Monday, February 29, 2016

About that porch....

Things have calmed down here....finally....

I think that everyone is over the sickness we have been swapping back and forth for the last 2 weeks.  Still keeping my fingers crossed though!

So....where did we leave off?

Ahhhh mess.  It was quiet for a few weeks here too.  I think the neighbors were worried we were done.


In Michigan, according to building code, this porch needs a railing.  It is too high up to not have one.  I would have loved to not have a railing, but oh well.  We looked at so many railings that I was starting to get tired of looking at them!  So many options!  But in the end....

....we decided to make our own.  Why?!  My husband thinks it is because I like to drive him crazy.  The real reason is that I didn't want a railing like everyone else's.  Plus, our sections are different sizes too, which you will soon see.  I bought the spindles at Home Depot and my wonderful husband routed the top and bottom rails to fit.  Then we assembled them.

We also widened the steps, which I lovelovelove!  You can see on the porch fascia how narrow they were previously.  It was so hard to carry things into the house with them.  You had to kinda shimmy up sideways with groceries.

Love the detail work he did with the stair rails!

Then came the very tedious job of painting them.  I don't know who thought it would be a good idea to have them red and yellow, but they should be shot!  I wanted more of the red, since my husband wants to paint the house yellow.  The majority of the spindles are red and the "balls" are yellow.  You have no idea how happy I was when the last spindle was painted!

Remember the old door?  I was going to strip it and paint it.  I liked the old door!  

But I love the new door!  We decided to change out the door since the old one was very small and the door swing was the wrong way.  I really wanted side lights with it, but we have a change in mind that you will hopefully see later.  For now, it is just beautiful.  I love that you still get the light into the house from the door.  That is something that we lost with covering the porch, the inside light.  I'm willing to make sacrifices though!

I think that is enough for today!  I do have some more surprises in store for you though.  I am so not done with this porch!

Hopefully it won't take me 2 weeks to post them!

Until then....


Friday, February 12, 2016

Glimmer Moments....

Motherhood is HARD!!!

You spend so much time raising your kids.  Kids are a blessing, don't get me wrong.  I love my kids. But there are times that I want to just scream at the top of my lungs and pull my hair out!

Brush your teeth....

Do your homework....

Eat your dinner, not the dogs....

Ugh!  I spend so much time focusing on how I am raising them that I forget to look at what they are becoming.  It seems like what they get more credit for what they don't do, than what they do do.

*do do*


Then come the glimmer moments.  The little moments in time that you are afforded a look at the person you are raising.  It's God's little gift to you when you are at your lowest.

Yesterday I had a glimmer moment.

The little one came home from school in tears!  Her whole world was just torn apart!  It was the Daddy Daughter dance and her dad was out of town.


Nothing that I could do or say would console her.


....her older brother came down the stairs in a dress pants and shirt and asked if he could take her.  You should have seen her face!  It just lit up like a Christmas tree!

How awesome is that?!  He gave up a night he could of just sat at home, playing video games with his girlfriend to make his little sister happy.  It was so sweet watching them walk away holding hands.  I cried for 5 minutes.  They both came home smiling and laughing about the great time that they had too.

So, just when I started to doubt myself, I was given a glimmer moment to see the wonderful people I have raised.

I couldn't think of a better Valentines day gift than that.


Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Sour Side of Life

When I first found out I had cancer, I wasn't ready for all the changes in my life it would bring.

Some, I knew about.  The  masectomy of course.  I knew they were taking ALL of the breast.  I was left with a Frankenstein like Barbie boob.  For a while only, until after the reconstruction.  We, me and my husband, were going into the initial surgery not knowing what to expect after.  When you have a masectomy, they do a pathology on the removed tissue in the operating room. It is at this time that your cancer is finally staged.  Up until then, it is a guessing game.

My cancer was finally staged as Stage II Lobular Breast cancer.  My cancer was estrogen and progesterone receptive.  Meaning the hormones my body produced were "feeding" the cancer and causing it to grow.  The cancer was Stage II due to the size, 3.8 cm.  They removed the sentinel nodes and the cancer hadn't spread to there, so the lymph node was clean.  There was a little twist though.  They also found cancer in the ductal glands that was just forming.  I didn't need chemo or radiation though, since I didn't score high enough.  My oncologist said that at my young age, my score didn't warrant either.  God I love it when he calls me young!

Why the little lesson in cancer?  It's a prelude dahlings.  You see my taste changed, among other things.   I craved SOMETHING.  It drove me crazy trying to find it out.

We went out to lunch one day.  No place special.  This little lake seafood cafe by our house.  We got our fish dinners and there on the plate was something that was going to change my life.  That innocent little yellow perfect wedge was what I had been craving.

Those beautiful, yellow, perfect orbs hold the key to my salvation.  The sweet, tangy liquid held beneath it's yellow skin is what I've been craving.

Is that not one of the most beautiful things you have ever seen?!

Ok, so maybe I get a little weak in the knees over them.  I always loved lemons.  Who would have thunk that during menopause, these would satisfy my soul like chocolate would?

Enough of my love affair with lemon.  This story is leading somewhere.

Pinky promise....

Every time I go shopping, lemons are always on my list. I buy lots of them every week.  I am a lemon snob though.  I don't buy the prebagged ones. Even if they are cheaper.  I like to choose my own lemons. You, unfortunately, can just squirt lemon on everything.  Somethings just need a special kind of touch.

Enter lemon curd.

I've had people that lemon curd is hard to make.


It's so easy!  So I am going to show you a foolproof way to make lemon curd.

Lemon Curd
6 Tablespoons butter at room temp
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
2/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest

Let your butter set out over night.  That way it will get nice and soft.  Make sure you measure it out.  It's easier to cut straight out of the fridge.  I also use unsalted butter.  It will be about 6 lemons to get your juice.  The secret to juicing a lemon is before you cut it in half, press and roll it on the counter.  Soften that baby up!  Also, wash the outside.  You are going to need it for the zest.  I use a micrograter for the zest.  You only want the yellow part.  No white here!

Now that you are all prepped and ready to go, cream your butter and sugar together in a mixer.  Get it nice and smooth.  Add your egg yolks one at a time.  Then the eggs.  Mix it all together and let everyone get to know each other for a minute or so.  

Now, add your freshly squeezed lemon juice.

It should look somewhat like this and you are probably thinking "oh crap!  screwed it up!"  Well dahling, you are right on track!  Transfer everything to a saucepan and heat over a low heat to get it all melty.

Now turn up the heat a bit.  Not much.  The sauce is going to thicken now.  Stir it constantly so you don't burn it.  No one likes burnt lemon curd.

Now when your spoon leaves a trail, you are done!  Well almost....  Stir in the lemon zest.  Once again, transfer it to another bowl, I use my glass measuring cup, cover and let cool.  Its important to cover so you don't get a skin on the top.  I lay the plastic wrap on top of the curd to make sure there is no skin.

Once it is cooled, you can put into little jars and store in the fridge.  Supposedly it will last a few weeks.  Mine is never in there for that long.  It is good on biscuits, waffles and blueberry scones.


Know what else it is good for?

Donut filling!

Like in paczki....

Fat Tuesday is just around the corner too.


I think not....


Tuesday, February 2, 2016

A Little Peek

If you looked closely at the very ugly front of my house you would get a hint of what is the next project.

Here's a little closer look....


What about now?!


I am so excited!  I can just imagine relaxing on it on a beautiful summer day. A gentle breeze blowing.


For now though, there is much to do!  We stripped off the railing around the porch and the steps.

Once the railings were off, the posts and headers went up.  The boy even got in on the act since he found out there was alot of ladder work.  What is it with boys and ladders?

The rafters were scissored onto the existing ones.

Then  the decking.  Have I impressed you with my construction knowledge and terminology yet?  Well....don't be toooo impressed.  In real life I still call stuff thingamajigs.  I call it endearing.  My husband just rolls his eyes.

At this point the neighbors were hoping we were done.

Nuh huh....

I guess you will have to wait though to see what else is next.