How is it that my recipe for raspberry jam says, “yield – 7 x 250 or 236ml jars” and I count 8 x 250ml and 1 500ml jar? Even though I followed the recipe exactly.

Frost warning

We’ve been having temperatures below freezing at night, so we are needing to make some concessions to autumn. First, we had to relight the pilot light on the furnace so we don’t wake up cold. Especially that little kid who likes to kick the blankets off her bed.

We also had to go pick all the tomatoes a few days ago so they wouldn’t go to waste. Good thing I have a helper, it was a big job.
That’s the little bowl for the ripe ones. We ended up with 10 gallons of green tomatoes and about 3 gallons of potatoes (we’ve eaten lots of new potatoes this summer). The beans got left out, and I’m afraid they may have succumbed to the frost last night.

My helper knows her colors well enough now that she can pick off the red tomatoes.
She also knows “tiny” means that’s one she can throw. Because a 1/4″ tomato isn’t really worth trying to save.

Brandywine tomatoes.


Someone else wants to be a helper, but she hasn’t grown thumbs yet. So she just laid around waiting for her kid to get done. She ended up sleeping right up against the gate because we were taking too long.

Yesterday, we (well, I did) decided to do something with those green tomatoes instead of just waiting for them to turn red. I imagine we’ll leave a few of them to ripen, but 10 gallons is a lot of tomatoes to be laying around. So I found some recipes for canning green tomatoes and we set off.
BigKid helped by picking the stems off some of them.

And we came up with 3 pints of green tomato relish from the first recipe.
I’m really happy with it, so we’ll probably make a bunch more. It used up not only tomatoes (but only 14) but also some of the apples from our apple tree, and we’ve got plenty of those as well, so anything that’ll help us make them useful is welcome.

I imagine we’ll be canning a lot this week, we have tomatoes, raspberries, crabapples and some other variety of apples to use up, and I am getting comfortable enough with the canning process that it doesn’t take all day anymore.

Catching up.

BigKid’s first pillow fight.
She wasn’t really sure if she was really supposed to hit Daddy, but she caught on quick and she had so much fun.
Yesterday she wasn’t feeling very well. Today too, both of us are sick, feels like a milder case of whatever we caught on the plane to France in the Spring.

But she wasn’t too sick to come watch me work. I cleaned the floor really well, so it’s safe for us to go in barefoot again, but she is still unconvinced. And since I wouldn’t get her shoes, she stole mine.

Not too sick to be a helper either.

I tempted fate to get this window trim put up. Hammering away while BigKid napped. Didn’t seem to bother her too much, but I was scared.

Now I almost think I should paint the slider part of the window too. But then begs the question, where do I stop? I can’t very well paint the track, that is the same color wood as the slider. Hoping to have the rest of the window trim up and at least half the crown moulding this evening.

real quick.

Look what Charlie planted for me!
I cut them from the pasture, the seeds come from his feed.
Andrew came home a day early to primer on the walls. He is amazed that we managed to get so much done. It really is like having a brand new room in our house.
Look, I even put on a door!

Paint up. A soft grey. I picked it out when we moved in and I was a bit concerned that I wouldn’t like it now, but I do very much. It’s perfect for this space.

More pictures to come when we’re done with the trim, then probably a video panorama in a few weeks after the carpet comes.


When doing work around the house, it is important to remember that proper safety equipment must be worn at all times.
Especially when you are sweeping the floor with Mommy’s new paintbrush.

Poor skittish little Mooch doesn’t know what’s going on. She won’t come in for any longer than it takes her to bolt her food and scramble out again. I guess sleeping on the deck railing is safer than being indoors right now.

More progress

First things first. Saturday evening, I went horseback riding, and BigKid went to the fair with Grandma & Jeremy to watch the chuckwagon races. I sent along my camera, but no video this time.

No, I don’t think it is time to go home, thank you.
And now what we’ve been up to today.

Last night, I got about half the mudding done. Then I ran out of mud.
Guess I should’ve bought a bigger bucket.

Hey, people do use geometry!
And since we got about 40 times more drywall screws than we needed, I’ve been fixing the horrible squeaks in the floor. There are a lot of them. But hey, I can walk across the room now without waking BigKid up!
This morning, I got some primer on the walls. Still need to do the corners and in the grooves in the paneling.

I have to admit, I was a little sad to have to paint over this. Guess who used to sleep in this room.


It’s not spackle, it’s drywall mud. But spackle is much more fun to say.
And it’s calling my name.
Perhaps we’ll have more pictures tomorrow, they are on my camera right now, but I don’t have time to resize them, I have to go finish my ceiling!

Funny item of the day: Apparently I drink a lot of coffee. BigKid has decided that she needs to have some, and horsies drink coffee when they are very thirsty. I never knew. Charlie has been deprived!

So far, so good.

Everybody showed up to help this morning, and things went even better than I’d expected. We just used the extra help to get the 3 big boards up, then Jeremy and I did the rest. I do have one small piece by the furnace chimney that I should re-cut, but that won’t take long, and it’s something I can manage alone.

Cut this hole for the light. In the right place. On the first try.
And we didn’t break any boards. Hooray! Of course, that means we have an extra. A big one. 4′ x 12′. Not sure what that’ll become. Not even sure where I’m going to put it. Maybe I’ll give it to Ruth, they’re not finished with their basement yet.

All done, and looking rather good, if I do say so myself. Tomorrow brings spackle and primer, Paint on Monday, I hope. Then I can get everything moved back in and have a hallway and a bedroom again!

Again with the wrong orientation.
Poor little Bug is so tired from her late night yesterday and an early morning today, and she crawled into bed and I haven’t heard from her since! I’m going to have to wake her so we can go to town and get more supplies.


I have no pictures of carnage. We were too busy working and I didn’t want to get fiberglass on my camera.

First things first, I’ve got some thank yous to make public. HUGE thanks to Jeremy, without whom I would still be tearing up linoleum. Huge thanks to Ruth for keeping BigKid for me while we’re working. And big thanks to my parents for making me sit through hours and hours of mind numbing home renovation shows every weekend for the first 20 years of my life. You’d almost think I know what I’m doing here.

Today, we worked for 8 hours, not including the time that BigKid and I spent at the dump and picking up new materials. Temperature outside today topped out at about 31C/87F according to the weather page, and while I don’t think it ever got quite as hot indoors, it was plenty warm enough. Especially when we were wearing long sleeved shirts, long pants, closed up shoes, face masks and safety glasses. Because we did insulation today. Jeremy tore down the old stuff while I made lunch for BigKid, and then she went to bed and I got to work too. We got the new stuff cut and put up and new plastic covering it and it looks fantastic. We also discovered some more work that needs done this summer, but it’s easier accessed from outside and it was in the plans already.

And look! My wall is finished! Really, it is. You just can’t see it behind those ginormous pieces of sheet rock. 4′ x 12′. Means less spackle for me. Also means that I have 4 people coming tomorrow for an hour to help put it up. Desperately hoping it doesn’t take any longer than that. Desperately hoping. There are 6 pieces, 3 will go on without being cut (except a light hole needs to come out of one), and I’m not sure we’ll use more than 2 for the rest of it, but we’ll see. I may have to get out another drill. If anyone feels sorry for me, you’re welcome to come help too. We start at 8.

No kid pictures today, we’re both too tired. We did stop at the fair for a little while and saw the chuck wagon races. Tomorrow we’ll have to go back and get some video. She was so excited about the “horsie running!” In further kid news, we are getting lots of full sentences these days. Very fun.

Day 3

Why is Hugs smiling so big?Because there are 2 little kids loving on him!

Is it only day 3? I guess day 4 if you count the whirlwind trip to IKEA. We took the morning off. Trey came to play for a few hours while his Mom & Dad were in the city, and we all had a great time.

BigKid loves having her friends over to play.

Made good progress on the addition after Trey went home and BigKid went to nap at Grandma’s house. Jeremy got the ceiling torn down (2 layers of it!), and we discovered that it’s worse than we’d thought so we’re going to have to replace the insulation. So that’ll set us back a day or two and it’ll leave me painting solo, as Jeremy leaves for camp in a couple days. Hopefully we can get the insulation & ceiling board up by then, but I don’t see why not. We also got the old linoleum torn up off the floor.
Here’s what I did. Besides phoning people about insulation and sheetrock and carpet and linoleum. We’ll use the leftover bits of insulation from the ceiling in there to help with the soundproofing.

I think Andrew’s excited at the prospect of all this work being done before he gets home, but it’s not as though I can be tearing the ceiling apart while he’s working in there. And I certainly couldn’t have been hammering the closet apart when he’s on the phone. Which is all the time. I’m excited to have it done too, even with the little bit that we’ve accomplished so far, the room has a much different feel to it. It’s fantastic.

Stay tuned. Tomorrow morning I have to go to the dump to empty the old ceiling and flooring out of my truck so that I can put the sheetrock and insulation in. BigKid’s going to Costco with Grandma (I am going to owe her big time by the time we’re done!) and Jeremy and I are going to tear out the old insulation and hopefully get the new stuff in. Should be tons of fun! Then I’m taking off a few hours in the evening and going riding at the Squair S (that’s where Charlie is.).