Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Town House Homestead Tuesday

First day of Spring and it is still so cold. I think more snow is expected too. All we can do is take it one day at a time. Right? My blog posts seem to be a bit boring lately and not very colorful. I cannot wait for the gardens to awaken and bloom. 

For now, as my daughter says, if we want green we can look at the bathroom as work continues. She thought that the sink area would be the hardest job, but it appears that the window is requiring a lot of work that was left for us to do after it was replaced. Molding was not put back right, lumber they used was different sizes, and neatness was not their cup of tea. Lots of filling and sanding to get it to the quality job she wants it to be. 

With all the snow and cold I've been making lots of warm winter meals. Thanksgiving casserole and Shepherds pie are two favorites and stretch a ways.

I've also been using the abundance to fill the pantry. This is turkey and turkey broth. I will have it ready for when we need to make quick meals or we are strapped for grocery money. Planning ahead means we can do more to fix up the homestead.

There are signs all around that Spring weather should be on the way. Pots and trays for more seeds to be started. My main goal this summer is the pollination garden and a couple of raised beds. So far we are on course to meet this goal.

The seeds are sprouting in egg cartons and Solo cups. Mostly flowers, but I have peppers started too. So hoping they sprout this week. Tomatoes will be next. Most everything else will be planted in containers again this year, or in the two new raised beds.

This is Tobias. He's a German Shepherd and he came to play with Hunter. He is much older and put Hunter in his place a few times.

This is Kayia and she came along with Tobias. She is nine years old, also a German Shepherd, and wasn't having much of Hunter's child play, so Tobias guarded her for most of the visit. She has arthritis in her hip and running around with Hunter was not going to happen, but he was exposed to more dogs and that's what he needs. He is growing up. Still very rambunctious, but the change to adult is happening. 

Hunter was the little guy. At the end of the day we heard that Kayia and Tobias were as zonked out as Hunter. It was a good visit. So that's what is going on here at the Town House Homestead. Lots of work, lots of fun, and most assuredly lots of growth. Thank you for stopping by and have a great week.

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Town House Homestead Tuesday

We have been busy, busy, busy. Lots of work getting done. First thing has been upgrading the house. We have been getting new windows installed. 

We didn't realize the major job this was and how a small army of men could disrupt your home. This job was quoted for two days, but we are now trying to schedule the fourth. 

They are beautiful windows and we now have painting to add to our work load. Not that this is a major issue, but we can't get it done for a bit.

This is how the old bathroom window opened. I guess sixty years and no maintenance will do that. 

This is the new crank out window and we couldn't be happier. This is just as it was set in. Now we can continue the painting and updating in the bathroom.

This is how the sink area turned out. It's going to be so nice to have a bright bathroom.

She has made it around the bathroom door and part of the next wall, but not without a lot of patching. It could have been worse.

We have no idea why there were so many small spots that needed filling, but they all were done and sanded.The next upgrade was insulation. Blown in to the attic and foam in the basement. All at the same time the windows were being installed. What a mess the house was. It was hard on us because we were just beginning to feel a bit settled, but now we are still a bit disrupted and waiting for the end to come.

Trucks full of materials and equipment were all over the front yard.

Hoses to pump the insulation in ran through the house.

Ladders, hoses, and workmen busier than ever. They built a new hatch to the attic because the original was only 1/4 inch thick. Wasn't doing much for keeping the heat in. At the same time this was happening they were spray foaming the basement foundation tops and overhang. We felt a bit overwhelmed by all the activity.
Hunter was sent to doggy day camp for three days and came home exhausted, but he would never have survived this experience. It was good for him to play with other dogs.

He has tried to be helpful, but stealing the paint brush was not. He can run faster than we can, but we finally cornered him on the bed.

He had a death grip on this brush, but he finally gave in.

We've had heavy deep snow this past weekend. Our plow guy ran himself into the ditch. It took an hour and a half to get him out. We know his intentions were good, but he knew the ditch was there and went for it any way. Lots of damage to our neighbors lawn that we will have to repair come Spring.

They pulled him out sideways because he was going to tear out the mail boxes and that would have been his expense. We were waiting at this time for the contractors to come, but it was cancelled because taking windows out in this weather would have meant blizzard indoors. 

Hunter had company before the storm. This is Truman and he is four years old. They got along fine and all the mud in the yard didn't stop them. Ninety minutes of joy for them both. At the end of play they both were bathed and within a short period of time both zonked out. We can't wait until Truman can come and play again. He lost his yard. Hunter had all he could do to keep up with him and we thought Hunter was fast. 

So with all the winter still around, and all the busy, my house plants have been blooming at a steady pace and it brightens any dreary day. Who could not be happy with this many blooms in February.

That's what's been happening at the Town House Homestead. Growing and moving forward. Soon I will be starting seeds for flowers and veggies and the outdoor plans will begin. Thank you for stopping by and have a wonderful week. Be grateful for all your blessings. Share your love and bounty.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Town House Homestead Tuesday.

Well I must say, the the milder temperatures were nice while they lasted. Today starts a long streak of colder snowy days, but work continues. Now that we've taken some time off, (inserting laugh here), we are starting new projects and getting back to the homestead things that need to be done while we are shut up inside, or at work.

The only one happy with this windfall of snow is Hunter, but he's learned to come in when he gets cold without being summoned by a treat, so this is progress. It took him long enough to learn how to be out by himself, so it's great to see him adjust. He's one year old this week and his birthday present is going to be doggy day care. Just so I can work a day here and there around the house. He also needs to socialize with other dogs.

I love that my friends and family know me well enough to give me gifts of meaning. These are some vintage cooking and canning items I got for Christmas. 

It was my goal to finish this queen size scrap quilt before the end of January. I completed it a week ahead of schedule and it is now on my bed and keeping me warm. It's taken almost three years to complete. 

My daughter's house, our home, is sixty years old this year and she got it as a flipped house. It was not done well at all and a lot of things we knew we would be fixing. This was the condition behind the bathroom sink. Not even any grout in the floor tiles they put in, and pitiful painting around the sink if any. No one would see it I guess, but they don't know us. 

We are do it yourself kind of gals and in one week, working a little here and a little there, it's looking better than the original pink.

We are working on fixing the grout and sealing things so that the sink can go back, but since my daughter is ahead of schedule with the renovation, she is going to complete this nook of the bathroom before it does. Yes this is slowing down to us, but it's the best time of year to work indoors. 

While she's been working on the bathroom, I have been catching up on some canning. It started with orange juice and apple cider that had to be put up before they were lost.I had a good stash of vegetable scraps in the freezer and for the past four mornings have been busy boiling them into stock and canning it. I ended up with twenty six quarts of stock for the deep pantry and all of the boiled vegetable that were strained out, are now in the compost bin. 

Today there are canning jars on every counter in the kitchen in every stage of canning. From empty and new  to fresh from the dishwasher or waiting for a label, or to come out of the canner itself. I live a canning jar life and it has cut down on our use of plastics and waste. I use my jars to vacuum seal dry goods and hold spices too. It's great to buy items on sale and know they can be kept for a while. 

These are some older jars that I keep on the counter for my garlic and shallots. The jars can't be used for canning any more, so I use them for storage. 

And finally last week I received this in the mail. It's a wall mounted plug in heater. I won it in a Face Book contest. I enter those on occasion, but this one was just a share and I did it because other's were. I was surprised for sure, but skeptical because I have been told I won things before and never received the prize. Well it came and I am so excited. Some time soon the insulation goes in and I am going to mount it in my seed starting room so they will be warm and I may have more success this year. I was going to buy heat pads for the shelves, but this will save me from spending. We'll see what happens. 
That's what's been going on here at the Town House Homestead. Thank you for stopping by for a visit and have a great week. Remember to share your abundance and love. Doing for others always brings it's rewards. 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Town House Homestead Tuesday

Temperatures this past week reached a high of sixty, and garden fever started to set in. I got out to do little clean up things and took the time to enjoy the fresh air. No lawn chair time yet.

With the mild temperatures I worked on teaching Hunter to go out and play by himself. He did a lot of exploring and in a week has gained the confidence to be alone for a while. I think he even forgot that he was alone. 

In one twelve hour overnight, the temperatures went down to five degrees and we go a nice cover of snow. At least twelve inches with higher drifts. Very normal for January. With Hunter's new confidence though, we had to struggle to get him to come in. He is a snow dog for sure. I can now just open the door and let him go. Training a puppy has been a chore, but he is learning a new word this week. The word is "love". When he doesn't bite or jump we are repeating the word love and rewarding him. This may take a bit longer, but it's working. 

I did, however, have to have my daughter keep him inside while I shoveled a path to the compost bin. This would have been a festival for him, but unsafe for me. He will learn to walk with me I'm sure, but for now it's a tag team chore. 

Now that he will go outside for more than twenty minutes alone, it gives me time to make him cookies. These are sweet potato carrot cookies. Money saving and healthier for him. Takes no time at all to make, and I could have just sliced them, but it's fun using the cutter. 

To get my garden fever under control I started some chamomile. It seems to take a bit longer to get strong enough to transplant so I started it early. With the demise of the bee colony we can now take the time to build a good pollination garden.

I have finally chosen my next knitting project. This popcorn stitch shawl is in one of my 1978 pamphlets. I have already taken the time to write out the instructions, so I can read them and have them ready row by row. I have time to think about color and types of yarn while I finish some socks and small projects. Even though this would be awesome for sitting and quilting to keep me warm, it is a while down the road before I will get to start, if not next winter.
That is what has been going on here at the Town House Homestead. We are still waiting on the windows and insulation. It takes four to six weeks to get the windows, so not much longer before major work begins. It's been a time to slow down and mend hurting bodies, and as you can tell dedicate time to raising a great pet. Thank you for stopping by and have a great week. Remember to share your abundance and love. 

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Town House Homestead Tuesday

Well here we are in 2018 starting new again. The severe temperatures took the last of the surviving bees, but we will begin again in early spring 2019. We will take the time to plant a stronger pollination garden and prepare better. Although we are saddened, we did out best. It warmed up enough to bring the hive box inside so that we could clean it, and retrieve whatever honey and wax for our use. Needless to say everything is frozen.

My daughter managed to clean one side of a frame and simmer down the frozen wax and honey. The bee shaped jar we found thrifting, and she promised it would hold the very first honey she got from her own bees. We will be able to fill this jar and maybe another. We are not sure of the amount of wax we will have, but all will not be lost.

There is canning on the horizon. Soups, broths, and stocks from the stock up in the freezer. This has been a blessing for us because we actually eat what we can. I like my deep pantry. I also use canning jars to vacuum seal everything from cooking and baking supplies to dog food. Extra work, but safer storage.

You know it's winter and a time to slow down when a shoe box of knitting is on the end table. A pair of socks here and there and small things made from leftover scraps. We try to use everything if we can. I also have a stack of patterns that I'm searching through for my next winter knitting project.

My quilt is closer to being done. Much more to do, but I'm making progress. My goal is to have it on my bed by the end of this month. I'm just hoping I have made enough binding for it because my scrap pile of this fabric is quite small.

Yes, this little guy and I had a good Christmas. I'm still working hard at the bonding with him, but he's learned to leave my bare feet alone, not chase my feet, not touch my sewing or knitting and he tries hard to listen. Our major goal with him is to stop the play biting and jumping, but everyone tells me he's still young. Hunter will be one year old February first. 

I hope that everyone is surviving the cold winter. I have a bad case of Spring fever today, but I have seeds to organize and lots to keep me busy. Thank you for stopping by and have a great new year.