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Showing posts from November, 2011

On Our Menu: November 28 - December 4 & Thanksgiving Recap

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Christian and I took a little vacation last week and spent 4 days in Milwaukee with his family. On Thursday we had Thanksgiving dinner with Christian's mom's side of the family. I made a Nectarine & Blackberry Pie which was just okay. My favorite dish of the night was Auntie's mashed potatoes. WOW! They were so amazing. Driving back to his parent's house we saw people tenting outside of Best Buy waiting for the Black Friday deals. We stayed away from that craziness!



On Friday we went indoor rock climbing at Adventure Rock until our arms were ready to fall off. Every time we visit there I am in awe of the people who can climb upside down - as in under an overhang. I can hardly get to the top of the 40' wall when it's vertical! 

The rest of Friday and Saturday was spent walking the dogs on the trails at the nearby park, shopping at thrift stores, eating, watching movies, and eating some more. Wait until what you see what I found at the Goodwill store. I'll …

Barn Restoration - New Doors

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Toward the end of last year Christian built 4 new beautiful doors to go on the newly sided north side of our barn. We had the doors stored in the machine shed far too long and finally found time to hang them. 


First we had to move the doors from the shed to the barn. Since it was just the 2 of us working on this project we relied on our little tractor to do the heavy lifting. We used a winch to crank the doors upright on the pallet forks then ever so slowly drove over to the barn.


Christian used the tractor to position the door underneath the track. I had the fun job of going up on the ladder and yelling commands to get the wheels lined up with the track. UP! LEFT! IN! and so on... Once the wheels were lined up, a come-along was attached to the hitch on the truck and the bottom of the door. The door was then slowly cranked over and into the track. It really was a brilliant set-up. Can you tell that Christian is an engineer?


The 1st door took 3 hours to hang because we didn't have a s…

Barn Restoration - Tuck Pointing, Siding & Painting

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Christian and I have slowly been restoring our barn. In 2009 Christian sandblasted the ugly peeling black paint off of the fieldstone then we tuck pointed around the rocks. Tuck pointing was a tedious job (I estimated that it took us 70 hours) but the stones look so great now!


In 2010 we re-sided the north side of the barn with pretty cedar tongue and groove along with the awesome help of Christian's friend, Dan. We started with the north side because that was where the wood was the most rotten.


Next it was time to roll on some paint. We believe barns should be red which is what started this whole restoration project rolling in the first place. Christian's parents helped us roll on the first coat which took us a whole weekend. Both of our parents helped with the 2nd coat which we got done in a morning! 


That red looks great, doesn't it? Come back tomorrow for a post on our new barn doors. 

On Our Menu: November 14 - 20

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Last week I made a really awesome, easy Black Bean Soup. I've tried a few other BB soup recipes and this one is a keeper! I love how a bunch of other veggies are snuck into the soup too! My husband was none the wiser.


Here's what's on our menu this week:



On Our Menu: November 7 - 13

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I was pretty ambitious last week and tried 4 new recipes. The Mushroom & Black-Eyed Pea Ragout was hearty, rich and the perfect meal for colder weather. I served it on Parmesan Polenta which was the easiest polenta I've ever made. The polenta bakes in the oven and you have to only stir it once! The other really good new recipe I tried was Gluten-Free, Vegan, and Oil-Free Walnut Chip Brownies. You gotta love a healthy brownie that actually tastes good! I'm not a fan of nuts in my brownies so I used 1/3 C. peanut butter chips and 1/3 C. chocolate chips instead.


And with good new recipes come the bad...
The Thai Curried Noodles with Broccoli & Tofu just didn't taste like anything. Every now and then I would get a hint of flavor but then it would disappear. The other boring recipe I tried was Crispy Cherry-Almond Cereal Bars. Maybe these would be better if you doubled the amount of cherries and almonds in the recipe but I still don't think they would be worth the eff…

Riley Turned 9

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We celebrated Riley's 9th birthday in October. I can't believe she's that old already!


On her birthday I always take her to the pet store and she gets to pick out any treat she wants. Normally it's some disgusting animal part like a cow hoof or pig tail. This year I was pleasantly surprised that she wanted a stuffed rawhide roll. Of course I had to buy 2 so her brother wouldn't feel left out.



And what's a birthday celebration without a good dose of sibling rivalry! 




I dug up a picture of Riley when she was 3 years old. She looks really young!


I am SO happy that this brown-eyed girl is a part of my life. 

Frosty Mornings

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I'm not liking the colder temps we're having but the frost sure is pretty.


These berries are on an asparagus plant. I had no idea that asparagus gets berries!