Saturday, April 12, 2014

Eggs. Glorious eggs...

Jeff has been steadily working to switch us out from a pier foundation to a normal concrete foundation.  It's been a tough and dirty job but we're getting close to having it done.

My parents come out to help too because what could possibly be more fun to do with your retirement than exhausting yourself helping your kids build a house for what feels like the umpteen millionth time.

Honestly they've put more sweat equity into my homes than I have and even this time around and lately I've been helping less and less because it turns out that someone still has to cook for all these people and do their mounds of dirty laundry.  When I ask the kids if they want to work on inside chores or work outside with their daddy they all always pick outside so I get stuck doing everyone's inside work which I honestly prefer anyway.

After they finished pouring the concrete footer they also poured a small pad for the stairs that will come off the deck that, Lord willing, we'll start once the foundation is finished.  We used concrete stamps to give it a stone texture.

Isaiah's demonstrating what he's been doing all day which is basically holding an impact gun over his head to take out hundreds of screws to remove sheets of wood under the house.  I know from when Jeff and I put that wood up a few years ago that the impact gun gets heavier and heavier as the day goes on but Isaiah kept up the pace from start to finish with no complaints and even had energy to spare when the day was done.

I could use some of that energy.

While Jeff and the kids we're working in the dirt under the house I washed about 20 dozen eggs.  We've recently fenced in our chickens so we're getting all the eggs they lay, whereas, when they were completely free range they'd often lay eggs outside the coop in places we couldn't find before the dogs would sniff them out for a snack.  It turns out that we probably have more chickens than we really need.

We more or less will be paying my parents for their help in eggs.  Who could pass up a deal like that, right?  Anyone else want to come work for eggs?

Our smallest and cutest ever egg.   

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Our low budget kitchen

I'm finally adding photos of our kitchen which we've been enjoying for several months now.  We'll do the trim, floors, and ceilings last so it will stay "almost done" for a while still.

We didn't change any of our appliances.  They're all still mismatched but working just fine so I can't bear to spend the money on that right now, if ever.

Jeff keeps asking me if I'm ready to get a new stove to the point that I'm starting to wonder if he doesn't like it as much as I do.  The burners don't have a truly medium heat setting and it bakes a bit unevenly but that's fine by me since I'm far from the best cook and when things don't turn out that great I can just blame it on the stove.

We bought our cabinets and  granite counters, which only come in six foot lengths, from a discount building supply store and it saved us a bundle.  Jeff also set every tile himself rather than buying the tiles in sheets.  It took a little longer but would have cost so much more otherwise.

Jeff experimented with the under-mount lighting using discs on the right side of the cabinets and went through a huge amount of trouble to hide the cords.  Then we decided to use a bar light under the open shelves and he's not happy with it so we just left the cord till we get around to switching it out to the disc style lights.  It's been so long since I've been able to see very well while working at the kitchen counters that I forgot just how nice it is to have good lighting, dangling cord and all.

So, we started with appliances which are all second hand (super-duper cheap or free) and then built the kitchen from the ground up for under $3,000.   Not as cheap as the kitchen set up we had before but I'm so thankful to have it!

And these flowers have nothing to do with our kitchen but I've recently discovered how much I love having living plants in the house even if I know they'll most likely be dead in a few months.  These cyclamen have such unique and colorful blossoms, only cost around $3.00 and they'll far outlast any fresh bouquet...although I still love fresh bouquets from time to time too.