#20 Making a House Work from Birth to Death

#20 Making a House Work from Birth to Death

#20 Making a House Work from Birth to Death

by Jolene Philo & Anne Fleck | Home Again

Anne and Jolene collect house plans for intergenerational living on the Home Again Podcast Pinterest page. You can check it out here and share plans you’ve found, too.

Below are pictures of simple changes we’ve already made to make our house more accessible. From L to R: taller toilet seat installed to make life easier for when Mom comes to visit (but we all love it), the grab bar added after Jolene broke her foot, Graber automatic blinds that are easy to lower and raise and are stringless which makes them safer for children.

This summer’s project will be tearing out the front deck and the flagstones between it and the driveway. Then, we will have a new cement porch poured that includes a ramp and sidewalk extension that reaches to the driveway. Someday will add a second entrance closer to the garage that leads to the basement apartment. And, we’ll pave the driveway, too.

To close things out, here are pictures of the 1964 house wheelchair accessible where Jolene grew up. The pictures aren’t the best, but the foundation very close to the ground made all entrances level. It can be done folks! Do you see the milk box behind my parents and brother in the first picture? Notice that between the second and third pictures, the back entrance was redone to make a sliding door and a larger patio.

#19 Getting Ready for the Garden

#19 Getting Ready for the Garden

#19 Getting Ready for the Garden

by Jolene Philo & Anne Fleck | Home Again

In this episode Anne described her techniques for saving space while  starting tomatoes and peppers. As you can see, the tomatoes (in milk cartons) are going great guns. If you have suggestions about the peppers (red cups), she’d love to hear them!

Here’s a look at the black plastic Anne put down while hugely pregnant, along with the hoops she and Kailen installed on a pleasant February day. They’re waiting for a nice March day to put the clear plastic on the hoops.

To the right is a picture of a coldframe (thanks Pixabay!) that’s not quite like what Anne hopes to build, but it gives you an idea of what one can look like.

To finish things off, here’s a list of the cherry tree varieties Anne is ordering and the planning resources she mentioned during the podcast.

 

#18 Making the Most of Your Library

#18 Making the Most of Your Library

#18 Making the Most of Your Library

by Jolene Philo & Anne Fleck | Home Again

Anne’s favorite books: The Harry Potter Series and anything Jane Austin

Jolene’s favorite audiobook series is Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone series narrated by Judy Kaye. The first 3 books in the series are A Is for Alibi. B Is for Burglar, and C Is for Corpse. Her favorite print book is Peace Like a River by Leif Enger.

Anne’s favorite audiobook is The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman with accompaniment by Bella Fleck.

A few other resources that deserve a shout out:

Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd's Pie made the Home Again Podcast short list of freezer meals because it's an all-in-one dish that is also dairy, gluten, and soy-free for the win!

Shepherd’s Pie is on this year’s short list of freezer meals, compliments of Anne. I didn’t eat it growing up or fix it for my kids, but she tasted it somewhere and has been perfecting the recipe ever since. It makes a good, hearty dish with plenty of veggies and makes a complete meal. It’s naturally gluten and dairy-free and can easily be made dairy-free. So Shepherd’s pie for supper means everybody in our family can eat from the same pan. Win-win-win!

Shepherd’s Pie

1 and a half pound of russet potatoes, peeled and cooked
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 pound ground beef
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons corn starch
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1 cup beef or chicken broth
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup uncooked lentils, cooked
whatever herbs float your boat (thyme, sage, and rosemary work well)
1 1/2 pounds frozen mixed vegetables
1/2 cup butter (or butter substitute)
milk (or milk substitute
1 egg, beaten egg

Preheat oven to 400°. Saute onions and garlic in a dutch oven. When they are transparent, add ground beef and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook ground beef until browned. Sprinkle cornstarch over the browned meat and stir until meat is coated. Add tomato paste, broth, Worcestershire sauce, cooked lentils, and whatever herbs you like.  Cook mixture until thickened. Add in frozen vegetables and combine thoroughly.  Spread mixture into bottom of casserole pan. (If you are making a freezer meal, cover the casserole dish with foil. Label and date the casserole and put in freezer once it’s cooled. Wait to cook the potatoes and mash them until an hour and a half before serving the Shepherd’s Pie.)

To prepare the potatoes, add egg and butter to cooked potatoes and mash well. Add milk a quarter cup at a time until the potatoes are the consistency you like. Spread on top of casserole. Bake in oven on 400 for 20 to 30 minutes.

SaveSave

#17 Surviving a Newborn

#17 Surviving a Newborn

#17 Surviving a Newborn

by Jolene Philo & Anne Fleck | Home Again

Anne’s top baby product is a baby carrier sling wrap. It was in constant use when Tad was little as he insisted in being held at all times. Lewella is better at sleeping in her basinette, but the wrap comes in handy when Anne wants to do chores around the house. And once the weather warms up, it will be great for walks.

Jolene’s favorite baby product is a handheld baby food grinder. She used a grinder similar to the one pictured to the right (but a 1982 model) to grind her son’s food for 4 years because of esophageal issues. Whatever she fixed for supper went through the grinder, and he ate it all!

Anne mentioned their robot vacuum which they run daily to stay ahead of dust and dog hair without any extra work on their part.

 

We also suggested that family and friends offer specific ways to help. This post by the mom of a baby with special needs is full of ideas about what new parents need.