Monday, October 20, 2014

What's next?

It seems that this season has been the "What's Next to break" season here.

It has gotten so that I don't even remember what went first.  sigh

I know that the coffee maker started leaking water a while ago and I was just living with it.  Make the coffee and clean up the extra water on the counter.  But I finally asked hubby to fix it for me (after I took it apart and found out the cause).  He did try to fix it, but alas his fix only lasted for one pot of coffee.  I'm pretty sure that the plastic pipe he used wasn't heat resistant and it's probably melted in there now.  sigh.  So I replaced the coffee maker.  Not a big deal as they're cheap.  I ended up buying a 5 cup maker as I'm the only one who drinks coffee here.  Darly only likes expensive coffees with loads of sugar in them.  Hubby likes his caffeine in a can with bubbles.

Next since winter is fast approaching we decided to finally get our humidifier fixed.  We knew that the sylinoid  (no idea how to actually spell that's the valve) was gone.  Hubby tried to find one but apparently you have to be an official plumber/hvac person to get your hands on one.  Luckily I know a guy.  They sent someone out and while he was working on the humidifier we wanted our furnace (that came with the house in 96) checked out to see how much longer it had to live.  OOPS!  apparently it was already "dead" or would kill us.  The o-rings were popping off and the hvac guy had to condemn our furnace.  YIKES!  He gave us 4 choices for a new furnace.  1) replace what we had for the equivalent version.  Here we would probably see some savings in our heating bills as our old unit wasn't running correctly.  2) same efficiency but it was a two blower system that would run low most of the time but bump up to higher if we needed it.  3) a higher efficiency model that would require a total overhaul of our duct work and then #4) was even more efficient/pricy and also required the duct work overhaul.
In the end we went for just switching out for what we had before.  Our bills weren't all that bad before and this seemed like a good fit for our family.  So they changed out the furnace, fixed the humidifier and when the hot water heater was turned back on... busted a pressure valve on it.

Okay, busted is a bit harsh...what actually happened is that that valve was tripped and constantly leaking water.

What really needed to happen was for us to replace the pressure reducing valve for our water line.  We have no idea why our city water comes into our house at 140psi.  Hubby researched and seriously considered replacing the valve himself as he is pretty handy plumbing wise.  But he was worried that he might mess it up (apparently online info made it sound pretty tricky).  Now he is kicking himself because he watched the guy do it and could have done it himself easily.  We paid too much for that job.

Next up, the refrigerator was leaking again.  I was under the impression that in order for us to have water through the door on our frig you needed a filter.  Every time the filter needs replacing it leaks and to install and remove you damage the filter housing.  So last time we had to replace the housing.  But this time we removed the filter and by accident learned that we didn't need a filter.  The water is still working without the new filter that is waiting on top of the frig.  hummm  meanwhile my wood kitchen floor is toast and we should replace that one day.  oye!

So while on vacation we turned off EVERYTHING!  (okay we didn't totally shut off the furnace as we didn't want to freeze the pipes) but we did shut off the water heater and the water while we were gone as we didn't trust anything while we were gone.

Came home to a regular working house...and then last Friday hubby goes to reheat his dinner and the microwave has died.  I'm pretty sure its the magnetron, AGAIN.   Sigh!  I am so sick of paying for things built for the dump! 
I want to just get someone's old microwave that they're replacing because it doesn't match their new kitchen, but hubby wants to buy a brand new one.  sigh  I really think that we'll get the same life out of either and the used one will cost us less.

Monday, July 21, 2014

the half-life of left-overs

we have a weird phenomenon going on at my house.  I like to call it the half-life of left-overs.

See, I grew up in a large family, so I cook large meals...on purpose.  The idea is that I cook a meal for two nights and then the second night, all I have to do is reheat the left-overs.  If I plan my weekly menu out correctly this works great for night when we have things to do.

But I have noticed that we have this interesting phenomenon going on that is really messing things up for me.

Night one, we have food that should last us for two nights.  We eat half of what is made, put the rest in the frig.

Night two, I heat the left-overs.  And my family eats half of the food again.  WHAT?!?!  They were supposed to eat all of the food because it is night two.  but nope, they eat just half.  (I eat a normal portion - so I look like a real pig compared to them!)  and instead of empty dishes ready for the dishwasher there is still more food.

note: there is not enough food for another meal...usually not even enough to have for lunch.  Sometimes I'll feed this to the dog (husband gives me grief for that).  Usually it goes into the frig again to only be seen again when it's as fuzzy as the dog.


The sad thing is that if I were to suddenly start making single night meals, they would only eat half.

Friday, May 30, 2014


NOTE: This application will be incomplete and rejected unless accompanied by a complete financial statement, job history, lineage, and current medical report from your doctor.

NAME_______________________________________ ALIASES ______________
DATE OF BIRTH_____________ HEIGHT___________ WEIGHT____________
IQ__________ GPA______________ SOCIAL SECURITY#________________
DRIVERS LICENSE #________________ IQ _________ BLOOD TYPE _____
BOY SCOUT RANK AND BADGES________________________________________
HOME ADDRESS_______________________ CITY/STATE___________ ZIP______
Do you have parents? ___Yes ___No
#of years they have been married ______
If less than your age, explain why ______________________________________
If not explain why ___________________________________________________

A. Do you own or have access to a van? __Yes __No
B. A truck with oversized tires? __Yes __No
C. A waterbed? __Yes __No
D. A pickup with a mattress in the back? __Yes __No
E. A tattoo? __Yes __No
F. Do you have an earring, nose ring, pierced tongue, pierced cheek or a belly button ring? __Yes __No


In 50 words or less, what does 'LATE' mean to you ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________
In 50 words or less, what does 'DON'T TOUCH MY DAUGHTER' mean to you? ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________
In 50 words or less, what does 'ABSTINENCE' mean to you? ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________

Church you attend _______________________________________________
How often you attend ____________________________________________
When would be the best time to interview your:
father? __________ mother? _________ pastor? __________

Answer by filling in the blank. Please answer freely, all answers are confidential.
A. If I were shot, the last place I would want shot would be: ______________________________________________________________
B. If I were beaten, the last bone I would want broken is my: ______________________________________________________________
C. A woman's place is in the: ______________________________________
D. The one thing I hope this application does not ask me about is: ______________________________________________________________
E. What do you want to do IF you grow up?__________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________
F. When I meet a girl, the thing I always notice about her first is: ______________________________________________________________
G. What is the current going rate of a hotel room? ______________________

Initial each Rule after reading.

Rule One: If you talk with foul words and dress like swag, a punk or a wanna-be-gangster I will toss you right out on your tush.

Rule Two: If you date my daughter you date only her. She has a kind heart and I will not have you make my her cry; if she does, I will make you cry. You may only date ONE of my daughters. EVER.

Rule Three: You must know how to cook as well as I have taught my daughter(s) to cook. Frozen dinners do not count.

Rule Four: Do not be hurt when my daughter chooses a day at the spa with me over sports or gaming time with you. She was raised that family comes first and until there is a ring on her finger, I am her family, not you.

Rule Five: Do not date my daughter for her money because I am her bank. Do not expect gifts, she has been taught to be a savvy shopper.

Rule Seven: Do not lie to me. I may appear to be a pudgy, baggy-eyed, last-season, has-been. But on issues relating to my daughter, I am the queen of her universe. If I ask you where you are going and with whom, you have one chance to tell me the truth. If you do not I will ask her. Do not trifle with me.

Rule Eight: My daughter has been raised to respect herself, so keep your hands to yourself. Offending body parts will be removed by me with a dull spoon.

Rule Nine: Do not be hurt when my daughter chooses spending time with me over spending time with you. She was raised that family comes first and until there is a ring on her finger, I am her family, not you. Yes, I know this is also Rule Four. It is an important one.

Rule Ten: My daughter is not a toy. She does not have Hasbro, Mattel or any other toy company tattooed on her person. Hence, she is not an object for you to play with, manipulate, and discard at your leisure. I suffered through 42 hours of labor to have her, and will unleash an unimaginable amount of anger such that the movie 300 will look like an episode of the Little House on the Prairie should you cross me.


Applicant's Signature (that means sign your name)

Mother's Signature & Father's Signature

Pastor/Priest/Rabbi State Representative/Congressman

Please allow four to six years for processing.

The garden update

Here's what I had planned

In the pots by the retaining wall...
Tomatoes - 6 romas  2 cherry and maybe 2 slicing
Green Beans - 6
Peppers - 3 spicy - 3 mild  (I might be finding homes for the extras)

In the old garden that is now very shady...
Squash in the only part that gets any full sun...where the strawberries used to be (I'm currently digging them out, because 1) they don't produce very well any more 2) the birds eat what I am able to produce)
Onions - currently growing from last year
Carrots - currently growing from last year

Here's what actually happened...

Tomatoes - 4 larger roma (Health Kick) plants & 2 smaller Heath Kicks.  + 2 yellow grape + 2 Tommie something - they're a cherry that is supposed to like to hang...although I have no where to hang them from.

Green Beans - I planted 3 varieties and 6 seeds each.  fingers crossed there as the nursery didn't have anything but soybeans & black eyed peas.

Peppers - 2 sweet peppers and 4 jalapenos.  I might toss in some chili seeds too...might as well.

Squash - I got two zucchini plants and then put in some seeds.  - hopefully my seizure inducing balloon keeps the birds from eating all my seeds.

Spinach & Lettuce from seed - although I have some of both that were volunteers from last year.  YAY
Onions from last year - I dug up the old ones and spread them out and replanted.

Carrots - I dug up the old ones and composted them...then planted new seed. fingers crossed again.

brocolli - experimenting as it hasn't done well before.

I also put in some chard (I've never eaten this before), radishes and brussel sprouts- I sure hope that they like to live here.

I still need to go get some herb seeds as I thought I had some and all I had was parsley, which I dug up the old stuff to dry and didn't put any new in as we don't eat much of it.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Theater season is over for the year

Darly & cast finished up their season with a wonderful performance of Guys & Dolls.  I wish I could say that they performed to a packed house, but alas that is really hard to do when the show is scheduled for the middle of May...prom & graduation season.  Hopefully the plan for next year is for April instead.

At the end of the show I ended up packing my poor car to the gills with all the stuff we needed to return to the costume shop.  I'm getting really good at packing my car and driving with no visibility through the back.  lol

Now on for summer plans.  I have got to get my garden going as I'm running a bit behind.  Hubby seems to be more and more determined for me to give up my silly idea of growing my own food.  :p  I am not sure what his motivation is.  It isn't as if I am forcing him to eat what I grow or hiding the offending foods in his meals.  I grow because I like to (yes, I am a bit lazy about weeding) but it makes me buzz off DH.  ;)

The plan for this year...

Seeing as we're getting a great start to our season with our usual Hail storms, I am considering moving the garden temporarily to the back porch so the plants have a fighting chance.  Then I'll move them back to where I had them last summer by the retaining wall.

In the pots by the retaining wall...
Tomatoes - 6 romas  2 cherry and maybe 2 slicing
Green Beans - 6
Peppers - 3 spicy - 3 mild  (I might be finding homes for the extras)

In the old garden that is now very shady...
Squash in the only part that gets any full sun...where the strawberries used to be (I'm currently digging them out, because 1) they don't produce very well any more 2) the birds eat what I am able to produce)
Onions - currently growing from last year
Carrots - currently growing from last year

I've had to reinforce the fence around the old garden as my sneaky dog loves to help herself to my carrots.  I had one big beautiful carrot about to go to seed and she ate it.  buggar!

The hope for the spinach & lettuce is that the shade will keep them from bolting.

Oh, herbs are going in and around everything else.

I had better get dressed and go to work!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

There is NO free lunch - and other Facebook complaints!

I know, I know.  You thought I was dead.  Most of you have probably moved on and mourned my passing.  Alas, I'm still here...sort of.  I'm "livin on the air of Facebook" now.

And that brings me to my post.

Today, yet again I saw the "Share this picture of Bill Gates and he'll give you $5K" meme.  Okay, who is still believing this carp?!?!  Probably the same folks who fall for the Nigerian scam.  *eyeroll*

1) Nobody, I repeat NOBODY will give you money for sharing ANYTHING on Facebook!  Just quit it people!  (I really don't understand the mentality of the folks who start these memes.  I suppose there is some sort of God complex that "I made something that is going viral." thing.)

2) Even if Bill Gates wanted to give everyone who shared his picture would he do that exactly?!?!  Facebook doesn't know where you live, unless you told them.  If you told them you are crazy!

3) the picture mentions that it is time he finally started giving back to the people.
  • Bill already gives MILLIONS to his charities... heard of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation?
  • It is Bill's money, he can do with it whatever he wants?!?!  Do YOU want the internet telling you to give your money away?

sigh!  next

The same goes for the share this nice picture with nice words and you'll receive a miracle or if you love Jesus.  Some go so far as to tell me that I must hate Jesus if I don't share it.  Again with the viral thing.  Oh and that goes for the "We're trying to see how fast things spread on the internet" memes.  Duh!

So if you recognize yourself as one of those "sharers" know this... I WILL NOT SHARE ANYTHING!  Unless it's a really cute picture of a bunny.  I have my standards ya know.  ;)

on to other stuff...
If you post something on your Facebook wall... everyone that your settings allow will see it.
If you post something on your friends' Facebook wall...everyone that their settings allow will see it.
If you want to tell your friend something in private...that's what the Messages part is for.
If you REALLY want to tell your friend something...use your email, texting or call them.  :p

okay, I think I'm done.  If you have a Facebook sin that bothers you...feel free to share it below in the comments.  :D

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Office Window - Progress so far

Since my last window post I ordered the panel system and purchased the curtain rod for what I'm planning.

The panel system was not supposed to arrive until March 12th.  So I was pretty shocked when it got here on March 6th.  That meant it was time to get busy!

First I had to take down the old curtains and fit them to the window...before they were rather sloppily hanging over both the slider and the arch window.  So I took the curtains down to the basement (where I have enough floor space to spread them out) and got them measured for cutting to fit.  When I did this, I realized that I might have enough fabric to make a curtain for the arched window too.  And although it took a bit of rigging, I was able to do that.  I found some trim in the garage from my father in law's stash to make a curtain rod out of.  (the "rod" is just the trim shoved into the window frame.)

Here's the new arch window curtain.

While I was up on the ladder, I realized how badly the wall needed to be painted.  So I decided to paint an accent wall in here.

Then hubby & I went and bought the 2x2 for the header to screw the panel system into.  We dug through an entire bin of wood to find some that was not too bowed or full of knots.  But that's where things stalled.  The wood sat on the office floor.

Monday hubby was home from work sick.  I thought that perhaps this project would get moving again.  But hubby just wanted to sit and hog my computer all day.  :p  So to annoy him into doing something, I started measuring the wood (it was on the floor behind him).  And that worked.  He took the wood from me and cut it.  Then asked if I wanted to help sand it (only bringing one bit of sand paper though).  So while he sanded, I cleaned up after the dog in the yard.  He also got two coats of paint on the wood.

And now that's where we are.  The wood still sits in the basement "drying" (it's been dry!)  and here are pictures of my window treatments.

Unfortunately it looks as if I won't be able to get this finished until at least Sunday, because hubby won't work on it if I'm not here to pester him and this week is busy for us as my little actress starts rehearsals for Guys & Dolls this weekend.
I hope to have an updated photo of the completed window next week.  Wish me luck!

Saturday, March 08, 2014


First they bought a little farm and had a dream.  Now their story is a book that you can read.  With over 500 copies sold.  w00t!

5 Acres & A Dream The Book:
The Challenges of Establishing A Self-Sufficient Homestead

by Leigh Tate

5 Acres & A Dream The Book: The Challenges of Establishing a Self-Sufficient Homestead
What does it take to become a successful homesteader?

Based on her popular homesteading blog, 5 Acres & A Dream, Leigh Tate shares how she and her husband Dan are facing the challenges of trying to establish a self-sufficient homestead; from defining their dream, finding property, and setting priorities, to obstacles and difficult times, to learning how to work smarter, not harder. She shares what they've learned about energy, water, and food self-sufficiency for themselves and their animals too. Included are copies of their homestead master plan plus revisions and a sampling of Leigh's homestead recipes. 

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

"Instant" Chicken with gravy

I've been planning to make chicken with gravy for a while, I just didn't have the time to slow cook it all day.

So I pulled out my pressure cooker!  I've been storing up bones and vegetable leavings in the freezer for a while with the intent on making broth...and one day that will happen.  Yesterday was not that day.

First I needed some broth.  So I put what I thought were chicken bones (turns out they were big deal really) and carrot, onion & celery in the pressure cooker with water and let that pressure cook for 20 minutes.  all totaled it probably took about 30 minutes as the cooker needed time to heat up.

Then I strained the broth and put it back into the pressure cooker with two frozen chicken breasts.  I added salt & spices here.  Another 30 minutes and I was ready to tear apart the chicken, add flour slurry and tadah I'm done.

all day flavor, about an hour & a half of working & cooking...mostly cooking. 

If only I had remembered to make biscuits for this!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Office Window

Hey remember me?  I know, I know... I've been over on that Facebook thing and totally neglecting the blog.  If I have any readers left it is a miracle.

So last week I went to open the blinds in my office and they broke!  :(  Who knows how old these blinds are, but they've been faithful until now.  However the ones in my kitchen broke many years ago, so I'm sure it was just a number of uses thing.  I've used up all it's uses.

So I've been looking at options on what to replace the blinds with.  Part of my decision is that when the blinds were bought for window there was a different style of window.  When we bought the house, the office window was a double hung.  However, when we went to replace our windows with new energy efficient windows, our city's building department declared that since this room has a window and a closet (not really as the closet is the foyer closet with a door slapped on the back...someone in their infinite wisdom thought they were doing us a favor and increasing the home's value by making this room "legally" a bedroom) it is a bedroom.  So since it is a bedroom it required a window that a fireman in full gear can enter through a single pane.

     note: our arguments that 1) it is NOT a bedroom and would never be considered one as there is no       bathroom on this floor.  2) the front door is right by this room and easier access to the room than the window.  3) a fireman in full gear is going to take his ax and bust through the window to get in if he needs to, so how big the pane is doesn't matter.

so now instead of lovely double hung windows we have a stupid slider window...which looks like a mini-sliding glass door.  Our small victory over the building department is that my sewing room has a double hung window instead as it also has a casement window that fits the stupid egress rules.  :p

So now the blinds in this room don't match the window.  To open the window, you have to fully open the blinds...which of course led to their demise.

So it makes sense to replace the now dead blinds with ones that hang vertically, like the style of the window opening (note: all the bedrooms upstairs have the WRONG style of blind on them!)  So I have been researching vertical window coverings for this window.

While I'm doing my search...husband chips in with his opinion that whatever I put on the window should match all the other window coverings...because he likes things to match!  We have so many arguments on this subject!


So first I don't really like traditional vertical blinds.  Having all those strips of cloth flopping around drives me nuts and doesn't look good to me.  I like the look of vertical cellular blinds...when they are new.  But when they are old, they don't hold their shape and no matter how much you paid for them (btw: Starting price $350 for this window!) they look terrible.

I found a vertical panel system that we can get.  It appears to be a good looking system that will fit the bill and shouldn't break the bank.  The problem with it... well two problems actually... 1) clearance.  The track for this system is 3inches.  I was hoping it would sit flush inside the window.  I only have about 2 inches of clearance.  But the panels "should" sit on the window sill still.  2) installing them.  from what I have found they install by either attaching to your ceiling or to your wall.

I've forgotten to mention that this window is really a set of two windows...the sliding window and a half circle arch above it.  So to install the panel system, I would need to put in some sort of "header" to screw the track into or install it outside of the window...which in my opinion would totally ruin it!

I wish that I could see the system in person so I know how long the screws are, as that would determine how wide the header needs to be, although I could replace the screws with shorter ones and just put in a lot more of them.

The thing is, the panel system would mostly be viewed from the outside as I have curtains over the blinds.  The header can be painted to match everything else.  And the panel system is adjustable, so differing lengths wouldn't be a problem.

Still thinking about this.