29 July 2013

Call Me Captain Destructo

Call me
Captain Destructo.
(My super power?  Demolition).
I knew there would be more than enough work to do when moving into our foreclosed home but it seems like lately, the majority of my efforts have been demolition.
(At least that's what I feel like).
I've ripped out roomfuls of smelly carpet.
40 year old carpet with the smell of dog urine and cigarettes.  Yuck.
The girls quickly discovered that the paint wasn't sticking to the faux wood paneling and together, we had a fun afternoon ripping it off.
I detested the wall paper plastered throughout the house so I tore it down piece by piece.
In some cases, I just pulled down the entire panel.
I got them all down without killing myself.  I WIN!
Though some people still walk into the house in stunned disbelief that we're living in a construction zone, it's slowly being put back together.
A sample of the wall texturing job.
Being able to see a home's potential is a learning process.
It's fixable!
Sometime's you've got to make a mess and rip things apart to get to the bare bones.  Then it's just a matter of rebuilding.
Evelyn caught me on camera.  I usually start home improvements shortly after breakfast.
We may be good at pulling a house down, but we're getting pretty good at patching it up too.

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28 July 2013

The Sprinklers

A few days ago, when it was so hot and sunny, we did the one thing that made any sense:
Ran through the sprinklers.
Katherine looked on with great interest . . .
. . . so her sisters didn't want her to be left out.
Kate's jaunt through the sprinklers lasted about two seconds.
With Kate safely back in my lap . . .
. . . Evelyn ran off to find something else to play with in the chilly water.
They said hello to Dancer . . . 
Stoney didn't care to stop by.  He enjoys his baths.
. . . who was curious why they would willingly get wet.
By the time the girls finished, they were chilly in 90F+ weather.
Face full of water.
But it was so fun.
Hope you're staying cool too!

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25 July 2013

Bacon and Onion Green Beans

Here's a quick and tasty way to use up those green beans that seem to be prevalent in everyone's garden right about now.

Ingredients:

1 pound green beans, ends chopped or snapped off
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
3 Tablespoons butter
1/2 medium red onion
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pepper to taste

Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil.  Add the beans and blanch about two to three minutes or until the beans turn bright green.  Drain and rinse in cold water.  Melt butter in a frying pan.  Add garlic and onion and saute until softened.  Reduce heat to low and add vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper.  Lastly, add bacon bits and green beans and toss until heated through.  Serve hot.
Enjoy!

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24 July 2013

Towel Paper Art

Sometimes crayons and blank paper just don't cut it for the girls' creativity.  Instead of full-out painting, today we dabbed in paper towel art.
Ingredients:
1/4 cup water (each color)
5 +/- drops of food coloring
Paper towels (the heavier duty, the better--they hold colors closer together and therefore brighter)
Paint brushes, droppers or syringes

Mix the colors together and drop, brush or dip the towels into the colored water on paper towels.  Once finished, lay out to dry.
My little artists.

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23 July 2013

An Early Thanksgiving

It is the first time we've had a garden in a few years and already, we are having a bountiful harvest.
I spent a few days marking out plots, turning over the soil and mulching everything to keep the weeds down.  With the help of abundant rain this spring and plenty of sunshine, the garden is doing well.  We've even managed to defeat the hordes of slugs, caterpillars and one naughty deer.
The girls enjoy helping me pick our beans, peas, tomatoes, lettuce, zucchini, cucumbers, onions and herbs, etc. and are delighted to watch those destined for later harvest, especially the pumpkins they'll be carving come Halloween.
It's been an early Thanksgiving as we've used our bounty for everything from seven layer salad to healthy zucchini bread, zucchini , black bean and rice skillet, fruit pizza and plain old cheesy cauliflower and broccoli.
Some of the most delicious food we've harvested had little or nothing to do with our own preparations.  Jack pulled a few pounds of wild honey out of our house (along with a free hive of bees) and we've been reaping wild raspberries, blackberries, plums and are eagerly awaiting grapes, pecans, apples and of course, more honey.
We are already giving thanks for the earth's abundance at our humble farmstead.
Happy Early Thanksgiving!

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20 July 2013

Come and Gone

I love everyone's expression of sheer joy.
The cousins have come and gone.  There's always the initial sadness, followed shortly by a feeling of loneliness (the house is so quiet!) and an eventual realization that I've got a lot of work to do after a week of fun.  Here's a recap of our week in no particular order:
Swimming, riding horses, feeding horses, more riding, bathing horses, the zoo . . .
. . . the Children's Museum, Steak 'n' Shake and White Castle, church, more horseback riding . . .
. . . swimming until exhausted, visiting the Indiana War Memorial Museum, meeting Rapunzel (and Kaylee profusely crying because, in her own words, She was so excited) and of course, more riding along with plenty of free time playing and swinging.
Miss you guys already!

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19 July 2013

Hold On!

See anything "off" with this picture?  Uncle Jordan was giving everyone underdog swing pushes and after swinging my kids, seemed to forget that Lydia, though only six weeks younger than Claire, is about half the weight.  Luckily, Lydia thought it was fun and was all smiles after her swing settled.
Hold on Lydia!

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17 July 2013

DIY Fruit Fly Killer

With summer inevitably comes an explosion of fruit flies.  This week, it seemed like I could walk into the kitchen, clap at random and would be able to smash at least one fruit fly.  Gross.  Luckily, a friend mentioned this easy recipe and like the DIY ant killer, it's simple yet effective.
Ingredients:

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dish soap

Mix the ingredients and place in a small cup or shallow dish on the counter.  Remove other sources of food for the fruit flies, such as ripe bananas, puddles of water, open, full garbage cans, etc.  Leave for several days until flies are gone and dispose.
Effective?  Yes.  But still, eww.  Gross.

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