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3 years ago

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Photo: The melting from the roof seems to be over and we have come away from it all with very little damage (or so we think. We haven’t found much evidence of it). A small ice dam in the attic above the master bedroom created a leak big enough to make this stain. That stain had actually been there since we moved in but it darkened this winter, which leaves me to believe that it’s been there for a long time and nobody fixed it. The Husband is on it. We’re feeling really fortunate!



Monday! Warm Monday! The last Monday before Spring!!

Our local farm had a pancake breakfast featuring real maple syrup and locally sourced and farm made sausage that was, for reals, the best breakfast sausage I’ve ever had. Just delicious. And it had better have been, because it was $54 for the four of us and it was only a 30 minute meal. Which, really, is a bit of an extravagant thing for us to have done. But we really, really love our local farm and it was, clearly, a fundraising event, and it was nice to be there on a Saturday morning with other families eating breakfast. No cooking, no cleaning… I mean, could a mom or day ask for anything more?



And, though it was a cold and drizzly day, we walked off breakfast by visiting all the animals. The Husband rarely gets to visit the farm, so it was nice to watch the boys show him around the place. The sheep and goats have had babies, and they really are the cutest thing you’ve ever seen. And I am writing all of this because… well… I just can’t write enough about how much that farm means to us. On the way home, The Husband and I were talking about how little time we spent on farms as kids, and how wonderful they are, and how much the boys are getting out of this. It’s going to get even better: We signed up for the CSA this year (we’re splitting it, and the cost, with another family), so every other week we will get to go down to the fields and get the freshest veggies you can imagine. All. Summer. Long. As a person who loves to cook, I’m just beside myself. But as a person who appreciates food and wants to better appreciate how hard it is to cultivate it, I’m excited about being part of this program. I hope that this is something that we can continue to do every year.

And yeah, there will be recipes and pictures. Because, honestly, what else am I going to be doing?

Until squash season. The first box full of squash is going to be a very sad day for your humble blogger. Very sad.


this weekend also got us to dreaming. The Husband got a sweet coupon in the mail from our local Ace hardware, so he went on down to pick up a few essentials and came back full of ideas. So, we’re getting ready to do the Kitchen painting. First part? And you’re gonna think this is crazy: We’re painting the refrigerator.

Yup. We’re painting it.

We’re painting it with chalkboard paint.

Magnetic chalkboard paint.

I saw it on this blog that I pop into from time to time and I was like, oh. This is happening. So that is happening this week. And I’m so excited because our fridge is a hand-me-down from someone else and I’m not a big fan of white in the kitchen (I find it to be a cold, boring color). At the end of this DIY, the only remaining white thing will be the sink. Which I’ve been informed can probably never be painted.

We just need to do some repair work on the walls to smooth them out and prepare them for painting and then, boom. Painting time! Unfortunately, I’m not going to be able to choose colors until next week, at best. Hopefully sooner, but we’ve got a lot going on.

Which is cool, because we have an issue anyway:


What’s that, you ask? That is a plate, which covers a hole, a hole that goes to my exhaust chute. You see, back in the dizzy day, there was a wood-burning stove in my kitchen, and the smoke from said stove went into the exhaust chimney via this here hole. And the hole has had a plate on it for… I dunno. A long time. But now that plate has a hole in it. Sooooo we need to do something about that.

There is also a problem with this space in general. It’s a wasted space. We have our framed Wrigley’s catalog-share coupon in it right now, but that’s it. I’d like to do one of two things with this space: put a small flatscreen TV in it so that I can watch TV while I’m cooking (and, when little bears are of homework age, they will be able to sit at the counter while I’m cooking and the TV will be behind them so as not to distract but in front of me so I can still watch it. bwahahaha). This might be difficult to do because I’d need TV cables run through the wall to that spot… might be an interesting task for The Husband… too interesting… The other option is to put some shelves in it. Because right now the island in the middle of the kitchen is the catch-all for everything: our mail, my purse, his backpack, their backpacks… it’s just a mess. I hate seeing the mess first thing when I walk in the kitchen. The only problem with this idea is, how will we retrain ourselves to put the mail up on the shelf, which is effort, instead of plopping it on the counter, which is such an easy and natural thing to do?

Ah, the conundrum of home improvement.

Speaking of conundrum, give unto me your ideas.



(This is not a picture from today. The snow has melted off the roof, at least, and a lot of snow has melted around it. I just neglected to take a picture of it today.)

The Husband and I are thinking a lot about the yard: what we ultimately want it to look like, what we can get out of it this year and what the steps are to take it where we want to take it. We even made some diagrams of what we would like, ultimately, to do with the house, if we are responsible and prudent with our money and our planning. It was an interesting conversation, for sure, and I will share more about that with you later. But we kept circling back to the barn. Which isn’t a barn, it’s a carriage house. It has no foundation, it’s as old (if not older) than the house, and it’s falling apart. There is electricity running to it, but the electricity that is in there is only a notch up from the knob and tube. It’s not insulted and it can’t currently be because the walls are so thin and there are actually holes in the wall in the back.  My pet fox and his family (along with a family of very fat groundhogs during the summertime) have established their residence somewhere under the rotting wood floor.


We’re both at a loss.

If money was no object, I’d turn this space into an office/studio/guest room in a heartbeat. But that would require foundation, insulation, rewiring and plumbing. The plumbing would probably be the most expensive problem of all (because we have the septic, remember?). If money was no object, The Husband would probably turn it into a garage with an office on top. This would require foundation, insulation and rewiring. Both cases also require a heat source in the winter…


I don’t want to tear it down. It’s such a wonderful feature for our property and, currently anyway, it’s great for storage. The Husband has a little workshop going on in there and we’re storing some stuff that we didn’t want to put in the house…

but we made these fantastic plans for the yard, but some of them we can’t execute until we have a plan for the barn (because whatever needs to happen to that structure is going to require heavy equipment, most likely)… And what I really fear is that we’re going to keep ignoring it and wishing for a miracle until, one day, it just straight up collapses on us. Then we’ll have a real problem with a lot more immediacy.

Anyone out there a carpenter? I could really use some advice!


5 Replies to “And Now, We Plan…”

  1. buy a new stove pipe plate to replace the holed one. still available, still fairly cheap. turn the space into drop lighting. or a pot hanger. you get the idea.

    Yard work, just carry on. let it evolve

    now, the barn…
    turn that into a country store and sell squash jelly and bread out of it. or turn it into a catering consulting cheffy cooky biz. you have what seems to be a great space to learn and teach, good location, and people will drive for MILES for snooty food. lucky for you, you are in the heart of snooty food ville.

    just spitballing. good luck!

    1. I can’t believe that there are still stove pipe plates. I mean… That would imply that there are still places where stove pipes are a REGULARLY OCCURRING PHENOMENON, which is just… I dunno. I mean, yes, there are old houses and old houses have stuff, but you’d think that the old stoves would be gone because they are huge and bulky and heavy and inefficient and… yadda yadda…
      Anyway, I’ll get the husband to do that.

      And the old country store: first, you’d be hella surprised about how many of those things are around here. Everywhere. I mean, they are NICE, but dang! Also, you know what is so annoying about food right now? Everything around here is turning into a snotty “farm to table” restaurant. Ewww. Killin’ me. “only seasonal menu. Only ingredients from the farm WE own. Only beef from cows my grandma massages with her own two thumbs.” You are killing me. $30 appetizers and ish sort of nonsense. Come on you guys.

      So there is no “middle of the road” food around here. You’ve either got McDonald’s or you have fru-fru nonsense. I keep threatening to open a soul food joint around here. But I don’t know the first thing about running a restaurant or starting a business so… everybody is just gonna have to eat grandma planted beets.

      1. yes, stove pipes still all over the country. seems we like burning wood as a national pastime.

        EGGZACKLY! with the food. you so nailed it. we have a lotta snooty good happening here.

        I would advise against the restaurant. A Huge waste of your knowledge and talent and too risky. it’s damn hard work, I’ve been there. but you I see doing down home for uptown, stick to your ribs for stock figures, and less science more conscience ya know? every single thing you’ve ever posted I’d be willing to try ( but y’all can keep the hogs feet–I’m just not that brave). I’ve never heard of thinks you make but I find myself very interested in your craft–not to learn for myself, but to watch it happen. I’m always asking,”how does she DO that?” I can picture an intimate but modern space with people watching you do your magic. learning, eating, Talking. hard to type the visual, but I promise, in my head you’re so winning 🙂

        1. Like… like an Oprah meets Emeril… but with the intimacy of the kitchen in Barefoot Contessa? It could be so glorious!

          I really ought to send in my essay for that little inn in Maine…

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