Changing for the Future

Things are changing for the future here. Not only am I actively working on house projects and the farms remodel but so is my internet presence. I actually have a paid for blog/website. Not a freebie presence. Woot!! I have been going back and forth on this subject and whether or not I wanted to go for it, I finally decided to leap. New year, new me!

Sooo my new blog-site is Old Country Love, and things are really rough over there but if you could pop over there and give comment. Thoughts, tips, and little bits of encouragement would be greatly appreciated…as long as they are positive. My fresh content {along the same lines} will be there now and my existing content will remain here and available on the new Old Country Love site.

Old Country

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Try to Stay Motivated

Yeah the irony of my last post is we ended up just getting the New 2014 Patriot.
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So now that we are looking at a car payment for the next few years, it is really hard to stay motivated with house projects. All those little things can cost more than you think. For example, on N’s room I wanted to do a shelf with the shelf brackets made out of pipe and a curtain rod that was integrated with it. That awesome idea may go down the toilet. Which by the way the septic is still froze.

Motivation is going to be lacking now that we are pinching pennies for the car payment. Any suggestions for stretching your creativity to make up for less ca$h and upping your motivation?

Car Searching…

So since our Tempo died this week, we have been trying find a replacement vehicle. At first we looked for something for him. A car with under 100,000 miles, around $5,000 and reliable. Then the thought of my 2008 Taurus having 134,000 miles on her and the 1997 dodge truck has been iffy for awhile, made us think maybe something bigger or at least taller.

We realized pretty quickly that a car for my hubby to drive was out. That meant something for me. After some searching we realized that we would be paying the same amount a month for a brand new SUV/crossover as we would one a couple years old. Which I find disgusting.

We tried a 2009 Dodge Journey with almost 85,000 miles on it. I liked the storage space {in seats, under seats, etc.} and the fact I could sit between the kids car seats in the back. The bad things were that the blind spots were annoying, it drove rough, the tires were worn weird and it kept pulling to one side. Then after driving this one and waiting to see how much it would cost us, my mom texted me about a Jeep {she thought Patriot but was a Liberty} that she drove past. Now I am going to tell you straight, I love Jeeps! I have some awesome memories in a soft top CJ7 from the 70’s. That and the Commander we drove to our wedding reception. So I am automatically going to the dealers page to see the info for it.

We ended up walking away from the Dodge Journey, it had way to many minuses and the payment was more than we were willing to spend on it.

We went to look at the Jeep Patriot I saw for $11,000 the next day. It ended being at there other location, bummer. So we looked at the Jeep that my mom did see. It was Jeep Liberty for $16,000. The front seat was awesome, back seat okay, and storage area horrible! We have 3 dogs {2 large} and I do wedding flowers! There just was not as much room as we would have liked.

So I asked the dealer what the differences were between the Patriot that was $11,000 & a brand new one. Since it was more cosmetic than tech & specs, we decided to look at a new one. We even squeezed our butts into the way back to see if the dogs would fit success!
It was gorgeous!
I am gonna tell you my requirements in a car; automatic transmission, Air Conditioning, a CD player,  at least FWD and good gas mileage. For a small SUV the Patriot {in my opinion} is pretty close to the top.
We found out how much it would cost {at my Hubby’s insistence, I figured it was pretty much not an option} and I had some sticker shock. Not that I did not expect it to be expensive, it is just when you see it written it is more mind boggling.

We decided that what we needed was a Patriot and as much as love the 2014, to try and look at a 2011 that was closer to home. It road ruff and had some chips along the edge of the doors that concerned me. We checked on the price anyway. Guess what, it turned out to be $15 more for the same time length or $40 cheaper for less time. We left. Disappointed & disgusted. In a total quandary as what we should do.

In between the first Patriot, 2014, and the second, 2011, the Taurus did something she never has done before. She hesitated, quite a bit, at a stoplight. Right before that we were both thinking just by the Hubby a junker. Guess not! My hubby listed a bunch of reasons,not serious ones, as to why it could have done that, but the whole time we were both looking at the dash like “NOOOOOO!”

I got a text from the dealer we talked with about the 2014 Patriot, apparently a 2011/2012 Patriot Latitude{fancier but more popular} would cost more than the 2014 Patriot, because of the $2,000 cash rebate. Granted it is a Sport, but we did not want a Latitude anyway. That and finding a Patriot that fit our needs without driving 3+ hours if we were lucky was pretty much not a option/nonexistent.

So there we sat, on our way home, thinking what the he!! do we do…

…to be continued…

R.I.P.

We abruptly lost my husband’s work car yesterday. We knew she would not last forever and she had a good long run.

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1993 Ford Tempo

Originally an old family members car.

When he passed, his wife had it.

She gave it to me, and barely drove it.

My brother used it while volunteering at a zoo.

My parents gave it to us a couple years after we got married.

She has  survived NASTY perfume, skunk odor, fox urine, and diesel/gas/oil residue.

She squished my brother, my cousin, and myself all teenagers to go bale hay for our grandpa.

She somehow managed to get my 6′ +/200+lb father and my Uncle Randy {now passed}, who was much bigger, in the front seat.

No oil changes for almost 3 years {then earned the nickname “the dragon”}, a boulder {in the driveway, my hubby did it}, a deer taking its side mirror, numerous raccoons, and God knows what my brother did in/with her.

You may think this a ridiculous post, but there are many people out there that are sad in the passing of her and will treasure the memories and laughs she brought.

All Froze Up…

So its been an interesting few weeks. One of the worst things that has happened is the septic freezing…yes our septic has froze. Not much I can say about this but let’s pray for an early thaw!!!
Called on a price for a john, since it does not seem like its going to warm up soon. Also considering a outhouse or composting toilet…we shall see.

White Outs…

…are normal in the middle of nowhere. There have been a couple this year so far. This is yesterday…
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You can barely see the serviceberry at the end of our sidewalk.
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Our backyard…if our shepherd was still around she would love it!
We have had a couple good winter snows here in the last 7 winters. A few have resulted us and our neighbors to the north, stuck between a nasty S-curve to the south and the hill just north of the neighbors.
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Usually when this happens we are stuck for 2 days. That is until the road grader comes out and makes a path. Thankfully we have only lost power twice in winter.
All these polar vortex’s & arctic blasts have reminded of our first winter here and how the furnace would kick on every 5-10 minutes and it was still cold. Our “best” memory would be from one particularly cold morning, just after a good storm. We were on the main floor at the time in a northwest bump out. That room is always cold in the winter, but this specific morning my hubby got a shocking surprise when he stepped out of bed…Snow! Yep snow, in the house. We are still not sure how it got in, thinking it got thru the very poor siding/foundation.
When we sit and reminisce about our winters, the stepping out of bed into snow tops them all.

Don’t Cry Over Spilled Polycrylic!

We are so close to being done with the bathroom. I have some paint to touch up, one teeny strip of bead board to paint, and varnish. Well I did not want to to touch up paint before varnishing and I wanted to get the stained trim protected from everything, especially my children.

The first coat went on extremely well, I had my bathroom fan on to suck out the nasty fumes even though the poly I am using is low VOC. I sanded the trim, then wiped it down. Working from the baseboard up I did the north wall. I almost lost the can of poly, and thought “oh cripes, let’s not drop this.” {I would like to point out that it is a full can.} That wall done, yay! Next I started on the west wall and that is when this happened…2014-01-26 12.11.44

Those lovely arrows point out the obvious and not so obvious places the Polycrylic hit. All I can say is at this point I am glad it was not oil based.

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So I grabbed my mop and proceeded  to clean up the puddle, or should I say lake, in my bathroom. First I mopped up the most of it, then used soapy water to wash the floor. Second, I washed it off the bead board. By the time I got to the actual vanity it had mostly dried, but it was still coming off good, phew!  The curtain? I just said whatever, I will make a new one. After cleaning up a good 3/4’s of the can, I finished varnishing the trim.

Sigh…vanish done!

I’m So Excited!!

And I just can’t hide it!

Yes I know, bad pun, but so excited right now. I may have found the one! I decided what the hell, lets try distressing. So I just went ahead and did it on a little area of an unstained board like I previously mentioned. All I needed for that was my finishing hammer and an old nail. I used the nail removing end to make the lines.

imageHere is a close up of what it looks with holes and lines…this actually a shot of of it stained so you can see the distressing.

2014-01-25 10.13.45 This picture is actually a better picture for showing the color.

This is what I used…
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*Coconut Oil (not shown)
Varathane “Black Cherry”
Minwax gel stain “Antique Maple”
Hammer
Finishing nail {not shown}

It was soooo simple! I love it and hopefully the hubby does too!!!

Note: In trying to replicate this for my hubby on a larger piece it did not work. Bummer, then I remembered that area that I had used I had put coconut oil on about 18 hours earlier.
So here are the steps…
1. Coconut oil your wood (warm to a liquid state). Let this sit. In replicating with the coconut oil I applied it almost immediately, but I think letting it sit longer would be better. I also liked the sample that the coconut oil sat over night.
2. After your board has set so the oil can be absorbed, distress your board. IMPORTANT, distress after coconut oil, the oil inhibits the wood from absorbing the stain.
3. Very lightly apply the dark stain, letting it fill the little niches and crevices of the distressing. Wipe of any excess stain. Let thus sit maybe 3 minutes or so.
4. Apply the lighter stain and then wipe it off. Remembering the longer it sits the more intense/dark the color will be.

And there you have it! Somewhat simple and when I remembered that I had put coconut oil there and then duplicated it, it matched pretty much spot on. A hint darker, but very close…YAY!!!

Bigger is Better…Pipe

Did you ever get a Christmas Eve surprise you did not want??? We got one this last Christmas, a whopper. Our bathroom drain line froze…sigh. Right in the middle of the kids bathes. So that left me with baling the tub from my son’s bath and baling water after giving our daughter a bath and me using the kitchen sink for a sponge bath.

Our problem? The drain line was only 1 1/2″ PVC pipe. Apparently we should have had a 4″ (they are way less likely to freeze) pipe for the drain. This was a mistake we made in our early years and apparently we had to wait until we were below zero as highs to learn it.

So after being gone for 3 days for Christmas, my husband working the next 3, and the family being sick we finally got to tackle that “gift” last week. My husband started by taking out the kerosene heater (sorry no picture) and pointing it up the pipe to defrost the line. I know, absurd. Then my husband heeded my grandfathers advice (always listen to your elders, they probably have had the same problem at some point) and took his propane torch and a drill bit and tried to drill a “hole” (hubby’s words) to unplug the line.

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The first bit we started with was a 5′ flexible one. This worked until it wouldn’t go any farther with it. We then lit a fire over the line in an attempt to unfreeze the ground to dig a a hole closer to the house and try the drilling technique again. This time we tried it with 12″ extension bits and added onto to the length until we lost the drill bit in the line. Obviously we were not going to drill through the ice, so my husband decided to take a day off from this and start again the Friday after New Years.

Friday started late, which seems to be the case now that the manly demo stuff is done and we have kids. It was a very good day to be playing with fire. Our goal was to unfreeze the ground where the line was to dig a trench along where the PVC pipe ran to run a new line of 4″ drain tubing. My part in this was the fire, I tend to be a little bit of a pyromaniac. Give me some warm coals and I can have a warm fire blazing in a few minutes.

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{the fire}

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{my hubby in the trench}

My husband dug for the new line while I kept the fires burning. I would like to note at this point we were about 6-7′ from the house and the PVC pipe was broke so my hubby started drilling thru the ice again. Between my fire and the drill we did defrost the line but since we were so close to home (no pun intended) we dug as close to the house as we could so we wouldn’t have this problem again.

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{almost done digging}

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{yeah! hard part is over}

After we got the trench all cleaned and pretty we threw that drain tile in fast. It was almost dark, the fire was out and so was any heat that we had to keep us warm! It was so wonderful to actually take a nice hot shower after having just a toilet in the bathroom and playing with all that smoke.

Lesson Learned: Sometimes its better to overkill with size for a drain line and if you get a fire warm enough it will defrost anything no matter how cold it is!