Category Archives: Lewis projects

Busy Day

Incredibly Cute Animal Pictures – pinterest

I have been going non-stop since we got up this morning.

Bad weather – in the form of cold front, cold rain, ice, sleet, snow, and flying hair balls is forecast for today-into-tomorrow. Since our driveway is steep and 650 feet down to the street, we tend to take ice seriously around here. Snow isn’t as much of a problem, but Arkansas tends to do ICE and THEN snow on top, making for a hairy situation.

The mailman came up the driveway today. We had received a BUNCH of packages and boxes as well as our regular mail, so we spent a bunch of time opening and organizing things. Then we went to the grocery store to get things we would be unhappy to be without if we get stuck on top of our ridge line. I got all the food put away while my husband took all the boxes and packing and burned them in the burn barrel. (It was raining, so we didn’t have to worry about having the fire.)

My husband had asked me to make pulled pork, so I spent about an hour getting a pork shoulder ready for the crock pot. It’s cooking now. Just as I cleaned up the kitchen, it was time for lunch.

I just finished cleaning out the refrigerator we have in the pantry and am now taking a break for a cup of coffee and my blog. It’s already 4:30!

I found more Christmas decorations in the pantry, so I’m going to open up the bags and decide where to put things.

A happy, busy day, and I’m feeling that someone sucked all the energy out of me. I’m going to regroup for a while and then tackle the fun job of looking at Christmas decorations.

I hope the weather where you are is good and that you’re having a great day.

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Filed under holidays, Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob, Lewis projects, Mother Nature

Today’s Project – Fridge One

We have a fridge like this one in our kitchen. I love it. It’s a side by side with an icemaker. The doors open wide and there is a lot of flexibility in how you set things up, what temperatures you want, etc. We got it about 10 years ago, so it doesn’t have a lot of the bells and whistles people have now, but it’s really good for us and I hope it lasts a good, long time.

The outside is a nice, glossy black that looks great when it’s spanking clean and gets to looking pretty sad with a gazillion finger prints on it, spills from something we took out of the fridge, water deposits of ‘something’ in the drain under where the ice comes out, etc.

Our problem is compounded because I have all kinds of ‘stuff’ on it.

 

 

I have all kinds of information regarding Nutrisystem – snacks, okay veggies, okay fruits, grocery list, etc. We also keep a record of propane tank readings monthly. We have timers, fridge magnets, reminders of coming appointments – you get the idea.

Today’s project was to clean the fridge – particularly the inside. It started with using up our supply of cut up celery and radishes ready to eat. I fixed that, and then was again aware that the fridge really needed some attention, and had been needing it for awhile. I’m fairly good about watching for expiration dates on things, but I tend to shove bags of lettuce, veggies of all kinds, cheeses, etc. into their places without cleaning the bin or drawer UNDER them much, and the stuff in the door is even worse.

I just finished the fridge in the kitchen. It looks and smells really good now. :0)

Tomorrow’s project will be the fridge in the pantry…

 

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Filed under Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob, Lewis projects, Organizing/DeCluttering

Today’s Project – Scrubbing the Tiled Areas

We have about half of our first floor done in tiles – walk-in pantry, kitchen, dining area, utility room, and two half-baths. I have been working on this project all day and am about half finished.

I scrubbed all the counters, polished tables, cleaned window sills, harvested lettuce, put out a few Christmas decorations, etc.

 

This is the kitchen. I’ve scrubbed everything up top now, and the stove parts are in the dishwasher.

 

This is looking from the kitchen out toward the dining area. (You can see my lettuce plants in the background.)

 

These are a few of our Christmas decorations on the divider between the dining area and the kitchen.

 

This is the dining area and my moved-inside-veggie garden. I still have lettuce and some celery plants.

The next step in today’s project is to vacuum all the tile and then mop.

I’ll try to take pics of more Christmas decorations when the light changes.

I hope you’re having a good day, too.

 

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Today’s Project – The Entertainment Shelves – Is Finished!

I guess if you’re ‘regular folks,’ you might think that the shelves need to be cleaned out NOW. If you’re the Lewises, though, this is WONDERFUL.

 

We have about 1/3 as much ‘stuff,’ as we did, the shelves are clean, smell like lemon Pledge (Ahhhh!) and are organized. (The pic above is my husband’s side of the entertainment center, so he’ll probably do more rearranging, but now he won’t choke on the dust while he does it. :0) )

And this is MY side of the entertainment center. I now have things where I can find them. I found things I didn’t realize I HAD, and did away with more stuff I no longer want.

I’ve worked on this project all afternoon, so with a little nudge from me, we’re going to get fried rice from our local Chinese restaurant for dinner tonight!

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Filed under Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob, Lewis projects, Organizing/DeCluttering

Today’s Project -11-29-2018

Sono Marin Cleaning Services

I WISH I had a cleaning service, like the one above!

I told you recently that we had decided to get rid of our DVD collection – or most of it, since I kept my prized ones, not completely trusting the Synology Storage System. We gave approximately 217 DVDs to the local library for their next fundraiser.  We’re trying to sell the ones Amazon would accept, though it made me feel older than dirt when ours weren’t ‘acceptable’ (even Blu-rays) most of the time, due to the publishing date being too old.

This left us with several empty shelves on both sides of our TV!

I’m working my way through them, cleaning and moving things around. Due to the fact that they have held DVDs jammed side by side for umpteen years ( I removed the strips my husband cut to length and screwed into each one to make the DVDs stand in the shelves correctly) – cleaning is a real trip – partially because, other than running the dustcatcher over the top of them, the shelves couldn’t be cleaned without taking all the DVDs off each shelf. Since I’m a slob – FAT CHANCE! So I’m choking on dust, then using a clean cloth and Pledge to get the shelves clean and wonderful-smelling again, and THEN rearranging things so that books on the same subject are together, for example. I’m also getting rid of a lot of things.

I’ve spent a couple of hours on the project so far.  I’m about halfway finished and am taking a much-needed break.

When I finish my husband’s side, I’ll take pics of the newly clean, organized shelves!

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Wonderful Way to Start a Day!

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I’m walking 3 inches (at least) off the ground this morning.

We received a delivery from Fedex this morning. The driver wasn’t our ‘normal’ driver, but a very nice young woman. She fended off Amber kindly when Amber was trying hard to greet her, wagging her tail, trying to knock her down, and trying to get into her truck at the same time. She reacted by laughing, immediately winning our feelings of relief and approval.

I got Amber and put her in the house while the lady got a huge box out of her truck. While my husband was wrestling with 60 lbs of dog food, the lady started to get back into her truck. She stopped, came back around and said something to the effect of, “I love all your artwork. I slowed the truck down so I could try to look at everything, waving at the two robots standing watch on either side of the garage door.

My spirits soared and I tried not to break my face as I grinned at her. I told her that she had made our day and thanked her.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’re never sure what the reaction will be. Some people probably look at our stuff and shake their heads or wonder why anyone would clutter up their yard like we do. This lady particularly mentioned the robot and owls at the bottom of the driveway and the flying pig hanging from a tree midway up.

When someone is this nice, giving compliments on our stuff when there is no need (such as our saying, “Look what we made!” and then them trying to come up with something similar to, “Well, that’s a lot of stuff!” – it brings real joy.

A wonderful way to start a day!

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Filed under Lewis projects, Lewis yard art, metal art

Fishing for a Compliment…

Our fish aren’t very good conversationalists. They don’t want or give affection, give compliments or give out rebukes. I feel good, though, that their aquarium is now bright, shining clean. I changed out the decorations in the tank, too, so they have a change of scene, as well as new filters, plus clean and treated water.

About the only thing they DO is bunch up in the corner when they want to be fed, wriggling their tiny bodies and making a big deal of seeing my face, even before I give them anything to eat. THAT makes all the upkeep worth it. :0)

I’m feeling lazy today since I spent most of the day outside yesterday cleaning out and pruning the plants in our planters. I finished all in the front yard – we have 11 in all (eight 8 foot brick planters and 3 of assorted sizes), plus the planters on the deck yesterday. I’m a bit long in the tooth for that much work, but we had an 80% chance of rain today (and the forecasters were correct), and my body is in protest mode today.

Now that the project for the day is finished, I’m going to go do some yoga to see if I can get stretched out again.

Otherwise, friends (Lunch Bunch) followed by food and football!

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Filed under exercise, Family, Lewis projects

End of the Kitchen Drawer Project

Well, I threw away things, put extra supplies in the pantry, and reorganized the rest, having the things I use most often easily accessible now.

Our driveway beeper went off just before I took these pics. It was our wonderful Tri-Hill bug guy, on a follow-up trip to treat the outside of the house that he couldn’t do due to rain when he treated the inside recently. I found out that his last work day this week is today, and he has until Tuesday morning off!

While we were talking, I again noticed a BUNCH of frozen, dead foliage around the porch and in the planters, plus a gazillion dead ladybugs on the front porch. I was embarrassed that our outside was such a mess, so I’ll put in some time out there this afternoon. I’ll get rid of the poor ladybugs, cut down the dead stuff, and maybe get started on the leaves all over the front yard. I want to make mulch for the flower beds. If they’re dry enough, I might get started on that today…

I hope that YOU are having a wonderful last-day-before-Thanksgiving, too!

 

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Sand/Water Blasting and Bulldozing…

Sun Sentinel

Actually, although I DO sandblasting on glassware and tools in the shop, and water blasting on the deck, concrete, and more, I am using the kitchen sink and cleaners for today’s project of scrubbing out all our trash containers, putting in trashcan liners (as I SHOULD have long ago) and putting things back together.

I’m getting several messages from this project –

  • I’m spending much of the day doing something I COULD have avoided if I had put trashcan liners in all the containers when they were clean, umpteen years ago
  • Scrubbing out trash cans is a LOT of work
  • Putting the clean trash cans with fresh liners back gives me good exercise – particularly the ones that belong upstairs
  • We have a LOT of trash cans! Since I’m scrubbing them all, I’m counting – and we have 21 trash cans inside this house!

I have SIX remaining to scrub, line, and put back.

If I still have energy, I’m planning to clean out the double cabinet area under the kitchen sink. (Can you imagine – things tend to fall out of there whenever I try to get something!)  :0(

With these two projects for the day and my 35 minutes on my elliptical trainer, I can feel good about my activity level today.

amazon.com

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Filed under exercise, Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob, Lewis projects

Sunday’s First Project

World Arts Me

It seems that everywhere I look in my house – or outside, for that matter – many things are calling to me, saying things like, “I’m choking on the dust!” “I’m going to fall all over you the next time you try to get something from this shelf!” “Hellooooooooo! Are you still there?”  “Feed me!” “Clean me!” “Water me!” “Cut me down!”  You get the idea. Most of the time I’m able to ignore things, but every once in a while, I feel guilty and attack something.

  • One day this week I finally cleaned our ceiling fans – we have eight of them inside. (I’m still ignoring the ones in the garage, porch, and deck, and I’m not even THINKING about the ones in the shop.)
  • Yesterday I cleaned the three-window-combo in our dining area, then ended up cleaning other stuff…
  • Today I tackled our “back” bathroom. This one is off our utility room. I use it daily after breakfast to dry my hair, put on makeup, etc. The cats also have their litter box there – in case a need arises and they happen to be inside and no one is reacting to their pleas to go out.

Since this bathroom is right next to the door to the garage, my husband and I put up 2×4’s flat on one wall, then painted them white to match the wall, then put up a gazillion or so hooks to hold our hats, gloves, etc. years ago. Later, we added a couple of short shelves, since the cabinet under the sink is small and we needed more storage space.

Since then, the shelves had become a catch-all for cleaning supplies, paper supplies, make up, an electric razor plus attachments for cutting hair, and more. All were studiously ignored, so there was a layer of dust on the top shelf, and there was so much on my make-up and toilet paper shelf that the things threatened to tumble off onto the floor if I wasn’t really careful when I picked something up.  Cleaning the actual shelf was impossible.

I decided to move a small table with storage under it and a drawer into the bathroom. This has been in our foyer for years and years, acting as a catch-all for books we’re going to donate, clothes we’re giving away but haven’t gotten into big leaf bags yet, and more. Everyone who comes to visit comes through our garage, so we were able to ignore this problem area, too.

 

It may be odd, but I have some wonderful art work by friends in this bathroom, as I get to enjoy them every day this way.

 

This is the sink that has a cabinet under it, but no drawer.

 

This gives you an idea of our storage system for gloves and hats.

 

This is the small table that used to be in the foyer, plus the cats’ box.

 

There is never enough room to store scarves…

 

And here are the infamous shelves whose items were threatening to jump off and dump themselves on the floor. I separated my makeup into things I dash on every day and other things for when I want to get more serious in the bag on the shelf above.  I put the back up stuff in a gallon storage bag, and the everyday stuff on a pretty dish I have. Now I can clean under things quickly. :0)

And why didn’t I do this years ago? One of the big mysteries of life….

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Filed under Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob, Lewis projects, Organizing/DeCluttering

New Greenhouse Experiment

This is the greenhouse my husband and I built last year. I haven’t done anything with it during the summer because no matter what I did, as far as leaving the door open, running the exhaust fan on the other end, running a second fan on the table, it was over 120 degrees F. in there.

 

Now that it’s finally much cooler, I’m going to see if I can get some plants going and see if I can grow them through the winter!

I got a six-pack of Iceberg head lettuce today. I have some tomato plants still in various stages. I’m going to see if I can get some good suckers from them, and get both things started in the greenhouse.

I need to clean things out in there first. The rain comes in underneath, so the floor is pretty awful right now. I want to extend the heavy extension cord from the house to the greenhouse and get the exhaust and extra fan going, and get some pots set up with Mel’s Mix. I need to find my rooting medium and make sure I have plenty of water out there.

THEN I’ll plant the lettuce, and THEN I’ll see if I can find good suckers on the tomato plants. I haven’t a clue what I’m doing, but if reading and enthusiasm will do it, I’m in.

I’ll post progress (?) reports to let you know how things are going. Fingers, and all other appendages crossed!

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Filed under Challenges, Gardening, greenhouse, Healthy Eating, learning new things, Lewis projects, quality of life, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds, Starting - Growing in a Greenhouse

Closet Purge/Reorganization Project Finished

I have now finished going through my closet with my hot weather clothes, all my shoes, purses, scarves, etc. For me, this is good. Before, my shoes were all over the floor, for example. To the right of the shelves you can see my scarves and a hint of my purses.

 

My shoes are actually in the shelves for shoes now!

 

Casual tops are on the top. Dressier (as far as I GET dressier) on the bottom.)

I’ve tried everything on and have brought a LOT of stuff downstairs and dumped it in the foyer corner until I start listing and bagging things for donation to the Veterans Thrift Store in Fort Smith. THAT’S for another day, though.

I’m going to go put my feet up and dive into another book. :0)

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Filed under Challenges, giving, Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob, Lewis projects, Organizing/DeCluttering

Cleaning Out My Closet – Again

Due to the nice fact that I shed one size in jeans due to my efforts with Nutrisystem and exercise, I decided that today was a good day to go through my closet again.

The last time I did a good job was in the fall, so I have a full closet of warm/hot weather type clothing now. I’ve kept some of it because it was too small and “maybe” I could wear it ‘someday.’ I’ve kept other things because they were large enough to fit me.  Other things have just gone back and forth from the guest room closet to my closet and back again several times. I hate to admit that, but it’s true.

This time I’m going through everything thoroughly again, trying everything on and making the decision to keep it or donate it.

The fun part so far was getting rid of some now-too-large jeans and a pair of dress slacks that was new when Methuselah was a baby. (Do you get the idea I usually wear jeans?)  :0)

I brought down a big group of clothes I’m going to donate, but I got hot and tired and decided I would rest a bit and do something else, and then go back up for another session a bit later.

This time I’m not keeping something just because ‘it’s big enough to cover me.’ I’m also looking at the color, style, and deciding if I actually LIKE it or not. Imagine that! It’ll be a while before I can have JUST clothes I like, but little by little, I’m moving toward my goal.

I’m hoping that when I move the warm/hot weather stuff into the guest room closet in a few months and exchange it for the cool/cold weather clothes, I’ll be able to do the try-everything-on again job again and find more things that are actually larger than they need to be.

My goal will be to have a donation ready for The Disabled Vets Thrift Store by the end of next week. I’m also working on another donation for our local library, as well.

I hope you’re having a great Sunday.

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, giving, Lewis projects, Organizing/DeCluttering

The Insanity Continues

coolanimalspics.blogspot.com

Yesterday we had a pop-up shower in the afternoon. Apparently, this energized my husband because the rest of the afternoon into the evening was filled with outside work.

  • He announced that he had unplugged the hummingbird bird bath we made, saying it wasn’t working; no hummingbirds – or ANY birds – used it; and that it was making a mess on the deck. The fact that all of these things were true didn’t help with the disappointment when starting to dismantle it. I took the decorative stuff, bricks and rocks out of it, then unplugged the hose that attached to it. My husband then helped me dismantle the whole thing, saving what was reusable and putting the rest of the stuff into the burn barrel. He started the fire that got rid of the rest of the bird bath parts. Meanwhile, I decided to leave the ‘table’ we made for the bird bath and will put a large, low, round planter with saucer on it. I got a bag of potting soil from our stash and wheelbarrowed it over to the steps of the deck. I heaved the bag out onto a step and was bringing the wheelbarrow back to its place when I saw my husband looking into the trees on one side of our property. (I should have known.)  I continued the bird bath project, intending to trade out the good hose that went to the bird bath for the ratty one that hangs on the bricks beside the nook planter. I wasn’t making any progress, so I went to ask for my husband’s help.
  • He was standing with the chain saw in his hand, wanting ME to come help HIM. There was a tall, dead tree he had decided should come down. I pointed out that the tree would fall on the electric wires that run to the shop. He was unimpressed and undeterred. He was trying to cut a wedge in the tree, but the chainsaw blades seemed to be dull. We spent the next half hour or so changing out the blade and the blade holder in the hot shop. Then we went back out. When the wedge had been cut, I got on the back side of the tree and prepared to push. This came quickly, with the tree coming right down on the wires, but thankfully bouncing off without taking them down.

How is it that the person you love most in the world is also the person you consider killing from time to time?

I was hostile, but he was standing there, looking SMUG, saying, “I told you it wouldn’t be a problem.” This was only the beginning, since we needed to cut the whole tree up and drag it to our growing wood pile that we’ll burn ‘sometime when it’s safer.’ It took us another two hours for my husband to chain saw the tree into pieces and me to drag all the pieces and heave them onto the pile.

We limped back to the house, shed our yucky clothes directly into the washing machine and took showers. It took me a bottle of water, shower, and resting for about an hour before I felt human again.

Needless to say, the bird bath project remains unfinished. I do have plans to use some of the decorative stuff I took out of the bird bath in the aquarium next cleaning. I’ll enlist my husband’s help when we get back from the Breakfast Bunch to help me with the hose and the potting soil for the planter. I hope to plant some pretty flowers in it today.

And GUESS WHAT! – we have MORE rain in the forecast for this afternoon and evening…

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Lunacy

workingtruckworld.com

Recently I told you that we found a wonderful guy who is coming tomorrow afternoon to clean out our gutters, install covers, PLUS give us an estimate for taking down parts of two trees. He’ll have his chainsaw in the back of his vehicle so he can do the tree work while he’s here if we like the estimate.

Yesterday I was sitting in my comfortable chair in the living room reading when I heard a strange sound in the back yard. I looked out to see our truck backed up toward the evergreen tree that has a huge dead place in the middle of it due to the power company clearing things for their lines, cutting stuff down in a really careless way.  My husband was up on a ladder, precariously balanced on the slope that runs down to the actual tree trunk, trying to tie a nylon rope to the dead part of the tree.

I screeched silently, grabbed my sweatband and sunglasses and ran out to the truck. I held onto the ladder while my husband got the line tied. The other end of the line was on the trailer hitch on the back of the truck. Amber was in the back of the truck, looking delighted.

We tried the technique several times before we finally pulled the largest dead branch off the tree. We untied it and rolled the whole branch into the easement behind the evergreen, across from the greenhouse and the ham radio tower. We were then able to use another tool to grab another large piece of dead stuff and pull it down.  We couldn’t get all of the dead stuff, but it looks a lot better than it did.  We’re all still alive and no one was hurt.

We still have the mimosa at the bottom of the driveway that suffered a broken branch. It’s hanging down halfway onto the driveway. I’m picturing the two of us tackling THAT, too, today, ahead of the handyman coming tomorrow.  To do this, my husband will have to stand in the back of the truck and try to use the chain saw on the branch. I’ll be in the truck – positioning it as closely as possible – and then dragging the branches across the road as they’re cut and tossing them down into the ravine on the other side of the road from us.

I’m thinking that this is a pride thing, where it’s better to kill ourselves than have to admit to someone else we’re too old to do it…

Please wish us luck.

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Filed under Challenges, Changes, Housekeeping - Maintenance, Lewis projects

Popeye

We changed our mailbox decoration this morning, taking down the Tazmanian Devil and putting up Popeye.

We really love to make these decorations. We choose the designs together. My husband changes the image into code that our CNC computer-guided torch can understand and follow, cutting out the design from various thicknesses of sheet metal. My husband makes the piece that attaches the decoration to the mailbox with two bolts. He welds it on and smooths out any rough edges.

We wipe down all sides of the front and back with PRE, a spray that removes any oil on the metal and allows the paint to stick better. We then attach the metal piece to a holder in the shop and use a transparency we made and an overhead projector to allow me to mark the bare metal with a magic marker front and back with the design as much as possible. I then paint both sides of the piece and the attachment piece. Finally, the piece is sprayed on both sides with clear protective polyurethane so deterioration will be slowed.

This piece is tall (about 3 feet), so we added a rod vertically to the back before I painted, to keep gusty wind from bending the piece. I try to paint it so that any rods and the attachment piece blend into the design on the back as much as I can.

In the background of this picture, you can see our 6 foot tall robot holding our address sign welcoming visitors, and one of the two owls we have on either side of the driveway. They sit on top of the gate poles. Everyone’s eyes glow as car lights hit them at night. Farther up the driveway is a flying pig hanging down, a guard dog with a rifle, and various other pieces at the top. :0)

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Filed under Art From Found Things, Lewis Art, Lewis Mailbox Decorations, Lewis projects, Lewis yard art, metal art

Hummingbird Birdbath Clean!

With the combination of the occasional rain followed by really hot temperatures, our hummingbird birdbath water decoration became overrun with algae within a few days’ time. It was really awful, so yesterday I took everything out, scrubbed and hosed out the bin, the bricks that sit on the bottom of it, and all the rest of the stuff. I took a tool we made and unclogged the holes in the PVC pipe that runs the length of the bin, providing the spray. I brought a lot of stuff inside and scrubbed it in the kitchen sink with a variety of things that finally got everything looking pretty good again.

Then I felt under the weather most of the day, so I didn’t put the things back out. I did that a few minutes ago. I had to clean out the PVC holes again, but everything else looked much better.

We have a trash can on the deck under the bin and a pump in the bottom of it. This recycles the water. We have a garden hose hooked up to the pump. When the water goes below a certain level, the pump allows the hose to fill the trash can to the proper level again.

 

We made this because I saw a really pretty design on Facebook. Of course, we couldn’t really replicate that, so we did the best we could with what we had. Ours is deeper than the one on Facebook, so I put bricks and rocks in the bin for the hummingbirds to sit on while they bathe.

 

Last year we didn’t see any takers, but we’re again hopeful that the birds will find this cooling and fun. Even if they don’t, the water makes a beautiful, relaxing sound that WE can enjoy when our doors are open or we’re sitting on the deck.  I’m happy that everything is clean now and invite all birds in the area to come and take a bath!

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Ammo and Clothes Washer Pump

We order lots of things online, but we don’t usually get such an interesting combination in one delivery. Today the Fedex guy delivered 9mm ammunition and a replacement pump for our clothes washer.  Amber greeted him in the driveway having just gotten out of her pool. She jumped into the truck with him, making him laugh, even though she was dripping copiously.

We got a really good deal on 1000 rounds of 9mm ammo.

 

We didn’t get a great deal on the replacement clothes washer pump, but we needed it. Our washer has been sending us terse messages for the past couple of weeks saying it was unhappy. We got an “F02” which meant we should check the drain hose to see if were kinked or clogged, and a “SUD” which indicated that there were still suds in the rinse water.

We made sure the hose was fine. I figured out how to go ahead and use the washer, bypassing the error messages until the new pump arrived. It was delivered this morning, so when we got home from Lunch Bunch, we tackled replacing the pump. My husband found a video online that showed him at least the idea of what was required and how to attack it. In half an hour, he had the old pump off and the new pump on.

The old pump had a long screw and a penny in there which my husband thinks caused the clog to form. We don’t know when that happened, but the washer and dryer combo are 13 years old. We really don’t know how the washer was able to function at ALL with as much ‘stuff’ as it had in it. The washer is running happily now, free of clogs. It’s GOOD to have a husband who is good at diagnosing and fixing things.

Now I won’t have to shoot him with my new ammo! :0)

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Insurance Project

woodtrekker.blogspot.com

I’m “slogging my way through deep snow,” trying to build the mother of spreadsheets, trying to list each thing we own (item name, when we bought it, what we paid, etc., plus trying to make sure that the pictures we have on the DVD we burn for our insurance agent is correct and complete.

So far, I’m in my art room. I discovered the pics of the actual room was really outdated, taken before I purged, cleaned, and reorganized. So I’ve taken new pics I’ll go through today, making sure that every I CAN list (there is really no way to list all the gazillion art supplies I have) and that the spreadsheet is as complete as I can make it.

This is really an awful project, so I try to do a bit each day, working in one room at a time.

My husband says we’ll never need this. Our agent says that if we DO need it, the first thing the company will ask for is a complete list (as I’m trying to do now) written in our handwriting (which I’m NOT doing).

I figure we

  • won’t need it
  • MAY need it, but it won’t be finished,
  • I’ll die of old age before I can finish it

If I DO finish it, I’ll print it and put the spreadsheet (all million pages of it) in our safe deposit box.

Slogging through the snow, I go, “Hi, HO…..”

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Lewis projects

Hummingbird Bird Bath is UP!

Last year I saw the prettiest picture on Facebook of a hummingbird bird bath. This one is very different from the one we saw, but we enjoyed putting our spin on the idea.

This tub has a hole in the center where the water can come in. We have a trashcan under it with a pump. The system is set up to recycle the water, only using more water if the level in the trashcan goes down below a certain point, at which time the hose automatically turns on to add the needed amount. The PVC pipe is drilled with holes to make the spray.  The system is on a timer, so it starts up at about 8 am and turns off at about 8:30 pm.

 

I put bricks and stones in the bottom to be at a level where hummingbirds can sit or stand. They can play in the water, then warm up and dry off on the rocks. For some reason, we didn’t have a lot of hummingbirds visiting our deck, even though we had several feeders out and then built the bird bath.  I like the bird bath enough, though, if only for the calming sound of the water, to make it well worth the effort – whether the hummingbirds like it or not. :0)

I’ll put out feeders this morning, just in case we have some hummers around.

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Filed under Arkansas, Greenwood, Lewis projects

Project Refurb Continues

I always walk around the yard while taking the doggies out. Lately I’ve been deciding which of our yard art pieces need refurbishing, like the gloves, bow tie, and bandana on the two robots in the previous post. I thought you might enjoy seeing a few of the pieces I looked at today –

I call this critter the “Crow.” I like him because of his simplicity. He is attached to a big boulder to the side of our driveway, watching all comers.

 

We found a picture on the net and did our best to make one similar. “Dog with Bone” has a moveable tail and moveable head, so you can ‘face’ him any way you want. He has a spot where the paint is peeling on the left end of his bone, but I think I’ll let that go for now.

 

A group of emus is called a ‘mob.’ We have these four just off the driveway and two more on our back deck. They need their faces washed, but I think that’s all.  You can also see part of our “watermelon” propane tank in the background on the top left of the picture. :0)

 

This is our flying pig. He hangs from a sturdy line from a tree in the driveway. He turns and twists in the breeze. He’ll probably have to fall down for me to refurb him. He’s too hard to get up there!

 

This is the gazing ball I covered with a mosaic design a couple of years ago. It needs a good scrubbing with a brush, but it looks okay, otherwise.

 

 

Our “Guard Dog” is bolted to the big boulder on the other side of our driveway. He is made entirely of cut out metal, wire, some tubing, and ball bearings for his toes.

 

“Mama and Baby Snail” are made from rolled up strap metal and some beads for eyes.  I think they mainly need washing.

 

The “Peacock” has lost a lot of his flat beads from the spokes the make up his tail feathers. I’ll try to find the beads, or replacements for those.

 

The “Pop-a-Doo” Bird seems to be holding up pretty well. I spray him heavily with wasp spray, as they like to nest around his neck for some strange reason. His beak needs a good scrub.

 

I may need to paint the shovel part of this shovel bird this year after a good scrub. The birds like to eat seeds off his back.

 

 

The “Sitting Bird” needs some paint on his legs, as well as a repaint of his chest, plus a good cleaning first. I’m going to put a rod in the planter so that I can sit him on the corner of the planter behind the rod. He tends to blow over in a hard wind.

 

This wonderful stone turtle is from a Mexican treasures shop in Van Buren, Arkansas. We bought him several years ago. He was plain, without eyes or any coloring on his shell. You can see he needs a good cleaning and a refurb of the paint on his shell.

 

The turkey just needs a good scrub.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the partial tour of the ‘stuff’ we’ve made. You can see that I have a lot of work ahead of me.

Our “box turtle” is in the shop now. His eyes were falling off and his paint is peeling. I’m going to start on him next.

 

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Filed under Lewis Art, Lewis projects, Lewis yard art, project refurb

It’s Coming Together Now

The mailbox decoration comes from an image we found on the net. My husband did his magic, writing code so that the computer recognizes the drawing and can replicate it. We cut it out with the computer-guided torch on the CNC table in the shop.  The above is what the decoration looks like when we separate the cut part from the sheet of metal on the table.

My husband makes apiece that will allow us to bolt the decoration onto the mailbox and welds the two together.

We then attach the piece to a ‘holder’ so that we can use a transparency of the design and sharpies to mark the metal with the inner design so that I can paint it.

This is what the decoration looks like when it’s ready for me to paint. You can see where the attachment bar is welded onto the design across the bottom. I paint the back of the piece first so that I can work out any problems. The picture above is actually the front of the design. I finished painting the back a couple of days ago. I turned it over yesterday and “color blocked” the front. (I say “color blocked” because it looks really bad when I do the first coat. I’m mainly just marking where each color goes. The paint doesn’t stick well or show up well on the bare metal. On the first decoration we did, I almost gave up at this point because it looked so awful. Thank goodness I discovered that this is the way it is when one paints on metal.

This is the back of the piece I finished yesterday. I’ll work on the second coat on the front today, and then probably finish it up tomorrow.

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Filed under Lewis Art, Lewis Mailbox Decorations, Lewis projects, metal art

Working on the New Mailbox Decoration

Kurt Vonnegut via CrafterHours via Cathy Ruggiero

I’m taking this quote to heart as I work in the shop on the new mailbox decoration for December.

This is the decoration we THOUGHT we had already made, but hadn’t. We went out to the shop at the beginning of the month last December, only to NOT find the decoration! This is along the same line as being able to hide our own Easter eggs…..

I almost have the back of the piece finished. I have some accents to add and then when it’s dry, I’ll turn it over and start on the front. I’ll take a picture before I begin painting the front so you see what is done to ‘mark a piece’ using the overhead projector.

Right now the weather is really nice here, with bright sunshine. This won’t last, though, as the forecast is, “Saturday:  Showers and storms will arrive mainly after sunset lasting until midnight.” This is bringing a strong cold front that may bring sleet and snow to NW Arkansas tomorrow, but will just bring US a cold, wet, Easter morning with temperatures decreasing during the day….

I hope you’re having a wonderful Saturday.

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Filed under Lewis Art, Lewis Mailbox Decorations, Lewis projects, metal art

New Christmas Mailbox Decoration in the Works

 

 

We found this cute drawing on the net and decided to use our CNC setup in the shop to cut it out for a mailbox decoration next December.  My husband did his magic, generating the G-code the computer uses to guide the torch on the cutting table to cut out the design from a sheet of metal. The piece is about three feet wide and about 2-1/2 feet tall.

 

We used an overhead project and a color transparency to mark the piece. I’m starting to paint it now. I’m doing the back side of the piece first to work out any problems. The first code I call ‘color blocking’ because the first coat on metal is so awful that it only serves to mark the areas as particular colors. The second coat enables you to finally see the design well and then put accents on.

I did the first coat on the back side yesterday. Today I’ll try to do the second coat. I’ll take some progress pictures and post them.

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Latest Mailbox Decoration Progress

In December last year, we discovered that my husband and I shared a ‘senior moment,’ with both of us thinking we had created a new mailbox decoration for the Christmas season. We looked in the hanging bar where we keep all of our mailbox decorations, but it wasn’t there. We looked laboriously all over the shop, thinking maybe we had started it, but hadn’t finished it. Nope. Nada.

After finally admitting we were definitely losing it, we started over. My husband used the reference picture we got from the net and generated the computer code that tells the torch what to cut.

Yesterday afternoon he made the piece we use to attach the piece to the mailbox and got it welded to this. We attached the piece to our stand with a huge clamp, then used the overhead projector to mark the piece on both sides. It is now ready for me to paint.

I always start with the back, making decisions and working out any problems there before I turn it over and paint the front. I’ll post progress pics as the piece is painted.

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The Robot is Back Up!

We built this robot several years ago and placed him at the bottom of our driveway to welcome visitors by doffing his hat and tell people our address. We put a chain around his neck and attached him to one side of the pull-down gate so he wouldn’t topple. He weighs around 200 lbs., so it’ no easy thing to work with him.

As I told you yesterday, the latest gusty winds blew him down. We could only see his feet sticking up at the edge of the driveway. The land slopes really steeply there, so there isn’t much place to stand securely, put a ladder up, etc. I was really dreading trying to put him up today. The last time we had to do it (the only other time he has fallen) I was really afraid one or both of us would end up in real trouble.

Today we used a come-along

to help pull him up the hill and over onto the driveway again. From there, we were able to get on both sides of him and boost him up onto his pad again. I encouraged my husband to think of something more we could do to keep this from happening again. We’re getting a bit long-in-the-tooth around here, and if we can keep from having do to things like this, we might manage to stay in one piece longer. We talked about it, deciding to add another length of chain – this one running from his neck to the tree down closer to the road.

My husband re-welded the top of his hat on, and we put the arm with the hat in the back of the truck. We had already put his head in the truck because it’s too heavy to try to lift it over your head and fit it into the hole on top. We got some chain and some couplings at the hardware store. After lunch we loaded a ladder in the back, put Amber in the back seat, and went down to the bottom of the driveway. It was easy to attach the second length of chain. The robot can LEAN off the driveway to the right if we get a high enough gusty wind, but we thing that’s ALL he’ll do. We can easily pull him up from that. My husband wedged the ladder down the slope against a tree, and climbed up. I handed the heavy head to him and he was able to drop it into the neck hole, and then we did the same with the arm holding the hat.

He is now again welcoming visitors to the Lewises!

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The Art Room Reorganization Project is Finished!

BEFORE:

To refresh your memory a bit, this what my art room looked like before the purge/clean-up/reorganizing. This had gotten to the point there was hardly anywhere to sit down and no clear surface on which to work. Finding something was an awful prospect. NINE+ 39-gallon leaf bags of donation and FIVE 39-gallon leaf bags of trash later, things look a bit better.

HALLWAY OUTSIDE ART ROOM:

The shelves on the left WERE full of art supplies – glassware, gourds….. Now this is where quilts, Afghans, comforters, etc. are stored. The super-large Ziploc bags will keep the dust off and you can see what’s what. The fabric curtain at the right of the picture keeps dust off sheets, etc.

ART ROOM CLOSET:

This is a combination gift wrapping center, some finished artwork and mainly paint. This is also the entrance to our attic; hence, the ladder.

 

 

MAIN ART ROOM:

This area is set up for drawing (I’m trying to work my way through “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain”) and the use of alcohol inks – a fun, messy art form I’m really enjoying.

 

This is my drafting table that was completely buried in the before pics. I paint note cards, thank you notes, stationery, etc. here. The drafting table is protected by a sheet of black and white vinyl, and then there is a thick piece of glass on which I put the work to paint.

 

This is the area where I tie ribbon on my stationery and note cards. I also do a bit of jewelry making.

 

Paper supplies, craft envelopes, etc.

 

I HOPE that you can see a difference. It will never be completely ‘tidy,’ because this is my play room. I could stack things neatly and finally have it ready for some enterprising person to photograph it for a magazine (in my dreams) but then I wouldn’t want to go in here because I didn’t want to mess it up. :0)

Now I feel free to go up there in the next few days and get started with a new idea I have for a line of stationery, note cards, thank you notes, and greeting cards. I’ve been dreaming about it for a couple of weeks now, so I’m itching to get started!

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Challenges, Changes, Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob, Lewis projects, Organizing/DeCluttering

Treasure is in the Eye of the Beholder

National Treasure Film Set-Wikipedia

Somehow the ancient, old, chaotic feel of this photo reminds me of my art room right now. I’ve pretty much finished gathering things for donation, though I’ve started another bag. I’m down to the nitty-gritty of going through things carefully, getting ruthless about whether I actually plan to USE whatever it is, and then deciding its fate.

This is harder because I’m finding lots of things, like pictures torn from magazines, that get my juices flowing. I’ve decided to pare these down to about 1/4 or less of what I currently have. I’ll make files of what I keep so that I might actually be able to find them later.

I’m finding ‘treasures’ though – things I’ve had for years that have been buried. I’m loving this – but the finding of wonderful things makes it harder to make significant progress on my efforts to purge/give away/throw away/clean and reorganize.

I did finally uncover a chair, so I can sit in the middle of the chaos and go through things. I put in two sessions yesterday and will do at least that much today. I’m hoping to be able to share pics with you soon.

In the meantime, who knows what treasures I’ll find today!

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Challenges, Changes, Delightful Surprises, Favorite Things, Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob, Lewis projects, Organizing/DeCluttering

Hahahahahahahahahaha!

Garrett’s Moving & Storage

This isn’t my art room, but I guess it COULD be.  My husband came in last night, hoping to see a good amount of progress. However, this is one of those projects that looks worse until it’s completely finished.  He looked shocked, and then, trying to say something tactful, managed, “I guess it’s got to look like an explosion to show you’re doing something.” (He’s sill alive, so I guess it worked.)

I’ve centralized our quilts and comforters storage, pulling things from our bedroom, the guest room, and two cedar chests. I should finish the reorganization of my linen closet area in the hallway today. I’m reorganizing the art room closet, as well as the main room, so things that come out of there are going

  • into a donation bag
  • into the trash
  • onto a table in the main room until I make a place to put it

I also took everything out of a drawer in the drafting table. I was looking for a key for the cedar chest under an art room table. I didn’t find one, but when things go back in the drawer, it’ll be much nicer. :0)  It turned out that I didn’t NEED the key for the cedar chest! I pulled it out laboriously (the thing really seems to weigh a TON). I found that you push IN the area of the keyhole and lift up on the lid at the same time. Wallah! It was filled with ‘stuff’ of all types. UGH. It is now empty, pushed back under the art room table, with a FEW large things that need to be flat on top – at least for the moment.

The plans are to bring the bags of trash down to be put out tomorrow night, AND to bring down the donation bags that we’re planning to take to the Veterans Thrift Store Monday or Tuesday.  Those two things will clear the decks for more rearranging of the stuff remaining in the room….

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Filed under Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob, Lewis projects, Organizing/DeCluttering

The Welding Lathe Project is Finished!

My husband finished his project of building a ‘welding lathe” this morning! He used plans he bought on the net. Of course, he made changes to the plans to make this more workable for him. He’s sending pics to the man who made the plans, showing him what he did differently.

The purpose of this tool is to make many welding projects easier. Usually, you spent half the time or more moving the pieces you’re trying to weld around, making sure they’re touching in the right spots, and that you can reach the spots you’re trying to weld together. You do a bit and then you have to take it all apart, move the pieces to weld another area, turn it over, and so on, until the two pieces are welded. With this tool, you put the pieces in, latching them together the way you want the two pieces to be welded. There is a motor in this tool that moves the piece at the speed you set, so that you can continue to weld the whole piece without having to change anything. There are vertical and upright settings, so you can easily flip the piece over and then start the motor and continue to weld.

My husband likes things to be moveable, so he added the extra angle iron at the bottom, attached casters with breaks and a plywood ‘shelf’ to hold things. He also added the coiled up tubing so that he can be grounded while he works. A handle he added will allow him to steer the tool, moving it anywhere he likes. He added an ‘arm rest’ so that he can prop up his welding arm while he works, adding accuracy for a smoother weld and keeps his arm from tiring.

This is the nice face plate he ordered for installation of the control buttons and display .

He attaches the pieces to be welded to the top of the chuck.

The red handle connects to a rod that determines the attitude of the tool. You can weld the pieces in the upright position, and then pull out the red handled rod in order to move the whole top into a horizontal position to continue welding.

The blue handle with the black gripper is the handle for moving the whole tool to a different spot. The unpainted rod that comes up vertically and then has square tubing welded to it is his arm rest.

He thinks he’ll use the new tool for about half of the welding he does. This tool usually costs about $1,000. He built it for around $400.

 

 

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And the Rains Came….

We are FINALLY getting some nice rain. It rained a bit during the day yesterday, and again last night. We have a 90% chance of more rain today, and really good chances through Saturday! In fact, some are estimating we may get 3 to 4 inches by the end of the week. Woo HOOOO! Hopefully, this will go a long way to solving our drought problems.

Meanwhile, I told you that we have two 8 foot brick planters along the front of our house that are falling apart as we watch. With all the rain, we will have to wait to empty the planters, pile up the soil somewhere and knock down the bricks of each planter – down to the concrete pad under it. The nice lady at the brick place just called, though, and said the truck with the bricks should be here before lunch time. We figured out the best place for the guy to put the groups of bricks with a fork lift. Our next step – other than breaking down the planters, is finding a good, affordable brick layer. We’ll ask at our local hardware store to see if they know someone.

 

hairbrainedschemes-etsy.com

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Filed under Lewis projects, Mother Nature