Thursday, September 30

A New Dresser

One of the things on my list for the Master bedroom was a new dresser for me. We originally had two chest of drawers and the look was never right to me. I though a more feminine piece would balance out some of the other pieces in the room. I looked and looked all spring and summer for something that would work. Then when my Mom was here visiting at the beginning of the month I came across this piece at the local thrift store. It was 10.00 and of course is a buffet for a dining room. I felt it was perfect for what I wanted in the bedroom. A little different, a little unexpected, and very feminine. It was rather dated with it's yellowed finish so I painted and glazed it to coordinate with the chest of drawers that was staying in the space. 175  I love how it turned out! It sits at the end of the bed and is one of the first things you see when you enter the space. I have plans for the display on the dresser and a mirror to go above it. I just wanted to share that I got something completely done to the point it can be used. It doesn't always happen. :)068060 I love the curvy details of the top.062I decided to keep the original hardware as it also coordinates well with the other pieces in the room, and finding hardware with a  3 1/2 inch center for a reasonable price can take forever!063Everything fits so nicely inside and I have room for more. I did wonder a bit at first if I would like shelves verses all drawers as is standard in a bedroom piece. It turns out I love the shelves, its so easy to find what I need and keep it all organized. It also makes less noise to open the door and therefore I don't wake my husband when I come to bed.066Now to get the mirror finished.

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Tuesday, September 28

Happy Birthday Miles

Miles In Tank Top  Picking Pumpkins 5
Miles Birthday Party (24)    Miles In Moose Shirt (1)
Miles and Toothy
Miles with Razor
September 2009 217
Happy Birthday to my first born son! Time goes so fast I can hardly believe you are 9 years old today. You are so special to me and I  am so thankful God allowed me to be your Momma!

Monday, September 27



3 quarts green beans

3 pounds broccoli

12 quarts spaghetti sauce

1 pint dried jalapeƱo peppers

2 pounds yellow squash

And I thought I would not have any work to do yesterday! The season is winding down but there is still lots coming in and the shelves are filling up. I am looking forward to the end of the season and some rest.

Sunday, September 26

Apples, Apples, Everywhere

Yesterday we canned applesauce. I purchased 5 bushels of apples and made 88 quarts of sauce. It took us 10 hours from start to finish and we realized, It. Is. Not. Enough. Sigh. So back to the orchard I go for two more bushels sometime this week or next. We use applesauce for sweetener around here. My children love it in their oatmeal, on their pumpkin muffins, for a snack, and I use it in cooking in place of oil in some recipes. We go through a LOT of sauce and they will not eat store bought sauce, even the organic no sugar added. Food snobs they have become. :) Thankfully they love making applesauce, it is one of the things they look forward to doing all year. It ranks right up there with Christmas and birthdays! I'm still trying to figure that one out, I mean making sauce involves a lot of work and a lot of sticky mess!027 014First we wash and cut the apples into pieces. This was Fiona's first year to cut. She was quite excited to be able to share this job with the boys.  039We then cook the apples until they are soft in large stock pots. Then we put them through the food strainer.  Yummy applesauce comes out one side and the skins and seeds come out the other. We run the skins through a couple of times to make sure to get out all of the sauce.  This is by far one of the best tools for sauce, without it the process would take forever to make this much at once!032033  Many hands make the work go faster and more enjoyable. You can wee we pulled in the kitchen table to be close to the stove. It also helps to contain the stickiness to a smaller area. 040 Here are all the jars waiting to be washed and put on the shelf for winter. Such a wonderful sight! I love looking at all that work lined up waiting to be eaten. 050

Monday, September 20

What is wrong with this picture?

My cat loves to eat flies. Its like they are her dessert, and she prefers to catch them herself, alive. I believe that is why she jumped into the open cabinet and made herself at home. There are plenty of flies in the kitchen despite our attempts to control them. It's a side effect of living in the country and not having a good screen door. 176From now on I'll make sure the cabinets stay closed, at least most of the dishes were dirty at the time. Who know I would be thankful for dirty dishes one day?!

Friday, September 17

An organized basement

One of the big projects my Mom and I accomplished in the last two weeks was the basement. While it was partially organized it had piles of  things in the walkways that I had gotten lazy about and not put away. It also had furniture waiting to me moved around to be used effectively for sewing and crafting storage. Crafting storage is a new addition to the basement, I needed a place for fabrics, sewing machines, a cutting table, and all those craft supplies and unfinished projects! Warning! Lots of photos.
Earlier this week I finished painting the playroom side of the basement. The bright cheerful color makes it feel so much brighter and warmer down there. Our little library keeps growing and I am going to add another shelf when I make it to IKEA again. We also have the most read and used books upstairs in the school room. The toys are stored in the crated along the bottom. I think they are from the Container Store, we have had them for at least 8 years.005I added a couple of maps to the wall and moved the movie storage next to the TV. We don't have cable and only watch movies every now and then, but it makes sense to keep them where they are used. 006This is the storage side for Holiday Decorations, and clothing, I am planning on curtaining it off soon. That's another project. :)  My husband's desk is also here, he does work from home every now and then so it is nice to have a place where it is quiet. We stay upstairs on those days. 007This is the area of the biggest change. We continued the flooring all the way through this area also. It is so much warmer and comfortable on your feet! I purchased the old farm table at a sale for 30.00. I lift up the other leaf when I need the space for cutting out dress patterns or other large and messy projects.012This is across from the sewing area. It is the "new",  craft cabinet and decorative storage. Both of these pieces of furniture were originally somewhere else and no longer needed. This shelf helps me see everything easily and actually use it for decorating.I plan to use the bulletin board to pin up decor and sewing ideas, it was just sitting in a corner before. The picture frames on the right are for a projects and the ones on the left are waiting for concrete screws so I can hang them up in the basement.011My little sewing nook has everything I need all in one spot. It will be so nice to work here and watch the children play.016This part of the shelving unit, which is from IKEA holds a few more decorating things, cake decorating, painting, gift wrap, candles, and some seasonal items. I cleaned out everything we don't use and ended up with an extra shelf for the food stuffs.014This is the canning and appliance storage side. It holds much of our food for the winter. The empty jars are all waiting for applesauce which I will be doing in a week or so. 013This is where I store the appliances and canning pots, although they are still upstairs being used! I have crock pots, an ice cream maker, pressure cooker and canner, roasting pan, food strainer, smoker, cider press, dehydrator, and other things I only use occasionally or seasonally. Our kitchen just isn't big enough to hold all of these big items.015This is where I keep my fabrics in the dresser, and more frames that go in the children's rooms. Hopefully soon my husband will add another outlet so I can have the stereo to use and the fridge will not have to have an extension cord running across the floor. Now that I painted the children's side, I really want to paint this section also. I think it will brighten it up too, anything to make it look less like a unfinished basement. 010I just love coming downstairs and seeing it all organized! As I finish up the last few things I want to do, I'll share those also.017I hope I didn't bore you will all the photos!

Thursday, September 16

The last days of summer

A little bit of swimming,181 A little bit of bike riding,132A little bit of watching the cars drive by, 198 and a sweet treat to end the season. 146141147 Good by summer, it has been another season full of great memories!

Wednesday, September 15

Cream of Mushroom soup

I know it's been forever since I have posted a recipe. Time just seems to fly faster every day!  Here is a homemade version of what is still considered a pantry staple for so many. We choose to make everything from scratch to avoid BPA, additives, and excessive amounts of salt.  This is so easy to make, tastes so much better,and you can even make up batches ahead of time and freeze it if you want the convenience that you would have from a can. It will separate a bit when you thaw it but if you are adding it to a casserole or crock pot meal it won't matter.
You will need:
1 Tablespoon butter
3 Tablespoons flour
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup milk
4 ounces sliced mushrooms
pepper to taste
Melt butter in saucepan, whisk in flour until smooth, remove from heat. Add broth and milk, whisking to keep smooth. Add mushrooms.
Return to heat and bring sauce to boil, whisk until sauce thickens, add pepper to taste.

Opa's are the best!

Lest you think all we did was work when my parents visited here is proof we had fun too! My Dad was only able to stay a few days, he is a veterinary pathologist at Virginia Tech and was running out of vacation time. The children love having him here, they rode bikes that he fixed up for them, pulled them around in the wagon, read stories, made them breakfast, played games, and listened to all their ramblings and silly stories. What more could you want form an Opa? He is the best!119129134138126135Can't wait to see you again at Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, September 14

Laundry Room Shelves

I know, I know, I promised pictures of the garage, unfortunately we were not able to get it all finished and I have a few more things to do before I share it with you all. Instead here is a look at another project that was on our list.

This is my laundry room closet. I didn't take a before picture but just imagine a closet with one little shelf and hanging rod, your typical builder closet. It was completely useless for the type of storage I need it for. Our laundry room is a very small narrow space which means their is no room for big bulky things as you have to walk through the room to get to the garage.216My mom and I customized the shelves to fit everything just perfect, especially the shelf for the griddle, its so big and never had a home before. I love it that everyone can put it away without my help! 217  I used storage containers I all ready had on hand. The metal bins are from IKEA and the wooden crates I picked up at a barn sale for a dollar each. So far I'm storing everything that was sitting on the floor waiting for a home, cleaning supplies, light bulbs, rags, and my husband's cereal, etc. I will add some labels after I am certain this is the way I want it to be. I like to live with it a while before I commit to labels.218 We also added two half shelves way up at the top for winter/rain boots and other things that are seasonal. I love that I am able to use so much of the closet, before there was a lot of wasted space. 215 This project enabled us to rip out the rest of the vinyl floor from the addition we did to add a bit more space for the washer and dryer. I love the glue spotted floor so much better than the curled up vinyl that was there before. It means progress is being made, even if it is slow!216 I have so much more to share! It seems that we kept adding to the list of things to do. My husband has an hour and thirty minute commute one way. He is just to tired and to busy to use up his family time on projects. I was feeling quite overwhelmed with all that needed to be done. So when I heard my parents were coming and Mom could stay for two weeks I knew this was my chance. Two adults and a break from schooling and we were able to get so much done!. We not only cleaned out the garage, but the basement also. We took 4 truck loads of stuff to the good will and I have another load almost ready. It feels so good to get rid of the excess and organize everything else. 208 Thank you Mom for all you help!


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