Tuesday, February 14, 2012

5 - Meaningful Valentines Decor

When I received this card, back when my husband and I were dating, I thought it was so beautiful, I wanted to frame it.  Now, we are married with 3 kids.  Our life has changed drastically, but every time I hang it, I smile, and remember our beginnings.

I've done the same with some baby shower cards, for the baby's room.  I'm hoping that I can pass them on, to that child's grandkids one day.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

4 - Daffodils doomed?

My poor little daffodils and crocuses think it's spring!  My daffodils are several inches tall.  I just planted my poor crocuses this past fall.  I don't know if they can handle the 50 degree, freeze, 40 degree, freeze, torture this Ohio winter is dishing out!

My daffodils, showing the damage from the last freeze on the tips.  It is the middle of winter!

What did people do before the internet?  Call their local extension agency, or gardening talk radio show, I suppose.  Not that those are bad things, but, I guess I just like my knowledge at my fingertips.  Here is what I found:

It turns out that premature growth is no biggie.  As long as the flower doesn't go to bud, that is.  If the frost yellows or kills the leaves, they'll grow back in the spring.  But if it already has a bud, the damage might be too much for this growing season.  In that case, no spring flowers this year, but, it should be fine for years to come.  But, don't be surprised if your bulb still flowers, despite the damage...mother nature can be determined!

If spring is right around the corner, you can try to save your buds by covering with leaves, straw, grass, sawdust, etc.  Just cover till the frost is gone, and uncover when things warm up.  Since it is just February here, I don't think that is an option for me.  Winter should really be going strong for a full month more, here in Ohio.  One other thing to consider, is if the problem is really mother nature, or if the bulbs were planted improperly. Improper planting can lead to premature sprouting as well.  The planting depth is usually clearly labeled on the bulbs you buy, if not, a good rule of thumb is 3 times the plant's height.  So, a 3 inch plant should be planted 9 inches deep!  Secondly, they should be planted in the fall, after the soil is below 40 degrees.  I know that wasn't my problem.  The near snowy weather always serves as a reminder that I had better get my bulbs in the ground; I always end up planting in the bitter cold!

With a little luck, I'll be posting some pictures a month or two from now, of all my new bulbs that I purchased from our preschool fundraiser.  Although a bit early, the bulbs and I have something in common...thinking spring!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

3 - Dreaming of summer nights

The previous owners of our home had obviously tried to use indoor fans, outdoors, as evidenced by the dominating rust color (they were supposed to be white).  Since our house had more pressing issues that outdoor ceiling fans, we lived with them for a few years before finally replacing them.  In my search for fans, I learned that, even though the fans were on a covered porch, we needed fans that were UL listed  Wet, because of the humidity and moisture they would be exposed to, just being outside, regardless if a sideways rain sprayed them.  I couldn't believe it, but I had to order fans, just to get a UL listed Wet fan in black.  Of course I didn't have the forethought to order ones with lights, and then had another problem to solve.  I hung little lanterns, and although cute, they were ineffective in actually providing light.
The dead of winter, dreary empty hanging baskets, and cheerful lights!

Sooooo, I thought, that's OK, I'll just string some lights, I love that look.  Easier said than done.  I wanted to get bulb shaped lights, so they would't look too Christmasy, and I didn't want a cord running right up alongside the door, where everyone walked in and out of the house.  And of course, I didn't want to spend what Smith and Hawken and Pottery Barn were asking.  Finally, I found some lights at Target during Christmas.  I bought the strings I needed, and an extra string so I could take the bulbs in case some burned out.  I had learned my lesson, trying to track down some unique, over priced bulbs, and I wasn't going to run into THAT problem again!  I did some creative stringing, used a 'remote', a white outdoor extension cord down the gutter, and wa-la!

Finally, year round light.  They look great in the winter, and are perfect in the spring and the fall.  I'll have to say, there is one problem...the lights attract tons of bugs in the middle of the summer.  Short of a screened porch, I'm not sure much can be done about this.  Tis the country life :-)  Things sure are harder when you do them yourself, and you don't know what you're doing.  But, where there's a will, there's a way!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

2 - Somewhere to hang my hat.

I suppose I could get rid of some cowboy hats.  Although not suitable for showing horses after they are bent and dirty, they sure do have a lot of character and history, and just plain old look cool.  But, where to keep all the hats?  I have 5 of my own, and believe it or not, my husband has one too.  His was never worn to any horse shows, but rather to bars in college.  I'm sure when he looks at his hat, he has some memories quite a bit different than mine!

Regardless, I have a small collection.  My show hats, I keep in boxes so they stay clean and maintain their shape.  They take up space - boring.  As for my others, here is what I have come up with:

I also hung up a hunt cap that was no longer up to safety standards.  Yes, that is the bathroom.

My hats decorate the walls with something besides photos of the kids, they look cool, their neutral colors go with most everything, and they free up my closets for storing things I want to hide.

Friday, January 6, 2012

1 - Lucky Spice

I knew I needed to organize my spices.  Spices were so hard to find, that I ended up buying more, thinking I had run out, only to find that I had duplicates, and in one case, three jars of Tarragon! I don't ever even remember using Tarragon. Strange. 

So, I researched spice jars and spice racks.  I knew I liked the clear glass jars so that I could see the spices inside. But, the clear jars would mean that light would breakdown and ruin my spices faster than I could use them. I could hide the jars in my cupboard, but, I had no room in my cupboards. I also had no counter space, and so I was left with few options. I couldn't find the perfect solution, so therefore, I had none.

Then one lucky day, while toting three young boys through the Pottery Barn Outlet Mall in Jeffersonville, OH, I came across a metal cubby with 9 pull out drawers.  Certainly, I could use it to organize something that was cluttered in my house.  On the drive home, it came to me that it was about the size of my spice jars.  By the time I got home, I was so excited to see if they fit, that I grabbed one of the drawers out of the rack in one hand, and my tired toddler in my other arm, and went straight to the kitchen.  Unbelievably, the jars fit.  Perfectly.  It was as if it was MADE for this. 

The next day, I mounted the unit to my wall, and started labeling.  I then ordered more glass jars, filled, labeled, and alphabetized.  Each drawer holds 6 spice jars, so now I can have a whopping 54 jars, alphabetized and neatly stored.  I think I might love my spice rack more than what one might consider normal.