Saturday, April 6, 2013

My Traveling Friends Must be Bored with my Home Improvements, Well. . . .

Just sometimes we must get these things done to do what we want.

The last couple of days have been - ya more spring cleaning.
 Since our City has imposed the Stage 3 water rationing (no outside watering period), I thought I would set up my rain barrel and use it to store gray water for watering my plants.  I had the dang thing 1/3 full and we got a notice from the City about our Stage 3 rules; and, one was no use on the ground of gray water.  Well, I did give my shrubs a big drink of "gray water" and moved the barrel to the front porch and hooked it up to the only gutter system I have.  Now, watch it NOT rain.

It's not very attractive and all the neighborhood kids are asking what the barrel is for.  I bought this several years ago from a local organization and never set it up.  I can just hear all the neighbors wondering what the "old lady" of the neighborhood is going to do next.  I remember those "old ladies" when I was growing up.

Well, next was flowers for my front window boxes; and, since we cannot water outside I bought some inexpensive artificial flowers from Alco.  I put some cement rocks in the bottom of the window boxes, filled them with old potting soil and stuck the flowers individually in the old potting soil.  If they fade, I can replace them.  If they disappear (like yesterday when we had 30+ mph winds whipping around the house) I can replace them.  The flower colors go with the accent colors around the outside of the house.

Since it is still nice out (a bit windy again today), I was curious about how long it would take to get 3 layers of paint off the cabinet hinges and what would be the fastest way.  I set up a work table at the garage door and went to work stripping and stripping.  It took me around 90 minutes but love the results.  I just hope the other 18 hinges turn out as beautiful.
The right is what I am cleaning off and the left has the paint removed.  It is a beautiful chrome underneath that matches the handles.
At the same time, while I was waiting for the stripping compound to work, I was sanding and deglossing/cleaning the cabinet frames in the kitchen.  I am hoping for a nice day to come along next week so I can paint the cabinet frames and the soffit above the counter and sink all in one day.  At some point next week too, I'll start sanding and degloss/clean the cabinet doors.

The laminate floors are getting a "down on all fours" scrubbing too.  Have not done that for several years and it is time.  This will be a very slow job as I am not very excited about the getting up and down; but, it is easy and rewarding to see the difference.
The left hasn't been cleaned, the center is a work in progress and the right side of picture is cleaned.
Oh, I had a 6-month visit with the cardiologist and the pacemaker techie ran a report from the PM.  Everything is "stellar".  Upper chamber is using the PM only 30% of the time and the lower chambers are doing their thing on their own as they should be. Whoopee.


  1. Wait! Why can't you use grey water? That seems odd. BTW, I always enjoy your blog, no matter what you are doing. Love a good road trip, but also enjoy hearing about life in general too.

  2. Wow. What stringent rules for water usage. I can understand not watering from the potable water supply, but surely don't understand the "no grey water" rule. I'd probably plead ignorant of that rule unless the penalty was really big:-)

  3. It is the state dept of Health and Envirnoment that prohibits the use of gray water (plus some fed regs). In order for the City to go to Stage 3 and get control of usage of private and domestic wells (there are quite a few of them) within the city limits (as they get their water from the same source as the city), there are some rules and regs that are thrown in and surface usage of gray water is prohibited.

    In normal years, my water table is down about a foot from the surface. In normal years, my sump pump in the cellar goes off about every 15-20 minutes in the spring and fall (in abnormally wet years, it goes off every 3 minutes in the spring and fall)The city's wells are much, much deeper though. Has something to do with leaching. I don't know, you know how it is these days with EPA and environmental stuff - Can't flush the toilet without getting permission and with these dinky toilets you have to sometimes flush twice!

  4. Love that window box! The handles and hinges are going to look very smart! Good are inspiring me! Joan aka Latte

  5. We have two rain barrels...they are blue and in the back of the house. Real handy for watering plants and rinsing stuff out. Our county Master Gardeners paint their rain barrels..acrylics, I think, drawing pictures of flowers and country scenes. I know you could do that.

    Solution to the window boxes...when you get tired of the artificial. Put trailing plants in individual pots and set them in your boxes. When they need watering, bring them in and water them in the house!

    Doesn't all that snow count as water? How could there be a shortage?

    1. I know Lynne, you would think but our lake is still bone dry and the weeds are taking over. The geese have a spot about half the size of my little house. Good idea for trailing plants in pots inside the window boxes. Probably move the rain barrel after our rainy season to the back of the house. Like the idea of painting it. Hmmm, a future project.

  6. Back in the 90's, the Jacksonville, FL newspaper published a letter to the editor written by a visitor from Greece.

    She wrote, "You call yourselves the land of the free, but you are the most regulated society on earth in your daily lives."

    Once I would have been stunned that common sense couldn't prevail in a drought.

    Anyway, I am thrilled that you are doing so well with your remodeling and your pacemaker... and sure hope you can get out in your little Casita before too long. :)