wanted full-extension glides on the drawers.
4) And I wanted the "look".

Number four has been the tough one to accomplish.

Oh wait ..... then there was the budget.  But I did come within a reasonable range.  OK ... we came really close to nailing it!!!

So I decided on a company named Kabinart. They make a solid wood cabinet and I am happy with the quality.

 I chose a maple door with a recessed panel....... called Hampton.  I am doing painted finishes throughout .... this is a lovely ivory color that will be on the majority of base cabinets.  It is just a shade lighter than the Sherwin Williams "Blonde" paint that is on the walls.  We will also be painting two existing wall cabinets to match.

Then I am mixing it up a bit with another door style that will be on a baking center.   The door has a bead board insert.  And we are putting bead board on the back of these cabinets and the backsplash.  I want it to look like a piece of furniture.

There will be restoration glass in the wall cabinets.  Restoration glass is old style hand blown glass.  It is wavy and bubbly and perfect for my old house.

The cabinets in the baking center will be a light green (Willow) with a coffee glaze over it.  The door style is called .......Cottage.  Yea ... it fits.

The sink base will also be the willow green.  I think it will be nice with the farmhouse sink.

Now to move on to other matters..... floor, hardware, faucets and countertop.  Might be a while as I am struggling to find exactly what I want for the price I want to pay.  Yea ..... I will tell you about it as I figure it all out

But you knew that already!  ;)

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The perfect diet .......

Or .... don't read while eating.

A few weeks ago, my boss at Scott Community College informed me that they needed more instructors for the ServSafe program.

ServSafe is the food sanitation program that is needed to work in more and more schools, hospitals, nursing homes and  restaurants.

Teaching the class gives me another chance to grow and learn .... and make some money.  So I was willing to go through the program.

THEN .... I get the call a couple of weeks ago.

We have a class starting on Monday.  Can you take it?  

Uhhhhhhh ........ it's July.  I have started with some canning.  And the weeds are reaching critical level.  And do I have the brain power to study and memorize right this very moment??

So on July 20 -- I settled behind a desk for 6 hours of instruction.   

And I did it again this past Monday.

I studied and studied.  I learned about e.coli and botulism.  I learned about hand-washing and equipment problems.  And I learned to use a thermometer .... over and over again.

I had Honey quiz me on terms and bacterias and parasites.

And then it was time to take  the exam ....................

And everything I studied flew out the window!!!!!  (Not really .... but I don't know the results of my test yet.)

Until this morning .... and I read this article.

 Cyclosporiasis!!!!  Symptoms include vomiting, stomach cramps, substantial weight loss ... etc, etc.

Yea ..... I might be living off water for a while!

Oh wait!!!!!  Contaminated water can cause e.coli or cryptosporidum or shigella!!


OK -- I might be living on love!  ;)