A couple of recent projects

This summer, I had in mind a couple of projects I wanted to complete. And I did. It took nearly the whole summer to finally bring them to fruition, but with just one full week left before school starts up again, complete them I did. Now, for the disclaimer (and without getting into my political ideology): I am not "green." There. Moving on.

We live in the woods. We have a well from which all of our water is supplied. I have always wanted to supplement our water usage by catching rain water. Those who know me, know my love of growing things. Therefore, I have quite a few plants that require water every few days, particularly if we do not get rain. A rain barrel is my solution to conserving the water table and benefitting my plants. And I love to make stuff! I have it set up right next to my vegetable garden where I can simply hook up a hose and water those plants without any extra labor (not that walking back and forth with 16 pounds of water at a go or hauling out and reeling the hose back in hurts my figure). I found several plans on-line, combined and modified them to suit my needs and budget, and voila! A well-placed cedar tree (found as a sapling on our property, carefully transplanted into a container and lovingly nurtured all summer) will grow up full and tall to shield the neighbor's view of the barrel.

The other project I tackled I had on my mind for a couple of years. It just took me awhile to actually get to it. It was not a priority, but now that it is completed, I don't know why I didn't finish it sooner! Our master bath is a very nice size. However, there are some areas that could use additional privacy. A simple screen was all that was needed to create privacy. Using 4 sheer curtain panels, 5 8' 1x1's and decorative hinges, I found the privacy I desire! I used one curtain panel on each side, folding over the botton half for maximum privacy. And, we have the privacy without sacrificing the penetration of natural and artificial light.

Some ways I have organized our garage

Most people have limited garage and basement storage space. One way to maximize the floor space available is to get as much as possible off of the floor. I am all about maximizing the amount of space I have (perhaps having grown up with 5 brothers and sisters in a small house) and having room for the things I want. In the case of the garage, space for our vehicles. We already had some shelves in the garage, but things were just being thrown on the shelves without any real rhyme or reason. The result was things were "missing" or the item one needed was on the bottom of the pile. I'm guessing that many of you know exactly what I am talking about. I'm also about using the materials I have on hand and not spending much. We had 1 x 6's that I was able to employ and for about $21 I purchased screws, hooks and brackets. The pictures below show the results. It was an easy project giving us more space and more importantly, the ability to locate what we needed quickly and easily. We always had room for our vehicles, but now I am able to walk completely around the front of my van when it is pulled in. My next garage project will be installing a pulley system to hoist the bicycles up out of the way. School starts next week, so that may be a project put on hold!

One other thing that is a good idea in a garage. Having unfinished walls can be used to your advantage. Not only do you have the studs exposed, but if you look closely in the pictures, you see that I was able to have bulky items set back further in between the studs. No bumping heads or knocking things off!

I also put items closest to where I am more likely to use them. For example, the sports equipment is right next to the garage door opening. We can just grab a ball and head to the hoop!

Garden update

Remember the zucchini bread? It's yummy.

A couple of ears of corn. I will remember to manually pollinate next year for more and bigger, ears.

Post #1

My first post and it won't be about organizing! Since it is harvest time here, I'm sharing some photos of my garden here in the woods. It's not easy finding enough sun time for all of the things I like to grow and eat, but I've been relatively successful. Last year, I tried a few tomato and pepper plants and some lettuce and spinach in containers. It went so well, I decided to dig up the best grass we had growing and put in a real garden. I haven't been too disappointed-although all of the tomato and pepper plants have not filled out and produced as they did last year. I am not alone in our area. Everyone I talk to has the same result this year. Must have been a bad batch of plants. Next year will be better. I'm going to start from seed (I did this year, but without success) sooner than I usually do and start them inside. What we have eaten has been mighty tasty! (Zucchini is to the right of the corn in the picture-mmm...chocolate zucchini bread!)

I've only grown corn once before and it never was this tall!
I'm going to make pickles out of these cucumbers!

My sad looking peppers and tomatoes-I grew in this same location last year with excellent resultsMore sad looking tomatoes and peppers.

The end of the lettuce and a couple more tomato plants. I have planted fall lettuce and spinach and hope to have better results.