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Showing posts from 2012

Kitchen is coming together

Spouse built me shelves.
A few months ago I posted about some decorating ideas. This included building some shelves in the pantry as well as getting some counter space. Well my wonderful husband has shown himself to be a wonderful carpenter as well. Here is the reveal on the pantry shelves he built and installed as a Christmas present. He worked through the night for several nights and ALL Christmas eve, so his camera work isn't exactly the greatest. But you get to see both the pantry and the island


Well, the deleading is finally underway. We're required to be out so are staying with friends nearby, which  is the best thing that has happened with this whole thing. We're all together, even the cat, with plenty of room, kitchen and even closer to the T than our house is. Still, I want my house back soon.

When we do get to move back, which, if we're lucky will be next Monday, it will be like moving in all over again. We had to move out as much as we could so our shed and basement are full of packed books, clothes, food, furniture, etc. Everything left in the house was put into the center of rooms and covered with thick plastic to keep them dust-free during the work. Once we are back we will finally be able to begin painting and really unpacking. Only six months after buying the place!

Spouse wants to take thing slowly, and I think I agree (although also want it all done NOW). My first room to attack will be the kitchen. We still need to move the cupboards up but once the…

Sunday Bread

So I made this today. It's a no kneed recipe I found online that I made with sourdough instead of dry yeast.  t came out very nice but the flavour is a bit too sour for Spouse (who said it tastes like snot.) the Sprog and I like it though.

I'm not giving up on the recipe though and will do the next batch with honey in the dough. I think the child is old enough now for honey, plus it will be baked so it's not like she'll be eating it straight.

Kitchen table

So I made a table.

We really needed a kitchen table, in addition to other things in there that will be coming later, and Spouse and I disagreed on they style. I wanted a formica '50s jobbie like I used to have years ago and he preferred a farmhouse style. The ones I like, however, are rather expensive. So I went with farmhouse and decided to make it myself.

I found the Ana White site, which has TONS of plans of every level. The Narrow Farmhouse Table was the style I was looking for, but not the size. Fortunately the plans are very clear and I was able to alter it to make the table the size I needed.

I decided to go for a cheaper wood for the bottom of the table and paint it. My main concern was just that it be sturdy so I went for poplar. In retrosepct, I think I should have gone for something heavier as the table top is oak which is incredibly heavy. All the planks were purchsed in standard widths and cut to the right length at Home Depot. That saved me a lot of time and probably…

Finally finished!

Just a quick update on the sweater. Finished it last night but it gapped a bit in the middle so I added a few button this morning. Blurry tablet photo taken just before the wee one woke up (in time to test it out!)

Froggy Day

Well I did finally finish my nursing top only to find the neckline was VERY baggy. When I increased the front I didn't tak into accont that my shoulders are obviously slimmer than my chest. So collar has been removed and I'm frogging down a few rows to take that part in a bit.

On the plus side, I've already woven in lots of ends and finished the short sleeves. I may decide when this part is actually finished to make some attachable long sleeves to get more varried use out of it too. But for now, just getting it to fit as is is the priority.

Sunday Donuts

Last weekend the folks were in town to help stepsis and brother-in-law move. I had the urge to make some donuts as a nice Sunday treat and to use the donut cutter I bought a few weeks ago at Streamline Antiques in Lower Mills. The results were wonderful so I decided this Sunday should be a repeat for just our little household.

I recently decided to cultivate a nice sourdough starter and use that in lieu of any dry yeast in recipes. Rather than trying to catch wild yeast or let yeast go wild, I opted for the easy route and just bought some from King Arthur Flour. The starter has been living nicely in the fridge and made a great start to these donuts.

The base recipe, and the one I used for the family was this one I found online. The base recipe is lovely but I decided to mix it up this week and do banana donuts. I pureed a banana in the blender then added the rest of the wet ingredients. To make up for the extra moisture I rounded the measures for the flour and leavenings. Still, the …

On the Sticks

Our new house is much closer to the T station than our apartment was, but it is further out on the red line. This gives me a much longer ride and I've been taking the opportunity to get more knitting in. It's hard to knit at home with a active near-toddler so the commute is really the best time I have.

Since I not only nurse my daughter but also pump milk at work, I find I have to be mindful of what I wear all the time so that I can have access. With that in mind, I decided to make a nursing sweater. does have a pattern for a nursing halter, but while it looks nice, it's not going to offer me any support (I am MUCH more generously endowed than the model) so I had to think of something else.  I like the idea of something I could lift rather than pull down so decided to work something up myself.

Knitty had a pattern for a very easy pullover called Tempting that gave me an idea. The eyelet holes at the top might just work  as a decorative edge for somthing that lif…


This lead abatement issue has me thinking even more about decorating the house. Even if we can get one of the abatement loans, this will still be costly so making it nice again will have to take some time, working on it on an as and when we can afford it basis. That said, there is so much I want to do, from simple painting to more complex construction.

On the simple end, there is a triangular bit of wall under the stairs that cries out for something, but I don't think framed art will do. Solution: chalkboard paint! I see no reason to discourage my child from drawing on walls, but this will keep that impulse a bit controlled and still be fun for all of us. Spouse and I could even use the upper portions for notes to each other.

Now of course we wanted to repaint the rooms as well but I think I'd like to add a little bit extra. I think picture rails along the walls, perhaps with a different paint color (or preferably wallpaper) above the rails would look lovely. It's a Victor…

If it seems too good to be true, it probably is

That phrase sums up our home owning experience right now. We bought a house with little work other than some cosmetic things to be done and now find ourselves facing a very large bill with lots of hassle and work on our part, not to mention the health issues already there.

Lead. The house is full of it.

Most houses of this age still have lead paint in them. This is pretty much a given here in Boston, and might not have been a problem here had we really been aware of it (no we have no statements from the previous owners on the lead issue) and had been able to make sure we were dusting and mopping daily and making sure every crack was covered. But we weren't and we didn't and now Sprog has high lead levels, the cat surely must (he will be the next to be checked and treated) and the city has inspected and given us an order to delead.

Most of the lead seems to be doors, walls and trim, which means paint removal. That's considered high-risk (although removing lead coated window…

TomAto, TomAHto

One of our tomato plants in the upsidedown planter has fruit! There was another one that did but I accidentally pulled that one off. But this baby has two, count 'em, TWO tomatoes on this Defiant vine. There are also two green ones on the Pol Big, one sweet green pepper and one Anaheim hot pepper!

My herbs are struggling but four have managed to cling on. I should be getting some mature chive plants before the month is out as well.  Don't ask about the onions (we shall mourn them.)

All in all, it's pretty good for a couple who haven't done this sort of thing in ages. I had decided to not get my hopes up this year so having anything makes me happy. We still haven't cleared out the raised beds yet, but I think that will happen as we prepare for autumn.

New house

I've been out in the shed painting a bookcase. I wish I could say "bookcases" but it has taken me ages to get one out there and with the rain it's been too humid to do more than one coat in a session. But one of the fun thing about painting in our shed has been using the unfinished walls to clean brushes and otherwise do things we could never do in our rental apartment.I'll post pictures of bookcase #1 when it is done, but the gist is white outside, the pink inside the hear in the photo inside and on the shelves and the darker red on the inside back. Two bookcases will be like this in the dining room and I'll use that color palate for the two cabinets and the table and chairs in there too. I think the walls need to be painted something different but that works with those colors. I don't feel I can do much in the house until we at least have a couple bookcases ready. Two bookcases are doing temporary duty as pantry shelves right now until we build proper …

The house is ours!

Well, we did it! The house is now ours and ready to move in to. Now we need to pack and engage movers.Here's a preview of the house. It cuts off at the end. And yes, the doorbell needs repair to it actually rings.

Dreaming of The Good Life

The Good Life, known in the US as Good Neighbors, was a telvision series about a couple who opt out and decide to become self sufficient - growing their own food, producing their own electricity, etc. The gimic being that they do all this while living in the suburbs. The show is charming (and available on Netflix if you haven't seen it) and much is played for laughs, but I have always seen it as aspirational.

The idea of growing our own foodhsa been appealing to me for so long. When I lived in Somerville, we tried having a garden one year, but nothing much grew. Shortly after I moved to a building with no available green space. The tiny unit we are currently in does not even get enough light to grown things on the window sills (well, tables as the sills are far too shallow for even the cat to sit on.) Soon I'll have the opportunity to see how green, or not, my thumb is.

One of the things we looked for when house hunting was a large lot. I needed to be able to have a garden and…


We're buying a house. It's a little thing - well, twice the size of our apartment but smaller than other houses on the street - built in 1900. It's in Dorchester, right on the red line and I cannot WAIT to close and move in. Expect tales of actual gardening on our actual land.

More to come after we close at the end of the month.