Thursday, February 23, 2012


Me: What do our chickens give us?

Connor: Um... food.

Me: Ok, what kind of food do our chickens give us?

Connor: ...... Nuggets and sauce.

Me: Alright... what do Ruby and Lace give us?

Connor: ...... Nuggets and sauce!

Me: ... and?

Connor: Oh, eggs!

Me: What kind of noise do they make?

Connor: EGGS!!

We may need to work on this.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Basement Pictures

Hopefully these will end up being "before" pictures! I really, really, really want to redo this whole floor in the next year or so. It's going to take some time.

This is the walkout side. There is a desk behind me, and the door to the outside. The doorway you see goes to the bathroom. The bed is going to be moved to the second floor, where the other guest bed is. It doesn't make sense to have guest beds on two different floors. Don't mind Miss Cocoa's mess, she had a fit right before I took the picture and threw out some litter. You can't tell, but the floor paint is peeling over here. This is the space I'd like to make into a "family area" with a tv, couch, rug, and vcr/dvd player. Cocoa will stay, but will be moved up some after the grey metal cabinet is disposed of. The desk area will stay as it's Jon's work from home space.

Laundry area. Now I have a folding table. I used some leftover self-stick vinyl tile floor pieces I found in the utility room for the top. I was short 5 pieces. I know there is another box somewhere, just haven't found it. I want to add a hanging rack and a white laundry basket for white laundry. I have two other baskets, I figure one will be for darks, and the other for folded, ready to go upstairs and put away. I want to add some cutesy laundry artwork. See how the wall is orange? That whole wall is orange... it makes everything look kinda sickly. I'd love to make the orange areas a light blue (maybe?). Something lighter anyway. I spend a fair amount of time in this area and it just needs to be "happier"!

This area is to the left of the laundry area. I want to use that dresser (it was Jon's grandma's, and his as a kid) for a tv stand on the walk-out side. This wall can stay white, it just needs a new coat of paint. I'd like this area to be a play area. See Connor playing with cloud dough? It's the perfect spot. I can do laundry, he can play in sight. I want to check out garage sales this summer and find a kid's height table in addition to the small card table I'm going to move down. I want to move his ABC poster to this space and get a numbers one too. Maybe do a small area with chalkboard paint? I saw the cutest idea on Pinterest where they took a bookcase from Ikea, turned it on it's side and made storage with a seat on top. That would work here. See the floor here... it's a funky yellow/brown garage floor paint. The hard epoxy stuff. The basement was waterproofed and there are parts that are peeled off, and parts where cement is over it. I just don't know what to do for the floor here. It's easy to clean now, but a hideous color...

Under the stair storage area and shelves on the wall. The shelves only go to the base of the stairs. Right now, they just hold miscellaneous things. The wall behind the shelves is a softer orange, but still orange and needs to go... You can see part of the bathroom here as well.

 Inside the pantry. The pantry really doesn't need to be changed, besides increasing the contents. Maybe adding more storage under the shelves. Both sides have shelves like this, and another on top that goes on the sides and length of the pantry.

This is what you see when you come down the stairs. More orange. The walkout is to the right, the pantry/laundry area to the left. The freezer will stay here. You can really see the mess of the floor here. Removing epoxy would probably require heavy chemicals and/or a floor sander. I don't know that we want to mess with all that. No clue what I want to do with this area yet. Maybe move the Tupperware storage and build heavy duty shelves for canning jars? See that horse rug? That was in my room when I was a kid. I love it.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Black Cherry Jelly!

A few weeks ago, I spotted 100% juice at the grocery store and thought "that might make a nice jelly". Then, my son and I came down with pretty bad colds and it got put off. I finally made it yesterday.

I bought Knudsen 100% Black Cherry juice and followed the directions for lower sugar (classic pectin) sweet cherry jelly on the Ball Site's pectin calculator. I made 4 half pints. It was quick and easy. The black cherry jelly tastes like crushed Bing cherries. I used it on toast this morning and in thumbprint cookies this afternoon. Yummy!

The cookies were made with a Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie mix I found in the pantry. They spread quite a bit more than I expected...

I did a few with marshmallows and chocolate chips, a few with caramel apple jam and then black cherry jelly with chocolate chips.
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