Recently I tried making my own granola. It ended up being quite simple, and I recommend trying it yourself. Dakota and I both find most store-bought granolas way too sweet and full of "extra" flavors. So, my goal was to make granola that was simple, healthy and tasty.
For a little back story, let me just say that I really hate our current bathroom. It's a decent size, but there are many problems. My main issue is that it's got a separate shower and bathtub. Our house is very small (945 ft2), and we have barely any closet space, so to waste even a little space on a shower stall seems silly. Plus, the stall is badly vented so it gets mildewy and gross very easily. Then there's the cracked tile floor, shoddy cabinets and grubby, poorly caulked sink. Oh, and we haven't had knobs on the bathtub for about a year, which means we use vice grips instead. Classy! When you add it all up, it means that our bathroom never really looks clean, even after a good scrubbing.
We've been wanting to redo the whole thing for ages, and now that the deck is complete, Dakota is tackling the bathroom in earnest. Here's a "before"-ish picture. He's already removed the sink fixtures, drawers and cabinet doors, trim and part of the wall.
The wall has actually been out for months after Dakota pulled a chunk down to see what he was up against. Here's the accursed shower stall.
And the area around the toilet.
The plan is...
New cabinets and cement counter top/sink
Remove the shower and make it into a hall closet
Tile around tub and make into shower/tub combo
Add radiant floor heating
Put in cement floors
New light and quiet vent fan
New dual-flush toilet
We're keeping the tub and using inexpensive white hexagonal tile from Home Depot, so it shouldn't be too expensive when all is said and done (I hope).
Dakota took out the cabinets and floor yesterday. I guess the masonry underneath the tile was pretty weak and crumbly, so he took it all the way down to the subfloor.
The hope is to have it all completed in a little over a month. Since we only have the one bathroom, we need to have access to at least the bathtub and toilet most of the time. Hopefully that remains possible. At least one of us is in diapers and can be bathed in the sink in a pinch.
I am really excited about the prospect of a clean, well-organized bathroom and a hall closet. If it's done by Christmas, I won't need to ask Santa for a single thing.
My winter garden went in late this year. I got distracted by other projects and chores, but managed to get some seeds in over a couple of weekends in mid-October. I decided to use seeds left over from last season, and they seem to be sprouting well so far.
In the upper bed, I planted chard, mustard greens, beets and turnips. Here they are covered by chicken wire to protect them from mischievous hens and annoying squirrels and skunks. They've grown a bit bigger, now, and I thinned them out last weekend between rain storms.
The greens should grow fairly quickly, I hope, especially since I managed to work in quite a bit of compost from our bin. With the mix of kitchen scraps, chicken poop, leaves and straw, that compost should be full of nutrients.
I also planted pretty much the same mix of greens and root vegetables in the lower bed, plus peas, and some salad mixes in pots and planters.
Oh, and my artichokes came back up for the Fall.
Those logs are there to protect them from the previously-mentioned chickens. I really hope they work. I would so love to have some homegrown artichokes in a few months. Ramshackle Solid finally did it, so maybe I can, too.
It was a lot of hard work and heavy lifting (by Dakota), but our family now has a great-looking, comfortable deck. We've actually had it for a couple of months, but, as you may have noticed, I'm having a hard time juggling working motherhood and blogging these days. In my completely unbiased opinion, it's one of the nicest decks I've ever seen.
Here's the Ipe decking going down. It looks really great, and I'm excited that it doesn't need any stain or seal. Dakota used this installation system that means all the screws go in on the underside of the boards. So there are no nails or screws on the deck surface. As he says, it's like an interior floor.
Here's the fencing clamped and ready to be screwed in. We had custom galvanized panels made with 2x2 inch wire squares. They let light and cool breezes through, but keep little ones safe.
Dakota installed a corrugated metal roof over about 2/3 of the deck to provide shade and shelter from rain. I think it looks really great, and it's kept the deck dry through some recent storms.
We don't have a table out there yet, but we will soon. For the moment, we just have a couple of chairs and a lot of open space. It makes a great outdoor play area for our son.
As you might imagine, we have plants all over our house. I like the way they look, and some think they help with indoor air quality. So, when we were putting together my son's room, plants were part of the plan. I even got some cute vintage hanging planters off eBay But, as my son got older, I realized that, even if the plants were up high and safe from little hands, their falling leaves were not.
Like most babies, mine likes to put everything in his mouth. So, I did a little research and switched out some of the house plants in his room with less dangerous alternatives. I was happy to read that both Christmas cactus and polka dot plants both appear to be non-toxic. Both are attractive and easy to find, so I picked them up at my local nursery. (Of course, all these lists are really confusing, but I managed to find both listed on a couple of "safe" plant lists.)
My other idea was to pot some herbs, since, obviously, those are okay to eat. I don't have a photo, but I got a nice little thyme plant that's working out nicely. Pictured below are the polka dot plant and a little succulent that grows in a compact way that means it won't drop leaves.
I'm glad I was able to figure out a way to have plants in my baby's room. Growing things is such a big part of my life, and hopefully my son will feel the same way when he's older. For now, they add interest to his room decorations and he has fun helping me water them. Of course, I plan to prevent him from eating any dropped leaves or flowers, but hopefully if one sneaks past me, it won't make him sick.
This blog is about a variety of things I'm interested in, including gardening, backyard chickens, crafts, DIY home improvement and resource efficiency. My hope is that it's both informative and fun to read. I hope you like it. If you want to email me, click here.