Life in the A-Frame

Life in the A-Frame

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Big Improvement

Time to paint! I took off all the pictures, clipped on receipts, and newspaper articles. I washed and scrubbed the surface of the fridge and wiped it down with vinegar. Look at all those scratches-how did they get there? I thought that I would be too tired to continue because I was weak after that stomach virus, but I didn't feel too bad so I went into town to get paint and sandpaper. Got back, opened the paintbrush, dust mask, and the paint. I went to the shop to get the oscillating fan, and it was at this point that I leaned over wrong and hurt my back. Seriously mad at myself...I continued anyway.
Amos appeared uninterested and was no help at all.

Three and 1/2 hours later, in severe pain, I took this picture of the finished fridge. The color is black so that it matches my other appliances. All that is left to do is clean up the chrome trim and the grate thing at the bottom. Of course, I had to sleep in the bedroom recliner last night because I couldn't lie flat after hurting my back. That makes 2 nights this week that I was unable to sleep in my own bed, but I got one project done from my list of "things to do while the kids are in Colorado". They are coming back in two days so I'll get the second project started next week.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Alone with Amos

Whenever anyone tells me that they read my blog, they always say that they like the pictures of Amos. I don't blame them, I like them too. As a matter of fact, I just love this little dog. He keeps me company and sympathizes with me. He and I have been alone a lot lately. My kids have been gone for 3 days and won't be back until next Saturday. They are on the mission trip to Colorado with the kids from another town. My husband is working and I had planned to do some house repairs this week. I need to paint my refrigerator, clean out the utility room and put down the new rug, and then put some shelves around the staircase because I've always wanted to make that area my "little library". I figured that since I was here by myself and needed to occupy my time so that I wouldn't miss everyone so much-I would do these projects. Well...Sunday night I started feeling tired and blah. I evidently caught a stomach virus. All of Monday I was sick. Amos stayed right by me. He sat with me in the recliner and then when I slept on the couch last night (so my husband could sleep), Amos slept with me-sometimes on top of me. I've had a lot of quiet time so I thank Amos for keeping company and keeping me from getting too downhearted with everyone gone. I am better this morning so I'm about to go look at that refrigerator...

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Granny's Quilt Square

I once helped my Grandmother quilt an enormous bedspread made out of colorful interlocking circles. She had pieced each flower pattern by hand. Making squares or rectangles come out straight is hard and I can not imagine getting circles symmetrical. She later gave me the quilt. A few years before she died, she gave me, for Christmas, 2 pillow cases that she had made out of leftover circles. I took one of the pillow cases apart and "showcased" a circle flower on a piece of plain, unbleached muslin. It became the summer curtain for my kitchen window. I think it is so pretty, a touch of her in my homemade, country kitchen.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

UMYF extended family

Youth from two different towns met for the first time. They are going on a mission trip to another state so this gathering at a friend's lake provided a casual, fun time for them to meet and interact. We kayaked, ate, swam, and talked...

My husband and I took a canoe out by ourselves. We went under this bridge and my husband picked some of the wild grapes that hung over us.

As we came to the spot where the creek empties into the lake, this dead tree caught our eye because it was lit by the last strong rays of the sun before dark.
Our twin nephews dived backwards together and someone told me that this dive was pretty, but not as synchronized as the one they did before.

A couple of the older boys barbequed this chicken and made kebabs from summer vegetables.
We found out that the youth had many similar interests, chores, and hobbies. They even involved the adults in the discussion of favorite books, movies, and careers. I ask God to bless them and go with them on their mission trip-acting in his Word.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Little Amos

My little dog Amos sits between my legs any time that I have my feet up in my recliner. He can hear the sound of me raising the footrest up, even if he is outside. He comes, sits, asks and then is allowed to jump up with me. He nestles down and rests his head on my leg. He sits there as long as I do. If I would have known that my daughter was going to take this picture, I would have taken off my dirty socks and put some lotion on my legs.

Paula Deen's Gooey Butter Cake

I baked two of these for a church bake sale. My son loves these so much that he was going to buy one of them back from the church. They both sold though, so I owe him one. It really isn't a cake-it's more like bar cookies with a cream cheese topping. The cream cheese is mixed with butter and powdered sugar so that when it bakes, a toasted marshmallow-like top is created. That is why it has cracks on top. It is crispy and toasted on top, gooey underneath.

Paula Deen's Gooey Butter Cake: preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, cream one box of yellow cake mix, one stick of melted butter and one egg. It will be very thick. Pat out the crust into a 9x13 pan.
In the same mixing bowl, cream 8 oz. cream cheese, 2 eggs, one stick of melted butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1 lb. of powdered sugar. Pour over the crust and bake for about 40 minutes. It should be golden brown on top but still jiggly in the middle. Cool completely. Very rich and sweet!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Book Review: Angela's Ashes

Desperate, hungry boys, illness and the loss of children, alcoholism and denial, scratching and clawing for food and social status...

This autobiography of Frank McCourt is a New York Times bestseller and Pulitzer Prize winner. Sadness and humor mix to create a poignant account of a poor family in 1930's Ireland. With an alcoholic father and a helpless, sickly mother, the family faces unimaginable poverty and hopelessness. The oldest son, Frank, manages to grow up by making the most of his opportunities, whether it is by stealing food or working odd jobs instead of going to school. He reaches his ultimate dream after he earns and steals enough money to go back to America.

It was upsetting to read about how the kids and mother starved and had to resort to begging because the father drank away any earnings that he had. Then he would be late for work because of his wild, drinking night, resulting in him getting fired. This book told of a circle that was their life: illness, alcohol, hunger, poverty, filth, discrimination, and disappointment. But, it also told of a rising up, a longing and a determination for a better life.
I'm not sure how much I really enjoyed reading this book, if I enjoyed it all-but I've been thinking about that family and their circumstances since I bought the book last Sunday. If you've read it, what did you think?

Friday, July 4, 2008

Angel basking in the sun

The sun was making such pretty shadows along the right side of my kitchen window. I know I'm not an accomplished photographer and I have a very simple camera but this looks sweet to me.

Red, White, and Blue kitchen window

I think this is a pretty scene with the red, white, and blue reflections from the sun. The little statue seems to further salute the 4th of July with the word "hope".

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Kitchen View

I love the view from my kitchen window but sometimes I love the view of the window itself more. Today it is filled with fresh yellow heirloom tomatoes, little red grape tomatoes, and cherry red tomatoes. My dad cultivated the cherry tomato plants and passed on the seeds to us before he died and they are my favorite tomatoes. I also have an old picture of my mother holding my one year old son and my 4 hour old daughter and the little statue of the boy is the last Mother's day gift we gave my mother-in-law before she died. He is holding a sign that says "Hope". The Mason jar holds rosemary and mint from my flower beds. The smells from the herbs and the lure of the photograph entices me to look at and out of the window several times a day., and to remember...

Baby catfish

This is one of 40 baby catfish that we bought to restock our tank. We've been feeding them twice a day and this little one is about 10 inches long. They feed in a frenzy that reminds me of sharks. I tried for 3 days to get a picture of them feeding but every tiny movement or sound (from the camera!) spooked them. I finally snapped this photo right before the fish came to the surface. I love standing on the bridge and throwing out the floating catfish food for the feeding frenzy.