Rain Barrel And Other Assorted Nonsense

It’s Sunday night and I’m finally able to relax for an hour or two.  Between “work” work and the work I have to do around the house I’m not one to have much free time. This weekend’s focus was on organizing the garage.  We seasoned that endeavor with a few other tid bits, all in the name of progress on the home front.

Friday we traveled out to IKEA in Pittsburg to pick up some of their low-cost home furnishings.  What we got was mostly for Christine’s studio, including stools and a table for the boys to do their crafts on.  I got a nifty stool for my studio as well.  It’s adjustable for height, and generally lower than the seating I currently had in my studio.  I spent this morning assembling all our goodies.  As most people know, IKEA furniture is all knocked down (KD) so assembly is required.  I think its design simplicity, environmental awareness, and low-cost far outweigh the less than high-end finish and robustness.  Would I furnish my whole house with it, probably not but we do have quite a few pieces and we are throughly happy.  That’s all that matters.

I’ve hung most of the art and pictures that we had, throughout the house.  Latest great shout out is for Chuck Wimmer, we have several of his prints; his illustrations are humorous and as well crafted as you’ll ever find. Is good to get his art and many of the other wall decorations up. No household tasks are completely done but many are far enough along that they don’t stress me out as much.

Chuck Wimmer prints are now framed and hung in the kids bedrooms.

Organizing the garage took all day Saturday and we still didn’t get it done.  We have two major problems in the garage. One is we have a ton of windows which tack up usable wall space for storing things.  Secondly we have one entire wall consumed by left over construction materials, including a giant window that we couldn’t use in the house but had bought anyway.  I need to check around and see where I can unload all these building material left overs.  I hate to just throw them out.  I believe Habitat for Humanity might take some of them for free.  The window we’ll just have to live with until we build a freestanding single car garage or who knows what.  If you need a big energy-efficient south-facing window (non-operating) let me know.  If you can haul it I can be persuaded to make you a sweetheart deal.

The garage is far enough  along though that I can find tools and have some breathing room in there which is nice.  We also was all the flower pots in the yard, exercising them of their mouse turds and rif raf.  Today I planted three plants that we moved from our old house.  One is a no name plant that almost died at the old place then miraculously recovered.  Another is an azalea that has always been sickly, even when it was originally planted twelve years ago shortly after our wedding.  Finally are some peonies that came from Christine’s grandma before she passed away.  None of these are in the landscape master plan but I found a spot for them in our future planting beds.  They will look just fine and it will be nice to have old friends around.

Today I set up our rain barrel finally.  We have one random gutter that was draining to the ground so I decided to place our rain barrel underneath it.  I placed the barrel on two sets of cinder blocks to get the barrel 16″ off the ground.  This will allow us to get a watering can under the spigot or hose of the barrel.  For stability I placed two salvaged pieces of granite under the cinder blocks.  By the way I oriented the cinder blocks so we could plant some flowers in their cavities and the lower level could even act as a toad house if the toads are so inclined.

With all the pots I figured I could pick up some potting soil when I got the cinder blocks.  I also got two tomato plants and two pepper plants too.  We won’t have a ton of fruits and veggies from our garden this year but we’ll at least have some.  By the way we stopped at the farmers market on Wednesday and picked up some bread and veggies.  I cut up the veggies and sautéed them in a pan with garlic and olive oil.  I then mixed in some penne pasta and mozzarella cheese.  Was a nice, local, healthy dinner at very little cost.

Now the time has come to get back to working on art.  We have two busy weekends coming up and a lot of art to wrap up for them.

salvaged granite base for our rain barrel. I measured our watering can and figured 16″ height clearance was plenty. I cut back the existing downspout with a hacksaw and tin snips

I used long nose vice grips to crimp the corners of the downspout so I could slip the bottom elbow of downspout over the main part.

sheet metal screws get the downspout whipped back into shape and all assembled.

rain barrel on cinder block stand. We can plant flowers in cinder blocks and lower set can make for a great toad house. To the right is an actual toad house made from a cracked flower pot. To the left is the no name plant from our old house.

veggie pasta

first raspberry of the year from our new plants.

















































This is what happens when finish carpenters use screws that are too long near pocket doors. Now I have to add “get door fixed” to my to do list. As if I have all the time and money in the world to deal with this.

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