This week has been one of lots of little things to rejoice in; here goes:
Progress in the sewing room: This past weekend, I installed the laminate flooring in the small bedroom. I chose the same laminate flooring I installed in the kitchen at my old house a few years ago. Many people prefer carpet in bedrooms- but I would rather have hardwoods or laminate throughout the whole house, and use area rugs as needed. Sadly, hardwoods aren’t in the budget at this time, but the laminate was $0.99/SF and fit the ticket. I’m amazed at how finished the floor makes the room look (even without the trim being done). Installing the flooring was pretty simple. I had to take off the trim on one side of the room, then I put down foam underlayment. Then the floor clicks together. When we did my kitchen a few years ago, I had friends helping that had installed it before, which was awesome. This time it was just me and I will say this was a good project to try alone since the room is only 7×10 feet and a perfect rectangle (no cabinets to cut around). It went fairly fast once I had the right tools in hand, and with very little waste. Note: If you try this yourself, plan on some aching muscles– apparently installing laminate uses muscles I don’t use often enough (or my age is catching up with me… or maybe both).
Next up is the trim. Trim is not one of my favorite home improvement projects. I can never get the angles right- and this room is worse than usual because nothing in this house is straight and to make matters worse, I’m trying to leave the existing trim as much as possible, so there’s some piecemeal trying correct glaring trim errors from the previous homeowner. Sigh. The trim is half done and needs to be completed, caulked (to cover a multitude of sins), and painted. Then I can paint the outside of the door, put the door knob back on, the room will be done!! I seriously can’t wait. The floor looks fabulous. I want to move the sewing table in to paint it (the barn is too cold now) and a shelf. And move up my sewing desk… eeek. Hoping to get a few snatches of time to work on it this weekend somewhere in the midst the celebrations.
Oh and check out this out!! That’s the curtain fabric and the paint ($1 mistint) for the sewing table. So stinking excited to have this all coming together! (I think I need a craft night with friends in order to sit still long enough to sew this up though).
Progress in the Winter Clothes Dept: I spent a couple hours last weekend digging through the barn (FREEZING) and found sweaters, coats, hats, gloves! (I also organized and shelved a bunch of stuff, which was a bonus.) Finding the sweaters made it feel like Christmas! And none too soon, while I was digging, we got another half inch of snow and it has been quite cold (for November). Brrr. So thankful to have all my warm stuff uncovered. While digging, I also found a little shelf I’d purchased for the Nichols house and then hadn’t put together. I assembled it and put it behind the basement door (in this odd little nook) to hold boots/hats/gloves/etc. Nothing significant, but it feels nice to be settings things up for living over here. In less chaos and more organization than we currently have going. I’m rejoicing in progress right now, no matter how small– and trying to keep warm!
In other small repairs news, I fixed the bathroom door. Okay, it isn’t a real permanent fix and it looks like hell, but it does allow the door to close and latch, which feels like a big deal. It was easier than I thought, which made me hang my head in shame over waiting three months to do it – and to think how many friends I made use the rolling cart to keep the door closed. My apologies. The door frame is still a mess, the door is still a mess, and my Gramps is coming to help me fix it on Friday (yay for talented and generous Grandpas who can fix anything!)
I am so blessed with so many incredible friends. I know I say this a lot, but it bears repeating. I found out my good friend/former roommate is expecting TWINS! Eeek. I met another friend’s new baby who is DARLING. I had some other friends over for brunch with their delightful trio who are SO great (including a godson who I think is possibly one of the cutest people alive). And another dear friend, my Team Homeless 2013 buddy, is closing on her new house today!!!! And I think EVERYONE I know is expecting a 2014 baby. So many blessings to rejoice in. I am so blessed to be able to participate in the lives of so many great people.
Thanksgiving — I love this time of year. I love the quality and quantity of time with loved ones. I love the preparations. The time in the kitchen cooking up yummy things to bring to gatherings. I’ve got a turkey thawing in the fridge, pumpkin pie supplies on hand, and tonight I made whole berry cranberry sauce — one of my favorite seasonal foods. If you are unfortunate enough to think cranberry sauce comes in a can, think again. This stuff is sooooo yummy. Strong, yes. But delicious. Seriously, you should try it.
(Whole-berry) Cranberry Sauce
1 12-oz bag of fresh or frozen cranberries
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
Combine them all in a pan (I think some recipes call for boiling the water and sugar together first, but I never do, I just throw them all in). Bring it to a boil. Simmer approx. 10 minutes until the berries all start splitting. I stir them around and smush them a bit. Let it cool. The sauce gels as it cools. You can serve as is OR add it to a quart of homemade applesauce and mix together and serve Cran-applesauce. A lot of people find the straight cranberry sauce to be a little intense. Once mixed with the applesauce, it softens and tones down the cranberry but without losing the flavor. I love it both ways. I always hope there will be leftovers after family gatherings so I can take it home.