Baked jalapeño poppers

Once upon a time, long long ago, MrGillis and I had what you could call a “social life”- punctuated by events, friend type people and even the occasional late night.

On one such occasion- we had a potluck unBBQ and requested that people bring something different from the usual bbq fare.

A friend who had recently lost a lot of weight asked if we’d be ok with her bringing a “diet” food and we told her “of course!”, because this is free food we’re talking about.

Well, she brought with her a variation of these baked jalapeno poppers and they were a huge hit. They are a delicious, healthy version of a bar favorite that are fairly easy to make, if a bit time consuming until you get the hang of it.

So time to gather your ingredients.

 

This is my recipe to make 30 finished poppers.

What you Need:

  • 15 fresh jalapenos
  • 1 egg
  • 1 lime
  • Hard Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 package FULL FAT regular cream cheese
  • Japense Style Panko bread crumbs
  • Sour cream (pictured separately because I forgot to include it the first time)
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Cilantro
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Preheat your oven to 325 and get to work.

Step one is to split your peppers and clean them out really well. You can wear gloves when you do this to protect your skin, but I don’t honestly. I just rinse my hands in milk and then wash with soap and water before touching anything else.

Step two is to make the filling –

  • Soften the Cream Cheese in your mixer
  • Add in egg
  • squeeze in the juice from half your lime
  • add 2 tbsp sour cream
  • add crushed garlic cloves
  • add 1/4 cup shredded cheddar
  • season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and cilantro to taste

I use probably 1/2 tsp each of the salt and pepper and then heaping 1/2 tablespoons of the garlic and onion powders… cilantro I literally just shake in until it smells like enough.

I know, I’m such a stickler for details. Wait, it gets better.

Step three is to mix your dry breading mix that you will coat your pepper with.

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For this step, you need Plain Panko, Garlic and Onion Powders and Cilantro. Basically, throw a bunch of all of it onto a plate, blend together with your fingers and then move on.

Step four is to stuff your cream cheese mix into your peppers and then cover in your panko crumb mixture. Drizzle a very little amount of olive oil over the tops to keep the bottoms from burning… like 1 tsp or cap full….

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Yeah, I know, super pretty.

Once your peppers are stuffed and covered with crumbs, throw those suckers in the over for at least 30 minutes. We like our peppers SUPER cooked so we’ve kept them in as long as a hour before. They really just get better.

On the other hand, if you like a firm pepper just cook for 20 minutes and then use your broiler to get the crumbs to the desired golden brown. img_2270

I eat them as is, but MrGillis insists that they HAVE to be dipped in pizza sauce (i’ve questioned his taste level for years.)

Either way, I hope you enjoy them and impress your friends for many nonbbqs to come.

Until next time, have a wicked good day.

Triple Chip Cookie Bars – AKA Death By Blondie

The first time I made these, my husband and I killed the entire  pan in 48 hours, after which he looked at me and said, never make those again.

Here we are two weeks later and not only am did I make them again, I’m going to share my recipe with you guys. (By the way, he looked at me, while devouring another piece of this and said, “Seriously, don’t make these. I don’t want this, but I DO”)

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup room temperature salted butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Chocolate chips
  • Peanut Butter chips
  • Butterscotch Chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat your over to 350.
  2. This is a stiff batter, so I use my kitchen aid. Cream together your butter, vanilla and sugars
  3. Mix in one egg at a time, until all three are well incorporated.
  4. In a separate bowl, make a dry mix out of your flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder.
  5. Slowly mix your dry ingredients into your wet mix, and let this go until it is very well mixed together.
  6. Once your batter is complete, add in your chips with a spatula. I use Chocolate, Peanut Butter and Butterscotch to the tune of a cup and a quarter total.
  7. Spread into an ungreased 9 x 13 pan and bake for 30 minutes until the top starts to turn golden brown.
  8. Take it out of the oven, cover the pan in tin foil and bake for an additional 20 minutes or so until it passes the toothpick test.


I would post more pictures, but I was to excited to get this done. So I could eat it.  Priorities.

Lots of projects going on, as per usual. We have a production kitchen to finish, a garden fence to get up, a new chicken run to install, and about a million other things. I have an update blog in the works.

So until next time, have a wicked good evening.

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Homesteading Dreams – Building Cold Frames

Here at Gillis Gardens, we have dreams. Some of them are in laborious progress, such as our production kitchen and rainbow flock of egg laying chickens… others are probably unattainable for years yet(my personal favs being a greenhouse within a wallpini for tropical growing or getting into aquaponics and farming our own tilipia) but we have a lot of them.

We believe in that itself. Having dreams, goals… things that you reach for past what you have or know now. None of ours have to do with being rich, or gaining fame. It’s more about pushing our own limits at what we thought we could accomplish between us and our drive. Maybe that can be a blog for another time. Today we are talking about realizing a dream of ours that we’ve had for some time.

Building Cold Frames.

I know, quite the lofty goal there, but cold frames are important for homesteading for a big reason- it is going to extend our planting season by a few months.

From the renovation on the shed, we have a lot of of old windows, random hardware junk and different sized pieces of wood. What better use for all that stuff, then to pair it with some hay bales and bags of dirt to create THIS:

This is just the first one that we threw together real quick. We put the bales up on their sides, layered some hay in so that there was more insulation between our dirt and the cold ground and put a bag of dirt in. Then mrgillis slit the plastic and lined the sides of the hay bales with the extra. Next, he got fancy and put hinges on the windows for easy open access.

But one cold frame wasn’t good enough. We had a truck full of bales and a “malt beverage” into both of us, and it was almost 70 degrees out in April in Maine. This deserved some celebrating and some work. So we rearranged the bales and ended up with three cold frames.

Mrgillis made a neat brace for the windows too. He’s just that thoughtful. Meanwhile, Izzy and I played.

The Next day, it was up in the 60s again, so we planted salad greens and micro greens, because if it works, eff yeah we have fresh produce in our front yard. And if it doesn’t well it wont be long and it will.


So, to cap it off, we spent about 20 bucks on hay, reused a bunch of old windows and hardware instead of trashing them and have the ability to start growing outside about 5 to 6 weeks earlier then in years past… it also will extend our harvest capabilities well into the fall. It was a quick project and gave us a good reason to be out enjoying the fresh air and beautiful Maine spring day.

In fact, it was so quick and easy that MrGIllis is ready to go get another truckload of bales and make 3 more. I’ll post an update as spring moves along.

Until next time, have a wicked good day!

Update for 04/23/17-


We have 4 cold frames and SPROUTS! Yea!

Update for May 7th 2017

The coldframes are  a rousing success! We have lots of tomatoes, peppers, squash, marigolds, cucumbers, pumpkins, watermelons, leafy greens all sprouting and growing OUTSIDE in MAINE in early friggen MAY.

We are so excited about the possibilities that these cold frames open up for growing fresh food out of season.

Have a wicked good day!

Update 05-29-17 – cold frames are a definite, long lasting success! We have tomatoes and peppers, cukes, pumpkins and a mini salad garden that we’ve been harvesting from for weeks now…. and they are all cold hardened already!

This has been a great first foray into lengthening our grow season, and we’re excited to do this for many years to come. It was great not having to transform a room or closet into a plant nursery for once…. Still lots more to go tho, so until then, have a wicked good day!

Weekend Warriors – Month of March/First Week of April.

(To catch up go here, here, here, and here)

For the last month, I haven’t really been much of a help in the shed renovation. Since mrgillis and I got all the demolition done, our handyguy charlie and the hubby have been in charge while I’ve stayed nice and clean and out of it. I kinda “joked” about how maybe he should do a guest blog, but that isn’t happening. The most I get is him sitting beside me and telling me how it happened. This wont take long, MrGillis is not the most talkative dude around.

So, the big deal news is, the floor has been jacked, leveled and major support has been redone so that the water damage, rot and missing pieces of floor are no more.

Now we have a new nice level floor. With neat support systems like beams and sills and support trees.

We also decided to close back up the “window” that a previous tenant had cut into the wall in between the kitchen and front area. This is because when they cut the “window” they cut thru 3 wall studs that were part of a major load baring wall. It is the number two factor creating the dip in the roof.

So that wall has come down completely and since been rebuilt as a skeleton.

We’ve gotten so far on this place, its almost crazy to be talking about where we’re going to be putting kitchen/bathroom and pantry walls back up, but we are THISCLOSE. All we need to do now is tear down the ceiling, but we are waiting on masks for that. I’m thinking of getting us some ponchos as well.
It was a crazy, intense whirlwind of a month and I’m not sorry to see it go. Spring has officially arrived in my corner of Downeast Maine and the snow is receding fast. We’ve been able to spend time outdoors almost every day for the last week and our daughter is LOVING every second of it. And, quite frankly, so are we.

We have a lot of projects coming up, one of which we are doing today to be blogged about tomorrow, so stay tuned!

And until then, have a wicked good day.

 

The Aftermath- how we are making our chickens safe again.

When tragedy strikes on the homestead, you don’t really get the option to just give up. You still have animals relying on you for their everyday needs. After we lost 10 of our 16 chickens to a bobcat this last friday morning, we knew we needed to make a some big changes in order to protect our survivors and all other future livestock. So we came up with a 5 point plan, a few of which we’ve already started.

1. We have already called the game warden to become aware of our rights in protecting our livestock- First and foremost we have to prove knowledge of what animal we are dealing with. If it was a bobcat, we’re free and clear to shoot to kill if we have to. If its a lynx, we’re looking at trapping and rehoming somewhere VERY far away. This leads directly to-

2. Setting up cameras and motion detector lights to monitor and record all activity. Also, possibly going a bit overboard and buying a new 32 inch tv to watch monitors at all times. And hooking the cameras to our iphone to watch when away as well. BUT we’ve already caught a fox and possibly the bobcat both sniffing around again. It was at night while we were asleep, and the girls were locked up, but STILL.

3. Clean .22 rifle, bb rifle and air rifles- buy ammunition and have mrgillis teach me how to shoot – this is mostly for trying to scare the damn things away first. But if that should fail, we have to protect our animal family. Also, make sure said guns are in safe place, but easily accessible. We have a wall mounted rack on its way.

4. Check out chain link fencing with roof capabilities – find scrap tin roofing and buy clear pvc sheets from Amish. Construct superfence come this spring when the ground is thawed – dig foot deep/6 inch wide trench to lay welded wire in to create below ground barrier, then attach welded wire fence to chain link sections. Put on frame for a roof, do one half of roof in tin and other half in clear pvc sheets so the girls can get some sun or shade when they need it. Also, put henhouse directly on ground to save on fencing around bottom.

5. This spring/summer clear our immediate backyard of all birch, spruce, pine, brush, bushes and leave only beneficial to us trees, maples apples and other wild edibles. This was the plan anyway, but we feel a bigger sense of urgency to make it a priority.

Finally, I have given myself this weekend to be as upset as I need to be. I’ve eaten, drank, smoked, talked and cried my feelings from friday into last night, sunday. Today, is a new day, a new time. We will always love the hens we lost. They were all full of personality, love and most of them were good at cuddling. They gave us eggs, entertainment, a certain sort of stress relief and a sense of “hey we can raise things!” type of pride. Those memories and moments are an integral part to our story- Even the terrible way we lost them. Life is such. Time to focus on the future.

Until next time, have a wicked good day.

 

A Venture into Vermiculture – setting up and getting started

Our Venture into Vermiculture, started out very quickly. It was literally, a flirtation with an idea and then, 3 days later our WormFactory 360 was delivered. We had already started a worm friendly compost bin and had been shredding our paper products and washing our eggshells to give our little dudes when they arrived (fun fact, worms are both male and female).

So the morning we found out our worms were on their way to being delivered, we got to work setting up their new home. This is not a simple task in itself.

Opening your kit – our worm factory 360 came complete with a base, with tea spigot, a worm ladder, 4 trays, a cover, a sprinkler tray, shredded newspaper, a moisture meter, ground pumice, coconut fiber called Coir, a Thermometer, and a bag of powdered minerals.

First, they recommend you test the base for leaks around the spigot. This is super easy, as you just put enough water in the base to cover the spigot hole. If it holds, then you’re good to start setting up. If it doesn’t, then please visit Nature’s Footpath for further troubleshooting.

Second, its time to build your worm home – for this you’re going to need some additional supplies- in particular a bunch of sheets of newspaper, a couple cups of dirt and kitchen scraps. We were able to find all of these things relatively easy, even tho we had to sacrifice an aloe plant to get the dirt (its ok, we have dozens).

For really complete instructions that come direct from the manufacturer, I urge you to please go here. This is our experience and I’m going to base this blog soley off of that.

First thing that morning, we got to work by placing the “Worm Ladder”(this is a special piece of plastic designed to help escaping worms find their way back home) in the fitted slots in the base and starting our first bin. We put the bin on the base, folded 5 peices of DRY newspaper to fit the bottom. Then Mrgillis got to preparing the base of our worm bin – the dirt from our aloe plant, the shredded newspaper, the wet coir, (this is a coconut fiber block that we partially soaked with 2 cups of water – you only use about a third of the block), half the pumice, a tablespoon of the powdered minerals, all componants of their new home, that will help keep moisture and air levels optimal for worm health. But we still had no worms…

 

So, we were working at our office, and around 10 am, we got phone call from post office that our worms were there, and ready to go home. Mrgillis went, picked them up, came home, and setup up our worm’s home with the mixture from above… he then added at least a cup of water to get right moisture level, which they give you a meter to help tell.

When at last, everything was set up according to the directions provided on natures footprint, he opened up the worms and let them explore their new home

After, he put a couple cups of compost in one corner so as to watch for them to return to their routine of eating and not being super stressed and trying to dig down. After we’ve established that they are eating again, we dont have to seperate the food like that anymore.

Finally, he sprayed the worms lightly with water, then covered them with damp, not soaked, newspaper, 5 to 7 sheets thick, and put the cover back on top of the farm.

We placed the worm factory 360 in our bathroom, for two reasons. We have to leave a light on for them for 24 hours to discourage them from escaping. Because stress, apparently. Bugs are pretty complex creatures. And space being the other one reason, as we don’t have a lot of it. Especially with a curious toddler.

img_1792On a final note, we recommend a spray bottle for keeping your newspaper damp… and it seems like everything else we needed to start our kit was included with the factory other then dirt and “food”. We were lucky to have one on hand already, as Casper, our treefrog, requires spraying daily.

Well, it appears I’ve said about all I have to say about setting up a worm farm. We’re still waiting to make sure they acclimate to their new home, and stop trying to escape. Then we can move the whole kit and caboodle out to the plant nursery.

Now it’s full steam ahead to get ready for our newest additions, CHICKS! They should be arriving sometime in the next week. I am just beside myself with excitement.

So until next time, have a wicked good day!

Easy, Homemade Chocolate Syrup 

This is the third and last installment of my blog series about making this seriously delicious Peanut Butter Pie with this super easy and tasty graham cracker crust. This is the chocolate syrup that, I promise, really needs to be layered in between the peanut butter and whipped cream layers. And then, drizzled on top of the whole deal. Or, just eaten by the spoonful, because that how much I love chocolate.

Its 5 ingredients,  which is a lot less then whats in your national/store brands that actually COST more to bring home, then this does to make.

If you make excess, it stores well in the fridge for a few days, but I would hot water bath can any large amount.

Gather your ingredients:

  1. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  2. Granulated Sugar
  3. Salt
  4. Vanilla Extract
  5. Water

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I’m going to write this recipe to make a little over a cup finished product, because I don’t feel like canning anything.

Get our your saucepan, combine your 1/3 cup cocoa powder, 1/2 cup sugar and  pinch of salt. Whisk these together until most of the lumps are gone.

You HAVE to do this first, before adding in your water or it WILL NOT mix together easily. You’ll save yourself a lot of effort to mix your solids first, and then add in your water.

Then add a 1/2 cup water, whisking until well incorporated… now you can turn on your heat, but only on low. This stuff will scorch fast.

At first, the result of your work will look like yoo-hoo!, that chocolate water drink that was the only non juice drink allowed in our middle school vending machine. But as you let it boil down over the course of 15-25 minutes it becomes thicker, and much more like the syrup you’re used to.

 

How long you boil it determines how thick it will be. I prefer mine to be more of a fudge like consistency, so I boil it down quite far. I have also noticed, the more boiled down it is, the longer it lasts in the fridge.

Last thing, the Vanilla.

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The weird thing about chocolate is, that nothing really tastes like chocolate until you add a bit of vanilla extract.

For my 1 cup of finished syrup to have to have the desired taste of actual chocolate syrup, I add 1/2tsp of pure vanilla extract to the mix – BUT only after the syrup has cooled down for at least 5 minutes, if not closer to ten.

The reason being, well, you end up with burnt vanilla taste instead of pure vanilla taste, trust me. Learn from my mistakes, people.

Once that has been incorporated into your syrup, its ready to pour onto just about anything… and it makes a fantastic glass of chocolate milk as well.

So there it is… It only took me about 2 months to finish this blog series, but with so much else going on, I just have way different things on my mind as of late – such as chicks, worm farming and getting ready for planting season!

Feel free to use this recipe as is, or play around with it a bit… its basically delicious chemistry anyway.

Chocolate Syrup

  1. 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  2. 1/2 cup white sugar
  3. a pinch salt
  4. 1/2 cup water
  5. 1/2 tsp vanilla

Combine your cocoa powder, sugar and salt. Next mix in your water. Cook this down on low heat, stirring often, until at your desired consistency- about 15 to 25 minutes. Take off heat and let cool for at least 5 minutes. Add in vanilla. Mix well. Store in a glass jar in your fridge for up to 5 days.

So that’s about it for that one. We have some exciting stuff coming up in the next season- everything from planting strawberries, to finishing our shed renovation, to a very exciting business decision that mrgillis and I made recently, which will tie into our farming dream, very nicely. But those are all other blogs for another day…

Until next time, have a wicked good evening.

Getting Ready for Chicks

In three rounds of bringing chicks home, and a total of 20 chicks bought, we have only lost one as a baby. I believe that it didn’t get the water that it needed to recoup after a long drive home in cold maine spring. It was a hard lesson, and one I hope to not repeat. But basically, I feel like I have a pretty good handle on the what, where and how of raising baby chicks.

So, I’m going to share my tips for optimal chick rearing, starting at the most important step- Setting up your brooder area.

These are the steps I follow in the days before my chicks arrive, in order to assure they come into a safe home.

Step 1- choosing a brooder box – There are a couple of options here that are simple and quick to access. You can use a cardboard box, a plastic tote, a dog crate, an old tub…. None of these things are going to fit your chickies for long but they all have a certain amount of usefulness for the first 4 to 6 weeks of life. We use a big 45 gallon tote that is fairly heavy duty. The walls are pretty high and after they learn to jump out, we cover it with bird netting and it keeps them in until they need more space. We then move them into a bigger cage we made ourselves for the remainder of their brooding time. This time, with 15 chicks, we’ll probably have to use our dog crate too. The important thing to remember tho, use something that is easily cleaned, or easily replaced. Chicks are messy and need to be cleaned out often or you’ll end up with a big stinky problem on your hands and fast.


Step 2 – Choosing a watering system- We use a standard 1 gallon drinker fount. The smaller one, the one made especially for chicks, just gets knocked over and is essentially useless. The wide base on this type of drinking setup keeps it from getting knocked over by curious and active birds.

step 3 – choosing a litter – For the first few days to week, we use paper towels. This is for a couple reasons. One, you can watch for any odd poop. Two, if an accidental water spill happens, its a lot easier to clean up. Three, there is nothing for the little ones to choke on. We introduce pine shavings, the same litter we use in our coop, as they get older. Lastly, it’s easy for them to walk on, and they wont end up with splayed/spraddled foot/leg syndrome, which is a killer in most cases.

step 4 – choosing a feed and feeder – we order chicks that have been un-medicated for Coccidiosis, but HAVE been vaccinated for Marek’s, so we use a standard medicated growers feed. THIS IS IMPORTANT TO KNOW. Please find out the details behind your chicks before purchasing their food. Whatever decision you make regarding your chicken’s feed, just please be informed.

step 5 – choosing a heat source and monitoring system – we use a brooder lamp with porcelain base with a red bulb and a safety thermometer that we bought at walmart for 97 cents. The red bulb is supposed to be easier on the girls and reduce pecking and fighting and we have had great luck with it over the years. In fact, we are still on the first bulb we ever bought and we have run that sucker a lot.

step 6 – to supplement, or to not – We supplement our chicks diet with a ultrakibble and chick grit. Also we buy a babycake for them to peck at for a hour or so a day after they are a few days old. Lastly, when we first bring them home, we put Braggs apple cider vinegar  (the good kind with the mother in it)  in their water.. just a little tho. This year, we’ll be adding a bit of homemade electrolytes as well because they’ll be coming directly from the post office. This is a call you have to make for your situation. I figure, the better a start you give them, the better a life they will live.

Homemade Electrolytes (not just for chicks!)

1 Cup Water
2 teaspoons honey or sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon baking soda

Step 7 – choosing your chick dealer – We have always bought our chickens thru stores in the past, and this has always worked fairly well for us. This year tho, we decided to try ordering from a hatchery directly. After lots of looking around, we decided to go with Hoover’s Hatchery for a couple different reasons. They offer a pretty good variety of birds and they have FREE SHIPPING on all orders. Also, their vaccination prices are excellent- super cheap per bird, not 2 or 3 bucks per bird, like some hatcheries I looked at.

So that’s about that for now… a brooder all set up with no chicks to live in it for about another week… my future girls haven’t even been hatched yet, and I am practically DYING. But I guess I’ll just have to contain myself….

Until next time, have a wicked good day.

Exciting news on the homestead! 

Yesterday, we placed an order with Hoover’s Hatcheries for 15, day old chicks to be shipped to us the week of March 13th!  We are very excited, because CHICKENS and FREE SHIPPING! Our entire order of 15 female chicks, with Mareks vaccinations for all, was 65 bucks and change!

And free shipping! Like, we really cannot get over that… Other hatcheries that sell to Maine charge upwards of $60 for just shipping. And the prices for the chicks are only a bit more. Totally worth it (though, on a side note, the other hatcheries I looked at, Meyer’s  and Murray McMurray, have excellent prices on meat birds, and even with the shipping,so we’ll probably be going with one of those places… I mean check out this Fry Pan Bargain .)

This gives us two weeks to get a brooder set up, and supplies regathered.

So the lowdown on our new chicken breeds-

We are getting a speckled Sussex, a couple Polish, a couple new Amercuanas, an Asian blue, an Amberlink, a golden laced Wyandotte, a Welsummer, a Favorelle, and 4 hatchery choice rare breeds, which could be Silkies or Cochins or Buckeyes, anything considered a rare breed, really… depends on the hatch yield for that day. I couldn’t really make up my mind so I figured hopefully they’ll send me different breeds then what I ordered, and make sure they are cold hardy…. seeing as how they know they are shipping to Maine.

AND the other super exciting news for now, we ordered our seeds from Johnny’s Select Seeds, a Maine company that we really love and feel good supporting with our hard earned dollars. Included in that order, but not limited to- popcorn seed, beets, beans, pumpkins, tomatoes, squash, peas, carrots, peppers and STRAWBERRIES. We got one hundred bare root Honeoye plants, one hundred bare root Sparkle plants and 1000 Alexandria seeds. We’ll be receiving the seeds this month, but the Roots won’t be here until may 17th or so. But that just gives us time to amend the soil to their needs! This is going to be an amazing spring.

Otherwise, its off to the daily rigamarole of housework and making pizza for supper.

Until next time, have a wicked good night!

Weekend Warriors – Last week of Feb 2017

So last we left off, Things were getting real…

We were tasked with digging out two more spots, so we could place jacks, and removing the entire bathroom floor. In 4 days. That we technically only had our lunch breaks and evenings to work.

Okay.

So the first day, MrGillis did some digging on his own- But largely, we would come home on our lunch breaks, eat a quick sandwich, run into the shed and dig for the rest of the hour. Then the evenings of thursday and friday, after izzy had gone to bed, we’d grab the monitor, head out the shed and demo the bathroom floor. This was awful, in so many varied ways, I find it best to just do a photo montage.

Yeah, I’m not going to lie, the rot, the water damage, the mold, the crazy illegal and dangerous electrical we found UNDER THE FLOOR in insulation, the leak coming in from  under the shed front sill…. its all pretty horrifying in person. We, honestly, expected it to be bad, but we were pulling chunks of wood off by hand, because it was just rotted thru. We were able to just kind of pick up pieces of flooring and go. Don’t get me wrong, there was plenty of sawing, and taking out screws and nails, but we really just manhandled most of it out and into the loader bucket.

Friday night, we fell into bed, exhausted, but excited about the following day

Saturday arrives and mrgillis heads out the shed to get as much as he can get done… and we find out we’re waiting until sunday for our handy guy- you know, life comes up.

Ok. Well the upside is we got a lot done in a few days. And mrgillis spent the morning doing some more work on his own… including running strings and seeing that the house was about 3.5 inches uneven….. in mrgillis speak, which is slightly more technical that means that  in a ten foot span, the middle of the house drops 3.5 inches lower then the side.

So sunday dawns, and all of a sudden we have a very sick toddler on our hands.
So the entire day, mrgillis and the handyguy worked at all of this:

In words, instead of photo montage, one sill is completely rotten. Wanna see a hysterically depressing 5 second video of our handyguy ripping it out with his bare hands? Head on over to our instagram.

So they finished ripping out the bathroom floor joists, replaced the support beam, replaced the rotten outside sill, started jacking (to the point where our door doesn’t latch, we have to padlock that sucker now), and lastly, right at 5 of 5pm, scraped the line from our oil tank to our heater. It was only a pinhole, BUT that kind of thing needs immediate fixing. So they got to put in almost another hour, getting together a whole different set of tools, cutting and re-flaring the line.

Meanwhile, I hung out with izzy trying to coax her to eat stomach settlers(crackers, banana, toast, etc), and drink enough liquids to stay hydrated thru a viscous stomach bug. Which then turned around and smacked mrgillis and I straight into the ground for monday. We both could literally do nothing.

It is now wednesday and we’ve all fully recovered. Thankfully, we’ve faced worse then a flubug, but it was pretty awful. Mrgillis ended up going to the ER for IV Fluid because he was so dehydrated. Luckily I have an iron stomach and a constitution of an angry bee, because nothing seems to keep me down for very long.

Well, that brings us up to speed, I’d say. Now I’ve got laundry to fold and dishes to do before work so, hang tough kids.

Until next time, have a wicked good day!