Monday, March 28, 2016

March is going out .............

Really exciting!

Yep ... I have been counting down to the R-Day.  Retirement Day!!  And now .... it is almost here.  March 31st!!! 

We are sort of excited to now have our weekends ..... everyday of the week.

Except .... for the last couple of years .... our weekends have been so crammed with the To-Do Lists, it has been difficult to have a life. 

We love our home.  (Most of the time!  Remodeling reminds us of all of her issues!)  We love our business here on the farm.  And we love our lifestyle of canning, gardening, sewing and making do.  But it all takes a lot more time than running to the grocery store and picking up supper.

Hopefully, now time will be more balanced.  Honey has much better time/management skills than I do.  (I get a phone call and suddenly laundry is forgotten and I am on to a different project!!!)

So we are excited to spend more time with the people we love and care about. 

But most of all, we are excited to spend more time with each other.

Now .... for a kitchen update.

There is still a lot to do on the kitchen but it is becoming more functional everyday.  The floor is down but there is one doorway to complete with new thresholds and the quarter round needs to be painted and put in place.




The dishwasher is now in place and Honey started cutting the sink base to hold the farmhouse sink.  As you can see it currently sits too high. 





There is one last cut to make .... and it will sit perfectly into place. 

After watch you-tube videos .... making a template .... taping the template in place ..... making one cut .... and another .... and sanding down the back of the cabinet ...... there are some "clean-out" cuts to make with the dremel tool so it sits nicely in place.


The next step is to put the fillers in the corner. 

But up to now .... the sink base has gone in. 
The sink base has come out. 
The sink base has gone in. 
The sink base has come out.

You really need those fillers when you are using full overlay cabinets.  That means the cabinet doors completely cover the face frames.  As it is ..... with 2 -3/4" on the cream side and 2-7/8" filler on the green side ...... the drawer above the garbage barely clears the front of the farmhouse sink by a 1/2".

The next section of cabinets will probably go in next week. 




Next to the stove will be my bank of wall cabinets.  The range hood will sit beneath a cream cabinet and then the baking center will be to the right of the stove.

The baking center is a 54" bank of base and wall cabinets in green like the sink base.  The wall cabinets are taller and deeper than normal (15" deep and 33" high) and will feature restoration glass doors.  The Base cabinets will have roll out trays to hold cake, bread  and pie pans. 

It hopefully will look more like a piece of furniture with its flush toe and bead board back.  It will have glass knobs on the doors and glass pulls on the drawers.  And it will have an oak butcherblock top that will be perfect for kneading bread dough and rolling out pastry.

Like I ever roll out pastry.

Isn't that what Pillsbury is for???????

So that is the kitchen and retirement up date! 

Later ..... update on seed planting and what is new in the garden!

Friday, March 11, 2016

This is no April Fools Joke ..........

On March 31, dear Honey retires his "pretty pants", computer program, pocket protector and in the old days, slide rule and starts his new gig as Head Groundskeeper and Chief Maintenance Officer for Miss Eff's.

The pay is lousy ..... pto  (paid time off) is non-existent ..... the best benefit we have is a great view of other people's land.

BUT ..... we do know how to throw a party!!!

So in honor of Honey's new job ..... Iowa Ingredient decided to put us on the show on April 1st!!!

OK .... maybe it is time for a reality check .... last summer Iowa Ingredient came out and filmed a segment for the "On the Side" segment and they just happen to be airing it on April 1 and 2nd.



Here is a shot from the filming last summer ..... I can. not. wait. for my garden to be that green again!!!!

We will be at the very end of the show featuring Maple Syrup.  Hang in to the very end and you may get a glimpse of the new groundskeeper.

Until then ..... this is what you will see when you come out to the farm this summer .....




I've had some really great people working here in the past .... but I have to say, this will be the BEST employee ever.

And I get the benefits!!! 

Monday, March 7, 2016

Just a note .... and a flooring lesson.

Work continues on the kitchen .... as it will for at least another month.  We are beginning to see the end ..... now we are putting things back together.  But the to-do list is still very very long.

As you can see in previous posts, the walls were a sage green.  A Martha Stewart color that also matched the color of our Auracana chicken eggs. (Martha picked many of her colors to match the eggs from her chickens.)

But I decided I needed a lighter and brighter kitchen so I chose this time, a pale gold that looks cream at some times and tan at others .... Sherwin Williams Blonde.




Now that all the walls are painted, it looks much warmer and brighter.

This weekend Honey started putting down the floor.  We used a DIY product made by Forbo called Click.
It is a true linoleum, made of wood flour, pine resin and linseed oil. 

Now .... if you are younger than 60 .... you may think that the vinyl floor that your mother had was linoleum.  It wasn't.  True linoleum hasn't really been in the flooring industry since the mid-1960's. It was there ... basically in Europe and used in high end commercial applications but sales weren't focused at homeowners.   At that time, the industry went toward a no-wax floor that maintained its shine.  It was a petroleum based product .... vinyl flooring.

It could easily tear and because it was much softer than linoleum, it would show dents and heel marks.  The industry then embossed it so it would hide that defect. And it did stay shiny ... but over time, you would have to re-apply polish.

We tore up an existing vinyl floor and its sub-floor 16 years ago and found the original fir flooring.  After sanding it and then painting it, I had a wood floor in my kitchen. Unfortunately, 120 years took its toll .... and the floor splintered and the tongue (of the tongue and groove) started breaking apart.

Our back door walks immediately into the kitchen ... right from the garden and the chicken coop.  I wish I could say that we always kick off our shoes ..... but we don't.  I bake a lot so flour dusts the floor and tomato canning season (or jamming!) leaves sticky traces around the stove and island.

Yea .... as much as I wanted a wood floor .... it doesn't cut it with my lifestyle.

I wanted something really easy to clean ...... but ceramic tile did not give that 1890 feel to the room.  And if you haven't figured it out yet .... I am somewhat of a purist when it comes to restoring this old girl.  My house has to be livable (and I am SUPER excited about having my very first dishwasher ever!) ..... but I want you to remember your grandmother's house when you walk in the door.  Linoleum fits the bill as it was a common household flooring in the Victorian era, dating since the 1870's. 

Click is a floating floor so you start out by leaving 3/8" away from the wall for expansion.  Honey dropped a chalk line and the floor was pretty straight. 


The wall was not.  So it varies from 3/8" to 3/4" from the wall ..... quarter round will cover the gap and makes the floor lay flat.

The first couple of rows were a little tough.  But after row number 3, Honey was moving right along.



You can see how much lighter the new floor is. 


I am really excited as I think the island looks much nicer and becomes more of a focal point in the room.  I think it blended into the "dark" and wasn't as pretty as it could have been.  It will help that there is more storage and the island will not be filled to maximum capacity!!!!

Progress will go a little slower this week as I have four classes to teach and Honey hasn't quite retired yet. 

OK .... he is still putting in his time.  I'm not sure how much work is getting done!  ;)

But the cabinets will be delivered on Wednesday so we should start installing a few of them next weekend.

That is this week's kitchen update.  Wait for the celebration that will happen when I have a kitchen sink again!!!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Political Rant Ahead ..............

I swore I wasn't going to talk politics ever ever again.

But again .... I was wrong and I can no longer keep my mouth shut.  If you have known me for any length of time ... you know that to be true.  I wasn't called Chatty Cathy for nothing!

I grew up attending and belonging to a small Presbyterian church. 

Note ... Presbyterian.  The same denomination as the leading Republican Presidential candidate.

Now .... I have to admit that the Presbyterian Church has a tendency to be more liberal than many other denominations.   In 1971, the Presbyterian Church donated $10,000 to Angela Davis's defense for her trial. Maybe not the best use of church funds but in light of the 1960's racial struggles and some of the inequities across the country ..... the leaders of the national presbytery made the decision.

But back to my story .........

I am remember at the age of four .... walking into a brown shingled church and down the stairs to the basement.  I am not sure what the smell was .... but there was a smell that was distinctly "church".

The furnace was tucked into the corner.  And on the back wall, there were cupboards that held Sunday School papers and communion supplies.

There was a large sandbox with toys.  And flannel boards that told the stories of Moses and Daniel and Jonah.

And there were the hymns.

And the very first song I learned was this ..................

 
 Jesus loves the little children
All the children of the world
Red and yellow, black and white
They're all precious in His sight
Jesus loves the little children of the world


Yep.

Red and yellow, black and white.

Not white only.  Not yellow only.  Not black only.  Not red only.

Red and yellow, black and white. 

Jesus loves the little children of the world.

In this fantastic country of ours.  In the year 2016 .... we have a whole bunch of "Christians" threatening to "carpet bomb" women and children.  We have candidates threatening people because of their religion and now, hate groups are endorsing candidates with little or no reaction from the candidate.

It is time to go back to Sunday School.

And listen.

And learn.

And love.

(Please don't leave ANY comments.  Whether positive or negative, all comments will be deleted.  I just want you to think.  And to sing the first hymn you learned.  You need to decide if your vote matches the faith that you had as a child.)