Give me air…conditining

Shortly after our sons semi accident our air conditioner stopped working, the pipes just starts over freezing, and it’s only eight years old. I’m like “seriously”!!!! I never want to think “what else could happen” but, I was thinking it. It just seems that sometimes life is full of thorns. A series of unfortunate events can really get you down sometimes.

My husband and I are thinking we just need some freon or whatever that chemical is that they are using now. Oh no…it couldn’t be that simple. The “A” coil under the furnace was rusted out and leaking. We already knew we had to have a new furnace before winter –  it was twenty-five years old (I’m telling you the truth it really was 25 years old – we had a beast of a furnace, a Rheem). We had even already had two HVAC companies scheduled to come out in September for furnace estimates. We had a few choices to make now.

1) Just replace the ‘A’ coil under the furnace, but it would have to “match” the current air conditioning system that wouldn’t be exchangeable when it completely breaks down in the next few years, because of the new Government laws regarding freon. We were told by more than one company that when that happens we would need a new ‘A’ coil to match the new air conditioner that we would be getting then. Ugh!!

2) Just replace everything now. The new air conditioner and matching ‘A’ coil would all be in line with the new Government regulations. If they replaced both air and furnace they would “match”. They would have a ten-year service warranty and a two-year parts warranty.

We ended up going with a completely new HVAC system for a few reasons.

1) It will cheaper to do it all at once and we would have “matching” system.

2) They have to replace some of the vent system – more Government regulations regarding higher efficient heating systems.

3) The ‘A’ coil sits under our furnace so when it needs to be replaced again they would have to take the furnace out to get to it…we would endure extra labor costs with that.

In the last couple of weeks I’d say I’ve learned a lot more about HVAC systems than I ever wanted to know. Then again, knowledge is power. My husband and I got on-line checked out reviews for Trane vs. Carrier systems (those were our choices here in our area). We had four different estimates, so we also compared all of the different model numbers of each system.

We ended up going with a local company called Masters, Van Valer. They offered the models we wanted for the best price, changed out the breakers and replaced the flue system to it would be up to the new code. They’ve been in business for a long time and we just felt good about they way they worked when they came to give us the estimates.

We went with the Trane system and I’m here to tell you, I don’t remember our house EVER being this cold, especially in the upstairs rooms. We are so happy to know that when winter comes along we aren’t going to have to worry about our furnace going out either (last year we had two blizzards and extremely cold temperatures – let me tell you we had our fireplace running all winter long and praying our furnace wouldn’t go out).

Here are pictures…everything is s quiet and clean. (I just love it)

20140830_084058 Trane XV95         20140830_085114 Trane XR17

So the moral of this story is…if you need an HVAC system do your research and get a lot of estimates. Don’t leave out the local companies, they usually offer better prices and are a lot more friendly to work with.~Bam

Semi’s and Cars Don’t Mix

First, I have to say sorry…It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything.

A couple of weeks ago our son was on his way to school for a 6pm class on the North side of Indianapolis and the quickest way to get there realistically is by interstate. My husband and I are at Subway having our sandwiches made and I get THE call. “J”: “Mom, I’ve been hit by a semi – what’s the number to the police?” ME: “call 911″ “J”: “Well, it’s not an emergency. What’s the non-emergency number?” ME: “Any accident on the highway is an emergency”. We grab our food and head toward the highway. That’s definitely one call you don’t want to get from your child – no matter how old they are.

Luckily, traffic was going very slowly and there was a city policeman behind them on the interstate. He didn’t see the accident but he did see them both trying to pull over and he was nice enough to help with that and he stayed until the State Trooper came along and gave my son the non-emergency number to the state police. By the time we got there everyone was at the side of the road and they were exchanging insurance and driver’s license information.

IMG_20140729_181240_936  Really this is the extent of the damage. Thankfully, God was watching over him. The tire is GONE, it had two huge holes in it and the hubcap was smashed beyond repair. Amazingly, the underbelly wasn’t damaged at all.

Which brings me to why I’m sharing this in the first place. Jacob had been feeling a little down lately, About a week before this happened he said he felt like he’d been abandoned by God. What does one say to that?? I’m sure a lot of us feel that way at one time or another in our lives. I just really didn’t know what to say to him other than that.

Sometimes he’ll tell me things, not really looking for conversation, but, to just let me know how he’s feeling.

This made me think about this comment he’d made to me. If God had abandoned him I truly believe this could have been a lot worse, even deadly. I’m not saying all of this because I want to debate “religion” with anyone. I’m just letting you know how I personally feel about things. I don’t believe God abandons any of us. If anything we abandon Him. I do not have an answer as to why bad things happen to us. It’s just a part of life. I was talking to “J” after all of this happened and even he realized God was definitely watching over him.

IMG_20140729_182144_849  The semi didn’t have any damage at all, just a little bit of white paint on his big ol’ tire. (wow those things are ginormous)

I am so thankful that the semi driver and my son were both fine. I’m also thankful the semi driver actually pulled over.

P1010263 The semi driver’s insurance paid for the car to be fixed…Yippee.

What a beautiful new front end you have….Thanks Jamco!!. We had gotten a couple of estimates on our own and my husband told the insurance company he’d prefer a ‘cash’ settlement. They worked completely with us. I wouldn’t say they were the fastest, but, in the end it all worked out just fine.

PB2

I’ve said it before, but, here in our family, we love peanut butter. We like it all kinds of ways too – creamy, crunchy, with peanuts, with cashews, hazelnut and chocolate, and now even powdered.

 

  We’ve recently discovered PB2. It comes from a company named ‘Bell Plantation‘.

This stuff is so yummy. It’s also a lot healthier than regular peanut butter because 85-percent of the fat calories have been removed when they pull out the oil and dehydrate it into a powder. It’s preservative free, all-natural, and has no artificial sweeteners. It comes in plain or chocolate.

P1010251  It’s very user friendly – the ratio is 2-1. Two tablespoons of PB2 powder to one tablespoon of water. Mix well and depending on the consistency wanted add more water for a creamier version (less water for a thicker version). This peanut butter really doesn’t taste like the processed stuff. I tastes more like natural peanuts.

P1010252 To give you any idea of how much peanut butter mixes up, this is half of a bagel with a thick layer of peanut butter and there was still quite a bit left in the little bowl.

I will admit this product does cost a bit more than a traditional peanut butter, but with a longer shelf life I’d say it’s worth the difference. It’s also a good alternative to regular peanut butter for those who like to keep an emergency disaster kit.

I can’t wait for a ‘free’ Saturday to make up a batch of peanut butter chocolate brownies….

Enjoy~Bam

 

Meet Maverick

Well, I couldn’t do it…I couldn’t  go that long without getting a new pet. Really, my husband and son were a little more ready to jump in to animal ownership again. My husband wanted another dog, my son was a little indifferent but was leaning more toward a cat.

Last Saturday the local Humane Society had a huge adoption event at the state fairgrounds. Apparently they have this event twice a year. I’d never heard of it until we saw a commercial for it on T.V. We ended up getting there about an hour after they opened and literally most of the dog crates were empty already. Of course they had more coming in but I was really surprised to see how many people walking out already with a new pet. All of the animals had been spayed/neutered, chipped and fully vetted for the year, and the adoption fee was reduced to $30. They had about twelve different Veterinary places there and were advertising over 750+ animals that needed to be adopted.

We started in the cat area and my son fell in love with this little guy right away.

IMG_20140703_074109_339 This is Maverick…he’s such a sweet kitty. He’s about ten months old, missing the tip of one of his ears and has had some sort of eye infection that has left one of his eyes looking a little cloudy, other than that he’s healthy.  He’s long and lanky, loves laying on the couch pillows while we’re watching T.V., being held, and having his neck and chin rubbed. I’ve never seen such a docile happy kitty.

If you’re in the market for a new pet, I would hope that you would try your local Humane Society. It’s a great place to find an animal that just wants to be loved.

So happy for the new addition to our family~Bam

 

Garden update

I’m so excited to say the garden has so far exceeded our expectations, even though the squirrels tried their best to destroy it. They love digging around in the dirt, trying to bury their ‘goodies’.

P1010244 My husband came up with this idea and so far it’s worked out really great. We haven’t had any unwanted ‘guests’ since he’s put it up. He trimmed down some cedar and screwed in the chicken wire. He decided to make three separate closures in case I wanted to take them out and weed, but, I’ve found that I can reach everything just fine without having to remove them. He attached them by adding large screws to the top of the bed, and drilled matching holes in the cedar that’s attached to the chicken wire, then the wood screen just sits on top in holes, loosely locked into place.

P1010246 The peas really like it too, they’ve become quit attached.

P1010242 The green beans are really taking off too. They were attaching themselves to the wire and the peas. We put in garden stakes so they can grow upright.

P1010241 I can’t wait to see what the next couple of weeks bring!!!~Bam

 

Cherry Marzipan tea

I love tea. Hot, cold, with sugar or milk or honey, fruit flavored, plain and even unsweetened. About the only way I won’t drink it is with lemon. I think it’s because when I was little my grandma only had sweet tea with lemon (she was from the South – what can I say), and other than milk, juice, or coffee, tea was the drink of choice.

I have a new favorite tea…Cherry Marzipan. I was down in Nashville (Indiana – or locally known as ‘Brown County‘) a few weekends ago and my friend was telling me about this really cool tea shop called Sweetea’s. Then she proceeded to tell me about this delicious Cherry Marzipan flavored tea. Yep, she was right, it’s really good stuff. I even love just sniffing it, because It smells just like fresh cherries.

Even Dr Oz lists it as one of his favorite tea’s saying: “Tea Forté Cherry Marzipan Dessert in a mug, made from acerola cherries, toasted almonds, and raspberry leaves”.

The Cherry Marzipan tea is a loose tea made by ‘Tea Forte‘. It’s organic and Fair Trade certified. A little on the pricey end but really all things considered it’s a great value. It also lasts for a long time in it’s dried state. They have all kinds of delicious and unique flavors. Not only that, but it’s a great anti-oxidant, and good for your skin.

Sweetea’s is a tiny eclectic, off the main street little delight. They have a good variety of loose teas, single brew tea bags, tea cafe cups, and stylish teapots.They also have these drinks called ‘bubble tea’ and you can mix flavors of tea with these little ‘bubbles’ of flavored juice, they put it in your tea and serve it on ice with a really big straw (so you can suck up the flavored bubbles, they burst in your mouth to release the juice). Really, who thought this up?? I don’t know, but, it was really good, and the next time I’m in Brown County this will be the first place I stop for another ‘bubble tea’ and of course more Cherry Marzipan loose tea.

If you are ever in Brown County take time to stop and check it out. You won’t regret it.~bam

Garden – 4 week update

I can’t believe it’s only been four weeks since we started our garden. I’m so excited to say this year’s garden is already doing better than last years.

Radish Radish. This is the first year I’ve grown radishes. My thought was I can just pluck them from the garden and have one or two rather than buying a bag of them and wasting most of them, since I’m the only one who will eat them. I had to pick one to see how big it was. It was a pretty good size. I’d say a week longer and they’ll be full size. I think we’ll be able to have two batches of radish this year – we’ll see.

Peas The peas are looking good.

Pole Beans We have green pole beans. Yum. We had these last year and they were so good lightly sauteed in butter, with some salt and pepper. Can’t wait.

Onions The onions are trying to take over.

Squash Here’s the squash. I’m not sure how it’s going to do. Last year we didn’t even get this far with them.

Carrots The carrots are slow going. This is the first year we’ve planted carrots, but after doing some research it seemed they will grow in a square foot garden. Time will tell.

Green Pepper If you look close there are two little green peppers!! Peppers are expensive at the grocery. Most of these guys are going in the freezer for winter. (My husband loves to use a lot of them in the chili he makes).

Strawberry The strawberries are looking good. One leaf got eaten by some little critter. My husband’s working on a chicken wire netting for the top. (I’ll post more on that once it’s done.)

Tomatoes Can’t wait for the tomatoes. I could eat a tomato everyday and never tire of them. Freshly picked, sliced with a little sugar on them…nothing better. Okay, maybe sliced with cottage cheese, freshly cooked in pasta sauce, fresh Pico de Gallo. I could go on and on.

lettuce  Lastly, the lettuce is starting to come up. Last year this little vegetable was so tender and made some great salads. It seems to be growing a little slowly this year.

My son is impressed that we haven’t used any fertilizers or chemicals on it. I’m just happy to have fresh, clean, food.

Happy Gardening~Bam