Change, Home and Garden, Home Care, Success!

Doorknobs

You GUYS, guess what? After 18 years living in our house I finally get to have all matching doorknobs!! Isn’t that the neatest? The Hubs started in this morning and asked me if I wanted to learn how to put on a doorknob, and of course I said I did. This is the new doorknob design – I got them at Lowe’s.

The Hubs began by taking the old doorknob off the hall closet door. There are five doors in our “hall” (a square area in the middle of the house). We had already replaced the bathroom doorknob, and while the two offices and stairs doors matched each other, the hall closet had a totally different knob. When he got the knob off the closet door, he discovered this on one side:

And this on the other side.

I think they shot at it from far away…

Um…ordinarily you would just make a hole with a hole saw or something, like this one in my office door:

So right off, there were some annoyances. This was not unexpected, since our house was formerly owned by a man who thought he was good at building and remodeling. Note the word “thought”. He was not good at building or remodeling. In fact, we would describe most of his work as “horrible”, and often “nonsensical”.

The Hubs (while making sure I knew that this isn’t the best way to do a doorknob, the best way would be to get a new door and then put on the doorknob, but we don’t have new doors in our budget right now) had to get out his Leatherman tool with the little saw and saw out some of the material to make the hole bigger. Then he realized that there were two little tabs on each side of the new doorknob that needed to fit in, and he had to get a pointy tool to dig out some space for the little tabs. (I don’t think The Hubs has a hole saw, so he just had to make modifications.)

Digging out for the tabs

See the little tabs at top and bottom?

The strikeplate wouldn’t fit in its spot properly, and then The Hubs suggested I sand and paint the area before he put in the new plate since it wouldn’t cover the brown.

The Hubs decided I should put on my office doorknob, so I got the screwdriver and started taking off the knob. The screwdriver was a bit thin and kept falling out of the screw, so that took awhile.

It finally was done and then I took off the faceplate and the innards of the knob, and then we found that the hole wasn’t big enough for the doorknob works to fit through. The Hubs got out a round file and filed the hole out so the knob workings would fit.

See how it’s too wide?

The Hubs with his file.

Then The Hubs just went ahead and put my office doorknob on himself, and later I started removing the doorknob on his office door. That one had to be filed out as well, so he did that and then went ahead and put THAT knob on, so I didn’t get to put any of them on, but that’s OK. We still have to put on the one that goes on the stairs door and the one on The Girl’s door, and the one on our bedroom door, but now we have to wait to do those until The Hubs has more days off from work.

Isn’t it nice?

So much more up-to-date!

But I just can’t BELIEVE I finally have matching doorknobs!! How awesome!!

Cool Stuff, Home, Home Care, Kitchen, Success!

New Machines

We received our new air fryer yesterday. We have never had one before and wanted to try it out, so we put some two-day-old apple cider donuts in it at 350 degrees for 4 minutes.

New air fryer.

The donuts turned out quite well. They were warm and the sugar on the outside of the donuts didn’t melt, but stayed nice and crunchy. Here is a photo of…well, part of a donut after it came out of the air fryer:

Erm…oops, I ate them.

I might put them in for only three minutes if we do it again.

We got the air fryer because someone brought one to The Hubs’s work, and after he cooked a piece of pizza in it he decided that it would be good to have one as the pizza came out crispy and delicious. I have looked at recipes for cooking frozen chicken breast and fried okra in the air fryer so far. I think we (well, I) will be having okra for lunch today. Yum-O!

I also bought myself a Roomba robot vacuum cleaner. I have been wanting one for quite awhile and found this nice one on the Kohl’s website, on sale with a 40% off the last sale price coupon.

Roomba.

It isn’t the fanciest one they make, but it does have the capacity to empty its dirt bin by itself if I bought the attachment for that, which I may. You can control it from your phone, and once I finally got that set up I let it out into the living room and it cleaned and cleaned, but then took itself back to its charging station because the dirt bin was full. I was overdue on vacuuming myself and decided that I had better vacuum the carpets thoroughly before letting the Roomba go, just so it wouldn’t fill up its bin so quickly and would keep on cleaning. It rolled around back and forth from my office to the living room, and certainly picked up a lot of dirt. I plan to have it go again today, and maybe set it to go every Monday or Tuesday!

1940s, Decor, DIY, Furniture, Home, Home Care, Success!, VIntage, Yard Sales

Storage

(Or: Tetris With Furniture)

As I mentioned in the bench results post, I recently brought this desk/dressing table to my house from Mom and Dad’s, and I needed to move it into the storage room.

Grandma’s dressing table.

In order to fit the desk into the storage room, I had to take almost everything out of one side of the room. There are two sides of the storage room, one for miscellaneous furniture, etc., and one for my hiking/backpacking/camping things and vintage treasures. I don’t have a photo of what the room looked like before I took everything out, but here’s what the bedroom looked like after I emptied the storage room into it:

A lot of stuff, and that isn’t even all of it.

Some things just got moved over to the other side of the storage room.

That’s Consuela the Mannequin. She helps me with my Etsy shop. The Sis-In-Law gave me the giant bag of packing peanuts.

I keep a lot of empty boxes to ship my Etsy items. They take up about 1/3 of the room. I have many ceramic Christmas village houses selling on Etsy that will need the large boxes to ship them.

Here is what the storage room looked like when I got most of the stuff out of that one side and after we moved the desk in. We bought one of those 4-wheeled furniture dollies at Harbor Freight and rolled it in on that, and then just left the desk on top of it.

I like empty frames, as you can see by this frame wall in my office.

I bought many of the frames below at an antique mall in Aurora, Oregon, that was having a parking lot sale. They were all $1.00 and $2.00 apiece, which is ridiculously cheap. I bought most of the pile at the sale. Some of the others I got at the Mama Roost yard sale and they were ridiculously inexpensive as well. In order to fit everything back into the storage room, the frames had to go upstairs to a newly cleared spot in the hall. (The upstairs “hall” is also a storage area.) I didn’t realize how much space they actually take up.

I like frames.

The Hubs suggested putting the old door on top of the desk (with a carpet remnant under it). That allowed more space to put things on top of the desk. The door came off a “shed” that was in our yard when we moved into this house. In order to build the shop, the shed had to come down, as the city only allows 600 square feet of outbuildings total on a property. Now, if you attach your shop to the house you can go as big as you want, but The Hubs didn’t want to take the chance that his welding would burn the house down. The door still has both doorknobs and the robe hook. I think it might have been one of the original doors to the house, as there is one just like it that they used for the upstairs bathroom. The doors in the rest of the main house seem to be from the 1970s when the house was remodeled.

I gradually moved the rest of the things in:

Finished product.

You’ve probably noticed that I also like tall vintage lamps. Well, lamps in general. Someday I will have a place to use them. This is my OTHER bag of packing peanuts. I have enough for quite a lot of shipping. And I have enough boxes as well. I have over 100 things for sale on Etsy right now, plus bins of things that aren’t even listed yet, so I need to have a variety of boxes for shipping. I wish I had some sort of box closet so they wouldn’t have to be in the storage room, but that won’t happen until The Girl moves out and I can move half the stuff up to her room, ha.

I was happy that I did the whole job in just a couple of hours and was feeling all proud of myself and everything, until later I remembered that the mirror to the dressing table was left behind the cedar chest in our bedroom. Arrgh! Now I have to move things out again to find a place for the mirror so it won’t get broken. Can’t have a dressing table without a mirror!

Cars, Home Care, Today

Clean

Today I had on the schedule to wash my van and clean the moss out from around the doorhandles. I take it through the car wash fairly regularly, but nothing really cleans like a good hand wash. I started around 9:00 a.m. after I went and picked up the groceries so I wouldn’t get too hot.

I took the hose from the side yard to the driveway and attached it to the faucet behind the gate, and filled up my bucket with water and Dawn dishwashing liquid. I had plenty of rags ready to go for washing and drying. Unfortunately I didn’t get a “before” photo of the whole van, but here is one of some of the moss. You can see it around the door handle and the window. Blargh. How icky is that? I was tired of seeing that each time I got in the van to go somewhere and was rather embarrassed for other people to see it and think I don’t take care of my things.

Ew.

So I got out an old toothbrush and started scrub-a-dub-dubbing. An old toothbrush is a great thing to have around the house for just such a job. You can see in this photo what I discovered when I inspected the rest of the van — that every nook and cranny that could have moss in it did. The plastic stripes at the bottom of the doors also had moss.

So, I washed and scrubbed and scrubbed and washed, and almost got all the dirt off the paint and the windows (there is some white stuff on the back passenger side quarter panel that I will probably need a plastic scraper to remove. I decided not to do that today.) With my toothbrush I was able to get into most of the nooks and crannies and remove the moss. Now the door handle and window look like this:

SO much better!

This is the passenger side front window. Aaack! I scrubbed this moss off but on final inspection a lot of it hadn’t been completely removed, so I had to go back with my wet rag and scrub again. It still didn’t all come off. I’m not sure why the passenger side had so much more moss than the driver’s side, the only thing I can think of is that the passenger side gets more sun.

Whyyyy?

I wiped down the insides of the doors and liftgate, although there was some gunk inside the top of the liftgate I couldn’t get very well. Then I got out my baby ShopVac and a damp rag to clean the inside of the van. I ran the rag over the dash and steering wheel and all the other plastic parts. Then I vacuumed everything out. There wasn’t too much dirt in the second row of seats because people hardly ever ride there, and I keep the third row folded down so there wasn’t any dirt there, but the way-back had a lot of dirt still from when we brought home my concrete bear statue. The front seat floors were very dirty as usual, especially the driver’s side since it is the side that gets used the most. I don’t know where I get all the junk on my shoes, but there is always a lot of dirt on the floor where I put my feet. It’s a mystery.

Baby ShopVac

The van wasn’t as dirty as it could have been because I did go to the car wash the other day, but the windows always get very dirty and I am glad to be able to see out of them again. I couldn’t reach the top middle of the windshield so there might still be a dirty spot there, but maybe The Hubs will take care of that for me on his next days off. I had forgotten to bring out the stepstool and didn’t really want to get it all wet. The windshield wiper on the driver’s side kept making a smudge right at eye level when I used the washer function, so I wanted to give the wipers a good cleaning too. Usually the wipers rest way down under the hood and are impossible to get to, but I found out by accident that if you turn them on low and then turn off the ignition when they are at the outside of the windshield, they will stay up and accessible. I gave them a good wipedown as well. Seems like whenever I clean the windshield wipers they are always covered in black dirt. They need to be replaced soon for the rainy season but at least they should work for the washing function now.

Wipers are accessible now.

Here is the finished product, in front of the spectacular gate The Hubs designed and built to keep people from gawking at his backyard. It only took me two hours to finish my car wash! My van is 17 years old and has dents from a mistake I made and from when a small man sideswiped my driver’s door in the RiteAid parking lot while I was in the store. A very large man had seen it happen and kept the little guy there until I came out so I could get his information, because he was trying to sneak away. It sounded like he was saying his car did the sideswiping all by itself, but he wasn’t speaking English very well and I couldn’t quite get what he was trying to tell me. I did get a rather tiny payment from the man’s insurance company but Greg decided it wouldn’t be enough to pay to get the dents fixed so now I drive a hooptie. And I know it would be cooler to have an SUV, but you wouldn’t believe all the treasures I can fit in the minivan, ha! Oh well, it runs fine and it’s paid for and it’s really in pretty good condition, and now it’s clean and moss-free!

So shiny!
Backpacking, hiking, Home, Home Care, PCT

While I’m Away

When I’m planning to be away from home for awhile, I have to consider how the things I usually do will get done. Since I work at home and take care of many of the household chores, some scheduling and instructions are in order.

There is almost always someone home at our house at any given time, even when I’m not there, so it isn’t hard to get someone else to take care of my usual responsibilities. We don’t make a schedule of the kitchen chores, the Hubs and the Girl usually share those as they come up. They also share cat care responsibilities and always make a feeding schedule for Philip so he doesn’t miss a meal (he eats three meals a day of canned cat food with crunchers on the side for snacking) and so his water bowl is always full. One or the other of them will feed him at the appropriate time. The Hubs already spends time giving Philip attention and cleans the litter box, so those don’t need to be on the schedule.

Who will feed me?

The dusting, vacuuming, and cleaning the bathroom and floors will probably not realistically get done while I’m gone. I will give everything a good scrubbing before I go. The Hubs usually makes his own food and the Girl usually orders from DoorDash, so nutrition is covered. Then really the only other things the Hubs will have to do that he doesn’t ordinarily do is to pay the bills and buy groceries and other necessities, like cat food and treats. I have left him written instructions for how to pay the bills (it’s a process!) and he knows how to shop for groceries. I usually order the groceries online and pick them up at the store because then I don’t have to lift things like cases of water and 25-lb boxes of kitty litter, but he is capable of lifting heavy items and likes to pick out his own groceries. He doesn’t trust the “Drive Up and Go” employees to pick out the things he wants correctly, although they usually do a pretty good job for me and I find it a blessing not to have to spend the time going through the store. The feed store keeps a record of what I buy for cat supplies, so if the Hubs forgets they can help him out with that.

Oh, I guess the Hubs will have to do laundry as well. He and the Girl already each do their own laundry, and I have left him written instructions tacked up on the freezer that tell how to wash the towels and sheets, so he should be good there.

Laundry Instructions

As far as plant care, I’m asking the Girl to water my plants when she is taking care of her chocolate mint plants on the patio.

I guess that covers just about everything. Onward to the PCT!

Just keep walking!

~Ninja

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
Home, Home Care, Kitchen

It Has To Be Done

Image from herway.net

Greetings, young adults! Is washing dishes your favorite chore? Of course not! But is it important for your health, the maintenance of your kitchenware, and the tidiness of your home? I’m pretty sure you’d say it is. These instructions will show you what you need and how to quickly wash your dishes and kitchenware to keep it all clean and germ-free. (That is, if you don’t have an automatic dishwasher. If you have a dishwasher, you should use it. It works much better than washing dishes by hand.)

First, gather your supplies. Start with a sturdy dish brush with a scraper on it. Buy some rubber gloves if you have sensitive skin. Then you will need a dish drainer, a clean dishcloth, clean dish towels, some dish soap (like Dawn), and bleach. If you have a one-basin sink you will want a clean dishpan. Since you will put bleach in the water you use to wash your dishes, you will also want an apron or old sweater to wear in case you splash. Have two scrubby sponges on hand, one blue and one pink (or at least two different colors of some sort), so you can tell which one is for dishes and which one is for the sink. Have some disinfecting cleanser (like Soft Scrub with bleach) to scrub your sink, and keep some paper towels and disinfecting spray cleaner around to get your counters all spiffied up after you’re done with the dishes. Your broom and dustpan will also come in handy.

Before washing the dishes, use your dish brush to scrape bits of food off the dishes/pots/et cetera and into the garbage disposal or trash can.  If you scrape stuff into the garbage disposal, run the disposal for a minute with hot water to grind everything up and wash it down. Do not put eggshells or things that would be hard to grind up in the garbage disposal. (Eggshells will clog your drains. Trust me, they will.) Rinse the dishes well before stacking them on the counter to get ready to wash. Never stack dishes with chunks of food on them. You do not want bits of food and other debris in your wash water when you are washing your dishes!

Prepare your sink using your blue scrubby sponge and disinfecting cleanser. You wouldn’t take a bath in a dirty bathtub, because that would be gross. So would washing your dishes in a dirty sink! Sprinkle or squirt a generous amount of cleanser in the sink and give it a good scouring all around (both basins, if you have two). Don’t forget the sides and corners. Rinse out your sink, then rinse off and squeeze out your sponge and put it away where it can dry quickly.

Survey your rinsed dirty dishes and kitchenware. Find the dirtiest items – probably a pot, or a pan that used to be full of lasagna, or anything that might have hard-to-remove gunk left on it after scraping with your brush. Get out your pink scrubby sponge and use it to scrub as many food scraps off your dirtiest dishes as possible. Anything especially icky (like a cutting board or knife that had raw meat on it) should be scrubbed with your dish brush and a little bit of dish soap, and then rinsed before putting it in the wash water. If you need to scrub out a stainless-steel pot, a cleanser called Cameo works well. Rinse your scrubbed dishes and set them aside. Then rinse your pink sponge out and put it away near the blue sponge.

Now put some dish soap in your sink basin or dishpan and fill it with water as hot as you can stand. Add a dollop of bleach to the clean water to help sanitize your dishes. Whirl the water around until there are plenty of suds. Get out your dishcloth and put it in the soapy water. Note that you are using a clean dishcloth, not one that has been sitting around on your sink collecting germs and who-knows-what.  Neither are you using a dirty old sponge, or the dish brush. The dish brush is for scraping only.  We’re using a sponge for scrubbing, and a clean, germ-free cloth for washing.

Survey your dirty dishes once again. Pick out the least-dirty dishes this time, probably the glasses. Wash these in your suds with your dishcloth. Run hot water from the faucet into your other sink basin (or next to your dishpan) to rinse, and put the glasses in the dish drainer. Next, do the plates and bowls. Remember to wash all sides of each dish, because the backs get dirty too. Wash and rinse your plates and bowls and put them in the dish drainer.

If you are washing sharp knives, place them in the sink or dishpan with the blades all facing away from you. This way you know where the handles are so you can pick them up safely out of the suds to wash them. When washing a knife, ball the dishcloth up for safety so you have some more cloth between your hand and the knife blade while you are washing it. After you have washed the knives, put them in the dish drainer, points down.

 Next, tackle the silverware. Pay special attention to each piece of silverware so you won’t find something yucky between the tines when you take a fork out of the drawer later. Wash, rinse, and place the silverware in the dish drainer. Finally, you’re going to come to the dirty dishes you scrubbed earlier. Scrub them even more thoroughly with your dishcloth until they are shiny. You’ve probably run out of room in the dish drainer by now, so place your washed and rinsed pot and lasagna dish on a dishtowel on your counter.

It’s now time to dry the dishes. Get your dish towel and start with the glasses and cups. If any cups or bowls nest together, make sure they are completely dry before nesting or germs might grow in the dampness between them. Then dry the plates and other dishes, silverware, knives, and pots and pans. Put everything away in its place in your kitchen.

Finish your dishwashing task by drying and putting away the dish drainer (unless you are a person who keeps it on the counter beside the sink all the time, that’s okay too), and hanging up your dish towel(s). Wring out your dishcloth and hang it somewhere in the laundry area to dry before putting it into the hamper. Wipe all your kitchen counters and your stovetop with your disinfecting spray and paper towels. Mop up all the water from the back of the sink, wipe off the backsplash, and wipe down the faucet. Wipe up any spills from the floor with a paper towel or rag. After your counters are clean and your floor is wiped, get your broom and dustpan and sweep the whole kitchen floor.  Don’t forget the dining area floor if you have one.

That is the end. This simple task should preferably be done every day, or at least whenever there is a jumble of dishes on your counter.

Wasn’t that easier than you thought it would be? Now your parents are proud of you, your roommates are happy with you, and you can be proud and happy too, knowing everything in your kitchen is clean, tidy, and well-maintained!