Monday, February 22, 2016

Back in Time

My childhood home, just after it was built

We've lived in the Vintage House for almost a month now.  I'm slowly adjusting to a different pace of life and the quiet.  Our water comes from a well that produces three gallons an hour.  There is a septic tank that will have to be pumped and we drive our garbage to the recycling center weekly.  

All these things are stirring memories of my childhood.  I grew up on 80 wooded acres with a well, a septic tank my dad designed (it usually worked well) and my dad took the garbage with him on his way to work to dispose of.  

To keep the drains from clogging, we dealt with things differently than one would with a town infrastructure.  My mom would scrape the plates clean after meals into the scrap bucket.  This was only after we had cleaned our plates and used up the leftovers until they were gone.  The scrap bucket was emptied every night into a pile at the edge of the yard and dogs who would be fed the good scraps.  

We kids were not allowed to flush the toilet if we only went #1 and paper was put in the garbage, not the toilet to save on the septic.  Again, this was perfectly normal to me growing up.

And then I went away to college, got married and lived in neighborhoods that were hooked up to the city.  It's so much easier not to have to scrape every scrap off.  Those pieces of food easily wash down the sink.  Garbage was taken out to the bin and tidily picked up weekly.  I flushed the toilet twice, if I wanted to.  Those rustic days of living were past.

And then my husband and I moved to the Vintage House.  I am once again scraping plates clean, but into a compost bin.  I am hauling our garbage to "town" yet one thing I haven't changed.  I flush whenever I want to, including the toilet paper.  Because really, it's gross if you don't.

I am so thankful that I grew up learning how to live life more rustic.  I think it's better to start out life in less than ideal circumstances.  In a way, it made me more adaptable and knowledgeable about such things.  Of having an old shirt ready to go out and work at anytime.  Of hosing off your shoes outside before you come in from the pasture.  Of making do with the things you have instead of running into town to buy something.  

The pace is much slower here, it feels like the clocks are slow.  I get my cleaning done before 10am sometimes before 9am.  In my home in Minnesota and the apartment, it would take until noon and I don't know why.  The nights here seem endless, it takes forever for bedtime to happen.  I'm not sure why this is.  It feels like it did when I was a child, when the days would go on forever.  Odd how going backwards in modern amenities also backs up time.  

Well, it is not even close to lunch time and I'm done with my chores and now done with my blogging.  Time to go out and enjoy the day.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Braving the Basement

Deep inside this little house, lies a dark, cold place.  Those on the main floor are blissfully unaware of this "scary" part until...they need to do laundry.

Yep, it's one of those basements.  The narrow steps, concrete walls and floors, bangs from the furnace, gurgling from the water pipes.  And of course, that's where the washer and dryer are.

However, there/s something in that basement that called to me to "pretty up" right away.  At the bottom of the stairs, there's some narrow shelving along a wall that is perfect for a couponer's stockpile.  The upright freezer is down there too, so it's time to brave the basement.

Monday, February 15, 2016

The Neighborhood

The view to the west

Last weekend the owners of our rental, I'll call the the "Main Ranch," invited us for dinner to meet some neighbors.  The closest neighbors besides the owners are three miles away, the other couple (the husband came, the wife was sick) lives about 8-10 miles away, depending on the roads.  There are other neighbors around but these two neighbors live on opposite ends of the road we live on.

When I walked into the Main Ranch house, it gave our vintage house more context.  This was the main ranch house on the property, the house we rent is the second house which I think an aunt lived in.  The "Main House" had vintage built in cupboards like ours, except it was bigger and kept up nicer.  I stepped into the living room and the same vintage carpet that we have, they have there.  The curtains are similar in style, hanging with tie backs.  The rooms were comfortably functional.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Sinking Feeling

The tools of the trade

Someone commented to me after seeing the A Peek in My Drawers Post, that they wouldn't put so much into a rental.  Normally, I wouldn't either and I didn't in our previous apartment.  But after living in a home for thirteen years in which we could improve as we wanted, I look at things differently.  I'm used to affecting my environment and personalizing it with my tastes and likes.

Contact paper, hot glue and paint are fairly cheap.  They do take a little time to apply, but the joy I have on seeing the end results are worth it.  And if I can open my cupboards and drawers and feel joy instead of revulsion, so much the better.

Case in point, the space under the kitchen sink.  I've been putting this one off, because every time I looked under there, I shuddered.  Let me show you why:

Thursday, February 4, 2016

A Peek In My Drawers

Today I'm going to show you my drawers.  But first, see the dish cupboard above, with dishes that I promised to show you in the Cupboard Anthropologist post.  They look so clean and happy in their new home.

But then, I decided what we needed next, was to put utensils, towels, wraps and Ziplocks somewhere.  That's generally the domain of drawers.  I have four of them and two were easily done.  But the remaining two, were not.  

Sometime in the past, someone thought it was a good idea to glue linoleum to the bottom of the poor little drawers.  The linoleum was now peeling up away from the glue.  I had two options - try to glue the stuff back down or pull it out and see if I could clean it up and cover the glue.  I chose the latter option because frankly, the linoleum and glue smelled bad.

This is what the poor drawers looked like underneath:

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Below Zero

A few weeks ago I enjoyed 50-60 degree weather.  Sometimes I even shed my coat as I thumbed my nose toward Minnesota.  Well, winter caught up to us last night.  We got a couple inches of snow along with single digit temps this morning.  So, what is one to do?

Long underwear, chaps, vest, winter coat, winter boots, wool socks, muffler, mittens...and camera.  It was a lovely morning, even if I did miss the sunrise colors because it took so long to bundle up.

Second weekday living on the prairie.  It is very quiet around and I don't see people, just vehicles passing by, sometimes.  I'm sure glad I have a dog for company and some audio books.  Maybe tomorrow I'll go out and see some people.