Friday, January 31, 2014

Friday with Food: Brownies!

Last week I had the opportunity to hear an interview with Danell at Weed 'em and Reap. She was talking about how she lost about 30 lbs by simply cutting out processed food. She said that she gave herself permission to eat whatever she wanted as long as she made it herself from healthy, real food. She said she was making cakes and cookies like crazy for awhile, but the desire for them tapered off. She still makes it if she wants it, but she doesn't want it as often. She made her sweets with whole grain flour and real unprocessed sweeteners. Well, that got me thinking about brownies.

 I have this cookbook that belonged to my grandma.

This is her handwriting on the brownie recipe. This is REALLY GOOD! Ok, so how do I make it better? Whole grain flour, real butter, and coconut sugar and stevia! Ok!
So that is what I did.
I used a mixture of cocoa powder and unsweetened chocolate because that is what I had.

coconut sugar and stevia
Added to the eggs.
Sifting the dry ingredients.

Adding it all together.

Into the pan.

Out of the oven.

It smelled wonderful. It looked wonderful!   It was bitter and very dry!

First lesson: When using whole grain flour, you must increase the amount of shortening that you would normally use. I'm not sure by exactly how much at this point. I think double would probably be too much, so I'm thinking half again what the recipe calls for. If the recipe calls for a half cup, I  would use ¾ cup. I'll let you know how that works.

The issue of bitterness, I first attributed to the possibility of too much stevia, but that really didn't make sense. I'm thinking now that there might have been too much vanilla, because the stevia was vanilla flavored, and then I used the whole amount of vanilla called for in the recipe. I'l have to watch out for that.

So what to do with this pan of very dry brownies? I used them in a bread pudding recipe, this time using honey as the sugar replacement. It was better, but still had that bitter taste that increased with time. Still think it might have been too much vanilla.

Ok, so this experiment didn't turn out so great. I'll just have to take what I've learned and try again.

Have a wonderful weekend, and I”ll see ya Monday!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Repurposed Thursday: A Ragged Little Box

Welcome to Repurposed Thursday!

Last week I showed you how we disassembled/demolished my old upright piano. During that time, an idea came to me for a gift for Ed. Anytime we've visited an antique store or flea market and came across a valet box, he has always spent a little extra time looking at it. He told me once, that when he was a kid, he thought they were just the coolest things. So, looking at the pieces of wood from the piano, I thought that I would make him a large valet box for Christmas. The fact that I had never even attempted to build anything like that didn't even enter my mind. How hard could it be?

I had decided to use one of the side pieces of the piano because it was wide and long, and I could get everything that I needed from one piece of wood. My first obstacle was finding a time when Ed was at work, and the weather cooperated. By that time, it was fall, and this is Missouri...My original plan was to get my son Kyle to come cut the pieces for me. I never could get that coordinated either. Ok, well, I was just going to have to do it myself. Finally, in October, the weather and Ed's work schedule cooperated.  I had watched Ed, for four years, every time he measured twice to cut once. I knew how to do that. I used two out door chairs to lay the wood across, then measured and marked the wood. Piece of cake!

Now to cut them. We have a battery operated skill saw that I had never used in my life...but I had watched Ed do it. The first cut went beautifully! This is going to be great! I'll get all the pieces cut this morning, and I”ll be able to put them together tomorrow morning! There were a few things, however, that I had not considered: The battery, and the age of the wood.  About half way through the second cut, the saw just stopped. Ok, well, I'll just change the battery (we have three). Apparently that one was dead too. I would soon learn, and I later told Ed, we need new batteries! Never mind that I was also trying to cut through one hundred-year-old wood! I also encountered the problem of very old veneer chipping off.

Anyway, I got two pieces cut that day and had to quit because I had no more battery. A few weeks went by as I waited for time to work on it again. Still, I couldn't keep a charge in the batteries long enough to cut anything.  However, this time, David was outside, and I mentioned my problem to him. He offered me the use of his skill saw...a full size electric one. Well, I couldn't very well say no. I needed to finish that box! I said Ok, thanked him and waited for him to bring the saw. It's about three times the size of our little battery operated saw. Have I told you that my hands aren't very big? I could have used three of them that day, but I got it done! Unfortunately, I didn't have as much control over the larger saw, and the cuts were not all that straight.

 I didn't realize how much until I started to put it together. I used deck screws and wood glue, and my cordless drill. Thankfully, it has a great battery. After a few attempts, I finally got the box together. Then I realized that I had put the side pieces on inside out. At that point, I was tired and not about to take it apart. Next came the lid with hinges and tiny screws presenting a whole new challenge, but finally, it was done.

My original plan was to line the box with fabric, and burn his initials on the lid. Well, I didn't have any fabric that I thought would go well with the dark veneer of the box, so I decided to fall back to decoupage and dictionary pages. I also wanted to honor Ed's relationship with the Lord, and his love for scripture, so I overlaid Bible verses over the dictionary pages for the two outer sides of the box (the ones I put on backward. Inside the lid, I overlaid an original poem on the pages. Overlaying is pretty simple, most of the time. I'll explain it in a future post. This one is getting a little long.

Burning his initials presented another challenge because the veneer was thick and I wanted to get to the wood underneath. It took a few hours, and my hand was very tired, but I finally finished. By rhat time, it was about two weeks before Christmas!

All in all, I thought it was pretty pitiful, but Ed loved it! When I tried to apologize for the mistakes in it, he wouldn't hear it. He says it's perfect! I love that man!

See ya tomorrow!


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Wednesday With the Word: Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled

With all that has gone on lately, with so much sickness and death,  my mind has often gone to the scripture that was my grandma's favorite: John 14:1-3. She, of course, recited from the King James, and although she has been gone for over thirty years, I can still hear her voice saying:

“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”

When the time came for her to go, like Miss Betty, Grandma was more than ready, because she absolutely believed the words of her Lord.

The New International Version (NIV) says it like this: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. “

John 14 is part of a lengthy discourse that ends in chapter 18 with Jesus' arrest.  Jesus was trying to prepare his disciples  for what was about to happen. Of course, they were pretty clueless, and promptly forgot everything he said in the horror of the events in the following days. Even with the joy of the resurrection, they might have forgotten much of what was said that night. However, Jesus made them another promise.

 “All this I have spoken while still with you.  But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”  John 14:25-26 NIV

On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit did come, and did remind them of everything that Jesus' had told them. The disciples, now apostles, would spread the good news which brings life to all who accept the gift of grace.

For over 2000 years, believers have held on to the promise of His return. The promise that He is coming back to take us home with Him.  For us as well, the Holy Spirit teaches and reminds us of those things the Lord would have us know.  In this life, we will experience disaster, heartbreak, and even death, but His promises still hold for us today.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 NIV

May you find peace today in Him.

See ya tomorrow!


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Makin' Do Tuesday: Bottles, Salt, and Cookware

Hello! Welcome to Makin' Do Tuesday!

Still working on cleaning my bottles, using what I already have. For most of them, the salt treatment followed by a vinegar soak, did the trick. The vinegar may have worked on its own, but I won't know that until I have the occasion to try it.

My step-mom always cleaned all her glass with bleach water, but I just don't want to deal with the bleach fumes. She also used a lot of ammonia, but I don't like that either, for the same reason.

The Sloans' Liniment bottle needed more work, so decided to give it the volcano treatment. You know what I mean. Vinegar and baking soda! How many science project volcanos have been created that way? Anyway, it's also a great cleaner. Watching it bubble, I remembered that many articles I read suggested using denture cleaning tablets to clean bottles. Makes me wonder what those things are made of.

 It still didn't come completely clean, but it will do for now. I put it and two other bottles in the large shadow box. The small bottle has sprigs of dried lavender and yarrow from last year's garden.

Another use for salt, and a very good reason to keep it next to your stove, is as a grease fire extinguisher. Ed has worked as a professional fry cook/grill operator for years, and he told me to always use salt. I know that you can use baking soda too, but you have to use a lot. Flour might spread the fire and is actually combustible. Whatever you do, NEVER put water on a grease fire! Many online sources encourage simply smothering a pan fire with the lid, but if your cookware is like mine, most of the lids have disappeared over the years. Mine have...except for the little one-quart sauce pan lid. Those never go anywhere. Probably because they only get used once a year.

Most of my cookware is either hand me down or thrift store finds. Needless to say, those did not come with lids.  I have had two sets in the last twenty five years. The first set is long gone. It was a T-Fal non-stick set. I don't even know for sure where they went. Then I got a low-end stainless steel set. They had glass lids. Guess what happened to those? Yep. Broke.

When I got married the first time, over 30 years ago, my step mom gave me a cast iron skillet, as well as a cast iron griddle. I still have them, and I use them nearly every day. I really like cast iron. I have some other cast iron skillets of graduating sizes that I have picked up from thrift stores, and flea markets. I would love to have a full set, including a dutch over with lid, but that isn't in my budget (unless I can find a used one) so I use what I have and make do. Here are the lids I use most of the time. One is a pizza pan, and the other is a salad plate.

Concerning yesterday's post, Miss Betty is doing better today, but my friend who had the heart attack is not doing well. We. of course, continue to lift both to the Lord.

See ya tomorrow.


Monday, January 27, 2014

Catch Up Monday: Sometimes God Says "No".

Happy Monday!

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!  Here in the KC metro, it was beautiful! Sunny and 40's on Saturday, and sunny and nearly 60 degrees on Sunday. Then, for the third weekend in a row, the bottom dropped out, and today our high was about 15, and for at least part of the day, the wind made it feel much colder.

Saturday, I slept in, and then ran some errands. I attended a Premier Designs jewelry party because I promised my oldest son's girlfriend that I would. I like the jewelry, but I'm not crazy about the price tag. After that, I met Ed and Katherine at the home of our friends, Bill and Jane, for a church movie night.
Did you know that churches now have to pay licensing fees in order to show movies at church. Its considered a public showing. However, Ed has been looking into the licensing process so that we can once again show movies at church, because we think it is a great outreach tool. The movie we saw Saturday was "I'm In Love With A Church Girl"". For the most part, it was a good movie, with a great message.

Sunday started out typically, except that Ed and I actually got to church as early as we planned. We almost didn't know how to act. By the time Sunday School was over however, we had heard that the brother of one of our dear friends had passed away that morning. As we were finishing up youth choir practice after church, we got word that a man just a little younger than me, whom I've known most of my life, had been rushed to the hospital with a heart attack. The most recent word I have is that the family is considering removing life support. Knowing his extended family has already suffered too much loss in the last few months, I left for home with a heavy heart.

Another dear friend from church, whom I will just call "Miss Betty" was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Lukemia last September. Miss Betty is in her 80's, and is one of those people who gets things done, not only at church, but out in the community as well. A retired Special Education school teacher, Miss Betty taught Sunday School with the same no nonsense, but a whole lot of love, attitude as she had her special needs charges. The kids love her dearly, and the adults do too!

Thanks to Caring Bridge, we have all been able to keep up with her journey. Ed, Katherine and I have gone to visit her as well, and our Bible study group visited her when we went Christmas caroling. She told us that she was ready to "go home" and had told the Lord as much. Ed told her that he was selfish, and he was asking the Lord to keep her here! We have become used to reading her daughter's posts regarding her progress, or lack thereof. This morning, I got a text message from another friend telling me that their was an early post today, and I might want to look at it. There have been three posts today. Ed and I are preparing ourselves for the phone call we will probably be getting in the next few days. God always answers prayer, but sometimes he says "no".

See ya tomorrow.


Friday, January 24, 2014

Friday with Food: Bagles!

Welcome to Friday with Food!

I had planned on making more of the Honey Whole Wheat Bread and trying out this bagel recipe from Kaitlyn Cooks last Saturday, but I ended up going to the hospital instead. That left me playing catch up all week, but I am happy to say that I got my baking done today!

It is not unusual for me to have several baking projects going on at once. Its simply a matter of timing things where you don't need to be doing something with two projects at the same time. I started the bread first, and this time I got the water temperature right to start with, so I didnt need to do anything else. I added my yeast and flour and let it rise for about an hour.

In the meanwhile, I started the bagels. Here is the list of Kaitlyn's ingredients as she has them at the link above. The notes are hers. Any changes I made are mentioned as I made them.
  • 1 1/2 cups of warm water
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp dry active yeast
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 tsp salt *optional (I always omit)
  • 4 - 5 cups whole wheat flour. Bread is best but I used Bobs Red Mill Organic Whole Wheat All Purpose Flour with excellent results
  • Large pot of water
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp of baking soda
 I used coconut sugar instead of brown sugar, and olive oil instead of canola oil. I did not omit the salt.

I mixed the yeast, sugar, salt and oil in the warm water and let it sit for about 15 minutes.

See how it bubbled up? Thats a sign your yeast is working. Then I started adding flour. I used generic whole wheat flour. It was exactly 4 cups. 
Once it started to form a ball in the bowl, I put in out on my floured cutting board to knead for about 15 minutes. Then I put it back in the bowl, covered it, and set it to rise for an hour

By that time, the hour was up for the bread. This is what it looked like.
Just as I had done with the bagel dough, I turned in out on my floured cutting board and kneaded about 10 minutes. Once again, I put it back in the bowl to rise for another hour. I should mention here, that I used a differnet brand of whole wheat flour this week, and I didn't have the problem of the sticky dough that I had before. 

When the hour was up for the bagels, I punched the dough down, and let it sit for a few minutes. then I turned it out on the board and tore it into eight pieces. 
Poking my fingers through the middle of each piece, I formed them into bagle shapes. Here they are in the boiling water
Waiting to go in the oven while I boiled the other four.
Following Kaitlyn's directions, I set my kitchen timer for nineteen minutes. Then I turned them over for the last minute. Look, it's bagels!
They are very good!

Back to Lisa's bread 
See how pretty it looks after rising for an hour. Time to knead again and put in bread pans.
I don't know why, but I can never get my loaves the same size. Oh well! One more rising. This time about 30 minutes.
Ready to go in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minuutes.
All done! Even better than last time!

Now, I have to finish cleaning my kitchen. I have a tendency to wear as much flour as I use! 

Have a great weekend!

See ya Monday!


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Repurposed Thursday: More Piano

Well, I went to see my doctor today, and he said pleurisy is possible, because I do have a little rattle in my chest, but he didn't think it was likely. He asked if I had been coughing, and I told him I hadn't. He said all the tests the hospital did came back normal, but something was obviously going on, and I did the right thing going to the ER. He did a few other blood tests to cover the very few things that the hospital didn't. We should have the results in a few weeks.

Last week, I talked about moving out the old piano last August. Over the next few months, we slowly started taking it apart. One of our biggest problems was trying to loosen the wires on the sound board. I knew they had to be loosened for our own safety, but we did not have equipment to turn the tuning pegs, so sadly, we were left with no choice but to cut them.

It had the most beautiful green cast iron sound board. It probably weighs 200 lbs. It's still in our front yard, because we don't know what to do with it. We have a friend that hauls scrap metal, but he hasn't seemed to interested in it. I've seen them repurposed into wall art and table tops, but I think it would be way too heavy for anything like that.

 I assume this was a serial number, but I never have been able to find out too much about the company that made the piano.
I did want to try and keep the name plate. Eventually, we did get it out and I have it in my office, where it waits for me to come up with a repurposing plan for it. 

Originally, I wanted to turn the piano into a full sized entertainment center, but the way it came apart, left that project unlikely. We wanted to loosen the sound board while leaving the front "shelf" intact. (I don't know how we thought we could do that). It would not loosen from the front at all, so Ed tried to get to the bolts from the back. 
That is when we discovered that the piano was put together with what looks like scraps of wood. 

See these top pieces? The are all glued together with something that held for over a 100 years. It wasn't about to come apart now!

So we went back to the front and realized the shelf was going to have to go,
 Next the sides came off
Still there was no way to get to the bolts from the front, so we turned it over again. Remember I said that sound board weighs about 200 pounds. Thats not counting all the wood still attached at this point.
The boards on top and the posts of the bottom have to come off, but how?

Yeah, thats a skill saw. The chain saw got into the act too, at one point. 
Success! Sort of. Now we had to remove 100 year old bolts. Sometimes, it was a matter of removing the board from the bolt instead of the other way around, but finally, the sound board was free, and so was the name plate!
We now have all the pieces, inlcuding keys, bolts, boards, etc. (except for the sound board) in what we call "The Lab". The lab is a metal shed, that we fixed up for Katherine to play in. While she still has some things in there, it has now become more of a temporary storage shed.  I'm looking forward to warmer weather when I can get out there and start playing with all those great pieces of wood. I did however, already repurpose one of the sides.

I'll share that with you next week.

See ya tomorrow!


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Wednesday with the Word: Serving a Creative God

Genesis 1:1 says “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” The rest of chapter one provides the detail of the the beginning of all living things on earth and in the heavens above us.

One of the first things that should come to mind when reading Genesis one is that we have a very creative God!

 “Then God said, 'Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.' And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.” Genesis 1:11-13


Well, I started searching the internet for a seemingly easy question. How many species of trees are there in the world. According to the answers I found, there is somewhere between 10,000 and 100,000 species of trees in the world today. Here is an interesting blog on the subject. Regardless of which end of the spectrum you subscribe, that took a lot of imagination, especially when you consider it all started with “and God said, let there be... ". If there are so many trees that the experts don't even know for sure, we don't even need to look at the rest of vegetation to be overwhelmed by our creative God.

Sea creatures and birds:

"And God said, 'Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.'  So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day." Genesis 1:20-23

I have a friend who lives and works in St Croix, Virgin Islands. He goes diving quite often and takes breathtaking pictures of some of the most amazing creatures I have ever seen. Octopi, eels, lion fish, crabs, sea horses, jelly fish, and curious sharks, are just a few of the wonderful creatures he has captured on film. Our own Missouri, and Little Blue rivers team with all kinds of life from crappie, to blue gill, to monster catfish, not to mention crawdads, bullfrogs, and other interesting critters.

Job 41 speaks of a magnificent sea creature, which has caused no small debate. Some scholars would have us believe this is a crocodile, but I think it is something much larger. This description would surely explain the many seaman's stories of sea monsters. This is God speaking to Job:

“I will not fail to speak of Leviathan’s limbs,
    its strength and its graceful fsorm.
 Who can strip off its outer coat?
    Who can penetrate its double coat of armor?
Who dares open the doors of its mouth,
    ringed about with fearsome teeth?
Its back has rows of shields
    tightly sealed together;
each is so close to the next
    that no air can pass between.
They are joined fast to one another;
    they cling together and cannot be parted.
Its snorting throws out flashes of light;
    its eyes are like the rays of dawn.
Flames stream from its mouth;
    sparks of fire shoot out.
Smoke pours from its nostrils
    as from a boiling pot over burning reeds.
Its breath sets coals ablaze,
    and flames dart from its mouth.
Strength resides in its neck;
    dismay goes before it.
The folds of its flesh are tightly joined;
    they are firm and immovable.
Its chest is hard as rock,
    hard as a lower millstone.
When it rises up, the mighty are terrified;
    they retreat before its thrashing.
The sword that reaches it has no effect,
    nor does the spear or the dart or the javelin.
Iron it treats like straw
    and bronze like rotten wood.
Arrows do not make it flee;
    sling stones are like chaff to it.
A club seems to it but a piece of straw;
    it laughs at the rattling of the lance.
Its undersides are jagged potsherds,
    leaving a trail in the mud like a threshing sledge.
It makes the depths churn like a boiling caldron
    and stirs up the sea like a pot of ointment.
It leaves a glistening wake behind it;
    one would think the deep had white hair.
Nothing on earth is its equal—
    a creature without fear.
It looks down on all that are haughty;
    it is king over all that are proud.” Job 41:12-38

My daughter is convinced that this passage refers to what we now call a “fire-breathing dragon”!

As for birds, we have plenty right here. I have had the pleasure of seeing a humming bird fluttering right outside my front door. Of course, there are robins, blue birds, blue jays, cardinals, and a host of finches. There are buzzard nests on the cliffs behind our house. Sometimes, on our way to church we count the hawks we see in trees and on telephone poles. Its always a special treat to me to see an owl. I see two or three a year. That is just here. I don't imagine anyone knows for sure how many species of birds there really are. God knows though. He created them. All of them! How cool is that!

“And God said, 'Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.' And it was so. God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.” Genesis 1:24-25

“Lions, and tigers, and bears, oh my!”

Dogs, cats, pigs, goats, sheep, gorillas, and the Behemoth!

Again this is God speaking to Job.
“Look at Behemoth,
    which I made along with you
    and which feeds on grass like an ox.
What strength it has in its loins,
    what power in the muscles of its belly!
Its tail sways like a cedar;
    the sinews of its thighs are close-knit.
Its bones are tubes of bronze,
    its limbs like rods of iron.
It ranks first among the works of God,
    yet its Maker can approach it with his sword.
The hills bring it their produce,
    and all the wild animals play nearby.
Under the lotus plants it lies,
    hidden among the reeds in the marsh.
 The lotuses conceal it in their shadow;
    the poplars by the stream surround it.
 A raging river does not alarm it;
    it is secure, though the Jordan should surge against its mouth.
Can anyone capture it by the eyes,
    or trap it and pierce its nose? “ Job: 40:15-24

Massive, awe-inspiring creatures, as well as tiny microbes invisible to the human eye. All created by our very creative God, but he wasn't finished.

“Then God said, 'Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.'” Genesis 1:26

Then God created his masterpiece. He created human beings in his own image. What does it mean to be created in the image of God? Well, one thing it means is that he made us to be creative too. Of course, our creativity is nothing compared to his, but think about musicians, artists, dancers, builders, inventors, writers, and a host of other types of human creativity.

“Then the Lord said to Moses,  'See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah,  and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills—  to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of crafts. Moreover, I have appointed Oholiab son of Ahisamak, of the tribe of Dan, to help him. Also I have given ability to all the skilled workers to make everything I have commanded you.”'Exodus 31:1-6

God made us to be creative with the idea that it all points back to him. Everything we do should bring glory and honor to our creator.

“Praise the Lord.
Praise God in his sanctuary;
    praise him in his mighty heavens.
Praise him for his acts of power;
    praise him for his surpassing greatness.
Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
    praise him with the harp and lyre,
praise him with timbrel and dancing,
    praise him with the strings and pipe,
praise him with the clash of cymbals,
    praise him with resounding cymbals.
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord.” Psalm 150:1-6

Have a blessed day!

See ya tomorrow!


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Makin' Do Tuesday: This and That

Welcome to Makin' Do  Tuesday!

Since I'm still playing catch up from the weekend, I thought I'd share a few odds and ends.

Last week, Ed and I went to help my friend Mary lift a new heating stove off a rental truck. It was going to be several hours before another friend would be able to install it, and she wanted to return the truck. I've known Mary most of my life. She is an only child, and still lives in the house where she grew up. Her parents have both passed on, and like my grandfather, they never threw anything away. Her father was a skilled carpenter, and there are some wonderful things in the house. Maybe, some day, she will let me take pictures to share with you.

While we were there, the conversation turned to this blog, and she said it reminded her of  how her mother and aunt repurposed a pair of old shoes to fix a screen door. Apparently, the hinges broke, and they really needed the door, so they made do. They found an old pair of shoes, took the soles off, and used them for hinges. It worked!

After listening to her story, somehow my mind went from that to one of the best cases of making do that Hollywood ever came up with. This clip is from "Operation Petticoat"

Love this movie!

I'm still working on the bottles, but still haven't got them as clean as I would like. I have them soaking in our old buddy vinegar for now.

My office/workshop is a prime example of making do. The room itself was, at one time, part of the dining room. A previous tenant had both a son and a daughter and only one bedroom. A decision was made to close in a portion of the dining room in order to create a small room for the daughter. Key word: small. The basic shape is a 6” x 10” rectangle, but the end of the room where the door is, is only about 4 feet across. The rest of the dining room is now a funky little hallway leading to the other bedroom.

Anyway, the room was painted for a little girl with pinks and greens, which you will be able to see in the pictures. When we first moved in, Kyle was still at home, so it was Katherine's room. When he moved out, she got the big room.

First, I was just going to use it for books and other storage. Ed built shelves and we moved some of our bookshelves in here. Almost every bookshelf I have was either given to me, or I got it at a yard sale for two or three dollars. When I finally decided I needed my own place to work, I did a little reorganizing, and had Ed build more shelves.

If you will notice, almost everything I use for storage someone else would throw away.
This is not the best shelf Ed ever built. I think he was having an off day, but it is built from the same wood fencing that had made the sawhorses from. The little organizer on the desk was a $2.00 Goodwill find. The desk came from a friend who was cleaning house. The containers on the shelves are mostly food container jars. I love clear glass jars. I can see what I have at a glance. These are filled with beads.
More of the desk. The drawing on the wall was given to me by a little girl from church. Oh that lamp? I paid $3.00 at a thrift store.
These were the first shelves Ed put in this room. Notice the coffee cans and kitty litter boxes. The litter boxes have duct tape labels, so I know what is in them.
Kyle made the little shelf/hanger in shop class when he was in highschool. We brought the shelving near the ceiling with us when we moved here in 2010. It sat outside for about two years. The wreaths will soon have their own blog post.

More of that high shelf. Its full of Louis L'Amour paperbacks.
This is underneath the window. I think it was the top of a hutch. I've had it for so long that I don't remember where I got it.

This may be one of the few shelves I paid full price for. I originally bought it for CD's, It is screwed to the wall, so it won't lean over. The shelf to the left came from a yard sale.
This is the far end of the room. The little table on the left is where I do all my writing. You can see the other end of it in the first picture. We originally bought it to use at craft fairs. The pencil holder is a mixed nut can covered with scraps from an old dictionary.

Anyway, so now you've seen where I work. 

See ya tomorrow,