Monday, December 26, 2011

Ice in the brakes?

We have been having some car issues lately, and we have a shop that we can use for the next week.  So for this next week we will be doing several repairs to both of our vehicles.
Andrew getting the brake booster our of the car

 I (Cristina) lost my brakes last week when it was really cold, so Andrew took my brake booster and and master cylinder out to check things out...


This is a picture of the inside of my brake booster.  That brown lump in there is actually ice..... No wonder I couldn't stop!

Projects on Andrews truck include taking off the side steps, (In the wintertime they hold snow and ice against the doors of the truck resulting in a lot of rust) fixing the windshield wipers, (one is slightly bent) taking off the plow frame, and grinding away rust and welding sheet metal back on over the holes.

Here is a picture of our research/Cristina's blogging station:

Add caption
Here we look up parts on Napa or Auto Zone to price them out.  They are both closed today because it's a federal holiday, but tomorrow we will hopefully be ordering parts.
Here is our tool station.. Andrew is breaking in his new tools that he got from his parents yesterday.  I think he has wayyyy too much fun with them!

We are now in the midst of dropping down the oil pan on my car.  (It has a leak in the bottom, and the side..) We are going to try to fix it, and if we can't, we will have to order a new one of those as well.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Little People

The other day I was babysitting the kids (Patricia, Moriah, Noah, and Jonah) and so we made gingerbread cookies!
Patricia cutting gingerbread cookies

I think it's safe to say that all had a great time making the batter, rolling and cutting out cookies, and then decorating them.
Noah cutting Christmas cookies

Our Christmas tree... taken from the woods out behind the house

Later that week we experimented with making Christmas wreaths.  They came out pretty good, and they weren't very hard to make at all.

Cristina making a wreath
We used two wire coat hangers as a frame, then wrapped them up with floral tape to make them non-slip.

 Here is Patricia working on her wreath:

Needless to say, wreath making is messy business.. This is about half the greenery that was on the floor when we were finished.

The end product.  In the woods out behind the house we found evergreen with little pine cones.  So cute!

One morning Andrew and I went for a walk down the road to pick some winter berries.  We were going to add them to a wreath, but we decided that the wreaths looked better without them, so we used them to decorate a windowsill with. :)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Driftwood Scents

While we were away on our Honeymoon, we picked up some driftwood while walking on the beach.  Andrew had the idea of burning our name onto a piece of the driftwood, and putting it all together to make a ring holder, so he did!  I think it's pretty awesome.. We keep it above the kitchen sink so that I have a place to put my rings while I do dishes. :)

We also made what I thought was going to be our last little batch of applesauce and apple butter.. 

Little did I know, that when I went to go pick up my last paycheck for the season, I realized the trees were still loaded with apples, and I picked up another couple bushels of Empires to make more apple butter and applesauce with.  I was so excited I forgot to grab my paycheck on the way out... Oops.  I guess I'll have to go up again! ;)

Before we got married, Andrew and I found about 40 little glass jars at Savers, and thinking we could put tea lights in them for centerpieces at the wedding, we picked them up for just under $10.  After we bought them, we found out that we weren't allowed to light tea lights in the function hall.. bummer!  Instead, I had the idea to make candles with them.  However, the scents that we bought for this project were not made specifically for scenting candles, so they did not mix in with the wax, resulting in a very weak smelling candle.. We are going to try using herbs from my garden and see how that works out next.  We will post more about this when we have perfected the art of candle making! :)


Monday, October 24, 2011

The Abode

And we're back again with another post!  This time, we are going to show ya'll a few pictures of our new apartment.  It is small, but a perfect starter home for us.  :)

Our welcome mat. I was looking at all these nice, pretty ones, you know, with nice designs and flowers on them, when Andrew comes over and shows me this one.  Love it!

When you first walk in, there's the kitchen.  We've been doing a lot of cooking!  We're planning on making some more applesauce and apple butter next week sometime.  One thing I love about this place is the windowsills.  Because we're on the basement level, they are really wide- perfect for putting plants or flowers on!  One downside (for me anyways...) is the ceramic sink.  I have already dropped and chipped a couple dishes in it.

Our cute little pantry!  There are shelves on the other side as well.  Perfectly sized for spices and smaller jars and cans.  :)

'Behind every successful person is a substantial amount of coffee'
Andrew put that one up.... :D
Our coffee pot and toaster oven-  Andrew really enjoys being able to make a lot of coffee at once, and the toaster is a great energy saver when we use that instead of the oven, we don't have to heat up the whole oven for just enough food for two people.  We can fit a full sized pizza in this thing!

This hutch came from Andrews parents- his Grandfather built it.

Our music/computer room.  On Sunday afternoons, Andrew will play on the piano or guitar as Cristina crochets a blanket.

A hutch that came from my Aunt Faith.  In the lower shelves, there is all the china that came from my Great-Grandmother.

A wedding present from one of my friends from Camp, Beth.  :)

A wedding present from the Merritt Family.  Mrs. Merritt painted it for us. :)

A painting that my great-grandmother did, back in '98 I believe.  It hung at my parents house for as long as I could remember, and I loved it, and it got to come with me when I moved! :)

A clock that Mr. Schulte made for us

Apples and a candle on the kitchen table

And last but not least, the book/tv room!  We hang out a lot in here. 
Thats all for now!  We just got a CD of wedding photos, so we will be sorting through and posting some of those pictures soon. :)

By request... A pic of the bathroom and two of the bedroom:

Sunday, October 16, 2011

what a slippery situation we have.

Today we made our own laundry detergent and glass cleaner!  It is way cheaper than buying it in the store, I made 2 gallons, and it cost me about 75 cents.  So it is costing us just over a penny for enough laundry soap for one load of laundry.  It doesn't take very long, either.  It took me about 20 minutes to do this first batch.  The recipe is posted below:

Homemade Laundry Soap
1/3 bar Fels Naptha or other type of soap, as listed above
½ cup washing soda
½ cup borax powder 
~You will also need a small bucket, about 2 gallon size~

Grate the soap and put it in a sauce pan.  Add 6 cups water and heat it until the soap melts.  Add the washing soda and the borax and stir until it is dissolved.  Remove from heat.  Pour 4 cups hot water into the bucket.   Now add your soap mixture and stir.  Now add 1 gallon plus 6 cups of water and stir.  Let the soap sit for about 24 hours and it will gel.  You use ½ cup per load.
To make it smell like something other than soap, you can add essential oils, 1/2 an ounce to 1 ounch per batch.

Today I used an Ivory soap bar rather than a Fels Naptha soap bar, which I usually use.  I don't think it melted as well as the Fels Naptha, but it still worked. :)  
If you want a recipe with a larger quantity, I will post my Mothers recipe down at the bottom of this post.  It makes 10 gallons rather than just 2.  Great for bigger families!

Next up is the glass cleaner!  Super quick and easy to mix up, and all the ingredients are stuff people usually already have around the house.  I used it in the bathroom earlier today, it works great!  Just be sure not to add too much dish soap, as that is what leaves streaks.

Glass Cleaner
1/2 cup ammonia
2 cups rubbing alcohol
1 teaspoon dish soap
1 gallon of water

Mix ammonia, rubbing alcohol, and dish soap into a gallon sized jug.  Add water to top.  You can then just keep refilling your Windex bottle with this.

Side note!  In this post I have been mixing different household cleaners together..  I got the recipes from people I know.  Please do not mix any household chemicals together without researching them first, it could cause a dangerous chemical reaction!

10 Gallon Laundry Soap Recipe

4 Cups hot tap water
1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 Cup Washing Soda
½ Cup Borax

- Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.

-Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.

-Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (will gel)

-Yield: Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons. 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Honey, where is the moon?

Okay, I know we said that this post was going to be about our new apartment and we were going to post some pictures, but we're doing the Honeymoon instead.  :)
The first night we stayed at Homewood Suites in Dover, then we spend the rest of the week at a little cottage in Ogunquit, ME.  
Our cottage in ME (sorry for the quality of the pic.. it was taken with my cell phone.)

The sunrise from the back porch

We were right on Perkins Cove, so we could walk to anything in the area we wanted to visit.  We walked into town a few times to visit shops and go out for coffee (we found a cute little coffee shop called Breaking New Grounds that had fantastic views of the beach)
Breaking New Grounds Coffee Shop
We also walked down to the Ogunquit Memorial Library (they were doing some work on it) and poked around in there for a while, looking through all of the old books.
Ogunquit Memorial Library

We also walked the Marginal Way a few times, it was absolutely beautiful with all the fall leaves!  And because a lot of places in Ogunquit close after Columbus day, there weren't a whole lot of crowds either. 
View from the Marginal Way
 We walked over to Oarweed Cove and explored the beaches over there.  Again, we had absolutely beautiful weather, and saw hardly any people!  We picked up driftwood and seashells along the shore. 

Dunes on Oarweed Cove
Beach alone Oarweed Cove
On the last night, we went out to a restaurant called Jonathan's Ogunquit, because we got a $25 gift card for there.  We had passed a Jonathan's restaurant on the way in, and it didn't look like much, so we didn't think we had to get dressed up for it.  Turns out, this one was a totally different Jonathan's than the one we passed on the way in, and REALLY fancy.   I think we were the youngest couple in the place by at least 20 years.  It turned out to be a pretty uncomfortable dinner, on account of we were really under dressed, and we could hear the people on the other side of the room whispering about 'those kids' who just got seated. :D  When the older couple who was whispering about us when we came in left, they came over to our table and asked if we were Honeymooners.  When we told them yes, they attempted to buy us drinks.. The waitress of course didn't let them, because we are both under aged. :D

We had the cottage until Saturday, but we opted to head home on Thursday instead on account of our beautiful weather turned to pouring rain, and we wanted to hang out at our own home together before work starts again- on Monday for Andrew, and on Sunday for Cristina.  (Cristina is giving free tractor rides this Sunday at Butternut Farm for their fall festival, 11-2ish!  Free caramel apples, face painting, & crafts for the kiddos, food for sale, proceeds going to Relay for Life, and apple and pumpkin picking)

In our next couple blog posts, we plan on adding wedding pictures and details, our house pics and some projects we have been up to. :)

Oh yeah!  One last thing.. Please comment or send us a message and let us know how we're doing!  Andrew is concerned that I have been adding too many pictures, as I am notorious for. :D  So vote!  More pictures, less pictures, or leave them how they are.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Quick post

Hi Everyone! I'm just posting to let you all know that we are still  here and are very, VERY busy getting ready for the wedding, so if we don't post tomorrow then don't expect us to post again for 9 days :D in the next post we will tell you all about our new apartment and we will post some pictures.


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Rye not use rye?

It has been more than a week since our last posting, so we figured that we would let everyone know what we are up to. :)  Andrew and I have both been working Mon-Fri during the day at our jobs, working on wedding planning on evenings and weekends, and then working the farm on weekends as well.  So we are both taking tomorrow off and going out for a picnic lunch. :)

There has been a lot done at the farm lately.  The Rye Grass that we planted last week is coming up great!  We planted another field of it today.  The field that we seeded today had hardly any rocks in it, which we are so thankful for!  It's hard to find farm land in NH without rocks in it.
The first field of Winter Rye that we planted is coming up great!
There has been a third and final field cleared and de-stumped, ready for plowing this coming week, and then we will seed that this coming weekend.  It is a very decent sized field, nearly two acres.

All this land has been cleared in the last week or so.  A good 2 acres for next year! :)
We have also started clearing woods on the other side of the road (that is where the bulk of the property is located.. It is just an old dirt road that isn't very busy) for planting in the coming years. 

Clearing across the road

A good sign that we found last week at the farm is an old abandoned apple orchard in the woods next to the first field that we plowed.  This lets us know that this is an area that apples will definitely survive in, and that this part of town is not too cold for them.  We will be putting a thermometer up this winter to see exactly how cold it does get here, to check to make sure that we can plant peaches and grapes, as they are not as winter hardy as other kinds of fruits we want to grow.
An old apple tree in the woods

The view from the road

Andrew harrowing the field

 P.S.- We have come up with the agreement that I (Cristina) will write the posts, and Andrew will title them.  So I am not responsible for post titles. ;)