Monday, April 20, 2015

And the Wall Comes Down...Part 1

Our beautiful basement view of the sunset

As I've mentioned before (here and here), we are using this spring and summer to do some Kitchen Renovation Prep before we (hopefully) start the full demo and rebuild Labor Day Weekend.

The biggest part of this renovation is taking down the wall between the Kitchen and Dining Room.  It is a load-bearing wall, so we need to replace it with a structural support beam up at the ceiling.  But as my Dad pointed out recently, we could take down the lathe and plaster now and just leave the studs up until we are ready to put up the beam.  I am really looking forward to having that wall down so I jumped at that idea!

All of my nephews and one of my nieces (surprisingly the baby doesn't care much) have been very excited about the idea of helping to take down the wall (destruction is the fun part for all ages), especially my littlest nephew who was asking me about it ALL THE TIME.  So I waited until they could come to help and my Mom & Dad could come direct and this past Saturday was the day.

This was really fun and went way faster than I thought it would and was way messier than I thought it would be.  But now when we get into full demo mode this Fall I will have a better idea of what to expect.  All the dust everywhere forever.

We haven't taken all of it down, we left everything up around the bathroom "hallway," part of the top on the kitchen side, and most of the chimney, and I'm not sure when we'll finish that.  Maybe we will soon before we put the beam up or maybe just as part of that project.

We just whacked at the plaster with various tools to break it into pieces and then pried the pieces off the lathe, and then went back and pried all the lathe off the studs (once the wood trim was down).

My dad has an incredible gift of patience when it comes to doing projects with little kids around.  He always figures out a way to have them involved and feel proud of how they're helping.  He doesn't get frustrated with their questions or how their involvement makes the project take longer.  He just enjoys sharing his knowledge and spending time with the little ones.  My dad is pretty much the best!

At a certain point we had to carefully pry off the nice original wood work.  We are saving it and can hopefully use it when we add a second bathroom to help it look original to the house.  Once we had the trim off getting the lathe off was much easier.

Grandson, Son, Father, Grandson
This is what it looked like when stopped for the day:


And here is what it looks like today after Corey & I did some more work on our own:

This is the lathe that we took down.  This is from part of one wall so when we do the full demo....oy vey
The small amount in the box has the nails removed #tedious

And here is the view from the Kitchen side:

We still have to finish getting the plaster off of the brick and up towards the ceiling (we can't touch the lathe & plaster on the left because we are still using the cabinets).

Here's a quick Before & After for ya:

While the wall was coming down there was also a 2nd unit working on Part 3 of the Great Floor Shore-Up (#multitasking).  Part 2 will be up on the blog Wednesday.

It already feels so much bigger in the kitchen and the stove area gets so much more light.  I can't wait to have to have 100% of this wall down!  I can't wait to have the kitchen redone!  I can't wait to have the wood floors refinished!  I can't wait to have a real couch!  #justkeepswimming

Wednesday, April 8, 2015


I am typing this on my phone from the airport. Crafty Homestead is on vacation!  I should have a post up next Friday :)

Friday, April 3, 2015

What's Been Sounding Yummy to Me Lately Volume 3

It's time for another edition of What's Been Sounding Yummy to Me Lately.

I want all of this in my mouth RIGHT NOW.

Greek Yogurt Caesar Dressing - Gimme Some Oven

Kale Quinoa Salad - Enjoy It

Zuppa Toscana - Budget Bytes

Whole Roasted Onions - Joy the Baker

Easy White Spinach Pizza -Budget Bytes

Pesto Chickpea Salad - Budget Bytes

Pasta With Tomatoes, Basil, & Garlic - A Cup of Jo

Best Spaghetti Sauce You'll Ever Have - A Cup of Jo

BBQ Enchiladas - Gimme Some Oven

Homemade BBQ Sauce - Gimme Some Oven

Lighter French Onion Dip - Gimme Some Oven

15 Easy Cheesy Dip Recipes - Gimme Some Oven

No Bake French Silk Pie - A Cup of Jo

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Baby Plants

We ordered 44 packets of food seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds for this year's garden (they sent us 2 free extra packets so we have 46 food seeds to start now!).  And we also ordered 11 packets of flower seeds because I want to have cut flower bouquets all summer long this year.  

It cost us about $100, but we hopefully will be overflowing with produce this summer and not do much grocery shopping.  And maybe we'll even be able to sell some of our bounty.  Plus a lot of the seed packets had enough that we can use the seeds for next year's garden as well.

We have MAJOR garden plans this year.  MAJOR.  Our garden will probably be the same square footage of our house.  A lot of that will be allowing enough space for the things that will take over (pumpkins, squash, & cucumbers), but still.

Now we are not crazy people, we are not digging up that much sod in one year.  Corey found a method where you cover up the grass with newspaper or paper grocery bags and just cut holes for each seedling.  Then the grass dies and the next year it's easier to incorporate it as compost.  So we're going to go that route.

The seeds were so minuscule for some of them we had to use tweezers to plant them!  So far we have only started tomatoes, peppers, basil, cilantro, chives, asparagus, lettuce, onions, and petunias.  I think we have more due to start this weekend.



We bought organic potting soil and fluorescent lights at Menards and ordered plastic seed trays & popsicle sticks from Amazon. 

Corey built the wooden stand to hold all the trays & lights.

Lettuce won for first sprouted


We put our heating pad under the peppers to warm up the dirt more in hopes of encouraging sprouting



Soon I will be buried in tomatoes...13 different varieties!

I hope the basil takes off soon

Weirdly bent over onions

Tiny baby pentunias

So far there's only one pepper sprouted

In three years we'll actually be able to harvest some rhubarb