Epic Weekend of Progress (and Soup!)

There were two huge successes this weekend, one admittedly more significant than the other. The important thing was that Scott and his dad got rid of the rest of our dining room/living room wall. Check out the before picture:

before

mess, but a good mess

And the during:

men doing man stuff, like cutting out wallboard

men doing man stuff, like cutting out wallboard

And the (almost) after:

fewer trash boxes, stuff in cabinets, and... no walls!

fewer trash boxes, stuff in cabinets, and… no walls!

I have to say, one of my favorite things (besides being able to see the TV from the kitchen) is this trough:

Peanut's feed trough

Peanut’s feed trough

The trough is awesome for a couple of reasons.  First and foremost, that’s where the wall used to be.  And there’s no wall there now.  While the ripping out was going on, it was a complete mess of wallboard dust and nails and splinters and such.  The second reason for awesome is that while things were in a shamble, Peanut decided that was the very best spot in the house for him to eat.  We put his food in his bowl, and he would take a bite, drop it in the dust and mess, and munch away from that pile.  Now it’s a semi-clean spot, and I don’t have to worry about Peanut eating a nail by accident.  Who knew he was such a daredevil?!

The guys did lots of awesome guy stuff that isn’t shown in these pictures.  It was a pretty amazing weekend.  And the ladies of the crew were almost as successful.  We got everything back into the cabinets, giving us back a guest bedroom and a desk that served as spice cabinet for the last week or so.  The best thing about it is that everything is organized now.  No more nicknacks in every back corner, baking gear all over the place, pie plates I couldn’t find.

After all that work, we were hungry.  And slightly cold.  What solves both of those issues?  A warm bowl of soup with a touch of spice.  Mmm.

photo by Ree Drummond

photo by Ree Drummond

The Pioneer Woman really came through with her Tuscan Bean Soup with Shrimp recipe.  It’s healthy and hearty at the same time, which is a tough combo to come by.  Plus, it’s stuffed with kale (and doesn’t taste like it’s stuffed with kale).  Vitamins!  Yay!!  The taste is amazing.  I would make this again every week until spring if I lived alone.  I have a high tolerance for repetition in food.

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