Category Archives: Special Touches

Repurposing Lumber

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Assembling the tools and supplies usually takes longer than accomplishing the task!

Last summer, we took down the old horse barn behind our house and salvaged as much lumber as possible.  Built in 1899, it had far outlived its usefulness and had become, not only an eyesore, but unsafe as well.  Jeff McCotter used some of the planks and timbers to build a stunning platform bed, as well as, these beautiful picture frames.  I finally got around to taking some old glass to Hometown Hardware  and having glass cut for them, then i finally ordered and received the frame turn buttons to hold the photos in and the hangers, then finally cut foam board pieces for backing.  Then FINALLY, this morning, assembled the whole affair.  If you had frames made like i did, would you want them to come back with glass, backing, turn buttons and hanger already installed?  or would you prefer gathering the materials and doing those parts yourself?

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Turn buttons and hanger installed on one picture. I discovered that the screwdriver set for my DeWalt 18V power drill did not contain a driver small enough for these tiny screws. I ended up using a hand screwdriver which was probably the better choice for this job anyway.
Finished and hanging.  Might look better stained darker, but for now, i'll enjoy them au naturale.
Finished and hanging. Might look better stained darker, but for now, i’ll enjoy them au naturale.
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Hand crafted platform bed built entirely of planks and posts from our vintage 1899 horse barn from the Lamme Farm.

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Yerba Maté

My dear friend Ivis from Bolivia introduced me to Yerba Maté several years ago and I’ve been hooked on it since.  Described as ““strength of coffee, the health benefits of tea, and the euphoria of chocolate” all in one non-alcoholic beverage.

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Cure your gourd before using. 1) Fill gourd halfway with mate and fill with hot water. 2) Soak for 24 hours. 3) Remove herb and thoroughly scrape gourd pulp from inside using a spoon.
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4) Repeat steps 1-3 a second time 5) Give it a final hot water rinse
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With a tiny spoon (souvenir size), I scoop in about four spoonfuls and fill with not quite boiling water. Some people add sugar. Be careful – the bombilla will get hot!

Be culturally in vogue with a gourd and bombilla to properly enjoy your maté,

Yerba Mate contains caffeine, so check out possible drug interactions and side effects.

Cultivation (from Wikipedia).  The Yerba mate plant is grown and processed in South America, specifically in northern Argentina (Corrientes,Misiones), Paraguay, Uruguay and southern Brazil (Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina, Paraná and Mato Grosso do Sul). Cultivators are known as yerbateros (Spanish) orervateiros (Brazilian Portuguese).