Monday, April 28, 2008

Organization

I have always been a tad obsessed when it comes to organization. Some people get an adrenaline high from jumping out of a plane...me, I get one from sorting out my mitten and scarf basket. My pantry has gotten me quite a few remarks, like, you could put that in a magazine. So, what if I like to have all my labels facing the same way, I say. I just like to know where everything is.

My kitchen is in a constant state of movement. Friends and family will come by and things will have been moved since the last time they were over. Me? I am always thinking that maybe the said item will serve a place better in a different spot. So, I have to try it....Eventually it will make a home somewhere. A spot that remains the same.

Since we have moved into the house I have been pret'near giddy every time I get a new shelf or a basket. Look, here's my new spice stuff. K and I filled and labeled all the little jars. See how nicely they fit into my drawer? Never again will I have to move spices all around in the cupboard to find what I need.



And this? This is the shelf in the mud room. Used to keep all the shoes from piling up all over. I even have 2 empty shelves on it left to fill! And the little coat rack...hung at just the right height so my little guy can hang all his sweatshirts and ball caps.



Here is where all the craft stuff goes...all nice and tidy in separate little labeled drawers so the kids know just where to look for it and so they know just where to put it when they are done.



At the last house we had a school closet. This one we have a school shelf. Here you will find paper, pencils, pens, anything one may need to finish a homework assignment.



This one? My most favorite so far. I LOOOOOOOOOOOVVVVVEEEEEE it. My root cellar shelves.(which there will be more added later!) Now I can keep all my canning stuff neatly in place. My empty jars and my filled jars. Ahhh....it just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

worm composting

Anyone out there doing this? I have been intrigued by it for some time and my husband and I have talked about it, but it never really got any further than that.

This site has some really great info on it. Step by step process on how to get started.

If you have done it, what do you feel are the pros and cons? Aside from being a really great learning experience for the kids which is always a plus. Any opinions out there?

Monday, April 21, 2008

My little helper

My youngest happens to be quite afraid of many noises. He has always been a little wary of loud noises or even of what he thinks may make a loud noise. The situation seemed to get worse when Shawn had to use the big air compressor one day. He brought it into the house and flipped it on and G was scared to pieces. He ran over to me and cried and cried....to this day he still sees the compressor and moves away from it. He will tell you that daddy had that in the house and it made a loud noise.

Well, since we have moved into the house I have purchased a little Bissell stick vacuum to have on hand for all the hard floor surfaces. It does a really great job and it seems to hold quite a bit of debris. It is really light to use and and even easier to empty out. It does have to be plugged in, so we have to move the plug around while we clean up so we can reach everything. The biggest plus, it is not very noisy. Just a little noisy, as G would say.

I am trying to help him with the noise fear by letting him use things that he seems to think are noisy. The first time I used the little vacuum was when he was up in his seat at the counter eating and I started it in the dining room. I tried to start it in the kitchen and he was having no part of that. The second time he was off playing in the den and just kept his distance. Better, right? He wasnt like an amoeba attached to me! The more I used it the more he seemed to be okay with it. We are up to this right now:
video

He has conquered the hair dryer and on his way to the little vacuum....I think it may be time to bring in the big guns...the full size vacuum.

seedlings


We managed to get the seedlings transplanted this weekend. We only had one little guy that just didnt germinate . That's pretty good, I thought. The Amish paste seedlings dont seem to be as large as the Cherokee purple seedlings. I am hoping that is not indicative of how much they will produce.


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Experimenting with my new oven

We recently moved into our new home and I am finally getting to a point where I feel like I can do something other than unpack.

We got this Jenn-Air Dual Fuel double oven free standing range as one of our new appliances for the house and I have just briefly flipped thru the instruction booklet. I was very eager to use one of the features....proofing. I have always been interested in bread making. Never really had the time to get into it and while we lived at the rental the absence of space held me back even more. Now that my youngest will play independently for a few minutes, I took the opportunity to delve into the bread baking world. And is it ever its own world. This site I really like. It has some really great tutorials. I am on lesson 2. In fact, it is rising right now in the oven, hopefully into a nicely shaped bread.

This will be attempt number 2. The first time it just didnt rise very well. The bread was quite dense. It was fine to eat, but for sure had room for improvement. This time I actually used my mixer to knead the dough instead of kneading it by hand. I wanted to see if that would make a difference or not. Maybe this will tell me if I need to life some weights or what? Maybe last time I just didnt knead it strongly enuf!



Okay, so this is what happened. The bread rose really well for the first rise, then I shaped it and let it rise again....did well....then I baked it and it seemed to fall flat. Any comments? Suggestions? The bread had a really good flavor this time. It was really smooth and had a hint of sweet to it. It for sure didnt brown as much as the bread in the lesson 2 appeared to.

seedlings


I have mentioned before that I have tried to grow things from seed several times. And that every time they ended up not making it. This time I have the great guidance of Angie and I have to say that my seedlings are doing super. I think they are kinda on the leggy side of a seedling, but thats okay. At least I havent killed them!

We used the peat pellet method and it was really easy. For a first time seed starter easy is good. We started them on Easter and once they had a show of growth we then put the light on them. From morning till night. Watering as needed, of course.

We had put a few seeds in each pot knowing that we would have to thin them out as they grew bigger. Just yesterday, I had the job of choosing which little seedlings would get the axe. Can I just put it on record that I had grown fond of my little plants? How can I possibly choose which ones get to keep growing and which ones dont? Their fragile little lives were in my hands. I looked at them so lovingly, one by one. Then, knowing it had to be done, I took the scissors to them. I snipped the smallest ones of the three and left the larger, healthier looking one. Did I make the right choice? Or did I ruin a little seedlings life forever and ever? (It is becoming very evident that I need to get out more!)



Now we wait for the next step. That is transplanting all the pellets into larger peat pots. I think the rule of thumb is to transplant them to the larger pots when they have two sets of leaves. However, my pellets are beginning to have roots growing out the bottom, so, it may happen a little sooner. Then we wait till the last frost has passed and we can harden them off and then plant them in the ground. Pot and all I am told. A little nervous about that part since we have just moved. We are waiting for our yard to get graded.....I hope all the timing works out.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Still here, really

Just been super busy moving and packing and unpacking....

Watching my seedlings take off.

Getting excited over the idea of having a mailbox again.

Getting way excited that I have the internet back today after almost 2 weeks without it. (Another reason for no posts!)

Super happy that I can get crushed ice from my fridge door.

Loving my new dishwasher...you can't even hear it running.

I will post more soon, I promise. What has everyone been up to? Fill me in. I am so outta the loop!