Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Faux Antique Bread Box

(This post is over a year old.  I have no idea why I didn't post it when I typed it up.)
For several months, I've been contemplating the purchase of a bread box.  I trolled Amazon for a style that would fit two loaves of bread.  (We have to buy loaves two by two, as one round of PB&J's will wipe out a half a loaf.)  I found one that kind of sounded like it would fit the bill, and was in my price range ($20), but wasn't convinced enough to order it right away.
After buying bread yet again, and having the mess of new loaves, a partial leftover loaf, plus various homemade items laying in the "bread area" (invariably, one of the children lays something heavy on the loaves of bread, or decides to climb on the counter and puts a knee into it.), I decided.... It was time.
Time to build one.
I had seen these on Amazon, but besides the $100 price, the reviews on how big they were dissuaded me.  It didn't seem like we needed all that space.  But looking at the mess on the counter, I thought.  Yep.  We'll use it.
Call in the talent.  (I could do a lot of these things myself, it's just faster to let him. ;) )
I gave Paul the picture I printed off.  He made some notes and went to work.  And this is how it turned out:
Hand-punched tin (made out of salvaged tin from our old return-air vent). 

I did a punched-tin project once in high school and figured I'd try it again.  I googled patterns, printed it out, and taped it on.  This one was supposed to be the practice run, but I was quite happy with how it turned out!  It took maybe 2-3 hours after all the mommy interruptions.

It really does fit a lot of bread!  In this pic, there is two brand-new loaves of sandwich bread (longer loaves), another half loaf, a couple hamburger buns, and some leftover biscuits.  Fits perfectly!  And looks so pretty and neat all closed up.

Total Cost:  $6
Wood:  scraps laying around
Nails:  on hand
Tin:  scrap
Stain:  on hand
Knob:  $1 (for 2-pack)
Hinges:  $5

Much better than the $100 price tag for the one on Amazon.  And we [could have] got it done faster than waiting for shipping.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Managing My Household

Something I've been struggling to figure out is how to manage my household.  Proverbs 31:27 says, "[A virtuous and capable wife] watches all that goes on in her household, and does not have to bear the consequences of laziness."
I like being lazy.  But I also like a clean house.  So I'm torn.
But now, with the balance of power shifted in favor of messy small people, something must be done.  The house can go from "not that bad" to completely destroyed during the preparation of one meal.  And I've decided it doesn't have to be my job to pick up those messes.
What does a manager do?  Constantly checks on things and delegates jobs.  And "managing" the house is going to require doing something about those areas I avoid because I don't want to deal with the filth - the kids' bedrooms and the downstairs bathroom.  And it takes a lot of my time.
I'm trying to figure out ways to "manage a household".  I've researched online, and found several ideas, but most are in favor of strictly scheduled days and checklists.  I like the idea of this (if I write things down, I can't forget them!), but I hate the strictness.  There are some days that it's okay to be lazy.  When Daddy has worked 7 days straight, and we have a day at home with nowhere to go and nothing to do....  Throw out the schedule!  But then I feel guilty that I didn't do anything and follow my own rules.
So I'm trying to figure out what works in our house.  Each house is different, made of up different personalities and different work and school schedules, so it's taking a while to figure ours out.  Especially since school hasn't started yet.  But I'm trying to get everyone used to keeping the house clean daily before we start that.
I read Proverbs 29 to the kids tonight.  Two verses speak to mothers, children, and discipline.  "To discipline and reprimand a child produces wisdom, but a mother is disgraced by an undisciplined child." (v 15) "Discipline your children, and they will give you happiness and peace of mind." (v 17)
There are two kinds of discipline.  Discipline can be appropriate punishment, and discipline can also be self-control and responsibility.  And that's something I am in charge of teaching my kids.  When they don't have discipline, it may result in discipline.  I want them to have the self-control to not destroy an entire room, and the discipline to clean up after themselves.  But it takes constant attention and tough love.  Because children are naturally oblivious and selfish.  They don't think the "mess" of their beloved toys is a big deal, and they think Mommy is here, so she'll wave her magic wand and make it disappear.
So we're working on it.  And trying to keep the house clean daily.  And considering what type of list and schedule we need to remind us and keep us sane.

A First Time for Everything

Well, there's a first time for everything.
We are under a "mandatory boil order" in our area until further notice.  A water main burst in town on Saturday night.  I don't know if it was just the fact that it broke, or that it broke during a giant rainburst (2 inches in an hour), or that it broke just outside of the water sanitation plant - overflowing poop ponds? - which spurred the boil order, but we got the notice on our cell phones' "emergency" alert text.  We aren't on city water, but our rural water district purchases their water from the city, and the next day we got a call that we are on a boil notice, too.
So we are boiling water for a household of 7.  Do you know how much water my kids waste each day??
In July, I splurged, and bought two of these for our annual 4th-ish of July Party (it's rarely on the 4th; depending on Paul's work schedule):
They're 2.5 gallons each, and they've been quite handy in our current situation.  I have one on the kitchen counter for drinking, and one on the bathroom counter for washing.  Luckily, what I read is that during a boil order, it's still safe to shower, as long as you don't drink the water.  My kids decided tonight was a good night to go play in the garden, so we needed showers all around.

And thank goodness the water can still be used for laundry!  I guess I can be glad it's an issue of water safety, not supply.  I'm not ready to go all pioneer woman and haul water.
We had 2.5 inches in an hour on Saturday, on top of at least 3 in the week prior to that.  The garden is a giant sink hole, and I'm pretty sure we're going to lose our entire crop of fall beans (which have loads of beans on them, but there is NO WAY I can get to them), and our tomatoes, too.  This is the second time they have drowned this summer; the last week of June just about killed them, but they put on new foliage and came back.  With September just around the corner, there won't be time for them to put on another crop.
During all this, I'm dealing with an infected incision from a surgery I had a month ago.  I knew the main incision wasn't healing right, but I thought it was just a matter of bad closing.  (It looked like they had closed fat into the incision line.)  It has been scabbed over, while the laparoscopic scars healed beautifully, within a week, into thin pink lines.  The incision is only about an inch, and the infection is less than half of it, so I put it off. But over the weekend, it started oozing pus (disgusting I know).   I finally went to see the doctor today, and he said that the infection is because my body is rejecting the dissolving stitches.  The stitches aren't on the surface, but my body is pushing them to the top, like when you get a splinter.  So I have to take antibiotics 3x a day for a week until this stops, along with warm packs (increases circulation) and peroxide every other day.  Lovely!
So this is our exciting beginning of the week!