Welcome to Legal Tender Farm

Welcome to Legal Tender Farm

Thursday, July 12, 2018

The Case of the Missing Peaches

I was gone for 24 hours.  Twenty-four hours, y'all.  One. single. overnight. trip.  My plan was to pick the rest of those peaches when I got back because they just need a day or two more to ripen.

This morning, I got my pickin' sacks, took the golf cart (because I have to stand on the back of it to reach the higher limbs) and went out to our little orchard.  This is what I saw.

No, this can't be.  Maybe my contacts are a little fuzzy **takes off sunglasses to see better**.

 Get closer.  Peer up into the branches.  Do you see any peaches?  No peaches.  No peaches anywhere.  What?

So, I'm thinking, thinking, incredulous, but thinking...Did the birds eat all the peaches?  Did the squirrels come pick them and eat them all in one night?  We had a rainstorm last night, the wind wasn't bad, but is it possible that they could have been blown off?  **starts looking at the ground**

Peach pit here, peach pit there.  Seriously?  Those stupid squirrels!

But...wait, what's this?  What are those footprints?  They could be mine, made from the heel of my shoe.  But, the last time I was out there, it was dry and hard and I walk so softly that Husband never hears me coming and I scare him out of his shoes.

Man, that looks like donkey hoof prints.  But, it can't be.

The donkeys are grazing serenely and innocently in their pastures.  See?  It must be deer.  They don't look like deer prints, but there is no other explanation.  The donkeys can't jump the fence.  The deer can.  But, why didn't Harry Dog and Ginger Girl chase them off like they usually do?

So, I walk around having a look at the two other peach trees, which have not a single peach on them either.  Then, what's this?

Now, THIS, this is donkey poop for sure.

**lighbulb goes off in head**

While I was gone, Husband mowed the pasture behind the pond.  To mow the pasture behind the pond, he must open the gate to said pond pasture, drive the tractor through said gate, get out of the tractor and CLOSE said gate so that the donkeys and goats don't go out of said gate.  The only problem is, for some inexplicable reason, after living here for ten years and leaving gates open countless times and having to try, unsuccessfully, to herd the goats and donkeys back into the pasture, and having to call ME to come round them up...Husband STILL leaves gates open.  So, I look over to the gate.  Sure enough.  Gate wide open.

Yeah, now it's closed.

So, either yesterday while Husband was mowing, or last night while we were sleeping, the donkeys came out of the pasture, ate every single delicious peach on every tree

 (except for ONE small, hard, unripe one).  I have no idea how they reached the highest ones that were at least 10 feet off the ground, unless they stood on their hind feet to reach them.

Then, they started in on the plum tree.  But, either they deemed the plums not ripe enough, or they were just so stinkin' full of peaches, that they couldn't eat another bite.  They only left a couple of plum pits on the ground.  Then, they ambled back into the pasture as if nothing ever happened.

I'm surprised they don't have a stomach ache this morning, but they're still standing, so I guess they just enjoyed their feast.  And, me?  I'm royally ticked off because those were some of the best tasting peaches I've had in a long time.  But, guess what we learned?  If we leave the gate open, the donkeys might come out (well, WILL come out), but...they'll go back in...eventually.  Which is all well and good if you don't care about what they'll do while they're roaming around free.

Monday, July 09, 2018

Peach Syrup

Last year my fruit trees did not bear one piece of fruit.  They didn't even bloom.  I don't know the reason for that, but if something like that happens to commercial growers, what a catastrophe that would be!

So, they must have saved up all their energy for this year because my three peach trees are loaded.  One of my three plum trees is also loaded.  I mean, branches drooping and one even breaking, loaded.  Even my sad little apple trees, that have never produced anything except maybe one hard little crabapple looking apple, actually have some little apples on them.

Anyway, I've been picking the peaches and they are really delicious.  So far, I've frozen about three quarts of peaches.  I know that doesn't sound like much, but my trees are still fairly small; they aren't all ripe yet; and, lots of the fruit fell off the tree before ripening, has been pecked by birds or ruined by ants.

I saw a pin on Pinterest in which the pinner made peach syrup from her scraps after canning her peaches.  It was pretty simple, so I thought I'd give it a try.

All you have to do is put all your scraps - pits, peelings, etc. in a pot and put enough water in the pot so that you can see the water, but it doesn't cover your scraps.

Bring to a boil, then turn it down and let it simmer for about 45 minutes.  Strain the juice through cheesecloth into a large measuring cup.  Put the juice into a saucepan and add twice the amount of sugar as you have juice.  E.g. I ended up with two cups of juice, so I added four cups of sugar.  Simmer and stir until all sugar is completely dissolved.  

The syrup can be canned with whatever method you want.  I just poured mine in a clean jar and will keep it in the refrigerator.  It is really quite delicious.  I plan to use it in drinks like peach tea and peach lemonade.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Full On Bohemian Mode

If you've read my blog, you know that I have an unrequited love for Bohemian decor.  It was unfortunate that my RV/Vardo project got sidetracked because of the leak, because that Bohemian Behemoth inside me must be expressed in something other than or, in addition to, my clothing (I'm a closet hippie).

So, it's happening, y'all.  My bathroom renovation project has opened a whole new world for me.  I was able to bring a few boho elements into the bathroom and they have spilled out into the bedroom and it is now no-holds-barred.

First up, macrame, baby.  Yeah, I said MACRAME.  Of course, macrame has made a huge comeback from the 1970's and it's everywhere.  I used to do macrame way back then and I made several large elaborate plant hangers.  I wish I had those now.  But, alas, they are probably in a landfill by now, or, if I'm optimistic, they could be in some vintage shop somewhere.

Anyway, since I didn't put a door on the entryway between our bedroom and bathroom, I decided to make a macrame curtain for just a wee bit of extra privacy.  I mean, it doesn't really cover the door and we'll probably keep it pulled back all the time anyway, but it's a little extra something and a fun project for me.

I found a pretty pattern on-line and downloaded it only my computer.  The instruction said to use 8mm cotton cord/rope, so I ordered that from another site.

Two spools.

Then I cut all my cord to the lengths as instructed.

I hung a rod over my door temporarily so I could work on the curtain.

It just took a few days.  I had forgotten how easy and fun it is to macrame.

This will be taken down and rehung higher after I get my new door casing up.

Master Bathroom Renovation, Final Reveal

To start at the beginning of this trippy journey, go to Part One.

Our bathroom is finally done.  I'd like to say without this caveat "except for the door to the throne room", but I can't because I haven't found a door that I like yet.  It will be installed "barn door" style on a sliding track some time in the near future.  But, our bathroom has been fully operational for about a month now and I'm super excited that it is beautiful and ...DONE!

I read back through all the renovation posts and saw that on December 8th I posted "we're in the homestretch".  Wasn't that a riot?  It took us almost three more months to finish from that point.

Anyway, back to the post at hand and pictures of the project that we devoted our lives to for the past six months.

I already posted a picture of this cabinet in a previous post, but this is right at the entrance.  I'll be painting this at some point, color TBD.

Opposite the cabinet is the double sink/vanity area.  We built niches into the wall by each of our sinks.  Of all the things to tile, those were the easiest.  I used the medallion accent tile that I used in the shower with the medallion offset in each niche.

I chose these wall mounted faucets by Delta.  They were just about the only matte black wall mounted faucets that I could find that didn't cost an arm and a leg.  Husband installed all of the plumbing fixtures rather than paying a plumber to come back out to do it.

There was no good place to put towel bars near the vanity, so we put this hook underneath the countertop.

It's working out just fine.

This is a view of the vanities from inside the bathroom.  Right in the middle of my "modern farmhouse" bathroom remodel, I just had this idea that it had to have some "bohemian" elements to it.  That rug is part of my bohemian expression.  I felt like I had to have some red in there, which is inexplicable, because I really don't do red.  Something inside me has snapped.

The view from the vanities into the small open area of the bathroom.  More bohemian - a colorful rug and patchwork stool.  I really needed somewhere to sit while getting dressed because I was having to walk back and forth from bedroom to bathroom while getting ready.  I was looking diligently for a pouf to set in there, but I realized I had this little stool that would be perfect.  It just needed to be reupholstered, which I did quickly.

The light fixture in the open area.

So, we did finally wimp out and we hired someone to tile the shower.  I'm so, so glad that we didn't have to do that and they did do a good job.  But, if I compare their work to ours...we really did just as good as they did.
We put two niches in the shower and used Delta faucets in there, too.  There's an overhead shower and a handheld one.  All in matte black.

We put the valve for the shower on the side wall near the entrance so that we can turn it on without getting sprayed with cold water.  The handle that is under the shower head is a diverter for the handheld shower unit.

One problem we had was with the arm that came with this shower head.  While I was trying to decide on fixtures, I decided against having the rain shower that sprays directly down because, even though I really liked the modern look of it, I didn't think I'd like to have the water pouring straight down onto me.  So, I ordered a fixture that had a short angled arm.  But, when we got it installed and turned it on, the water sprayed right past the shower and out into the room.  Even with the head tilted all the way down, it sprayed way too far.  And, as you can see, we don't have a shower door or wall and we didn't want to stand outside the shower to take a shower, nor did we want to flood the room.  So, we pondered over this for a while and decided, short of buying a whole new fixture, we would just replace the arm with one that aimed the head straight down (which is what I was trying to avoid in the first place).  Of course, our little town doesn't have anything like "matte black".  That's way too fancy.  So, husband bought a cheap chrome shower arm and I spray painted it matte black.  Voila.  Who will ever know?  Anyway, that solved the problem and we were back on track.
As an aside, I was right about the rain head.  To keep my face out of the stream of water, but keep my body in, (because, who wants to stand out of the hot water stream and freeze while taking a shower?), I have to tilt my head way back.  I'm not crazy about that.  If you don't care about water in your face, then it's no big deal, but I never did like water on my face and still, as a grown woman, do not like water pouring down my face.  I just don't, so shut up.

So, you can see how the shower is positioned in the room.  We can walk directly in from the outside when we're super dirty from gardening and what not.  I found that cute little cedar stool in a shop in town.  It's a perfect little shower stool.  
So, the tile.  For the shower walls, I used a large subway format, matte white tile from Interceramics. The medallion tiles came from Wayfair.com.  For the rest of the room, I used a matte white octagon with a "dot" from Daltile.  Although, you can buy the exact same look from Lowes and we did have to run to Lowes to get an extra box because we ran out toward the end.
Since the two different shaped white tiles meet together on that one wall and I didn't want just a straight line there, I had the tilers cut and fit them in a random waterfall pattern right there.  I love that look.  In the picture, the tiles look like they are a different color, but it's just because the octagon is small and there is more grout.  It gives the illusion of a different color because the grout is a tan color (Haystack is the color).

Here's a better look at the cut tiles.  I knew I wanted that done and was dreading it because it was a lot of intricate tile cutting and I wasn't sure we'd be able to do it.  Since we hired the shower tiled, I just drew them a picture of what I wanted and left it to them.  I think they did a great job.

I got the towel hooks from Hobby Lobby.

The water closet.  I used to keep the toilet bowl brush in the unused tub, but since that's gone, I needed another solution.  I figured, "why not something attractive?"  So, I went on a scavenger hunt in my house and found that tall vase (to the left of the toilet).  Perfect.  (I apologize once again for the blurry pictures.  I just can't figure out how to fix it on Blogger).

Since the shower used to be to the right of the toilet, we left the plumbing in that wall and installed a hot/cold water handheld bidet.  I love this!  TMI, I know.

Here are a few other little luxuries that I included in the design.

A small electric wall heater with a timer for a little extra warmth on cold winter days.

This mirror was one that I had in my old bathroom, but it was chrome and didn't go with anything.  I shopped for a new one, but couldn't find anything in gold or brass that wasn't either outrageously expensive or ugly.  So, I just spray painted the one I had and it's perfect.

I searched for a six inch wide trash can to go between the vanities, but I couldn't find anything that narrow and I got really sick of shopping.  So, I just shopped my house.  I had this old chamber pot that had gotten dented and husband had hammered it out.  It was just sitting in the garage for over a year.  Turns out it was perfect for my modern, bohemian farmhouse bathroom.

And I LOVE this!  It's a shower exhaust fan with a bluetooth speaker.  So, I can jam in the shower with my tunes.  How cool is that?

And, the switch plates that mimic my farmhouse door casings.  I was glad to find these and not have to use just plain ol' flat plates.

The End.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Master Bath Renovation, Part Ten

To read about our master bath renovation from the beginning, go to Master Bath Renovation, Part One.

We're so close, I can taste it.  The toilet room is completely finished.

I found the shelves at the First Monday Flea Market and the brackets from Hobby Lobby and finally got them installed last night.  There have been all kinds of issues with everything, every step of the way and this particular part of the project was no exception.

The wood is (supposedly) from an old Cotton Mill in Tenaha, Texas and sold to me by a man at the flea market that had taken the wood and turned it into trays with handles on them.  When I told him what I was looking for (rustic wood to use for shelves), he offered to take the handles off, cut them to fit and finish the ends.  He did it within an hour while I shopped.

Being as how it is old barn wood, and rustic, there were issues with it being warped and uneven, so we had to be creative with attaching the brackets.  Also, since I didn't want to drill into the tile to attach the brackets to the wall, we had to "hang" the shelves with the brackets rather than have the shelves sitting on top of the brackets.  If I were doing it myself, I would have just screwed them in.  But, husband told me that the screws would eventually pull out.  We ended up drilling all the way through the wood and attaching the bracket with nuts and bolts.

We also have the shower finished.  We surrendered our DIY spirit (which had actually been crushed) and hired someone to tile the shower for us.  We can't use it yet because the grout is not cured.  We got a little ahead of ourselves and each gleefully took a shower on the third day after it was done.  But, it was so warm and humid those days that the caulk around the edge hadn't cured and it began to wash away.  lol.  So, how were we supposed to know that?  Well, if we had read the instructions, we would have known that it takes 3-5 days depending on humidity and temperature.

So, I reapplied the caulk and now we have to wait again.

Click on this link to see the Final Reveal.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Master Bath Renovation, Part Nine

To start at the beginning of my bathroom remodel, go to Master Bath Renovation, Part One.

We have a working throne room.  Yay!  The only thing left to do in there is to install some shelves above the toilet.  We installed and grouted the tile, then husband installed a new American Standard Acti-clean Vortex, self-cleaning toilet, the handheld bidet with hot and cold water, and the toilet paper holder.  Instead of drilling through the tile to install the toilet paper holder, we planned the place where it would be installed beforehand and just left a tile out.  It worked out perfectly.

I found this neat little light switch cover on Etsy.

We've gotten most of the walls tiled, but are still waiting on the countertop installation (which is scheduled for tomorrow) so we can tile the backsplash.  

I found this old china cabinet to use for storage.  I plan to paint this eventually.  Don't be hatin' me for painting an antique.  This is directly across from the stained wood vanities and all that dark wood is too overwhelming for that space.

We're still procrastinating on the shower and considering hiring someone to do it.

Go to Part Ten to continue.

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Master Bath Renovation, Part Eight

To read about my bathroom renovation from the beginning, click on Master Bath Renovation Part One.

Yes, we still have an unfinished bathroom.  It's been over three months now, but we really haven't been working on it for the past two weeks or so because...holidays, then I got sick, then got sick again.  Bleh.  I'm finally recovering, so today we kind of half heartedly laid out some tile to get it ready to install tomorrow.  Seriously, if it didn't cost so much money, we'd hire this tiling done in a heartbeat.  This is not a job for wimps and I'm at least half wimp.

But, we did get some things done since I last updated.

We finished tiling the entire bathroom floor, all except the shower floor.  We're kind of stuck in limbo on this, trying to decide the best way to proceed.  We have the tile all cut out to size.  But...

See the problem here?  Major "lippage".  The ceramic tiles are not flat.  They are bowed in the middle.  So, when the end of one tile meets up with the middle of the tile next to it, it's lower than that crest in the adjacent tile.  We've been told by one tile professional that we got defective tile and that we should take it back.  But, in every tutorial about installing plank tiles that I have read or watched, they have said that it is common for the planks to be bowed, so you have to stagger them in a way that minimizes that difference.  That's what I did in the rest of the bathroom and it turned out, not perfect, but acceptable.  But, this shower area is out of control.  

I think the only thing we can do to fix this is to cut the tiles into smaller pieces and not use the planks whole.  In other words, cut out the "crest" and have more grout lines.  So, when we muster up the energy, we'll tackle this.

There was major excitement when we finished our closets and were able to move our clothes out of the guest rooms and into our closets.  Although, we still have one guest room full of stuff.  I told husband that when we're done with this reno, I'm going through the whole house and do a big purge.  No mercy, everything that hasn't been used in the last year goes.

Here's the side of my closet for hanging clothes.

Opposite that are two IKEA china cabinets, repurposed for closet storage.  They each have three drawers and two glass doors with three shelves.  Loads of room for folded clothes and more.  I have my jewelry hanging on the handles at the moment, but intend to find another place for that in the future.  I painted the walls in my closet Sherwin Williams Faint Coral.  It's a barely there soft peachy pink and I love it.  Looks great with all the other white.

Husband's closet is very utilitarian and painted my favorite white, Sherwin Williams Greek Villa, the same as the shiplap and trim in the rest of the bathroom.  He has the same IKEA cabinets on one side and hanging clothes on the other.  The electric panel is in his closet so we had to plan the hanging clothes storage around that, but it worked out fine.  The two closets are actually one room separated by the IKEA cabinets backed up to each other.  That leaves us with storage for luggage and other bulky items on top of the cabinets.

We had baseboards leftover from when we remodeled our house back in 2008.  Our painting contractor had stained and finished them already and they've been stored in the barn all this time.  So, I pulled those out and we used them in the closets.  

We also started on installing the octagon mosaic tile on the walls.  This is the back wall of the toilet room.  Not grouted yet.

And, this is the wall next to the vanity.  We had to get this part done so we could install the vanities and be ready for the countertop installers.  Unfortunately, they messed up and it's not installed yet.  But, we're back on track and they're supposed to be working on it now.  We'll install the rest of the tile around the vanities after the countertop is installed.

Vanities waiting for their top.

I found switch plate covers that mimic the farmhouse trim around the doors.

To continue reading about my master bath renovation, go to Master Bath Renovation, Part Nine.