Saturday, March 29, 2008

House Work -- New Closet, and Bathroom Overhaul

The weekend before Christmas we started a new project (two, actually) -- we are adding a new closet in the master bedroom, and painting / adding trim to the master bathroom while we're at it. The first pic here shows the drywall and pocket door installed. The old wall stopped where you can see the red paint and crown molding stop. We put in a new light fixture by the bathroom door as well as a light in the new closet area. The closet still has a way to go -- the exterior is done, and the inside is painted but needs to be finished out with shelves etc.

The bathroom overhaul includes: painting the wall and ceiling (which were both painted with that crappy builder-grade beige paint), installing bead-board wainscotting, chair rail, new baseboard and shoe molding, and crown molding.

The bathroom is done except for painting over the spackle where the molding is nailed up; that should be done by the end of this weekend.

More Spring Pics

The first two pics are from my front yard. The crocuses I planted in the lawn a few years ago have been dwindling so that now only a few come up; I guess I'll have to replant.

The last pic is the horseradish -- it was in one of my 4 x 8 beds, but it was taking up too much space so I found a corner of the herb bed where I could put it.

The octagon form was around one of my fruit trees -- I had a pear tree die year before last, and this winter took out an apple tree that was diseased / stunted and not producing. The fruit trees were planted before I put the raised beds in, so I had to put a dam around them to keep their surface roots from getting suffocated by the new beds. The other two fruit trees (one apple, one pear) are doing fine. I took the opportunity to remove the dams when I took out the dead trees so that when I replant the new trees will be at the level of the rest of the beds.


Some Spring Garden Pics

The left pic is the bed on the east side of the garden, next to the shed -- we had asparagus in the back bed, but a foster dog several years ago ate and killed most of the plants, so I've finally decided not to replant the aparagus and use it for something more productive. Right now it has peas; the front bed has salad vegetables (spinach, mesclun mix, lettuce).

The bed on the right is on the west end of the garden, and has the same mix of plants. You can see the pea brush (trimmings from apple trees) that will serve as a trellis for the peas.

Baked Leeks

I make no secret about being a somewhat lazy gardener. (But I have such a big garden? Yes, but I'm not out there fussing over it all weekend, every weekend, believe me.)

I planted some leeks last spring and left them out in the garden all summer -- and winter. Finally decided to pull some of them up, so I went searching for a good leeks recipe (I like leeks, but DH doesn't particularly like them), and found this one. I made two changes to the recipe -- I didn't use bread crumbs (wheat allergy), and I microwaved the leeks instead of steaming them. DH proclaims that he'd eat this any time, so it's a success. It's basically a crustless quiche, with the addition of chicken stock to the custard mix.

I'm definitely planting more leeks, now that I have a recipe Himself will eat.


Sunday, March 16, 2008

Relynn tagged me

The tag rules are:
1. When tagged, place the name of the person and URL on your blog
Relynn's blog is here
2. Post the rules on your blog
3. Write 7 things about yourself
4. Name 7 of your favorite weblogs
5. Send an e-mail letting those bloggers know they have been tagged

So here are my 7 things:

1. I had a pony when I was in 2nd / 3rd grade. He wasn't very interesting -- he was old and fat when we got him, and preferred to amble around and eat grass to actually going anywhere, so I still don't know how to properly ride a horse. The neighbor kids frequently cut through our yard and left the gate open; the pony would then sneak out at night and go hang out with some other ponies in a pasture a few miles away, at which point Dad and I would have to go fetch him and walk him home. When we moved from our off-base house to on base, my Dad refused to go get him from his final escape run, figuing he'd be happier there than in the stables on the base.

2. I love old British cars. My folks had two MGAs when I was growing up -- one when I was a toddler, another when I was about 15. K. and I owned a 1971 MGB in the early '90s. I'd love to have another one eventually. I learned a bunch of great mechanical stuff working on the MGB. Alternatively, I've been looking at old British motorcycles. Not sure I'll buy one, but it's fun to look.

3. Both my grandmothers were artists -- one professionally, painting portraits and teaching art and mechanical drawing at the local high school; she worked as an architect during WW2; the other was good enough to have been a professional artist, and had a college degree in art and design. I'm very proud of them, and have some of their art displayed in my office at work.

4. I had two fairly serious operations before the age of 34. This definitely changed my outlook on life; I'm trying to enjoy life more on my own terms and worry less about what other people think.

5. I can't imagine living without dogs. Yes, I've had a series of dogs with odd/warped personalities, but they're a big part of my life. I like farm-collie type dogs, probably because the dogs we had when I was in early grade school were usually at least part collie. (Later we had poodles, but I never quite clicked with those dogs as much as the farm collies.)

6. I love rain; I really love thunderstorms. I've been known to go walking in rainstorms (not the ones with lightning, usually, though) because they make me feel alive.

7. My favorite season is Fall. I love the rich colors, the seasonal foods; this past Fall I got back into my fall tradition of baking and putting up preserves. Spring is a relief after a long winter, but I could do without the pastels and Easter-related kitsch.