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Friday, April 29, 2011

Guest post...GIRLS GONE TRASHY!

HEY ALL! My absolute hero...and my first blog experience....Phelan...from A Homesteading Neophyte asked me to guest post on her new blog Girls Gone Trashy!  I was absolutely flabbergasted...when I was out on my truck wishing away for a piece of dirt to call my own...I was feverishly looking up canning articles to refresh my memory...well, one such article about canning  referred back to a "blog"...I had no idea at that time what one even was!  My first glimpse at what a blog was...was a picture...of a "person"....sitting on a goat...you will have to go look at her banner...I believe...at the time...the picture was labeled..."does this goat make my butt look big?" I was hooked...





Ever since the day I found this Neophyte? I have faithfully read anything and everything Phelan has written...

She is a self proclaimed "death metal homesteading chick"...super liberal...Mom of three boys...wife of 13 years... and homesteader for 10 years...there is no stone left unturned by Phelan...she has no fear of trying...and she also has no fear in telling you like it is...no fuzzy bunnies...no red balloons...just the facts... and one of the things that I love most about her and her blog? Her interpretations... her forthright...nitty gritty...down to Earth HONESTY...

She has...for the last 5 years...let America see EXACTLY what it is like to live the life...


Imagine my surprise when THE Neophyte showed up here and commented...and then? THEN? she asked me to post on her new blog? My eyeballs bugged outta my head! I wrote about my fencing...I think...on a homestead...fencing is the number one expense issue...especially if you have a large property...








Go check out Girls Gone Trashy and  A Homesteading Neophyte  Super fun sites with amazing homesteading ideas and anything and everything about how to do it!




Monday, April 25, 2011

Taking pallets apart...



       I hope you all had a wonderful Easter Sunday!

I have been caught up in so many things my head is still spinning! I am going to be getting together with the Homeschool Mom's I told you all about and teach them how to do a Lasagna garden on Thursday...I am so excited! We got about 7 inches of snow Saturday...so of course when it decided to be nice for Easter...my garden was flooded again! AND I had just started to put my tomato garden together ! I have decided instead of grass? I am going to grow something worthwhile on every square inch of this place!






 After scraping off last winter's chicken bedding? I have about 3 ft of beautiful black compost! It's amazing that you don't have to dig, you just throw down layers...water...throw a little compost on...BAM...instant garden!




Christie had asked about some info on how to take the pallets apart?  Well! Me and the Honey just took apart about 60 of them today......so I did some quick video's on how to do that... for the small pallet's, if you want the wood to come apart in tact, you really need to have a sawzall with a metal cutting blade...otherwise? the wood splinters as the nails have little "teeth" on them!

video

This is one of the big pallets...it is from the Jeldwen Door guy...

video
The big pallets have 2x4's, 1x4's, 1x2's and some 1x6's on them...they are the best for building...the small pallets? they make awesome compost bins, potato bins and firewood storage...all you have to do is screw them together and you have a beautiful cube...I put hinges on one pallet to make a gate into the bins..that way, I don't have to try and shovel anything out of the top...

It has been crazy here...My kitchen was in my living room...now? my living room is in my kitchen...the prep work to paint floors is a long process...It should be over and done with this week...I can't wait to show you all!


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The ultimate in recycling...repurposing and re-using!

I was over at  Granny's Place first thing this morning and she has a sale going on...

She makes purses, make up bags...shopping totes....OUT OF RECYCLED PLASTIC!

Granny's Place Plarn Bags


Now...I have heard of plarn on the net and I have been interested in the uses for it...BUT I have never...EVER...seen something as cute as these made out of it...EVERYTHING on the bag is recycled...

I detest Walmart bags...the only good use I have found for them? insulation in my chicken coop wall...(yes, I stuffed all the walls in my chicken coop with balled up Walmart shopping bags)...I had no idea what else to do with them...they seem to pile up into an enormous ball and they keep getting moved around and around...because I refuse to throw them in the garbage...we have an amazing amount of plastic waste in this world, it is one of my biggest pet peeves...

You can buy cheap totes for grocery shopping at most grocery stores now...I will not buy those either...I love the idea of a re-usable shopping bag but the quality of those totes are poor...

Granny has made something beautiful out of something incredibyly ugly....

Granny's Place Plarn Bags

Granny's Place Plarn Bags
What a beautiful addition to your summer wardrobe...I can imagine how strong and durable these totes are...and how easy they would be to wash...

I am amazed...this is the ultimate in recycling, re-purposing and re-using!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Prayers for all..

To All...


...my thoughts and prayers are with you..daily...but especially in light of the horrific weather we are all experiencing...the storms in the South..the winds in Kansas, the brittle drought in Texas...among many others...I count you all as friends and family...you share my home...my hopes, my dreams, my successes...and my failures...as well as sharing yours... with me....I am finding myself, every minute... since the dawn of this day...praying for your safety and the safety and well being of your families...

God Bless all of you...

Lisa

Saturday, April 16, 2011

More on the kitchen...and DATE NIGHT!

I have been so involved in my kitchen...it is really hard when you tear your kitchen apart...there are so many details! Well, we got down to one detail that had not dawned on me yet....we have to move the stove...

When that thought finally entered my brain...I glanced sideways at my one and only...he was was happily working on trim, humming away.....every once in awhile, thru out the day, I would find that he had wrote something on the paper that I had covered the table with...cuz he is sweet like that...little notes...little faces...well, I finally got up the nerve to mention the fact that we had to move the stove...and I turned around to tell him...he was writing something on the paper..



."Honey?"..."yes, Baby Doll?"...."We have to move the stove..."
 See the little marks thru the heart?
He said absolutely nothing...he just took his little pen...looked me dead in the eye...reached over...and scratched two marks thru the heart!  Hmmmm...I guess I know how he feels about moving the stove, I might as well have said we need to move the house! HEE HEE! It made me laugh to see his face...he made up for it after...



My stove weighs 800 pounds...and I do love it so! but to move it? takes a super human act....we decided to use a roller system and a lever to lift it up to put the rollers under it...afterall...my pea brain thought...it only has to move 3 feet...I just could not live with the carboard and duct tape that I knew was under there...I didn't get a chance to do anything with that part of the floor before my Honey and all his friends came to move it into the house for heat in October 2009...

We hoisted it up with the pipe we used as a lever, that pipe? is now bent beyond use...a 5 ft long piece of galvanized steal pipe...I did only set the stove down one time... on my Honey's finger...(that is why I decided I was working the lever this time, no way was I sticking my hand under there to install the rollers! Yes, we have been thru this before, lol!)
This is what the floor looked like underneath the stove...cardboard actually melted into the floor from the previous owner not having a heat barrier...and duct tape residue from whoever duct taped the rugs to the floor...

It took the better part of 3 hours to get it all off...in the end? we decide just to prime that part quickly and put the stove back, my life was in an uproar without my stove! I can live with the rest of the kitchen gone but the stove? I can't live without it, I was totally lost!


After sanding and scraping and sanding and scraping for two days...moving that stove...we finally got to prime the floor in the kitchen! Aaah...the last frontier...to being DONE!






While waiting for it to dry...we decided we needed a few hours out of the house...where do you go in a tiny town when the streets roll up at 4 p.m/? and you have paint all over yourself?   Well...on a date of course...to the COMPOST PILE! We elected to forego the tradition of Little Ceasars Pizza...for those of you that haven't read that post? (You can read that here) We had a tradition last summer...we would hop in the truck...grab two Little Ceasar's Pizza's and cruise the City Compost Pile...it seems that it has become our favorite place...to gather building materials and garden waste...and lot's and lot's of other things....

I was absolutely thrilled to see that the gates were open...
 There was so much stuff here already! An enormous pile of wood chips for mulch....

 An old bread box...

 with built in cutting board...


 A roll of webbing...

 Some neat old boards for some of those "new fangled" vintage signs....complete with awesome paint!

 A couple of old wire baskets...
 A huge pile of bricks....
 and some brand new plywood for my cold frames...
 An enormous pile of sticks for tomato cages and kindling...
 And in that pile of sticks? Shoe base...molding...for the bottom of my mop boards!


An antique high chair...
AND....a load of free firewood...

All in all...it was the best date of the year!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Yacking at the neighbors...








I noticed yesterday...that my neighbor to the North was doing a huge amount of work to his house...not cosmetic  repairs...but insulation, roofing, windows, doors...and being the nosy inquisitive sort that I am? I went to talk to him....I found out some amazing information...he and his wife had gotten on a list in our county for FREE weatherization....I asked him if it was a Welfare program...nope...they are far above the parameters for public assistance...they both work and make decent money...

I immediately called up one of the City Officials...and he referred me to a gentleman that could answer all my questions...

It seems that our Government...has set to work in 96% of America's counties with a program called Community Action...under The Recovery Act...this program? designates funds for home weatherization (insulation, windows, doors...energy efficient refrigerators, hot water heaters) ...fuel for heat (wood, fuel oil, propane, gas)...and Rehabilitation (roofing, siding, foundations, electrical...)


There are a lot of programs...mostly for the poor...food, heat and electrical assistance...but this weatherization? sets the income levels to apply at approximately $48,000 a year for a family of four... It is our President's effort in creating fuel efficiency...and leaning towards a greener planet...

I must admit...I am ignorant of other states...folks' income...how people live...but for here? $48,000 a year for a family of four? set's you up into the "upper middle class" category...and you would probably live in one of the nicest homes in town...

I went and talked with my other neighbors...this Agency? helped them buy their house...they have a program that will match you dollar for dollar for 12 months...every dollar you save? they will match it towards a down payment (there is a limit but that is the limit for my specific county)...

The rehabilitation of a home includes several enormous undertakings such as foundation repair, updating electrical, replacing a roof...they place a 100% deferred, 0% interest mortgage on your house... you can pay it back a little at a time or a lot, depending on what you want to do...but it is never due  unless you sell your house...

For all that are renting? this is worth a look...

I am providing the information for my county if you are interested...Community Action....it might help lead you to your own county...you can't beat free...and my Community Action representative? said that in my county, enough money was designated for every house here! it is not just for the needy...



If someone could help you buy a home...and then help you weatherize it and fix it up? it would beat renting every time! For some...this program might mean the difference between being a renter and a homeowner...or sleeping with a pan on your head to catch the rain drops...

My hope for everyone...is to be their own Dilletante Proprietor...and this economy has made a lot of proprietor's and hopeful proprietor's....homeless...I think about all the single ladies out there with kids...and men  that have lost their jobs... and I think there is still a way to live the American Dream...and I will never stop searching for it...


Saturday, April 9, 2011

Let's talk about pallets....

You see them everywhere...I used to haul everything you can imagine around on them...piled sky high behind Walmart...by every dumpster of every store in town...I...LOVE...THEM!

Pallet's have become gold to me...especially in a world where money is non existent and lumber prices are horrendously high!

I have been filling holes...cracks...mending corners, glueing...puttying, caulking...for two days...the moulding in this house has not been off the walls for about  60 years...and it cracked...and some of the corners broke...and when the drywall was removed, the moulding was the wrong length...It took forever because this stuff is irreplaceable...and I had to do it bit by bit...very carefully...




the first moulding I took off? was around the ceiling, to get those disgusting tiles off of my coveted beadboard ceilings...All of the original moulding to this house is 1x4 Jack Pine...the stuff I took off the ceiling? it is newer, probably from the 50's..when they installed the drywall...it was so brittle, it cracked and broke too and most of it was beyond saving...the trim in the living room is original, it had never been taken off, there wasn't one scrap of paint or wall paper behind it...

Except the stuff on the ceiling, it was just little thin crown moulding, well, a bit of  it is now repurposed to the top of my cupboards...I got a lot of advice on crown moulding or cove moulding being "correct" for this house's era..and it probably is...but after removing all of mine? The 1x4 moulding made the most sense to me... as to original... for THIS house...


1x4's....I really believe they are what was put in this house as trim the day it was built...

WELL!

Have you priced those lil hummer's lately? I have...We went to the lumber yard...1x4's 8ft long (knots and dog legs included in price) $8.29 a PIECE!  For my kitchen? it would cost me $84.00 and change just to line my kitchen ceiling again...that is more than 10% of the cost that I paid for my house! and that was utility grade lumber...not the nicer stuff!

This was Louis' reaction when I told him about  lumber prices...

ENTER....................PALLETS! 

Our stash... eat your heart out lumber yard!


We have been collecting them for a solid two months after our lumber "experience"...these are not the ones you see stacked sky high behind Walmart or all over town though...they are pallets from businesses like the Jeld Wen Door guy and Auto Body Shops and Window stores...they are built out of 2x4, 2x6 and...1x4's! and they are very easy to get apart...they are straight, they do have nail holes in them and they do have some knots...and imperfections...but from the picture above of the original moulding and the plank wall imperfections? they fit right in! Picking thru our pile has netted us moulding for our entire house!




Not to mention...















And...here is where the other pallets come in...

This flippin' bush has been the scourge of my existence for a year and some now...it is an enormous rose bush that grows everywhere, which wouldn't be so bad if it didn't catch and hang on to every plastic bag in the neighborhood.....I have tried to cut it out, roto-til it out, kill it off with weed killer...and it just hangs on...well...as of today? its gone...

I built my compost bins out of this kind of pallet...and plan to make a potato bin this year...both kinds have enormous value! And both kinds? ARE FREE!


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Progress...AND A WELCOME!

HELLO!

 Before I update you all on the kitchen? I want to welcome all our new folks to The Dilletante Proprietor! I never knew...in October 2009... when I decided to put this decrepit house on Rate My Space... how much support I would receive in doing this endeavor....your comments...your insights? They are crucial and inspirational to my stumble in learning how to decorate, find, use, re-use, recycle and make my home into something I love! My Ladies that have been with me from the very beginning have become my closest friends...they know that I am a tight wad... cheap...will try to do anything... I am a short, crazy haired nut that just loves to decorate by spending nothing or almost nothing....and that I am a clean freak...even though I bought the dirtiest house in America...

What you have to say and your opinions mean everything to me! afterall? what is cheaper than free advice? Hee Hee! and I have gotten loads of excellent, meaningful advice on this blog! as well as new knowledge, know how and new skills from reading all of YOUR blogs! I hear that I inspire some and I want you all to know you greatly inspire ME!



On to the kitchen! As Sandi noted in her comment...there are some new changes in the kitchen as well as the cottage plank walls (soon to come!)...and there were some questions as to why take the drywall down?  Here is a little of the damage...not terribly noticeable but it drove me nuts! It was water damage from the roof leaking and who knew what damage was sustained underneath the drywall...not to mention...I HAVE ELECTRICITY!  Real plugins...light SWITCHES....not pull cords or extension cords...or unplugging the coffee pot to plug in the microwave...THAT was the kicker to me braving that BLUE PAPERRRRR....RRR!

When we got the house, anything beyond basic electricity was not an option...terribly expensive and we would have to literally take down walls to take out the old post and tube and rewire it...when that drywall came off? I could very carefully pry two of the three layers of planks off to allow access for wire! We have collected Romex, switches, plugins, etc from curb boxes...friends...relatives...and saved them all...the additional cost to rewire my entire kitchen? $40 bucks! Since electricity scares the crap outta me, I splurged for a brand new roll of wire...



I am so glad this part is over...


I love my cupboards...they are old, sturdy....free...and fit the era of my kitchen to perfection...The small one is very tall...and the other very wide...it had another section to it (you can see that here) but it was enormous and would not allow for space under the countertop that was non existent at the time... but in the plans! I had to guess where to hang them...well, since they came off the wall to remove the dry wall and blue paper...we could again...hang them anywhere we wanted! I chose to put the smaller cupboard all the way to the ceiling this time... to allow for space between it and the countertop...

Look at that snow white ceiling!
The space between it and the ceiling with them hung the old way? was just enough to irritate you...nothing would fit up there and the things that did fit...you could only see half of...not to mention the webs and dust that had collected up there? EWWWW!

The large cabinet we hung in the exact same spot...it was perfect where it was..with one exception...the space between it and the ceiling...here was my solution...about a year ago, while perusing blogs for ideas...(I didn't even have cabinets then)...I came across a blog called The Lettered Cottage...they had taken builder grade cabinets and made them incredibly special by adding some plywood and molding...

Guess what? I have pallets! They have plywood on them!  I have moulding!  My Honey thought I had lost my mind...he couldn't see it at all...but he, being the sweetest cupboard door maker in the world? Just did it anyway...he really likes it now...

I still have to add the little moulding and paint them...but it gives the cabinet great perspective and it really matches the other one in height now!

Pssst...I have a complete wall done...

The sun that shines off the kitchen walls now is wonderful! The texture is delightful...and  the vintage look is incredible...love, love LUH HUV IT!  The planks have actually made my kitchen look bigger and taller!