Wednesday, September 30, 2015


I've been sick, and only recently finished painting the base of the new used coffee table. For paint, I mixed some old paint samples together, guessing that the color would come out lavender. It did, but it was too bright for the mudhole colors in the living room. I experimented with wiping some black acrylic over it, but it was too difficult to apply evenly. So I mixed a little of the black paint in with the lavender for a second coat. and that came out much better, although still slightly too bright. It relates to the colors in the rug and the quilt now. I have about enough paint left for an even more toned-down third coat, when I get to it.

I also made progress on the skirt that I am handsewing; I finished the side seams. I am using crochet thread in a backstitch, which goes more quickly than one might expect.

Next month's big project will be raking leaves. I have been getting an early start because I'll be doing most of it, while carrying a baby. I can rake one-handed for short periods, and then lift the leaves into the bin with my trusty scoop shovel (grain scoop). I'm glad I started lifting weights a little again.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Seed money

I made it to the thrift store, knowing that I don't really need anything at the moment except for more books. I spend a lot of time reading in the newborn weeks, and am well on the way to having read ten thousand pages this time around.

I found three paperbacks: one spiritual, one practical, and one classic literature. With a 40 percent off sale, it was 93 cents for the three, and the practical book is likely to save me many, many times that amount.

With cash flow being tight recently, I decided not to renew our only magazine subscription (Backwoods Home). But there, too, over the course of a year's subscription I am likely to find information and ideas that are worth far more than the subscription price to me. (If only learning about things enough to know that I don't want to try them.) So I am reconsidering it.

The spiritual book was also worth far more than its price--it has gotten me thinking about goals and dreams and vocation again. At one time, we had a fairly definite plan that we were working through, but circumstances changed and God led us in a different direction.  

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

A few things

I fixed a honeycomb shade that wouldn't raise. The hardest part was in figuring out how to take it down off its bracket, but I eventually found the installation instructions, which told me the magic secret direction to pull. After that, I just had to get a string wound back onto its spool, instead of around the shaft. As a bonus, I also learned how to clean them.

I fixed the toilet chain (inside the tank). The broken chain links were there, but there was not a lot of space to work, and I have large hands, so I used a paper clip.

The fridge has not been working well lately. We have identified several reasons:  1. Children not closing the freezer door all the way (it pulls forward like a drawer). 2. The gasket for the freezer door was falling off, on the bottom edge where it is hard to see. 3. Insufficient air flow. from dust in the coils and the air outlet, and because the fridge is crammed into an enclosed space without the recommended clearances. One night I finally managed to wrestle it forward enough to vacuum the air outlet on the back, and I didn't push it all the way back, but left it sticking out a few inches to help it shed heat. I vacuumed the coils again, but there is a lot of caked-on dust far back in that the vacuum can't budge. The fridge is still freezing some things in the refrigerator compartment. I am bracing myself for a high electric bill.

For another late-night project, we caulked the bathtub.

I've been slowly working on sewing a skirt, from rummage sale fabric. I have the pieces cut out and edge stitched, and I am sewing the seams now by hand, with crochet cotton, doubled. It is easy to pick up and put down, as I have the time.

At the state fair, I bought a leather barrette: a strip of leather with two holes in it, and a stick that passes through the holes. Not hard to make one yourself, but it had a nice design, and I am not that good at tooling leather yet. I did modify the stick by cutting it shorter and whittling a blunter point on it, so I don't poke the baby when I turn my head.