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Tell us: What projects have you taken on? What advice can you share?
What projects have you taken on? How have you accomplished tasks by being resourceful with what you have on hand? What advice do you have to help others through similar projects? Share your ideas here and earn 50 AARP Rewards points for participating in this weekly discussion. We also will choose one post as our weekly winning post for an additional prize: a $50 HelloFresh gift card. Click here to see our Rules for participating.
My husband and I have been doing a lot of work in our garden. I joined the Master Gardener program a couple of years ago (which I highly recommend) and I received some plants from the project we were working on. I saved them over the winter in pots and then we planted them this Spring. I put many of my annual or new plants in pots and then put them in my greenhouse or garage and then they survive the Winter. I re-use all of my old plant containers, yogurt containers, and plastic that cannot be recylced and use them for planting seeds and young seedlings. I feel so much better when I can get outside and stay productive.
We have started to go through all of the things in our basement. Creating a huge pile to either donate or list on MarketPlace for sale.
Also, going through cabinets in the kitchen and livingroom. Creating places to store needed items and getting rid of unused things, or toys the girls have outgrown.
I have removed the dead flowers from the flower bed, trimmed the rose bushes, if that's what you would call them. Lined the flowerbed with black bedding plastic to keep from having to weed as often. I have lined the flowerbed with landscaping rocks. When I can I plan to get some colored pebbles to lay in the bed. We are also planning to freshen the paint inside and out very soon.
I've been taking all my old photos and scanning them into the computer (actually, onto an external hard drive). I know I can also save them on the cloud, but then I'd probably need to keep adding more space there and then there's the continual cost. I purchased an external drive with 2T of memory (which have really come down in price) and I know that will hold me for a long time. This helps me to unclutter the house and then to organize the phtos better. I have my parents' photos, my photos, and my husband's family photos. Once you get into the swing of it, it goes much faster. I also know places like Staples does this too, but I would still need to go through them first and doing it myself, I can see which I still want and which can be tossed (for instance, if they are old vacation photos that were never identified, I have no idea what mountain range I'm looking at, so unless there is something about the photography itself I like, it gets tossed).
Just sold our home (hooray). Now placing pictures/photos around our new apartment. We cut out the exact size of wrapping paper, position it on the wall. Then we mount the picture/photo on top of the paper (which has the wall hanger correctly mounted), and pull the paper off. Ahhh. Perfect.
Fixing the grout between my kitchen tiles. They bother me when I see them; there will never be a better time to fix them.
Mix up a batch of grout in an old pie tin. I apply it with a paint scraper.Let it sit for a day or two and clean the edges.
Glad I did it.
When I retired last year I never thought the rest of the world was going to stay at home. I love to enter sweepstakes, so while having my coffee in the morning I do my contest. Afternoons I walk. On weekends my husband and I do things we have been wanting to do with the house and just never seem to have time. We presently have removed the dead bushes in front and fixing that area up. We remodeled out walk-in closet. (WOW what items we found) We have several other projects we plan to do. Keeping busy is the key.
I've started a garden of vegetables and flowers. I've sowed some seeds inside under lights, some are in my little green house and some I winter sowed in milk jugs that just sit outside and do their thing until ready to transplant. I've started transplanting some of the cooler weather vegetables and will start transplanting the warmer weather plants over the next few weeks.
In addition I've been building trellises for my garden using what I have and what I have are lots and lots of sticks. I have built several of them and today I built one for my grape vine. It's fun, therapeutic, good exercise, fresh air, and sunshine (mostly).
Also, I have been taking classes online to learn more about gardening and permaculture as well as a few other related subjects.
ADVICE: I'm new to this, so my advice would be "Just Start". If it fails, learn from it and try again. Even seasoned Gardeners don't always have success and are always learning, so just start and have Fun!
I'm trying to perfect my bread making, so I have been taking classes and doing a lot of reading online and of course baking; lots and lots of baking. I am mostly making sourdough right now, but I also make other types of bread as well. I love to bake and fresh homemade bread is so good. Same advice as gardening, just start and keep trying until you get it. I can make a perfect loaf one day and the next day it may not be as good or just not good at all, but I try to figure out why and learn from it. Don't be afraid to try and to experiment. Wonderful tasty things can happen when you do!
We've set up a few bird feeders with seeds as well as hummer feeders filled with nectar for the hummingbirds. We now have a large variety of birds and squirrels visiting the feeders and surrounding the property. I love to watch and Photograph them as well as all the flowers springing to life. The next project is to come up with a bird bath for them as well. My advice: If you put out a bird feeder, make sure it has a squirrel guard, so they can't climb up to the feeder. They will get plenty of seeds on the ground. Make your own hummer nectar, it's easy. 1/2 Cup sugar mixed into 2 Cups boiling water. Let cool. Do Not use red dye. It's not good for them. Enjoy!
Learning to paint art tissue paper like Eric Carle. Next step is making pics for the grands! Wish I had flat drawers to store my different color sheets. Such fun reading his books to the grands, just like to their moms w/ a few new ones I thought the grands just NEEDED!
Where do I start? I was going to paint a couple of rooms, repair some deck boards, and get a head start on the summer garden, tomato's, peppers, etc. But, I live in Michigan and our wonderful governor stopped it all. Went to Home Depot, paint and supplies were roped off, could not purchase paint or lumber. Cannot even go out on the lake fishing in my boat. Tried the local farm, could not get plants, they were closed! Ah, but I could go to the store and get lottery, liquor, and down to the pot store, stand in a long line for weed. I guess rather than be productive in my state I can only get drunk and high.
I have scraped all the wallpaper off in my kitchen, dining room, living room and one bedroom in my home. One wall or section at a time, taking a rest between days of scraping and cleaning up the mess, what a job. I hope to get my home painted before I sell it and move to an apartment.
It was perfect timing for spring cleaning and I felt so good after taking down my curtains, cleaning windowsills, and putting fresh ones back up! I won a box of eraser sponges from a site called Top Hatter and used one to finally get the deisel & coal stove spots off the roof of my car (they don't just wash or scrub off!) I've also been going through things to cull out items to sell or donate as things open back up. With the extra time at home, I've been keeping up better with daily cleaning tasks as well. Used to be so diligent but my disabilities challenge me to do tasks that were once much easier for me.
The foster cat I have is really enjoying the extra time & attention, too. She's over 10 yrs old, seems to be deaf and takes picky eating to the extreme, but she's cuddly & very playful, especially when a catnip mouse is involved!
Although I've missed activities at the Senior Center, it has been easier for me, as a retired person, to cope with the stay-at-home guidelines than it must be for those with lost jobs & families to support. I've spent lots of time online staying connected with people & causes that I care about. The one thing I haven't gotten around to is reading some of the books I've been planning to - lol.
I have been baking from my past card version of recipes. The one's passed down by families and friends. When I am baking these great oldies, it brings happiness to my face. Then I make sure to double up on the recipe, so that when I go for my walks, I bring along these baked goodies to share. That way I can share the happiness with others, to spread the joy among my neighbors and the people that have to work to assist us in these days! To me it's a way to give them a hug or just a kind gesture that will lift their spirits. It's simple and a small gesture, but it makes me smile even more than cooking them. To know that I could bring some happiness to them!
The project I have been spending the most time on is weeding the back yard out. I never put a lawn in 32 years ago when I bought this house new. It did not include a lawn in the backyard & I noticed a lot of purple lupin growing inthe yard. I take out the other weeds & leave the lupin to seed the yard during the next wildflower season. I've also made sure I work in the early morning or late in the day. I have a lot of lady bugs, honey bees & bumble bees visiting me while I am working in the back yard. We have been talking about having a BBQ with the hibasti filled with coals. To start the fire I have been saving lint from the dryer in a plastic bag to use as a fire starter for the coals. Worked great earlier this year on a camping trip.
I purchased a wooden footstool from a second hand store months ago and stuck it in the back of a closet because it needed to be recovered. I finally found the time to go and pick out the fabric and then took the stool apart so I could staple the new fabric on the top. WOW! What a difference it made and now I have a useful piece of furniture for my living room instead of something clutttering up my closet.
I have been de-cluttering like most people I'm sure, but the down side is you can't donate anything right now. I'm a big jigsaw puzzle fan, and over the years, some puzzles have lost pieces etc. I'm completing puzzles and recycling the rest that are missing pieces. I'm a gardening fan and LOVE to start my own seeds! Since I'm home now I have more time to nurture and baby those seedlings and will have some to share with friends. Weather has been most uncooperative here, but trying to get out and walk my dog every day and clean up the yard. Trying to avoid shopping, so looking at recipes I can cook and freeze, but you still need those fresh veggies and fruits!
I have been organizing pictures from my grandmother, mother, aunt and myself. I have put pictures that I know people would like to have. I have put them in envelopes and marked their names on them so when I can go visit them I am all set to have a great visit and they will enjoy what I have to give to them. My next plan is to pain my bathroom which already has a new counter, sink and big shower.