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Sunday, August 19, 2012

Peaches time! Summer must be almost over...

     Summer's end is fast approaching. Besides the cold weather we have been having for the past week that reminds us of fall, I've started my end-of-summer freezing and canning. Today was peaches...and I thought I'd share my recipe, because it's so easy and tasty.
     Rather than canning them, which is a whole lot of work for what (in my opinion) turns out to be a lot different than that yummy deliciousness of a fresh peach. This way you get the best of both worlds...taste of a fresh peach all winter long.
     Using a food processor with a shredder attachment, and no chopping blade is the secret. The best part, no boiling required, you can shred the peaches skin and all.

1. Rinse skins and halve peaches. Remove pit from halves.
2. After piling up a bowl of halves, shred peaches using the food processor.
3. Add sugar and lemon juice (to preserve color). I just do it to taste, as peaches can vary in how much sugar needed depending on the batch.
4. I freeze in medium freezer bags of about 3 cups each, just enough for a serving at dinner and a snack later.

Emma loves them still partially frozen, and I have to agree the colder the better!
On to tomatoes next, and then I know fall will be around the corner! Tomorrow Emma and I are off to school shop, so we are squeezing in a few more summer bucket pins, before time slips away on us!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Slowly, but surely...our wishlist keeps shrinking!

I've been asked for a house update by several people now, so I decided it might be best to just post it here and then everyone can see the progress for themselves.  Some days I feel like we are going backwards, (like when we started ripping up the kitchen floor, see here or the Sunday we went to deliver our last load of stuff from the previous house and discovered two inches of water on the floor) but when I look back at pictures from last month there is forward momentum!
I though the best way to deliver that progress would be to go over our original wishlist, which you can read here if you want a refresher on what the house was like when we bought it.

1. Drywall:  Check--We have a few spots left to drywall, but not much.  It might also have gotten done a little quicker for our tastes (because then my kitchen would NOT be sitting in the living room instead of installed in it's proper place), but so be it.  We still have one wall of the downstairs bath that is missing drywall because we have to see where the stove will be wired in (on the opposite side of that wall) and might not require a lot of drywall as the bathtub/shower unit will also be against this un-drywalled piece.  Same goes for the upstairs bath...We have the water lines run for our shower upstairs, but as it is not installed yet, one wall in the guest bedroom closet requires a chunk to finish it off.  Feels good to have this dusty job (mostly) complete!
2.  Painting:  One of things I've really enjoyed about this is being able to choose all my colors at one time.  I haven't been very adventurous, I must admit, but color coordinating can be an adventure in itself, so I've tried to stick to classic, but slightly modern neutrals.  Luckily this  is another project mostly completed.  For obvious reasons I haven't touched the downstairs bath, but other than a small portion in the living room that has my counter top laying against it, everything has at least one coat of paint!  Actually, the only thing that doesn't have just one coat is the living room because I would like to make sure the last coat is all put on at the same time and we don't get a slightly different hue on two walls that meet in a corner.  It has also been a project that feels good to have almost accomplished, (maybe just because I've been doing it every morning for the past month!)  And yes, I'm to the point where I am sick of cutting in and ceilings, and standing on stepladders and having paint covered hands and...okay I will just quit there.
Probably the most adventurous room, I choose a turquoise color for one wall of the kitchen.  I had a bright blue and green kitchen in the last house and LOVED it, so I felt like I needed to put a punch of color somewhere.  I'm thinking of accenting with bits of red!
3.  Windows:  If you look at the kitchen closely, you will see that we have two new windows installed, although not permanently.   However, as you can see from the shot below (what will be the "study" and sits to the back of the dining room) those are the only two.  We have all the rest, but our contractors are working on the front porch at the moment and hope to use it's roof when they install the upstairs windows.  I'm still thinking they will probably add the most "pop" to the house from the outside.
4.  Downstairs bathroom:  As you can see, no where near being complete, but this is does show how we decided to put the bath and laundry together to create more useable space (YAY!) and how the door opens into the study area, rather than the kitchen.  Hopefully we will see some progress here in the next couple of weeks.  My parents are headed to Menard's today to pick up three of our outside doors and the tub/shower unit.
5.  Redesign upstairs bedrooms:  After much discussion we decided to take the back two bedrooms (by back, I mean they sat at the back of the hallway) and turn them into a master bath/bedroom.  Again, we are not quite finished in the bath as everything is still sitting in the boxes it came in, despite the plumbing being all ready to go.  HINT, HINT!  Liking the fact that we will have our own closets, cause there are two!  And I've already laid claim to the one you can see here, cause it's bigger!
 
6.  New Floors:  Obviously not done, but will be before we move in.  And no we didn't find any hardwood anywhere!  Such a bummer!
7.  Structural elements have all been looked after.  We have a massive beam running through the middle of our living room/dining/study now, but it actually doesn't look out of place.  We also addressed the nasty floor joices in the kitchen and some drainage issues outside.
8.  Insulation:  We put new insulation where it was absolutely necessary, but plan to finish this job by spraying insulation in the attic and probably in the outer kitchen wall before winter hits.
9.  Porch:  For various reasons this has actually moved up the wishlist.  We tore off the old porch walls, ceiling, and floor and opened it up so we will have a partial wrap-around porch and deck off the back.  As I mentioned, this is where we are seeing the most progress right now.  On Monday, our roof trusses should be going up!
10.  Attic:  I'm still hoping we might render it useful someday, but right now I have too many other jobs to advocate for, that I feel this project is not even on the radar.

Which leaves us with the kitchen (why that wasn't on my top 10, I'm not sure other than it was maybe such an obvious thing?!)  Yes, these are my cupboards and they are currently sitting in the living room, but by the end of next week when my Dad comes, they should be in their proper place! 

Also gives a good shot of how we opened the staircase up...this would have been looking at a wall before!Kids room, I'm going to add pink and brown stickers on the green walls that I found at Canadian Tire, buy them bunk beds, and hope they can share for a few years!
Guest bedroom walls are Pecan Shell and Buckwheat ceiling all by Benjamin Moore at Canadian Tire.  Master bedroom walls are also Pecan Shell.  Chestnut Pony is the dark brown wall in the kids room and my ceiling in the living/dining/study.  Buckwheat continues from the upstairs ceilings to the hallway and all the walls in the living/dining/study.  Loved that Benjamin Moore could be found close to home (usually I drive an hour for name brand paint), for the shades, but also for the primer added.  Saved me from priming all my walls first!  Two coats of paint=DONE!