Sunday, January 22, 2012

Boxes of Happy

I've got two boxes to talk about today - both of which made me very happy!  It's always nice to receive something in a package in the mail....there's something about opening a box or package that is like unraveling a little mystery.  Sometimes you know the box is coming, and sometimes you don't!

The first box of happy was one that I knew was coming.  A looooong time ago, Millie the goat at Eden Hills had a lovely giveaway for her human's new online shop!  I was the lucky winner, and I was able to choose 2 products from her bath and body selection as my prize.  It was difficult to choose from all the yummy choices, but I selected the "relaxing" scent soap (because I need to relax more) and the "earthy" scent bath salts, because I do love a nice warm bath in the winter, and I'm a bit of an earthy girl.

It was very exciting to receive a box in the mail from a goat!  Yes, Millie Ann herself sent it!
It was very nicely packed with packing paper so nothing would get damaged.  And as I opened it, it just smelled wonderful!
 Here was the source of the lovely smell - this is the soap!  What an elegant label.
I tried to encourage Fezzik to take an interest in the soap - I thought he might like to consider daily showers with it so that he smelled less goaty.  He briefly stopped to consider it...
 ...but decided his goat chow was MUCH more interesting.
Well that's just fine by me, because I want that soap all to myself!  It's a lovely scent - not too strong, and just right for me or for Richard, since we both need to relax!

The bath salts come packaged in a lovely little jar - so pretty to sit on the edge of the bath!  Do you see that I finally got the tiles grouted?  They actually look quite nice and I'm pleased at how the bathroom is progressing, even though it's a bit slower than I'd like.  My Dad is working on a nice front piece for the tub now, so that'll be the next stage!
In any case, I think that the bath salts look so lovely in their little jar, coordinating with my tiles, that I haven't actually used any yet.  They smell fabulous and I keep opening the jar and smelling it and then putting it back because I don't want to lose my pretty bathroom "ornament" yet!
I do encourage you to visit Millie Ann's human's shop!  She makes lovely bath products!  Not only that, you can buy popcorn from her farm!  And, guess what?!  You can lease a GOAT!   Go check it out!  A huge thank you to Millie Ann Saanen and her lady in Iowa for hosting the giveaway!

The second Box of Happy was completely unexpected and a lovely surprise!  Isobelle's lady sent it to me! What a wonderful treat!  She knows that things have been difficult here with all the craziness due to the former owner's disregard for his promises on helping us carry on his wine business.  It has made me so unhappy and she knows that I've been trying very hard to find at least part time employment with no success.  She sent me a box full of "happy" to make me feel better.  I was completely surprised!

There were two lovely reversible placemats for our kitchen table!  There was a gorgeous skein of sock yarn that I can't wait to knit!  It has the very funny name of "Bite Me" for the colourway, which gave me a good giggle.  She also sent a lovely card with her very own hand drawn characters of her barnyard residents.  What a sweet thing to do!
She also tucked in two pairs of these lovely warm socks.  I can only show you one pair because the other one has already been worn and it's in the wash!  They have sheep on them, of course!
Thank you so much to my special "goat-sister" in New York for this virtual hug!  You really made my week!
*Special Addition (after original post)*
Since Marigold asked, even though Isobelle's lady will probably have a fit, here are her lovely drawings of her critters from the card.  I think they look super!  You can see Tuuli and Wickery the sheep, beautiful Number in his blanket, the mini-horses, and I do believe Thistle is scampering across the card.  Isobelle is lovely of course, and she would not be horrified at all!  An artist at work, here!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Goats! Trees! And an Impending Project!

The goats have been very happy for the past couple of days because they were given a special treat!  Or should I say treet?

The road on which I live had a large machine go by a few weeks ago that did some pretty major trimming along the side of the road.   Unfortunately, this trimming involved a lot of trees with pretty wide trunks, including a lovely old apple tree.  I don't know why the county felt a need to get quite so vigourous with their brush cutting, but the outcome was a massive mess of branches and lots of young spruce trees that were cut off at the base.

I gathered quite a few of these felled trees and dragged them up to the barn, because the goats love spruce, so it was a free food source that was pre-cut for me to haul up to the hungry herd!  As you can see, they are very pleased.
Oh wait, no, I guess you can't see.  Word to the wise.  When you're trying to take pictures in a cold barn, you can't breathe out at the time time you snap the picture, otherwise all you take a picture of is a plume of breath that is making a little cloud in front of the lens!

Here we go - wee Westley to the left and Fezzik to the right, along with the sheep in the background, all having a good gnawing on a spruce!
Wee Fezzik has been doing well with his winter turtleneck-coat on and seems to be at least maintaining his weight despite the cold, which was what I had hoped for.  He still gets his special molasses oats treat every day to keep the weight on him as much as I can without giving him a case of the runs!

Moving on, you may recall, if you are a regular reader, that a while ago we bought cabinets to re-do the kitchen here.  We're not quite ready to do that project yet, but when we bought those cabinets, we bought a few extra units so that we could install some in my upstairs "studio" area, giving me places to store yarn, spinning fibre, dye materials, and other goodies.  It is with much excitement that I can tell you that the project to install these cabinets is set for Sunday!  Woohoo!!

Here are the cabinets that we have moved upstairs in preparation for the project!  There are two like the cabinet facing the camera on the left.  Nice big drawer and cupboard.  Then there is a smaller one (narrower) that is the same height.
 This is the sink cabinet unit.  Eventually we will get a nicer sink but one thing at a time!
Here is where they'll be installed (the chaos zone). We'll get rid of this grungy old half-baked plywood counter and put in the cabinets and a nice piece of second hand countertop (which already had a sink hole!) that we were able to get.  It is a nice dark greenish looking laminate.  Easy to clean.
All those bottles under the sink are my fibre dyes and detergents, etc.  The microwave is for dyeing also.  All our bathroom stuff is also there because our bathroom doesn't have a sink yet, so we have to use this one for that too.  Anyway, I can't wait to do the project and get things put away in their proper, organized places.  I'll be sure to show some pictures after our work!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Keeping on keeping on

I have been a bit remiss in blogging, but I guess I haven't much felt like it lately.  Sometimes there just seems to be a bit too much on the plate these days, and I get a little bit grumpy about the situation with the house and everything.  Still, it's not as if I'm just sitting in the corner bemoaning things.

This past week, I built a shelf for the temporary bedroom.  It's the temporary bedroom because the master bedroom is a long way off from being finished, let alone started, really.  So the temporary bedroom is a small, cramped room with limited options due to the sloping ceiling.  It scarcely fits the bed and there's no room for nightstands or other useful furniture.  There is a closet but much of it is blocked by the bed, and the part that isn't blocked is used for Richard's clothes since it's more important for him to use the hanging space since he needs to look nice to go to work.  Can't have him looking like he slept in his clothes!  As a result, I had a small shelf on which all my clothes were going, and it wasn't enough once winter came because winter clothes are bulkier and take up more space.  Thus, I had a large heap on the floor that became my closet.  Not a good option!

I decided to remedy this problem by making a shelf out of any materials I could scrounge up around the house.  There was a bifold door that we didn't like that had been presumably bought for the closet door but it won't work for that closet because the bed would prevent the door from opening, so I took it apart.  I used the two pieces as the sides of my shelf unit.  I then found another bifold door that could be chopped open to make a top and bottom shelf.
I scrounged up some boards to use for shelves but some weren't wide enough so I had to use 2 boards for some shelves.  The shelf wood was pretty nasty all around - splintery and in bad shape.  I considered sanding and painting, but that seemed like a lot of work for what will hopefully be a relatively short-term solution, so I got out the staple gun and covered the nasty boards with scraps of cotton jersey that I'd found in the mouse-infested boxes when I was cleaning out the junk earlier in the summer.  I'd washed the pieces twice, thinking they might come in handy, and sure enough they did.
Anyway, it's not pretty or fancy or anything, but it does the job.  I'm constantly kicking myself for all the furniture I sold and/or gave away in Iowa before I left.  I didn't think I'd need it, but I sure do!

I've also continued working on improving the bathroom and the most recent effort has been putting some tile along the bath edge that I previously showed - the one my Dad designed for me.  I'm waiting for the adhesive to dry fully.  The package says 72 hours but I want to leave it for an extra day because the temperature of the house is quite cool so it may need a little extra time.  Then I'll be grouting.  I like the soft blues and whites of the tiles - it will lend itself to an aquatic-themed room.
I'm also still working on finishing the home-office room.  I've been moving stuff around and painting in sections.  It wasn't practical to move stuff out of the room so I just keep moving it around within the room.  Still, it's getting done and I begin to feel better about it - there's still a way to go on the trim and the wall behind me in the picture.  I love the warmth and the colours and it begins to be the first room that actually feels like a home.  Ignore the bare bulb.  Light fixtures will be forthcoming someday...
So, I'm still here, I'm still working on things, and I'm really going to try to blog a bit more often.