Renovation

laundry-and-craft-room-in-progress

My husband and I have found out that you can pretty much do what you set your mind to do…..if you study up a little, get some advice from a professional, google, check out you-tube videos and take your time. At least; where home improvement projects are concerned.

Our home is a work in progress. It has been, since the day we moved in. I think it just takes us longer because we like to save money by doing things ourselves.  We also like to repurpose and reuse items that others are going to toss. This does mean that our projects take longer….much longer.  (Which is why this post is late!)

Anytime we repurpose an item it has to be re-made to fit the specific area where it will go in our home. That is the case with the cabinets that we are working on for my laundry/craft room. The cabinets came from a house, 80 miles away, that is scheduled to be torn down.

getting-ready-for-painting

It seems to take lots of time to scrub, sand, fill holes, prime, paint and install the cabinets so they will look like I want them to. In the process my husband and I have learned the skill of cabinet and countertop installation.  (I think my husband has learned more than I have as he has been the one doing most of the work! I always tell him that he is my executer…..I plan and he executes.)

I must confess there were multiple (did I say Multiple??) phone calls and messages to and from my oldest son, who is a finish and trim carpenter. He lives 4 hours away (if you drive like the kids do or 5 if you drive like we do) so this was a long distance installation.

I think the son may have been a little concerned, as he kept requesting pictures of the progress. He also asked pointed questions about how much “gappage” we had between wall and countertop.  We assured him we had done a great job. We even impressed ourselves!

I have also discovered it is very satisfying to see each stage of the project. There is a lot of elbow grease that has gone into this particular one and it is still not done. It has kind of taken on a life of it’s own….as projects tend to do. I now look at the other side of this room and discover it really needs some help also. Fortunately there are still some remaining cabinets from this set that I can use on that side.

There are a lot of lessons to be learned from projects such as this one. I am going to put a link here to a post I did when I first started blogging.  That was perhaps one of our most challenging projects and it was my wonderful little chicken coop.

I hope you enjoy reading it and are blessed by it. https://thechickengrandma.wordpress.com/2016/02/17/lessons-from-a-chicken-coop/

The idea of redemption is always good news,
even if it means sacrifice or some difficult times.
Patti Smith

Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/redemption_2.html 

Resilient Chickens

chicken-coop-on-a-bitter-cold-night

We are starting out the year 2017 with an Artic blast, according to the weatherman. He really would not have had to tell us this fact. A couple steps out of the door this morning and it was very apparent that it was beyond cold outside.

The radio kept telling me all day that is was -2º outside today. I have no idea if we made it above zero because I quit listening, turned some music on and did some baking. I avoided going outside unless it was absolutely necessary. Even my husband did not linger long outdoors today…..then you know it’s cold!

It was necessary to go outdoors again late afternoon to feed the girls and make sure they had all gotten safely back into the coop for the night. The last couple nights I have two birds that do not seem to want to go in for the night. I have to head out, flashlight in hand and go looking for them.

As I was crossing the yard, searching for the two renegade girls, it occurred to me that the birds who live in this part of the country are amazingly resilient.  They have to deal with hot humid weather in the summer and numbing cold in the winter. (I would say finger-numbing cold; but they don’t have fingers and for some reason their scaly little feet don’t seem to be bothered by the cold.)

The chicken coop that my girls sleep in every night, reminds me of their resilience. It is not insulated and is cold during the winter. I am always glad for the sunny winter days that give a little solar heat through the south-facing windows.

Chickens are really pretty smart. (Even with a walnut sized brain.) They have learned the lesson that they can rely on each other to get through cold dark times. It might just be instinct; but when I see them huddled close together on their roost at night I think there is a lesson in there somewhere for all of us.

The cold weather also brings challenges in how to best care for the girls. For years we struggled with how to keep the water thawed in their waterer. I finally turned to Pinterest to see if I could find any good ideas…..I did!

I showed the idea to my husband and he put one together for me last year. (He’s good like that.) I now  have a do-it-yourself heated chicken waterer .  For those of you who own chickens and live in areas that have freezing temperatures you may want to give this a try. http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2011/11/make-cookie-tin-waterer-heater-under-10.html

It always amazes me to realize how many life lessons I can learn if I just open my eyes to the things around me. I have found there is a lot to be learned from chickens. Some of it funny and some of it serious.

Watching my little flock stay warm on a cold winter night has taught me that it is good to rely on those around you. Trying to do life alone is way harder than it has to be……especially when there are others around you just waiting to bless you and be blessed by you.

 

Two are better than one,
    because they have a good return for their labor:
10 If either of them falls down,
    one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
    and has no one to help them up.
11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
    But how can one keep warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered,
    two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (NIV)

 

 

 

New Years Resolutions

IMG_1858 New Year.jpg

I used to make resolutions for the New Year. I try not to do that anymore.  I guess I have resolved not to make any resolutions.  I am not sure how that actually works out when you try to make logical sense of that concept.

My husband has never made resolutions for the new year. His view is such that if an idea is good enough to try…..why wait till New Years day to implement it. I think he might be on to something with that idea.

He gets a little bent out of shape by the thought that most of us don’t worry about how much we overeat during the holidays and gain weight (himself included). Suddenly January 1 hits, the sweets disappear, ads for gym memberships are everywhere and Marie Osmond keeps telling us how to lose so many pounds in just one month. I am not sure why this bothers him but it does.

In googling quotes on New Years Resolutions I found this one (which I must confess I really understood):

My New Year’s Resolution List usually starts with
the desire to lose between ten and three thousand pounds.
Nia Vardalos

Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/resolution.html

 I think the three thousand pounds works out when you add up all the pounds lost, regained, lost again, regained…..you get the idea.  I have yet to hear anyone resolve to gain weight in the new year…..or anytime for that matter.

I think that when it comes to age and our physical condition; the Jello theory kicks in. When you see Jello in a pan or in a mold it looks really pretty good.  You take it out of that container and put it on a plate it kind of splats out and loses that nice form. My advice to those of us of a certain age and physical condition……keep the Jello in the pan.

My husband thought it would be a fine idea to resolve to hibernate for the winter months. When the weather gets below zero around here I think that is a brilliant idea….now if we could just figure out how to make that one work.

I also hear about resolutions to start certain projects for the interior of the home and/or craft projects.  I think I should just resolve to finish the projects I have started….some from several years ago. (Anyone else have this issue?)

I have boxes of blue jeans that are ready to either be made into blue jean rugs or cut into squares for blue jean quilts. Perhaps I should resolve to start cutting and sewing squares together.

Then there is the box of yarn in the closet. In my defense on that topic….I have been making a dent in that box and turning the yarn into covered coat hangers, dish cloths, and pot holders. I am feeling pretty good about my box of yarn. It is slowly dwindling.

My latest project is a little bigger and involves participation from my husband.  I have been painting cabinets that we took out of a house that is going to be torn down. These are destined for my laundry/craft room. I cannot wait to get them finished and put in. I am hoping it brings some organization to the chaos.

When I do get those cabinets in and organized I am going to have to invite Anne and Malcolm over to critique my efforts. The floor will still be plywood but hopefully they will be gracious and overlook that detail! I will just be grateful to have cupboards!

For all of you (and me) who really don’t like New Year’s Resolutions but still really want to get something accomplished in this coming year….take heart.  We still have 364 days left in this year to get things done! (If you are like me……we should start this week.)

Happy New Year a little late!

Resolution One:
I will live for God.
Resolution Two:
If no one else does, I still will.
Jonathan Edwards

Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/resolution.html