Saturday, October 20, 2012

Oddity of the Week: Soap Box

Maybe it was on purpose that the former residents left a box full of old soaps in the basement. There's plenty of water down there! Rinse up! Or maybe it was supposed to mask the musky mold scent wafting around. Either way, soap has never looked like so much fun! And it smells factory-fresh! And it's just 10 cents per bar! (Can you even buy single bars today? Do you think soap ever goes bad?)

Irish Spring was manly deodorant soap back then -- the tagline a predecessor of Old Spice's "I'm On a Horse" campaign today? Now it just wants everyone to "feel fresh and clean." So modern and boring.

Look at that! The party is literally flying off the shelf! Too bad the pretty packaging couldn't make it past 1985. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Oddity of the Week: 34-year-old Macaroni

Of the trash and treasures we're exposing in our house next door, this is one of my all-time favorites. It boggles my mind. It's a box of mac and cheese. Great, you say, what's so special about that? Then you notice that the photo and font look a bit dated. And what IS that lump of supposed meat on the plate?! Yuck. Moreover, it looks like someone pulled out a magic marker and sold this box at a garage sale for 13 cents. Now, Kraft's boxes can get down to 99 cents on sale, but 13 cents is a record low, even for second hand...

Then there's the masking tape holding the box together so no pasta would fall out...

So, if the original contents are still in there, exactly how old are they?

As old as I am.
Anyone want to come over for lunch?!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Waiter, There's Too Much Pepper...

I can't stand to pay $1 or more per pepper at the grocery store, especially when they're one of the easiest crops to grow. So I planted about 50 this spring then mostly ignored them all summer. My excuse is that I got busy. Too many other things need more TLC. Now, though, at the end of the season, they have demanded that I pay attention. I madly harvested this weekend before a freeze took them all out.  

Just look at my baskets, buckets and boxes full of them!  

I think I've purchased Serrano peppers exactly once from the store, so I'm not sure why I planted seven plants. Next year, it'll be three, tops. Fortunately, my neighbor likes these, so he'll be getting a nice load tomorrow.

Jalapenos are a different story. Much more common in my kind of cooking. Some will freeze, some will be turned into hot pepper jelly. But, again, we've been working on one single jar this entire year so I'll scale back next year.

Marconis. I don't know what the heck to do with these! Anyone? So much for experimenting this season...

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. How many peppers did Peter Piper pick? Depends on the variety, but roughly 50-70 sweet peppers or 250 japs.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Oddity of the Week: Wall Mushrooms

As we continue to filter and sort through all the former homeowners' belongings left behind, we have begun some demo in the bathroom. And this lovely find camouflaged itself among the water stains and peeling paint for who knows how long. I'm plenty happy to have morels under our elms but not at all pleased to see mushrooms growing in our walls. 

While all the water-damaged materials are on their way out, the lathe on the opposite wall looks lovely and new. We'll save what we can and reuse it for other projects, like a partition wall veneer. Meanwhile, the studs are coming out and the bathroom will be taking over closets on both sides. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

While You Were Sleeping

Sophia took a monster three-hour nap flanked by a half-hour of quiet time on Sunday, leaving Michael and I a solid block of time to tackle projects around here. When she arose, she was in a fabulous mood and entertained herself in the backyard for another two hours! Anyone who has kids knows this is a rare and amazing opportunity to relax or work! Obviously, with our 534-point to-do list, we got ourselves busy!

For the last five years, we've been living with a battered, rusted, numberless mailbox with a missing front and the name of the family who lived here a decade ago still on it, even as a relatively newer version sat in our garage for the last four years. So, for some reason, today was the day to refurbish and replace. I printed out a stencil in Word and magnified it to 300 percent then cut around the numbers, traced with a pen and filled in with the Gem Turquoise custom color we created to paint our new Dutch door. We're also renovating our windows and will paint the outside frames this same color for a real 'pop'! The flag, which is orange rather than the typical red, complements our blue color choice and is leftover paint we used as an accent wall color in our hall.

And while I was outside with an open can of paint, I added a spot of happiness to this hive body. This is the second hive we have, and the colony suffered the elusive CCD a couple years ago. Moths then moved in and proliferated in the warmish garage. I cleaned up what I could, and the bees will take over next spring. We'll place it next to our up and humming hive in the orchard and see if some of them will swarm to start a new colony.

I asked for and received window boxes for my birthday last month and finally potted them with pansies. More than shoes or manicures or other typical presents, I enjoy the gift of having my honey-do list checked off! It's a present for us both!Unlike the light-up frisbee he bought me one time...

I've also been collecting pots for years but have never actually planted them with anything. Not only do the containers and flowers bring some color to the large expanse of wood decking, they protect the posts from cats scratching. (See the slender curvature on the closest post?!) Brilliant! Question is: why didn't we do this sooner?! 

cluck, cluck