Day 12 and Some National Folk Farmhouse Projects
It's day 12 of hanging around the house for me, and day 10 for Steve.
We are now feeling secure that we have no coronavirus in our bodies. We are being careful with anything that is being brought into the house from this point forward.
I had two packages arrive in the mail yesterday and both of them were opened with gloves while standing outside on the front porch. The packaging remained outside. The items inside are sprayed with Lysol or wiped with disinfectant before it's even brought into the house.
Our oldest daughter was at the grocery store and picked up a few items for us which were also cleaned and wiped off before they were brought into the house. The dogs were soooo happy to have their supply of Pupperoni treats replenished. They were sorely missing them in their empty treat canister. Kinda like Old Mother Hubbard who went to the cupboard to get her poor doggie a bone?
Some may think this virus prevention tactic in our home is overkill. Just looking at what people are going through in some of the hardest hit areas of Italy and China is enough to make us be concerned. I would prefer to be careful now, than sorry later that we didn't take these precautions.
With my lung damage and subsequent bouts of pneumonia, I am very realistically in danger of not surviving this if it hits me. But what terrifies me even more, would be losing Steve if he were to catch it.
So with our care and concern for each other, we will eliminate physical contact with our other family members and friends and not leave the house. Our home is now our little "germ-free sanctuary" and I don't want to bring anything in to contaminate it.
Even the mail at the mailbox is being handled with gloves and deposited right into recycling out in the garage if it's junk mail. There's only been one piece of important mail and we spritzed that down with Lysol and left it lay in the garage for a day before opening it.
Steve is looking at this period of time of quarantine as an opportunity to work on more projects around the house. Things that he has the supplies on hand for and does not need to go out.
He finished the wiring and adding to the outlets in the garage. He added outlets to all the areas that made sense, and organized some of his workshop area. There are a few more brackets and shelves and pegboard he would like to get later to finish organizing the garden tools. But that's not a high priority item right now.
I love these socket adapters we bought a few months ago from Amazon. It screws into a single light socket and allows you to add 5 light bulbs to one socket. These are very low LED flood lights that draw very little power so it does not put a burden on the circuit. The total wattage is under 50 Watts for the each cluster.
Here is a link to where we bought them:
Jackyled light 5 in 1 light socket splitter
Since the She Shed was completed in October, I've been able to organize the rest of the materials that I have stored out there in bins and boxes and totes. Once my things were moved out of the way, he had more room now to organize his workshop area. He said it's nice to be able to use his saws and tools without having to move 15 other things out of the way first!
Do you know how they say "Happy Wife, Happy Life"? well.... with his organized workshop space, now it's "Happy Husband makes a Happy Wife"!
When we moved into the house I had suggested an extra shelf in this old fashioned linen closet. I thought it would be nice and more helpful for organization. Today is the day that he is going to cut a new shelf. It's a very odd shape so he popped out one of the other shelves to make a pattern from. He is doing that while I type this blog. This pic has the original shelf removed while he uses it to trace a pattern for the new one that will go below it.
I saw an interesting recipe on Facebook the other day. It was 4 ingredient bread that only takes an hour. I thought I would try it. It came out really really good. Baked up like the crusty loaf of the Italian Neo Tuscan Boule bread that I buy at the grocery store for $3.59! Now I can make my own for much less, and it tastes the same...
Here is the recipe:
Here are my ingredients:
It's been a long time since I kneaded a loaf of bread. It was fun, and I remembered back when I was a kid when my mom would knead bread. She would have to bake six or eight loaves at a time for a family of 6 hungry kids.
Oh boy, to think I used to be jealous of my friends' moms who would buy the big long bags of Wonder Bread with the polka dots on the white bags? Didn't know how lucky we really were, nor did we appreciate the hard things that our Mom had to do when money was tight.
I always remember Mom taking off her wedding rings before kneading bread, and carefully putting them on a little dish upon the kitchen windowsill. I did the same thing, with a smile on my face, and a fond memory in my heart.
The house smelled delicious with the aroma of fresh baking bread
I love this little oven rack Push Pull tool. I found it at a thrift shop a couple weeks ago and really think it's handy --- as well as being an old fashioned farmhouse style kitchen implement.
The bread turned out wonderful and flaky and crusty on the outside and soft on the inside. It was really good with homemade potato and ham soup yesterday.
Oh, another fun thing is using tools that you enjoy, it makes the process a lot more pleasant. I have this big beautiful Watt Yellow Ware #10 pottery bowl. I used it to mix up my bread dough. I bought it at a rummage sale years ago for just a few dollars. While carefully washing it out by hand, and then setting it gently on a towel to dry, I think back on how many women might have made bread in that same bowl? Maybe it belonged to some young woman who was so proud to own this as part of her bridal trousseau or setting up her first kitchen in her household. It's probably around a hundred years old.
For grins, I looked it up to see what it was worth. Amazing!
I made up a big pot of chili the other day. When Steve was scooping up the leftovers into small containers to freeze it, he remarked that our plastic cooking utensils are rather flimsy. They bend and flex too much.
I remembered seeing some really interesting cooking utensils at Menards last month. They had firm stainless steel handles, and silicone for the spoon, ladle, or spatula ends. They were on sale, but I passed them by because I was busy looking for something else and didn't really think about them.
Now that he mentioned this, I looked online. Not only were they on sale but they were on a sale of a sale cheaper than the sale they were before. LOL. I thought I would like to have a set, or maybe even two sets, so I had plenty of extras in case some were in the dishwasher etc. I know I like having two ladles when I am canning. I thought the heck with it, I will order two sets because it wasn't anything more in shipping if I ordered one or two. At $7.99 that comes out to $1.33 each piece. I splurged and bought two sets so I can have all 12 pieces!
I placed the order, and they came in two days! That was one of the packages I carefully opened out on the front porch and disposed of the packaging. They seem to be of a very nice quality and the price sure was right.
The other package was the rest of the blue flannel backing material that I needed for my big quilt. The fabric went directly into the washing machine to pre wash and pre shrink it and the package immediately disposed of. Now I can finish my quilt!
On my fabric projects: I finished up my four little hot pads for the kitchen.
After posting a pic on Facebook, I got two orders to make some for customers! One set for a friend from Florida, and the other set for our neighbor. One will go out in the mail, and the other one I think we will leave on the front porch and she can come over and get them so we don't need to make any physical contact.
We have been FaceTiming and texting with the grandchildren. It's a real hoot. They love chatting back and forth on the phones and reading stories or talking about fun stuff together.
Grandkids Jameson and Whitney have been in touch too. Jameson is now 11 and just got his very own cell phone. He made sure to load me up with texts and photos, and he even called me to put the phone on speaker so his little sister Whitney could talk to me! Awwww they are full of silliness and are enjoying this long-distance technology that we can still be in touch. They got new furniture delivered at their house, and he was excited to text pics of it to me.
Of course, all of the schools are closed in Wisconsin. The elementary kids were able to arrange to have their parents pick up their Chromebooks from school and bring them home. Otherwise the laptops never were allowed to leave the school for the elementary kids. Even the internet suppliers in the area are offering free internet for children to do their schooling from at home. How nice is that?
Well, the shelves are done and he made not just one, but two! I have to get out the paint now and put a few coats on before he mounts them into place.
Steve sat down for a little coffee break. In a matter of a few minutes, he has his tools and he's ready to put in the support brackets for the shelves. One of the walls backs up against the masonry of the livingroom fireplace. That is why they are such an odd size and shape. He has his big hammer drill for the job to drill into the masonry.
I better get a move on here!
Stay tuned for our next blog post with possibly more little household projects while we do this self quarantine thing.
Please. Be Careful. Stay safe. Stay healthy!! #FarmhouseProjects #OurNationalFolkFarmhouse #SelfQuarantine #BakingBread #LinenCabinetShelves