Life on a little urban homestead in the making, with ideas for self-sufficiency, food preservation, thrifting, cookery, organic gardening, crafts, DIYing, vintage stuff,
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Jan 13, 2018

DIY Floating Corner Shelves, Free Online Essentials Oils Class! Homemade Chicken w/Biscuits & Gravy

DIY Floating Corner Shelves-
It was 54 yesterday and felt like spring! WOW! I'm loving the sunny, mild weather for now. It's still winter so time will tell. I'm grateful we haven't have the terrible snow we had last year.  Last weekend Dave built the shelves I had been wanting. It got put off until after the holidays and babysitting. I first got the idea here- Corner Shelves I asked Dave to build some in our front corner hallway. He looked at the plans and he said it was VERY overbuilt. Since he's great at carpentry I trusted his design. We used lighter weight wood, saves $ and it's very sturdy. Don't waste your $ on heavy wood for such a small use project. Before we had a wire rack, that folds up, with a Swedish country shelf above. Dave took it all down before I could get a full shot, but here's the old one I had-

Dave took everything down, we talked about how wide and high the shelves should be, then marked with painters tape-

View down the hall-

Sorry, kitty box showing!

Next he leveled, then mounted the supports to the studs and nailed in, using his little nail gun. It worked great for this, no huge, messy holes!

Supports all installed

Adding shelves

Winter decor is up, daughter made the bowl and house in high school

Here's the materials list we used, all about $25.00 locally-

1/4 sheet of 1/4 " Birch plywood for shelves, cut in triangles
16' of 1" x 3" utility wood, he cut to 1/2" for 32' for the braces
25' quarter round for the top edge of the shelves, looks more finished
12' finish grade 1" x 3" for front edges
Nail gun nails, or use finish nails
Fine sandpaper for the edges, just to smooth a bit
You could have a big box store cut the squares for you, but then you'd have to cut the triangles another way. 

At this point the wood is bare, since I wanted to see the color in the lighting. It was also too cold outside to do any painting. I may do a white wash on the wood, or a light pine stain. Haven't decided yet. That corner can be dark, but there's a light "straw" color on the walls. All I'd need to do is tape it off and throw down a small tarp. I'll do a clear coat of nothing else to protect the wood. I really love the size, perfect for the space. I'll spackle a couple of holes, touch up and call it good. Thanks Dave!

Free Online Essentials Oils Class!
As a member of The Homestead Bloggers Network I can pass on a free class to you! If you’ve read some of my blog posts you know I have used essential oils with great results! They're affordable, easy to find and they store well. So why not give your medicine cabinet a makeover and start using essential oils? If you've been on the fence here’s your chance to learn about them from a Doctor and aromatherapist. Join the FREE online Essential Oils Master Class, with NO oils to buy. Use your own and learn some great tips on how to use them! If you're a novice this will point you in the right direction. You can Preregister Here- Essential Oils Master Class . If you take the class please let me know what you think?

Homemade Chicken w/Biscuits & Gravy-
What to make on a cold winters' night with leftover chicken and biscuits? Yup, chicken and biscuits with gravy! There's tons of recipes out there and here's what I did. Cubed up leftover roasted chicken breast (skin removed), sauteed about 3/4 cup each fresh carrots, celery, salt, pepper, Thyme and butter. Once cooked I added flour to make a roux, then chicken broth, cook until thickened. Add about 1 cup of frozen peas and chicken. Cook until nice and hot. Serve on top of a biscuit! Yummy! 

Jan 6, 2018

Fun News & Updates, Garage Door Adventures, Easy Crab Meals, New Winter Chicken Fount

Fun News & Updates-
As for news, you may have noticed this blog layout has been changed and rearranged. I saw some things I found annoying and thought it could be better! I have added another sidebar on the left, since the one on the right was WAY too long. Hopefully things are arranged so it's easier to find various sections now. I may eventually add more pages at the top, but that's too labor intensive for me right now. Juggling working full time and blogging can be a challenge at time. Since I work on a computer all day at work, the ideas of hours online on a work night isn't that appealing. At some point my eyes just need a rest! I also updated my blog header with some newer different photos. I tried to use a good cross section of shots. Hope you like the changes!

I have recently joined the Homestead Bloggers Network and I'm looking forward to learning new things from more seasoned bloggers! It's amazing that I've been blogging about 6 years! How time flies! Six years ago I don't think there was a whole lot of bloggers networking. I's nice to see that now. 

I've been invited by the Meridian Public Library to present a how-to-blog class Tuesday, Jan. 16th. I'm really excited! They reached out to me as a local blogger. Meridian is just outside Boise, and a large city. It's going to be lived streamed on their Facebook page I'm a little nervous live streaming a class (what could possibly go wrong?) but it's a great opportunity! I'm pumped!

Garage Door Adventures-
I really appreciate having an attached garage, and an overhead door with an opener. Just push a button in the car and presto, open door! After our overhead garage door had been squeaking really badly for a few months they've decided to buy some lubricants to fix it. The squeaking is gone thanks to this kind of DIY product Pro Garage Door Lubricant. Overhead garage doors need to be lubed once in a while, as well as balanced . They have a giant spring that needs to be serviced by a professional over time. Ours lasted 15 years, pretty average as far as I know-

We hired the company that put the replacement spring last year to come back and check out why it didn't stay balanced. A balanced door is easy to raise up and down manually if you lose power or your motorized opener fails-

Emergency pull, lift the balanced door easily

Short version- they put in the wrong sized spring last year, and didn't offer to fix it for free. So... we'll go back to the other company we've used and get it fixed correctly. Good example of poor customer service. If you don't do the job right the first time admit, then fix it.

Easy Crab Meals-
Once in a while I just want some crab! Maybe it's missing the Oregon coast? I bought a big can (16 oz?) of all crab claw meat for about $12.00, a lot I know. Since I buy it once about once I year I can live with it! I made the (top photo) crab salad with the following- 6 oz. of crab claw meat, tossed with a Costco kale salad mix with poppy seed dressing. Served with hot french bread, fabulous!

The next dish I did last night was a version of this- San Francisco Crab Melt Sandwich I used whole grain bread (Dave's Killer my fave), no onions (out), added a Tsp of Worcestershire sauce, and used Swiss Cheese. Also fab! Both recipes are easy and fast on a work night. Nice for something different.

New Winter Chicken Fount-
After several years our heated dog water bowl finally died this week. With temps in the 20's at night the bowl was starting to ice over. I'm happy Dave did a hard wire job in the coop for this and the lights, much safer! We decided to get an enclosed water fount, helps to keep the dirt out. It was easy to set up, plug in and walk away! Now the girls have much cleaner water. Apparently research says that poultry will actually drink more water in the winter when it's heated. It's three gallons and this is what we bought locally at a feed store. Girls are slurping down as we speak, and I always add a little Bragg's organic cider vinegar to the water-


Dec 31, 2017

Sunny New Year's Weekend

Sunny New Year's Weekend-
We had a gorgeous weekend here! It was 43 Saturday, so Dave took down the outside lights and decorations. We looked up and there was Posey, neighbor's kitty, up on the roof! Miss curiosity-

We think she was sunning herself!

The snow got slushy, but was still pretty-

Packed up the holiday goodies-

We had a family dinner here last night and River loved his new book we gave him, he said  "ooo"! I made a hearty pasta sauce with our frozen, home-grown organic tomatoes, with Italian sausage on top of rotini pasta, salad, bread,and a blackberry/raspberry pie (store bought) rounded out the menu. We all had a great time!

Stopped at Lowe's found some 60% off holiday mini cloches, $6.00 for 2, perfect for my kitchen window- 

We dropped off some donations to a thrift store of holiday decor, since I keep downsizing every year. I did score a Duplo truck for River to play with here and a stocking holder for one the grand kids for next year. I need one more then we're set. We packed up the Christmas things, leaving out the winter decor for a while. Tomorrow I'll fill in the gaps with the normal decor. We'll start the New Year with a wintry mix! Happy New Year to you and yours!!!

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