Category Archives: Life

The things we do

Making Butters

A few weeks back I saw on Pinterest how to make butter by shaking it in a jar. I tried it. It turned to whipped cream but nothing more, so I finished it with the mixer instead. It worked alright, but would have been better if I had a stand mixer with a paddle attachment.  But it still turned out okay.  I mixed in some Cajun seasoning to some of it. Not bad for my first go.

Homemade Butter  Homemade Butter And Buttermilk  Homemade Cajun Butter

Last weekend we were visiting Chad’s family and they had seen my posts on Facebook about my attempt at butter making.  So I’ve been given a couple special family heirlooms that belonged to Chad’s grandpa, and his great grandma before that.  I’ve heard that Chad’s grandpa spent much time using this as a kid.

Antique Butter Churn Family Heirloom

I was also given two wooden butter molds with it. They’re pretty cool too.

Antique Family Heirloom Wooden Butter Molds

So I was pretty excited to give this stuff a try when we got home.  Got it all washed up, because it was all pretty dirty, went to the store and bought some cream and waited for Kaden to get home from school so he could help.

Kaden Churning Butter Churning Butter

I think I got a little too excited and put too much cream in at first. Just because the jar has a line marking 4 quarts, does not mean to fill it that full with cream lol.  So I took about half the whipped cream out and finished it in batches. Much easier.  We had worn ourselves out.

IMG_20170221_180354 IMG_20170221_180618

Kaden and I took turns churning (Chad took a few turns too) and after  a while and some sore arms later, all our hard work had paid off and we had butter! And also a lot of buttermilk.

Pouring Out The Buttermilk

Lots Of Buttermilk

Butter! Lots Of Butter

After I got all the buttermilk separated out from the butter, I divided it and made them into different flavors. I made chili lime, garlic and herb, Cajun, Italian herb, regular salted, and Sriracha.

Homemade Flavored Butters

I tried out the butter molds too. Although, I haven’t quite figured out the trick to these yet. The butter didn’t want to come out of them even after setting in the fridge for hours.  This is supposed to be a pineapple but it’s kind of hard to tell.

Pineapple Butter Mold

All in all, this was a fun experience to get to use something young grandparents and family members past have used. I’m not sure I’d make a habit of using the butter churn, I think I’ll retire it and find a nice spot for it as a decoration instead. I think one of these days I’ll invest in a stand mixer. :)

Minecraft Birthday Cake

Minecraft Birthday Party

Last month Kaden turned 7 years old. This years hot theme, was of course, Minecraft. I went to the party store thinking that they would surely have Minecraft birthday supplies since pretty much every kid these days loves it. But no. There is absolutely zero Minecraft birthday stuff. So I was forced to get crafty. I bought some green cups and made creeper faces on them with a black Sharpie.  I bought some purple masking tape and stuck a few strips on black balloons to make them look like enderman. I was originally planning on getting green balloons and Sharpie-ing creeper faces on them, but after doing that on the cups, I decided that that was not going to happen. So I took the lazy route with the enderman balloons, but I really like how they looked.  I decided on a few easy snacks that were also Minecraft food, and had picture labels printed  as 4×6 prints from Walgreen’s. Cheap and easy.  The cake, however, was not so easy. Baking is not my strong suit. Normally I have a cake made, but this year I decided to try my hand at it. I borrowed some cake making supplies from a cousin of mine, who is actually good at it. It was a little stressful, and at one point I was ready to just throw the whole thing in the trash. I seem to have that moment just about every time I try to bake something. But somehow, the cake turned out okay, better than I was expecting it to. I made blue Jell-O for the water and put in next to the cake. I didn’t think about it before hand, but the Jell-O touching the cake made the cake taste tropical and fruity.  Not intended. It was a weird mix of flavors lol.  But the rest of the cake not touching the Jell-O ocean, tasted pretty good.  All in all, it turned out to be another successful birthday. :)Minecraft Birthday Party Snacks


Minecraft Party Drinks And Creeper CupsMinecradt Enderman BalloonsMinecraft Birthday CakeMinecraft Birthday Party Cake

The "broken" pipe

Plumbing nightmare

About a week ago we had Benjamin Franklin Plumbing come out to fix whatever was causing our basement plumbing to back up. We assumed it was clogged like it did shortly after we moved in 5 years ago. They told us that the reason was that they found with a camera, a “broken, caved in pipe under the floor that was filling with mud” so it was clogged with mud, hence the back ups. So they pin pointed the exact spot of the “broken” pipe,  had the new carpet pulled up, cement guys came in to cut out the  floor so they could replace the “broken” pipe. So after they cut out the floor, come to find out the pipe was never broken. Not cracked, nothing.  Just very clogged. Ant not with mud, but with a white putty-like stuff that they said they’d never seen before. But after talking with other plumbers, it’s common with basement pipe with laundry soap and whatnot. We went downstairs to have a look at the “progress” while the plumbers were outside and even saw the pipe for ourselves, unbroken. It had cuts in it from when the cement guys cut out the floor, but not breaks or cracks or nothing; a perfectly fine, clogged pipe. After they came back in the said they thought they clog may be clogged worse further down the line and suggested that they might need to tear up the entire hallway and replace the whole line. Of course we didn’t want to do this so we just had them try to pressure jet it out first.We also brought up the fact that we did not see anything wrong with the “broken pipe” They tried to turn it around and say that our definitions of “break” were different and that they just meant that the joints were just loose and stuff was seeping in.  But I was told it was broken and caved in and filled with mud, and not to used the sinks because everything that drained was making it muddy under the house and would cause the cement slab to sink. There was no mud, there isn’t even dirt under the’s all sand.  So the pressure jetted out the pipes to clear all the stuff out. Success. That was all that ever needed to be done. We never needed to have our carpet pulled up, the floor removed and a perfectly fine pipe replaced.  Chad let them know we did not want to pay for having all that unnecessary work done. After hearing that they called their boss to see if they should even finish doing the work. (filling in the hole) Their boss said to go ahead and finish and that he would call and talk to Chad. Chad had to go back to work, but made it clear to them that I would not be signing anything or paying anything, at least not until he spoke with their boss to get things straightened out. After they finished filling in the hole and were ready to leave, came up and told me they were done and that “Your husband said you would pay with card.”  Knowing this was not true because I had talked to Chad about it before he left, called Chad at work. Chad had the card that we would have used if we were going to pay so I told them he had the credit card. One of the plumbers then rudely replied, “So, then we’re just not going to get paid?!” So I put Chad on the phone with him. Chad told them their boss still had not called to talk to him. They said that their boss said he called and left messages. But there were no missed calls or messages. So they left without us paying like we had planned on in the first place. Chad is supposed to talk to their boss again today to get this cleared up. They also have a 100% satisfaction guarantee on the back to every invoice that says if you’re not 100% satisfied with the work done they’ll refund all your money.  Well. We are not satisfied. So far they have not been compliant and we may end up going to small claims.  On top of all that, I went down to see the “finished” work. The cement job they did is horrible. It very rough and scratchy and without a down will tear up the carpet pad and whatever else. It’s not flat or even, it’s extremely lumpy and bumpy and parts don’t even come up all the way to fill up the space.There are still huge cuts in the floor that I thought would have gotten filled. It’s horrible cement, NOT what basement floors are made of. Sidewalks are nicer that this. I had expected to have the same kind of cement that is already down there. This was supposed to be a one day job as I was told it was, but they cut it out, cleared the clog and put in a new pipe on Monday, left and were supposed to come back Tuesday to fill it in.  They called Tuesday morning and said they couldn’t get a hold of the cement guys so they would come on Wednesday. We were like, okay, and left with the impression that the cement guys would be coming to refill the hole. Wednesday the plumbers got showed up and turns out THEY are the ones who refill the cement. Not the cement guys. So they lied about that, and there was no reason they couldn’t have done it on Tuesday.

This has been the worst experience ever. I had expected way more from one of Wichita’s biggest plumbing companies. They did nothing but lie to us and destroy our basement.

fixing basement pipes step one

Fixing The Basement Plumbing – Step One

Today the plumbers came out and pulled back the carpet to mark the spots that need to be torn out. Lucky for us, one of the plumbers used to do carpet so he could pull is back for us instead of us having to hire someone. We still have to have someone else re-install it,  but that’s alright. That saved us a little bit of time and money. Now we just have to wait to find out when the concrete digger people can come out.  So hooray! Step one is complete!

Kaden backyard dishes

The Simplistic Life

Well, as some of you know, we’ve been having some plumbing issues. We called  the plumbers out yesterday thinking that we just needed to have the line cleaned out because it was clogged and every time we used the kitchen sink, dishwasher or washing machine it backed up and there was a mess. So they came out and the plan was that they would flush the line and use a camera to make sure they got it all out. But they couldn’t even get the thing through to clean out the pipes. The camera found out that there’s a broken pipe underneath the basement floor that is full of mud and everything else. So we get to hire someone to tear up the new carpet that we just had put in not that long ago, have the cement floor destroyed, replace the broken pipe(and whatever else they find) pour new cement, and hire someone to re-install the carpet. So after spending $500 for them to tell us that and replace a small pipe behind the washer, we get to spend at least $2,200 more to have it fixed. Joy. So until this can all be done, we can’t use the sink, dishwasher or washing machine or it will keep making more wet mud under the house(and a mess inside)and then the cement floor will start to sink. Ugh!  And of course there is a ton of dishes in the sink and loads of  laundry that need to be done.

So this afternoon Kaden and I did dishes in the backyard like savages. At least he thought it was fun. From now on it’s paper plates and plastic forks. Maybe next I’ll take the laundry down to the river.



Templeton’s Birthday!

Today Templeton turns 3 years old! Or 21 in dog years. He’s been the best doggy and is super sweet. He lets Kaden do pretty much whatever he wants with him and pretends to enjoy it. Or maybe he does enjoy it, who knows, he’s a strange little dog. 😛  And what do you get a dog for his third birthday? A bath! As pitiful as he looks in the pictures, he actually wanted a one.