A Week in the Life

Yep, it's January now and I don't feel any different. Do you? While we had a nice little New Years Eve dinner, ultimately the husband went to bed early since he had to leave on his bike to work by 5:30am. I promised I'd wake him at midnight for a kiss then promptly forgot as I went down the rabbit hole of genealogy, exploring another branch on my mother's side which led to some pretty interesting discoveries back in the 1600's. But hey, 2020 is now in the books and here's hoping that this time next year we'll have way, way more to celebrate, right?

Here's some highlights from our neck of the woods along the Oregon Coast...

Gratitude comes in the little things, and for us it's been having a barn. Do we have 'barn animals'? Nope (well, except for the front stall which is used The Week Before Processing of meat chickens). But boy does it work beautifully as a shop. Late in 2019, I used a bunch of repurposed wood to DIY a workbench at one end, and last year I called in our electrician to add lighting above it (using an old non-returnable light fixture that we'd decided not to use in the remodel, which worked out perfectly) and bam! A big open COVERED space to work on projects in the winter! Is it insulated or heated at all? Nope? But is it dry! Oh heck yeah! This week I went onto my Project List and realized that we had enough bits and pieces of wood to build not one but two lettuce beds, something I'd been wanting for a while now, as not only do I want easier access to greens (i.e., not having to walk all the way out to the garden for something we eat nearly every single day), but I've been wanting to use one of our huge raised beds in the garden for more dry beans. So I did some Pinterest searching for various designs and decided on this one for inspiration, but of course without spending a dime :) While we didn't have any 4x4 posts, we did have an ancient beam that had been cut into 3' pieces and sitting in the barn for a couple years now, so I had husband (with the steadier hand, since we don't have a table saw...yet) rip it lengthwise to use as legs for the first one, and then used a bunch of scrap 5/4 trim (perfect since it was leftover from the house siding!) for the sides. For the second one, we had a bunch of 2x4's leftover from our contractor as well, so let's just say this one is much heavier than the first. I was literally one side piece short, so just used another scrap 5/4 piece which is why it looks a bit uneven, but honestly? It's a lettuce bed, not a fine furniture piece, and the main priority is that it doesn't fall apart. Used deck screws rather than fancy bolts described in the original design, repurposed some scrap 1/4" hardware cloth, and grabbed some leftover paint in the garage, and voila!

Inside the house, I've been working on our Hall of Dogs! Last summer we finally painted the hallway white (when we moved in, the entire house interior was a horrible shade of 'ecru' to put it kindly...basically looked like cigarette smoke-stained walls IMHO...) which helped so much as it is pretty narrow. Then we cleaned up an old door of ourse and added it to the entry to our laundry room as a barn door which was really helpful in not only visually blocking off the room, but also in keeping out the chill from our hybrid (heat pump) water heater in the winter. This week, I worked on adding photos of dogs past, including pictures of our recently departed Lucky to the photos of our sweet Ruby who passed in 2017 and my sweet girl Daisy who died in 2012 after 9 lovely years together. All shelter dogs, all beloved pets. Yeah, I'm thinking about who will join us next, but we promised we'd take an international trip before we get our next dog (hurry up, vaccine!!!)...

And on the eatin' side, I made some pretty darn good enchiladas with slow roasted pork belly tossed with leftover peas, carrots and corn from the week prior, and topped with a creamy avocado lime dressing and slivered onions from this year's harvest. I'd also forgotten to get out the Christmas crackers last week and so we opened a couple of them, this time ones I found in an Etsy shop that are not only Northwest-made, but donates a portion of the proceeds to the Orca Conservancy. Yeah, the hats on these ones were a bit big even for our huge brains, but it was still a groovy New Year's Eve particularly with B's House playing on our local Coast Radio, which made for some great dinnertime soul and some particularly bad dancing on my honey's part. :)

And last but not least? Home-cured Canadian bacon from one of our pork loins in the freezer. He cured it, I smoked it, we be eatin' it! I think I might like it better than our home-cured bacon, y'all...


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