Tuesday, November 27, 2007

She lives!

I have been gone a LONG TIME! At first, summer just took over and the hours and days and weeks flew! Then a new full-time job, training away from home at the end of the summer, and then incorporating working full-time from home with homeschooling 3 boys and keeping house - a juggling act I could not possibly add another ball to, or risk having everything fall down around me! But now we are in a rhythm, things are as smooth sailing (as much as they ever will be, anyway), and so I have decided I need to journal our adventure, so here I am again.

Summer was wonderful, our corn grew tall and we had 2 meals from our tiny crop (7 whole stalks!). We had paste tomatoes and Early Girls (yeah, right!) and they grew taller than I had ever seen, and so bushy, but the tomatoes were green until SEPTEMBER! I must have picked at least 100 pounds of tomatoes from 7 plants (really, no kidding!)in September, most of them green, and for 2 months every few days we checked them and turned them in their boxes, and brought in the red ones - we made roasted tomato sauce, and oven-dried garlic tomatoes in olive oil, and regular tomato sauce. We had BLTs, and tomatoes on sandwiches, and every day my sweet husband would come home from work and pluck one from the pile, wash it, get the salt, and eat it like an apple. We also gave them away to family and neighbors.

We also grew pumpkins and zucchini - the kids started looking at every dinner suspiciously, trying to find where I had hidden the zucchini that night - shredded in a tomato sauce, in egg burritos, in chocolate "surprise" muffins. We also had our first experiment in growing broccoli and I am not sure if we were doing something wrong - the yield from 10 plants was not even enough to feed us 2 meals - not sure if we will grow the broccoli again. We also have a good (yes, almost out-of-control) pile of mint going and now I know what I am going to do with it next year - we have discovered mojitos!!

And that was summer. We did not travel anywhere. My daughter went to Oregon for a choral festival, and my eldest son went to Colorado for a baseball tournament. And my sweet husband and I slowly but surely kept on working on the living room.

First, we stripped our ceiling beam of some hideous, water-stained 1960s veneer and then cleaned and sanded the beam. Next, we scraped the hideous popcorn ceiling and patched our gouges in the drywall, and then we textured the ceiling with a rustic look. Then we painted the ceiling a fresh white and painted the walls several colors before we settled on the current green (and that may change, but not now - we am living with it for a while). Then we started on our "built-in" bookcases that were to flank either side of our fireplace and then we built the mantle on top and attached it all to the wall. Then the molding went up around the beam and the ceiling, and around the floor, and then we caulked and painted the bookcases, and I think the only thing left to do in the living room is to decide which tile to use to tile around the fireplace. I am leaning towards a small, tumbled travertine tile; we will cover the wall surrounding the fireplace and the raised hearth, which we thought we might remove but have to work around - it is NOT coming out of that wall. It took us almost a WHOLE YEAR! just to do that - in little bits and pieces, here and there when we had an hour or two.

I will post some pictures of the work in progress over the next few days, and then I will get ahold of a camera and give you a final, as it is for now, version.

A view of the yucky ceiling, in process:

Choosing the right color is not an easy thing:

Time to build the bookcases:

Yes, I helped, too. Really!

One down, one to go.

Okay, now what do we do?

Uh, now to find a piece of wood that goes all the way across - what do you mean they don't make them that long??!! (unless you want to special order, and it will cost you an arm and a leg!)

Next, to figure out how to build up the mantel - what do you mean they don't make crown molding that long, either?? Who planned this, anyway?!

Almost done, just some finishing touches!

That's it for now -- tomorrow I will give you some updated photos with it done (except for the tiling, which we will get to after the holidays!

1 comment:

Meg said...

The end result is faulous! I admire all of your hard work. Really, it's inspiring.

Also, great job on the veggies. We grew tomatoes again...but I think I need to add on and try something new next year.