Jack Frost Makes A Visit

As I woke this morning and shuffled to the kitchen for my morning cup of coffee, I looked out the back window to a surprising white beauty. Overnight a very heavy frost had covered everything in an icy white glaze, and a fog loomed over the valley. I quickly decided to head out to walk our property and down over the hill to search for some photo opportunities. These are a few of my results.

Misty Morning
Misty Morning
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The Sun Shining Through
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Frosty Fern Fronds
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Sugared Berries
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Like the Down of a Thistle

Even the poor girls’ feathers began to turn crispy after I let them out of the coop and into the garden. But the sun was warm and felt good on my face.  So I enjoyed my time outdoors, looking out over the valley and knowing that the beauty of the chilly morning would soon evaporate into a wintery memory.

The Valley
The Valley

5:16PM: Just stepped out onto the back porch and had to add this beautiful sunset. God is so amazing to provide an awesome and beautiful morning, and then this spectacular sunset to close another blessed day…

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From Ordinary to Extraordinary: A Most Ingenius Fix

imageMy husband never fails to amaze me. One of my favorite things about him is his ability to build, create, or fix things. He is a problem solver and a people pleaser, so he never fails to come up with the perfect, simple solution. He has a tendency to agonize over a problem, mulling over its minute details for extended periods of time until suddenly the perfect solution is untangled in his mind and the process of creating or implementing it begins.

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Over the years, more times than I can recall, I would be away from home for a short period of time, and upon my return some project would have magically taken place during my absence. I have come home to various surprises such as an unexpected raised bed to grow vegetables in, an extended closet in the bedroom where there previously had been none, a recessed cubby for a tv, a stainless exhaust hood, shelving for the garage, various outlets or lighting fixtures, and my personal favorite – the time I came home to find that he’d painted the living room orange without my consent! Lol! Ok, really it was a terra cotta – earthy and unassuming, which I grew to adore. It actually fit our natural, simplistic style perfectly and I still miss it to this day!

So, recently we have been turning over numerous ideas about finishing our small basement to expand our living space. We know we need to be crafty here because a lot will be required of a tiny area and we’ll need to come up with very efficient ways to handle the things that our small family will require. Amenities such as a laundry area, a second bath, an extended pantry, enclosed furnace and water heater, litter pan for our furry feline friends, a naturally cooled indoor root cellar, and lots of storage.  Not to mention the added living space for family and friends to gather comfortably and watch a movie, play a game, enjoy sleepovers or holiday parties, and snuggling by the fire…

While we continued planning and began purchasing some of the needed materials, one question kept looming. How can we expand our Pittsburgh bathroom (read: enclosed toilet only) to actually include a sink, and possibly a tub and/or shower, without completely relocating the plumbing and creating more work and expense?(Insert additional pondering here!)

My determined hubby thought this through for some time. Many months were spent redesigning the plan over and over. And over. It’s fun to dream and think about the many different ways we could implement the ideas we envision. But there comes a time when you are more than ready to see the final plan come to fruition, and this winter will finally be that time while he has some downtime from his work. I will keep you updated on the progress here.

But, oh! Yes! There has been a most interesting solution to the Pittsburgh bathroom dilemma. Mind you, the “powder room” has not had any additional work done yet so it is still your typical enclosed basement toilet… However, true to form, I went out for a meeting one evening to return to this ingenius “green” alternative! 

Simply do your business and flush. The clean water then comes in through the spigot on top, and as you cleanse your hands the recycled water flows into your tank for the next flush.

An awesome way to save space and water!image