Saturday, April 28, 2018

Working On the New House

As you probably know, we're in the process of helping our son do some work on the new place before we all move in. Its been rather trying as we keep finding more and more wrong with it but slowly we're getting things ready.

My husband put new plugs in the all the outlets as they were from 1965 and a real mess. They all are fine now but would have been a fire hazard in the future the way they were. We also replaced all the old 53 year old locks with beautiful new Schlage ones.

That was just the very start. All the bedrooms had bad carpeting so that was all ripped out and the old tile taken up. New tile is now going to be installed soon. This weekend we will be tweaking the floors so they will be perfect for the new acrylic tile that looks like weathered wood floors.

The living room had dark roughed paneling on 2 walls so that was all taken off quickly. We have that room about ready to paint too. That room will have the same tile on the floor as in the hall, dining room and kitchen. A light gray.

I discovered that the cupboards in the kitchen are new! There is no sign that they've ever been used. There is also a new black dishwasher which matched the black oven. The electric cooktop is old but in good working condition so I was able to clean it fairly well. It looks much better. I found a tip on a youtube video for cleaning electric cooktops. First, cover the top with white vinegar and let it set for a few minutes. Clean it off and then sprinkle baking soda over the entire surface. Cover it with towels. and let it sit for 30 minutes. Wash that off and rinse with a damp sponge. It cleaned up fairly well but I think I'll go over it again for the third time after we move in. There was some corrison that is still there but the vast majority is gone. I think the vinegar did the best job as the top had that way for a number of years.

I did a similar thing to the stove in the condo we're leaving. I took the racks out and covered the bottom of the oven ( a few spills that happened in the year we have been here) Sprinkled the bottom with baking soda and sprayed clear water over it. put towels over the baking soda and left it overnight.
In the morning, I took the towels off and scrubbed it. All the spills and baking on stuff came off easily. It looks great now. Easy and inexpensive.

Our bedroom is the last to be fixed as we're moving in after the rest of the family.. The purple rug is gone thankfully. It will too have the wood look gray tile in there but our walls will be a pretty blue with white trim. I've always liked blue and white. My mothers collection of blue and white dishes will be hung in there too.

The painter is coming on Monday to paint all the bedrooms. I hope he's good. I've seen some painters do a poor job and go over switch plates and electrical outlets. We took off all the switch plates, etc. so hopefully that will work. Alan is so particular about painting as he was a painter for a hospital when he was younger. Painting is something he knows well and how to do it properly. Our son hired this painter.

I won't bore you with anything else but as you can see, its a big job. That's jsut the inside. The outside is even worse but that's for a different day.

I will say the neighborhood seems nice. A great park right across the street and its quiet much of the time. We have alot of traffic noise here and there is a firestaton right down the street. We saw alot of birds too which we love.

Wow, a long post with no photos....

Monday, April 16, 2018

Homemade Granola

My husband loves granola but all the packaged type has some sort of sugar in it. Honey, white sugar, brown sugar, etc. So in the past, I've made it myself. I have a very old cookbook, put out by the Mennonites with an entire chapter on granola and homemade cereal. I've adjust the recipes for diabetics and today made some.
Its easy to make and just takes a short time. It makes quite a bit too. You can adjust the recipe to suit your family. If you don't like cinnamon or vanilla, or whatever, leave it out. If there are certain dried fruit you prefer, put it in. The recipe is very flexible.
In the past, I've used agave syrup for the sweeting, as it has a low glycemic index. But today, I didn't have any so I used sugar free maple syrup that has sorbital in it. Not as good but ok. My husband can attest it doesn't make his blood sugar go up.

Simple Granola

6 c. rolled oats (old-fashioned kind)
2 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. coconut (if you can find the unsweet) if not leave it out)
1 c. wheat germ
Combine the above in a large mixing bowl.

Blend together separtely,
1/2 c. water
1 c. oil
1 c. agave or sugar free pancake syrup ( if you don't need sugarfree, use honey)
2 t. vanilla
1 t.salt

Add the blended liquid ingrediants to the dry and mix throughly.

Spread out on two greased cooky sheets (I use cake pans, less mess in the oven as you stir this often)
Bake about an hour or until its golden and dry. Cool and put in to a storage container.

Now I used a container of trail mix, which had nuts and grains in it. Plus some dried raisins, and apples.  I also added some cinnamon. I didn't have any coconut so that was left out. You can add , as I said any dried fruit you like. If you don't go sugar free, use dried cherries or cranberries would be really yummy.

I really have used this cookbook and its wearing out, sadly. Its out of print too so it will be difficult to find anywhere. Its called the More for Less Cookbook, I think it was published in the 70s but am not sure. The Front cover is gone and the front page is torn. That's how much I've used it. So many good and thrifty recipes in it. Very tasty ones too.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Everything is blooming and Another Piece of IronWood

We are definitely moving now into our sons house. Escrow will close either Tuesday or Wednesday of this week. However, we won't move in until a month from now as our lease ends then. I took a few photos outside today. The above picture is of the cactus, Century Plants that are blooming. Those tall spikes are the flowers from the plant and are just full of bees now.  Unfortunately the effort of the blooms slowly kill the main plant. They're sure striking, aren't they? This is in the merdian of the road.

We also have a bottle brush tree which is blooming heavily. Bees here also/ Its a large tree, over 30 ft. high.

    Just covered with red blooms. No scent but surely beautiful.

We've been going to estate and garage sales and guess what we found? Another little piece of Iron wood and you know we collect it.

        A cute little Angel fish...and for only $3.00.
and now for a funny...

Thursday, April 5, 2018

House and Wildflowers

The escrow on the house looks like its going through. Its passed inspections and the bank appraisal. So escrow should close before the end of the month. Our lease ends the end of May so we won't be moving in until closer to that time.
I spoke with our landlady yesterday and of course, she wants a written 30 day notice. I found our rental agreement and it started on the 22nd of May last year so guess that's what we will put down. We can start moving out before that date so will start packing and cleaning this little place. In some ways, I will be sad as its been a haven for us in many ways. God has blest us here and its rather peaceful. Although I won't miss the heavy traffic and noise of the fire trucks that come from the fire station at the end of the street!

 We've had some rain so hope we get wildflowers like we had last year. The hills are green so its a possibility.

Here are a few photos of some beauties from last year.

                                     Californian Poppies

                                   Poppies, daisy's and lupine