Mason Jars and One Sad Pumpkin

Mason Jars and One Sad Pumpkin

I don’t like containers with product labels to be left out on my counters or in plain sight. I know it’s weird and seems fussy, but I just don’t. I found quite a few examples on Etsy of mason jars with soap dispenser lids and I liked the idea immediately. Rather than purchasing them, I decided to try to make them myself. It didn’t seem that hard, and it actually wasn’t. Gabe found a soap dispenser at Lowes with a pump that fit the style we wanted and we glued it to a mason jar lid after drilling a hole in the middle. Gabe then spray painted the entire thing with a bronze metallic spray paint.

I actually spray painted them first, but the paint was uneven in places and blotchy; Gabe said he couldn’t stare at that on a daily basis, so he redid it for me. Who’s the fussy one now?

Anyway, once we had the lids, I decided to paint directly on the jar as opposed to making labels that would inevitably become wet and smeared. I used a Martha Stewart stencil kit for the letters and I think they came out quite nicely. It’s sort of smudgy in some areas, but I like it.

Halloween has come and gone and the single pumpkin sitting on our buffet is the extent of my Fall decorations this year. I am so ashamed. If Pinterest was a person, it would shun me. I just didn’t have the time or energy. We are still living out of boxes and it just seemed pointless. Besides, all I have to do it look out our window and the presence of Fall is more than apparent. It seemed that the entire world turned orange and red over night. I swear it was summer just last week. What happened? Before I know it, it’ll be time to build our raised beds and begin planting our new orchard.

Speaking of planting, I took that picture of the lopsided, empty tomato cage because it makes me laugh every time I look at it. It seems like an accurate representation of myself, somehow. Lopsided. Crooked. Ready of a winter of hibernation after being run ragged this summer. But still completely useable. I might be going too far with that analogy.

The kids are sleeping (at the same time!) and I am going to sit on our couch for some uninterrupted knitting time while watching Criminal Minds on Netflix. Apparently the show has been around for years but I hadn’t heard of it until a few weeks ago. It’s my latest obsession. And thanks to the wonders of my Apple TV, I can watch ten seasons back to back. Ah, technology. How I love thee.

These Days…

These Days…

Wow, I haven’t found time to write since March? What have I been doing? Oh, that’s right, I had a baby and moved into a completely remodeled farmhouse one week prior to the birth. Once I emerged from the haze the arrival of a newborn creates, I was too busy trying to establish a routine that allowed some semblance of productivity and normalcy. I finally feel like I’ve got a decent grasp of things.

Summers on a farm are busy. You’re so busy preparing for the winter months (replacing insulation, chopping wood, canning, freezing and dehydrating food, etc.), it seems the season is over before it barely begins.

I love Fall. It allows for lazy mornings and indoor activities that you would otherwise feel guilty doing on a beautiful day. Activities like blogging, knitting, surfing Pinterest for 2 hours…you get the idea.

I’ve been trying to introduce a light preschool curriculum into Sam’s mornings. Let’s just say its been more well received than potty training. I printed out some free flashcards (aren’t they adorable) and laminated them myself. Sam seems to really enjoy them.

I chose photos that I felt represented our day to day lives these past few weeks. As you can see, we installed a brand new fireplace and that has become the main source of our heat. Gabe purchased a tiny metal grasshopper to be placed near the stove for good luck. He needs a name. “The grasshopper” won’t do. Notice we have yet to completely unpack. Those boxes are full of books and games. We have scheduled a master carpenter to come and install custom bookshelves against that wall. This will give us a place to put the books, games, photos and other chatychkes that have yet to find a place in our new home.

The outside of the house has an exponentially better facade than it had before the remodel. I love our red door. It makes me so happy every time I see it. Our landscaping is lacking but that will be a project for next summer. Once step at a time. That seems to be our motto. Sometimes one half step at a time. Better than nothing I suppose.

It Smells like Spring and Freshly Cut Wood

It Smells like Spring and Freshly Cut Wood

The renovations are fully underway and it’s so exciting to see all of our hard work (okay, fine, technically our contractors’ hard work) come to fruition. It’s still early; we’re mostly working with the “bones” of the house; nothing that’s been done will actually be visible at the end of the job, but we’ve already come across quite a few pleasant (and not so pleasant) surprises.

Underneath layers of paint and wallpaper, we’ve discovered the original wood planks that make up the walls and gorgeous tongue and groove on the ceilings.  Instead of applying drywall, we’ve decided to restore the walls and ceiling. This will save us lots of money in the long run, and it will add to the farmhouse charm that we’ve been trying to keep during this renovation.

Every room downstairs has turned out to have hardwood floors that require just a little TLC; something we are willing to give in exchange for pocketing the money we would have otherwise spent on new flooring.

Of course, there are also some unexpected expenses popping up (on what seems like) a weekly basis, although it’s probably not as bad as I’m making it sound. The cellar underneath the house is going to require a sump pump due to flooding issues. Our wood stove, which will serve as the main heat source during the winter, needs to be replaced, along with all the piping. We need to purchase a larger generator than we had originally planned. These changes, combined with little add-ons here and there have already totaled in the thousands. Everyone tells you that you’re going to go over budget on any new build or remodel, no matter how hard you plan. You just never think it’s going to happen to you.

Until it does. Ugh.

Walking the property yesterday morning, I noticed little signs of Spring; tiny buds in the orchard and on the plants surrounding the house, a cloudless morning, and…mud. Everywhere. Ah, Washington. There’s always mud somewhere. I walked the length of our new orchard fence and planned out my Spring garden in my head. The workers were talking and laughing while scraping linoleum off the floors and it smelled liked freshly cut wood. We might not have a working bathroom or any functional heat source, but it already feels like a happy home.