December 30, 2011

2011: Year In Review

I have really learned to appreciate these "year in review" posts. So often we only see what's undone, or remains to be done, rather than focusing on the progress we've made. Taking a month by month look back at the year is a good reminder of that.

We had a lot of snow in January

January's house project was continuing work on our small second bathroom. Dan installed a new water heater, turning the tiny, old pantry into a utility room. We began to think about future water conservation systems and started making plans for remodeling our kitchen. In January we got our "big snow."  This was the month I lost Charlie. Our outside project was preparing the overgrown field for our first planting of field corn.

Things always look better on the other side of the fence

In February, we finished remodeling the bathroom. We started to tear into the kitchen, but decided we'd better do the back porch first, to use as a temporary kitchen. I also started this year's garden plans, deciding to try a companion group garden.

Our experimental wheat patch was coming along.

In March we worked on the back porch: put in new back door, leveled the floor, and installed a kitty door. We also interviewed electricians about moving the circuit breaker box. I worked on my goal to conquer the wire grass and I moved all my strawberries to 2 new beds.

April was kidding month

In April we continued to make progress on the back porch by installing a laundry sink. We planted our field corn and added two Hugelkultur beds to the herb garden. In April, our first goat kid was born, followed by Surprise's Easter twins.

Fort William, our log buck barn (complete with Pygmy bucks)

May's kidding was less successful as Jasmine gave birth to a stillborn. We sold our grade goats and used to money toward buying two Pygmy bucks. To prepare for that, Dan built a log buck barn. I discovered I could make whipped cream from goat milk. Hot discussion topics on my blog included 2nd year egg laying, and immunities and goats milk. In the house, we installed folding attic stairs in the back porch ceiling.

My companion group gardening
experiment was going well

In June we harvested our small experimental patch of wheat and fenced off a section of pasture for the bucks. We started preparations for the electrical work on the house, and I made my first experiments with cheesemaking. June also seemed like a good month to rearrange and inventory the pantry, in preparation for this year's harvest.

Homestead mozzarella on homemade pizza

In July, we made our Kinder herd name official. All month I had to compete with the goats for the blueberries. The field corn was out of control. In July, I mastered the art of mozzarella making, we revised our homestead master plan, and had my 1st broody hen.

We had 2 home hatched & 16 mail order chicks

In August I showed you our new chicks. It was the month we started serious work on the kitchen: milling our own load bearing ceiling beam, removing a load bearing post (in the middle of the kitchen floor), and replacing it with Dan's beam. This month we had a horrific storm that knocked out my computer. We finished fencing part of the woods for a buck browse, and lost our Pygmy buckling shortly after that.

Calico popcorn, part of September's harvest

September was the month we relocated and installed a new kitchen back door. I bought new kitchen windows to replace the old, and we got the first one installed, but not without difficulty. An extension of that project was new exterior siding on that section of the house. In September, we harvested our field corn and started the fall garden.

By October, the pantry shelves were full

In October I began to work out some of the details for my kitchen plans. We finished the electrical upgrade and painted the new siding. We had a bumper crop of pecans, and I got my first Meyers lemon. I also tallied my first food preservation totals for the year and we planted about a quarter acre of winter wheat. Our 1st frost was Oct. 30th.

In November we took major steps in the kitchen remodel.

November was the month I lost Katy. Dan finished the chinking on the buck barn. In the kitchen, we tore down the odd, old wall cabinets and moved the pantry door. We bought a water filter and I learned how to can green tomatoes for frying. All month long I foraged for persimmons for the first time, and got about a quart of pulp to freeze.

In December we got the
wood cookstove installed

December was mild but wet, and a big month for working on the kitchen. Dan rebuilt a section of the kitchen floor to level it for our woodcook stove, we tore out the last of the kitchen cabinets and got the wood cookstove in. We also installed the second new window, insulated that wall, and put up the drywall. I wallpapered the dining nook. In addition, the chicks were 5 months old and creating a ruckus. Dealing with that seemed to mark a change in our homestead journey.

That's our look back at 2011. 2012, here we come.

December 26, 2011

Kitchen Remodel: Creating A Nook Look

When we first sat down and wrote up our "must have" list for the kitchen remodel, one of the things on that list was a dining nook. The place to put it? In this alcove .....

Kitchen entrance & future dining nook

.... which also serves as the entryway into the kitchen. This was not part of the original kitchen. When the house was built, this area contained a small pantry on the right, with the original back door on the left. It was connected to the 11.5 by 11.5 foot kitchen by a short hallway. Earlier occupants tore out the pantry to enlarge the kitchen, and we moved the back door to create a place for a small dining table and two chairs.

Wallpapers for my dining nook.

Another thing we wanted to do, was to give this part of the kitchen a separate but coordinating look. I knew I could do that with a different treatment of the walls, and use the flooring and color scheme to tie the two parts of the room together.

As I got to work I was really happy with this selection

My main wallpaper was expensive, so I tried to squeeze every square inch out if it that I could. I've actually never spent this much on wallpaper before, but my sweet husband encouraged me all along to create the kitchen I want. I reckon he feels safe doing that because he knows what a tightwad how frugal I am. I did find it deeply discounted online, but also planned to use the second paper, which I found at a thrift store. The border was from WalMart.

The bottom paper went quickly.

This was one of the few times I've been able to put up the wallpaper before the trims and mouldings. That means there are no precise measurements and exact cuts to worry about, which made it the easiest wallpapering job I've ever done. The hardest was probably that teeny tiny bathroom just off the kitchen.

And finished.

There's enough "waste" and scraps for part of the other wall we drywalled, between the countertop's molded-in backsplash and wall cabinets, plus have enough in reserve for possible future repairs.

What was left over.

Next step, the ceiling and crown moulding. That one was Dan's pick. More on that here - Kitchen Remodel: Dining Alcove Ceiling

December 23, 2011

Homestead Lemon Cream Pie

Lemon Cream Pie, a Christmas tradition

Lemon cream pie is my best favorite pie. I love pie and can list a lot of others I like, but given a choice, and if it's made with my great-grandmother's recipe, this is the one I'll choose. Very exciting then to be able to grow and harvest my own lemons, even if it's only a few.

My dwarf, potted, Meyers lemon tree first bloomed exactly a year ago, and I've watched the flowers turn to tiny lemons. I started with about 27 teeny little fruits, but the tree self-pruned until in the end I got 5 mature lemons. The first lemon fell off the tree in October, and didn't look so good. The good parts tastily flavored iced tea. One more went for tea on Thanksgiving, and one went for making green tomato jam. I saved the biggest and the best for a lemon cream pie. That along with our homestead eggs and milk, make it very special indeed.

This recipe is a very old one, and I'm giving it to you exactly as I received it. As with many old recipes, it assumes a basic working knowledge of the techniques, and I have to say that watching my grandmother make this pie for many years really helped. No one else in my immediate family cares for lemon pie, so I only make it once a year, usually around Christmastime.

Lemons, eggs, & milk, all homegrown

Ella's Lemon Cream Pie

This makes a small, lemony, tart/sweet pie, not just lemon flavored! If you're a lemon lover, this one's for you.

2 lemons,  grate rind & juice
1 C. sugar (I increased to 1.25 C because the lemons were so large)
1 C. milk
2 tbsp cornstarch or flour
3 egg yolks

Cook in double boiler. Frost with whites of eggs beaten stiff with 1/2 cup sugar. Brown in oven.

Just out of the oven

Cook's Notes:
  • Ella was my great-grandmother on my father's side.
  • The recipe doesn't mention it, but obviously you need an empty, baked, pie shell.
  • I used my no-fail pie crust recipe for that, click here & scroll down a bit
  • I used Mama Pea's trick to make it behave while baking 
  • I am not an artistic cook and rarely manage aesthetic, picture book creations. Obviously.
  • Cooking the filling to thicken takes fairly long, over 30 minutes. I cook it until it traces (like soap) and then some. It needs constant stirring, so I always take this time to read a book!
  • It sets completely as it cools.
  • The biggest challenge was whipping the egg whites by hand, because my Kitchen Aid is still on the fritz. 
  • Dan helped with that.
  • I use my smallest pie pan, a 9 incher. Even then it does not make a thick or tall pie.
  • This is fine with me because it's not the meringue I'm after, it's the filling. ;)

December 21, 2011

Evaluating Our 2011 Homestead Goals

The calendar is on the past page. That means it's a good time to start reflecting on what we're trying to do, and how well we're doing it; to evaluate the progress we've made on this year's goals. This year's list was shorter than last year's. This wasn't because we had less to do, it was because the goals we did have were for bigger projects. Our first year saw the need for a lot of little steps to get organized. This year we've been able to start building on that. As I look back over our 2011 goals, here's what I see:

House - we got a lot done on the house

Goals accomplished:
Goals not:
  • install new front door (which has been residing in the hallway for almost 2 years now).
Goals in progress:

Garden - 50/50 on garden goals.

Goals accomplished:
Goals not:
  • win the battle against that nasty wire grass in the strawberries and comfrey - not only did I not win this battle, but the wire grass took over my new strawberry beds as well, and presses in to new territory in the garden
  • hoop houses or row covers - the only progress I made on this was looking for supplies to do it. I couldn't find the right size PVC pipe, so didn't pursue it. This is the 2nd year in a row I haven't met this goal! Do I dare include it in next year's?
In addition are the goals listed in my 2010 garden analysis. I:
  • got my mulching done earlier
  • planted new things like asparagus, Egyptian walking onions, multiplier onions
  • tried new varieties of melons, cucumbers, popcorn, lettuce, sweet potatoes
  • and expanded companion planting into a group system


Goals accomplished:
Goals not:
  • raise meat chickens - after much discussion, we dropped this one. Not the raising part, but the part about specific meat breed chickens. We decided to stick with a heavier dual purpose heritage breed. They don't dress out like grocery store chickens, but that's just something we'll have to accept. Dan does not like the idea of hybridizing chickens for specific purposes like meat & eggs
Goals in progress:
  • improve existing pasture/hay - we have the seed for this and are preparing to plant it this winter

Water conservation systems - only small steps taken here

Goals accomplished:
  • none
Goals not accomplished:
  • greywater recycling 
  • rainwater collection
Steps taken toward these goals:

The nice thing about goals, is that there isn't the same pressure to achieve them as resolutions. They are very useful for project planning and figuring out what to do next. They can be adjusted or changed as needed. They are also useful for evaluating one's progress, and setting the next year's goals.

If you had goals for the year, I'd love to hear about them, along with how well you've been able to meet them and which ones you had to change. I can't say this enough, but we really can learn a lot from one another. 

December 19, 2011

1st Rooster Culled & The Aftermath

If you read the chicken update in my last Around The Homestead post, then it likely comes as no surprise that Lord B was the first rooster culled. Had circumstances been different, it was not a choice we would have made. It was his nonacceptance of the new chickens, and the ongoing conflict and chaos that resulted, which made it impossible to keep him.

He'd seemed a near perfect rooster: good personality, protective and deferential toward his hens, not aggressive toward humans, and provided us with hours of entertainment. He always came running when I called him, and would accompany us anytime we took a walk around the fields. As he got older however, he began to show more aggressive tendencies. He threatened to attack me twice for trying to shoo him, and Dan once, for imitating his rooster dance. This caused me to begin to keep an eye on him, but the real problem was that he was not receptive of the new chicks. Once the young cockerels began to mature, there was constant crowing and chasing and cornering and attacking. One option would have been to butcher all the young cockerels earlier than we originally planned. That would eliminate the male competition, but His Lordship didn't like the pullets either. The other option was to eliminate him.

In decision making, we fell back on our homestead goals. We would like to keep a heritage, dual purpose breed flock. Initially we thought it would be Barred Hollands, because we really liked the look of ours. They and their eggs are somewhat small however, so we considered other breeds. That was why we got the Buff Orpington chicks. The bigger goal however, is to be as food self-sufficient as possible. That means we need to perpetuate our chickens. I figure if we can hatch some homestead chicks every year, we can keep ourselves in eggs with occasional meat. If B wouldn't accept expansion of his flock now, he wouldn't next year either, or the year after that.

The dispatch went much more quickly and smoothly than our first experiences. This time around we scalded the carcass and what a difference that made. It was a breeze to pluck! Because he was an older bird (almost 2 years) we used a temp of 180 F for 60 seconds. Temperature and time vary according to age and size, (insert nod to Carla Emery's Encyclopedia of Country Living here.)

We have to agree with Herrick Kimball, that butchering chickens will never be something we'll actually like to do. Taking responsibility for what we eat though, is something that comes with the agrarian lifestyle. In the end you don't dwell on it, you just do it. Emotions? A tinge of remorse beforehand; afterward, relief.

My hopes of at least a temporary peace in the chicken yard were short lived. As soon as Lord B was gone, somebody started crowing, almost nonstop. It turned out to be the roo that His Lordship had picked on and chased the most. The entire flock sensed the change, and our original hens hung back that morning. The first to emerge from the coop was jumped on by about half a dozen of the young roos. They chased her mercilessly and probably would have killed her except that I interfered. Soon they spread out into the pasture, and the crowing commenced.

As the morning matured, things gradually settled down somewhat. There were still squabbles aplenty and jockeying for new positions in the pecking order. Since the two groups of chickens never integrated into one flock, we essentially had two flocks who shared the same quarters. With their protector gone, my older hens were now the ones being picked on, especially those who were meanest to the chicks. We later thought we should have done several of the cockerels at the same time, to upset their social order as well. That may have prevented some of the ganging up, but I wasn't sure yet which ones to cull first. This is something I would definitely do differently, should we ever be faced with a similar situation.

For us, life resumed as usual with no sense of sadness or grief. Still, there was a peripheral awareness that something had changed. It wasn't just the loss of a rooster, a particular rooster. It was because B about his business, had been a fixture in the mental landscape of our homestead. It was as though the infancy of our dream had come to its close.

Next comes the job of choosing a new rooster. We need to get on with this soon so that things will settle down. I don't want an aggressive bully, nor a scardy cat that runs away at the first loud noise (we've had both.) Nor do I want the "friendliest" rooster. What initially appears to be friendly behavior toward humans is actually boldness without fear. Based on the experience of others, I've learned that these often turn out to be the most aggressive toward humans as they mature. What makes it hard, is that being the same breed, they all look pretty much alike. It will be difficult to keep track of the ones with the qualities I'm looking for, the potential candidates. There are at least two who seem to be getting along with everybody, so I observe carefully to find something distinguishing about them.

On the other hand, having only one breed makes culling easier in some ways. They all look alike, so distinct identities are obscure. Two other things help. One, is to never think of them as pets, to make a deliberate choice to not develop an emotional bond to them. That's why we never technically named our chickens, though in describing them I often said Lady (breed) rather than The (breed). The B in Lord B's name is actually for his breed, Barred Holland. The other, is to not assign human emotions to them. They do have their own emotions and opinions, but I have begun to realize that animals do not perceive life and death as people do. Perhaps this is because animals do not have the spiritual decisions to make that people do.

I have only one photo. Considering my topic it's not offensive, but I still debated whether or not to show it to you. For some reason it just struck me as terribly humorous, which perhaps is incongruous with the rest of this post. At any rate, here it is.

I can only add that a slow cooker or crock pot is the best way to deal with an older, tougher bird. And with that, life goes on.

December 17, 2011

Kitchen Window, Kitchen Wall

Between this week and last, Dan has had quite a few days off. Add to that some pretty weather, and we made a lot of progress in the kitchen.

In my last kitchen update, I showed you the inner wall we torn down. Since then, Dan had been anxious to get the new window installed while the temps were still fairly mild. This is the other window I bought at that surplus builders warehouse, the day I went window shopping.

Old kitchen window

As you can see in the photo above, the old window had no framing, like the first window we replaced. It was just stuck into the siding of the house. This one did have a token header though; one 2x4.

Fortunately we had a beautiful day to do the job. Dan had to enlarge the opening in the wall, and frame it out.

New kitchen window

The new window is the same width as the old, but 10 inches longer. That means I'll have more light and a better view from the kitchen sink. It's also an energy star window, with thick double panes.

The next step was to insulate the wall.

We opted for batts

You may have noticed in the photos of my "Farewell Kitchen Sink" post, that the old insulation was the blown in type. I'm sure it helped, but there was none under the window nor under the diagonal braces at the corner studs. During winter the cold pressed in so that there didn't seem to be any insulation there at all. I'm sure that helped heat the kitchen up during summer too.

Done & just in time. The temperatures took a nose dive shortly afterward. 

Dan also added 2x4s between the studs in places the wall cabinets will go. Next step, drywall...

The refrigerator and sink will go against this wall (kitchen floor plan click here), so we got the kind that's mold and mildew resistant. He installed it horizontally instead of vertically, because of the placement of the studs. They are not the standard 16 inches apart, nor are they evenly spaced. By placing the drywall on the horizontal, he could see the studs and know where to put the screws.

What a difference all this makes. The room is so much snugger and cozier. Next we'll drywall the other walls Dan rebuilt. Soon I'll be able to put up my wallpaper!

December 15, 2011

Around the Homestead

Updates, followups, and other odds and ends since my last Around The Homestead.

Wood Cookstove Installation.

It's installed up to the kitchen ceiling, except for the heat shield. Also to do, the chimney pipe.

Calico Popcorn. - We've had some lovely weather actually, though they are frequently interspersed with cold rainy days. Those days seem a good time to shell, thresh, and winnow some of our grains. I started with the calico popcorn.

2, gallon jars of the harvest

I planted 1/4 of a pound and weighed out a yield 17 & 3/4 pounds. That's plenty for some Christmas gifts, and at least a dent in a year's supply. How much can we eat? It's a favorite snack, so lots. Of course we had to pop up a bowlful for a sample.

Poppage was fair, with quite a few unpopped kernels in the bottom of the bowl. It was pretty though, and has a very good flavor. I'm going to save at least half a pound to plant next year. How long our harvest lasts will give me a better idea of what I need to plant.

Last of the green tomatoes.

Green tomato jam, albeit an unappealing color

Besides canning green tomatoes for frying, I also made and canned a small batch of green tomato jam. The recipe used no pectin, and at first it didn't thicken up as much as I'd hoped. I extended the cooking time, but it was still pretty soupy by the time I canned it. Processing made the difference, and the jam was set when it cooled. Taste test still to come. Unfortunately it's not a very pretty color.

Chicken panic. My morning routine with the chickens begins by opening the coop door at first light. This is for the safety of the now grown newcomers because our rooster, Lord B, has declared war on all them (even after the hopeful events of the hawk attacks). My hope is that by opening the door, they have a chance to escape the coop if need be. About half an hour later, when it's lighter out, I go throw some scratch around the chicken yard.

The other day it was raining when I headed out for the second time, so I tossed on my rain poncho. As I neared the chicken yard, I heard loud squawking and saw chickens running everywhere. Fearing the worst, I ran toward the yard. As I drew near, about half the flock shrieked and ran for the woods, the other half scattered everywhere in a panic. I ran after them but they ran away faster. Finally it dawned on me that because of my bright red rain poncho, they didn't have a clue as to who or what I was. Apparently even a familiar voice doesn't instill confidence if it's coming from a big red monster. I had to take the poncho off to coax them back to the yard with some chicken scratch. So much for staying dry during morning chores.

Lord B & the Buffs. He chases them to the other
side of the fence, and makes them stay there!

Eggs. I found three eggs in the goat's hay rack the other day.

The two darker browns are from my two Welsummers. I have no chicken that lays like the light one, so could it be from one of the Buff Orpingtons? They're going on 5 months now, so it's about time they should start to lay. This one though, seems too big for a pullet egg. I'm still barely getting an egg a day, which makes me glad for those frozen eggs. There's so much ruckus in the chicken yard though (all due to His Lordship), that I wonder if the hens are either laying elsewhere or not laying at all because of the fuss.

Pecans.  At the suggestion of CaliforniaGrammy, I got one of these....

She mentioned it after she read my "Looks Like A Good Year For Pecans" post. It's a Dukes Easy Pecan and Nut Cracker . It was inexpensive (around $16), is sturdily built, and does a great job. This is the kind of convenience tool I really like!

Meyers Lemon - I've harvested three, and have two more to go....

Plus it's flowering! Next year's lemons are in the making.

Kinder breeding program. Seems to be a bust. Even if the girls will stand for Gruffy, they won't stand in front of the buck assist. And they fight being held there! I'm pretty sure they're still going into heat about every three weeks. Not sure what I'll do if neither of them gets bred.

Parting Shot. I borrowed this phrase from Theresa, who always has the cutest parting shots in her blog posts. Mine was taken shortly after we got the base of the cookstove in. We'd covered it to protect it from dust and debris as we worked on the kitchen. As you see, the lid to the firebox hadn't been put on yet.....

Master Riley claims the wood cookstove.

December 13, 2011

Of Compost & Kitchen Scraps

I know others have been saying this, but it's hard to believe it's December already. That means the year's end is right around the corner, and that means it's time to evaluate how well we achieved this year's goals. I've been reflecting on those, and doing so has me thinking about almost everything we do around here, even compost.

I reckon that over the years, we've tried almost every method of composting ever invented. We've tried piles, trenches, single bins, double bins, triple bins, bins with no doors, bins with removable doors, rings of wire fencing, and a homemade compost tumbler. We've turned daily, we've incorporated perforated pipe to provide oxygen, and we've tried the same with corn stalks too (both so-called no turn methods). We've covered our piles and left them open to air. It doesn't matter how you slice it, dice it, or julienne fry it, making compost is work. As in labor. There's no easy way to get it done.

Beginnings of a new compost pile.
Our first compost piles were mostly kitchen scraps and leaves, because that was all we had. That was in the days when the formula was complicated and recipes called for specific amounts of leaves, manure, straw, kitchen scraps, grass clippings, hair clippings, sawdust, legumes, etc. Even though we turned faithfully, our compost was slow to make. Very slow. Eventually I got three angora rabbits and we discovered the wonder of manure. What an amazing difference that made.

I have to say that in the end we didn't like the bins, hoops, or tumbler. We found that a simple pile on the ground suited us best. Of all the methods we did try, we discovered that trench composting was the best way to go with kitchen scraps. Simply dig a trench in a unplanted place in the garden, dump in kitchen scraps as you have then, and cover each addition with dirt. Most things decomposed very quickly right in the garden, with the exception of egg shells and hair.

Covered to keep chickens out,
and so the rain  won't wash it away
Covered or uncovered? We've tried both ways. Uncovered, we found that the compost dried out too quickly and when it rained, too many of the nutrients washed downhill. When we left it uncovered, we had the biggest, greenest, healthiest, most potent poison ivy our side of the Mississippi. More recently, we've learned that having it covered keeps the chickens from spreading it all over the yard. Some folks say it won't get enough oxygen if it's covered, but we've never found that to be a problem. The key always boils down to frequent turning. The more frequently it's turned, the faster it makes.

Rows are easier to turn than piles
Having livestock makes composting all the more productive. Every time I clean out the chicken coop or goat stalls I think, GARDEN GOLD. We like to make long rows of the straw/leaf/manure mixture, wetting each wheel barrow load well. Any kitchen or garden scraps are layered in (no seedy weeds though) and the whole thing is covered with black plastic. For me, a long row is easier to turn than a big 4x4 foot pile.

Nowadays the recipe for compost is simpler, a ratio actually, of carbon to nitrogen. The ideal is considered around 30 parts carbon to 1 part nitrogen. Since these aren't distinctly measurable in various compostable items, it is often recommended to use 2 parts "green," nitrogen rich ingredients (i.e. manure, kitchen scraps, fresh grass clippings), to 1 part "brown," carbonaceous ingredients, (i.e. dried leaves, straw, hay, sawdust). Of course, you can get as complicated as you want with this. A good detailed explanation can be found here.

My compost sifter
For me, even that's too complicated and I think making compost is something most folks can figure out simply by doing and observing. No need to measure or weigh anything, nor take it's temperature. If it's radiating heat, it's working. If it isn't, it's not. If it's stinky, it's too wet and needs air; add dried leaves or straw and turn. If it's too slow, it needs water if it's dry, otherwise manure (or grass clippings, etc) to speed it up. When it's black and crumbly, it's done. For the impatient, like me, it can be sifted, and the big chunks tossed into a new compost pile.

Ideally, I'd like to make my compost just from barn cleanings: straw, leaves, and manure. I'd rather feed kitchen and garden scraps to the animals, who can utilize the nutrition as they convert them into that garden gold. Right now we feed a lot of our scraps to the chickens and goats, but there's a lot they won't eat. In thinking about future goals, we'd like to add pigs to help with that, and earthworms for what none of them will eat, things like tea bags, coffee grounds, soggy cardboard, etc. Not sure if we'll add both of these to our goals list for next year, worms for sure. Pigs, we still need to talk about but it's something we definitely need to consider.

How about you? Care to share your experiences and best tips?

December 11, 2011

Farewell Kitchen Sink

Kitchen sink and cabinets, as they looked right before the end

Farewell kitchen sink,
I will not miss you.
Your single bowl
I didn't like.
Dish drainer
Counter hog. 
I will not miss you.

Farewell countertop,
dribbling water,
on my toes
and in the drawers.
Rolling okra
to the floor
I will not miss you.

Farewell laminate.
scratched and stained,
edges loose
DIY badly done. 
I will not miss you.

Farewell window.
Old and drafty,
leaking cold,
 Not long enough
for a good view.
I will not miss you.

Farewell sink sealer,
grungy, grimy,
Poorly applied.
I will not miss you.

Farewell old circuit box.
Why there?
Eye sore,  
empty now. 
Better in the
utility room.
I will not miss you.

Farewell dishwasher.
Broken, useless.
Best use?
drying ziplocs.
I will not miss you.

Farewell cabinets,
Narrow sticking drawers,
bad paint job
showed every stain.
Impossible to clean.
Destruction is upon you.
Farewell .........