Friday, October 7, 2011

What Have We Been Up To?

Loosing teeth... The tooth fairy keeps forgetting to visit. The kids understand that she is forgetful about teeth but always makes it up to them by increasing the compensation to make up for her neglect. In fact, Ellie was overheard counseling Isaac that if he did not remind mother, he'd make out better financially. What a racket!

We studied the bubonic plague this week. Ellie particularly enjoyed playing the part of a rat with fleas.

I have been doing a little knitting for some sweet new babies...

My garden went in rather late this year but we managed to haul in a whole bunch of tomatoes before the first frost. They have been busy ripening, spread out in the basement.

 Some major canning going on. This is the spaghetti sauce on the wood stove. That has gone beautifully, but I am wishing I was done at this point... 34 quarts done, 14 left to go. Then there will be some stewed tomatoes to can and a bunch of pumpkin. Most of the pumpkins (And we have dozens!) will store in the basement for most of the winter, but it will be handy to have some already cooked and canned. I suspect Tom may be expecting some pumpkin treats...  If any friends nearby want some pumpkins, even LOTS of pumpkins, stop by and get some! ...please....

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Settled In

We finished the installation of our wood cookstove and I cooked my first meal on it this winter. I browned pork steaks on the stovetop and finished them in the oven along with potatoes and carrots using a dutch oven. It was easy and went very well. I am not convinced bread will be so easy, but it helps that the oven has a thermometer so I don't have to go by "feel". We're very pleased with our new stove.

Leaving our dining room and going into Mom's apartment we pass through a short hall. There is a large closet on the left that holds some pantry items and school books and supplies. This area used to be a bedroom.

Here's Mom's living area. She's all moved in. We have not completed some details like shades and her divider curtain, but it's already quite comfortable and I think it feels like home.

Here is the view looking back towards our part of the house. She has her entry and kitchenette here. I think it's working out very well. It's a lovely, comfortable space.

Here's Mom in her usual spot saying "Hi". I am so happy how this all worked out. I am very glad that Mom has a home with us. What a good thing it is.

Mom's dog Dazzle is also very content. She has Joey to keep her sociable and the kids to keep her hoppin'.

I thought you might enjoying seeing how things turned out.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Almost There... and Some Art and Stuff

Catching up here. Halloween was cold. Note Ellie's expression. She was a princess and Isaac was Spiderman. He told me yesterday that "Batman is silly but Spiderman is COOL!"

Ellie and I completed our first weaving project. It was a very enjoyable mother-daughter project and easy to make a very attractive piece of fabric. I was a bit surprised at how quickly Ellie took to it. Here she's doing a twill pattern. She's a natural.

Sissy paid us a visit and made scarecrows with the kids. We look forward to her visits.

Isaac has been working on his art a lot lately. This drawing shows our front porch railing leading into Mom's addition. The big red square on the right is the dumpster that's been parked in our front yard. Joey is the yellow dog (yellerdog) standing in front of it. Then, from the left, there is Ellie (in pink of course), Daddy (looks like he's shakin' his booty), Isaac (looking pretty muscular), and (me) Mom (shown while barking orders I guess!) What I found particularly intriguing about this drawing is the detail of the pattern in the dress I was wearing at the time.

Here's the apartment update. This is the view from the porch window living area. Her bed will be between the two windows, her bathroom is the open door and her closet is on the left.

Here's the view from the same location, pivoted leftwards. This is the kitchenette and hallway to the rest of the house. Her outside entry is on the left, across from the counter.

We're very glad that things were sealed up prior to this weekend's snow. There's not much left to do, mainly some finishing work in the basement, and the completion of painting, plumbing fixtures, and electrical fixtures.

Tom got us a deer for the freezer! Glad to have some venison chops. We sure missed them last year.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Apartment Status and Some Creativity

Here's the apartment progress. Deck is going on, windows going in, very fun!

Ellie and Isaac have been doing some whiteboard pictures. Since we don't have a place right now for school supplies during the remodeling the easel (among other things) is sitting in the livingroom. Apparently a new location gets the creative juices flowing.
And here's Isaac's. This one is Toy Story themed. There's been a lot of that lately.
WhooHoo! This is my new toy. I found this loom on Craigslist for a very good price and snatched it up. I have dreamt of weaving since I was a child and would see my Great-Aunt Hazel's loom that sat in the middle of their living room. Now I am figuring out how. I've already taken it apart and put it back together once because that's one of the ways I learn . The other is with books. I've been studying, and will be ready to try it as soon as I get a couple of needed accessories, like a shuttle.

Oh, and I still need to find a place for it. Right now it's in the kitchen!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Mom's Inspection and Extra Help

Here's Mom's sitting room window as seen from the general kitchenette area. Since this was taken, most of the partitions have been put in. They're going to try to place trusses again on Monday. They tried earlier this week but the area once known as our front yard was too soft with all the rain we've been getting. The lift truck got stuck twice.
Yesterday I suggested to my DH Tom that when Mom visited later she may want to crawl through the house window with the kids and I so she could walk around the apartment with the partitions in. He thought I was nuts, that she would be too "frail" to do so. I mentioned this to her and that was all it took. She must have considered it a challenge, and promptly crawled through the window. It was fun getting a feel for the space. She had some silly fun with her grandchildren too, practicing living there.

Here's the view with her porch entry door on the left, sitting area in the middle, and a bedroom window on the right. The basement will be mostly unfinished except for a bedroom for Isaac, which replaces the bedroom that had to be removed for the addition.

Today, our contractor Tom brought some fine young men for extra help for cleanup and pounding nails.

I think we're in good hands.

Footings and Beginnings of Walls

Catching up on my documentation of progress here.
Footings were poured last week.
Walls began going up this week. First the basement walls.
Here's the first glimpse of Mom's main level apartment!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Progress Report and Aliens

We had quite a crowd here today. A few cement trucks, roofing materials delivery, Porta-Potty delivery, dumpster delivery, and this giant insect-like arm unfurled itself, stretched over our house and vomited cement into the prepared foundation wall forms. There was a guy standing on the ground controlling the thing with something that looked like a large joystick. (Gamers, there's a career option for you!) One false move and we could have lost a roof - not that I expected it. These guys really know what they're doing. 
Our yard is a mess. It was a rainy week, a cement truck got stuck, and it's pretty amazing how bad it looks right now. Oh well, no surprise there.

On the home front: Little Isaac's current obsession is the "Toy Story" movies. He has made it his goal to create any characters that are missing from his collection. These are the alien toys. He struggles to get the colors just right, and mixed homemade play-dough blue and red to try to get purple. He was dissatisfied with the result, but I think they are really cute!