Friday, October 4, 2013

This One Was in Our Favor!

Since buying our house in June, we have done lots of projects which led to lots of  other projects. You know how that tear one thing apart to make it better and something else needs done.

Well this past weekend, we went to camp, something we have not had as much time to do this summer. On the way home, we passed a house in the country with some items for sale in the front yard. Luckily this caught Ken's eye because I missed it entirely.

"They had a vinyl railing in the front yard for sale. I wonder how that would look on our porch?" Ken said to me after we passed it. "I wonder if it would fit?"

"Let's go back and look at it. It can't hurt," I say.

The railing was taken off the deck of this home by its new owners. They wanted to open it up so they could just step off the deck into their back yard. We sized it up, checked it out, guesstimated whether it would work on our porch. We figured we would have to cut it down and piece it in. There were two pieces of this white railing.

The owner came out and Ken asked how much he wanted for them. "How about $20.00?" he offered.

We about jumped out of our skin at that price. "We'll take it," Ken said. "We have to go home and get the truck but if we find it won't work and we have not returned in the next couple days, just keep the money and put it back up for sale."

We went back immediately after getting home and unloading our camping stuff. When we got home, we took one section to the porch and tried it out. It was a bit long for the first section we tried. It fit perfectly into the second section. We pulled the second railing out and tried it and it too fit perfectly. We couldn't believe our luck! For $20 we have a railing across the front of our porch.

Last night we went to Home Depot to get some end caps that were missing from the railing. Before we left, Ken measured a short section on the side of the porch to see how much more railing we were going to need to complete the job. He told me to write down 68 inches. At Home Depot we see a section of railing above the end caps. The size is, you guessed it, 68 inches. Perfect!! We also bought some white paint and had the paint department match it to the white of the end cap. I will paint the wooden posts on the porch before Ken installs the railing and all will look new.

So for a little over $100 we now have a new porch. Not really but it will look like a new porch.

Here it is now (picture from winter when it was for sale). I'll show the finished product after we get it all done.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Cooking Lesson #1

A few weeks ago my grandson, Aaron, mentioned that he wanted to learn to cook some things. He said some of his friends knew how to make things by themselves and at least one of them cooked dinner for his family. (I am not sure what that consisted of).

Well, if you know me, my cooking is always made into a joke. But being the good grandmother that I am, I volunteered anyway to teach Aaron how to make some things on his own. I made a list of things I thought we should start with:  grilled cheese, boxed mac n cheese, French toast, eggs, spaghetti and meatballs.

Did I say spaghetti and meatballs? Yeah. I was thinking about using jarred sauce and frozen meatballs. Can't be that hard right?

Well the day before Aaron was to come for his first cooking lesson, I purchased Hunt's Garlic and Herb sauce, a box of rigatoni, and fresh hamburger. I thought Aaron would enjoy making his very own meatballs. I got out my daughter-in-law's recipe given to her by her mother. I love Marissa's meatballs!

So it's now Thursday, the day Aaron and I planned this cooking adventure and he gets sick and misses school. Well that can't be helped. I stopped to see him after work and he said he still wanted to come, thought he was up to making meatballs with me.

Ken had made us hot dogs for dinner and Aaron ate with us. I pulled the pan off the stove to put the larger pot for pasta in its place. I took my time showing him all the things needed to make pasta, how to boil the water, had him read the directions on the pasta box, showed him how we would strain the pasta after it was cooked and dump the water in the sink and the pasta into a colander.

My best friend, Denise, stopped by for a quick visit. I put the pot on the counter and showed her our new house. As we were standing in my bedroom, I noticed a funny smell. "Is something burning?" I asked her and Aaron. "Aaron, you didn't put anything on the stove or turn it on did you?"

Very seriously he answered, "No!" (Aaron has issues with fires and smoke)

I hurried into the kitchen and checked the stove. There it was. I had placed the recipe for meatballs on the stove burner where we cooked hotdogs. The recipe was in a plastic sleeve to protect it. What I didn't know was that Ken had left the burner on low to keep the hotdogs warm. I never turned it off when I dumped the pan before showing Aaron how to cook pasta. Luckily it only melted part of the plastic sleeve and I caught it in time.

My friend left, and I was ready to start my class again. But by this time, Aaron mysteriously didn't feel up to learning to cook. I am not sure if it was because of the stove issue or he really didn't feel good. He didn't look great so I let it go.

"Okay, Ace, I'll make them myself and bring some over for you." After taking Aaron home, I made Marissa's famous meatballs. They smelled so good and I tried extra hard to make them good. I made my own sauce also and Friday Ken and I had spaghetti and meatballs. I dropped off the canned sauce and box of rigatoni and several meatballs at Aaron's house so he could make dinner for his brothers. With help from his mom, he successfully made spaghetti and meatballs and his brothers were happy. Everyone said the meatballs were good, including Ken!!

While Ken and I were eating, he asked if he got the door prize. "What do you mean? What would you get a door prize for?" I asked him.

"I got eggshells in this meatball. Do I get a prize for that?"

Darn and I was feeling so smug about how good they tasted. I wonder when Aaron will be ready for his next lesson?