Monday, September 30, 2013

Weekend Work...continued

Well...we've finished our deck. At least the woodworking part of it is done. Now, all I have to do is paint it and add some solar lights to the steps. Pics to come.

I finished my project for the company bathroom. I just need to get some stuff for it at the fabric store. Pics to come.

Next project will be to repair the fascia board on the house. We have a double-wide trailer. It's pretty nice. Inside, you'd never know it was a trailer as the roof is not 'cathedral' style. They are 'residential' style, which means flat. However, the Hardie Board that is on the fascia, has rotted through. It was painted and taken care of. The blasted stuff isn't any good. Water must've gotten into it and weakened the cement. It's not supposed to do that. The Hardie Board is only 10 years old! IMHO, if you're thinking of using this to side your house, think again. You may have to replace it. We have a couple of sheds and our barn sided in Hardie Board. It's OK and not rotting. The siding on the barn gets weak if it gets wet. So it's porous. The two sheds we have sided in it are OK. They have been painted with about 4 or 5 coats of oil-based paint on them. This works well. If you do go for the Hardie Board, make sure you put on a few coats of oil-based paint on it. Maybe if the span between the framing boards are closer together, you'll have good luck. That is how our sheds are built. So good luck if you use Hardie Board. Not to dis it altogether. It has good and bad qualities. For short framing spans, it seems to be good.

Take care.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Weekend Work

As I mentioned before, we're getting ready for company this Thanksgiving. We've been doing loads of work on the weekends in order to get ready. So far this weekend, we've accomplished a lot of things.

We started repairing our deck. It's about 10 years old and is still in pretty good shape. There are a couple of boards we needed to replace. Hubby replaced the railing boards. They were warped and twisting. I painted them and the railings so everything looks fresh. We demo'd the steps and put new ones in. Hubby wanted to reuse the stringers, but I thought they were too shabby to reuse. So I went to the local hardware store and bought three 3-step stringers. My bill came to $29 and some change. SHOCK! When we last bought stringers, they were about $4 a piece! Whoa! $9.25 is what they were today. Double Whoa!! So I hauled them home. The steps look really nice. There is a lot of room for sitting on them and watching the bees, butterflies and butterfly moths drink from the lantana. That will probably be my favorite spot to sit at night.

Previously, we had covered our deck floor with Restore. It is that new stuff that puts a coat on the surface of the wood and fills in some small cracks. Remember...what you see on TV is after they put down a brand new surface then painted it with Restore. What actually happens is your surface will have some small cracks filled in with the larger cracks remaining to a certain degree. This stuff doesn't level any boards out for you. You will need to check your fasteners before you apply this stuff. It will coat the head of the nail and screws. We may not be able to unscrew anything when we demo in the future. One very important thing to remember...THIS STUFF GETS HOT HOT HOT IN THE SUN!!! We get upwards of 90 degree F weather here for most of the spring and summer. Since this stuff is a kind of plastic, it heats up quickly and stays hot for a long time. The dogs won't even stay on it. One good thing is that it is a clean up with water. It is easy to use. Just roll or brush it on. It is relatively inexpensive for what you are getting, which is a fairly new-looking deck. It gives a non-slip surface, which is a real plus.

We put a new underpinning around the deck. We used 6' pickets. We stained them and cut them into 3 equal pieces. It is cheap and looks great! We applied them about 2" from the ground and it should last a long time, too.

I've been working on another piece of furniture for our company bathroom. Pics to come soon!

What's nice about us is we work well together. He does the nitty gritty stuff and I'll help him if he needs it. I do the finishing stuff which usually isn't all that hard but it takes a lot of time. We're knocking off our chores rather quickly. I can't wait until he helps me get the house ready. That will be a great big blessing!

Take care.

Saturday, September 21, 2013


This morning was a beautiful morning. The sun was shining...70 degrees...slight breeze...dewey. Perfect morning.

Hubby and I were outside near the barn getting some work done and I noticed the strip of grass next to the driveway was buzzing with life. There were small bumblebees flying in and out of the grass strip. I couldn't figure out what the deal was. They were minding their own business while I watched them. There was a small swarm of them. Probably 20 to 30 of them. While I watched, I tried to figure out what grass meant to them. There were no flowers for them to tend. They climbed up and down the blades of grass. Then they took off to the next one and the next one, etc. Then I figured it out. They were collecting dew from the grass. We haven't had rain for a while and they got their water from where they could. Dew is good.

This is something I've never been privy to before. It was really an amazing thing to watch. There were so many of them all working in harmony. It was a perfect orchestration of life and how things can work together for the good of the community.

It's a shame that we humans don't take our cues from simple creatures. Why can't we work together to take care of each other? Rather than being a 'me' society, we should really think of what we're doing and how we're accomplishing it. We should take care of 'us' if we're to survive for any length of time. It's funny how we can lose track of the really important things in life.

Those bees had a plan to help their whole colony. We don't even have a plan to help ourselves. We just live from day to day and paycheck to paycheck. Funny isn't it? Who's smarter?

Take care.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Rain? Not yet.

We've been having tropical fronts coming through the area. There has been rain in some areas. However, we haven't had any rain on our property for quite a while, now. It's rained a mile or less away several times. It sometimes seems like where we live, we live in a bubble. We get dark skies and thunder rumbles. Then we get sunshine within minutes. If the whole day is overcast and there is thunder, we still didn't get any rain.

I was outside after work today and was wondering what I could do for a short time before dinner. So I started pulling weeds. The weeds came out so easily because the ground is turning to powder. As I pulled, the weeds nearly begged to get out of the ground. They were the most pitiful weeds I've seen in a long time. Mind you, we have very stubborn weeds here in SC. Nothing much phases them. They will die if you spray them with herbicide, but they come back. These weeds didn't look like they wanted to come back. I got one of my nursery beds pulled. This is the one with my herbs in it. I gave the remaining plants a good watering tonight. Tomorrow I'll do the same. Probably the next day, too.

We got our Lehman's shipment today. It was 4 Dietz lanterns that were on sale. Some replacement parts for lanterns and some wicks. If you haven't gone to, you ought to do so. Especially if you love old-timey stuff for the house. You know...stuff that brings back memories from childhood. That is, if you're over 50. Also, if you need supplies for hurricane season which don't need electricity, this is the site for you, too.

I'm in the middle of baking red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese icing for work birthdays tomorrow. I wish you a good day!

Take care.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Before & After Project from the Dump

I've finished one of my small projects this evening. I mentioned before that I got a wine rack from the swap shop at the dump. Here it is in all of its dirty, moldy glory.
Salvaged Wine Rack
It was really grungy dirty. I washed and rinsed with a damp rag. I let it dry and gave it a pretty decent sanding.

Getting off the subject a little...this cement table under the wine rack is the one we just painted gray. It was mentioned in a recent blog post. Nasty, wasn't it?!

Here is the wine rack after a priming, light sanding, 2 coats of interior white latex, more sanding to distress, 2 coats of latex polyurethane and a final coat of paste wax.
New Loo Rack
'Loo rack' sounds kinda better than a magazine holder for the toilet, doesn't it? You know, sometimes you just have to have a morning cuppa joe and a magazine while you're in the midst of relaxing. I wanted a small table for in the bathroom. I couldn't find a small table. So when I saw this at the swap shop, it jumped into my Big Girl Truck and came home with me. It looked like a puppy had a bit of fun chewing on a leg and shelf, but who's going to see it in my water closet? What do you think? I think it's the perfect size for a small space. It does the trick for right now.

Next project in the works. Stay tuned!

Take care.

Saturday, September 14, 2013


Happy anniversary to us!

Today is our wedding anniversary. 22 years and still going.

This morning I had a hair appointment. The whole way there, I bet myself Hubby forgot our anniversary again this year. He's usually the one who remembers. He slipped up once and I keep thinking he'll slip up again. So, I came home and made lunch. Then we discussed what we were going to do today. He suggested going to the furniture store for a piece we've been looking for. I said we should do some yard work first then we can go. I also suggested we use a restaurant gift card that we've had laying around for a while. He thought about it for a second then agreed. So we went to work in the yard. I finished up sanding the picnic pavilion. He finished edging the driveway.

By the time we got ready and got to the restaurant, it was time to eat. We were seated and I held his hand and looked into his eyes...ready to spring a 'happy anniversary' on him. He 'happy anniversary'd' me first! He didn't forget! Yay!

We had a nice meal. Found our piece of furniture. Went to the mall for something we didn't find. Came home and vegged out.

What a nice day!

If you're married, may you have many happy ones like we've had.

Take care.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Birthdays Today

I took in the cupcakes I made yesterday. I also took in the waffles and syrup I pre-made last night. I put them in the breakroom on the ground level. I brought a lot of waffles home. All of the cupcakes I took were eaten. The one guy who wanted the cupcakes was not here today. He went to a training session off-site. I wish someone would've told me that. The guy who wanted waffles, ate some. He liked them. I thought they were a bit on the tough side rewarmed in the toaster. I left a note for the guys and gals not to reheat them in the toaster for too long. The waffle guy was surprised that the syrup was homemade. He liked it so I gave him the unopened quart of it to take home. I have a lot of it left in my fridge at home.

All in all, I guess they liked the cupcakes best. They did eat some of the waffles, too.

Next week is Red Velvet cupcakes. That should be a real treat since I've never made them. I'm planning to make them the original way. I'll get a box cake in case I can't get the original recipe to work.

Take care.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Birthdays at Work

This month there are a lot of birthdays at work. The reason I mention this is tonight I spent a couple of hours making stuff to celebrate a couple of them with.

First off, one guy wanted waffles for his birthday, which is this weekend. OK. Waffles. Hmmm. So I made waffles from my own recipe. I also made some vanilla syrup to go with it. Yum!

Secondly, the next guy with a birthday this weekend, he likes chocolate cake. That's normal. So I made chocolate cupcakes and vanilla icing from scratch. My recipe made a LOT of cupcakes. 34 of them. A regular box cake mix you'd be good if you got a couple dozen. My cupcakes have chocolate chips in them, too. They were supposed to have cream cheese filling, but I skipped that. The cream cheese filling makes them take a lot longer to bake. I didn't want to spend all night in the kitchen tonight. The cupcakes turned out just fine.

I hope the guys and gals at work appreciate some good home cooking. I know I do.

Take care.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Recently Made Foods

Here's a few food items I've made that may be interesting. First off is this...
Hubby's Birthday Cake
 Just as the caption says, it's Hubby's birthday cake. Made from scratch, including the icing. It's his once a year splurge. Mahogany Chiffon cake from a very old Betty Crocker cookbook that I picked up at a yard sale. The couple bucks I spent for that was really worth it. I use it a lot and the recipes are really good. Of course they're not all heart healthy. But, back when this was made, no one was dying much of cancer and heart attacks. So, in moderation, all is good!

Next is this baby.
Unstuffed Cabbage
That's what I call it. All of the ingredients you'd normally put into a stuffed cabbage you put into here. Fry up the meats, add the cabbage, kraut, onions, garlic powder, salt & pepper and tomato sauce. Simmer until it's done. Add a bit of pre-cooked rice. You're ready to eat! It takes only about an hour to get all of this done. So it's doable on a weeknight.

This one is a bit more complex.
Vegan Meal
Punjabi Chole (left) and Curried Potatoes right) served with tomatoes. YUM! I love Indian spices. I just mix what I have on hand in the proportions with what the online recipes call for and it turns out yummy. I don't have all of the Indian spices called for, so I just leave them out. There is usually enough spice in it anyway. I don't know the difference because I've never had the original. So I don't think I do too bad. At least, a former Indian co-worker said it smelled authentic.

That's about it for now.

Take care.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Sunday Work Day

After yesterday, you'd think we had enough of working out back. Well, we rolled out of bed this morning. Actually, my dog made me get out of bed because Hubby was already up. She won't stop barking until we're all together. Anyhow, when I rolled out of bed, I found out I had muscles I haven't used in a while. It wasn't all that bad, but I had a workout yesterday.

Today, we got up and went out back again. Hubby pressure washed the cement picnic set we have. It had a nice thick layer of black and brown mold growing on it. So much so that when Hubby pressure washed it, there was a bit of a raised area between the clean part and the moldy part. It was noticeable to me. The picnic set hadn't been treated before and we had it for about 8 or so years, so we decided to put a finish on it. We bought gray cement paint for our pavilion (which is almost completed) and I painted the picnic set today. Here it is.
Cement Picnic Set Just Painted
Looks pretty good, doesn't it? This was a few hour job because we had to wait until the cement dried before I could paint it. I didn't paint the bottom bit of about 1-2 inches because it was in the dirt or close to it. We're going to level it an put rock around the base so you won't be able to tell.

Hubby and I started our fires again after calling in another burn permit. We got some more stuff burnt up. It looks really clean out back. Next, we're going to get the rock for under the picnic set and enough for around the fire pit. Then, we'll be making some Adirondack-style chairs for around the pit. Hubby made two already, but they need a couple of coats of paint. He only got one coat on before the rains came. Now the things are starting to mold.

Thursday night, we got our order of bug spray. It is heavy duty stuff. We must be the last customer on the route. Our delivery guy comes around 7 pm. Our mosquitos are so bad we can't be outside for long. We sprayed immediately after we got the order. We were able to work outside yesterday and today WITHOUT MOSQUITOS! Yay!!! This stuff is supposed to last for about 6 weeks before we have to apply it again. We may have just found a way to get our yard back! It also took care of our mole crickets. One of the dogs kept picking up the dead bodies. I hope she didn't eat any. She likes to eat bugs for some reason. You'd think we didn't feed her. Blah!

Well, I hope you had a great day.

Take care.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Saturday Work Day

Hello everyone! Today was work day on our little patch of Earth. Saturdays usually are work days outside for us, but today we accomplished so much. We are expecting a lot of company for Thanksgiving and we're trying to get our yard in order so we can all spend time outside.

First of all we planned to burn brush. Hubby called for a burn permit, which is required in our state, and gave our information. If we don't call in to burn brush and a fire starts and spreads...BIG FINE! We make sure we always call in a burn permit. Then we get things going. We run a water hose out back, just in case we need water. We get supplies loaded into our garden tractor and yard trailer, like a pitchfork and axe and chainsaw. Now this was about 8 am. We worked and worked for what seemed forever. Hubby asked me what time it was. It was 10:28 am. Holy cow! We accomplished so much during this time. I brought out one of my painting projects to work on while stuff was burning. I almost have the first one finished. Now I need to do the second one. Both of these things will go in our house and I'll give you pics of the before and after.

I packed lunches in my work cooler. Not just lunches for me and Hubby. The girls get some too! It was pepperoni and mozzarella rolls, soda and doggie biscuits for lunch today. Yum! Well, I can't say 'yum' for the biscuits, but they didn't last long.

We finished up around 4 pm. We're wiped out!

Hubby went into the house with the girls and I finished up a couple of rows of sanding between the cracks of our picnic pavilion. We're using polymeric sand. It is good stuff and shouldn't let the weeds grow between the cracks. That's looking really good!!! Pics to come.

Tomorrow will be more of the same. Up early, burning and a project.

I hope you had a productive day today.

Take care.