May 31, 2011

How to Grow Your Own Pineapple Plant

My aunt and my friend Barbara's son-Danny have been growing these for years.  They both have HUGE pineapple plants, trees, I'm not sure what they are actually called.  I've successfully planted two (that have grown).  One even grew a baby pineapple (before I killed it by leaving it outside too long in the fall and it froze).

SO here goes with growing your own pineapple plant/tree.......

First, buy a yummy pineapple.


This one was so ripe and delicious!

Next, chop off the top of the pineapple.  This is the tough part, if there is one.  You don't want to cut it off too thick or to thin.  A nice slice around 1/2 inch thick is about right.

Hubby is not a great photog.  He waits until I'm totally not expecting it. And, I'm not sure why it looks like I have something on the back of my neck.

Slice off the top of the pineapple.

I finished trimming the sides.  Still have a little work to do cleaning it up.  This pineapple was so sweet and delicious I didn't want to waste any of it so I cut out all the little brown things as I sliced it into rings (I'm really using technical terminology on this post, aren't I?).

I found a small pot I had spray painted silver for some reason, and filled it 3/4 up with potting soil.


Placed the pineapple top down flat into the potting soil and used a little more dirt to cover the top.

The key to growing these well is to keep them watered and re-potting when necessary. 
They will get large so you have to adjust the pots accordingly.  That, and store them inside in the winter unless you live somewhere that's isn't FREEZING like it is here. 


I placed a ziploc bag torn up one side on top of my plant to help keep in moisture (a tip from my wonderful Aunt Melanie-the expert grower of pineapples).  They need to be kept moist. I placed the pot in a clear water collection pan so it could keep any drained water there for it to soak up.  Place it somewhere sunny and wait for it to start growing.  It should begin to grow from the middle of the plant.  Don't worry if some of the outside leaves turn brown.  You can look down inside and see new ones forming.  Also, I always water mine by pouring the water through the middle of the plant and it spreads out evenly. 


Hopefully one day it will look like this:




Ananas Cosmos
Courtesey: Plants for Presents



I shared this post with several link parties on my page as well as:
http://www.betweennapsontheporch.blogspot.com/

May 30, 2011

Seriously? All in One Day...Seriously??

I'm feeling two posts coming on today so be prepared.  Hopefully this one will be the only ranting one. 

But, what else could go wrong in one day (I should probably never ask that question)?

First off, I'm borrowing my dad's car for awhile (long story).  The power steering has been making scrubbing noises lately so I have to add fluid every few days.  And, it has no A/C.  It was around 90 degrees here yesterday (at least 100 in the sweltering car).  After I had driven about 10 miles, I looked down to see that I was going 0-mph.  I freaked out and called hubby to ask him if the car was safe to drive/could be connected to power steering, etc.  He said "what choice do you have, I think it's fine."  So, I kept going.  After about 5 more miles I look down and the switch FLEW from 0 to 95!  At the same time I was getting passed by an 85 year old woman in a minivan.  I was NOT going 95.  They gauge stayed on 95 until I reached the office.
I parked under a nice shady tree hoping the car would be cooler when my appt. was over.  I rolled each window down about 1 1/2 inches.  I got out of the car and the entire back of my shirt was dripping with sweat.  It was green so it just looked soaking wet.  Not to mention the rest of me. Make-up smeared all over my face, you get the picture.  All the while looking forward to telling them the great news once I got inside.  Thank God for me my doctor is super cool and told me to "Stop being silly, its no big deal".  : )  Now it's over for the year!

I leave the office and head home.  Still, hot as Haiti's-get in the car and head home.  You see, a month or so ago the drivers window stopped rolling up.  I took it to my grandfather and uncle who are mechanics.  They searched part dealers across the whole US of A and found ONE part to fix the window.  My grandfather said:  "Don't break the other side because I that's the only part like that in the world."

I got home, pulled in the driveway flying....dreaming of unlocking to door and standing naked in front of the window A/C unit for about 10 minutes.  Put the car in park, pulled the break, rolled up my window, pushed the button to roll up the passenger window, glanced over to make sure it was up-nothing.  I thought, okay....I'll reach over and use the button on the other door, must be the button....nothing.   No clicking, no rolling up.  The only thing I could think was not again!  So I went inside dripping with sweat and sat in front of the A/C totally frustrated.

Hubby got home, took the panel off and tried to fix it but couldn't. SO what do you think happened next?  That's right, this:
                                                                 
We had to hurry up put the panel back on the door and pull it under the carport.  I then proceeded to duct tape and wrap the door in plastic thinking I could water proof it enough to drive to work on Friday.  FORGET it.  Although I had wrapped that sucker up like a diaper on a baby it was just dripping in directly on the seat.  Then, Friday night I was waiting to turn on the news and see some crazy guy building an ark.  Finally yesterday the rain subsided, the sun came out and it was a muggy hot day.  We were able to get outside and let our dogs play in their pool.  They had a blast. 


For the last few day's I've been bumming rides to and fro.  We dropped the car off at my grandfathers to see what he can do to fix the car window.  He mentioned something about "putting a stick in it to prop it up permanently".  Boy its going to be one hot summer.  ; )  As far as the speedometer, well, I've heard you can get out of a ticket that way. 

May 26, 2011

Beautiful ArtisticLetters at a Knockout Price!

Think this should be my new banner?

Photographer Jodi Gerber of ArtisticLetters has created an entire catalog of black & white letter images throughout the past 3 years – all by taking photos of objects in nature that resembled letters of the alphabet.

She recently decided to offer her images to the scrapbooking world so anyone could create their own designs!   It’s a truly original way to enhance your scrapbooking projects - or even for greeting cards, and digital designs consisting of wedding invitations, graduation announcements, baby’s birth, etc.).  Endless possibilities for whatever the mind can imagine!

Jodi teamed up with me and is offering my readers Exclusive Discounted Pricing of $10 Off!  Please visit her website DigitalScrapDesigns.com  and check out the HUGE catalog of 144 letter images.  The letters are really cool.  Be sure to use Coupon Code:  10DollarsAL to get your whopping $10 discount.  Jodi also has a special right now that includes a set of 12 PNG frames and a “Flower Whispers” paper pack consisting of eight 12 x 12 images that will be included in the letter purchase for free!
It’s a great time to get yourself a set of these truly unique letters!

I'm not a graphic designer by any means, but in just a few minutes I was able to use the ArtisticLetters to come up with these:



In this one, I used the ArtisticLetters and the free frames. 
I love the frame on the side that resembles a film strip.
 
 This one I focused on the ArtisticLetters and well, me of course. : )



This is one of the beautiful Flower Whispers Paper that you get for FREE with letter purchasing.
(Aren't you impressed with my 20lb catfish?)

For this one I used one of the frames that is included in the package. 
It could easily be placed on a scrapbook page.
 Now, head on over to Jodi's website and check out her awesome ArtisticLetters.  Don't forget to use the coupon code: 10DollarsAL to get the $10 off!

May 24, 2011

My Grandmothers Umbrella Holder Made From Barn Wood

If you read my post regarding our family barn that fell, or was falling, then you know we scavenged some wood from it before it was basically GIVEN away.

My grandmother mentioned that she would like a small piece of the wood we collected to make an umbrella rack or holder to go inside her front door.  SO, I decided to make one for her for her birthday day.

I picked out a piece of the wood that looked pretty rustic (not that it all doesn't)  And measured off the size I needed to fit inside her door.  Then I cut the board to size with the skill saw.



I went to Lowes and picked up some hooks.  I got the doubles so she could hang the umbrellas on the bottom and maybe hats or coats on the top.  I brushed the board with a wire brush to remove loose dirt and debris.  Then sprayed it with a thin coat of polyurethane spray (that stuff is handy!). 

Then I measured out the spacing between the hooks and began screwing them in.



It turned out pretty nice.



Now she has a nice memento from the barn her parents built over 100 years ago. She liked it so much I received the sweetest thank you card in the mail from her a few days later.  : ) 

By the way...my good friend over at Mrs-Adventure is having some pretty awesome giveaways on her awesome blog, so get over there and check it out!  You just might win something cool like the Auric Blends roll on perfumes.  Just click here: Mrs. Adventures-Auric Blend Giveaway.

She is also hosting a giveaway for Equal Exchange Organic, Fair Trade, coffees .  Just go on over to her site and sign up for this giveaway as well.  You might just get lucky!

Or, you can click here to see her giveaway on "Food Should
Taste Good" chip giveaway.  It include an entire case of their chips including sweet potato chips as well as Blue Corn, Multigrain, etc.  Five full sized bags of chips could be yours!




 

May 23, 2011

DIY Reed Diffuser Vases-I'm Such a Copycat

I got a catalog in the mail from one of those big candle companies.  They have begun selling reed diffusers that look like a vase of fresh flowers rather than just a jar with wooden sticks.


Because, they were $20 and I KNEW  I could replicate them.  Maybe even make them prettier (theirs appeared to be a little stingy on the flowers-so, I headed to the dollar store.  I found a sweet pea reed diffuser for $4 and picked out two small bunches of flowers.  One was $1 and the other was $3.


First, I popped the blooms off the ends of the plastic stems.  I got some burgundy flowers that resemble peonies and also a bunch of white dogwoods (our state flower).


I thought the plastic ends would fit right onto the wooden reeds but, the openings on the bottoms of the flowers were too small.  I tried gluing them on with the glue gun but that didn't work either.  SO, I took a small kitchen knife and lightly trimmed some off the top of the reeds. 


Ta-da!  They fit right onto the flowers.  (sorry the pictures are so bad.  I was trying to take them myself as I was doing this; almost lost a finger.  ; )



After trimming all the reeds and placing the flowers on the ends I arranged them back in the diffuser scent.  It turned out beautiful!  And, smells even better.  The best part is, I spent $8 rather than $20. : )



Go out and make yourself a nice vase of flowers that will smell great for months!

I'm linking this project up to several of the link parties on my page as well as:

http://www.betweennapsontheporch.blogspot.com/

May 20, 2011

It's My Mom's Birthday So Guess What I Made her..yep, a Pallet Chair

Happy Birthday Mom (If you really even READ my blog)!!!

I decided to make her pallet chair for her birthday to go outside her shop where she does pet grooming and boarding.  She breeds teacup poodles and is a professional groomer.  There are constantly customers in and out so this would give them a nice spot to sit out on her patio.  Or, for her to take a break in between mutts (just kidding, they are all great dogs I'm sure; except for those few who have bitten her....mutts). 

I made this chair the same way I did the original pallet chair, with a few minor improvements here and there.  I added an additional leg in the front for more support.  I also added arms.  Because the pallets I used in this chair were rounded on the corners it gave it an overall better look. And its VERY comfortable. 


Once I had finished the chair (hubby helped with the arms).  I decided to paint it a light color.  I'm not sure what its called because the gallon of paint was on sale and they didn't bother putting the name of the color on the can.  But, it is Olympic Wood Protector for Siding and Fences.  Should be great for the outdoor chair.


It looks like a cafe-au-lait color but lightened some as it dried.  I am planning on putting another coat on this afternoon.  Pray it doesn't rain!!  Then, I am going to paint a poodle on the chair and the name of her shop, kind of jazz it up a little.
 

I hope she likes it!  Luckily I have another day to finish it since my dad took her out of town for the weekend (so sweet).  They celebrated their 40th anniversary this past Christmas eve and are both so special to me.

Wish me luck for free handing again......hope I can draw a decent poodle.  ; )  I'll put up a picture of the final product this weekend.

Just to throw in some cuteness, here is a picture of our new litter of miniature dachshund puppies.  They were three weeks old this past Thursday.  They are just learning to walk and growl.  One of them gets really angry when I pet it...its hilarious!  



P.S.  I still didn't get time to do the project I've been hinting around at.  I PROMISE it will be done this weekend so check back Monday for a really cool and cheap project.  You are going to love it!

UPDATE:  I finished my mom's chair this weekend.  She wanted me to paint it with the words Perfect Poodle Pets which is her website as well as some poodles.  I'm not real good at free hand but, this is what i came up wtih.  She loved it. 





May 19, 2011

What a strange night. This was NOT the post I had hoped for.

I really wanted to go home and do a small project I have been thinking about for months.  One stop at the Dollar Store (have I mentioned how much I love that place) and I had all the necessary goods to put it together.

Hubby comes home from work as I am unloading my stash of goods, tired from a long day and asks if I will

Hubby:  "Will you go town with me to work on a man's toilet and look at his water heater?"

Me: "Yeay! Sure I would LOVE to go work on a toilet (totally filled with sarcasim).

Hubby: "It won't take long and I need some company and motivatition"

Me: (reluctantly) "ok, I guess I can go"

SO....we drove about 45 minutes to a very upscale neighborhood beside a lake.  Hubby began talking to the man about his plumbing issues and commenced checking pressure on an outside faucet with a guage.  I'm not going to get all technical plumbing on you, but the man's pressure reducing valve was broken and he had to have a new one.  Then we go upstairs and his water heater had leaked, flooded the house and there were dehumidifiers and huge fans everywhere!  The insurance company had already sent in the house drying people (real technical) so they wouldn't have to deal with mold etc. 

There was an ADORABLE little girl there named Eva.  She was four years old.  We played lego's for two hours while Hubby fixed the toilet and her father went to Home Depot for parts we were not expecting to need.  Another hour or so went by and hubby was underneath the house working on the valve.  I was upstairs now talking to the sweet wife and baby girl Amelia (14 months). 

Hubby text'd me and asked to carry tools to him under the house (I HATE SPIDERS).  I was so scared to even crawl back in there in the darkness.  All I could see was his flashlight way far away (like 40 yards; this house was  massive).  I get the tools to him and he continues to work.  After about 20 minutes of stting in the dark at 11:30 he finished the valve. I began crawling out, literally, carrying tools from under the creepy crawl space.  I got to the entrace of the space to climb out into the yard and all I saw were flames.  Their neighbors house was on FIRE!  It was like midnight and it was crackling and popping with huge flames.  The family we were working for hadn't even noticed.  I began yelling for him to come outside and everyone was in shock.

The firetruck came within minutes and had the fire under control.  It apparently was an elderly couple and began in their garage.  They got out safely, thank God. 

Hubby packs up all this tools and goes to turn the water back on to the house to check the valve. He went back underneath and due to the firetruck pumping massive amounts of water next door, it blew the valve off again!!  He is  going back tonight to install a new water heater and valve.  I guess he will then see what the damage was.  I hope not too bad.

We got home around 2am.  After eating dinner...er...breakfast? and showering it was 4am.  Then back up at 7 for work.  I'm EXHAUSTED!

May 17, 2011

Gardening is a pain in the...but you get YUMMY veggies!

This past weekend hubby and I did major planting in our garden.  It is GIGANTIC!  Way too big for two people.  However, we do as much as we can to preserve the food to last all year long. My sweet grandmother has taught me how to can as well given me her secret recipes.  I also got to spend a few day's in the kitchen with her learning, hands on.

Sweet as pie, laughing so hard her eyes are closed. : )

This is our garden.  These are pepper plants.
We planted all kinds of veggies and fruits including:
  • tomatoes
  • 4 different types of pepper
  • eggplant
  • cantaloupe
  • broccoli
  • iceberg lettuce
  • cucumber
  • white cucumber
  • squash
  • zucchini
  • pumpkins (2 types)
  • okra
  • onions
  • green beans
  • Indian corn
  • gourds
  • potatoes
  • eggplant
  • watermelon
  • sweet potatoes
I'm not sure what else we have planted down there but we worked for three days! 

lettuce, eggplants and watermelons

This is me planting tomatoes; I planted about 50 plants.

Stop taking my picture I look like crap and a little cranky.

 
After getting all the tomatoes in the ground, I made a "hill" and planted the watermelon/cantaloupes.  The man at the greenhouse where we purchased the plants recommended that I use the Black Kow on the watermelons.  According to him I will "grow a watermelon tht weighs 50lbs".  We'll see how they turn out.  He has a green thumb to say the least so I don't think mine will get quite that big.  I'm hoping to have at least one that we can eat. 

Hubby planting onion bulbs.

After we completed the planting, we headed to Lowe's (of course, whats a weekend without a trip to Lowes) to pick up a new sprayer.  The sprayer we have, hubby has used to spray weed killer to kill weeds around our dog pens and other areas. So, I wanted a new one to spray fertilizer and fungicide on the tomato plants.  I decided on the Round-Up sprayer.  It was cheap(er) and seemed to be exactly what we needed.


We then came home and fertilized the strawberry raised bed.  The plants seem to be growing well. I hope to have some fresh strawberries in the next few weeks.


Our blueberry bushes are loaded with berries. Yummy cobblers and pancakes coming up!  Mmmmm....


Hopefully our garden will do well this year.  We will be working our butts off to keep it growing well.  Planting seems to always be the fun part.   Keeping it weeded and tillered (is that a word?), not so much.   I will keep you updated on how our garden grows.

Also, my good bloggy friend has an awesome giveaway on her site you should check out.  Mrs. Adventure is giving away a Dolma Fair Trade table runner.  You should check it out at here!


May 16, 2011

How to Grow Upside Down Tomato Plants-Redneck Style

Happy Monday!
This weekend went by too quickly as all of them seem to do.  We got alot accomplished around the house and had some time to work in our garden.  How I love gardening season.

I also made two of my annual "redneck tomato buckets".  All you need is an old five gallon bucket, so dirt, some tomatoes and a small piece of black gardening cloth.  You could even get by with a papertowel. 

Find an old bucket, I'm using two. I cleaned them with some bleach and water to make sure they didn't have any chemicals or anything in them that would hurt me or my plants. 


Then, I decided to first spraypaint my buckets.  I happened to have two cans of gold metallic that I had no idea what I would ever do with....


After two coats of spraypaint...and two big left over gold circles in our driveway (whoops!).  We have THESE:


After they dried I took my new DeWalt Drill (which is AWESOME by the way) with a 3/4" paddle bit and drilled a hole in the center of each bucket.

Disregard ugly attire and boots...it was muddy so I had to wear my Muck boots to the garden.

My drill bit was too small for my plants so I moved it around to make a bigger hole.
After drilling the holes in the bottoms I took a small piece of black gardening cloth and put in the bottom of each bucket.  I made a hole in the center of the cloth where the hole in the bucket was.  This is to help keep moisture and soil in the bucket with the plant.


After the cloth is in place I took my tomato plants out of their cardboard cups and carefully put the plant through the hole in the bottom.  Our basement stairway worked well for this because I could prop the bucket on the side while I worked the plant through the hole (my plants grew a LOT in the week I had them before planting.)
Once I got them through the hole in the bottom I poured it about 1/2 way full of potting soil.  Then I added a few cups of Black Kow fertilizing mixture. It is completely organic, helps retain moisture and nutrients, as well as saving the nutrients until the plant needs it.  This stuff is awesome and "green" -actually its black. ; )


After adding the Black Kow, I added more potting soil until the bucket was about 80% full.
Then it got too dark so I had to finish them the next day.


I hung my buckets up in a tree in our back yard with some hooks I got at Lowes.  I had to use some major nails to get through the bark and hold that much weight without falling.   The next day I took my buckets back down and added some flowers to the top to make it pretty.  Can't do that to one of those "as seen on tv" tomato planters.  I planted flowers that are drought resistant including a vine that will grow down the side and also some other that will get tall and pretty in the center (can't remember names). I used some yellow, white and orange. 


After watering them well, I placed them back on the hooks on the tree.  Hopefully in a month or so I will have tomatoes a few steps from my back door as well as a pretty bucket of flowers. 

The sign kind of takes away from the buckets, but, we mean it.  ; P

So now go make a Redneck Tomato Bucket and enjoy growing your own fresh tomatoes!


UPDATED PHOTOS:  After just one week my plants have taken off!  The flowers are growing great and I already have two baby tomatoes.  : D



 

Also I was FEATURED!!  I'm so happy and greatful to be featured by Megan over at Polish the Stars with my Rock Rug Project.  Thank you Megan!




I'm linking this up with all the parties on my link parties page as well as:
http://www.betweennapsontheporch.blogspot.com/