Sunday, September 7, 2014
Friday, August 29, 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
There is still plywood exposed on the foor, and a little step-up to where we stopped ripping up the 5 layers of linoleum on the rest of the kitchen. People trip on the little step - which I guess we can enjoy as built-in comic relief. No dinners have been lost to spills yet! We still need to caulk between the tile and counter, finish with trim on the left and right walls around the tile, and add one shelf on the wall on the right (beside the fridge). The bottoms of the cabinets need trim, and the cabinets themselves need painting and hardware. But we have sturdy, undamaged subfloor, no holes in cabinets, extra counter top space, and no gaps between the counter and the wall. And, as one of my friends exclaimed upon first seeing the new cabinets, "the cabinet doors CLOSE!"
Also, that blue wall is starting to grow on me. I was planning all along to paint the walls light grey when we renovated the kitchen, but now I'm falling in love all over again...
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
I will, however, list the majors:
1)Water heater busted (there is still a gaping hole to the dirt under the house and the attic above, covered only by a sliding door nailed into place. I used painter's tape in a fit of desperation to block all the holes so critters wouldn't come in the house)
2)We went 2 months without a renter in our NC house (that we pay a full-on mortgage on)
3)Gutted the mother-in-law suite's bathroom to repair water damage
4)Storm knocked a huge limb down on our power lines, cutting power to our house and the mother-in-law suite. The power company came in the middle of the night with chainsaws, but would only re-connect the power to our house because the mother-in-law suite's connection wasn't to code. Our amazing electrician friend came and reconnected power to the mother-in-law suite so the next tenants/friends could move in.
6)Oven broke. But with all the unexpected expenses we put on credit after blowing through savings this year, we got some kickbacks and the cost was covered between that and my dear mother (see it in the photo below?!)
7)Kitchen disposal broke. More on this below...
8)Turns out when that big limb knocked down our power lines, our neutral was fried. All the electrical here was not to code, and we only got 100amp service (you're supposed to get 200-250). We got a quote on having electrical upgraded and corrected to code, but it was several thousand dollars that we didn't have. That amazing electrician friend of ours helped my husband do all the work to (initially get power back on, then) upgrade our electrical over the last couple of months. We have an upgraded, to-code system that cost us less than $1k and a lot of that friend's time. We are so blessed.
So back to that broken disposal.
We knew we needed new cabinets eventually (there were holes through the drywall and floor inside them that allowed critters to come in through the doors that wouldn't shut, and I had to wash almost everything before using it because there would be insect droppings in it. yuck), so we didn't try to remove these cabinets gently. We knew we needed new countertops (there was about a 1/2"-3/4" gap between the fake wood linoleum and wall where critters could get in, and we wanted to extend the countertops), so that was ripped out with a satisfying quickness. I knew I wanted a white sink - new or used - because the stainless didn't exactly jive with the oiled bronze fixtures, and the faucet would wobble because the stainless wasn't sturdy enough for it. So that came out too, and is now in storage in case someone needs one.
I really cannot say enough about this man. My husband works a day job well over 40 hours a week, and comes home and uses time off to work on this house for me and the kids. That's just amazing. He did this work over a holiday weekend, and if I remember correctly my water was back on when the work week started.
What's that? You're wondering what went in next? Then come on back tomorrow for a little "reveal."
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Lettuces give shade and protection to newly transplanted tomatoes. Chive and scallion greens shelter zinnia sprouts, and basil is germinating in the shade of kale.
Monday, May 5, 2014
As I have moved toward more organic methods of gardening, my awareness of what non-organic practices affect (like the food on our table, skin care, and the environment) has steadily increased. And as knowledge increases, so does sorrow. Realizing what "mineral oil" really means (found that out on an episode of Dirty Jobs) was the wake-up call that began my journey away from mainstream skin care practices. And when you realize that your skin is your body's largest organ, and brings an alarming amount of what you put on it INTO your body, your label-checking broadens from just your food to include your skin care as well. Which has led me to a lot less skin care purchases at the store.
After paring down products that contained things I didn't want on my skin, I had little left. I used nothing to cleanse my face but a mixture of extra virgin olive oil and castor oil (and scrubbed with a hot washcloth), and nothing to moisturize but coconut oil. Oil dissolves oil, so without soap my skin brightened, cleared, and felt softer after cleansing. I thought I had found the most natural, complete skin care I needed.
|My incredible photography shoot in the nursery. Ha.|
Then I attended a Savvy Boheme party, and BOY was it an educational experience! Keri passed around the products she has formulated from raw and natural sources, and also blew our minds with the science behind why her products work. Like how the sugar in her scrub creates alpha hydroxy acid when used on your skin -- but it contains real, live ingredients that work on your skin in a way that pharmaceutically formulated products simply can't. Amazing. And each item I tried intoxicated my senses with the aromas of coffee, rose, lavender, citrus, cocoa or rosemary. But I thought I had all I needed with my oil cleanser and my coconut oil. So I bought a deodorant (that works - without aluminum!) from her and took home a tester of Anouk raw whipped shea butter, and thought I was done.
|Whipped Shea Butter - light, creamy, heavenly|
It wasn't until I used that whipped shea butter that I realized what I had been missing. Though it was effective against blemishes because of its antibacterial, antifungal properties, the coconut oil didn't keep my skin soft all day. It left it dry half-way to lunch. Turns out it's an astringent, and couldn't touch the whipped shea's effectiveness as a moisturizer. Plus, the Anouk whipped shea butter's aroma of lavender and vanilla was just the pampering this mother of three little kids needed to get going in the morning. Or mid-afternoon.
|Raw Sugar Scrub - when you cleanse with oil rather than soap, your skin no longer needs to compensate for lost sebum, and ends up being less oily overall. Counter-intuitive but true.|
Please note that Savvy Boheme has not offered me any compensation for my review or for holding this giveaway - both were my ideas. This blog is a wonderful way to me to give back to small businesses by promoting them in my little circle, and this is a business I truly believe in.
Posted by The Conservationist at 6:30 AM
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
... and in honor of me finally getting a few lessons on how to use my real camera
... and in honor of photos from a real camera as opposed to the iPhone. Enjoy.