As a kid I remember my mother making homemade pasta. Mostly because my brother and I would sneak into the kitchen and snag the doughy pasta as it was drying on the racks. Having a few extra minutes on my hands now-a-days I decided to make my first batch of noodles as an adult. It seemed well worth it when I was done. Also, our chickens add a little fun to it… Here is how I did it: Continue reading
We’ve promised a lot of follow-ups on the projects from the winter – but it’s always easier to write about things that are more recent. So here’s a quick update for the spring.
Time to mow the lawn:
While we have a large garden, pasture and woods on our property – we still have no shortage of manicured lawn. That will likely change as we increase the footprint of the “farm,” but it will always be a sizable amount. So, cutting our grass is a time-consuming endeavor – made increasingly complicated by the constant upkeep of the lawn tractor. We bought a used one three years ago with a 42-inch cut and a few hundred hours on it for a 1/5 of what they cost new. A decision I’m mostly happy with. Many parts are cheap online, so upkeep has been more a matter of sweat equity than dollar bills.
My husband and I have different opinions on how the finer things in life should be done. Such as painting over hinges and hardware on doors. He can’t stand painting over hinges. I don’t care. He has the mindset of if you are going to do it, do it right, while I have the mindset of lets just get this done as quickly as possible. I must say, this being the third time we’ve encountered this problem, I think he might just be right. Continue reading
I guess it’s more of a bur cutter – but that didn’t have the same ring. Why am I “mowing” the pasture in April with a barbed-wire infused log? Well, despite the fact that the plants are almost totally dead by October, they’re mischief is just beginning at that time. The stalks collapse very slowly and the prickle seed of the plant is ripe for the stickin’ for months to come.
The first step in remodeling both the kitchen and the upstairs bedroom was the removal of the dropped ceiling. I’ll be honest, I have never in my life seen these ceilings in the living space of a residential building; outside of a basement. However, we’ve learned it wasn’t terribly uncommon in rural homes as it was a cheap way to insulate and a fast way to have a new ceiling. Our prior owner also used it to hide new wire runs – which were easier to do over top the old bead board ceiling. Although in some places he still went above the bead board and through the joists, so I don’t know… Continue reading
When we first moved to the farm there were a lot of Do-It-Yourself type repairs by the previous owner. For example, the previous owner worked at the high school as a maintenance man, so when there were holes in the barn, he used old locker doors to patch them. He also must have drank a ton of coffee because there are flattened out coffee cans nailed to the barn. At first it caused giggles between us and our reaction was: “wow, what was this guy thinking.” However, the longer we are here, the more we find ourselves doing the same type of things. Yesterday was one of those days. Continue reading
One of the last farm auctions of the season, and as Joe was off getting coffee, I bid $4 on a wooden bench and won. The bench came with a cushion with some very faded, well worn fabric that just had to go. Whippie! A new bench and a small project for me. Here is what I did:
Here is a before and after for ya.
We’ve sorely neglected our blog the past few weeks, mostly because we dove into renovating one of the upstairs bedrooms. The second story of our house has been basically closed off for two years, but with the family growing we’ve decided to start sprucing it up. It has had zero updates since the 1970’s – or at least nothing significant – so there is much to do.
I will have a number of posts on this project when it’s done, but we’ve tackled too many different things to do one post. We’ve continued to struggle to find contractors, so even on the rare occasion when I realize a job is better left to the experts, calling one isn’t an option. In the meantime, the vast array of work we’ve taken on has had me thinking about a topic dear to my heart: the lack of skilled trades.
I think it’s certainly true that many in this country have come to view these once-sought-after jobs as the employment scraps leftover for those who can’t go to college. I know when I was growing up, that’s how middle-class suburban high schools pitched it.
That is a terrible shame because at the end of the day these jobs are often more important and even more complicated than many of the ones of college students end up with. Any successful economy needs men and women wearing blue and white collars, don’t get me wrong. What I take issue with is the notion that one is a better representation of success than the other.
Plumbers, electricians and carpenters provide the most essential work there is, and their jobs are no more likely to become automated than a CEOs. We need these people around and we should encourage ALL students to go after these jobs if they have an interest – even if they do score a 34 on their ACT. Shouldn’t your electrician be as smart as the guy deciding what Facebook ads you see? But, instead of listening to me on a soap box, just enjoy this curated content from AFV as proof we still need skilled tradesman. So far, our project is going better than these… so far.