Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Removing a window

This pic reminds me of that corny childhood phrase, you'd make a better wall than a window.
This is the latest rehab project on OOH. Gutting the living room or to use 1902 vernacular, the parlor.
We are removing the plaster & lathe, rewiring 4 existing electrical outlets, the 5th will be relocated directly below the main front window to accommodate lighting our Christmas tree. Other than a wreath hung on the front door that is pretty much it for Holiday decorating. Insulated with R-13.

While we have the walls opened up we will run wire up to the second floor. Our bedroom is directly above. It will be nice to have more than the one electrical outlet which is right next to the bedroom door. I look forward to having a bedside lamp and actually using my writing desk instead of the kitchen table.
Also considering wiring the living room for sound even though our 15 year old television can't handle the technology.
This window overlooked the side (only) porch. In the original design this 1900's two story farm house, the porch wasn't enclosed. One of the 1st aspects of the house that I changed was to rework the late 1990's porch remodel. Unfortunately the porch columns were removed and replaced with a bank of storm windows. Interior walls of the porch were finished off with Maple colored paneling. Apparently the previous owners felt they lived in a 1960's ranch house.

I have always wanted a home with a hexagon & bay window complete with a bench. So after wiring for lights and an outlet, insulation, installing bead board to match the original porch ceiling, and a new real outside front door to replace the storm door, we now have a porch/mud room where we can take off our shoes, hang our hats, and stow our packs. It's also a nice place to have a cup of coffee in the morning or in the case of my now teenage daughters a place to say good night to a friend.

Walling up this window also gave us much needed space for a vintage mirror (trash find) and more hat hooks.

Now the living room side needed to go.
Antique moldings were carefully removed to be used in a future project - a built in entertainment center in the corner to the right. Window sashes are in the attic. Slightly wavy glass intact.
And no, no treasures were found behind the lathe or the window jambs.
I couldn't help but think while I was striping away the paint of all the many conversations held though this window in the last 108 years. 
The woman of the house ordering produce from a peddler, declining his offers of new wash tubs. Wishing he would hurry along with her order before his horse drawn wagon leaves ruts in the newly graveled city street.
A young girl quietly speaking with a guy from the neighborhood perched on the arm of her father's chair. Later that father sitting in his chair near the corner silently chaperoning a young couple sitting on the porch rail dreading the flicker of the porch light. The rustle of his evening paper as he pretends to read. A mother of a WW2 sailor praying that the man delivering that Western Union telegram has the wrong house ... asking him to leave.  Or a mother of Vietnam soldier ...

Allot of history in this wall that was once a window.

~~ pelenaka ~~

Monday, August 16, 2010

Keeping the lid on

Sometimes after you have opened a home canned jar it's nice to be able to close it up for storage without using a metal canning ring. Caps are also nice when you have vacuum sealed a dry product such as rice in a glass mason jar and want an extra bit of protection on top of the canning lid. Also helps to keep the canning lid from rusting if you happen to store the vacuum sealed jar in a cellar. Caps are also great for sealing jars for freezer storage.. Beware frozen caps are brittle.
Caps pictured above are; white - Ball brand something like under $4 for 6. I use them on my 1940's glass canister jars for counter storage since white matches my decor. If I could have found 50's pink well then I'd be a happy June. The bright blue are from Aldis mayo, darker blue from Aldis peanut butter (could be the other way around), red also gotta be from Aldis, dark blue top of pic reads Hellman's Mayo (snagged from an empty jar @ work), yellow rings were in a box of jars I bought @ a tag sale. Love those. Have never seen them for sale retail.
Drop a line if you know where to buy them. I won't since I'm ghetto cheap but it would make me happy to know that they can still be had.
~~ pelenaka ~~

P.S.  10/11/2010 - The head Goat Gal & owner over @ Harper Hill Farm which produce some of the best Goat Milk Soap sent me this link for those plastic screw on lids that have the center cut out. Scroll down almost to the bottom of the page you'll find them.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

field to pantry shelf

I need to apologize to my BBFG. I doubted that there was an green beans in this field. That being said don't judge a newly harvested field from a car. Sometimes the goal is hidden in plain sight.

Learn the way grasshopper learn the way. Teaching a son to fish so to speak, age 3.

To the left is about 30 feet of green beans that weren't mechanically harvested due to low hanging tree branches on the neighboring playground. Prime picking. I was able to glean enough green beans to fill my 10 gallon bucket.

Scored canning lids for free thanks to Ball coupons and my local mega mart doing a one week dollar coupon doubling. Thanks also to a non canner bbgf who printed me off extra coupons. And a neighbor who gave me hers from the Sunday paper. 84 small mouth lids. Good deal down to my last 332 acquired from an eBay auction years back.
Gone are the days when Big Lots or Family Dollar priced American Harvest for just under a buck. Currently in my area selling for $1.50. Wally World going for close to $3.
Since I am canning using electric not wood despite the lids being free (remember after 9 years of canning all equipment has been paid off) I really don't know how much my 1949 Hotpoint stove pulls on the meter. For July kWh is $1.46. I figure between two pressure canner loads = 18 pints, prep, and what not I will have had the stove on for 3 hours.
Any takers out there on calculating a rough estimate for me ?

~~ pelenaka ~~