Friday, September 12, 2014

The Insanity Called Life or Another Remodel

This summer was so nice. I had little work, so I got to garden, enjoy the yard and recuperate (still) from my broken ankle. Doesn't hurt all the time, but it does have it's moments.

I got a car near the end of the summer which was very nice. Then in the last few day of summer Bam! Sales increase, I start school with both of my daughters boys, and after she finally got moved into her new place, I have to help her remodel. My life is insane right now.

Here is a picture of how the kitchen looked when she moved in. Yes, the in-laws didn't even take all their hoarded garbage with them. She is still pulling out boxes and boxes of garbage and they don't even recognize it as theirs. They ask her if it's garbage and she says "I don't know, it's your stuff."

The refrigerator in this picture is hers, all the rest was theirs. The pipes under the sink were totally broken and they had a bucket under the sink to catch water that they then took to the bathroom to dump. They eat a lot of oily food, so now the bathroom sink is blocked.

We found later that the reason (possibly) the sink broke, was that the entire sink base was not attached to the wall. We guessed that the pipes might break if the sink is able to move around the kitchen,

None of the cupboard doors closed and all were hanging crooked. The rest of the house is vile too.

My daughter's best friend and I have come over a few times to help clean and renovate.

Cleaning was pretty rough, not sure what the brown drops were on the stairwell walls, but I suspect it was coffee spills from carrying full cups up and down the stairs. The walls were covered in brown drips from handrail height to stairs.  All that is cleaned and painted now. Magic erasers REALLY are magic.

There is still a LOT of work to do on the house, but we did manage to rip out a lot of those kitchen cabinets and my daughter found some nice replacements at the Habitat for Humanity restore. They are pretty cool places. People donate to them and the money from the resale is put into new housing builds.

Here is a picture of cupboards on one wall. Still needs paint and a counter top, but that will come soon. The kitchen sink will be a lot of work, but she also found a lightly used dishwasher and the sink base to match isn't too expensive, even new.

We will put uppers and shelves over the old sink next week. We are being creative with the cupboards she purchased at restore. They are not a perfect fit, but we are adding shelving to make them adorable. She also bought new drawer pulls from China on ebay at a fantastic price.

The reason she is doing this is that the house is really big, and the rent she is paying is worth fixing up the place. This part of the kitchen looks so much better, I can't wait to see the whole place finished.

This is just fantastic therapy for me too. My ankle has been greatly improved since I have to climb up and down to install the cupboards. I'm the one who knows how to do the work, the rest of the family rips, lifts and moves the heavy things. Although I did the base cabinets myself, not so hard to slide into place and screw them to the wall. Yes, that IS how you install cabinets. You check for level and attach them to the wall, AND you attach them to each other. How about that?

It's kind of tiring with my injury, and my weight, and my age, but remodeling is the thing I enjoy doing more than anything else. When I see these pictures side by side, it puts a big cheesy smile on my face, and the sore muscles, aren't quite so bad.

Didn't remember what she paid for these. For this and a few more uppers, slightly used and in pretty decent condition. $180. Check out your local Habitat restore.

I had to update this with the painted walls and counter. Now it looks like a kitchen.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Finally a Car!

It's been years since I've had a car for more than a few months. There was that nice car we had a few years ago, that we could barely drive in winter and finally gave up the ghost. We were able to drive it to the rapid station to go see Weird Al downtown. That was fun. But for the most part it had so many issues it was barely in use. That's what you get with a $1200 car sometimes.

In theory I should have had enough money to afford a car, but as I look around the house I realize why I didn't. When I moved her I had a serger, a not so great sewing machine, a stained sleep sofa and buckets of fabric with an air mattress on it for a bed. Oh, I also had a beat up frying pan.

Not a lot to set up a household with. I did get a LOT of donated items, some furniture, lots of household items and a microwave that I  bought for $10 from a friend. But since then I have bought: dining room table and chairs, new nice sewing machine, living room chairs, side tables, storage cabinet, printer, file cabinet, kitchen table, kitchen bakers rack, toaster, coffee maker, an iron, an air conditioner, window treatments, towels, dishes, flatware, dresser, 2 TVs (I had a tiny vintage one), a vacuum, and countless little things that you need to cook and clean on an everyday basis.

That's a LOT of stuff. It is expensive to set up a household. Since January, I've been testing my ability to "make a car payment". I've been putting away a payment amount of money each month. Some of that had to be used for the abscessed tooth I had to remove, and my portion of the medical bills for the broken ankle. Things will be a lot easier when I pay off the IRS and my medical bills.

So last week I went out to the dealer with the money I set aside to prove I would make payments as my down payment and got this very cute Orange Kia Soul. It's about a loaded as a Soul gets with the exception of a sunroof (no sunroof). It's DD's favorite color and she's a bit jealous, but hey, I like it. I like bright different colors. They are great for visibility, fewer accidents, and you know, everyone will know it's the crazy lady coming at them.

It's a cute little beast and I finally have a reliable set of wheels. It's not new, but it's in decent shape. I love it.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Peanut Butter Almond Butter Frozen Fudge Cups

It started with a curiosity about a fascination with coconut oil and how I could get it into my diet. I tried cooking in it, but everything I fried with it was just nasty. Coconut oil is a strange thing. It only stays liquid at a higher temp, so salad dressing is hard to do because it's thick at room temperature.

Searching through pinterest I found a link to this recipe for Healthy Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge which was very yummy, but too peanutty for my taste. I'm including the recipe for the original version and my version. I thought if I added a little almond butter, it would be a bit milder, but maybe even a little healthier. I also wanted the sweetener to be a bit richer, so I've added a bit of molasses. I love molasses so much I could sit and eat a whole jar, but that's another story. 

Here are the ingredients for each followed by my method for preparing.

Healthy Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil 
  • 1/2 cup good quality cocoa powder 
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter 
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract 

Healthy Peanut Butter Almond Butter Fudge

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil 
  • 1/2 cup good quality cocoa powder 
  • 1/4 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup natural almond butter 
  • 1 T molasses
  • 1/4 cup - 1T  honey
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract 
I put all of the ingredients in a 2 cup measure and whisk them all together with my smallest whisk. That way it is all ready to pour. Then I pour into my cups. You can use candy molds, cupcake molds or even ice cube trays. this recipe fills an ice cube tray just about perfectly, or about 10 cupcake papers partway filled. 

I started with silicone cupcake molds, but found them too much of a pain to clean, so now I use a silicone candy mold. When it is in the mold place in freezer. Because these melt easily, they have to be kept in the freezer. Pop out when solid and keep in the freezer in a container. They do melt in your hands.

The mold I used is this Wilton Daisy Mold that I found at Walmart. I think if filled to the top it would hold a double batch. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

5 Months Post Ankle Break - No Really

I haven't updated in a long time. I guess because progress is at such a snails pace now it's measured in months, not weeks. Also, I've been fairly busy with my business. A wonderful thing. I may post about that soon, giving you some idea of how to boost your business too. That's why I started this blog, but got way off subject. Although there are really such wonderful blogs and sites for small business owners and artists that mine wouldn't compare, but it might be funnier ;)

I had a GREAT day yesterday and I wanted to write about it. For the first time since I broke my ankle, I was able to keep my elastic circulation stocking on ALL DAY. Seriously, my leg and ankle have been swelling so much every day, that by late noon the tight compression stocking makes me feel like my leg will explode. But last night I was able to keep it on and even walk all night without a limp.

Walking without a limp is a HUGE goal, because the limp is screwing with my hips. Sometimes I use a cane to take a little weight off of my foot and damn if that doesn't screw with my shoulders. I am really not happy with getting older and if there is one thing I've learned from this is that I will fight old age with every inch of my being.

I've added even more healthy foods. I'm fermenting and instead of chocolate I make great freezer fudge with coconut oil, cocoa, peanut butter and almond butter. Organic natural of course. I make turmeric shakes every morning for circulation, swelling and pain and the arnica rub has been wonderful for healing. And here's the biggest thing. I will be walking and hopefully increasing to, yes really, running.

I've never been big on running. Reason being, I have a deviated septum and pinched nostrils that let very little air in where it should go in and I start mouth breathing where the air shouldn't go in. I have had this all my life, but maybe with breathing strips I can learn to adapt. We'll see. And after all, how fast can I run at my age. Just giving it a try will help. I also think it may be time to add glucosamine to my diet. Apparently my super healthy cartilage is finally beginning to shrivel.

I also had a moderately serious, and super annoying eye issue related to seniority. Warning, apparently you need to wear good sunglasses to protect your eyes from UV. I haven't worn sunglasses for years, but I will now.

If you made it this far, you need to get a life, but thanks for taking the time to care. I hope you learned something from this and I will be posting my healthy recipes here really soon.

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