Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Toilet seat touch-ups

I wrote before about repainting the toilet seat. It looked much better, but under the extreme conditions in our household, the paint began to be worn through after three weeks.  That's the disadvantage of paint:  low durability.

The advantage of paint, however, is that it is easy to renew, especially if you have more paint of the exact same color (and it is not too old).  I was able to respray only the areas of the seat that needed it, with much less trouble than it took to repaint it the first time.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

MDF is not wood

It is only a very thick paperboard (think cereal box material).  It will self-destruct if it gets wet, so it must be very well protected against water, either by being kept in consistently dry areas of the house, or by being completely encased in a thick, durable, and waterproof coating.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Harvest time

 I started thinking about some fall wardrobe things, but I quickly came to realize that my time is better spent right now working on preserving our garden produce.

My husband is the family gardener, and despite very limited gardening time this year, he has gotten good yields of beans, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and onions.  Earlier in the summer, we had broccoli and cabbage, also.

With the first frost of the year coming, he got in as much as he could, and I've been working on it cleaning and storing it.

We have a chest freezer now, so I have been freezing some things.  We also have a canner, but I don't yet feel free enough from urgent interruptions to devote my attention to a canning session.

We were given permission to pick apples in someone's yard, and got close to three bushels from that. I don't know the apple variety, but they do not keep well at all, so I made applesauce and juice from them all, the next day. I figured out a workflow where I peeled apples with the crank apple peeler/corer/slicer, put the peeled slices in the applesauce pot, and ran the end slices (which the peeler misses) through our juicer.

Someone also gave us a pumpkin, and several acorn squash.

The children have helped here and there, without arm-twisting.  They've picked and shelled beans, picked peppers, and helped core apples.

Monday, September 17, 2018

A solution for a leaning drying rack

Folding drying racks are very useful, but they always seem to start leaning over, after just a little use.

My husband came up with a simple fix, though:  get a stick that is about as tall as the drying rack, and tie it (upright and a bit off-center), to the rack's diagonal pieces, to support the end of the drying rack.

I will add a picture when I can, but right now my drying rack is in use!

I think if you make the ties for the stick just a little loose, you'll be able to slide the stick out and fold the rack.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Where to hang the dish towel

I was reading an interior design book a while back, and noticed that many of the kitchens had an awkwardly-placed dish towel in the picture.  About two-thirds of the visible dish towels were hanging on oven door handles--which could be a considerable distance away from the sink and dishwasher, given the layouts of these oversized, high-end kitchens--and the rest were hanging on the edges of the sinks.

It was a surprise to see such ad hoc solutions to such a basic need, in such thoroughly-designed kitchens.

In my own kitchen, there are false drawer fronts in front of the sink, and I can hang a towel on a drawer handle.

What I don't have, but do need, is a place somewhere to hang wet and dirty towels to dry before they go downstairs to the laundry room.

Monday, September 3, 2018


...we had a big spell of Life Happens at our house.

Still, I got a few notable things done:

Sewed a laundry bag from an old sheet; double layers of fabric for strength, and French seams just because I could.

Shelled our garden's bean crop. I did two sittings of shelling, and then my oldest children came in and powered through the rest.

Sewed together the pages for my next handmade notebook; very awkward process without a sewing frame. I'm working on the cover now, using the boards from an old and unreadable book.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Makeup for my wall and ceiling

My bedroom ceiling is white, and the walls are ivory. In many places around the edge of the ceiling, you can see where the person who painted the walls touched the ceiling with the paint roller, leaving a splotch.

These splotches have annoyed me ever since we moved in, especially the ones that I can see clearly from the bed.

Finally I took our last piece of white chalk, climbed up on a chair, and chalked over the worst of the splotches, blending the chalk into the paint gently with a finger--just like blending makeup.

From below, this makes the splotches much less noticeable, and hopefully they are now well below my usual threshold of noticing things.

Some people are actually allergic to chalk, so this is not for everyone. I expect that I will need to renew the chalk occasionally, as it gradually falls off the ceiling.