Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Spring Cleaning- The Tools of the Trade

It's that time of year folks! waking the greenhouse up and getting ready for another growing season! Today I want to share how I save money and re-use some of the equipment from years before. How many of you go to the garden centers and buy flats of pretty flowers or your veggie starts? And what do you do with those flats and myriad of pots from all those purchases? Throw them out, recycle them, sneak them into a neighbors yard?
Well, if you don't live close enough to me to donate them why not re-use them yourself. Just a few steps and you are ready to go. I start with first collecting all the pots and flats in various parts of the garden, shed, or wheelbarrow. I then fill a bucket, tub or whatever you have with some water and a couple of splashes of bleach. I grab a scrub brush and a chair. Throw the pots and flats in, a few at a time and let them soak or get to work. I swish them around, scrub any stubborn stains, swish again and set out somewhere clean to air dry. You are basically removing any crusty salt stains and debris, and also sanitizing against any soil bacteria or pests you don't want to pass along to new plantings.
ATTENTION!! Eye protection and rubber gloves should be worn by persons who are known to splash bleach water in their eyes or plunge their hands with cuts on them into afore mentioned bleach water! That's it. Quick and easy and your planters look like new.
I also use the leftover wash water to clean any pruning tools, shovels, saucers,etc. At this time I also sharpen any tools that need it and shove the hoes and shovels into a bucket of sand with some motor oil from the last oil change. This also cleans and keeps the rust away. I will continue other Spring activities in coming up blogs. Have fun!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Long Winter

It seems like winter is lasting forever. Granted, we have again been blessed with a mild one. More rain than snow. Not alot of the usual howling winds creating below zero wind chills. Just lots of foggy grey mornings that blend one into the other. The morning commute out to the chickens, past the pond that never really froze this year. The koi swim restlessly, in that half hibernation state. The buds are swelling in the magnolia, along the branches of the lilacs. Spring bulbs are awake and pushing up from cold but unfrozen ground.
The robins came yesterday. Flocks gathered in the cherry trees, in the windbreak trees along the property lines. Singing, calling out to each other. James said he heard the osprey yesterday. I had just commented as to when we would see them sitting on their nests at the end of our street and along the river.
The chickens look plump and healthy. They scatter in the garden, looking for plump worms and bugs in the soft dirt. Hoppy the coop bunny has picked his hen girlfriend and follows her wherever she goes. What a strange couple they make! We are getting the greenhouse ready for Spring. Already rhubarb seeds are sprouting and we are getting the benches and flats of pots out for the tomatoes and other vegetable seeds. A more cautious ordering of seeds, bulbs, and plants this year as I am not working, but I still need to keep my stock up for Farmers Market, of which I hope to add the Wednesday Market to my usual Saturday one.
I have been sending out applications for the seasons craft and vintage shows. Betsy and I have been busy scouring thrift stores for projects. Well, as best as we can since neither of us are driving and we have to rely on others who are not as welcome to the idea of spending time at the shops. the Great Cleanup has trickled down a bit from the gangbusters it was. Too many treasures unearthed in the craft room led to creating instead of cleaning! But I am proud to say I am actually getting some of the started and discarded projects finished! So in a way that is still pushing forward. As I say this I look over at my eucalyptus heart wreath that I have had for over 10 years and finally got around to adding pink rosebuds to! Better late then never, right? Dan and I are both trying to shed some additional weight brought on by our lack of being able to move around alot. It's hard when it's even a burden to walk. But hopefully the tease of sunshine and warm days will get us outdoors. I know I'm ready! Even the dogs show some extra plumpness and lethargy. This being said, I look out through the sunroom and see the sun has finally burned off the fog. It is time to go outside and do something. There are trees that need pruned. Pots and flats to collect for the greenhouse. Terrariums, fairy gardens and planters to be planted up for upcoming shows. Just get up and keep moving!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Blustery Sunday

Well, last night was windy and rainy! But awoke to blue skies and temps. in the 40's , so not all bad. Not making it out to open the chickens today tho. Water over snow = too slippery to walk on. They've got plenty of food and walking around room inside. Let them sit in the nests and lay all day! Betsy and family came over yesterday. Betsy is still recovering from ankle surgery and using crutches and a knee walker. She and Aaron spent the day brushing up on their welding skills. She got a welder for her birthday. Hubby showed them the bin racks he is making for the craft room. Hubby (Dan)installed the first set of bin racks downstairs. They are going to be great. Now I can start bringing in the bins and sorting thru them some more as I go. Projects go a lot faster and better when you know where your supplies are and can get at them quickly! He will also be making a long table against one wall that will hold all the sewing machines ( regular, serger, quilter and embroidery)along with the Silhouette machines and hookups for the laptop and printer that we will need. It is a small room and I have alot of supplies as you have seen from previous pictures. Plus I want to bring more in from other rooms. Like glass, cutters, came, patterns for the glass-work Dan does, frames, mat board and supplies for framing projects (again Dan), and the myriad cans of spray paint that now hang out in the garage. Well, I better sign off and get some work done. The playoff game between Seattle and Green Bay is short hours away. GO SEAHAWKS!!!!!

Gonzaga Bulldogs!!!

Gonzaga paracord bottle opener key chains. Official Collegiate licensed Gonzaga bottle opener with handmade paracord. Made in the Gonzaga colors. Great survival tool for everyone. Plus makes a great statement piece and shows you are a fan. $8
I am going through more shelves in the office library. I've come to binders of my beloved Victoria magazine. Dating from the 90's forward. Does anyone have use for these? There are so many beautiful articles and pictures, I hate to get rid of them. I was saving for research on some articles I wanted to write but never did. I also have many garden and decorating magazines but not willing to part with them quite yet. But if any one collects Victoria or has need of a specific issue, I would let go for really cheap! UPDATE: Can't bear to part with my Victoria magazines. They are not going in the recycle bin!! At least not right now. But I did empty five stacks of various other magazines, so not a total wash-out. Now quit reading the magazines and get back to work!

Pantry, Done!

Well, the pantry is done! All organized and alot more room now. I can actually see and get to the food in there! Basically all the bins and boxes are out of the craft room. Everything but the ones up on shelves. Will move them as we redo each wall. Only thing left on the floor is the hope chest, sewing cabinet, table and glass front cupboards. Will move them also as we redo each part of the room. Oh, and the posters are all off the ceiling! Onwards and upwards. Let's see what we get done tomorrow!

Dreaming of a New Paint Job

Here's my Question. I am thinking of a muted, barn red in kitchen. Should I go just the island which is a huge entity on its own or all the base cabinets? The top cabinets I'm thinking of aged country cream with distressing? Any suggestions? There will be a darker wood floor and a stainless gas range being replaced. And probably all my pink flamingo collection will be moved out and exchanged for country accents. The cabinets now are an unfinished red oak. I originally wanted butcher block countertops with denim stained cabinets, but someone (Hubby) didn't listen to me! I know all you guys can help me out! Sorry the pics are crap. I always am moving for the next shot! And excuse the dogs that decided to photo bomb!

Don't Faint When You See This Hoarders Craft Room!

Well, the Great Clean-Up continues. Here are some pics of the work in progress in the craft room. All the bins on the floor are now in the other bedroom. Trying to cajole Hubby into looking at my Pinterest board 'craft rooms' and to get him downstairs to look at the room for built-in options and various cupboards and shelves I have around here. This was formerly my sons room and as you can see some of his posters are still on the ceiling. They are also on the wall behind the shelves. Just in case he ever wanted to move back home? And those ugly popcorn ceilings! Whose idea was that to invent those? I've scraped the ones upstairs and it is sooo much nicer! Really easy to do. I mist a small area with water from a squirt bottle, Take a wide taping knife or putty knife and hold a waste basket underneath you attack! Comes right off! Why did I wait so long to do this? I thought it would be hard.

Procrastinating Again!

These are some pillows my dear friend made for me from my Stepmothers wedding suit. She also made some from her pretty sweaters. This is also to throw you off from the fact I should still be doing some cleaning, organizing and purging.

Bumps In The Road

The Great CleanUP: Well slight detour in the organizing because someone who will remain nameless accidentally unplugged the freezer in the basement while they were moving things around. Don't know for sure how many days it was thawing, but several black bags of what was food went out to the garbage can. Did salvage a container of Costco mini cinnamon roll and brownie bites, but chucked them outside just so they didn't tempt me! Got to Wallyworld yesterday for more bins. Not the one closest to me 'cause they were out. Even this store didn't have the ones on sale so of course paid more for the same ones, just different colors. Binned up more in the craft room. Basically done packing everything up; just a few things here and there. Now am waiting on the bins of Christmas to be put away so I can haul bins out of craft room so we can build storage and haul storage furniture in. Showing Hubby ideas from Pinterest for the best solution to my storage woes. Worked on the kitchen till the wee hours this morning. Sorting through all the utensil drawers and baking dishes and such. Today pulled out the new steamer cleaner I got for my birthday. Tackled the big lazy susan corner cupboard. I don't know where all that goo came from but it was coated. Took Ajax plus steam to get it clean. Then started playing around the stove, in the oven, dishwasher, fridge, sink. That thing is amazing! Really gets into corners, edges. Even cleaned the built-up dirt and grime off the plastic flap on the dog door. The one I have is the Shark portable Steam Pocket. It was $64.99 at Fred Meyers. I think it will be a great cleaning tool if I keep at it. It does take a little longer than spraying down a surface and wiping, but no chemicals seems the way to go. Plus it sanitizes. Great for mattresses, etc. you wouldn't think of doing on a regular basis. Hopefully it won't end up in the back of the closet with alot of other gadgets!

Are We Done Yet?

Well the 'junk drawer' in the kitchen is done! Dumped everything out on the counter and sorted thru it. Added a silverware divider and small plastic containers to sort things into. Now if we can keep it that way. The recycle man came this morning and took my whole bin of magazines away. I am in mourning! Hubby said it weighed like 600 pounds! More straightening in the office because I can't find my box of checks for the business account and staples for the stapler. Very frustrating! UPDATE: found staples (they were behind the stapler) but no checks. Will have to call bank and order. I got a Shark steamer for my birthday and am going to try it out. If it works as well as I'm hoping, I'm dumping out all my cleaning chemicals! Besides vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, and baking soda I shouldn't need anything else! Trying to talk Hubby into taking me to Wallies in Post Falls. My little one by my house is all out of bins I need for the craft room. Don't think it's going to happen today tho. Hmm. Tomorrow is 75% off the dish room at the St. Vinnie's on the way. Back to it.

Ups and Downs of Cleaning

Day 10 of the Great Clean Up and still organizing and throwing away. Today was the dresser in the office that holds the pet supplies, candles, air fresheners, potpourri and wax melts. I ran out of bins to continue in the craft room, so I'm flitting around cleaning out various cupboards and drawers. Gotta keep going; garbage and recycle pickup is tomorrow! Anybody have any cupboards, dressers, armoires, etc. they need to get rid of? I'm looking for a Cheap way to add storage in the craft room.

Signs Christmas is over :(

I'm exhausted! The kids came over and we took away every sign that it was ever Christmas. So sad! But a clean slate and ideas for redecorating. But I miss the tree and laying in bed and seeing the lights on the greenhouse. And why doesn't the same amount of stuff fit back into the same amount of bins? And now it's all downstairs in the hall waiting to be stuffed in the back of the storage room for another year. And I need the space for all the stuff coming out of the craft room! Well, off to bed and back down to the craft room tomorrow!

The Great clean-Up continues

Day 7 of the CleanUP. Still binning up stuff in the craft room. Had it all out in the hall and other rooms, but couldn't get to the laundry room or the back bedroom for more bins, so it's all stacked back in the craft room. I wanted everything out so we could build cupboards and shelves. Oh well, we'll work around it. Ordered some space bags from Amazon for the bedding, curtains, tablecloths, etc. That will help tremendously for the limited space in the closet. Well, second load of bins are full, so just more organizing till I can get back to Walmart tomorrow for more.

Great Clean-Out/Up (or how I want 2015 to go)

DAY 3 of the GREAT CLEAN-OUT! Well, this morning saw me downstairs going thru the kitchenware shelves. Baking pans,Corningware, dutch ovens, old coffee makers, espresso makers, spatulas, serving utensils, Tupperware, platters, and various meat grinders and other small appliances. (still didn't find the jerky gun.) Brought the seed sprouter upstairs and started some sprouts for the chickens. Found the silverware pieces I was missing for Christmas, plus the turkey baster. I thought about getting started in the craft room, but it's way too overwhelming without some storage bins for fabrics and the like. We were supposed to go get some this morning but Hubby forgot his meds last night so under the weather today. Will try tomorrow. So instead I headed into our closet. Well, I am now the proud owner of 86 empty hangers. That's right. I am getting rid of 86 shirts! Either don't fit quite right, don't like, or have nothing to go with them. I'm at the age where I don't want to walk around sucking my tummy in. I want to be comfortable. Wonder if I can sneak Hubby's ratty undies and tshirts away without him noticing? Probably not so I'm off to work on the sock drawer. Toodles!