Monday, October 23, 2017

Mealplan Monday #41

Monday - Roast Beef and Swiss on potato bread, chips
Tuesday - Pot of beans and corn muffins
Wednesday - Fajita Pork Salads
Thursday - Chicken Burrito Bowls (heat and eat)
Friday - Pesto Chicken, veggie, mashed potatoes
Saturday and Sunday TBD, but prob Hubby and I will grill on Saturday at Highlands

Friday, October 20, 2017

5 thing Friday- winery fun, bugs, apple bread, microwave, prep hell

We had a good time with The Girl last weekend, picking up our wines at Perisso's Sip and Stroll, listening to live music.  Then we bopped over to TNL and lo and behold, there too was live music.  So of course we stayed for a tasting and a bottle.
Wineries are some of the nicest places to hang out.  Beautiful scenery, friendly people, and wonderful wine!
Yes, grasshoppers ARE bigger in Texas.  There are millions of them at Highlands!  Grasshoppers I can handle.  Wasps and scorpions...not so much.
 What you do with wrinkly apples no one will eat:  throw open the back door, turn on the oven, and make cinnamon apple bread.
Scout and his girlfriend moved into their own apartment.  {Lots of feelings.}  However, they did have this extra microwave they did not need.  So it's destined for the future Highlands guesthouse.  I generally have a stash of things sitting right here, waiting to be taken out there.
Fun times!  Two guesses as to what I get to do today!  By 3 p.m. I will be back in my own home with my feet up, planning what I want to eat for dinner, dreaming of being here on Saturday night:
Happy Weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017


Somewhere on Pinterest I saw a post about collecting acorns for vase filler.  Well, we have plenty of those!  Most of them were getting crushed in the driveway or buried in the grass.  But up at Highlands, they were falling directly onto the little table where we eat outside.  So I gathered them all up...
Baked them for a little while on very low heat to kill the bugs...
...separated the caps from the nuts...
...and wiped the blobs of sap off the nuts.
Then I just started hot-gluing the caps back on the nuts, to hold them on them more or less permanently.
They were pretty just natural, but I wanted a few of them to stand out.
So I pulled out my metallic gold paint pen and gave some of them some gilt.
I scattered some of them in the dough bowl I have on the bookcase.  I've been putting tealights in the small mercury glass votive cups and lighting them in the evenings.  So pretty and calming.
The gold makes the whole thing shimmer a little in candleglow.
Some of the others are living in a candle and vase in the china cabinet.  I love the combo of gold, crochet, and burlap.  And now that the weather is getting more Fall-like, I find that I am looking forward to the holidays!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Mealplan Monday #40

Monday - Hamburger Helper (don't judge! this is my first night on my new shift...), veggie
Tuesday - Pot of pintos with pork, corn muffins
Wednesday - Clean out the freezer night
Thursday - Cobb Salads
Friday - Take-out!
Saturday - Mon and Dad grill at HIghlands
and Sunday - Freezer meal leftovers - Weeknight Lasagna Toss

Friday, October 13, 2017

A place to shower at Highlands

 This was the shower up at Highlands:
A propane heated outdoor shower at the corner of the barn.  Ha!  Highlands is pretty rustic.  Until there is a house built there it will be like camping.  But Hubby knew that in the winter months that just wasn't going to cut it. And while the house is being worked on, a place to shower off will be needed.  Enter the pumphouse:
It literally houses the water pump for the well.  And has plenty of space to put a small shower and a camping potty.
The inside of it is composite board with a window and high ceilings.  There is a lot of potential in this little space - we envision it being useful as an outdoor privvy for when we are working at the property.  It will need some sprucing up, to be sure...
But you gotta start somewhere and it has a sweet view...
I didn't take any pics of the process of building the little shower the day we did that.  It was sooo hot and we worked on it all day, literally making up the project as we went along.  And this is what we did:
We bought a heavy duty plastic tub, drilled a hole in the bottom and inserted a drain, attached it to a box to lift it up off the pipe underneath, drilled a hole in the pumphouse for the drain pipe, cover all the drain holes with screen, bolted the tub and platform to the wall, made a shower rod out of pvc pipe and attached to the wall and ceiling with brackets...
...then ordered heavy duty extra long clear shower curtains that overlap.  And then we stopped...there's a bit more to do.  I added a cheapie shower organizer and some hooks to the back of the door.  I would love to paint over the composite wood and make sure the pumphouse is adequately sealed.  Plus, the floor is textured concrete so we will need some sort of mat - maybe slatted wood? - and a new step stool leading up to the tub would be nice.  We are simply going to move the propane tank and the shower contraption in here when the weather turns.  This has got to the be shabbiest reno ever, but if it helps us get out of the elements to take a shower, then it will be well worth our efforts!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

(another) Bulletin board refresh

 Years ago, I re-covered a bulletin board for The Girl's new apartment in Waco.  It had gone through several transformations from candy pink with glued on jewels, to the color that matched her Camp Rustown bedroom with a hand-lettered monogram in the middle, to all black. (for some reason I can't find all of those photos...oh, well)
 It was showing it's age...  faded in spots and pretty shabby.
When we visited her recently she asked if I would freshen it up with new burlap in a neutral color.  I love the combo of cork and memo board, and it's simple to do!
I pulled off the old burlap -  I had spray painted that sucker pretty well so the board itself would not show through the weave of the burlap.
So once again I needed to paint it.  This time I used a light sand paint I had leftover from painting The Girl's room when Scout moved into it - ironic, no?  A little bit of Scout's room (aka her old room) is moving back to Houston!
The light in the kitchen makes it look so yellow-y, but it actually works great for the new burlap.  I set it up in the window to dry until I could work on it the next day.
Here are my supplies - I ended up using a different ribbon, but I found these black tack hooks to add to the bottom of the board - genius!
Once the board was dry I laid the whole thing on the nearest surface to start stapling it - in this case, my bed is the perfect work area.
I trimmed up the burlap with my rotary cutter.  And I "painted" the edges of the burlap with some mod podge to act as a fray check.  I don't have a pic of that, but it dried super quick and you can't even tell its there.
So the above photo was Version One of finishing it up - I only bought one package of tacks so they looked too spread apart.  And I added the hooks on after the tacks, when I should have counted them as tacks themselves, for spacing purposes.  Easy to adjust!
Rooting around in my craft stash I found a couple of other designs of tacks in black and brass - the combo of them will look just fine.  And I re-did the tack and hook spacing as well as adding a tack at every point the ribbon intersects.  I really don't think she will mind - it looks more organic, somehow, to not have it all matchy-matchy.  Sort of a metaphor for real life not being perfect and all!
The Girl and I have chatted a lot this week about learning life as you go - its the same for everyone, I think.  There are no tutorials for that...  She'll be here this weekend for a quick visit and I hope she enjoys her "new" board until its next transformation!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Mealplan Monday #39

Monday - Turkey and Swiss croissants, chips
Tuesday - Crockpot Beef Barbacoa, tortillas, pico de gallo, cheese
Wednesday - Asian Lettuce Wraps, fruit salad
Thursday - Weeknight Lasagna Toss, salad
Friday - Lemon Garlic Dump Chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans
Saturday and Sunday are TBA.  BUT, I plan on making Rosemary Crusted Peach cobbler for dessert on one of those nght

Friday, October 6, 2017

5 thing Friday - art, food, wine, bug bites, nails

A co-worker sells these pretty painted canvases on Etsy, and I bought two of them for The Girl's birthday.  The colors go great in her room!
I'm thinking I may help her put together a collage wall, but for now, they are sweet above her nightstand.  They have shades of mint, burgundy, blue, pretty!
I always forget I own this cast iron grill pan - since I've been off weekends it seems like we don't grill much.  This pan makes it seem like we do.  I "grilled" pork chops in it and they were so tasty!
 Healthy eating:  Sweet potato with spinach and asiago.
Unhealthy eating: Belgium waffle with strawberries and whipped cream, not to mention eggs and bacon...
 Likewise: Chicken fried steak with hash browns and eggs.  I laughed when the waitress asked Hubby what kind of toast and he said "I guess I'll try to be healthy and have the whole wheat.  He ate only one slice of it.  We have got to start doing better - my cholesterol is back up.
An hour or so spent at a winery with a cheese plate on a Sunday is never a waste of time.  So relaxing!  recently we have talked about whittling down our wine clubs.  
This one stays.
Something else I brought home from Highlands last weekend - chiggers.  I find myself scratching them until they open, and that's so terrible, not to mention painful.  I have been slathering hydrocortisone over them in hopes of helping with the itching.  I will not be deterred from wearing flip flops on my hill - I just need to spray myself with deet more often and especially my feet.
I went back to the nail salon I visited a month or so ago.  I'm really loving the look of my nails with polish and the pedicures are so great!  It's the little things in life, right?
Happy Weekend!


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