Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Mission Organization: Day 5

All of the soggy weather we’ve been having is good motivation to keep moving with my kitchen organization.

My 2nd window eyesore was much worse than my 1st.  Yesterday, I fixed that problem.


The Monkey art (birdhouses) received some wood glue and have made their way outside.  The yeast tin was cleaned up and put on the 1st windowsill.  We’ve planted our seed pots and put them in the living room with our Table O’Seedlings (our seedlings are still inhabiting my living room but are to be transplanted in the garden ASAP).  Everything else was trashed or put where it belongs.

I decided my precious mixer needed to be moved and gave it a home under my butcher block table and rearranged the small display shelf immediately to the left of the window.


Ahhhhh.  So much better. 

I’ll be putting a few potted herbs on the sink under the window mainly because I am sick and tired of buying fresh herbs all of the time (and my thumb isn’t nearly as brown as it used to be).  

The shelves have 2 old milk bottles, complete with lids and the Maine Seal in the glass.  The large glass jar is a Tom’s peanut container my grandmother gave me.  I use it as a cookie jar but my mom remembers it being filled with homemade doughnuts all of the time when she was a kid (I love pieces that have a story – especially when it’s a piece of my family story).  A couple of cookbooks and my recipe box round it out.  My recipe box got some love and a makeover while I was at it.


Monkey did a number to it on the shelves at the old house.  I had to replace a few letters and changed the ribbons.  I’ll have red in the kitchen even after we get around to redoing it, so I’ll incorporate red accents now and ignore the orangey-red on the cabinets and walls in the meantime.  ;-)

Here’s what I attack today:


It’s the good, the bad and the ugly here, folks.


I’m trying to decide if my Day 7 and final day of this round of organizing should be under my kitchen sink or my junk drawer.  Both need a little [lot of] help.

I can’t go wrong with either, that’s for sure.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Mission Organization: Day 4

I realize I’ve posted Day 1-4 today.  I started on Friday but just haven’t kept up posting.  :-P

The kitchen is coming along nicely.

Today, I took a small and easy organization project (seeing as I have my hands full with fiddleheads!).

The window above my sink was a real eyesore.


I’ll be putting a display shelf up eventually.  Until then, I’m keeping a few small NEAT things on the windowsills.



So much better.  I got the yeast tin at a yard sale for $1.  I keep our matches and scraping blades hidden in it (out of the kids’ reach, of course).  The spice jars I found in my grandfather’s store.  It’s mostly been cleaned out but there are a few little hidden treasures still.  These jars are still full! (The thyme still smells good too – though I have NO intention of using them.  lol)

Next up – the 2nd window sill in my kitchen.


Mmmm… Fiddleheads

I think my father-in-law felt a little badly for T yesterday when T informed him we wouldn’t be doing our annual fiddlehead picking.  As much as we love the rewards of our hard work, we just don’t have the time.  So, my father-in-law took it upon himself yesterday to pick a 6 gallon pail of the tasty green delicacy for us.  T then helped him clean them.

Now I have the fun job of par-boiling and freezing them.


It’s an easy process, really.  It just takes a little time.

First, I boil them for a minute or 2.  Then I drain them, stick them in an ice bath and then drain them again.


Then I lay them out on a towel to dry for a few hours before I pack them into freezer bags - in meal sized portions.

My counter is currently full of them.

These are about ready to hit the freezer so I get to go start round 2.  I’m hoping to get our cooler half empty before I need to make dinner.  (They’re in cold water in the cooler until I process them all.  Ideally, you want them refrigerated, but we just don’t have the space.  We’ll rinse any left in the cooler tonight and put fresh water until I can deal with the rest tomorrow.)



Mission Organization: Day 3


After finishing up on the sun porch, it was time to move into the kitchen.  The one room in the house I insist on being clean is my kitchen.  My entire house can look like a tornado (or 2) came through, but my kitchen MUST be clean.

One day last week as I was doing my morning cleaning, I noticed I have a few hot spots of clutter.  They’re spaces that we stick things to keep them away from the kids or because we don’t know what else to do with them – or, my favorite, something that needs fixing and we still haven’t fixed so it sits there, forgotten.

This is really what sparked my Organizational Mission.  As I was looking around I realized, no matter how clean my kitchen is – the clutter just detracts.

No more.

I started with the kids cubbies.   I forgot to take a before picture of this.  Bad, I know.  Let me describe the mess for you.

The cubbies are a freestanding unit given to me by my boss.  It has 3 cubbies, each with a hook and a shelf.  I have the kids hang their jackets on the hooks, put mittens and hats on the shelf and shoes on the bottom shelf.  The extra cubby had a ripped plastic bag stuffed with paper recycling.

The top has a basket for T and me to leave our hats and gloves.  A basket for mail was also there, overflowing with 2 weeks worth of junk mail.  I also had a nice collection of tupperware to return to family members (we’re a big family of stuffing filled tupperware containers to give each other.  :-)

Does this paint a good enough picture for you?



I tidied up our basket of gloves (yes, we are still wearing gloves – but they are our work gloves which get used almost daily), sorted through the mail, put up our farm sign and added a plant on the top.  So much nicer.


Don’t mind the weird shadow.  My kitchen doesn’t have the best natural lighting.

I added a hook to the side and made a bag to tame all the tupperware (which, amazingly, I have none of right now!).  I also made a matching bag for the 3rd cubby for our paper recycling.

It’s so much better.

Today, I attack windowsills.

In particular, this one:


These projects don’t need to be big or time consuming.  They just need to make an impact.

Mission Organization: Day 1

and 2.

I am completely amazed at how unorganized our house is.  I thought moving would help me get us organized, seeing as everything was being pulled out and put into new spaces – starting fresh.


That would be too easy.

We use the entry in the kitchen as our main entry.  To get to this door, you must first go through the sun porch.

This is what has been greeting my guests for the past 4 months.


Ok, so maybe not this mess in particular but it has been a mess of one kind or another.


We’ve been using it to spread out some painting projects, holding firewood and an in between for hauling stuff either out of or into the house.

I spent a few hours one afternoon hauling everything out, vacuuming it up and cleaning up the walls, floor and windows.

Day 2 involved making it a little bit more welcoming.


I have big plans for this room but I won’t be able to tackle it any time soon.  I couldn’t live with the mess in the meantime.


This?  This I can live with.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Who Cares if it’s Not Done?

I’ve been so deprived of workspace next to my stove for the past 3 1/2 months.

So deprived I hauled this bulk around on my own today.


I know I said it was too big to go near the stove, but I don’t know if I’ll be moving it again any time soon.


My husband may not like it but I love it.

I’m also finding it super handy tonight.

Ok.  Enough drooling over my table.  I need to go take care of the chicken.

Tissue Paper PomPoms

Monkey’s birthday is coming up in a couple of weeks.  She’d like a flower party.  I started working on our DIY party decorations this morning.

Martha Stewart has these awesome tissue paper pompom flowers I’ve been seeing pop up all over Blogland.  They’re adorable and girly – perfect for a flower party.

We gathered our supplies,


folded our tissue,


and tied a length of wire around the center.


I then trimmed the edges (Good Lord I need a manicure – and Monkey needs her nails trimmed!),


and carefully started spreading the tissue out (Monkey photography).


Hmm.  Not nearly as pretty as the ones I’ve seen in Blogland.  This looks like a big bow.


My second attempt wasn’t much better.

For my third attempt, I cut three sheets of paper into quarters.  I then did the same as above, in a smaller version.  (She loves both equally)


Much better, yes?


The trick?  Don’t be cheap and use more stacks.  (My first was only five sheets, my third and smaller version had twelve sheets).


Now I know the trick, I’ll be heading back to the store for a bit more colored tissue paper.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

It’s Here!


My brother just stopped in with a special delivery.

Remember this?


And the love I lavished on it?


It still needs some work - but look what my dad did today!


It’s love.

Friday, May 13, 2011



We’ve been having a lot of evening guests this week.

First my dad.


Then, this lovely machine.


He made quick work of what would have been a backbreaking and nearly impossible job for us to get done on our own.


Now… let the fun begin!

Name That… Egg?


While raking up the mess we made taking down Big Green, I stumbled upon a couple of nests buried in the dead leaves at the base of the tree.


I thought they were rocks at first, but upon further investigation have decided they are eggs.


Can anyone tell me what they are?  I’ve never seen them before (I’m sure either T or my dad know, but I don’t have either of them handy at the moment.  ;-)


I’m quite intrigued.  And hoping it’s not snakes.



My brother thinks it’s some kind of nut/seed.

My father in law had no idea.

T thinks it’s those brown puffer things (technical, huh?  I have no idea what they’re really called) that have been petrified from last year.

I’m just waiting for my woods expert (aka my dad) to come here so I can see if he knows. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

I’m a Lumberjack, Baby

We’ve changed the location of our garden.  It will no longer be hanging out in the backyard with the blueberries.


Instead, it’s going to be directly behind the garage – much closer to the house.  (It will also be 40’x40’ rather than the 20’x20’ and then 20’x30’ we had originally – and secondly – planned out).

There was only one problem with this new locale.  Big Green was blocking all of the sunlight.


Lucky for us, we happen to know a very skilled lumberjack.


Here’s my dad, doing one of the things he does best.


It’s also something he loves.  He’s like a kid in a candy store when someone asks him to pull out the chainsaw.


He had an audience.  Little Man is pure boy and completely enamored with tools and “man” toys.


It only took him a few minutes to get the job done.


Then we loaded her up.


Oh, hi!  The rest of our audience.


Three loads later and a stump is all that remains.


Sorry Big Green.  You have been sacrificed.


Also, anytime I hear a chainsaw, I get this song stuck in my head

(heavy metal but no nudity or swearing)

So of course, I’ve been singing this song all.night.long.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I am in love

I’ve been saying for a very long time that I need a bigger dining table.  Our little thing works great for just the 4 of us but when we have guests, it tends to become a tight squeeze.

I stumbled upon this Saturday night:


It’s ok.  Swoon with me.  *SWOON*

Shelby and her husband over at Honeysuckle BUILT this fabulous table!  They built it.  From scratch.  With their own 2 [err..  4] hands.

I showed it to my dad, showed him the plans and he told me “No problem!” 

See, but there is a problem.  I want to build it myself – with his guidance and expertise, of course.  (Oh, how my dad will get tired of having me live so close.  lol  “Dad, what do you think about this?  Easy?  Can you help me?”  He hears these words often.  ;-)

It’s on the [massive] to-do list.  It’s down low on the list, but it’s there.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Yard Work Never Looked So Good

We’ve got a pretty big yard at our new house.


I was told there used to be a softball field back here.  The previous owners had 3 athletic sons.  We found a remnant this week now that the snow is finally gone.  T tells me it’s home plate and pointed out what he thinks is the old backstop down the bank.


We’ve been doing a lot of work outside.

Of course, there were our new apple (and plum) trees.


We also mapped out where our new garden plot will be (the 4 flags in front will be the 4 corners). Side note – I can’t WAIT for the lawn to green up.


We also put in blueberry bushes – only 9 for this year with hope to put in more next year.


I’ve discovered a lot of flower beds.


Most of them need some work.


They currently look like weed piles – but we do have some growth!


So far, my favorite find was hiding in this bed:


Most of those bricks were laying on their side and almost completely covered with dirt and plants.  I also found a stack of them behind the garage AND another small bed only with a partial border – most of which was also covered in dirt and plants.  I won’t have quite enough to go the whole way around, but I’m sure I’ll find more old brick lying around here somewhere.

I’m planning on slowly edging all of the beds.  Weeding and mulching are on the short list.  I’m not planning on doing anything else in them for this year because I have no idea what’s in them, for the most part.  So I’ll let them go and see what’s up.

Then there’s this:


T started cutting out the brush yesterday.  The goal is to get it all cleaned up and then decide which of the old trees has to go (we have some dead rot. :-(


There is another patch of trees and brush that will need cleaning up as well.  We’re doing the section that shows first then we’ll get around to the other when time permits.

I feel like we’ve already done so much in just a week or 2 of outside work!

Next up: Revamp one of the more unsightly beds in the back for the kids garden.  Sunflowers, pumpkins and peas, oh my!

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