Deep in the projects
December 12, 2012 by almostakiss
We had a busy weekend which is par for the course for us. We always want to just relax and do nothing but watch the boob tube. Instead we end up taking on a project or two that takes a minimum of half a day or even longer. We wanted to try out the dehydrator we got prior to Thanksgiving and finally did. We weren’t exactly scared to try it, just tentative since it was so foreign to us. First I washed all the trays and mesh sheets with hot, soapy water. We wanted to try something easy first so we did 3 bananas and 2 pineapples. I cut up the bananas (in 1/4″ slices) and dipped them in freshly squeezed lemon juice so they wouldn’t turn brown. We placed those on the 2 mesh sheets (on top of 2 trays). Hubby cut the pineapple up, removing the outside covering, the core and then cutting that up in small pieces. He didn’t cut them as thin. Those went on the 4 other trays. We didn’t need the 2 extra trays we bought separately but I washed them so they’d be ready for whenever we do. The books we got from the library were good but we ended up following the instructions that came with the machine. 135 degrees for 8 hours. Ours has a digital timer and temperature adjustment that is so easy even I could use it! We were so thrilled with the results. The flavors are so strong and concentrated. The fruit shriveled up and ended up smaller than it started which was to be expected. We had to remove the banana chips right away or they stick to the mesh sheet. We decided to store both in ziploc baggies. The bananas fit in one and the pineapple we put in 2. Without adding any sugar or anything, both fruits are sweet like candy. These would be awesome to flavor homemade ice cream with! So far we’ve just snacked on them a bit here and there as a healthy alternative to dessert. Once we get a large assortment of fruits, I’m going to make a trail mix for hubby’s work lunch.
I ended up washing and putting the machine away after using it only one day. I wish we had the counter space to leave it out so we could use it more often. I’ve got very little counter space now and we’ve got a toaster, crockpot, stand mixer and bread machine that sit out all the time. I know myself well enough that if I don’t have these out and handy, I will never use them. We’ve decided we’re going to get the dehydrator back out tomorrow and run it for the 3 days that hubby is off for the weekend. We need to make a run to the fruit market in Niles, IL to make the next batch of dried goodies. We will probably do the bananas and pineapple again but definitely want to try kiwi, papaya, mango and maybe apple before we move on to veggies and meat. It’s almost like a science experiment.
The other project came up out of the blue. Friday when we were walking the dogs, about a block from home, someone had put out a piece of wood furniture to the curb for the garbage. We couldn’t believe it, it didn’t look new by any means but it looked in decent shape. I’m guessing it was part of the headboard of a bed. It didn’t matter to me, it was something we could repurpose and get lots of enjoyment out of. Hubby drove back with the truck and picked it up. He had me help him carry it around back and we left it outside wrapped in a tarp. We had to figure out what to do with it. We thought on it overnight and hubby came up with the idea to make a base for it. So Saturday at about 2:20 pm he went to Menards to buy the wood. Within a few hours, he had it cut and assembled and we made a place for it in the dining room. It even had a light fixture under the lowest shelf that worked when we put a bulb in it! Now I have it jammed full of paper clutter that I promise I will go through after the New Year when we’ll be staying home for 3-4 months straight.
Hubby always has his eye out for treasures that others discard and he brings them home and does whatever it takes to make them suitable for us. I’m sure a lot of wives would have a hissy fit to have various stuff dragged into their home with no warning. The cheap side of me loves it and the side of me who hates to waste things loves it even more! I like nice things but I don’t need everything to be brand spanking new. If I do have something new, it almost causes me anxiety because I worry about something happening to it. That it will get ruined or stolen. I’ve been this way since I was a kid! I think it stems from growing up in a bad neighborhood. I had a nice coat and didn’t want to wear it. I knew it would make the other kids jealous, I’d be picked on (more than I already was) and there’s a good chance it’d be stolen. I have carried this through to adulthood. Hubby knows I would love a convertible but I will never get one. I would love to have the carefree attitude of someone who has one and can go shopping or out to eat and leave the top down for even an hour. I would not be able to enjoy myself for fear that when I returned, the car would be stolen or more likely the entire interior sliced to shreds by some ne’er-do-well. This way of thinking affects every aspect of my life and I wish I could lose the fear. I guess if I took risks and had no bad things happen, I’d become more brave. Unfortunately, I feel like I’m a magnet for bad things. Hubby tries to tell me everyone has bad things happen to them. I have a hard time believing it. Some people look like everything goes right for them. If they fall into a pile of shit, they find a diamond, etc. Maybe they just make their lives look that way. Maybe they don’t share the bad things publicly. Also hubby told me that the more things you do, the more chances there are to have bad things happen. If we stayed in the house and never left, we’d encounter less bad things. (This is true except you’d still have to deal with all the house stuff going wrong.)
No, I don’t know where this blog post is going. I find that I always get an inkling of what I want to blog about and then end up on a tangent, not knowing where I wanted it to end. It’s probably because I don’t “plan out” blog posts. I just sit down and start writing, I don’t even spell check or proofread and sometimes don’t even read it a second time. My bad. That explains a lot. I started a different blog post yesterday and didn’t know what point I was trying to make so walked away. I hate to just abandon it but I’m not sure how I’ll finish it. On that note, I leave you with a picture of our Teddy Bear Squirrel.