Monday, November 30, 2015

The Living Room

This is the living room in all its glorious 1972 red carpet splendor.
Back in 1972, I'm sure this was all the rage-
not so in 2015.
My husband and I were pretty sure that there was 100 year old hardwood under all that red.
Question was, what kind of shape was it in?
So we began pulling it up.
This is the padding underneath-
a good sign as it appeared that the carpet was installed using tack strips and not glue.
Gorgeous 100 year old hardwood floor.
There were a few worn areas, 
but we plan to sand and refinish all the hardwood in the future.
For now, it's usable- once the tack strips and staples are removed.
I jumped on removing all those tack strips right away.
I'm notorious for stepping on nails
(I even once spent time in he hospital because of stepping on one)
and I had already stepped on a tack.
So I broke out the trusty hammer and putty knife and got to work.
I also had my trusty helpers.
The Brat Child helped me for about 10 minutes then asked for a 15 minute break-
he never came back.
Chunk the kitten was more interested,
but a lot less help so he eventually was banished.
It only took a day to get everything removed.
We're moving onto the dining room
and eventually the kitchen 
and then we'll give everything a good scrub down with some Murphy's Oil Soap.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Simply Clean

First, let me say that I'm not getting any money from Simple Green to promote their product.  That isn't to say that I'd decline if they wanted to give me a few bucks for telling people how wonderful I think their product is.  And second, I'm in no way criticizing anyone's cleaning abilities.  Our landlady was 91 when she passed and was unable to climb up on her counter top to clean kitchen cabinets.  Heck, I need to watch climbing around, not to mention how sore my arms are.

So, the kitchen was in need of a major scrub down. The plan is to paint the cabinets in the future, so I really needed to scrub them clean so I won't have to do much sanding in the future.   The regular cleaners weren't working very well on the grease buildup, so I went and got some Simple Green.  I wasn't sure if it would be strong enough either as it is considered non-hazardous and environmentally safer than other products.  I typically equate that to not being strong enough. 

I filled an empty spray bottle with undiluted Simple Green, sprayed the areas, let it sit for a minute then scrubbed away.  It did the trick.  And it did the trick without the need to use a respirator or chemical gloves, and it smells pretty good. 
So if you have a tough cleaning job, or any cleaning job, I'd recommend Simple Green.  It works and it's environmentally friendly.  Win-win.

There have been a lot of other things going on, and I promise I'll share the progress in due time. 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

What's In a Name

Bannister that is original to the house- LOVE IT!
A month ago, I talked a little about some of the obvious changes going on with this blog (you can read that post here).  One of the biggest changes was to go from The WannaBe Farm to The Historical Homegirl.  I imagine for the handful of people who read/follow this blog, that posed the biggest question.  Why in the world would someone change the name and all links to an already established blog??  First, I was noticing that there were an awful lot of people using the name "Wannabe Farm".  It was no longer a unique name, but one that could become easily confused.  And second, I decided I didn't want to start a separate blog to write about the upcoming renovations on my soon-to-be new-to-me house.  My option was to use the existing blog for everything and come up with a catchier name.
It wasn't easy to come up with a new name.  You'd be amazed at how many cool blog names are already taken.  I finally settled on The Historical Homegirl (The Historic Homegirl was taken, but that wasn't a bad thing).  There is a distinct difference between the definition of the word historic and history and that came into play.  Historic is an adjective that refers to something important or influential from the past (i.e. The Battle of Gettysburg was an historic event.) while the word historical is an adjective that refers to something from the past that may or may not be important (i.e. historical romance, historical replicas, etc).  While the soon-to-be new-to-me home is old, it is merely historical not historic as it isn't part of any important or influential part of history (at least nothing I know about yet.  One never knows where George Washington might have used the outhouse).
It wasn't just the house that lead to the name.  I'm also big on canning, and that is a process that is from the past, as is the idea of homesteading.  And by that I mean that homesteading and producing and preserving your own food was a common thing back in the day, it was a necessity, and during WWII, it was encouraged by the government. Now it seems that preserving your own food is growing in favor again because of increase in food costs and all the GMO food concerns.  Historical seemed like the perfect name.  And homegirl, well I was a girl who was going to be talking about her home and it also fit in that homegirl means a woman from your hometown or neighborhood, or a woman who is your close friend.  That's me: your good buddy here on blogger.
So stay tuned! There will be some of the same blather about chickens and gardens and canning, plus renovations, historical information, and whatever whatnot I decide to throw your way.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Giant Eggs and Clipped Wings

I had a busy evening last night.  I've been having a chicken dilemma recently.  We set up a temporary run area to keep the girls contained and hopefully safer from predators.  Problem was, they were all flying out of the run.  So I opted to clip their wings.
You'll have to imagine my husbands face when I told him that's what we would be doing tonight.  He was slightly concerned that clipping wings was more involved than it actually was.  I wasn't able to get any photos of the task because it takes two people to complete the job.  My husband held the hen while I pulled out her wings one at a time and clipped her primary flight feathers.  Don't worry, it doesn't hurt, they don't bleed and the feather will eventually grow back.  I'm hoping this fixes the flying the coop/run problem and they stay where I want them.  This is especially important because there was a hawk flying around the neighbor's field.  Apparently the girls were smart enough to know to stick close when they heard the unmistakable screeching.  So the girls are grounded and the coop has been cleaned and prepared for colder weather.  We also grabbed a dozen eggs and found two extra extra large eggs.  I'm certain they will be double yolkers.  The egg carton was actually for extra large eggs, but these were too big for the carton!  Love my Jersey Giant hen!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Big News

So, the BIG news I've mentioned can finally be shared. My husband and I are getting a house.  And it isn't just any house, it's the place we've been living in (in the upstairs apartment) for a few years.  The house belonged to Miss Bertha, our landlady, who we came to know and love like family.  Sadly, Miss Bertha passed away this July at the age of 91.  My husband and I worked to come up with a way to purchase the house and turn it back into a single family home.  Without going into all the personal details, we've managed to do that.  A settlement date has been set up.
The house was built in the early 1900's (I'm anxious to be able to find the actual history on the home) and needs a lot (I mean A LOT) of updates not to mention the work to turn it back into a single family home from a multi-family home.  Despite the enormous amount of work, hard work, needed to get things in shape, I can't be more excited.  We're chomping at the bit to rip up old carpet and reveal original hardwood floors, and my husband can't wait to take down the wall separating the upstairs from the downstairs.  And of course, it will all be blogged about here.

This is a photo of my husband and I and Miss Bertha at our wedding.  It's one of our favorite photos from the day, and we were both pleased she was able to share our big day with us.  She had a great laugh and was always laughing and smiling.  She always baked us zucchini bread for our birthdays and had a special treat ready for my son on special occasions.  She told people my husband and I were her "adopted" son and daughter.  Staying in the house was more than just getting a house, it was being able to take care of Miss Bertha's House.  We recently learned that she wanted us to be the ones to get it after she passed.  I hope we do her proud!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Now THAT'S a Carrot!

I went out to the garden to grab a couple of carrots for a salad I was making
I grabbed what I thought was a bunch of carrot tops and pulled
and out popped this monster.
After making sure that it didn't taste weird (it didn't)
I used about a third in my salad and chopped the rest up for horse treats.
I promise I grew this with nothing but horse poop-
no nuclear radiation involved.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Sign of the Times

The Hubby went to get a bag of chicken feed 
and Purina was giving away tin signs with a purchase.
So he picked this one for me.
He thought it was going on the coop.
It's going in the kitchen.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Then There Were Six

 Sadly, we had another chicken fatality last week.  Poor Pansy the blue laced Barnevelder succumbed to the fox.  There was some confusion as to who exactly became fox food.  I was concerned it was one of the two left that I had raised this spring.  Luckily, those two survived (which is a minor miracle as those two tend to be the most adventurous of the bunch).
While I'm disappointed I lost Pansy, she was not very friendly and was quite difficult to catch. Not to mention her skittish nature, which is how she earned her name (because she was a pansy not because of anything related to the flower). 
Just means there will be one more chick in the brooder in 2016.

And in other news, I'm slightly closer to being able to share The Big News.  I'm hoping to be able to share with everyone all the new developments by the end of the week- if things go the way I want them to.  I have no patience and keeping this news to myself is killing me!