Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Easter Meal Plan

Easter snuck up on me this year, but I did catch it in time to make a meal plan! Typically we have Whole Roasted Chicken because of the saying Spring Chicken; chicken now reminds me of spring. But this year I was given a whole ham so we are having a ham for Easter. This changes what sides we have, of course. So here is the 2012 Easter Meal Plan!!

Ham—cooked on my countertop Roaster
Mashed potatoes—my special creamy hand mashed make ahead recipe
Pork Gravy—also with special seasonings
Greenbeans—provided by my sister
Deviled Eggs—my grandma’s recipe
Stuffing or Rolls—provided by my sister
Homemade Almond Cake—made by me (for those who don’t like cherry cobbler)
Cherry Cobbler—made by me, family favorite except by the one that doesn’t like it
Drinks—provided by our mom

 That’s the meal, now here is the plan:

The day before—

Dessert--make both
Deviled Eggs--make
Mashed taters—depending on temps the next day, if I want to have the oven on or not
Stuff Easter Eggs--fun!

The Day of--

Set up table in living room
Put table together (meaning put on table cloth and so on) unless it is warm enough to eat outside!
Put ham in Roaster.
Hide Easter Eggs

Enjoy Easter Sunday with my family! Hope you and yours have a wonderful Easter!!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Winchester Mansion?

Not exactly, we don’t build 24 hrs a day!

But this is what happens when you buy a 100 yr old house that isn’t exactly how you envisioned your dream home, plus some needed adjustments!

For 2012 the house improvement goals are (and in order):

                Replace leaking window in Bedroom
                Build front porch
                Build stairs to upstairs
                Finish the first of 4 rooms upstairs.
                Turn that first room into Keaton’s Play room
                Turn Keaton’s old room into Living Room
                Turn old Living Room into Dining Room
               Make some adjustments in Kitchen once table is gone.

 Sounds like a lot but I am sure we can get it done! I would also like to have the house painted but I’m not sure if I could get that in before winter…..

After the upstairs is done—which will be 4 rooms (one common room, two bedrooms and a bath) we will start on the bathroom reconstruction. Once the bathroom is done, we are too!! Woohoo!!

1st Blue Prints of Upstairs!

 My personal goal is to have the house done within 5 years of living there! If we keep up the pace we will just make it! As you can tell we are not slow movers! I like to get it done so I have time to enjoy it!

It seems spring has sprung here in Indiana after a very mild winter! With the warmer weather and sunshine is hard outside work to get the yard back in shape. On my tour around the grounds I was surprised to see all the plants had made it! I am so excited to see how big everything gets! Landscaping has been the biggest project for this house. When we moved here there were very few trees and flowers, most of the yard looked like a football field. So we did mass plantings and have learned the ins and outs of our yard the hard way. We have a few locations that nothing will survive so we have given up in those areas, and then in others we have super big plants.  Our main landscaping goal was to block the view of our neighbors. I hate that fact they can look down into our yard in so many areas. So, we planted grasses that get 10ft x 10ft and grow fast! We also have this type around half of our pool, which we plated first, and the second year they really took off! That is what we are hoping for these this year. This year we had our side yard, 40ft x 40ft, fenced in and a gate where it connects to the other fenced in yard to make a kid only play area! This is important if you keep kids and animals! Plus, I wanted all the kids’ toys in one area so I can have my yard back.

Gate to Keaton Playground
View inside the park. Keaton has been here!

We also have plans to make the nook, a large area between the garages and the sheds where our 8ft gate is, (so we can access the yard with the truck) cute and functional. We are putting an open roof between the buildings and a doorway with trellis so a vine can grow on the front and across the roof. We are planning to put our hammocks in this area as it is shady most of the time. I am picturing this to be super cute! Duste has decided this will be our Alice in Wonderland inspired area and is busy painting on the sides of the buildings to display this! She is so talented!

We, meaning Duste, are planting a lot of bulbs and seeds this year. I really want to focus on the small areas of our yard and work at making them cute—the corner with the bench, in front of the white picket fence row and in my wild flower area.  Mass planting, like we have done in the past, can be a little over whelming.

The view from my window--blocking the view of the other neighbors

A Pretty Corner

On that note, Duste and I would like to wish everyone a Happy Spring, now go work in your yards and together we will make the world beautiful!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Our family’s heart was that house…..

Yesterday my grandparents’ house was sold at auction.

 To understand the impact that had on me, you need to know a little background. I, as you might have figured out by now, did not have a stable childhood. My grandparents’ house was the one place that would always be. It was the place I lived on and off as I grew up. It was my safety net. We had all of our family holidays there and everything centered around that house. But what I cherish most is the memories from a typical day. We would have dinners around the table, then on a nice day, relax on the front porch with some sweet tea and watch the world go by. I listened to my grandma sing on that front porch and my grandpa tell his stories of days gone by.  This house meant so much to our family; it was one of the last things my grandma asked me about. Although she had moved out years earlier, she still asked if any of us had been by there.

I will miss that house. I miss the family we used to be, in that house. I miss the love, I miss my grandparents.

Losing both my grandparents plus this house is just too much. It is really over, they are really gone. It is never going to be the same.

I will now avoid that area of town like the plaque. I cannot stand to see what the next people will do to it. It most likely was sold to a Landlord and renters just don’t take care of properties like they should.  They will never know the history of that house and they will never know the man whose name is in the concrete out front.

Goodbye house on Sycamore Street, I will miss you but I will always remember you, just the way you were!!