This past week was definitely all about…window trim. Super exciting, I know, but the thing is, our farmhouse was remodeled in the 1980s and the cheap bastard who did it decided to not use actual window trim on all the vertical portions of the windows, and instead bought cheap-ass ceiling trim and cut it up to do the verticals, which took away much of the potential old-house-charm that this place is so capable of! So, I checked out Pinterest – of course! – and sure enough, there were lots of ideas on how to DIY your trim to make them look very, very cool. Now, if you don’t have a natural “sill” on the bottom of your window frame, it’s a bit more difficult, but if you’re replacing your windows and the frames anyhow like we are in the back of our house (thank you to the dry rot from poorly done windows originally…I swear we are rebuilding this house from the inside out!), folks? Might as well. So, not only are the back-of-house shitty aluminum leaky awful windows now gone and replaced with Energy Star beauties? We also have new trim inside and out that we DIY’d ourselves. Why the super sexy camouflage tarp, you ask? We are waiting for sunshine later this week because we have bit of cedar shingle patching around the exterior before the full reveal can occur, and with the sideways rain here, I err on the paranoid side until everything is installed/painted/caulked and dry! As a side note, we did 100% of the window replacing ourselves – saving THOUSANDS. And while we were intimidated as hell at the start (nothing like a hole in your house to freak ya out), it was actually surprisingly easy to change out a window (Note: unlike what some expensive installers say, you CAN use ‘new construction’ windows for replacement if you’re willing to pull out your exterior trim – if the trim’s in good shape, just gently pull it out and pop it back in and re-caulk, and if it’s not, a few ‘preprimed finger-joint boards’ can do it and you’re good as new…Pinterest has TONS of links to great DIY videos on this topic). Bonus points go to our nail gun which we bought last fall and never knew if we’d actually use. Oh baby do we use it…
And because I’m writing while hungry, I must show you last night’s salmon cakes that I made with some lovely fresh-caught spring chinook salmon we picked up at Bornstein Seafoods in Warrenton. I’m still shocked as hell that we live in a fishing town that does not appear to have a local salmon CSF (there is a place on the Southern Oregon coast that ironically delivers to Portland…but not to major towns along the 101, and not in the bulk quantity that our beloved CSF back in Portland did!) so we’re probably going to go back to our old tradition of Iliamna so we can get the most (and most sustainable) bang for our buck, as it is much more economical to buy one big-ass box of salmon frozen right off the boat in Alaska than what’s in the fish markets thus far. We’ll still eat super-local as well, as this is realllllly good fish here, but for our regular diet, we’re going back to Alaskan wild susaintably-caught salmon.
With zero sewing skills (and honestly, zero interest in learning thus far in my life…), I wanted to figure out a way to easily make curtains for our pantry that involved no special skills whatsover. In the summer, we know this will get the toasty afternoon sun, and with this being our canning and charcuterie area, we need to make sure it has the ability to stay shady as needed. So the answer? Recycled coffee bags! There are lots of ideas on Pinterest that all involve the word “sew”, “hem”, and more, but I noticed in a piece about using dropcloths for curtains that all they did was hang them up with curtain clips! I picked up a suspension rod and pack of 14 curtain ring/clips from Fred Meyer for under $20, then simply cut the existing bags we got from a roaster and clipped them! Want to do this? Two suggestions: cut them behind the seam which makes it look more finished, and use the softer, thicker bags rather than the more rigid ones.
Spring is definitely a time for contemplation. With a few significant changes in my business this year (loss of a major client, slow Q1 and a much heavier focus on getting more involved in the community via volunteering in areas outside of my longtime profession), matched with the lack of affordable healthcare that now has us without medical insurance (my husband’s employer does not cover spouses or dependents which basically meant nearly 50% of his paycheck would go towards a benefits package that had deductibles that still needed to be met to get a majority of basic services, and close to 75% of his paycheck if our adoption ever happens…and the exchange is even more expensive with only ONE option in our County!), we are looking at life a little differently. Do I keep my business and hope things evolve in an economy that is seemingly headed for another 2008? Do I get full time remote recruiting work (which is a monstrously competitive field) so that I can get healthcare? Do I look at a completely different direction in my career and use my powers in a different way, one more integrated with my local community? Or somehow find a way to do all of the above…? One thing that I know is that I feel change coming on here in 2019, and looking out my home office window, I know I’m meant for some new adventures this year.