Monthly Archives: March 2014

Farm/Knitting/Etc Blog Archives 2007-2009

My farming/knitting/etc blog from 2007-2009 is back online!! Click archives if you really need a way to kill time…

I originally used iWeb to create this blog, but iWeb was depricated by Apple in 2010 or so. There was some help online, but porting the old blog to wordpress was prohibitively time consuming. Software to convert iweb blogs to wordpress no longer exists. That being said, my iWeb blog did export nicely as an entire website, and Krista at KVG Creative helped me ftp’ed the exported file.

While the content isn’t groundbreaking, it is nice that the blog isn’t lost. Blogging takes time and energy and I was sad to think of these entries hidden forever in my computer! Thanks for your help, P and Krista!

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Filed under Family, Farming, knitting

George Howell Coffee, Acton, MA

P and I made an impromptu visit to the George Howell roasting facility in Acton, MA recently. We are considering buying from their coffee club to keep us stocked with fresh and delicious coffee beans.


We were blown away with the technical precision of their roasting lab. Jerry gave us a thorough tour of the bean testing area, the bank of espresso and drip machines, the bags and bags of beans ready to be roasted, and especially the two large roasting machines — with technicians on their laptops right alongside.

Everyone who worked there was in the best of moods and it seemed like a great work environment. I’m sure that leads to better tasting coffee. There was another visitor while we were there, a blogger from the New York Times, Oliver Strand, which made the visit a little more exciting, plus we got to meet Mr. George Howell himself. Oliver Strand posted this photo, and P took this photo of barista art in a demi-tasse cup.


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Filed under Cool Locations, Travel and Visits

Mark Twain House, end of gold faucet project

Last weekend LG and I visited my grandmother – St. Patty’s Day corned beef and cabbage and celebrating her 94th birthday. On our way back LG and I stopped at the Mark Twain House and took a few pictures. He enjoyed the irreverence and humor of Samuel Clemence. In an odd mix of time periods we bought the Manga version of Tom Sawyer and he read it in the car on the way home.

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I am also considering the gold faucet project closed. Hooray! Here are the final work pictures of the shower enclosure. Overspray came off easily with GooGone. Next is the continuing with the linen skirt around the sink.

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Filed under Cooking, Home Repairs, Travels

Gold shower door enclosure

Gold shower door enclosure

This has to be sprayed in place. Currently in process!

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March 17, 2014 · 3:13 pm

Under-counter metal wire shelving

The plumbing fixtures looks great, so I am on to the next bathroom project! It is taking some restraint to stay focused on the master bath, but a wise person (my brother) once told me to finish one room at a time. This method yields a greater sense of completion.

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This metal shelf project is pretty simple, but it is step one of two in making a big change to the look of the room. The shelving doesn’t have to look pretty — it just has to be functional and maximize the storage possibilities. I am going to cover the under-counter area with a skirt in my next project, but I want the storage completed first.

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To build this storage unit I used wire shelving from my basement and cut the poles down to the size I needed. I did need to work out a few details to make this work well. If you are working with these materials, here are some comments from my experience:

1) Make sure that you have uniform feet for the poles. I had to pull the footings off some of them (on left in left picture) and add in those little cap dudes (on right in right). Once they are uniform, make sure that you cut them in a way to align the horizontal guide lines. Since the shelves sit on those guide lines you need to be sure that they align across poles.

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2) Once you have a plan for the pole feet to be uniform and guide lines aligned, measure carefully so that when cut, the top of the pole is just below the shelf sleeve. This way you aren’t dealing with a raw unfinished pole top. And it looks neater, too.

3) Wearing safety glasses, use an angle grinder with cut-off blade to cut the metal poles. Or use a hacksaw. I have a lot of tools in my shop and it really surprises me how frequently I use the angle grinder; I love it and all of its brother and sister cordless DeWalt tools. And regarding safety glasses – I’m not proud to say this but I am pretty lax with my safety precautions. However, I always wear glasses when cutting metal. I worked in a metal shop when I was younger and when I didn’t protect myself I got some pretty weird injuries. Once while I was drilling metal these tiny razor-wire coils of metal flew out of the drill press and gave me a gash on my neck. It hurt, but thankfully it wasn’t my eye!

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4) Double check for sharp edges. Metal cuts really hurt both for you while working and for any unsuspecting shelf users. Check if you need to level up the pole ends or remove metal burrs after you make the cuts. I used the lovely bench grinder that I got for my last birthday to do this. I used the grinding wheel to level and the wire brush wheel to remove rough edges and burrs. If you don’t have the machine you can use metal files.


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Filed under Home Repairs

UPDATE #3 Gold faucet trim project

This project is making me a little batty — and I am wondering if I should have just bought new fixtures…   But I am determined to see this through!

The good news is that the new spray I bought, Chase Champion Metallic Silver, is great. While it doesn’t sparkle like chrome, it has a very rich pewter-like finish.  It looks very solid.


The bad news is I am worried that the paint will chip off and won’t withstand daily water use and weekly cleaning.

I sprayed the parts last night at about 8:00 pm and started to install them this morning at 7:00 am. This was not enough time for the paint to set and my hands left dull impressions. This spray paint needs a good full day to set. I also found that unlike the common practice of many light coats, this products looks better when you apply something between a light and heavy coat. If you spray it too lightly the paint doesn’t blend together to form a smooth coating. If you spray too much it drips.


On the homefront, last night we had a friend of LG, also age 8, sleepover. Yes, a school-night!! They did homework together and were asleep by 8:40. For dinner I made some rice, frozen corn and barbecue chicken and everybody loved it. You never know these days what a visiting kid will eat, so I was pleased. I marinated the chicken breasts with Bone Suckin Barbecue Sauce for a day and then cooked them on my grill.

I haven’t used it this much this season, but I love my powerful Weber grill. Mine is brown, which is apparently a special edition (in form only, not function). I learned the fine are of cooking on the grill through the winter from my father, who lives in The Adirondacks. Each year he snow-blows a path from the kitchen deck door to the grill. It is pretty hysterical watching him cook out there surrounded by 3 feet of snow and wearing full winter gear, kinda like this guy grilling outside (not my dad).


June 16, 2014 NOTE:

Since I’ve been using these fixtures a lot since I posted this, I wanted to add a note that the finish got sort of sticky with use. I tried waiting quite a while to let the metallic spray dry days before using it, but the faucet and handles sort of never dried and would mush a bit with hand use.
To fix this I sprayed them again then sprayed them with sealer after they dried. Unfortunately, the sealer made the metallic lose it’s awesome shiny look. Fortunatly, they now look like pewter and I like that look.

I may try one more time by giving them a refresher coat of metallic spray then waiting a week to spray them with the clear coat. If I get better results that way then I’ll add a note. Otherwise assume that they still look pewter!

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Filed under Cooking, Home Repairs

Alarm clock iphone charging station

This is such a cool idea from AREAWARE. The images below are from their website.

jd5cdAlarm Dock for iPhone 4

Do you reach over in the night, grab the iphone off the nightstand and lift it up to see the time, like I do? Plus I like to wake up to Rest of My Life by the Kottonmouth Kings – I don’t personally partake in what they are singing about, but the lead notes wake me into a perfect mood.

I was looking to buy a retro flip-clock for my friend’s birthday and I came across this cool product. My dad had one of those flip-clocks and this thing looks just like it. I wonder if there is a way to make the flip-clock app stay live through the night, without timing out and jumping to the home screen. I also think it would be cool to have a real speaker in there.

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Filed under Cool Products