Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!!

Adjust, Adapt, and Overcome...Right.

My 2 teenagers, known here as Angel 1 and Angel 2, are off to the church lock-in tonight! We are handing the reigns of the youth to a new youth director at midnight and they are having a coronation ;) plus!! It's the old Youth directors birthday! (Happy B-day Karen!!). She's not leaving the church though, just stepping out of that uber responsible position now that she's a (drumroll please) GRAMA :) So it is going to be a terrific Halloween night and one I was supposed to help and be a part of except.......

H1N1 has had me down for over a week now. Everytime I think I'm better and try to start doing things again it kicks back in, fever comes back...blech...Hopefully I'm about through it now. It's be about 10 days maybe 12?

And during that time I got word that my house buyer did indeed back out and my listing is about to expire. I'm taking it as a sign to stay where I am. Which is ok by me, afterall, I love my neighborhood! I'm less than a block from my mother's house. And what I was looking for in another home, I can add to this one.

Actually seeing all the creative blogs and finding new ones everyday gives me the certainty that it can be done, and actually, I'm betting you guys would be glad to help...with ideas and opinions and such :)

So here's the home. It's small (tiny!!) but workable.

And here's why I thought selling would be the better idea: 3 women, 1 bathroom...the square footage of the house is only 876.

but I have 240 on my sun porch out back

and 1/2 the basement is finished.


2 bedrooms up and one (non-conforming) down.

Only have a shower in the bathroom because the previous owners put a stack washer/dryer in there..which I have to admit is handy.

So those are the things that I thought would be easier to sell this and find somewhere else. But alas, the market isn't yet strong enough for me to be able to get out and break even on the improvements I have done (even including some 'depreciation').

Project #1

This is in the basement and is about 15 by 8. This was where the washer and dryer were before they moved upstairs. Say hello to the home of my new lower level bathroom.  About where that board is is where there will be a wall to keep the electrical away from the water/humidity of the bathroom area.

Project #2
An Addition

Bye bye sunporch. I didn't use you that much anyway, like the light though!
Mud room/laundry out here, another bedroom of it 12 by 25 total to add on and viola 1100 sq ft 3 bedroom house. Plus...put a BATHTUB back in the mainfloor bathroom!

Expensive, yes. But it's my home and some of that has to be weighed in too.

 Project #3

Siding and windows

Here's where you get to help...what colors???? I'm going for cottage-ish without storybook colors (ie: green and pink)

Can't wait to hear what you think

Friday, October 23, 2009

Time Traveler's and Stuck in Time

I just finished the Time Traveler's Wife. Unfortunately I got to finish it today because I'm home sick, me and over 80 kids in our High School alone with 'the flu'.

I'll be honest. I had a devil of a time getting into this book. It wasn't the writing, there were some passages in this novel that just blew my socks off and made me never want to plink out a scene on my computer or scrawl dialog on my yellow legal pad  again! It was the people. I just had a hard time caring. I think it was when I found out that Clare came from a wealthy family. I'm tired of that. Too Gilmore for me. By 3/4 through though, I loved them and was wrapped in this tale. And still felt the prose was incredible! Delectible - writing you don't plow through to up page count totals for 'challenges'. But like gourmet writing, to savor and experience. That's why I stuck with it and that's what gratified the whole process of  The Time Traveler's Wife. I gave it 4 stars. Highly recommend it, and yes, stick with it!!

Besides wishing I wasn't sick and knowing how slow time goes when I am, my realtor called and said that the buyer wants out of our sale contract. I knew it!! grrrr.  Oh well...C'est la vie. Another showing Sunday. It's just a situation where I need to re-set my sails (pun?) since I can not control the wind.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Stew time. Beef definately not Rabbit

I've been making this stew for awhile now. I'm about due for a new recipe to try.

Boneless beef ribs were on sale so I cubed them to start.

Roll in some flour and brown up in a couple tablespoons of vegetable oil with a large onion, 3 cloves of garlic, salt, pepper, oregano, 2 bay leaves, 3 tablespoons of Worchestershire sauce. Then add 3 cups of water or beef broth (I used beef broth this time) and simmer for 1 1/2 - 2 hours or until meat is tender.

Add carrots and Potatoes and continue simmering for about another 30 minutes (mine would have taken less time this time, but I only checked it at the 30 minute mark and my potatoes were falling apart done. Too done.) Thicken at the end of time with flour and cold water wisked together.


Snacking while waiting is allowed if your good friend comes over and provides Hidden Valley Ranch Mix Pretzels

Some whole wheat bread and I'm ready for some comfort.

Tastes better than it looks. But as I say, I'm ready for a new recipe. My mom has a family favorite for Burgandy Beef Stew. Always delicious. 

I'm also going to keep at this until my photography skills increase! Hard to believe I won a photography award once upon a time. (back in the days of 35mm slr and film).

I'm linking to the Party at Southern Hospitality for my first time. As always, I'm sure I'll come away with more than I took :)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Pico de gallo and summer memories

What do you do on a dark, soggy fall night when the weather folks keep saying snow flurries...again...already. You remember  sumptious summer fare. Pico de gallo as developed, arranged, and composed by Oldest Angel. Cooking is her hobby and I think she did a lovely job!

She had an idea to go with the memory of flavors from a restaurant and she went from there. I took her to the grocery since O.A. can't drive yet, and we assembled what she deemed the ingredients.

Home grown roma tomatos, purple onion, fresh garlic, lemon juice, and lime juice, with fresh cilantro.

And chop.

And chop

She's very good at chopping and there is no one I'd trust faster with my Wuesthoff than her.

Squeeze lime and/or lemon juice over to taste.

The finished product ready to go into the fridge for some flavor melding and aging. Then on to some good chips!

It was delicious and I can't wait to start thinking about a little garden next year so most of the ingredients can be our own.

Since it was a success, next time we'll step up the presentation and plating points. I could probably find a more coordinating serving piece!

A+ kiddo. A great summer memory and a great mother/daughter memory for me and I hope for her too :)

I'm linking to Gollum and Foodie Friday

Not your typical recipe I know but..."It's not about's about having fun in the kitchen." to quote Gollum...and we sure did!

I think I can still catch a waft of onion and garlic :)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

What they say about news

Well they say "No news is good news" but in this case no news is just no news. I haven't heard back on weather my buyers have their financing secured yet and am in limbo until I do. I can not really make an offer on another house, can't start packing because if it falls through then we're back to having showings. So it's frustrating. But I'll get by. After all its candy corn season. Who invented that triangular crack anyway!! I don't even like candy!

My book challenge is going oh so slow. It occurred to me yesterday that I can't remember the names of the protagonists. I'm thinking I'm not that into this book. (sorry to those of you who really connected with it.) It's just not my time for it apparently.

I did however get the Kiera Knightly version of Pride and Prejudice from Netflix last week. My oldest angel had never seen it...she claims she doesn't like movies...we must have watched it 10 times since then and yesterday when I sealed it up to send it back. She deemed this movie an exception and is ruined in comparing all her suitors to Mr. Darcy and lapsing into old english speaking patterns, accent, and vocabulary at random times. And dream of visiting Chatsworth (Pemberly in Derbyshire in the movie).

I also can not start any projects. Or any I'd hoped to start: my little drawer hanging thingy and my first chalkboard make-over. So I may take back up the crochet hook. Or the embroidery needle.

In the meantime, I'll try to stay focused (or focus on the other things going on with us) until I can put my efforts into either moving (which seems inevitable) or settling in to make my tiny home sufficient for us. Which is possible.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Sale Pending

My little house has been on the market since August and I just went down to my realtor's office yesterday to sign papers on a counter offer. And they took it.

Now I am excited and petrified at the same time.

It is pending financing, but when that goes through, I will have 30 days from the time of official financing commitment to find and close on another home.

And one I like.
And one I can afford
And one that is a fair deal
And one that is in the right neighborhood

I bit off all my fingernails and am twirling my hair incessantly.

My mantra now is 'this will be for the better'! Which is why I started this in the first place. For the better. One more bedroom, one more bathroom, that's the quest!

There are exactly 3 homes in my small town that fit my criteria. I looked at 2 and have my fingers crossed for the 3rd. Or that the good Lord sees fit to have some perfect home come on the market today, or tomorrow.

Sub-Quest: find boxes
Sub-Sub-Quest: evaluate sanity!!

I'll post pictures of my little house and my hopefuls when I can.

OOOH I found one:

Very modest, cute little home. I'll miss it soooo much!!!