Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving!

Don't forget to make a wish, after you've carved the bird.

And I wish all of you a very Happy Thanksgiving with all the trimmings of love, laughter and joy.

Or at least a stiff cocktail to get through it....



Saturday, November 10, 2018

Turning 49 & Alex's wedding

I'm turning 49 on Monday.

I was going to do a post about this phenomena, along with the trials and tribulations of being almost 50.

For one, I don't really look like this anymore:

Amazing how much your face changes in 7 years. 

I still style my hair like this, but I certainly look older now.

So, I was on a quest for pictures of what I look like now and in doing so, I came across this one of me and Annie taken a few months ago, before we went out to dinner with my mom.

Annie is back to bleaching her hair.

She'll learn ;)

Anyway, I noticed two things about this picture.

I don't have my shoes on yet and I'm wearing a dress that reminded me of the fact that I hadn't talked about my own son's wedding.

Bad mom!

Actually the fact is, it happened when I wasn't really blogging much and for some reason I thought I had posted about it.

Apparently not!

So, anyway, I flew out to Minneapolis on May 12th (Mother's Day weekend) to witness my son and his lovely bride Heather get married.

My kid married a beautiful girl and she loves him and he loves her, which is all I can really ask for.

Of course there was the mother son dance.

And then like all weddings... it was over before we knew it.

So, I'm turning 49.

My son is happily married.

Annie is going to college.

And I live in a house that I adore.

Getting old might not be so bad after all ;)


Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Answers to questions

I had a few questions asked on my post about Julia (my monitor top refrigerator), and the last post about the kitchen, so I thought I'd answer them here, even though I usually answer in the comments, by email, or in my comment on your blog.

I just figured that if someone asked, others might be interested too :)

While you read along, I threw in a few pictures of day to day life here.

So, first up is this comment from Diana:

"I, of course, love your kitchen, BUT, I am curious about your "every day, from scratch" cooking. Nobody does that much anymore and I would love to hear what you cook. Recipes not necessary, just a list. I love to read about your house and projects. Thank you for sharing! "

Here's the list of 5 dinners for this week:

Monday we had left over red beans and rice, which I had saved in the freezer.

Yesterday, we had a savory dutch baby with parmesan and mushrooms and a small salad w/ a homemade white balsamic vinaigrette.

Tonight I'm cooking a pork roast with acorn squash slices.

For the other two nights:

French onion soup

Steak with blue cheese, mashed potatoes and artichokes

I'll be going to the store Friday, as usual, to shop for the next 3 or 4 days, which is usually how long I plan out for dinners and then I'll go again on Tuesday. I've tried shopping once a week, but I would always end up not wanting what I chose 5 days in advance lol

Most of my recipes come from my cookbooks or family recipes, unless I find something on the internet that makes me drool.

For breakfast, I have steel cut oats with maple syrup and heavy cream, or granola, and John doesn't eat breakfast, except sometimes on Sundays, when he'll make something like french toast, eggs and home fries,

For lunch, I'll have something like cheese and fruit.

For dessert, I'll make a cake, cookies or pie, although we've been cutting down on sweets. Tonight though, I made a chocolate pudding cake from scratch. No cake mix for me!

Not chocolate pudding cake!

Just about everything is made from scratch. I make my own salad dressings, croutons, mock Bisquick, and broth, etc. 

making broth

The only already made things I buy once in awhile are crackers, bread (although I do make it occasionally), and sweets (in the hot summer months), but they're organic.

I do plan on learning how to can and hopefully, next year I'll have a vegetable and fruit garden.

I think I answered more than anyone wanted to know lol

Miss Merry asked:

"Can I ask the fragrance of your candle?"

It's just a candle I picked up at wallyworld, when I was in a hurry, called Banana Bread by Better Homes and Garden. Not too great, but not too bad either ;)

Dewena asked:

"Julia is beautiful and she should feel very loved after all your hard work! Congratulations on bringing her to a home I'm sure she feels very at home in. Does she keep cold? Does she have to be defrosted, a job I do not remember with pleasure? I know to you she would be worth it though. The next time I spot her sister in one of my old magazines I'll be thinking of her."

Yes, she keeps really cold! In fact, when we first tested her after bring her home, I put a glass of water on her top shelf and it froze within an hour. As far as defrosting, it's been almost a month and she barely has any buildup at all, so I'm not sure how often it'll have to be done yet, but I'm sure I will at some point. The other fridge had to be defrosted quite often, so I'm used to it :)

BJ asked where I got Julia:

We found her in an antique store down the street. At first she wasn't for sale, but one day she was and that's when she came to her new home!

Su asked:

"So the little freezer section on it, does it freeze? Some small refrigerators in Italy don't have a door on the freezer. Did he put a new motor in it?"

Yes, the freezer section works really well! This one had a door, but sadly it broke off. And no, we didn't need to put a new motor on it. We just needed to put a new seal around the door and paint it.

I think I answered everyone. If I missed someone or if anyone has any other questions, I'll be happy to answer them. 

Within reason of course ;)


Thursday, November 1, 2018

Kitchen in progress

Kind of like the Carousel of Progress at Disneyland, except that there's no animatronics or fun sing alongs, and we're going backwards instead of forwards ;)

This is the view of my kitchen from the doorway of the dining room.

Essentially,  this is how the kitchen always looks. I removed a bit of clutter, but I didn't really "stage" the room. 

Because, I just don't do that.


Oh and the tiny bit of Halloween decor is gone as of this morning.

You might notice the dog bed under the island in some of the pictures. That's Bubba's nest and I wasn't going to disturb him for a few pictures ;)

And edited to add:

This is a very well used kitchen, where I cook from scratch every single day, with the rare exception that we go out to lunch or dinner.

I don't want anyone to think it's just for looks :)

Anyway, this is your view to the right when you walk in.

And here's a close up of the shelves.

The top shelf holds an old serving tray, some gifts I've been given over the years and a little tin that I painted. The second shelf holds a coca cola crate with my grandfather's baby bowl in it along with his cup and some WWI cookbooks that his mother might have cooked from when he was little, although these particular ones didn't belong to her personally. There's also a vintage biscuit cutter, a pastry cutter and a depression glass measuring cup/juicer, all three of which I actually use. The third shelf holds my jars of rice, sugar and flour, and the fourth shelf holds a reproduction cookie jar from my daughter, Annie, some random jar of Halloween candy and my 'new to me' 1940s radio. 

It still lights up and works! But sadly, since the only way I can listen to an oldies radio station that plays the 20s through the 40s, it really just hides Alexa.

I usually listen to The UK 1940s Radio Station on iheart radio.

I'm probably repeating myself to a few of you, but these are the original cabinets. The white tile and 1930s sink were put in by me. Well, not me personally, but you know what I mean ;)

You can see what the kitchen looked like when I moved in and my inspiration for the restoration 'here'. And what it looked like three years ago 'here'.

My view when I'm washing dishes.

This is the view towards the dining room...

including the worlds most used and loved apron that needs to be replaced, soon! lol

Eventually, I plan on replacing the island with an enamel topped table like this...

But I haven't come across one in my price range and that price range isn't 500 to 1000 bucks.

Just saying ;)

Here's my stove, which seems to fool a lot of people into thinking it's old, but it's not. 

That was my intention when I bought it though, so I guess it works.

One day, with any luck, I'll come across one of these beauties (that still works and is also in my price range) and replace it.

Patience is key.

In the next picture, you can see the original exhaust fan that still works and where I keep my cookbooks.

I love my whole kitchen, but if I had to pick my favorite part, besides the appliances, it would be the breakfast nook.

I can't imagine why they ever went out of style. It's where I have my morning coffee, where I talk on the phone, visit with friends, eat... etc.

I just love it to pieces.

This is the view towards the "mudroom", which is in quotations, because even though it's a place to hang coats and put dirty shoes, it's really just a hallway to the downstairs and an exit to the side yard ;)

And there's Julia, just humming away :)

Oh how I love her...

To give you a better idea of what my kitchen is like, I took a video.

Don't think I'm in this video either, because I'm not.

Not even my voice.

It's just the kitchen with the radio playing.

If you want, you can make it bigger by watching it on youtube.

And here's another I took in black and white, just for fun :)

So that's it.

I'm thinking about doing videos of other rooms too and maybe a house tour, to give you a better feeling of what it's like to actually be in my house, so let me know if you'd like that and I'll see what I can do :)