I always find the cool stuff!

For real. In the last year, the stove/oven that came with my house has been, well, let’s say… odd… every so often. I have no clue how old it is, but probably in the 10-15 year age range. It works 95% of the time, but planned obsolescence and all that is lame, but I can see it coming.

So, about November/December when the kids were gone, I ended up down a rabbit hole of research. I have always always always loved older stoves. Typically wood stoves. But alas, no chimney pipe for that here. Which is fine. I looked at old Monarch’s, and figured I’d end up with an O’Keefe & Merrit or Magic Chef or Wedgewood. All cool, adorable, etc. Started poking around, seeing what I could find, restoration wise, and if anyone locally had anything.

But then.

I came across Chambers. Holy smokes. These things sounded amazing! Sturdy like a brick house. Super insulated oven and well (Thermowell – like a built in crockpot – can cook or bake or simmer, whichever!!!). Built in griddle and broiler? A storage cubby? And it can run on natural gas *or* propane? *And* they’re super cute?!? Duuuuude. I was toast. There was so much drool.

Started doing more research on Chambers, and trying to find any locally. Nada. I live in the land of old and busted antique stoves, or wood stoves. 🤣 Joined a few antique stove groups. Started chatting with some folks, and then, before you know it, opportunity knocked before I was expecting. It had been on my three-year plan/goal list.


Life/God/universe decided this buttercup better buckle up (and there was more where that came from, too!). So here I am, getting ready for a freshly restored/cleaned up 70yo stove. That will be absolutely gorgeous and like having a(n old school) Cadillac in my kitchen.

Need to do a little kitchen reworking, but shouldn’t be too bad. I have several workable options in mind. I’ve been able to hunt around and find accessories for the stove with the lead-up time. Including today’s fun!

Eeep! The Idle Hour Cookbook is how they disguised the owner’s manual. Thinking ladies wouldn’t want to read an actual manual. Which, fine whatever. But it’s cool. The service manual, duuuude. The pictorals and graphs and such of all the pieces parts are soooo cool! And the last page? Even includes all the tools you’ll ever need to work on this stove. Seriously. How cool is that?! I mean, especially because these suckers were made to be repaired and fixed and passed down.

Also in marginally related news, part of why this is such a big deal to/for me? Things like this weren’t exactly met with… well… anything positive… in the past. If I was the only one that wanted something, and someone else disagreed, well, it never happened.

So. I’m still basking in being able to get my own kick ass appliances. Shopping for quirky, but awesome deals. And man oh man, do I adore thrift. Not everything has to be new, folks. Nor does everything have to be expensive to be quality.

Like my amazing Speed Queen washing machine. The washing machine that came with the house, was making a horrible racket. Ball bearings and transmission or some nonsense. Fixing it was more than a new one coat. Score one for planned obsolescence, right? But while I had the repairman captive here, I asked him what he would recommend. He said hands down, Speed Queen. They’re meant to be repaired, not replaced. Super sturdy, big center agitator, stainless transmission and other inside motor/mechanical parts I zoned out. Universe tossed this in my lap, found a used one on the marketplace within a matter of days. My Speed Queen is downstairs in my laundry room and I adore her.

My Miele dishwasher. That came with me when I moved. That’s how amazing this dishwasher is. For real. A mom/homemaker knows what appliances she does and doesn’t like, it’s a thing. And getting good quality things to help keep things humming along? Huge.

Finding little things

Today was a flurry of getting some homework done, and packing the kids up for their dad’s house. Week on/week off would be unsettling enough for an adult, so you can imagine how challenging it is for kids. Things get forgotten (despite me reminding them to put shoes on several times), whathaveyou.

So I typically have to tidy up behind them after they’re gone. So I can have a marginally less messy house to enjoy for a brief respite. Years ago, I found these cool math wrap-up’s for practicing math drills/facts. We have addition, subtraction, multiplication, division. The kids used them for a bit when homeschooled, a short time after they started school, then things started getting taken or packed away.

Today after the house was silent, I found one of the math wrap-up’s on the coffee table (next to cello rosin, we live wildly here!).

I think my 11yo dug them up from the cube wall in the basement where I have various activities and supplies stashed.

This particular one was division. I know I’ve seen the multiplication one up here somewhere, too.

Learning can be done while hanging upside down off the couch. Which, yes, has happened more than once. Plus the tactile fun and constant movement with these helps my sensory seeking 10yo focus a bit more. Win-win!

Chemistry with colors

People think learning has to be boring.
Absolutely not. It’s much easier when you’re engaged and involved with what you’re learning, and it’s not dry and boring.

Today? More colors!


We tried tried different crayons, designs, length of time in various colors.  Even used a purple bath bomb to dye, with great success.