Sunday, July 18, 2010

Jambalaya Recipe

This is what was for lunch at our house today, and it was sooooo easy and for the most part it all came out of a box! Semi-homemade, my favorite kind of meal.

You start with a box of Jambalaya rice mix, a package of sausage (type is your choice or in my case what happens to be in the fridge), a can or two of beans - I usually use black beans but black eyed peas were in the cabinet, and extra ingredients to your taste. I typically add a can or two of diced tomatoes, an onion, some red pepper and lots of garlic. Dad canned homemade salsa yesterday and didn't have room in the canner for this I used it today, after all it had all the 'extra' ingredients combined in one.

I did add a few more tomatoes (fresh out of the garden - no cans this time of year) and a half a head of garlic. What can I say, I LOVE garlic.

Simply dump all ingredients (along with some water) into a stock pot, bring to a boil and turn down heat allowing it to simmer for at least 30 minutes.

Once the Jambalaya was in the pot cooking I used this box, following the directions on the back to make a small pan of cornbread.

We had a few small zucchini that needed to be fixed before they went bad. Fried zucchini seemed like a good side for the Jambalaya & corn bread. Simply slice, dip in egg mixture, dip in flour/bread crumb mixture and fry in hot oil. This was my favorite part of our lunch!

I love FRIED ZUCCHINI!!!! Prep, cooking, eating and clean up last about 1 hour total.
Just doesn't get much better than that.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Found a Treasure

Dad found this in the ceiling of the little hallway between the kitchen and bedroom(the one I'm making a dining room).

It almost fell on his head as he was taking down the paneling ceiling.

A little elbow grease and a new shade and it'll look good as new! Can't wait to display it in my completed kitchen.

Friday, July 16, 2010

But why can't I sand it.....

Conversation from last night with my cousin Danny (the contractor/our remodel advisor), Danny meets Dad & I at my house to answer a technical question or two dad needs clarification on before tackling the next project.

Dad had started tearing out the shelf unit between the living room and kitchen that I want to be an open area - no walls / no shelf unit / no beams. When he had most of it torn down he realized that the beam the framed the doorway was a support beam - bad news for me - and that the beam/joice it's supporting in the ceiling is bowing - more bad news for me. After Danny explained to dad how to build a support, jack wall and replace the joice I asked him about the ceiling.

Dad had removed the ugly tiles in the kitchen & dining room per my request. I was happy to find that there was an old slat ceiling in there but unfortunately they'd covered it with felt and layers of wallpaper (yeah for me, more wall paper!!)

and into our conversation.....

Me: Any suggestions on the best way to get the wallpaper off the ceiling and lightly sand the slats?

Danny: You don't

Me: Yah, I want to sand the slats and whitewash them - it'll look cool - I saw it on a blog

Danny: Then put up new slats

Me: Don't want to buy new ones, how do I clean these

Danny: You don't, either buy new slats or put up sheet rock

Me: Don't want to do that, what's wrong with these?

Danny: By the looks of them they're from the original house

Me: I know, that's what I like about them

Danny: Understand, but you don't know what's on them. You don't know what they treated them with a hundred years ago or what they used to put up the felt or what type of adhesive was used for the paper. Good chance there's something up there you don't want to stir up. I understand the concept of what you want to do and if you want painted slats you need to put new wood slats on top of the existing.

Me: Seriously. Well that's not the answer I was looking for.

So, now I have a ceiling without ugly white tile but with felt and wallpaper half attached in most places on old dark brown slats (that would look sooooo cool whitewashed by the way) that I'm told I can't touch and need to cover with something........any suggestions? Since I did ask his professional opinion I guess I'll listen to the advice and leave the old stuff up there alone (secretly protesting that decision though). I'm thinking I'll probably go back to the tin tile ceiling look for the kitchen & dining room.

On a good note - Dad started framing out my bathroom yesterday! Isn't that wallpaper lovely. It's one of the 4 layers on the slat boards that was under the sheet rock I/dad knocked down.

Monday, July 12, 2010

House Update: Week 3 & 4 combined

As of today I've owned my home for 4 weeks - can't believe it's been that long. In that time I've come to a realization (after another, after another!), the more you do to the home......the more you find to do to the home. Once we started tearing this and that out, the more I wanted to tear out. Which isn't speeding up my timeline to move in....

So as of right now - nothing is complete and more has been destroyed (intentionally of course). So here's where I'm at:

1) The wall & closet between the kitchen and what I'm making into a dining room has been torn down thanks to dad. You can see the wall behind the custom build shelf unit between the kitchen and living room (this shelf will be coming down in the near future too). I was surprised to find dry wall under the paneling - why would you put up that green paneling?? Anyway, that's the wall that was removed as you'll see the progress in the next two pics.

As you can see above the wall is GONE!!

2.) The walls in the old bedroom (that you can see in the picture above have wallpaper on them - no big deal, right? Wrong, after who knows how many hours and use of a professional steamer......I knocked down one of the walls! It will be so much cheaper and easier to just put up new sheet rock. Why I wasted so many hours trying to remove the 4 layers of old, old paper is beyond me. The back wall shown above now has a door cut out - part of this room will be the master bath and the other half will be the dining room. The window you see will eventually become a door leading onto a deck out back.

The hole in the wall is where the door was later cut out.

3.) My cabinets are almost completely painted. I've trimmed one side (didn't have enough to get the other side completely done). Once I get the other side trimmed, I'll paint the trim and then work on the back splash. My new drawer pulls came in Saturday, so installing them and putting the cabinets 'back together' will complete that part of the remodel. Below is a pic before the trim.

.....and here it is with the trim on it and the top cubby hole with a coat of paint (several more will be required).

4.) I've determined that I really don't like the ceiling tiles currently in the house and have found that the entire house has the old slat ceiling. Pretty sure the tiles will be removed and the slats sanded and white washed. Can't wait to start on that - should be a huge improvement.

5.) My closet (which use to be a 1/2 bath and double closet between the two bedrooms) is down to 2x4's now. Still have to deal with the plumbing from the old bathroom and then we'll be able to start the dry wall! The before picture:and an in-process picture. The tiles, stool and sink are now gone (just don't have a picture).

Dad also took the top boards off the built in shelf between the living room and kitchen to make sure the post wasn't load-bearing and it's not!! So I'll be able to have that 12 foot area between the two rooms open.

I've decided that several of the things that I was going to wait and do once I moved in I'll probably go ahead and do now. Since everything's all tore up I might as well do it all at once instead of starting a project and leaving 1 or 2 things undone until a later date and then making a huge mess once furniture and my belongs are in place.

My move in goal is Halloween.....we'll see how it goes!

Left to do in the kitchen / dining room:
1.) Finish trim, finish painting cabinets and top cubby hole.
2.) Install hardware and re-hang doors
3.) Backsplash - faux silver tin
4.) Finish the removal of the custom built shelf between living room & kitchen
5.) Remove ceiling tiles, sand & white wash planks
6.) Remove carpet in kitchen
7.) Hope to remove floor tiles under kitchen carpet glued directly onto oak hardwood floors
8.) Frame and dry wall my bathroom (1/2 floor space of old bedroom/dining room area)
9.) Remove window and cut frame for patio door
10.) Cut frame for new back door (leading to mudroom/basement)
11.) Fill in old backdoor with dry wall
12.) Mud & sand all dry wall
13.) Paint
14.) Have floors sanded and refinished
15.) Install new floor and wall cabinets between stove & fridge
16.) Build/install kitchen island
17.) Hang new lighting in the kitchen & dining room
18.) Install all floor & ceiling trim
19.) Move in kitchen 'stuff'

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


While working on the house the other day, I said something to Johnathon. He didn't act like he acknowledged that I was speaking to I said his name and still nothing. I walked over to him and realized he had on earphones so I tapped him on the shoulder and asked why he was wearing them since I had the radio on.

"Duh, I don't like that music" was his response.

When did that happened? I don't listen to the "cool" music anymore?
Oh well, I still like it - come on who doesn't like classic rock?

.....and that leads into another type of music I listened to this week. My friend Deborah and her niece Jenna performed in the musical "The Music Man" at Rend Lake College. I attended their first dress rehearsal on Monday and took pictures. Here are a few:

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Summer Sports

It's official - I'm on vacation for a week! Unfortunately it's going to be a working vacation, good thing is that I'll be working on my house and editing pictures and working on my house some more and taking a few pictures and then working on my house!

We're within the final few days of regular season baseball/softball and then in a week the tournaments will start. Here are a few pics of the kids season (if you're friends with me on facebook you've probably already seen these. Sorry, haven't had time to edit any others so I'm posting the same ones).

A series of Johnathon hitting the ball.....rounding 1st......and 3rd base.....


Oh I forgot to mention the bases just happened to be loaded when he hit that ball in deep right field.....GRAND SLAM BABY!!!

Yah, he was a little excited along with the entire team who ran out of the dugout.

Katie hits the ball (and throws the batt - almost got an automatic out)....rounding 3rd base....
HOMERUN!!!! Running those bases wears you out!
Exciting game, can't you tell?? at first......called safe at home by the umpire, aka her father, but in my personal opinion I think she was out.


Short stop caught a pop fly to end the game with a WIN, just liked this picture with Katie (left #7) and Carlie and the coach celebrating her great catch!

Matthew 'cheesing' for me on first base right before the game started.

Matthews hits the ball deep in centerfield....rounding the bases

......Matthew hits a HOMERUN!!

Oops, missed that one....
Tagged out the runner.......and then in "deep thought"?

This one isn't related to me, just lives down the road though - he's one of the kids on Michaels team - Big D caught a pop fly/line drive quite by surprise.

......and this is what summer baseball is all about
Just look at the joy on Big D's face!