PAN SEARED CHICKEN with LEMON and CHIVE SAUCE

PAN SEARED CHICKEN with LEMON and CHIVE SAUCE
CHICKEN
4 boneless, skinless thin sliced chicken breast steaks
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon avocado oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup +1 tablespoon WONDRA flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 shallot minced
1 tablespoon WONDRA flour
1 cup chicken broth
Juice of 1 LARGE lemon
1 tablespoon FRESH minced chives
1 tablespoon COLD unsalted butter

  • Generously season chicken steaks with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Heat oil and butter in skillet over medium heat.
  • Dredge chicken in beaten egg and the 1/4 cup flour, shaking off excess.
  • Sear chicken breasts in skillet for 2 minutes per side.
  • Remove chicken steaks to plate and keep warm.
  • Add shallot and cook over medium heat for about 2 minutes until softened.
  • Add the 1 tablespoon of flour and cornstarch, stirring to coat shallot 30 seconds or so.
  • Slowly whisk in broth and bring to a simmer 5-10 minutes until reduced and slightly thickened.
  • Remove from heat and whisk in lemon juice, chives and butter.
  • Season to taste.
  • Serve over chicken.

WEDNESDAY HODGEPODGE – VOLUME 375

It’s time for Wednesday Hodgepodge over at This Side of the Pond.

From this Side of the Pond

1 ARE YOU CURRENTLY MAKING PLANS OF ANY KIND? WHAT EMOTIONS ARE ASSOCIATED WITH THE PLANNING PROCESS? HAVE YOU HAD TO CANCEL ANY PLANS DUE THE CURRENT SITUATION?

We had to cancel several plans during the spring including a family reunion. We haven taken one trip to my SIL’s house that went well, but was a bit different. And now we are planning a trip to see friends in another state. In a “normal” world we would just take off an see where we ended up along the way.  In “THIS” world we are having to check distances, look for “SAFE” stops along the way to buy gas and use restrooms and make overnight reservations at “SAFE” locations. We will be packing a ice chest with snacks for along the way.

2 LAST TIME YOU SAW THE STARS, LITERALLY OR FIGURATIVELY?

Living in the country we can literally see the stars every night – at least those without cloud cover.

3 BLUEBERRIES, YAY OR NAY? BLUEBERRY PIE, BLUEBERRY MUFFINS, BLUEBERRY YOGURT, BLUEBERRIES BY THE HANDFUL… WHAT’S YOUR PLEASURE?

I love blueberries, but I am picky about them.  I only like the small WILD blueberries. I LOVE blueberry muffins, but are not a fan of blueberry pie.  I am NOT fond of eating them plain, but love them in vanilla yogurt with a handful of granola. 

4 SWIM AGAINST THE TIDE, SWIMMING UPSTREAM, IN THE SWIM, SINK OR SWIM, MAKES YOUR HEAD SWIM… CHOOSE A “SWIM” IDIOM AND TELL US HOW /WHY YOU RELATE?

Of those choices SINK OR SWIM fits my life best.  It’s along the lines of TRY, TRY AND TRY AGAIN.  I just don’t give up , but keep trying until I get it right.

5 SUM UP YOUR JUNE IN A SINGLE SENTENCE.

I don’t need a WHOLE sentence.  A SINGLE word will do it! SURREAL 😀

6 INSERT YOUR OWN RANDOM THOUGHT HERE.

Years ago, hubby and I made a pact to quit watching the news so much. We always end the day with some old stupid comedy. As I observe so many others around me I see them watching more and more news, reading more and more facebook posts, many of which are either weeks old, but being passed along as if they are new news or some of them are actually FAKE news. There needs to be less media or MORE RESPONSIBLE media as well as MORE FACT CHECKING, DATE CHECKING, SOURCE VERIFICATION…

TUESDAY 4 – 4th of JULY

To play along join up with Annie here.

1 DO YOU THINK THE 4TH IS AN IMPORTANT HOLIDAY? WHY? I think it is important that we have a national holiday of solidarity such as the 4th of July.  I also think that many of the oppressive things (government, taxes, etc…) that led to pilgrimage to America that initiated the need for independence have crept their way into American life anyway over the years.  But, it is still a time to come together as Americans and celebrate our freedoms, which are many.  Here is a link to the history of the 4th of July.
2 HOW DO YOU CELEBRATE? Personally, we usually stay home at least of an evening.  We have traditionally had pets that were afraid of fireworks so we would BBQ at home and stay near them to help comfort them from the neighbors that would start setting off fireworks early.  We usually watch the celebrations on TV. In years past we have celebrated with neighbors, but only close to home.
When I was a young girl we always went to my aunt and uncles house who had a pool and spent the day with family.  It was a long drive (about 2 hours) and after a day full of food and sun we’d drive home as it was getting dark and I would always look forward to seeing all the fireworks from town to town as my dad headed up the freeway.
3 IN THE TIME OF LAURA INGALLS WILDER, ALL AMERICANS READ THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE ON THE 4TH AND LEMONADE WAS A BIG TREAT FOR THE TOWN PICNIC.  DO YOU READ THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE? OR YOUR NATION’S IMPORTANT PAPERS? ARE YOU A FAN OF LEMONADE? This question is the first I’d heard that the Declaration was read on the 4th in previous years, but it is something along with all the important documents that was taught in school at a fairly in depth level so there is a level of knowledge that is understood. And yes, if made well, I am a fan of lemonade, especially strawberry lemonade.
4 PICNIC – DO YOU EAT INSIDE OR OUTSIDE FOR THE 4TH? Honestly this question depends on the weather and where we are living at the time. When we were in Texas it was too hot and sticky to eat outside and sometimes here it can be too rainy or cool.
HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!

HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY week 27 of 2020

GOOD MORNING As we enter the 2nd half of 2020 I pray that the second half is SOOO SOOO much better than the first half! I recently saw a meme somewhere that suggested we have a “half year” new year’s eve party on June 30th to start fresh for July. 

And for anyone who needs to know:

I also saw this cute little cartoon for July 😀

Last week was kind of a blur for me and I’m not sure why exactly!  I do know that things we used to take for granted are now a lot more work.  We’re planning a trip to see a friend and in the past we would just take off during the week and see how far we got and then find a hotel for the night.  Not now though!  I spent a couple days researching routes, distances, hotels, etc… so we can stay safe.  I’ll pack a cooler with foods for the trip from here to there so we don’t have to stop except for gas. There is NOTHING NORMAL about this year!

We had a few days of excessive heat last week and then it cooled off significantly with rain that moved in Saturday night.  We had a good weekend though… I did the laundry and some cleaning on Saturday followed by an afternoon drive where I got some great barn pictures and yesterday was MUCH cooler, rainy and lazy on the whole, but we did BBQ some chicken, watch some NASCAR and binge watched some more of The Last Ship.

Be sure to join us for Happy Homemaker Monday and link up
with our host, Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW & THE WEATHER OUTSIDE & WHAT I’M WEARING It looks like it is going to be a relatively mild week.

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE Hot water and Apricot Carrot Pineapple baby food squeezee

AS I LOOK AROUND THE HOUSE, WEEKLY TO DO LIST, HOUSE & CRAFT PROJECTS, APPOINTMENTS

MONDAY
  • MENU PLAN & MAKE GROCERY LIST FOR TOMORROW
TUESDAY
  • GROCERIES & ERRANDS
WEDNESDAY
  • ORDER A BIRTHDAY PRESENT TO BE DELIVERED AFTER THE 8TH
THURSDAY
  • PAPERWORK, CALLS & MISC.
FRIDAY
  • LAUNDRY & CLEANING
SATURDAY
  • CONFIRM HOTEL RESERVATIONS FOR NEXT WEEK
SUNDAY
  • PACKING FOR TRIP

WHAT’S ON THE DVR/TV We just started season 2 of The Last Ship. We also watched a couple of movies on imDb – Hotel Artemis and Lonesome Dove Church.  Like always there are also cooking shows and Hallmark movies to watch.  Christmas in July begins July 10th 😀

I’M READING

Lately I’ve had 2 books going at all times. I just finished Lisa Wingate’s The Prayer Box and am starting The Book of Lost Friends and  Hurricane Season by Lauren Denton.

FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA Saturday afternoon was so nice we took a little drive and I got a few fun country photos.  The clouds were really pretty against the blue sky and sunny afternoon.

INSPIRATIONAL

LIFE TIP

HOMEMAKING/COOKING TIP

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK

MONDAY
TUESDAY
WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY
FRIDAY
SATURDAY
SUNDAY
DINNER
CHICKEN FRICASSE, CREAMED CORN, &CORN CHEDDAR MUFFINS
RANCH CHOPPED SALAD & FARMHOUSE BUTTERMILK DRESSING
C.O.R.N. Y.O.Y.O.
LEMON ARTICHOKE CHICKEN & SALAD
CHILI STUFFED ZUCHINNI & SALAD
GRILLED CHICKEN, PEACHES & GREEN TOMATOES with SALAD
CHERRY BALSAMIC PORK CHOPS & SALAD
DESSERT
WATERMELON & BALSAMIC GLAZE
CREAMSICLE CHEESECAKE

RECIPES TO LOOK FOR THIS UPCOMING WEEK

  • PAN SEARED CHICKEN with LEMON CHIVE SAUCE
  • BACON CHEDDAR CORNBREAD
  • BUTTERNUT SQUASH, BACON & APPLE HOT DISH

FEATURED PARTY LINKS FOR THIS WEEK

SUCCESSFUL RECIPE LINKS FROM LAST WEEK

SUNDAY 6 – week 2

Martha, an old friend that I met through blogging years ago, had a great food blog with and have never actually met in real life, but feel like we’ve known each other forever… has returned to blogging after a couple years absence!  She is doing what she calls, Sunday 6 over Seaside Simplicity as a link party. I hope you will play along too!  Some of the categories overlap with categories I also do on Monday’s Happy Homemaker and Menu Plan Monday, but I’ll be brief in the overlap categories.

1 WEEKLY RECAP

Last week was kind of a blur for me and I’m not sure why exactly!  I do know that things we used to take for granted are now a lot more work.  We’re planning a trip to see a friend and in the past we would just take off during the week and see how far we got and then find a hotel for the night.  Not now though!  I spent a couple days researching routes, distances, hotels, etc… so we can stay safe.  I’ll pack a cooler with foods for the trip from here to there so we don’t have to stop except for gas.  We had a few days of excessive heat and then it cooled off significantly with rain that moved in last night.  There is NOTHING NORMAL about this year!

2 TO DO LIST
MONDAY
  • MENU PLAN & MAKE LIST FOR TOMORROW
TUESDAY
  • GROCERIES & ERRANDS
WEDNESDAY
  • ORDER A BIRTHDAY PRESENT TO BE DELIVERED AFTER THE 8TH
THURSDAY
  • PAPERWORK, CALLS & MISC.
FRIDAY
  • LAUNDRY & CLEANING
SATURDAY
  • CONFIRM HOTEL RESERVATIONS FOR NEXT WEEK
SUNDAY
  • PACKING FOR TRIP
3 MENU PLAN
MONDAY
TUESDAY
WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY
FRIDAY
SATURDAY
SUNDAY
DINNER
CHICKEN FRICASSE, CREAMED CORN, &CORN CHEDDAR MUFFINS
RANCH CHOPPED SALAD & FARMHOUSE BUTTERMILK DRESSING
C.O.R.N. Y.O.Y.O.
LEMON ARTICHOKE CHICKEN & SALAD
CHILI STUFFED ZUCHINNI & SALAD
GRILLED CHICKEN, PEACHES & GREEN TOMATOES with SALAD
CHERRY BALSAMIC PORK CHOPS & SALAD
DESSERT
WATERMELON & BALSAMIC GLAZE
4 SOMETHING I’D LIKE TO SHARE
I honestly don’t have much to share this week.  As I said last week for some reason was kind of a blur.  I am still trying to regulate my medications and having eating issues because of the recall to certain medications, but am trying my best to make the best of it all.
5 PHOTO OF THE WEEK
We took the stale breads over and fed the Peacocks and turkeys this week.  For a change the turkeys and Peacocks were playing nice with each other and sharing food.  My guess is a lot of other people have been doing the same thing as a place to go and get out while still social distancing so they have lots of food and no need to fight over it.  That said, we didn’t encounter any other human beings in the park 😀
 
6 CLOSING NOTES
Every single day I pray to wake up and find some form or normal has returned to our world.  Then I have my coffee and realize that while I slept something else crept in to our world unchecked. I just pray that everyone finds it within themselves to be a kinder and nice people to think not only about themselves but all the others they share this planet with.

LEMON THYME MARINATED FRIED CHICKEN

This is one of those scraps of a recipe I had in my file. I do not know who the recipe was from and I sure wish I did – I’d LOVE to thank them! This is one of the crispiest and most flavorful recipes I’ve ever come across for fried chicken. The breading adhered and held up PERFECTLY!

LEMON MARINATED FRIED CHICKEN
MARINADE
4 cups water
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup sugar
6 lemons
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon FRESH ground black pepper
1 bunch FRESH thyme
4 cups ice

4 pounds chicken pieces

  • Whisk together the water, salt, sugar, lemon halves, garlic, black pepper and thyme in a large stockpot.
  • Bring to SLOW boil.
  • Turn off heat and add ice.
  • Allow to cool.
  • Add chicken pieces.
  • Refrigerate AT LEAST 8 hours or overnight.

AFTER at least 8 HOURS

  • Drain chicken and pat dry with paper towels.
  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Lightly spray a rack with non-stick cooking spray and place on baking sheet.

BREADING
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
FRESH ground black pepper
2 cups WHOLE buttermilk
2 LARGE eggs

  • In a shallow dish whisk together the flour, garlic salt, onion powder and black pepper.
  • Whisk together the buttermilk and eggs in a second bowl.

Coconut Oil for frying

  • Heat oil in a deep cast iron pan over medium-high heat.
  • Dredge chicken pieces in flour mixture shaking off excess.
  • Then dredge in egg mixture followed by the flour mixture again.
  • Fry in oil for 3-4 minutes per side until golden and crispy.  Grams always told me to put the chicken in the HOT oil  and leave it alone until it bleeds then flip it!
  • Place on prepared rack.
  • Bake 10-15 minutes until centers are cooked through.

SHEET PAN VINEGAR CHICKEN

SHEET PAN VINEGAR CHICKEN ala Valerie Bertinelli – update ala Tamy
1 medium red onion, cut into 1/4-inch-thick wedges
1 1/2 tablespoons avocado oil
6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
2 cups mixed color cherry tomatoes
3/4 cup pitted Castelvetrano (the pale green ones – I use Mezetta) olives
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
2 cloves garlic, sliced or minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

  • Preheat the oven to 425°.
  • Toss the onions with 1/2 tablespoon of the oil on a large rimmed baking sheet.
  • Arrange the chicken thighs on top and sprinkle them all over with the smoked paprika and salt and pepper.
  • Drizzle the vinegar on top and then roast in the oven about 15 minutes.
  • Toss the cherry tomatoes, olives, rosemary and garlic with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, a big pinch of salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add the mixture to the baking sheet with the roasted chicken and continue to roast until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through, 10 minutes more.
  • Serve the chicken with the vegetables and juices from the baking sheet.
  • Sprinkle with the parsley.

SNAPPER WRAPPER CASSEROLE

Snapper wrappers are a recipe I made several years back (2014) and vowed to turn into a casserole.  Well, I’ve finally done it 😀

SNAPPER WRAPPER CASSEROLE Serves 4-6
1 pound lump crab meat, drained or KRAB from the meat department works great too
4 skinned red snapper fillets or any white fish of your choice

3-4 FINELY chopped green onions

FRESH
ground sea salt and black pepper

1 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 teaspoon lemon pepper
2 cloves garlic, FINELY minced
2 LARGE lemons, 1 juiced, 1 sliced into wedges for serving
1 tablespoon white wine
1/4 cup butter, melted

  • Preheat oven to 400˚.
  • Pick crab meat, removing any bits of shell or FINELY chop the KRAB.
  • Whisk together the melted butter, lemon juice, wine, garlic and red pepper in shallow dish.
  • Generously season the fish fillets with the FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Combine the Crab with the green onions.
  • Dredge the fish fillets in the butter mixture
  • Arrange one-third of the fish fillets in the bottom of an 8×8 baking dish.
  • Top with about 1/3 cup crab meat.
  • Repeat layers.
  • Drizzle remaining dredge liquid over top layer.
  • Bake uncovered for 16-18 minutes or fish flakes when tested with a fork.
  • Spoon any pan drippings over top before serving.
  • Serve with lemon wedges.

2 YEARS LATER…

It has been 2 years, but I ran across the post below this morning by accident and it bears repeating. THIS! This is not something we we will ever really recover from – financially (in the end he swindled us for over 65,000 dollars), health wise (my health deteriorated with multiple infections that are at times ongoing and resulted in hospitalization and surgery before it was all over) or heart wise (your heart is never supposed to break from the actions of a blood relative who claims to have your best interest at heart). It does serve as a stark reminder though of how strong I CAN be… SO I am re-posting this as a reminder of that strength and perseverance.

 WARNING: THIS IS A LONG POST, BUT WAS THE FINAL WRAP-UP POST ON THIS HOUSE FROM HELL

While I was cleaning up the kitchen and dinner dishes recently I realized I’ve been posting quite a few recipes, but have been severely lacking on my actual “writing” about what is going on in our lives. For years I have worked really hard at keeping this an eternally optimistic blog full of grace for the great and wonderful blessings in my life, always trying to live by the old rule, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all”. BUT, there comes a time to call out the crazy acrimonious instigators and tell it like it is, if for no other reason than to get it out of my head so I can be more at peace.

Well, today is the 2 1/2 year mark (though it feels like 10 years), the house is sold and we are completely packed and CANNOT WAIT to have this horrific experience in our rear view mirror.

You all know my categories for this place, A HOUSE FROM HELL, REHABBING GRAMS & GRAMPS HOUSE, CHRONICLES OF MY MISGUIDED COUSIN BETH which fit REALLY well, but in the 2+ years since we started this project there are a few tags that could be added that now fit even better like GOLD DIGGING WITCH WITH A GOD COMPLEX, THE FOX IS LOOSE IN THE HEN HOUSE, NO BALLS COUSIN and LOONEY TUNE UNCLE.

ALL of this is so sad to admit, you never want to believe the worst about your own family. This experience has lent credence to the adage that family isn’t always blood, but those you chose to love. It still baffles me that anyone can turn their back on their family, their own flesh and blood, for money which is exactly what my uncle did when my aunt passed away and he took up with the apparent GOLD DIGGING WITCH WITH A GOD COMPLEX.

He became an even more arrogant, egotistical and abusive cheating bastard after taking up with her. Almost immediately she had his power of attorney and things took an immediate turn for the worse as they tried to swindle us beyond belief. After hiring an attorney we were able to force the sale, but are still losing a ton money on the deal. My uncle used us and our skills as well as our cash to get the work done on the house and then tried to evict us claiming we had done nothing to better the property. Fortunately, I kept a chronological progress here on the blog, every receipt to the tune of over $50,000.00 and a detailed log of hours which adds up to over $200,000.00 of labor. So, unfortunately, my blood uncle did swindle us in the end, but worse than that he abused a sacred blood relationship.

The definition of swindle is: swindle – to use unscrupulous trickery or deception to defraud others or cheat someone to obtain money or other assets.

Many of you remember how disheartened we were when we arrived here to find NOT what we were told, but the HOUSE FROM HELL full of…well just FULL and filthy! It was a rodent’s dream AND it was a hoarder’s nest. It was full to the rafters and even the rafters were full and so was the backyard and the garage.

The agreement with my uncle was that the house was ours for a discounted price if we came to help clean it out and care for my aunt. He was offering to help get us back on our feet after the cancer, surgeries, VA claim issues and health issues. Ironically, if he really loved me he would have never exposed me to this house which ultimately left me with the bacterial infections one after another that culminated in my bypass surgery. Supposedly we were going to use our abilities in the process of helping him and make some money for us too, NOT end up completely upside down and worse off than when we got here both financially and physically not to mention we never even had a chance to work on the VA red tape mess.

Here are the BEFORE and beginning AFTER pictures to refresh your memory

So on to the before and after pictures. Hubby is upset that the before pictures don’t truly show how HORRIBLY DISGUSTING this place really was. I just hope the after pictures show how truly GREAT it is now – it really is turn key now!

MASTER BEDROOM & BATHROOM BEFORE
There was “STUFF” everywhere! The walls where all stained from who knows what and the carpeting was full of melted wax and cigarette burns even in the closet. I have to say that my cousin was evidently suffering from some form of mental illness because this is NOT how she was raised!
The picture above is what I got out of the bedroom carpet on the first pass of available floor with my Rainbow Water Vacuum. Disgusting does not begin to describe how it looked or felt. Below was just one of the cracks to be repaired that was caused by the foundation issues.
The master bathroom didn’t look too bad until you looked close or opened a door and saw all the mold in the wood. So, it ended up getting gutted too. It took me 2 weeks, but I did get the tile clean in the shower, but we still need to find someone to professionally refinish the tile.
MASTER BEDROOM & BATHROOM LATE 2016

Finally a new window and completed bedroom. We used wainscotting floor to ceiling for the new bathroom walls.
SPARE BEDROOM BEFORE
The spare bedroom was stacked to the ceiling with junk! It also housed much of her “business” food products. What was the city thinking when they gave her a food license to operate out of this house? Not to mention it is completely against the H.O.A. rules and regulations for this neighborhood. In the photo below the bottom left hand corner was mouse droppings. YUCK!!
SPARE BEDROOM late 2016
KITCHEN/DINING/LAUNDRY AREA BEFORE
THERE WAS “STUFF” EVERYWHERE. NOT ONE CABINET WAS CLEAN OR ORGANIZED .
THE CABINET HANDLES THAT WHERE THERE WERE GREASE AND DUST COATED. THE CABINET DOORS WERE HANGING BY A THREAD.

THE REFRIGERATOR WAS FULL OF SPOILED AND SPILLED FOOD, MILDEW AND MOLD – A SERIOUS SCIENCE PROJECT IN THE MAKING AND ONE THAT THIS IMMUNITY CHALLENGED GIRL WAS HAVING NO PART OF. THE SEAL ON THE REFRIGERATOR DID NOT WORK AND HAD BEEN LEAKING OUT FOR SOME TIME. THE FREEZER WAS ANOTHER ISSUE TRYING TO GET THINGS OUT SINCE THEY HAD FROZEN INTO ONE BIG GLOB BECAUSE OF THE LEAKING SEAL.
This is the pantry floor as clean as it would get! We scraped off all the linoleum and sanitized the foundation before re-flooring.
BEHIND THESE DOORS (which are off their hinges and just propped there) IS THE LAUNDRY AREA AND ONE OF THE SCARIEST LOOKING AREAS. THERE WAS A RATS NEST UNDER THE COLLAPSING, NOT TO CODE WATER HEATER base. THE DRYER WAS NOT VENTED TO THE OUTSIDE AND HAD NOT BEEN FOR SOME TIME AS THE LINT WAS EVERYWHERE AND THE WASHER LEAKED LIKE A SIEVE!

This 10 pound bag of sugar was spilled ALL over a pantry shelf and was one of the biggest sources for the ants, cockroaches and mice.
KITCHEN/DINING/LAUNDRY LATE 2016
STUDIO BEFORE
STUDIO 2017
ATRIUM BEFORE
unfortunately we can’t seem to find the picture that shows this room stacked 10 feet tall of papers, cabinets and “crap” so have to start with this empty picture.
ATRIUM late 2016
FOYER BEFORE
The door would no longer open due to the foundation issues and she used this 24 square feet (8×3) as a “CAT BOX” area. I hate to admit that this was the MOST disgusting of ALL the house and required several bottles of hydrogen peroxide etcher after we removed the toxic 2 layers of tiles.
FOYER 2017
New floor, new door and new paint are done and looking good. I LOVE how much light the new door lets in.
LIVING ROOM BEFORE
These are cracks, tears and stains in the atrium/living room carpeting.
It took weeks/months to get the living room to this organized point LOL. Notice the crack near the vent? It went all the way to the floor and was 3 inches wide. It is also why we waited over 3 months for the highly recommended dry wall guy that turned out to be a HUGE joke. The picture below is the living room after we finally got it emptied and ready to start painting.
This is one of 3 sections of the living room carpet that had melted candle wax all over it. She had just arranged the furniture over it.
LIVING ROOM late 2016
We made built in cabinets in the living room to hold things like the DVD player, WiiU, movies and games, etc…
I could not get Whiskey to move so she’s in the picture! There are still many Christmas things sitting around as I get them pack up to put away, but all in all it’s looking good.
SPARE BATH BEFORE

There was a funky built in area above the tub for linens that needed to be removed and the walls had to be re-done after the 2 layers of wall paper were removed and the wall board was peeling away.

SPARE BATH 3017
GARAGE BEFORE
This was after hubby spent 4 weeks cleaning and and making a path for donation and trash.
GARAGE late 2016
Hubby has done wonders at creating a neat and organized garage!

It took months to get to this freezer and then weeks to get into it. The key wouldn’t work! Turns out the seal had failed and there was a HUGE layer of ice sealing it shut. It then took hubby days to chip away ALL the ice and bag the food that was there. We are SO thankful for our trash guys. For a case of beer and soda twice a week and some “special” bottles at Christmas they took ALL we gave them. Way more than they were supposed to or should have. We thank them for going ABOVE and BEYOND!

ATTIC
From this point in the attic you can turn 3 directions, but they all look about the same. We got as much stuff out of the attic as the house it seemed. It is now ALMOST empty except for some insulation that needs bagged and the storage boxes I added just around the opening for when we move.
I tried to salvage these globes covered in nicotine and dirt, but in the end it was a lost cause.
JUST A TYPICAL TRASH DAY. It looked like this, sometimes double this EVERY! trash day (2 times a week) for 9 months!
The wiring had to be all re-done as gramps and possibly Beth’s boyfriend, Tom had done some really scary Mickey Mouse jobs that left us thankful the place hadn’t been burnt to the ground. We found an awesome Electrician and while Tommy was expensive, he is a Master Electrician and left us with a safe feeling allowing us to sleep at night.

This was the path hubby created through to the back gate.

Did I ever mention that the neighbor next door in a 2 story tried to buy this place because he loved the floor plan, but my uncle wouldn’t sell until the foundation work was done? In ALL honestly this house would still be sitting here in the same condition we found it if we hadn’t come long when we did. Unfortunately for us it appears my uncle does NOT appreciate any of this. He still wants more money than it was worth and said if he’d realized it’s condition, he would have just dumped it. If that is the case I have to wonder why he didn’t sell to the next door neighbor to begin with and honestly if he’s going to “DUMP” it why not do so to the people who spent the money for the parts and labor AND did the back breaking work for over a year?

Here are the FINAL AFTER pictures of an empty sold house:

I would like to say I am thankful for this experience and the lessons learned, but I just can’t. I do know grams is no longer turning in her grave over what her son and his daughter allowed her home to become because we have restored it and made it better. The girl scout in me has taken over though and we are better people for having done the right thing by family and are DEFINITELY leaving it better than we found it.

I can say I am glad it’s over and after taking some serious time to rehab at the gym and in the pool to regain my strength this summer elsewhere, we will move forward to something better FAR FAR AWAY from any influence of my caustic, toxic, back stabbing uncle who gave such a wonderful speech at our first Christmas about how lucky they all were that we came to the rescue when they were in over their heads because of my Aunt’s Alzheimers and dementia after my cousin died and left this place such a shambles. He went on and on about how he would make it worth our while because he had no real idea what an F***ing Pig his daughter was until we spent months just cleaning out the place to begin this project. Calling his daughter, my cousin an F***ing pig were his words, not mine, but then he turned around and literally swindled us out of our time, my health, our trust and our money.

My rant is done. I know Karma and God will take care of the rest.

WEDNESDAY HODEGPODGE

It’s Hodgepodge time! Head over to From this Side of the Pond for this week’s question if you’d like to play along.

1. THIS TIME LAST YEAR WHERE WERE YOU?

This time last year we had just gotten back from my sister-in-laws house and I was working on some fun new summer recipes getting ready to celebrate the 4th with friends. I had just developed my latest cheesecake recipe for Blueberry Lime and learned to make Malasadas. This year will be a super quiet summer while still social distancing.

2. In honor of National Pink Day (June 23rd) tell us your favorite pink food or beverage. Was it on the menu at your house yesterday? Do you like to wear the color pink? If we came to visit would we find this color in your home decor? Blush-fuschia-salmon-raspberry-your favorite shade of pink?

Lately I’ve been loving a guava passion fruit juice and it is the prettiest shade of pink, but last night with dinner we had some pretty pink watermelon too.  I have been eating it with a balsamic glaze reduction YUMMY! Typically I am not a pink kind of girl, but I do have a few summer blouses with some hints of pink in them and I did happen to wear a pink t-shirt yesterday 😀 and my toes are a bubblegum pink for summer right now.  As for a favorite, probably fuschia bordering on magenta, but you won’t find it in my decorating except at Christmas time 😀

3. Stop and smell the roses, looking through rose colored glasses, a rose by any other name, not all moonlight and roses, no rose without a thorn…which rosy saying currently fits your life in some way? Explain.

HMMMMM tending to be an optimistic person at all times this is a hard choice for me.  I’m a real “The Glass is Refillable ” kind of girl so I tend to see 3 sides to most things.  If my grams was still with us she’d say Stop and smell the roses, but be careful of the bees or don’t let looking through those rose colored glasses tint how you really feel.  I guess if I had to pick JUST 1 it would be a rose by any other name is still a rose. To me that just means that no matter what “spin” someone puts on something it won’t change the facts.

4. Are you a ‘reader’? Do you tend to read lighter books in the summer months? Do you have a summer reading list? If so, give us a title or two.

I am a serious reader – always have at least a book going, usually 2!  I LOVE series books and ironically even posted my Wednesday inspiration this morning about just that!  I don’t necessarily change genres or theme from winter to summer – just depends on where I am in a series and if there is a new release!  I just finished Gill Paul’s The Lost Daughter and right now I’m reading:

Lisa Wingate’s The Book of Lost Friends and The Prayer Box by Lisa Wingate.  Next up will be Hurricane Season by Lauren Denton

5. Share with us one rose and one thorn from your weekend.

The rose from the weekend was the fabulously good weather we were having and no rain in sight.  The thorn was that there was nowhere to go and nothing to do because of COVID19!

6. Insert your own random thought here.

I received a letter yesterday from my mail order pharmacy that one of my medications has been recalled.  And while it was an informative letter to a certain degree, it did NOT actually address how to handle the issue. So, 3 phone calls later I have dealt with customer service and the pharmacist at the mail order pharmacy and the receptionist at my doctor’s office with the result that I have to have an “early refill” done and pay an additional copay to receive untainted medication.  WTH? I was told that I could call the drug manufacturer directly to be reimbursed, but not to hold my breath or waste my time.  While on principle I want to deal with this, it is 100% not worth any more of my time. :SIGH: When did it become easier to give in than stand up for what is right?