Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Painting and Pumpkins and Other Things That Don't Start with "P" - or, the Week in Review

This was supposed to be a weekend in review, but I was so busy, I didn't have time to post! That seems to be the story of my life, lately...and yet these nice publishers still keep sending me books to review. I'll get to those, I promise, but first things first:

The walls of my kitchen are off-white. Actually, all the walls in my house are off-white. I like neutral colors in general, but I also like dark colors for certain things - the living room carpet, for example. My clothes. Things that are likely to be dirty at any given time, but which I would like to project the illusion of being clean.
Things show up on light-colored walls. Handprints. Muddy-dog-tail-swishes. Food spatters from the stove or the slow cooker. Footprints. Footprints??? I'm not even asking. 
A short time ago, I was scrubbing the walls in the kitchen for the 8,942nd time since....Tuesday, and I had a thought (it happens.) Know what's easier than cleaning a wall? Painting the whole darn thing! And not all off-white, thank-you very much. I brought home some paint chips, and M. helped me pick a nice chocolate brown for the walls that get dirtiest. The other walls need freshening, and I've never been able to color match this particular sickly yellow-beige, so we got paint for them, too. Of course, if I'm painting the walls, I really should do the ceiling and cover the old leak stains:

And, as long as I'm doing the kitchen, it only makes sense to do the entryway too, right? (Isn't it amazing how quickly one little project snowballs?)

Of course, painting the kitchen means emptying out the kitchen first. I had Friday off, so I boxed up odds and ends, fixed a few things here and there, filled in some nail holes, and then sat looking at all the pumpkin, apple, and peach varieties I canned last year, and which will have to go back up again when I'm done.

Unless we spend the rest of the weekend baking!

Pumpkin first (because they ended up on top.) S. helped me make these pumpkin biscuits. I figured they would make a good on-the-go breakfast food, and should freeze well too, so I doubled the recipe.

See, she does wear clothes at home sometimes!

S. was a big help, counting teaspoons and tablespoons, dumping the cups of flour in as I measured them out, etc. She even made herself a special biscuit with the last of the scraps:

Boy, did they smell good baking! Daddy came home for lunch just as they came out of the oven, so we split a bunch open, slathered on butter and honey, and sat down to dig in.

They were terrible. S. took a bite and then sat there with her mouth open before letting it fall back out onto her plate. We didn't scold her, because by that time we were both reaching for our drinks. All you could taste was baking soda . SO disappointing! 

I can't blame the recipe, though - looking back, I think between doubling it and having 'assistance', I probably put in way too much. Sigh. I gave the rest of this batch to the dogs and chickens, and even they weren't thrilled - Emily, the golden retriever, just walked around with hers in her mouth, looking guilty, like I was punishing her for something. I may try the same recipe again when we have recovered.

After Daddy left, we moved on to these Pumpkin Streusel Muffins. S. thought we should alter the recipe slightly, and added more fiber while I went for the eggs.


I got lazy and didn't do the streusel topping. I also decided to just plop the cream cheese bits on top and give them half a stir.

Yum! The day has been redeemed! If I make these again, I think I will do them the exact same way, but mix some powdered sugar in with the cream cheese first.
By then it was nap time (just for S. and L., unfortunately), and I really am dying to get this kitchen done, so I thought, hey, why not start now?
World's. Shortest. Naps. Oh, THAT'S why.
The kids were actually very helpful while I tackled the ceiling. S. stationed herself on a chair in the middle of the kitchen and pointed out every single drip that dripped, ordering me to clean it up at once, and L. then crawled through each drip, smearing it across the floor with his knees. I was going to get a picture of his legs, but then he crawled across the carpet I had just steam cleaned, and which was still wet. See? Helpful all the way around.

Of course, even with help, the job can't be simple. Our ceilings are textured. I HATE painting textured ceilings. Especially when, instead of the paint going on, the texture comes off:

Oh, goody.
Enough for one day. I cleaned up in time for us to go to my mil's for dinner, which was especially great since my kitchen is now mostly in boxes in other rooms.

Saturday I worked, getting ready for the Summer Reading Program. Sunday we were all home, so we herded everyone outside and attacked the garage. After living here for three years, Daddy just about has a shop he can work in, and I can sort-of-see most of the things I have in storage. It helped that I decided to sell half of what is actually in storage (anybody want to buy a 14 foot table???) Fortunately, we got everything back into the garage before the clouds moved in. We had a little bit of weather in the evening:

Yay for Daddy, who played a quick round of automobile rodeo with our cars AND the fire truck that is parked here, getting everything to a relatively sheltered spot. Our garden actually survived this and another hailstorm the next day - some of our neighbors up here weren't so lucky:(

Monday and Tuesday were my last chances to take a full day off until August...and then we got the schedule for city budget meetings. Sigh. Monday at least was still clear, so I shipped the kids off to Grandma's, and started moving furniture and appliances.

This buffet was built to fit, and I mean to FIT. There was less than half an inch of a gap between the left side and the wall - and, of course, I wanted the gap to be on the other side, anyway, so I could run an extension cord down the side to the nearby outlet. It took a lot of wiggling back and forth, with M. helping me get it out, and Daddy helping me get it back in after I painted, but I now have that half inch where I want it. Who, me? Picky?

Totally worth it, though:

Happy sigh. I finished it all, stepped back, and thought...

I'm hungry. I need something...chocolate.
Daddy walked in right then, surveyed the wall, and announced, "I need coffee."

Oops. This may not have been the best color to have to walk past several times a day.

But doesn't it look nice?

See the latch on the cabinet? If you need help with that, S. can open it for you.

No, I am not showing you a before picture of the greasy wall. And I am ESPECIALLY not showing you pictures of what I found when I moved the washer, dryer, and refrigerator in the entry way. Why not? Go move your washer and look at the floor underneath. I'll wait.

'Nuff said?

I did have a few moments of, "Oh, so THAT's where that went!", along with some, "Huh - I didn't know this was open from the top", but mostly there was a whole lot of "Ew! EWWWW!!! Yuck!!! Somebody get me a rag! And some Lysol! And a stun gun!!!"

I had to buy more Lysol today.

And chocolate. Lots of chocolate.

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