Cool Stuff, DIY, History, Home, Home and Garden, Home Care

Light Switch Time Capsule

When we were remodeling our bathroom and took down the sheetrock, we found two different families’ names inside the wall, written on the back of the sheetrock of the opposite room. One was from the 1950s, and one from the 1970s where it looked like the kids had written the names and ages of the parents and kids. The oldest boy (16) had written his name away from the others, ha. We really enjoyed seeing the names and added our own with the message (referring to the bathroom remodel) “We did the best we could!”

So here’s an even better idea — someone has set up a light switch cover template with a tiny font you can use to write a message for the future occupants of your house to find after you leave! You can find it here in this article from Makezine.com. Wouldn’t it be even more fun to leave a note behind EVERY light switch cover? 😁😁

Photo from “Light Switch Time Capsule” on Makezine
DIY, Home and Garden

My Garden

At our house, the Hubs and the Girl are in charge of the vegetable garden, and the Hubs is in charge (very reluctantly) of doing most of the yard work, since I am allergic. My part is a container garden of herbs on a little corner of the patio. I can almost always remember to water my happy plants and for the past couple of years they have been growing pretty well. Today I got my new succulent plants put in, and they will be a nice addition to the space.

As mentioned in prior posts I decided to plant some succulents in a strawberry pot, and after cleaning and disinfecting the pot yesterday, today I got to work getting the plants in.

Sand, potting soil, pot

First I mixed two bags of Miracle Gro Cactus, Palm, and Citrus Mix and about 2/3 of a bag of Perlite together in the wheelbarrow. I started by filling the strawberry pot with about 2 inches of sand, hoping that will help with drainage since I don’t have any good gravel or pottery shards to put in the bottom. Then I used a red Solo cup to scoop the soil into the pot, because that was one of the few scoop-shaped thingies I had in the house.

As I went along, I pushed soil into the little “mini-pots” around the sides of the pot. When it was full, I planted the large, pink-flowering succulent in the top. This plant was just labeled “hen and chicks”, but it is quite different from the ones I usually think of as the hen and chick variety.

The flowering succulent in the top of the pot.

After planting the largest plant, I put thyme plants in two of the “mini-pots”. The rest of the hen and chick plants came last, and I squeezed them in the spaces as best I could. I am a little concerned because they were all sitting in very wet soil in the pots they came in from the store. And I hope they don’t fall out of their “mini-pots” before they take root! Below you can see the finished product, and how it looks with the rest of my garden.

The final result

My little garden – not much to look at but easy care and smells awesome

My silver Spanish lavender is a great bee-attractor right now, so I put a little bee waterer in the pink lavender plant in case the bees get thirsty. The bees living here in the Pacific Northwest are probably not having problems finding water right now, but this will be nice for them if it ever gets hot this summer. The other plants are a French lavender (lavender is my favorite!), a Tuscan Blue rosemary which I just repotted into a much bigger pot (I am anxiously waiting for it to do something spectacular), and a mini rosebush the Girl gave me for Mother’s Day last year. It is going great guns even though it was drowning all winter long! The Dr. Seuss-y plant with the pink pom-pom is a Dreamland Armeria. All the plants like full sun and don’t need a lot of water, and that works great for my little corner.

So, will the succulents survive and thrive? Stay tuned for later reports!

Pink lavender and bee waterer
Pink lavender
French lavender
Silver Spanish lavender
Mini rose
Armeria
DIY, Home and Garden

Cleaning A Used Clay Pot

Strawberry pot before cleaning.

As noted in a previous post, I got this nice strawberry pot at an estate sale for $2.00. It was dirty and still 1/2 full of potting soil, and since I don’t want to plant my adorable succulent plants in someone else’s dirt (and bacteria, God forbid!) the Hubs dumped out all the old dirt and I set out to find the best way to clean a used terra cotta pot.

After reading an article and watching a video about cleaning terra cotta pots, I decided that I would start by using an old nylon dish brush and some warm water with Dawn dishwashing detergent to clean the outside and inside of the pot. I also could have used a scrubby sponge to scrub off the green and black spots, but I wasn’t trying to get it looking perfect. I like a little grunge, as they say on HGTV’s Home Town.

Cleaning the pot

To disinfect the pot after cleaning, I filled a bucket with a gallon of water. The video and article I saw both said to mix 1 part bleach to 9 parts water, but I noticed my bottle of concentrated bleach had instructions to use only 1/3 cup bleach to 1 gallon of water (which is 1 part bleach to 48 parts water, I think. Isn’t it? Mathing – sometimes I got it, sometimes I don’t.), so I added the 1/3 cup bleach to my bucket of water. I scrubbed the pot inside and out with the bleach water, being careful to get in all the little planting holes on the sides.

After cleaning and scrubbing with bleach water. Still a nice chippy vintage vibe!

After cleaning and disinfecting the pot and rinsing thoroughly, I am leaving it in the “sun” to let any bleach that might be left on the pot evaporate. I say “sun”, because we are having an atmospheric river such as the state hasn’t seen in 80 years, and we aren’t sure if the sun will actually come out at all this month! The video I watched said that to make sure there is no bleach left in your pot when it’s dry you should sniff it, and if you smell chlorine you should rinse it again and let it sit some more.

So, tomorrow after sniffing my strawberry pot to make sure there is no trace of chlorine left, I will plant my new plants! Now, off to decide which plants to plant where!

DIY, Home and Garden

I Got New Plants!

Marnie was talking about succulent plants a few weeks ago, and I thought it would be nice to have some to add to my little container garden. My idea was that a strawberry pot would work nicely to display some hens and chicks and other drought-tolerant plants. Then I found a strawberry pot at an estate sale for $2. Score!! It’s a little chippy and has patina, but that’s what I like. Not sure if I’ll scrub the patina off or not though.

Marnie was gone on a road trip for a couple of weeks, and since we both wanted to get some succulent plants we planned to go together to The Home Depot to find some when she got back. Yesterday we did that, and after much decision-making I came home with these little guys:

There are 9 spaces in the strawberry pot plus the top space to put plants. I also have two small thyme plants I will add in , since they also like well-drained soil and don’t need a whole lot of water.

I have plans to get the new plants in the pot very soon, so I’ll post photos when I’m done. I’ve always wanted to have a beautiful cottage garden, but since I don’t have much of a green thumb I will be satisfied with my containers of herbs and succulents and my one little rosebush!

DIY, Do Not Want, Hmm..., Home, Thursday Things

Ow, My Legs

Yesterday I got many boxes and bins and Space Bags organized and took elebenty-twelve of them upstairs. My bedroom is completely cleared of everything not bedroom-related!!

However, my glee at having accomplished this giant task has been tempered by the fact that none of the muscles in my legs work. Why? Because:

Ordinary stairs Tread – 11″ deep. Rise – 6.75″ high. All stairs the same height.

Our stairs: Tread – 9″ deep. Rise – 8.50″ high, except for the top one, which is 5.50″ high.
Landing at top of stairs – 2 feet from stairs to wall.

 

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Our stairs (oh yes, the carpet is really that color).

 

To go up the stairs when carrying something: Lean forward as far as you can and move upward quickly to keep from falling backwards down the stairs. Place feet on steps sideways, attempting not to catch your toe in the corner between the step and next riser.

 

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Watch your toes.

 

Bend over even further when you reach the top step and set the thing you’re carrying on the landing, hold on to the top bannister, and carefully step up. Remember that the landing at the top of the stairs is only 2 feet wide. Do not run into window at top of stairs.

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The landing. If my derriere was any bigger, it would bounce me off the wall and down the stairs.

 

To go downstairs: Grip bannister post while stepping onto second step lest you tumble downstairs when you forget that part of the landing is only 2 feet wide. When on second step, lean over and grasp handrail tightly, lean backwards, and go slowly down the stairs. Step sideways or with duck feet and hug stair riser with calves, so your feet will fit on the tread instead of sliding off the front edge. Use every muscle in your legs to keep from falling to your death.

 

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Stairs looking down, top bannister and handrail.

 

 

 

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Duck foot.

 

 

Here, however, is the bright spot of the upstairs hall – Emily’s handmade 1000 Cranes, and sculpture made by my hubby.

 

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There really are a thousand!

 

 

Here is a close-up of the cranes:

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Awesome, right?