Sunday, October 28, 2012

Frankenstorm



Most of the time I think the general reporting of news is over hyped. However with the regards of  Sandy the Frankenstorm I will err on the side of caution. Given the havoc the last few storms have caused as far inland as Ohio I think we should take a minute to review our emergency preparations which I talked about previously HERE.


There is no need to panic and go willy nilly buying everything you can get your hands on. Otherwise you are gonna end up with a dozen packages of underwear that is 3 sizes to small, a pantry full of pickled beets or sardines and be out of your hard earned money.




.Just remember you need water, food, fuel, some cash, pack a bag and make a plan. I will highlight a few of the topics:
  • Sanitation and Hygiene
    • 1 gallon per day per person for drinking , cooking and sanitation. Don't forget water for your pets!
      • Fill some old milk jugs, coolers etc w/ tap water and add a little bit of bleach (1/2 tsp per gallon) to use for flushing toilets. 
      • Designate a fresh gallon (or 2) depending on the size of your family for brushing teeth
      • Stock up of wet wipes/ baby wipes and instant shampoo. These items will allow you to save water for drinking and cooking.
  • Food for you and your pets. 
    • As far as human food goes, ready to eat type food and snacks are great for those who lose power and don't have a generator. Such as granola bars, peanut butter, crackers,dried fruit and jerky --no refrigeration or cooking needed.!
      • Do NOT expect restaurants and stores will accommodate you.
    • Stash an extra bag of food for your pets
  • Get some fuel
    • Fill the tank of your car
    • If you have a generator, fill it and have an extra 5 gallon can of gas
    • Have an extra propane tank (or 2)
    • If you have a wood/pellet stove, make sure you have firewood/pellets
  • Get some cash
    • Even if it is $50, don't assume banks will be open and ATM's or credit card machines are operational
  • Pack a BOB (Bug Out Bag)
    • If it s bad enough you may need to evacuate
    • Make sure you have items ready to go for you and your family (including pets)
      • Change of clothes (or 2),a blanket, medications, first aid kit,  personal toiletries, weather radio, flashlight, pack of batteries, and car cell phone charger.
  • Make a plan
    • Where will you go if you need to evacuate?
    • Do you have all valuable items secured?
    • What about important documents-birth certificates, passports, bank books, etc..?
    • Do have arrangements made for your pets?
      • Don't assume you can leave them in their crates or turn them loose and they will be ok (Think Katrina)
Click on the link I provided which provides a direct to the government emergency preparedness sites for a more detailed plan. 

I am not trying to be the voice of doom and gloom; however, it is better to be over prepared than under prepared!

Be safe my friends!


Friday, October 26, 2012

When pets attack

It  has been a rough couple of days around My Cozy Little Farmhouse.

Wednesday evening two of my dogs got into a fight. A very very bad fight.

Tovah (age 5 yrs, 30 lbs)

Chubbs (age 10 yrs, 78 lbs)

We don't know what provoked the fight. Or who started it. All we know it was an unfair fight. Chubbs (aptly named) outweighs Tovah by almost 50 lbs.. Tovah is 5 years younger than Chubbs and much faster but it didn't help her this time. Tovah needed surgery to repair the lacerations and punctures, poor little girl.

Not sure if any of you have ever had to use an after hours emergency pet hospital, but they are crazy expensive. You are already emotionally vulnerable because your pet is sick --or in my case, injured--and it is akin to being shook down mafia style. You have to pay up front for the estimated cost before they will treat your pet. I had to pay them nearly a $1000 up front before they would help her. Not that I really had the money. It resulted in 2 credit cards and effectively killing any remaining balances on either. 

The worst part was after calling in 4x through the night and being reassured she was next for surgery, was calling in at 6:30 in the morning to find she had laid their for 12 hours without the surgery. Sure she had pain meds and antibiotics, but they let her lay there covered in blood, with matted fur, in cold steel cage--PETRIFIED--for 12 hrs. Had I KNOWN that what they would do (basically nothing!) I would have brought her home and kept vigil with her during the night until our regular vet's office opened.

So I flew out of the house and picked her up. I took her to our vet, who assessed her immediately and put her in surgery. In less than 2 hours with our vet she was treated and comfortable. As for the other place, they "refunded" $440 on one of my cards and it is unknown when I will actually see it. So I paid $540 for an overnight stay with antibiotics and pain meds. Then an additional $380 for the regular vet. And here is why I love my vet office. They might be slightly more expensive than some other vet practices but they do amazing work. They told me pay $50 and I could make payments on the balance ($330) because in their words--"Since you were worked over by the emergency vet hospital".  That is why I have stayed with this practice for nearly 20 years.

The good news is Tovah will make a full recovery. She looks kinda rough with all of the bald patches and sutures on her neck and chest. But her sweet little demeanor is returning. It was a rough 2 days without her here. I didn't have her as my shadow--following me around the house; or climbing into my lap the second I sit down, and she wasn't here to take up the bed then grunt when I make her move over. 

The vet said I need to keep them apart  so she went to my daughter's house to stay for a night but is grieving pretty hard and on edge.  I am bringing her home. I will figure out the logistics. Tovah is actually my "grand-puppy". She was/ is my daughter's dog, but I have had "custody" of her for nearly 4 years. 

I will be getting 2 additional cages. All 3 dogs will be caged when we are not home--for their safety and the sanctity of my pocket book. Chubbs will wear a muzzle when out of the cage. They will all be supervised very closely!  He is definitely going to the vet for an evaluation. I will continue to monitor Chubbs, if he continues to show aggression towards any of the animals or people--then I will have a very difficult decision to make.

All I know is I love my fur-kids and I have been an emotional wreck the last few days. The hubbs isn't very happy about anything right now--not that I can fault him. I am also looking into pet insurance--well  because financially we can't take another hit like this.

This dogfight has had a physical,emotional and financial impact.  Let's hope peace soon resumes and it will be My Cozy Little Farmhouse again!

She let out a sigh and you could see her visibly relax, poor little girl

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wacky weather

I think Mother Nature is confused.

The last few days we have had temperatures in the upper 70's °F  and today we broke 80°F. 


Trust me I am not complaining that I don't need to turn the furnace on--although my energy provider is probably having a fit, hehe-- or I can open the windows and I can go outside without a jacket.

What I am concerned about are my plants "greening" up again only to be killed when the hard  frost comes rolling in.
Flowering Sage
Flowering Rosemary
Flowering Tarragon

I think this is Endless Summer, not certain
False Sunflower

I am at least going to take advantage of it to clear some of the garden of debris and mulch with straw.  I really wish I had time to move some of the bigger plants around. Oh well,  those can be on my to do list for Spring.








Sunday, October 21, 2012

Gaaaahhh!! He threw away my stuff!

OMG! Mr. CozyLittleFarmhouse cleaned the garage and in the process threw away some of my stuff. 

Stuff I talked about here. 

Important stuff. Like a vintage headboard, foot board  and side rails. 2 wood shelves. And I don't know what else is missing  because he MOVED everything !

I knew he had cleaned it out to make room to do some work. I noticed my stuff was "missing" when I went in the garage last night. At first I thought everything had just been re-arranged-- it was dark so I went back out today to look around and it is gone. All of it. I tried not to panic because he was at work all day. I thought perhaps he moved stuff up to the attic where I couldn't get to it. So I had to wait until he came home. And then I pounced on him. 

Me: "Where's my stuff?!"
Hubbs: "What stuff?"
Me: "Headboard, foot board, side rails, shelves..."
Hubbs (getting a panicked look on his face): "Um, I threw it away when I cleaned the garage"
Me:"WHAT????!!!!"
Hubbs: "Ummm, some of it was cracked. I didn't think it was any good"
Me: "OMG! I can't believe you did this! Did it not occur to you to ASK me?"
Hubbs: "You weren't here"
Me: "So you wait for me to leave and throw away all my stuff?"
Hubbs: "No! Sorry?"
Me: "ARRRGGGGGGGGGHH!!!!@#$%^*@#$%^"



So yeah, very , Very, VERY upset! And we can't retrieve any of it because it was in the compactor dumpster at his work. My projects are taking a deep sleep in a landfill somewhere.

I told him to never EVER touch any of my @#$%!*$ stuff again without talking to me!

I know it didn't look like much to him but it looked like treasure to me.

He said I am over reacting. HA! How would he feel if I had done that to him?

Not such a My Cozy Little Farmhouse type day.  



Saturday, October 20, 2012

Poor Door Dilemna

Hey y'all. I am feeling a little bummed out for our door replacement. Remember when I talked bout needing to replace my crappy draft-tastic doors here?  I mean I had an inkling we were gonna spend some money for the doors, but in my fantasy I thought of the overall cost not in terms of individual doors. So I have good news and I have bad news. 

The good news is were able to score 1 storm door. The bad news is entry doors definitely have to be custom made The estimates have been $800 -$2200 each! First...uuuummm NO! and Second--Ker-ching! We need a solid wood door (that can be planed down to fit) because I have a very old house nothing is square, level or plumb. We can only have a slab door not pre-hung because it turns out there are steel beams just on each side of the door frame. The reason --they added the 2nd story addition in the 1960's/1970's. The good news is my 2nd story isn't going anywhere. The bad news I have no play for the door frame because of the beams AND I have aluminum siding which can't be matched More  like ker-splat as my hopes were dashed on the cold hard cement patio. BOOOO!

Now back to the good news. We were able to go off the shelf for the storm door.  How is that possible? For the simple fact the prior one was kinda rigged in place. Let's review the photo op shall we?

Here's the door

Let's take a closer look

See the wood strips on the inside of the frame? By eliminating those we were able to purchase a standard storm door of 32x80  YAHOO!  The storm door is bigger than my regular door...whatever I am just glad to have one!

We bought the EMCO 200 from Home Depot. We paid $140.90 (including tax) after nice 10% price reduction. Yay us! I know it isn't very exciting to most people but I am thrilled! This will do a great deal to reduce the drafty air. Here is why we chose this one:
1) Affordability
2) In stock
3) Door hardware included
4) Simple design
5) The screen is higher on this door--so no doggies running their big heads and fat bodies through it--or kitty cats clawing the screen (because it does happen)
6) Reversible left or right swing out option

Here is the Home Depot picture
And here it is unpacked! I can't wait for the hubbs to install it. Gonna work like a charm!

So purchasing both entry doors plans needs to be modified. I am no longer on plan A, B or C. More like plan NZ-2. I am feeling slightly frustrated from the setback, but then I have to take a deep breath and realize that is par for the course in a century old home.

I have several options for the entry doors.

 For the kitchen--
1) Install the storm door and do nothing for now
2) I can try to find a vintage solid wood door that can be cut down
3) Bite the bullet and pay for the custom made using one of the quotes
4) Keep searching for a cheaper custom made. Maybe there is a local woodworker...who knows
5) Win the lottery? haha wouldn't that be nice

Now for the main entry--
Errrhhhmmeeehhhhgawwwd!

The quotes for it was outrageous! Because it would be a "fancier" door the quotes STARTED at $1600.
Apparently I have REALLY good  (EXPENSIVE) taste. Because the door I fell in love with was $3000

I almost fainted...

Hahaha---noooooo. Not buying that! 

So my options are pretty much the same as the kitchen door--I just need a fancier storm door.

I think I am gonna hit up a few of the Architectural Salvage places. Not that I hold much hope at inventory, budget or finding anything remotely the sizes I need that can be modified. If I go vintage I need to find a door in good shape, no rot, no damage and NO WARP!  yup --I know good luck!

So that is where I am at in the door dilemma!


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Appalachian Fest


On Sunday I went to The Appalachian Mountain Artisans Fest in Winchester, Ohio. It is a little festival of artists, artisans and home grown businesses, that is waaayyyy out in the country.  Winchester is a fair distance (maybe and hour and half) from where I live. I didn't mind though because I spent the day with my fab cousin Theresa. 

They had some neat autumn displays out front of the big red barn.

This display cracked me up--Autumn, Halloween and Thanksgiving all in one. 

There was a tee-pee! I have no ideal why and I didn't go check it out because it was a tad windy and knowing my luck (and propensity for accidents) I wasn't taking any chances!



The Brown and Adams County recycle eco-caboose- which was very cool. All the electricity for the caboose is from solar panels.



Surprisingly there were vendors from several surrounding towns nearby where I live. I only wish I had grabbed some business cards for those that are  local to me.

There was a small petting zoo for the kids--including  goats, a pig, a donkey, a Llama, an Alpaca, a goose, chickens and a skunk named Dugan.



As soon as we went in , we were greeted by a platter of Keim's glazed doughnuts. These are Amish donuts and they are sooooo good. Not to mention they are the size of tractor tires!

They had the barn draped and lots of little twinkle white lights--not they you can really  see them in my pictures!

There were lots of handmade goods--felted wools (from sheep and Alpaca's), quilts. jewelry, food products (jams, jellies, kettle corn, and lots of  sweets), pottery and  florals.




I ended buying 2 of the Keim's glazed dounuts....drool!!! And I was nice and I shared as 1 of them was for the hubbs! Of course, he wanted a 2nd one and I was like --step away from the doughnut and you won't get hurt, haha

I bought this recycled bottle, snowflake ornament

and this awesome agate necklace!

It was such a great day. I hope next year I can go on Friday or Saturday when there will be more vendors.

Anyone else been to to any interesting festivals?



Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Funky and Frugal Finds #14

Welcome to Funky and Frugal Finds #14

Nothing funky, but definitely frugal!!

"Let's go Krogering" paid off in a big way for me--all because my neighbor called to give me the heads up on this AMAZING deal. Iced tea makers and Blenders were marked down to $2.48 each. Yes-- you read that correctly. TWO DOLLARS AND FORTY EIGHT CENTS each.  They were marked down from $24.98. That is a 99.3% savings...Yowza!!
So I picked up some for a few people and kept one of each for myself. The trunk of my car looked like some things "fell off the back of a truck" haha
So everybody's getting blenders for Xmas, haha--just kidding!

Next stop was the New2You thrift store, where I found this adorable, pint-sized folding chair for my niece Lele. The  price was $2.97 and there was a 25% store wide sale, so final price before taxes was $2.23.

 I am going to paint it and re-upholster the seat with a super cute print. 

How about  Rustoleum apple  green paint...

and  this fabric from Joann's?
http://www.joann.com/novelty-cotton-fabric-butterfly-glitter-pink/xprd581926/
Lele loves butterflies and I think she will love it!
My beautiful niece Lele
So what cool , funky or frugal items have you found and whatcha gonna do with them?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Wordless Wednesday #2

Wordless Wednesday #2





Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Baking up some memories

Fresh baked bread. Just saying those three little words are enough to make you salivate. Well maybe just me. Here are some fun facts--Did you know when staging homes many professional home stager's will bake bread to entice potential homeowners. And many of the large all-in-one grocery stores have the bakery near the front of the store to draw customers in the rest of the store to increase consumer spending.

There are so many emotions and memories surrounding food. Baking bread always takes be back to some of the happiest times of my childhood. I would sit on the vinyl chair at the formica topped table at my Nanny and Pappaw's house and just watch Nanny make magic. Nanny was always wearing one of her cotton print jumpers and loafers, her hair pinned back with the light glinting off of the bobby pins as she bustled about the kitchen. Nanny and Pappaw's house was always warm, cozy and inviting. And there was always an aroma of some tasty food  tempting you to go in the kitchen.


Some of the best times where when Nanny had bread baking. Sitting at the table swinging my legs and just waiting for Nanny to bring me a piece of fresh baked bread slathered with butter and homemade grape jelly. I am telling you there was nothing like it...siiiigghhhh

I may not have an opportunity to make bread like Nanny did from scratch--although back in those days I am sure it was for economic reasons to bake bread instead of buying it--hmmm... not much different than today!

I don't always have the time to make my bread dough from scratch so I use frozen dough. Depending on the store you shop, you can purchase a 3-5 loaf bag of frozen dough for $2.99-$5.49. It averages right around a dollar per loaf. The cost is good and the taste is even better than the off the shelf bread. And the aroma of fresh baked bread...OMG...heavenly!

Here's what you need

 (except that is SUPPOSED TO BE plastic wrap--I grabbed the wrong box...oops!)
The directions could not be any easier, unless someone else was doing the work for you, haha

Spray your loaf pan with cooking spray. Add one frozen dough loaf. 

Spray the plastic wrap with cooking spray and cover loaf. Follow Thaw/Rise instructions.

When dough is 1 inch above pan it is ready to bake.

20-25 minutes ©350°F and you have a beautiful and delicious loaf of bread

It may not be as good as Nanny's but it is  darn near close. The only thing I am missing is her jar of homemade grape jelly.  I wonder what she would think of frozen dough. She would probably smile and shake her head. Who knows--maybe she would have bought some.




Monday, October 8, 2012

When one door closes

Or in my case, when one door sorta closes. We are replacing 2 of the doors on our house. I simply could not go another winter with drafty doors. We have 4 doors total on the house. 1 is the weird carport door (which I talked about here), 1 is in the living room which is blocked off and EVENTUALLY will be replaced with a window (I mentioned it here), the other 2 are the dining room/ office (aka the main entry) and the kitchen. So these are the crappy, drafty, money sucking, ugly doors.

kitchen door

main entry door

Since my house is a 131 years old, there is nothing square, level or plum in the entire house. I can't repeat  what the hubbs said when I asked if he was going to install them himself. Needless to say we are going to pay to have the doors installed.  

I cannot believe the prices on exterior doors!  Especially when the previous owner installed weird sizes. Pretty sure everything is going to be special order because of the dimensions. Cha-ching!  I am a little overwhelmed with choosing the main entry door. This is the first impression to the interior of your home. Do I want fiberglass, wood or steel? Painted or stained? Glass or not? If I do get glass what kind of glass--texture, design or caning? What style is my house? What style direction do I want my house to go in?

EEEEEEKKKKK!!!!

My house is a folk Victorian farmhouse. Very plain and utilitarian. I don't want a super fancy, hoity-toity door. I do want a little dimension. I want a door that acknowledges the past but is a little more modern. Not to modern, not to traditional. I am pretty sure I want some glass to let light in but also want privacy. Something with a little character. Does such a door exist?

Here are my contenders for the main entry door.


THERMA-TRU SMOOTH STAR FIBERGLASS

Halflight 2 panel with Frosted image glass
Why I like it:  paintable or stainable surface, fiberglass construction. simple frosted glass design, allows light and privacy.
Concerns: Customized size?

http://www.thermatru.com/products/entry/fiberglass-entry-doors/ss/index.aspx#/dso:door-half_lite_2_panel-s206/go:el/


JELD-WEN DESIGN-PRO & SMOOTH-PRO FIBERGLASS GLASS PANEL EXTERIOR 

Model 692, 1/2 view glass, smooth surface, Heirlooms glass, nickel caning
Why I like it: It has a paintable surface, fiberglass construction,  decorative glass--allows light but privacy, nickel or patina caning and I can install a cool door knocker between the glass panels.
Concerns: According to the website it is 2 $$ indicating mid price range. I need to go to Lowe's or Home Depot to find what the actual cost point will be. Not sure if this door can be customized to my dimensions.
http://www.jeld-wen.com/catalog/exterior-doors/design-pro-smooth-pro/fiberglass/glass-panel#group=All&model=model295


Champion Fiberglass "The Charleston"

Why I like it: It has a paintable or stainable surface, fiberglass construction,  small window, decorative glass--allows light and  privacy, zinc caning, I can have a doorknocker and hang a wreath on this door.
Concerns: Cost
http://www.championwindow.com/doors/decorative_glass/charleston.aspx

Next thing I need to decide in is will we install a storm door, screen door or retractable screen on the main entry. If we have a nice insulated door, there is shelter because of the porch so would I need a storm door? I am leaning more towards a screen door or retractable screen. I think my main objective would be light and ventilation.  I love the look of old Victorian or cottage screen doors. Again nothing to fancy, maybe something like this.

I feel like this works more with the 1st  and 2nd door. Is it to many vertical lines? The screen door moldings can be customized though, hmmmm
Cottage Charm
http://www.vintagedoors.com/product.php?id=254
The next 2 screen doors-- I think-- works with any of the entry doors. I like the simplicity  of both.  The first of the two would withstand my 3 dogs...and my 2 cats. The second one acts as more of a "frame" for the entry door and has optimum ventilation.
http://www.screendoors.com/product235.html
Door # 7194
http://www.vintagewoodworks.com/popup-door-7193.html
I am pretty sure we will install a storm door (with retractable screen) for the kitchen door entry. It is a due north exposure. There is shelter because of the carport but during the driving rain storms and craptastic Midwest winters the weather can reach this door.

As far as the kitchen door  replacement is concerned, ideally I would like both the entry and kitchen door to be comparable styles. I reeaaallly like this one from Therma-tru simply because the glass is an actual window (with screen). That is a pretty neat function for the kitchen. 
http://www.thermatru.com/products/entry/fiberglass-entry-doors/ss/index.aspx#/dso:door-half_lite_2_panel-s206/go:svl/

All I know is I have much to think about and need to order the doors soon because the weather is getting colder. (I have had the furnace on for nearly 2 weeks now.)

So whatcha think? Ideals, suggestions, feedback? Help a  blogger out will ya?