And on the first day…

ceiling lights

It seems silly to think that it could take more than a month to re-install a lighting system, but there you have it. Thirty-eight days after the contractor finished removing the popcorn ceiling in our house, we finally have lights in the living room again!

The delay was due in part to incompetent removal of the lighting system to begin with. The tangled mess that the contractor’s subs left us included a broken wire and a mess of bent, unsightly wire that we didn’t want to re-install. It took several weeks to source replacement wires. Then we ran into a snag or two installing the system and accidentally blew out one of the transformers that reduces the power to 12 volts. Oops! Procuring another transformer was much easier than procuring additional wire, but it still represented another delay.

Once we had all the working parts fitting it back together was a snap. Now our party guests next weekend will be able to see their feet as they dance the night away!

Predicted time for project completion: 4 hours.
Actual time for project completion: 38 days.

P.S. Huge props to Keith for his assistance with this project – especially his electrical wiles and seemingly endless collection of useful tools. I’m pretty sure I’d still be sitting in the dark if it wasn’t for him!


12 2014

Not going as planned

Hard boiled egg mess

There is much to be said for failure. It is more interesting than success.
~Max Beerbohm, Mainly on the Air, 1946

Our new house came with three lovely chickens. I had the idea of making pesto deviled eggs earlier this week (after an inspiring snack at the Nordstrom holiday shopping event). Unfortunately, I appear to really suck at making hard boiled eggs.

How can a seemingly simple task be so bizarrely confounding?

The standard technique – placing eggs in a pot of boiling water, removing the pot from the heat, and letting the eggs cook for 12-14 minutes – has failed me twice! I hate over-cooked, green yolks, so I cooked them the first time for 12 minutes. The eggs were hard to peel and the yolks were only half-cooked. The next time I tried, I left the eggs in the water for 15 minutes. The results were no better, as the above picture demonstrates.

I made the pesto filling with the yolks, a cup of basil leaves, a few tablespoons of walnuts, a couple shavings of Parmesan, and a spoonful of Veganaise anyway. It was super rich and worked great as sauce for pasta and veggies. All in all a happy failure.

I still can’t figure out what’s wrong with my hard-boiled egg cooking technique, though. Is there a difference between home-grown eggs and commercial eggs that would account for the difference? Do I simply need to cook them even longer?

Good thing the ladies keep laying more eggs. I have a feeling I will be able to keep experimenting until I have the technique down pat.


12 2014

Furry Friday


I created a mountain of packing paper today as I unpacked dishes, glasses and other fragile kitchen implements. Bentley seemed to think the inside of the pile was a fun hiding place.


11 2014

Everyday magic

I’m enjoying some time at home between jobs right now. It allows me to nest in our new house and get in tune with the season. The neighbor’s maple tree has dropped almost all of its leaves. They are beautiful and much easier to clean up than the tiny storm of leaves that used to fall in the backyard of our old house.

Maple leaves

We are also impossibly blessed with a tree full of delicious apples. Last week I made a cobbler, using 14 apples. Now I just have to find the crockpot and dehydrator, so I can make apple butter and dehydrated apple rings.


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11 2014

“Whale” that was a cold hike!

Ice whale

The waterfalls and rivers along the trail to Anette Lake were starting to freeze today. Imagine my delight when we spotted this cute little whale, created by the splashes of the neighboring stream.


11 2014