Monday, December 23, 2013

Adding A Fireplace Or Wood Stove To Your Home



Nothing is cozier on a cold evening than sitting in front of a fireplace or wood stove. I know this, as I am fortunate enough to have two wood stoves in my home. In a prior home, I had a fireplace and would build a fire before my son got home from school on a cold snowy day. We had to purchase wood, and I, of course, back then did not know anything about starting fires. I learned to buy those "starter logs" in the grocery store and that is the way I did it. My ex-husband did not know anything about starting fires, so it was up to me.



Now there are many other options for anyone wanting a fireplace in their home. You don't really have to start a fire with wood unless that is the type of fireplace you have. They are available at The Fireplace Element, a website where you can check them out and see exactly what you'd like in your home.They sell wood, pellet and gas stoves, fireplaces or fireplace inserts. You name it and they sell it.



I was fairly surprised by how many different products they sell. Be sure to view their Facebook page and "Like" it for more great ideas. It is important when considering a fireplace or stove that you have a reliable company to work with. They will answer all your questions and help you make the right choice for you home based on their experience and products.

This is a post I was paid to write about this company. If you have any questions please review my FTC Blogging Disclosure.






Copyright © 2013 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2013  Kathleen G. Lupole



Monday, November 18, 2013

Hardwood Flooring is the Perfect Choice!



Hardwood flooring is the perfect choice for your home today. Carpeting makes me sick from the chemicals in it. It is also hard to keep clean when you have pets, livestock, children, etc. and bring in mud, dirt, hay, and grass, from outside. In my opinion, hardwood flooring is easier to keep clean and always looks good. Buying a good quality product should last you for years. Not only that, but it will increase the value of your house. That is something to consider when making your purchase.


Laminate flooring looks like real wood, as seen in the photo above.  But it isn't and it will not hold up over time. That is why it is so much cheaper than real hardwood floors. Engineered hardwood flooring can be sanded from time to time to remove scratches and marks that are inevitable over time. Doing that will give the floor a new look after some years of use. Having an old house myself, I'd rather put the money into the hardwood flooring that will not only look good, but last. Wouldn't you?


One such company I have found that sells this type of engineered hardwood flooring is Build Direct, Inc. and they have a huge variety of this type of flooring. I am sure they would have what you need. I spent a long time looking at the various flooring and it is not an easy choice! Lots to choose from, whether you want the popular bamboo floors, to the old standards of hickory or oak. They have it all! Be sure to check them out.

I was paid to write this post by BuildDirect, Inc, but in no way did I mislead you in this review. I truly love their flooring and am considering it for my own house remodeling project. If you have any questions be sure to review my FTC Blogging Disclosure page.







Copyright © 2013 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs courtesy of Creative Commons license today








Thursday, November 07, 2013

A Home Warranty Service Contract For Peace of Mind

Home owners dread household repairs!

If something is damaged on your house, from a storm, fire or other natural disaster, it is usually covered by your homeowner's insurance policy. If the oven in your stove, or another appliance malfunctions, you are on your own. Calling around trying to find a local repair company that can work you into their schedule can take all day. Making sure you have enough money to cover the cost of the repair and new parts is a headache for sure. It seems to me that repairs often occur when you are short on money, or when you need that appliance the most. Consider buying a home warranty service policy.

A home warranty service contract may cover stove repairs.

What is a home warranty  service policy? It is basically a service contract that covers unexpected repairs and parts of various appliances and systems in your house that have broken down with normal wear. Is it worth it? Well from a standpoint of knowing that things breakdown eventually, I think having this policy in place makes a lot of sense. As long as you maintain and take proper care of your appliances and other systems, the warranty will cover it.


Single Family Houses or Multi-Family Units can be covered.

A company like Choice Home Warranty covers single family homes, multi-family units, condos and manufactured homes. Paying for a home warranty service contract is peace of mind for a homeowner. It is a good selling point if you have your house up for sale. Prospective buyers will consider that a plus in purchasing your house. Or the other way around, when you are buying a new house, a home warranty service contract will make you consider that house over another. "Like" them on their Choice Home Warranty Facebook page, and they will give you answers to your questions and give you a lot of good information.






Copyright © 2013 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2013  Kathleen G. Lupole

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Monday, October 21, 2013

Flowers In The Homestead Garden



I am winding this blog down a bit, though I probably will continue it, unless Blogger shuts it down for some unknown reason. My main blog is Homesteading On The Internet, same name, better blog. I liked the name and wanted to keep it, but found it wasn't that simple to transfer what I wrote here to the new one. So I have been trying to post on both, but different articles. I will still spend time writing quality posts for my readers here. So if you want to stay on this site, I appreciate it.




I don't usually plant flowers in my garden. This year I did. Not many, just a few. Some marigolds, because I read how good they are for your garden, as well as pretty. Supposedly, they keep rabbits out too. And they keep away the aphids. They are edible too. I planted these marigolds earlier in the summer and they never bloomed until fall. I don't know why or if they were supposed to do that. But they sure are pretty!




I guess the main thing is that they bloomed when the garden was about done. So I had some color in the garden when usually it would have been empty. Now we are putting the beds down for the winter that will be here before long. It is usually here long before this. Last night was the first night for starting our big heating stove yet, we have not had a hard frost yet. Hard to believe!




Copyright © 2013 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2013  Kathleen G. Lupole

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Water Project Is Half Way Done!

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New Porch with Battery Room underneath!

This summer was a very productive summer for us here at Peaceful Forest Homestead. My husband and I worked on so many projects and completed many of them. Now we are onto to even MORE projects. Isn't that the way life is? One project after the other. We were just saying that you never are finished. There is always something more to do. I feel content at the end of this summer, due to the fact that we accomplished so much.

Root Cellar door leading to what is now the Battery Room!

One important project that is just about finished, is closing in our battery room. It is built under the porch and connects to the root cellar by the original cellar door. My husband made sure to keep the two areas completely separated. The reason for that is we don't want anything that could generate heat or smells of any kind in the root cellar, since that is where our food is stored. The battery room will store our batteries in a box built special for them. It will also house our water heater, that will run when we are getting more power into the batteries than is needed. Instead of dumping the power, which would waste it, it will heat the water.

Water Heater and Pressurized Water Tank!


The pressurized water tank is next to the water heater. The water will be piped in from our well. Those pipes are already in place. Our water pump is the very next thing I think, that he has to hook up. Then the next project for my husband is to pipe that water into the kitchen and bathroom. Our washing machine is in the bathroom just dying to be used! It means the end of fourteen years of washing most of the laundry by hand! I can't wait!






Copyright © 2013 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2013  Kathleen G. Lupole

Sunday, September 15, 2013

A Stop Along Our Way Home Yesterday - Hallstead, Pennsylvania,

Hallstead, Pennsylvania


Yesterday, my husband and I had to drive to Montrose, Pennsylvania to pick up something I had bought from craigslist. I woke up to rain and was afraid we couldn't make it there yesterday. We took a chance and packed our tarps and went anyway. It is a very pretty drive. Pennsylvania is a beautiful state. If you have never been there before, it is mostly mountains and trees. Lots of trees, thick forests covering the mountains. They made the roads throughout the state by blasting through the mountains without destroying the forests. That is probably why you will find the roads are very narrow and very curvy. Going up and down the large hills, mountains really,  constantly.


Dobb's Country Kitchen

One of the things we love to do is to go out to breakfast. Especially in the old fashioned type of diners. You won't find us stopping at any of the fast food or franchise type of restaurants. Diners really do have the best food. We stopped yesterday at Dobb's County Kitchen on our way back home. It was very good and so much cheaper than in New York. Very nice restaurant and the waitress was friendly and fast. Our food was good and we were happy with our choice.

Fireworks Outlet

According to Wikipedia: "What is now Hallstead was incorporated as Great Bend Village on November 28, 1874. In 1887, it was renamed to Hallstead Borough in honor of William F. Hallstead, president of the Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western Railroad. The boroughs of Hallstead and nearby Great Bend are bisected by both Interstate 81 and the Susquehanna River."

Adult Outlet!

When we got to Montrose, we could smell gas in the air. I don't know if that has anything to do with the gas drilling going on down there, but it was very noticeable to me. Maybe because we don't have it here in New York. I got a slight sore throat from it and had to take cough drops. It would bother me if I had to live with it though. Smells have always affected me. Other than that, our trip there was a nice break from the every day chores at home.





Copyright © 2013 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2013  Kathleen G. Lupole

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Ball Blue Book Published In 1974 Was A Real Find!

1974 Ball Blue Book

A few weeks ago, my husband and I went shopping at a local thrift store that sells a lot of books. I always look for the old homesteading type of books. I am addicted to old canning or pressure canner or pressure cooker manuals. They are packed full of good recipes. Most of the recipes in the old ones are not in the newer ones. They think we cannot can so many types of food just because they decided they didn't come out good enough. I like to make my own choices. As long as I follow the modern safe practices of today, I will be okay.



New Lid Design - Red Sealing Ring!

I really did buy this book thinking I could sell it on eBay. Once I started looking at it on the ride home, I knew I could not part with it. I love the old Ball books and I use them constantly. Actually, it is a bit of history, as you can see the changes they made in the way we can our foods now. That is why so many old time canners are so stubborn about changing over to the new ways. They say, "I did that for years and no one ever died from my home canned foods." Hard to argue with that.


The Table Of Contents

I feel that the older canning books were more personable. The newer books have an industrial feel to them. Like someone was paid to write it and they don't care about what they are writing. Just following an outline or something. This particular canning book from 1974 had feeling. They were excited about the new design of the lids and the new quilted jelly jars. Maybe that is why my favorite jars are the older styles. That is why I am never one to share my canned food, besides the fact that when I can food, I am following our plan, and I need so many jars of each item for the following year. But I hate to give my jars away with the food. I have thought about buying the cheap jars at Walmart to use for that purpose. So many people hint at or come right out and ask for my home canned food. Can't do that though. It will throw us off for the year.



How To Preserve A Husband! On back cover of book.


I plan on keeping my eyes open for more of these old Ball books. I already have some of the old Presto and Mirro pressure canner and cooker manual or cookbooks that came with their products. I am keeping them too. Maybe I'll be sharing some of those recipes here soon! 







Copyright © 2013 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2013  Kathleen G. Lupole

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Screams Of Terror In The Forest

Birds in these trees were screaming!

This forest is owned by New York State and they log their forests on a regular basis. This one hasn't been logged in this spot since we moved here in 1999. It is directly across the road from our house. So when they started their process, it became VERY noisy. I am keeping my windows closed, even though it is very hot too. I would have no problem with this, in fact, I am hoping the logging project will increase the sunlight to our solar panels in the winter. I think those trees blocked it quite a bit.


Many critters live in this forest.

My complaint is really about their method of logging now. The new modern way. It is super fast and that is why they do it that way. The trouble with that is, it does not give the critters and birds who live in this forest time to flee. They awoke yesterday singing like usual. Then a little later as the machine made its way through the forest knocking down trees in its path, the screaming started. I could not listen. There was not a thing I could do to help these little critters. I don't know how the ones on the ground would be able to survive.

Normally, a quiet spot!

Many of the birds in this forest and the ones around us, are birds who do not fly south. They gather food all year waiting for winter when they will feed on it. When you cut down trees one by one, slowly cutting them and loading the truck with them, they have more time. This type of logging is cruel to them. I guess it is like waking up in the middle of a tornado or a fire and having to run for your life. I am only thankful that most of the baby birds have been out of the nest for a long time now. The bats! You should have seen the sky with bats who had been awakened from their daily sleep by their trees being knocked over. I never saw anything like it.

"Razor Robot"

The squirrels that lived in this forest are usually quite vocal. They never come into our yard or our garden. I am sure they were busy storing food too. Of course, many will not have survived. I have seen them hop from the tops of the trees, so I hope they were able to get out too. This morning though, this forest was incredibly quiet. Kind of spooky.




Copyright © 2013 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2013  Kathleen G. Lupole


Sunday, July 21, 2013

Our Small Wind Turbine Is Installed And Charging Today!


Our Windmax Turbine!


 From this........



Going Up!




Praying, "please don't fall!"




It's UP!!!!




My day today in pictures. Hubby installed our Windmax turbine today. It was a hot day to  do it, but he couldn't wait. To tell you the truth, neither could I. This means we will have power coming in when the cold winds of fall and winter and hit us. No having to depend on the sun to come out. If we get sun and wind, well that's good too. We can charge with both of them at the same time. I will write more about this in a few days. 





Copyright © 2013 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2013  Kathleen G. Lupole