Tuesday, September 2, 2014

[insert door metaphor here]

Today is the start of fall.  Yes, I know that the weather is still as summery as yesterday.  AND that autumn doesn't technically start for weeks.   But for those of us whose employment follows the traditional American school year?   The first day back to school = fall.  The bairns don't return to the rigor of formal education until Thursday, but for me, it's today.   Sooooo...  I was going to whip up some sort of fab-O metaphor about portals to new....   this -- or doorways to the future.... blah.....   but it's 6:00am and I should actually be gathering myself to go to work, so cook it up yourself.

And furthermore, get off my lawn!

[ahem.  sorry.]

The good news is: we spent yesterday afternoon up at The Log House.  The BETTER news is that we put in the new front door.  YES WE DID!!   (and by "we," as always, I mean Bob and FIL Jim)

Sometimes, what makes it possible to build your own home ... er... freehand ...  is that you use "found" materials as you go along.  In this case, the found material is the front door we've been using for a few years.

Hey, it was free.
I asked The Hubs last night how we came to have a random extra old steel door lying around.  Apparently, a family friend got it from a store that was replacing it and gave it to my Father-in-Law Jim.  Thus -- free door.

But, rusty old free steel door NO MORE!   Okay, well, not on the front entrance.  It's just getting moved around to the rear entrance for the musicians and vagrants to use.   No, sorry.  That can't be right.  I mean for dashing out in the freezing cold winter to feed the wood boiler.   At least, it'll grace the back door until we can convince the children to give us all their lemonade stand earnings so we can afford another door.  Do you KNOW how expensive quality exterior doors are?   I nigh unto had a stroke when we priced them.  

But I digress.

Here's the old door gone:

Looking out

With a really handsome dude

Sorry, kids.  No college.  We got ourselves a nice front door.

So, usually, when there's work going on up at The Log House, I either hear about it after it's done and run up and take pictures, or take some before and after shots and in the meantime, go about my business.  

But in this case, I stayed for the whole thing.  Because -- well, how long can it take to put in a new door?

Hour ONE.

Apparently, I forgot that it was being installed in a hand-hewn log home.  AND that I have no concept of such things.  Because:  dang.

Four hours later, it's in.  Well, no casing.  And there's an area over the door that needs to be filled in....  but whatever.

Look who's being helpful!  That's right:  me.  

Nice door, eh?

The time we waited while the sausage was being made...  er... I mean, the door was being installed, wasn't entirely wasted though:

The Girl made good use of the new carpet.

Wanna come knock on our new door and pretend like we live there NOW?   'Cause I'm pretending that, too.  

Well, after I pretend that I'm ready for a new school year.  Yeah.  Pretending that too.

Friday, August 15, 2014


No, I didn't forget we're supposed to be building a log house.  At least, I remembered this week and spent some time up at The House doing this and that.   "Hey!  What a nice lookin' log house someone's building here.  Sure wish I had a....  waaait a minute!  WE'RE building a log house!"

I'm so used to a rather .... er, glacial pace on this house build, that when stuff happens quickly I'm all kinds of taken aback.   For example, The Hubs and I cleared out the assorted stuff that had begun to accumulate in the first floor bedroom (like paint cans and spools of wire and stair treads, etc), re-measured and purchased carpeting on Wednesday.  Y'know:  just for fun.

Now, Bob can and has installed carpet, but a man knows his strengths, and we decided to hire the installation out this time.  Thinking it would be several many weeks before the carpet installer could fit us in, we called last night to at least get on his calendar...  and he said, "How about tomorrow morning?"  [Cue Anne's heart attack.]   Apparently, he just finished a big job that he had anticipated taking a full week, and was left with an unscheduled Friday.  Woo-hoo!  

So, bright and early this morning, we met him up at The Log House:

Thanks, Steve!

What's the first thing to do after new carpet installation?

Zen meditation?

With skipping?

And horsey rides?

I'd say the carpeted floor is a winner.  Want to come skip around yourself?

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Homemade quill and blueberry ink

What do you do with too many old frozen blueberries and a serendipitous crow feather on a lazy Sunday night?

Yes.  2011.  And it wasn't alone in there....  

Turn the feather into a writing quill and make blueberry ink, of course.  Duh.

I thought it was inspired; The Husband thought I was a little crazy to be so excited about a dodgy old crow feather I plucked from the muddy ground.  He was also a little skeezed out to be honest, so I washed the feather as soon as we got home.

To hasten the juicing of the berries, I dumped a few frozen beauties into a glass bowl and microwaved them for a minute, then smooshed them.  It only takes a little bit of juice to make ink, so now I have a bunch of lukewarm mushy berries sitting around.  Ah well.

The Hubs has a bunch of these sheathed razor blades from his days as an aviation electrician, so I cut the tip of the feather with that AND DIDN'T EVEN CUT MYSELF.  It's a minor miracle.  Don't forget to cut both at an angle and a tiny vertical cut at the point.

Sneaky me slipped in a little history lesson with The Girl and GirlCousin while they thought they were having fun writing with the quill.  Heh heh heh!   (Cue pompous lecture-voice:   "Well, girls, you see... blah blah blotting paper...  yadda yadda blotting sand....")

Truthfully, I was entertained by the whole process much longer than the were the children.

But The Boy wrote this, not I.  Really!

After a the ink/blueberry juice dries, it turns from reddish-purple to a pretty navy blue.

If your inner nerd is as jazzed about a gross old feather and a few tablespoons of staining fruit juice as is mine, give it a try!   Tots easy.   Annnnd makes me want to go read Jane Austen.  Again.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Garden bounty


Pop's cup  --er, garden-- overfloweth

The Girl and GirlCousin pick sugar peas

My own Little Sal "guards" the day's vegetables.  By "guard" she clearly means EAT.

The day's haul. (After sharing with friends!)  Bounty, indeed.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Rogue Pea-Eater

I thought I could pick a few early sugar snap peas from Pop's garden yesterday and add them to a salad or something....    but the dangerous Rogue Pea-Eater got to them first.

"What happened to all the peas?!!"
"I'm just sitting here talking to the peas.  Welllll....  to tell the truth:  I ate them."

I ended up with FIVE.

*sigh*  At least she's a good vegetable-eating thief.

Pop the Farmer, himself.

Oh heyyyy.  Looky here!

It's summery growing goodness!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

More Summer!

It was a hard winter.  But this summer is making up for it!

 Pop's garden is bursting at the seams:

Pea plants as tall as The Boy


What?  Doesn't everyone have peas in their car console?

The Girl and my parents and I went for a hike on Friday.  It's one of our favorite hikes, back to a little rapids and waterfall.

And now we're overrun with cousins.

It's a great summer.