My Kitchen

Once upon a time I ran across a list of blogging prompts. One of the prompts was share the favorite room in your home, and why you love it. I immediately knew which room I would choose, I would choose the kitchen. And while that may be a bit of a stretch, here is my reasoning.

Growing up I had a love hate relationship with cooking. I loved to cook but I hated to wait for whatever it was I was cooking to finish because I was usually “starving” or at least so I thought at the time.

As I got older I started making a “hope” chest. You know what that is, right? A hope that you get married, except I wasn’t hoping I’d get married, I hoped I’d have my own kitchen. Everything I collected happened to be kitchen gadgets and utensils. When Food Network started up, I used to watch it religiously, trying to learn how to cook from the greats, Tyler Florence, Emeril Lagassee, Rachael Ray, Paula Deen… I wanted nothing more to do than to learn to be one of the greats when it came to the kitchen.

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Life and Kitchens and Pipes oh my

 Redemption Brownies

Have you ever been just totally sucked into a persons blog and just wished you lived in their house, or something like that? Don’t worry, I don’t see that around these parts. Oh well I like my little house. Some days it can be trying. And some day you get water pipes breaking the day before you have family over (twice, read that, twice) but that’s part of the fun of home ownership right?

One night when the washer started flooding the laundry room (blocked water pipe, not busted) I went walking through the house grumbling about home ownership and I told Tbug NEVER OWN YOUR OWN HOUSE, it sucks! She was like so do I get to live with you the rest of my life? I told her only if you want to live in a box because that’s where I’m moving next. Over dramatic much?!?!

Truthfully when I was around 15 my family went to Ft. Worth, Texas for the AQHYA Worldshow for me to compete and I saw a family living under a bridge. I started crying and saying I never wanted to live under a bridge. To this day I still wonder about that family and whatever happened to them.

That’s kind of one of my fears, not going to lie. And I’m really not sure any of this has to do with the pictures above other than it is of my kitchen. I went on a cleaning spree the other day, just the kitchen, but one room at a time. The next day I tackled our bedroom. Baby steps, right? And by the time I get all the rooms clean it will be time to start all over again, right?

And I may just have eaten that salad and then had a brownie… or two or three… I’ll never tell!

Happy Hump Day because I guess you need to know what day it is in case you live under a rock or in a box or maybe with a pet fox.

Our Kitchen Remake

When we moved into the house, our kitchen had these cabinets. They aren’t bad, they’re just not what we wanted. We priced replacing them but right now it just isn’t in the budget. So for just under 4 years we’ve lived with them. One day while we were walking around Lowes (which you know you’ve grown up when you love wandering around Lowes) we found this cabinet refinisher kit. It was even on sale so hubby and I thought, sure, why not.

Haha, then it sat at our house for a few months. I got pregnant and no one would let me touch the paint and then the fact that I was in school and whatnot and hubby works and it just didn’t work. Then one day we decided it was time to get the cabinets done, especially since we’re having a baby shower here at my house this weekend.

So I went without kitchen cabinet doors for a little over a month. It made it really easy to get stuff in and out of the cabinets but at the same time I really missed my cabinet doors. My mom, father-in-law and husband did the sweetest thing for me and repainted my cabinets for me with this refinisher stuff we got from Lowes.

And botta bing, botta boom.

So I just wanted to show the finished look. We took down the tile backsplash and replaced with faux bricks (I love the brick look) and then we made the cabinets look brand new. I Love my new kitchen. It’s really lightened it up and it’s really dark because remember… I live in a berm house.

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Guard Dog

Back in May of 2012, I shared a story with you about how the dogs apparently take joy in running across the roof.  I don’t know if they’re using it as their own jungle gym or what… but they absolutely love running across the roof.  It quit for a while and has started back up here in the last month or so, except this time around we generally don’t catch them in the act.

So last Wednesday night hubby and I were sitting here in the house just chilling and we heard the dogs up on the roof.  Every time we run out to yell at them, we can’t seem to catch them so we just sat here.

A little while later, hubby had to get up and while he was up went and looked out the front door.  He told me to quietly get up and grab my camera.  I looked out the door and I found our “Watch Dog.”

After I snagged my pictures (2 through the glass door and one once I stepped outside, obviously she saw me) we had to yell at her to get off the roof.

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Pool, Friends, Food, Running, what more could you ask for?

Sunday Night Dinner took a spin this weekend by moving to our house.  It was pool party night.  Now if you look at our pool in these photos, it looks cloudy.  We got our cover on late last year so we got a bunch of acorns and leaves in the bottom.  Heck we even found a patio chair in the bottom of the pool.  Yeah cool huh?  Along with that we found a Red Solo Cup so we claimed that someone was drinking in the bottom of the pool… lol.

Anyway, one of the awesome things about the group of friends we have, is there are certified Scuba Divers in the group, so that means, when hubby asked JT to come over and help clean the pool, they actually used scuba gear to get to the bottom of the pool.  I love my group of friends.  We may be friends, but we’re more like family!

While hubby and JT were cleaning, Moo and Waldy were having fun swimming.  This is quite the feat for Moo.  We’ve been working with her every year on swimming.  By the end of the night we had her jumping off the diving board with noodles and swimming to the deep end along the side of the wall without the life jacket! Woot!

Waldy is grounded from the diving board, so he was jumping off the side into the deep end.

Can you tell where the 2 scuba divers are?

And then JT accidentally came up under hubby.  It was quite comical.

We usually call dinner at 5, but we don’t usually eat until closer to 6.  While we were finishing up the food, Pokey went into the office and was using hubby’s reloading equipment.

Faye & Uncle B brought pizza.  That was used as the appetizer and I actually didn’t even get any of it.  I know there was pepperoni but from there, I couldn’t tell you what were in either box really.

JT brought French Onion Dip and a few different types of chips.

Hubby & I smoked some Pork Tenderloin.

Diver Girl brought baked Beans.

Mr T brought Linguini with Chicken

And 2 kinds of Potato Salad – Red at the request of Earl, heck yeah!  It’s the best

And the Mustard based type.

No one knew of any dessert that was coming so I whipped up a quick batch of brownies.  {Recipe soon to follow}

Monkey got a new life vest to swim with.  Her daddy put her off into the deep end but she hated it because the water was soooooo cold.  Which we’re on well water so that makes our water quite a bit chillier anyway, then we had to pump more in after hubby and JT were cleaning on the pool.  Finally Monkey got Uncle B to jump in.  Later, Mr. T got in with the scuba gear and the meter read that it was 67 degrees in the pool.  Brrrrr!

We were all discussing the C25K event again and around 8pm, we all decided that we’d run home, get running clothes and meet back up at the Lake and walk/run – train for the C25K and so that’s exactly what we did.

It was a nice, balmy 72 degrees outside.

And we’re off.  The lake was extra crowded this weekend because of the kids fishing day, normally it isn’t quite so crowded, but this picture is mainly us.

See, you just never know what this crazy bunch of people will get into next 🙂  Hang on and enjoy the ride is all I can tell you!

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Linking up with SS & IA!!

What’s up with the Crazy Weather?!?!

Here we are approaching the 2nd Anniversary of the Joplin Tornado.  A tornado that did major devastation to my part of the country and yet we’re not the only part of the country that is hurting.  Just yesterday Moore Oklahoma was hit by an EF5 tornado.  I have a college friend and her husband who live in Moore.  She said they were okay and that their house was 1000 feet from being taken out by the tornado.

I really am starting to wonder why Mother Nature is so upset lately.  Is it just me and the fact that I’m older so I pay more attention, or is the weather becoming crazier?  Can anyone shed some light on that?

So Sunday afternoon we were headed to pick my mom up from her work trip to Germany.  She was in Germany 2 years ago when the Joplin tornado hit.  She found out by watching International news and calling my dad at 1am to chew him out for not telling her what was going on.  I tried to call her but dad said it would be the middle of the night and that he’d call her first thing in the morning.  Just so happens our mornings here started 7 hours after her morning there.  Rude awakening for everyone involved.  Then mom called me at work to chew me out for not making dad call her.  My phone call came in at 10am.

Anyway, they were calling for bad weather.  This is what the sky looked like just before we left to head for the airport.

Which was a bit eery seeing as though this was the predicted forcast for the evening.

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6S – Home Use – Pantry

Ok so I work for a manufacturing company, I do however work in the corporate office, so I’m not out in the plant grinding away.  I actually work in the area of the office that tries to make sure that all employees make it home safely with the same 10 fingers and 10 toes they came to work with, the same arms and legs, the same eyes and nose, you know, keep them safe basically.

Our Continuous Improvement department teaches a lot of different methods to make the company run more efficiently. A concept that is used a lot is the 5S method, although our company has added an additional S which is Safety (other companies may do the same thing…).

Now normally they teach this to the manufacturing side of the business, however they’ve decided to focus on the corporate office.  Not only preach it, but do it.  Sweet!

And I was volunteered from our department to go attend these classes.  I could handle it, I’m was up for the challenge!  So the last few weeks I’ve been in and out of classes learning these different processes to make the company run better as a whole.

But, the cool thing about the 6S concept, you can use it at home.  And seeing as though Spring is right around the corner (although Punxsutawney Phil said it was closer than it was….) and everyone gets in the mood for Spring Cleaning, myself included, I thought I’d show you what’s been going on around my house.

First and foremost… Don’t start on to large of a project.  Instead do smaller projects so that you get quicker results and you’re more apt to stay with it!

So now it’s my duty to tell you this… find your area.  Our first area is my kitchen!  I’m tired of the clutter and not finding things easily.  So identify your safety hazards.

ie if you have a plug in next to the sink/faucet, don’t plug your toaster in right there.  Probably not the best route.  
Or if your paper towels hang from  your top cabinet, don’t plug your toaster in right below that.
This is all pretty common sense 🙂

So I started with a cabinet that you have to put everything in there just right or it all falls out and goes boom and I have no idea what all is in that cabinet to begin with, that’s what started this whole cleaning spree at my house (no pictures, before or after really….).

Turns out all that stuff didn’t need to be there so it was all moved and sorted out into keep piles, get rid of piles, move piles, etc.

But keep in mind, if you don’t know what to do with something… put it in a “holding area” also known kind of as a red tag area so you can sit on it and think about it for a given time (in manufacturing it is 48 hrs) and you can decide if you want to keep it, or if someone else needs to come go through it, etc.

So Sunday I felt so good about cleaning out one cabinet (although I wound up with some things needing homes) that we started working on the pantry & spice cabinet.  I have 2 spice cabinets, one in the kitchen, one in the laundry room.  Then all the dry goods are kept in the laundry room.  Boy was it all a mess:
before photos:

So first identify the safety hazards.
Then Sort.  Does it belong here, do I want it, is it out dated.
Straighten – everything has a place and there is a place for everything.  Label. Make foot prints (you know the lines around it so you can tell at a glance it’s missing)
Shine.  No one wants to put newly sorted things back into a dirty area or on a dirty surface.
Standardize.  Take a picture, use the labels, something to help ensure everything goes back where it belongs.  You spent this time, why not help other people figure out where it goes.
Finally Sustain.  That’s the hardest one.  you spent that time, that effort, maybe even money to make it look pretty.  Now, let’s keep it looking pretty!  A little bit here and there, a walk through once a day, once a week, maybe once a month, fix anything out of place and you’re good to go.  No more spending useless hours working on this…. and there’s always a reward.  Dinner perhaps?

Oh and just so you know, I didn’t mention anything about you having to do this by yourself.  Get yourself a team… have the family help out!

after photo of the pantry:

Now you can find things easily at a glance.  There’s more shelf space & room.  Plus you arrange in the order of use.  Put the more used things at an easier level and the least used things down below.  This didn’t cost me anything except a little time because the cabinets came off the walls in my office where we didn’t want them anymore.