August 14, 2014

Chickens on the Farm

"By Trudy Connor"

Sifter Chicken Wood Wire

Nesting Hen Needlepoint Primitive Bentwood Sieve

There were chickens on my grandparents farm, nothing tastes like farm fresh eggs. 

The chicken house was always occupied and my grandparents had boxes built along one wall for each nest. When you walked into the chicken house the hens would talk to you, warning you off. I could just imagine them saying: 
"See what I did, now leave my eggs alone!" Gathering eggs could be hazardous as the hens peck when you reached for the eggs. My grandmother's trick was to spread some cracked corn outside the chicken house to draw their attention elsewhere. 

Each spring a few sitting hens would occupy the temporary nest in the smoke house. They were happy keeping their eggs warm the 3 weeks needed until the eggs hatched. The smoke house location was excellent. Near enough to the house to prevent visiting grandchildren from gathering the wrong eggs and disturbing the hens. 

Chicken Water Bowls

Spring heralded the arrival of tiny chicks delivered by mail. Yes they came by way of the US Postal Service! The chicks would stay near the wood stove, until the brooding house was warm enough to usher them into their new home. My grandmother used self watering gallon jars, in the brooder house. I enjoyed the magic of filling and turning over without spilling concept as a child. 

I found a self watering trough on Etsy! Danielle and John at IndustrialPlanet gave me permission to use their photo! Just click the link to purchase them.

November 30, 2013

First day of ownership

"By Trudy Connor"

Written in November 2014 and forgot to post. Opps.  

Saturday morning, as I drink my coffee our agent called. We agreed to meet at the carriage house to give me the keys.  A grey and rainy day cleaning began. The heart of the home is first! 

First thing, I begin cleaning the dishwasher by running 2 cups of vinegar through a short cycle. The dishwasher does not look heavily soiled. I am lucky.
While the dishwasher runs, I unpack the housewarming gift to myself, the new Mikasa Lucerne White Dinnerware

I was amazed at the number of toast crumbs all over the counters. Nothing was cleaned out after she moved. Cleaning the kitchen cabinets inside and out is next. The shelves needed to be cleaned, oil residue still on the shelves! Microfiber cleaning rags soaked in vinegar tackled the interior and exterior, 3 shelves required the addition of "Bar Keepers Friend" to remove soil.

Just over halfway through the kitchen cabinets the dishwasher stops. Opening the dishwasher door I check the results. The dishwasher looks good no signs heavy soiling left. I ran out of clean cleaning cloths, vinegar, toilet paper and it is time to break for lunch. 

At the rental, I take a break, eat, and talk to my husband. He wants to help. Physically he is unable do much of the labor, I ask him to sort out the stack of paperwork I have not managed to get to.

Next we are out of milk, off to the grocery to stock up on a few items, vinegar, baking soda, toilet paper, and a lasagna for dinner.

Back to the carriage house, and the remainder of the kitchen cabinets. Then I move on to the bathroom mirrors, cabinets, sinks and commodes. The commodes I left with 1 cup of vinegar in each bowl to help lift any heavy soiling. No toilet brush at hand. These will wait until I return. The air conditioner is not cooling. I grab all the manuals for the carriage house before I leave.

Out of steam, and very tired, I return to the rental and start the lasagna. My husband is reading the manuals all nicely organized in a binder. I added the few not in the binder before my husband started to read them.

Sunday, I plan to clean out the refrigerator, laundry cabinets and begin filling with inventory. Christmas Items will go in these. One of the 3 cabinets will have bedding and linens.

I am going to invest in a few Occupancy Sensor light switches for the bathrooms and laundry room. 

November 28, 2013

Our Move Begins

"By Trudy Connor"

Last August we placed an offer on a carriage house in the community we are renting living in.

When we sold our home last year we had a very fast close. I wanted a carriage house and my husband wanted to remain in a "house", thus the decision to rent a carriage house.

Our offer was accepted in Late October, closing looked like it would be in December. The carriage house is an estate sale and short sale, purchased before the housing crash.

Friday November 15th, while packing boxes, Lawyers began "discussing" the carriage house sale.  Here I am with an accepted offer, boxes being packed. Neither lawyer mine, they represented the Estate and Association, as of 3pm our agent did not think the closing would happen at all.

Frustrated I began ironing! Yes ironing, laundry waits for no one.

3:10 we get a call 5 minutes later the agent showed up with the contract completed and the closing began.

Papers flew back and forth as 3 errors were found. They were corrected by 3:30 and the closing commenced the Bank wired the funds. Everything finalized late that evening.

Saturday I get the keys!

Note: I am posting this blog post later than written. I forgot to hit Publish!

November 13, 2013

The beauty of color

"By Trudy Connor"

The beauty of color. Planning and choosing colors is fun!  Until your husband says the blue has to much gray in it! The challenge picking colors out without being in the condo is difficult! I plan to get sample colors made of the following colors! And a few gallons of Oklahoma Wheat. A color I have used in the past and love!

Ralph Lauren Calla Lily for all the doors and moldings, plus interior of closets. Yes I plan to paint the closet interiors before we move in! The perfect time, they are empty!

O the garage floor needs to be painted also!

November 11, 2013

Dream Laundry Room

"By Trudy Connor"

The changes in laundry facilities has become noticeable. I watched and helped my mother and grandmothers do laundry. The old wringer washing machines, scrub boards, rinse tubs, and of course the clothes line. On my grandparents farm the chore began with hauling hot water to the machine in the wash house and filling the 2 rinse tubs. In the summer we pulled the machine and tubs outdoors. Then sorting the clothes emptying the pockets into an old coffee tin. As a young child, I excelled at sorting by colors! The first items washed were always the whites, as they came cleanest with hot water. Wash in the machine and pass through the wringer. Next into the first rinse of hot water hand wring and into the second rinse in cold water. Anything to be pressed was dipped into starch. Then through the wringer again. Before carrying the load to the clothes line the next was dropped into the machine the water was not changed nor heated up. As the basket filled you carried it to the wash line and began hanging. Sheets always pinned on the outside line then pinned to the second line to keep them off the ground. Panties, slips and bras on the 3rd line. Next the shirts and dresses. Then finally a line of pants. While you were hanging on the line the next load is twisting away in the machine.
The biggest difference between the farm and our house in town was is town the machine was in the unfinished basement with a drain in the floor. We used a waxed box to carry clothes up and down the stairs. Making many trips as there were seven of us to do laundry for. The last load was always my fathers work clothes, as he would have oil and grease on them from the machine shop where he worked. By the time we would get to the last load we would begin bringing in the dry clothes. A bottle sprinkler would be used to moisten the shirts before pressing. We would moisten cottons all at once and roll them up one by one. Ironing began with the first shirt rolled. We did not have a steam iron!

Enter today and a new laundry room really a hallway just off the garage. The days of the wringer machine are over and the clothes lines no more. Nostalgic I may be, but I want to improve the function of the laundry room. While not a bad arrangement it needs a few things. This photo is a stock photo!

After all form follows function!

  1. Safety! Yes I need to maintain the walkway as wide as I can to allow my husbands wheelchair to pass through. With my husband's tendency to fall, I need to think high, but not so I this vertically challenged person (me) cannot reach it!
  2. A handy shelf on the back of the washer and dryer would be a great addition, and keep items from dropping behind the appliances!
  3. A way to store hangers.
  4. I need a place to hang clothes coming out of the dryer.
  5. A place to store the ironing board. Yes, I still iron!
  6. A way to sort clothes would be great also! The space is to narrow to sort on the floor my usual way!
  7. Oh, a place to hang jackets also!
  8. I also want a motion sensor light. One that lights the way when I need it and turns itself off when I am not in the room!  Hum, for the bathrooms also?
  9. Cheerful place. Wall color needs to be bright as the room has no windows.
  10. Shipping Station. While I usually do my shipping out of my laundry room. This one does not have counter space! No room for most of my shipping supplies. This will require some thinking.
  11. Cork Board/ note board
  12. Lutron Occupancy Sensor Switch
  13. Drying rack to cut down on energy consumption!

Now how to do it all!

November 9, 2013

Moving Books

"By Trudy Connor"

I sell books on line and have over 2,000 books at the moment. Each book is cataloged and item location is noted. My mind is good but not always good enough to remember where all the books are.

How do I...

  1. Relocate them without jumbling them to much?
  2. Move them without getting hurt?
First I have collected wine boxes yes the boxes have come from Costco and do not have lids. I will be moving my entire inventory myself. The last move I discovered if I used larger boxes I hurt myself. The smaller the box the more trips, but also less risk of injury.
Each of the 12 stacks have between 6 -12 shelves. I have begun at the top keeping the books in order filling a box and placing the box on the shelf the books were on. Items are still actively for sale and I plan to keep them up for sale except for 3 days of actual relocation. Preparation is the key!  Now I have 10 of the stacks boxed up and plan to finish by tomorrow the last stacks.

The actual move will entail loading the car and carrying them to our new home. boxes will be lined up in order I hope. Then the big job will come of disassembling the bookshelves and moving them.  

Two of the bookcases are 8 foot tall and 10 feet long, 4 stacks each.

November 8, 2013

To Choose a blue or is it green

 Blue Silk Dupioni Pinch Pleat Drapery Pair 50" x 120"

"By Trudy Connor"

To Choose a blue or is it green?

Oh these drapes might work well in the adjoining bedroom!

The bathroom project is an interior space receiving no natural light. I want a color with some life to it, but I do not want it jumping at me. My husband is leaning more to the blue grey colors. Until we close on our new home I cannot paint sample swatches. But I am collecting paint swatches to check during the home inspection. A drive to the paint store is in order. Finding colors on line is great, but I know there are subtle differences in each computer.