Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Thrift Share: The Couch

I never showed y'all the couch I found in a Northern IN Salvation Army for the KY house. It is beautiful (however, it is also dirty and I haven't had time to clean it up yet). It looks prefect in the house.

And, I suppose I kind of thrifted the KY house really since it had been abandoned by an investment company (I believe the house was being used as a boarding house) and I bought it for less than a used mid-economy car! (Really, this is kind of sad.) The fireplace was one of the original 1900 feature left untouched. All those weeks of driving by the house (while in contract) was to make sure it was still there.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Wall Art Paper

OK, the majority are way out of my current price range, but I am completely in love with so many of the wallpaper designs on The Wallpaper Collective. I'm sure everyone else has known about them for years, but I stumbled upon the animal silhouettes with skeletons on Pinterest tonight and had to take a gander. I can see a wall in a bedroom covered in this gorgeous wallpaper (sadly, not for $198/roll at the moment).

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sweet Spicy Zucchini Relish

I haven't really posted for Independence Days Challenge in weeks (maybe months), but I did finally get around to canning something. The Something would be the plethora of zucchini my garden is producing. I have made zucchini relish in the past and we use quite a bit of it: condiment, potato salad flavoring, on sandwiches and in deviled eggs. This one, though, is a new (to me) recipe. This chutney starts out sweet and gradually gets a bit spicy.


10 cups of shredded zucchini (I used three or four big ones-the ones that get huge before you realize they are lurking beneath the leaves.)

2-3 bell peppers, shredded (I used one red and the rest green, basically whatever I could glean from the garden)

1-2 shredded hot peppers (or more if you like it really spicy-I think I actually added 4)

2 onions, shredded

(I used my food processor and just shredded it all at once. Love, love, love my food processor!)

Place shredded veggies in a large bowl and add:

5 Tablespoons of salt

Mix up and leave overnight (around 12-24 hours; I like to hurry a recipe.)


The next day (or at least 12 hours later), place veggie mixture in colander and rinse well. Let it drain.

Place mixture in large pan.


3.5 cups of vinegar
3.5 cups of sugar (oh, this amount can be adjusted somewhat if you prefer less sugar)

Adjustable ingredients:

1 teas celery seed
1 teas turmeric
2 teas garden seasoning (or additional spices of your choice)
1 teas of coarse black pepper
1-2 teas of ground mustard

Heat to boiling and simmer for 30 minutes. Prepare canning jars (sterilize) and rings.(There are lots of books and online instructions out there for canning and I highly recommend learning to do it!)
Place relish in jars to 1/4 inch head space and boiling water can for 10 minutes.

Here is where I admit why I hardly ever post recipes. I am too much of a cooking rebel!
So, if my instructions are too hard to follow, try this recipe and just add the shredded hot peppers!

Thrift Share: Another Crow Flies Week

Most of my thrifting this week entailed necessities for the La Casa de Louisville. For example, I bought a dented refrigerator for a great price and a perfect white range at the Habitat Restore. While at the Restore, I could not resist bringing home a giant, framed reproduction of Franz Marc's Little Yellow Horses for $10. The painting and the large, oak frame are just lovely. Unfortunately, I forgot to snap a photo, but I will leave you with a photograph of the original in a German gallery. It was painted in 1912 which makes it a perfect burst of color for the little 1900 Shotgun cottage.*

*Pictures coming soon!

Linking up to Her Library Adventures (check out Sophie's fabulous blog!)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Thrift Share: Bird's the Word

Lovely Pea hen, this is one of those unfinished ceramic craft items. I plan to spray her a color at some point as soon as I decide which one.

Gorgeous swan planter...this one was painted by someone and she turned out beautifully!

OK, so not exactly a bird, but ceramic and wonderful, this gargoyle will have a home in the new house as soon as the trim on the doors is up and ready!

Hoping Her Library Adventures has 100+ flea market find link ups this week!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Lucky Day House

Well, after almost two months, I finally have a home in KY! I was able to take possession on Friday and the neighbors left me a house warming present...

Really? They couldn't just bake me a cake?

Apparently, the neighbor (a renter) moved out and threw away their things. For some unknown reason, they wheeled their garbage cans in front of my house. Then, along came looters (which I am for considering the shit was headed for the landfill) who quickly spread it all over my front yard and their yard.

I called the owner of the house (an investment company) and got their maintenance man. This is definitely a maintenance issue. He said he would call the owner and call me back. This was the night before closing day.

Guess what? Yep, no return call came to me. So, after dealing with the paperwork, I drove to the investment company's office. The two ladies there were polite and said they would contact the owner. I said, "If you could just have it cleaned up by today...it's starting to stink." (The contents included a bag of refrigerated food.) She said she would have the owner call me.

Guess what? Yep, no call came from the owner. So, around 4:30 I called the company back. This time the woman was not polite. She said the owner had been at the house earlier and said it was my problem now.

BAM! I was pissed. This "owner" does not have to live in this neighborhood and see this mess his tenant left. People cannot use the sidewalk and the stuff is maggoty and stinky. I called the city to ask what to do. They told me to file a police report and to  report a grievance. I have to take one for the team. I think I am going to be taking one for the team a lot.

So, the police came out and filed a report. The officers were sweet, but I could see the "What do you expect" look in their eyes. Welcome to the ghetto.

I called metro back and asked what to do with the shit. The woman told me. "Well, it is on your property so you will have to clean it up." I told her I felt like buying a shovel and leaving it on their front porch. She warned me not to do that since I don't know the neighbor. And then, she said it: "This is what you should expect in that area..."

I bought a shovel and I cleaned it up. A neighbor walked by and said, "If I were you, I'd through it right back where it came from!" I replied, "You have no idea how tempting that sounds to me."

I didn't. I put it back in the garbage cans and wheeled them back to the house where they belong. The funny thing is, this "owner" doesn't live here. The problem is not in this neighborhood. This investor is simply a bully and a slumlord.

I have never been one that could easily be bullied. I plan to file that grievance.

Here is my mansion all clean and happy (for now and note the plywood front door is gone!):

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Thrift Share: Holiday week

One of my plans for the KY house is to have wall space dedicated to my collection of Kentucky state plates. I used to collect tons of these, but, in the past few years, I have concentrated only on states I have lived in or weird tourist attractions. In even fewer years, my collection seems to be limited to only KY or the weirdest of the weird.

I've mentioned before my love of Mexican folk art. I found this lovely bowl for 50c at an Indiana thrift.
A small collection of knick knacks pick up at a GW 50% trip I made with my mom while home this week (scale, milk glass tea cups, and an Avon candy dish).
I found two of these milk glass Irish coffee cups at the same GW where I discovered the previous junk. We then drove to another one and I scored 4 more!

This is probably my favorite find. I think I put it back three times before the hoarder in me said, "WTH..."

They have never been used and the dogwood pattern is absolutely gorgeous!

There is tons more to share (the 4th sales were great!), but I am...A) Out of time for the week and must head back to Louisville, B) Actually put some of it away and C) I need something to blog about in the next few weeks because money is going to be tight. And, why on C? FINALLY, progress has been made on the KY house closure! It looks like I will be the owner by the end of the week!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

New Approach to Goals

I came up with a better list of goals. I guess I am the type that needs specifics. I have a list of 50 items to be done by December 2013. Now I can't wait to get started!

1.        Lose 25 pounds

2.        Take a yoga class

3.        Hike 3 state or federal parks

4.        Create paper mache art (TBA)

5.        Vegetarian 3x a week

6.        Work out 3x a week

7.        Finish painting farm house

8.        Finish fence repair (rental)

9.        Read 1 already owned book per month/blog about it

10.     Purge barn, garage and basement

11.     Revamp/reinstate Etsy shop

12.     Sell 1 item on EBay

13.     Have a yard sale

14.     Finish camper

15.     Can garden produce

16.     Shop farmers market at least once per month

17.     Use food storage before adding new stuff

18.     Volunteer (TBD)

19.     Send an actual letter 2 times a year

20.     Tune up vehicles

21.     Take an online class

22.     Purge old clothes no longer worn

23.     Rebuild storm damaged chicken coop

24.     File paperwork (personal or work) once weekly

25.     Have a party (TBD)

26.     Build a bookshelf

27.     Go through CDs and put on computer and purge 1 hit wonders

28.     Photograph more/improve skills

29.     Organize offices (work and personal)

30.     Pay off three debts

31.     Try a new Louisville or IN local restaurant every other month

32.     Save emergency fund

33.     Try 10 recipes out of thrifted cookbooks/blog about it

34.     Meetup 5X annually (either Permaculture group, neighbor renewal group if I end up in house, or TBD)

35.     Brew my own beer

36.     Rent a space at a community garden

37.     Try belly dancing CD (thrifted some time ago)

38.     Take a trip somewhere new for non-work related reason

39.     Finish front yard garden beds

40.     Plant a tree

41.     Get moved in Louisville

42.     Bake pretzel bread

43.     Paint dresser/chest of drawers (apt)

44.     Sew a pillow or a quilt

45.     Dress up 1X per month

46.     Go to dentist

47.     Finish flooring in farm house

48.     Paint window trim (rental)

49.     Listen to records more

50.     Write something (poem, novel, more blog posts, etc.)

Monday, July 2, 2012

The Mystery of Disappearing Goals

Remember this post? No? Please don't feel bad...I really don't either.

I was positive this was my year for sticking through to the end of a year with my goal list. I had such aspirations! Now here we are, a year half over and a goal list barely scratched (or remembered).

Here was my planned goals for '12:

Learn: This can be accomplished in many different ways: read, take a class, participate
Complete: Borrowing this one from Fullfreezer because I, too, have a million and one uncompleted projects
Move: Exercise, dance, hike. I need to lose weight. I need to refind my energy.
Sustain: The planet, my children, my job, my health, my life, myself
Plan: Plan for the future, plan for change, plan on doing things in ways that allow me to achieve a better quality of life and living...
Nourish: Also borrowed from Fullfreezer (used to be "Eat")-I like the idea of nourishment for the body vs. food. It also extends to mind and soul.
Create: Craft, relationships, ideas, gardens, etc.
Grow: gardens, food, children, myself
Observe: photograph, visit new places, watch for birds, see the changing seasons, etc.
Budget: mostly money, but other things can be placed here as well.
Play: Do something fun. Play soccer with my boys, go have a beer now and then, go to a concert.
Love: I really need improvement here. I need to allow myself to love unconditionally, let old grudges go, forgive, love myself.
I can't say I have learned much...unless you count trying to buy a foreclosure house for cash. I've learned a lot about frustration. I started out going to Permaculture classes and haven't had a chance to go back.

Sigh. I have really failed, pretty much. I started out great: I lost weight and was working out regularly, but here I am 6 months later, 10 pounds heavier than before I lost the weight (no bueno). And I certainly don't feel more energetic. I have, however, stuck with getting my B-12 injections each month (something I was horrible at last year).

I have not completed any projects. In fact, if anything, the pile of projects have grown. I really need to work on my habit of procrastination when I am not truly loving a project.

I have half-assed planned some things, such as housing in Louisville, a new garden area, and some work related items.

As far as nourishing my body, mind or soul...nope, I've gained weight, been sullen and drab over the past couple of months, and my soul just feels heavy. Definitely need to bring in "plan" here to help me out.

I have lots of ideas, but have not managed one creative project. Again, plan can step in anytime and help me out with these other goals.

I did manage to plant a couple of gardens and, so far, with a little watering help the garden is green and growing. In fact, many of the plants are the largest I've ever seen (Alaska sized even!)

I visited a couple of new places early in the year, but (again) it seems to have fallen to the side of business. I really need to pick this one back up. I need to observe better, photograph more than just the thrift items I drag home.

I did manage to budget in a savings for the KY house. Now if only the bank would let me close before I go homeless. Staying at a motel, waiting will surely not help the budget.

I should just put a big, ol' hatch mark through play. I've done none of these things and so many great artists have come or are coming to Louisville this summer (Brandi Carlile, Rufus Wainwright, Nikko Case, Death Cab for Cutie, The Walkmen, The Features...oh, just go to Forecastle website for more!) How many have I gone to? One. Jessica Lea Mayfield is the only concert I have attended. I also have not played with my boys (that much). I even skipped Waterfront Wednesdays which feature great acts for free (making it budget friendly).

This one is actually my biggest challenge and I have been constant in my failure on this goal. I guess I can say I have been working out again (just started again last week) and maybe that is a start to loving myself a bit more. I also am trying to be less of a B to the man people in my life. It's a start even if kind of late in the year, I guess.

I think I am going to try one of those 101 in 1001 lists. Maybe I just need a longer time span.

Thrift Share: A Little Late

A bit behind this week. I forgot my camera in KY this weekend. The following are awful photographs, but you'll get the thrift point!

Cute vintage shoes in my size, a MIJ teapot, a tin (the only ones I really pick up), and a floral candle holder.

A bad closeup of the cute tea pot

Most interesting find of last week; A vintage maxi dress made by Robert David Morton (I had to Google it). Unfortunately, it is too small for me, but if I ever get Etsy's Flea Circus Star back up and running, I'll throw it on there.

Last, my favorite find: A vintage rocking chair. I love the shap of the back. It will need repainted or refinished, but it was cheap and will look good in the maybe house.