The ground outside is covered in snow and the feeding of the birds has begun.
So on days like this, we do "This 'n' That". My dad used to call this "Tinkering".
The seedlings are doing well. I have replanted several things that did not germinate well. Some have already come up. But do any of you ever have seedlings that have "Helmet Head"? By that I mean, is the seed casing stuck and not allowing the cotyldons to emerge? I've had this happen quite a bit and have done a little research. Apparently it's caused by the seeds not being planted deeply enough -- not enough friction on the seed casing. Others say the soil was too dry at the crucial time. Misting is suggested, I haven't found that to work very well. Moistening with spit was also suggested. I'm trying that.
My good buddy, Carole, who lives in Joplin, mentioned putting out white-fly traps and of course I had to know more. White-flies are those pesky little gnat-like things that seem to proliferate in plants grown inside. A fast fix is to put the plant outside, and the white-flies leave. I don't know why, or where they go. Of course with the weather we've been having that would kill the white-flies AND the plant.... After getting more explanation from her, I went out on Amazon and bought THESE. I've opened one of the packages and cut it into strips about 1"x3". They are helping.
I'm sure that, long after humans have been wiped from the face of the earth, there will still be bugs. They can come out of nowhere. I mean, I have BAKED MY SOIL, people! My seedling-starting mix is equal parts composted garden soil, vermiculite and peat.
I entertained myself yesterday by (among other things) making a candle from my collection of stubs that are left over from when all the wick in the candle has burned away. I hate putting stuff like this in the landfill. It won't disintegrate until long after I have. If ever. Plus, it's a use for an old Pringle's can (pint and quart buttermilk or cream boxes make nice cube-shaped ones). All I'm out is the wicking, which I bought pretty cheaply at Hobby Lobby.
I've been rummaging around in the garage and have found several cans / containers of paint that I think I can mix together and get an acceptable color to paint on the living room walls.
I want a nice soft gray with a slight greenish cast. I've been
playing with this and I think I've got what I want. I won't have to buy
another can of paint and I will be able to use up some that I've been storing for six or seven years. Plus some bits and
tads of some we "inherited", and some colors that I bought for a
specific purpose. I had a can of blue paint that I was tempted to start
out with, in order to use it up, but it was exterior paint. I couldn't
think why exterior paint wouldn't be ok to use for interiors but just
to be safe, I did some research on it, and turns out exterior paint
contains chemicals to retard mildew and to help resist weather
conditions. Apparently exterior paint "off-gasses" more than interior
paint does, and for longer periods. I even saw one post written by a
woman whose painting contractor had used exterior paint on the walls of
an inside room and long after the paint had dried, they were still
noticing a bad smell on days when the humidity was high. It seems that
some painting contractors use exterior paint on interiors because
they think it hides better. So if you hire a painting contractor, make
sure they don't do this. And make sure YOU don't do this. There might
be some health risks from this odor, not to mention the annoyance of
having to live in a stinky house.
Paint is one thing I
don't buy at garage sales unless they let me open it and see if it will
stir up. If paint has been allowed to freeze, it will not. The only
thing you can do after that is to leave the lid off the paint till it dries hard, and then it's ok to put in with your regular garbage. Don't
take it to those recycling drives where they will take things that
should not go to the landfill. Like electronics, light bulbs,
batteries, aerosol cans and paint. Those people know where to
ship these things where they go through the recycling process. But if
the paint has been frozen, they just have to dispose of it, anyway. If
you ever watch Mike Rowe's "Dirty Jobs", maybe you've seen the episode
where they are "making" large barrels of paint by emptying out lots of
different cans of paint. A few rules -- oil base and latex do not mix,
and light and dark paints are put in a different batches. When they get
their barrel full, they shake it up, pour it into 5-gallon buckets, slap on a lid,
label it with a Lot Number (for matching purposes), and that paint is
shipped out as donated paint to organizations that can't afford to buy
paint. That's why taking a can of paint that's been frozen to a
recycling center is just saddling them with something that has to go to the dump, anyway, and they have to pay for that. (It's kinda like wrapping up a broken punch bowl as a wedding
gift -- the giver can always claim no knowledge of the condition and still appear to have done the socially-correct thing. But truly, doing something like that just means somebody else has to do that which you should've done, anyway. And sometimes it backfires. For instance, the story goes that a man took a box with a broken punch bowl in it to a place like
MailBoxes, Inc. for wrapping and shipping, thinking it was a way to get
rid of a broken object and that the couple would think it was broken
during shipping and therefore not be offended that he didn't send a
gift. When the newlyweds opened
the box, they found EACH PIECE of the broken bowl wrapped SEPARATELY!
Lacking the ability to get your paint to a recycling center, it's just a better idea to remix it yourself and use it instead of buying new, if you can.
Mixing paint is kind of a fun thing. You
would never think that to tone down blue, you add reddish-brown, and
then you have gray or taupe, depending on how far you go with it.
Purple and yellow make brown. So does orange and blue. In fact, if you
mix all three primary colors, red, yellow, blue, you will get brown.
Add extra blue to the brown and you have black or gray, depending on how much white is in the mix. And no, green is not a
primary color. It is created from blue and yellow. Of course we all
have some basic knowledge of color-combining from our Crayon and
Fingerpaint days, don't we? Red and blue = purple. Red and yellow =
I also dug into my stash of elastic from pairs of briefs that Hubs throws away (Tidy Whiteies). Lots of life left in those. Sometimes I'll sew one into a waistband when I'm making slacks. Sometimes I use one in the garden to keep the leaf bag from falling off the rack. Sometimes I use one around my kitchen trashcan to keep the bag from falling in. I use a sh-mop that I bought years and years ago, but the washable pads were just made so cheap, the elastic died and the material they were made of fell apart after less than a reasonable amount of use. I was real happy to find some terrycloth ones at Lowe's that fit, a few years ago. The only problem was that the terrycloth held up well but the elastic has now died. Next time I need some I'll make 'em myself out of an old towel. I can make a pattern easily by drawing around the edge of the mop head. Oh, and did you know you can tape two pencils together and draw the seam allowance at the same time? Heh!
But in the meantime....
When we lived in The Ponca House, I made extra pads for my Eureka Steam Mop, as there were only two pads that came with it. I used a piece of an old towel and the waistband from one of the grandson's outgrown sweatpants. Not very pretty, but gets the job done....
I really hate when I hear about high schools eliminating Home-Ec (or whatever they're calling it now) from the curriculum. My mother didn't have the patience to teach me how to sew. But after I'd learned to sew in Home-Ec, she allowed me to use her sewing machine and then gave it to me when she bought herself a new one. My sewing skills have served me well. Decent sewing machines can be cheaply purchased at garage or estate sales. You don't have to know the fancy stuff, I think that's what scares people away from learning to sew. Just the basics will get you through, allow you to make and/or repair many useful things. Making clothing, for which you have to buy a $10 pattern and then fabric at $8 per yard, is so expensive now that it's just cheaper, and easier, for me to buy what I need at garage sales. But if I have something that I really like the way it's made, or if I've gotten a really good deal on fabric, sometimes I will make clothing. Little great-granddaughter's leggings, sweatpants and tops can be made out of the fabric of larger garments, whether they were mine or whether I bought them at garage sales just for the fabric. The Little Ones don't stay the same size long enough to wear their clothes out.
I made a cover for the brown leather headboard in The Guest Room the other day. I loved the fabric, and there was blue in it that tied into the blue on the wall, but somehow I don't love the way it looks. I think it's just too much. The fabric was in my fabric stash and the backing (against the wall) was taken from an old sheet, so I wasn't out anything but my time. Maybe I'll make another, out of something else that will work better.
I realize I, and my way of thinking, are confusing for some people. I do a lot of frugal things. Things that sometimes set me up for ridicule, such as washing plastic ziplock bags and using them over and over. I can reconfigure left-overs till the cows come home. And so on. Then, every now and then, I go and blow it all on something like expensive upholstered furniture for my living room. The reason why I pinch the pennies till Lincoln pukes is just so I can do stuff like that. Does it pay for my spending indiscretions? Hell if I know. But here's one thing I do know: If you have something specific in mind, like a certain shape and a certain color, and good quality to boot, your chances of finding what you want at a garage or estate sale are not very good. You might end up spending a lot of money, anyway, buying something that's not quite what you want, then finding something that's a little closer and buying that, and on and on. Just cut to the chase at those times when you know exactly what you want. Will my new furniture last longer than Hubs and I will? Probably so. But it'll stop me from buying couches and over-stuffed chairs at garage and estate sales. Hubs says that, alone, is worth whatever it costs.
I might paint today. I need to add some off-white to lighten up my blended paint, and that's what is in the big apple juice bottle. I'm happy with my blended color otherwise, so this should do it. But since the can the blended paint is in is already full I'll have to pour it all into a bucket in order to get it mixed, and since I'm going to do that, I might as well get some of it on the wall. I know that the living room walls will require a little more than a gallon. I mean, it would defeat my purpose somewhat to run out of paint before all the walls were covered. Anything left when the job is finished will fit into a cleaned-out peanut-butter jar and can be stored away for touch-ups. Then I can throw the old can away. Also maybe clean out the big apple juice bottle and pour some paint that's in a rusted can into it. Thus throwing away two rusty paint cans. Use it up, wear it out...... Rocking on, here... xoxoxo