Monday, April 18, 2016

It's Suddenly Summer!

Saturday the temperature outside reached 70.5, a nice change from all those 30s at the beginning of April with all that snow. Sunday it reached 80.9. Now that is not too unusual, there is often a spike this early in spring. Today it's currently 83.3. It's too dang hot, we're not used to it yet, even the poor dogs still have their winter coats. But as it's too hot to cook indoors I'm smoking some Atlantic salmon on the back deck. Salmon in the cold oven and smoke in the other, wafting over through duct work. Looking forward to having it tonight with a nice bottle of white wine. Perhaps I'll even take a picture. It's our first smoking session this year.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Yet Another Furniture Re-Arrangement

Now this unseasonably cold, snowy spring weather had been getting me down and as it's been very gloomy outside and my house is not well lit, I was antsy to do something to make me happier. So I started re-arranging the contents of my kitchen cabinets yet again. Then I had what became a brilliant idea after a little discussion with Hal.

I once thought about taking out the kitchen island but and putting the table there but we use it every fall for deer processing, that tile top is pretty easy to clean. Plus it held a lot of my kitchen supplies inside: oversize pans, extra slow cookers, etc. I'd hate to lose that storage.

But because it was so big, the 7 foot long cherry dining table did not fit in the dining area where it was stuffed into a corner between the massive fireplace, kitchen island and living room furniture. So a few years earlier we moved the table into the loft.

But what if we swapped the two?

So we moved the kitchen island into the dining area. It has now become a "bar" and the small table that was against the wall and being used as my sewing table until I moved back into the loft a few months ago has been moved into the kitchen in the island's place.

During cabinet re-arrangement and prior to moving furniture
Island placed where dining table used to be
Now I have no intention of leaving this small table in the kitchen. I placed 2 of my dining room chairs in a position that simulates the length of my 7 foot long dining table so we could get a feel of what it would be like to walk around such a large object. So far so good. When we first built the island the dining table used to be in the dining area but everything felt too big, the table just didn't fit the dining space. The location of the glass doors and fireplace just made walking around it awkward, plus we didn't really use it. As a farm table in the kitchen it just makes more sense. For instance, rolling out pie crust dough is easier on a lower surface. Also, because it's a table and not a big block of wood you can't see through, it's more pleasing visually and makes the room feel larger. The island in the corner isn't really blocking your view of the surrounding space.
new position
One other thing I am doing which you can't see in these photos is replacing some of the curly bulbs, those compact florescents, with LED daylight bulbs. Even the 60 watt equivalents blast out more light. The difference is incredible, and those CF bulbs blow out a lot more often than they advertise. The "60"s are putting out 815 lumens and a nice white light and have become fairly cheap, down to $4.97 at Home Depot. The 100 watt equivalents are still very pricey, around $18. I bought one 75 which cost $12 and because the actual wattage is much less than a 60 watt, somewhere around 10 or so, I was able to put it in my old goose-neck desk lamp up in my sewing room. Now I just need to figure out what to replace the overhead T12 florescent tube fixtures in the kitchen with.

In the meantime, Luna seems to be enjoying the new arrangement.
Luna seems to approve
Edited for clarity.

The Snow Storm Fizzled and Spring Came Back

So that 3-5 inch storm sort of moved around us. Alpena got a couple of inches, Detroit got more than they were expecting while we got a mere half inch, with a little ice. Color me happy! And finally in the last couple of days temperatures have come back to normal for mid April. Fifty three yesterday, should be a little higher today and high 60s by the weekend with 70s possibly which is higher than normal but hey, I'm not complaining.
The snow that did get dumped on us happened right as my crocuses were about to bloom and I figured they were toast. But they are stronger than they appear and have emerged triumphant!
Stay tuned for daffodils!

Friday, April 8, 2016

April Snow Just Won't Stop.

Winter came late and is now encroaching severely into spring. Today is Friday, at last it is sunny even if it is only 26 degrees when it should be in the 40s. On Sunday we had 7.5 inches of snow. Tuesday night into Wednesday we had 6 more with a bit over 1 more inch yesterday. This coming Sunday they're calling for another 3-5 inches.

My purple crocuses were about to bloom Sunday, now they are buried, don't know if the blooms can survive being buried by 14 inches of heavy, wet snow.

I had a lone hen who decided to go adventuring, very odd as chickens don't like walking about in the snow. Here she is returning from wherever she had disappeared to.
Yesterday, for about 5 minutes the sun peeked through the clouds, then it snowed a bit more. I managed to snap a couple photos from my front door. By the time I was dressed to go outside, it was gone. I took my camera anyway and got a dog photo anyway.
Looking at the coop, everything buried
from the front door
On Bambi Highway
The pond needs to thaw
This Sunday they are calling for 3-5 more inches of snow. we're under a massive low so I can see where it's coming from. Next Sunday they say 61 degrees for a high. Weird. I am so looking forward to normal April weather.