Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Update on the Remodel

Alot going on these days with the remodel project.

Jeff (another son-in-law) our HVAC man, has been busy getting the central heat and air hooked up back in the back.  Lots of crawling in the attic.  Not my kinda job.  This means we will have two separate C/H systems now.  No more limited air conditioning in the summer time in the East Bedroom.  I know Amy and Aaron will appreciate that.

Jeff does this for a living, but as of Monday this week, he got a big promotion and he is not gonna have to do that much anymore. 

Let's see what else has been going on. 

Bill and Ryan tackled the taping process.  I don't think this is one of either one of their favorite jobs.  But, alas, it had to be done. 

Then, we had to call in the Big Dogs to help with the Bedding part and getting it nice and smooth.

Mr. Larry Hawkins, (long time hunting buddy of Bill's), came down to assist with the bedding process. 

We so appreciated his help with this task.  It's so nice to have friends you can count on when needed and it's always nice to have family and friends "in the business".  Of course, we took him out for a BIG steak dinner afterward to Sweetie Pie's Ribeyes in Decatur.  We even let Jeff and Ryan tag along.  Luke came to visit again and we even let him join us.
Speaking of Luke, while he was visiting me again this week. "SMILE", he helped me in the kitchen.  I had to get those guys something sweet to eat for the coffee break.

It's called a Cream Cheese Cake.  At least that is the name I have on my recipe card.  I got this recipe way back in the early 1980's from a friend.  It is very rich, but very, very good.  Here's the recipe if you want to try it.  Sorry, I thought I took a picture of it before it was gone, but don't guess I did.

Cream Cheese Cake
Crust:  1 box of Yellow Cake Mix, 1 stick of butter, and 1 egg.
Mix together and press into a 13" x 9" pan or pyrex dish.
Topping:  8-oz softened cream cheese, 3 eggs, and 1 box of powdered sugar.
Mix well and pour over cake mixture.
Bake 40 minutes at 350 degrees, or until brownish on top.


One last note, I just want everyone to know, that "WE" do our share to support the Girl Scouts of America.  These cookies came all of the way from Laredo with Bill's brother Larry's daughter, Tiffany.  She is Troop Leader for her girls.  Go Girl Scouts!!!

My daughter Mandy was in Girl Scouts when she was in grade school and even Jr. High.  She enjoyed it so much.  With a 'little' help from her Dad and I, she won the top prize for cookie sales for 3-4 years in a row.  I remember a TV, phone (oh, the phone), and alot of Girl Scout camping gear.  Hummmm, let me just show you. 

This is the picture that went in the Newspaper.

That's all for now.  Have a Good Day!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

So Easy! English Muffin Bread

I found another recipe on Pinterest that I had had to make.  This looked so good and then I looked at the recipe and found out that it was so easy too.  And, I just happened to have all of the ingredients in my pantry.
Mixed it all up, let it rise over by the stove for about an hour or so, it filled the bowl.  Then I punched it down and divided into the 4 loaf pans.  I didn't realize I had 4. 
This was the worst part.  The dough is very sticky and dividing it was a challenge.  Boy, those Pampered Chef load pans in the middle look really bad, but they are supposed to look like that.  They say the worse they look, the better.  I let them rise for another 1/2 hour or so, then into the oven.  
I can't believe how wonderful they turned out.  We've eaten one, one went home with Ryan for Mandy to try, and one went home with Jeff for Terri to try.  Hope they enjoy.  Would love comments from them.  One more to go.  I put it in the freezer wrapped in foil and into freezer zip-loc bag.  But, I think it will not be there long.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Remodel Update #2

A lot has been happening on the remodel project, but not alot of picture taking opportunities.  There has been alot of attic and electrical work going on, so doesn't look like alot of progress is being made, but it definitely is.  Ryan has been up here working his buns off and keeping Bill on his toes.  Larry also keeps pretty busy helping. 

Last weekend, Jeff was up here beginning the process of getting the central heat and air in the back part of the house.  I forgot to take pictures of Jeff crawling around in the attic, but will get them next time he's up to hook everything up.  Can't wait to see how much better/warmer it's gonna be once it's done.

Larry is checking out Jeff's handiwork.

The major happenings this week were Bill and Ryan getting the wall studs put in.  Then they put in the electrical, all new wiring.  Yeah, can I say I feel safer now.  I FEEL SAFER!!!

The purpose of the wall studs is so they could put insulation in the outside walls.  Yes, we had no insulation on the outside or inside walls.   It does now.  Nice and shiny insulation. Warmth!!

Next, up goes the sheetrock.  Woopee!!!!

They had to call in the Big Dogs to help with the sheet rock hanging.  Trent came down to help out.  He was itching to get his fingers dirty and use his new utility apron.

Ryan measured and cut while Trent nailed.  Great teamwork.. 
Humm, where were Bill and Larry???

Next up, taping, bedding, texturing the walls.  Sounds like fun to me, not.  That means, it's almost time for me to start picking out paint colors, ceiling fans, curtains, etc.  This is what I'm best at.  

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Madyson's Birthday Gift

I knew I needed to get/make Madyson something for her birthday coming up.  Just did not know what it was going to be.  So I started looking on my Pinterest account to get an idea.  Then I thought, let me go over to Brandi's Pinterest and just see what she has saved in her folders.  Well, there it was in her folder labeled "Wish I could Sew".  There was a bag that I had pinned also that is for girls to carry their pillow, blanket, stuffed animal, etc. for a sleepover in.  It was so cute with an owl on the front.  So. . .

I looked through my stash of fabric to see what I had.  Of course, never the right fabric, so off the WalMart this time, (it was close).  It didn't take me long until I found the right fabric for this project.  Back home I came and started sewing.  It took me a couple of days to complete, but I loved the way it came out.

It's hard to tell exactly what it is by this picture.  But just let me say, it's really cute.  Here is a link to where you can get the pattern and see a better picture of this overnight bag. 

Happy Birthday Madyson!!!

Peanut Butter and Jelly

I had a happy guest come and visit on Thursday last week.  Lucas came up with Ryan this week to spend a couple of days with me.  We were not able to do alot because of the cold weather outside, but I did snap a couple of pictures of him.  We made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  I wasn't doing it right, so he needed to show me how.  He said his "Mama" does it a different way.  So funny!  So I let him show me.

We had a good visit.  I love the special times I get to spend with my grandsons when their parents are not around.  They are so different.  I get to see them act different ways.  They are so precious to me. 

Friday, February 10, 2012

I've been busy in the Kitchen!

I want everyone to know that Pinterest is keeping me busy.  So many ideas of things I want to do.  Just not enough time.  I was busy this week though.  There were a couple of recipes I had to try, well, three to be exact.  First, I came across the words, "German Chocolate Upside-down Cake".  Well, that was enough to get my mouth watering.  I had to make one.  Just happened that we had company coming over, my sister and brother-in-law, Teresa and Bobby. So I had my excuse to make it.  Let me tell you, it was delicious.  It was rich, but melted in your mouth.  I did hear that my nephew, Seth, didn't care much for it.  He doesn't like cream cheese.  I never tasted the cream cheese.  Oh well, can't please everyone.

It was very moist and stayed that way for days.

Then, for Superbowl Sunday, we didn't do anything special, but I told Bill I wanted to make something different and Superbowlish.  So I had just ran across Pioneer Woman's Grilled Chicken & Pineapple Quesadillas recipe.  So, after a quick trip to the grocery store. . .

we had some Quesadillas.  And, boy were they good.  I would have never thought to put pineapple in a chicken quesadilla, but I'm glad Ree did.  Yum, yum!!

One last thing, I again visted Pioneer Woman and recreated her Iced Coffee.  I took a couple of pictures, but looking at coffee grounds steeping in a plastic container just wasn't very pleasing to my eyes, so no pictures, but will link to PW's website for you to see how she did it.  She has detailed directions.  

I also made up some Sweet Cream I found in several different places, that added just the right sweetness to it.  The Sweet Cream was easy to make, two ingredients, mix together and enjoy!

Remodel Update

Well, da boys have been busy busy with the remodel.  Ryan has been bustin' hiney around here.  He is definitely keeping Bill on his toes and off his hiney.

Check out this picture.  If you look close you can see the wall paper was just glued straight onto the boards.  No sheetrock, no cardboard, straight to the boards which had gaps inbetween them.   Amazing the way they did things years ago.  This was before they put the paneling on top. 

Wow, how closing in the porch made a difference to the look of the house now.  Still have painting to do, but such a dramatic difference.  Can't wait to see this summer with paint, and new landscaping and green grass. 

Yes, there will be insulation going up.  That is going to make such a difference in the heat and air back in the back of the house.  I know the kids will appreciate it.  I don't really go back there to those room very often.  I may now though, once all of this is done.  Can't wait.

New clothes closet and new closet for the central heat and air unit.  Not much of a change to the room here.  Did talk Bill into moving the doorway going into the North bedroom over some to accomodate moving the gun case on a different wall.  Oh yeah, and we have a outside door where the window used to be.

That's about it for this update.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Remodel Stage #4 - Bedrooms

We are beginning the fourth stage of our remodel of the farmhouse.  We started this process back in 2003 when we took the original four rooms and took out all of the walls and made an open kitchen, living and dining area.  We thought this best since we have so many family get-togethers here at the farm.  It was quite cramped when everyone was trying to crowd into 4 small rooms.  In 2008, we added on a master bedroom, bath, and a small scrapbook/craft room for me in preparing for me to move down.  When I 'retired' to the farm July 2008 and got settled, we decided it was time to remodel the kitchen area.  We painted the cabinets, put in new countertops and tumbled tile backsplash, new sink, garbage disposal, and added a dishwasher "YEAH" where the old small refrigerator was.  What a difference just painting the cabinets made.  Maybe I'll post a couple of pictures of that soon. 

But for now, we are concentrating on the back part of the house.  This will entail pretty much gutting all three bedrooms, replacing carpet, windows, all electric, taking out 3 small closets, adding central heating/air, taking in a porch off of one of the bedrooms and making it a walk-in closet, and covering that awful dark wood paneling with a layer of insulation and sheetrock.  I can't wait to see it.  It's going to look so different.

So without adieu, we start with having to level up that end of the house.  With alot of my son-in-law Ryan's help and Larry Bill's brother, they got the leveling done in one afternoon.  A project that Bill had been dreading for quite awhile.  Don't look at the porch to the left.  All of that "mess/toys" will be going away soon.  Grandkids love them when they are here, just need to relocate to a more appropriate place.  Hummmm, still thinking on that one.  That by the way, is the porch that will soon become a good size walk-in closet.
 Oh, and don't let me forget Miss Helper 'Palyn', she always has to have her nose "in the way", as Bill says..

Next starts the demolition of the interior.  What a mess.  I've been through this process with the first part of our remodeling and it was nasty, dirty.  Here's a picture right before they start.  That closet is being removed and another closet and centeral heat/air unit will go there.


First up, that NASTY NASTY Gold/Orange Shag carpet from the 70's... I have wanted that carpet gone for years and it's finally time.  It really wasn't as bad under it as I thought it would be, but it's GONE!!!!  YEAH!!!!!

Down comes the closet.  You can see through the doorway, another closet has already been demo'd.  Oh yeah, inside those closets, your not going to believe this.

Yes, you are really seeing what you think your seeing.  Cardboard walls with contact paper on top.  Gorgeous yellow, gold, orange and avocado green flowers and leaves. All GONE!!!!

And when I say all GONE, I mean it.   A Good Days work.  They did alot in one day.

 Don't let me leave out our watch dog.  She found a nice cool, wet spot in the rain to watch out for everything.  Miss Libby is a fine watchdog.

If you feel the need to see more pictures of this remodel, I have them posted out on Flicker, here.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Amy's T-Shirt Quilt

Most of you know, but my daughter Amy asked me to take all of her t-shirts from her Drill Team days and make her a quilt about 6 or so years ago.  I had no idea what I was doing.  I looked online for ideas, but couldn't find anything that showed me what I needed to know.  I had already cut all of the t-shirts up and they were all different sizes, so I was lost.  Every quilt I came across had cut the shirts all of the same sizes and basically put squares to squares in rows.  One, I don't like the looks of them, and two, all of my shirts were different sizes, so I had to figure out something different.
So I signed up for a Quilting 101 class at Quilt Country in Lewisville.  I finished my first quilt, (which was one of my first posts on my blog, and then I took Quilting 102, and at this posting, it has been finished being pieced since the class back last summer, but got put on hold until I finished other projects.  I have now started machine quilting it, but have not finished it yet.  TBD.
I finally got brave and decided to tackle the dreaded t-shirt quilt.  What to do, What to do????  I still didn't know where to start.  My daughter Mandy came over and we laid out the tshirts all different ways and each time, I would agree with the way we had it, but then I'd change my mind.  So one day, I was determined to get it started.  I pulled out all of the many sizes of squares and laid them out one more time.  What was I gonna do?  I was determined this time to come up with some plan, I wanted her to have it by Christmas.  Nothing else to do but dive in head first.  I pulled out my trusty colored pencils and graph paper.  I found my largest square and the process began.  I measured and drew, measured and drew.  I got each block planned out, which took about 3 days. 

I had already planned to do it in her school colors, Gold, Black and White for Forney Jackrabbits, so I had been buying various fabrics in those colors.  Once I got the plan completed, I started cutting fabric.  I assembled one block at a time, and then one row at a time until 4 rows were complete and measured the same length.  The quilt was born.
Then I had to come up with the back.  I kind had in my mind what I wanted to do, so that involved help from Mandy and learning to use my embroidery machine.  I created a block for each year Amy was in Drill Team with what position/officer she was.  Then off to the quilter two months before Christmas.  I got it back the second week of December, added the binding, by hand and it was done.  Whew!!!

Here is a picture of it with Bill and Amy's husband Aaron holding it up.
They are both over 6 ft tall, so you can tell just how big it is.

I think she liked it.