Sunday, October 23, 2016

More Projects

This doesn't look like much.  And this isn't even the greatest pic since I've since caulked the edges of the board's going to be a barn door for my laundry room!

My fantabulous "bro" Jeff has built the door for me!  Here it is in his shop when he was just starting to put it all together.  We used tongue in groove 1'x8" boards.  Who knew they weren't actually 8" wide?  We had to go back for more than we had planned.

And here it is almost detail missing...

The horse shoe door handle!!!  I'm so super excited to get this home and painted.  Or stained.  Or just hang it as is.  I can't decide.  The little opening near the bottom is a "kitty door".  This will be for our eventual kitty.  

And Voila!  Installed!  I so love the way this turned out!

I invited Gus over to test out the kitty door - worked quite well for him!

Much less fabulous is a little piece I've been putting together with "scraps".  I got the cute little shelf with the pegs at the Salvation Army for $1.00  The boards are left over from doing the laminate floor and just painted white.  The trim pieces were left over from another project.  This will hang on the wall over the bench by the front door.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

More on Chestnuts

After discovering that these were chestnuts and letting the first four I had sit on my kitchen counter for 2 weeks without doing anything, we gathered some more this morning and I brought them home to roast.  (I had an ulterior motive - my furnace wasn't working so heating up the house with the oven as a side effect seemed like a good idea).

I had since learned that you need to score the outer skins with a sharp knife before roasting.  I did that.  The ones on the right are the first four that we brought home.  They were noticeably lighter than the fresh ones so I wanted to keep them separate.

After 30 minutes of roasting the skins were peeling back and were quite crispy.

Those first four?  Hmmmmm, they didn't even really crack open.  My guess is they had dried out and there wasn't any moisture left to "burst" them open??

Close up picture - they look pretty good.  And smelled great!

I can honestly say I've never had a roasted chestnut.  I wasn't sure what to expect.  I nibbled.  It was...interesting. Nutty for sure.  And then oddly addicting. After the first one I wanted another one right away!  I stopped at 4 to leave some for Madison to try.  My guess is that she won't like it...she hates nuts.  But for her it's more the texture than the taste so maybe!

Friday, October 21, 2016


I love fall.  In the summer the sun comes up too early so I don't get to see the magnificent sun rises over the Detroit River when I'm there.  But in the fall...oh my I get my zen on big time witnessing these miracles of nature.

It kind of amazes me when the horizon is clear but the sky can be filled with dark clouds. Those tiny breaks in the clouds create the best "shows".

I don't have a good view of the sunrise when I work out of the Lansing office but I do have a nice view of the capital which simply glows with it's fresh coat of paint.

This one wasn't taken in the morning.  It was actually closer to sunset as you can see from the long shadows...but I still thought it was really pretty!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Roasting Chestnuts on an Open Fire.....

So mark this up to one of those things I never knew.

When we moved our horses to Valboa Farm, we noticed these two trees with these big spiny pods - as in baseball/softball size - hanging from the branches.  I had no idea what they were. Kind of a freak of nature looking things. And they are sharp spines!

Finally Madison remembered to ask Val.  They are chestnuts!

I guess as they ripen, the pods burst open. And the nuts fall out.

Here you can see closed pods, fully opened pods and one that still has nuts in it.

There are 3-5 nuts in each pod and they are pretty big! I've since learned that you need two trees for good fertilization of the nuts or they will be very immature. I haven't roasted them.

Monday, October 17, 2016


Madison loves halloween and decorating for it.  Me, not so much but I go along with her so long as it's VERY budget friendly. As in dollar store stuff.

She dragged me into the costume store...

The scarecrows were at Joann's for $3 each.  They are cute. Not scary!

We bought these wooden decorations at the Milford Memories "art fair" this summer.

This is going to be a bench by the front door but for now, it's decorated for halloween and will have our bowl of candy.

This sign just makes us laugh!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

A New Path

A new path.  Literally.  LOL!

I had noticed the signs near the corner of Milford Road and General Motors Road for the Milford Kensington Trail.  I'd often see people parking there and taking off on foot or bikes.  I could tell it went both north  and south into Kensington Park.  Where did the north direction go?  I looked it up on Google maps and it went all the way around a lake and out to Commerce Road near the library and YMCA.  So one pretty evening, I decide to try it out.

It was pretty!  Rolling hills and peaceful.  I passed a few people here and there and could sometimes see mountain bikers running dirt trails through the woods near the paved path.

There were some beautiful views of the lake.

I almost stepped on this little guy sunning himself on the pathway.  I didn't scream.  I was proud of myself.  I encourage him to move along into the grass before he got squished.

The sun was starting to go down and the view made me feel like I was up north.  A perfect 70 degree evening in October.

And then this.  Lovely evening and a good walk of almost 3 miles up and down some easy hills.

Saturday, October 15, 2016


This house came with one of those flat cooktops.  The kind where you can barely tell where it is going to get hot.  I am not a fan.  After having cooked on a gas stove for the past 15 years, I had a great appreciation for the fact that when you turned off the gas, it was OFF.  Sure, the cast iron was still hot but it wasn't producing any heat.  The food didn't continue to cook.

This new cooktop was making me pretty crazy.  And then I was in the Salvation Army store and stumbled across these wire baskets meant for casserole dishes I guess.  This one was round.  Hmmm. It could work like a trivet on the stove but better.
Good size, already finished in black and obviously heat proof.  Better yet, it was $1. It wasn't going to go to waste.

I got it home and tested it out with a few pans.  Sits on the cooktop and gets my pan off the heat!

And a new use - for my bigger pans, I can tilt them within the frame so drain grease from browned meat!  To be honest, it's not all that often that I have all four burners going that I can't shift around a hot pan but there are times where you want to keep the pan warm but not really cooking the food in it so this also works quite well in that respect.  I'm pretty thrilled with this ingenious idea!