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Community Manager

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. 

AARPTeri
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Sorting through and organizing loose pictures into albums. This accomplished something and is also enjoyable to look at pictures long forgotten. Getting rid of old medicines, etc. Donating clothing and household items no longer used to a local charity.

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I've organized handwritten recipes handed down by friends and family, as well as favorites printed from the internet. Previously I would look through a stack of recipes kept in a bin, now they've been organized into binders. Each recipe has been put in a sleeve, and there is a binder each for chicken recipes, beef, seafood and misc. Tabs then categotize by crock pot recipes, instant pot, soups, and misc. Much easier to find favorites!!!

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Newbie

Turns out you can grow many things from cuttings of vegetables. I have scallion, onion,bok choy and celery bottoms sitting in water on my windowsill. Just cut off bottom third of each. After only a few days they are growing roots and some are sending up green shoots. The scallions can stay on the windowsill and be harvested again and again. The others will get planted in my garden as they establish roots and should become full sized plants.

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Periodic Contributor

I have started some veggies from seeds that were salvaged from our food; pepper plants, butternut and acorn squash and tomato plants. My own hopefully Victory Garden!

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Spring time = Garden time. Breaking up beds for planting, weeding, watering and feeding. Growing plants from seeds etc. Spending time outside the house everyday weather permits. 

Newbie

My project involved regrowing veggies and fruit from the grocery store.

I saw watched many videos online and wanted to see if these  claims

were a hoax.

 

I bought green onions with roots, a bunch of celery, juice oranges,

and a pineapple.  Now I have an endless supply of green onions

in my kitchen window. I have a recycled nursery pot full of bushy

celery leaves and thin stalks on my back porch. The orange seeds

grew white roots and green shoots.  I put them in mini plastic pots

and they look cute on my sunny deck railing. The pineapple top

rooted and was planted in a large planter. It is growing long

spiky leaves and looks very nice on my deck.

 

 

This project has been so rewarding and has saved me money.

Re-growing produce and fruit is low maintenance. Staying at home

more during this COVID-19 has allowed me to learn something new.

I advise Seniors to give this rewarding project a try! 

Newbie

I tried  to regrow an onion in my kitchen window and the onion I tried to grow roots on turned to mush after 3 weeks with no roots growing. It was in a west window but it is very shadey. Do I need to look for a sunnier window?

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Periodic Contributor

I will check it out. 

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I, and my quilting group, have been making masks for about a month. We give these to friends, neighbors, family, the local homeless warming center (which has stayed open past their intended close date here in Minnesota in order to keep the guests safe), nursing homes, assisted living facilities ... basically anyone who needs them. Our biggest “order” to date has been a nursing home which asked for 100 masks and we delivered – 100% free of charge!

 

As quilters, we all have a stash of fabric on hand that we use. We've experimented with several different patterns and have used homemade ties, pony tail bands, cording, and elastic to fasten them. We're all doing this from our own homes, and we share information and ideas through a text thread that we're all in. We have each eventually come to be making our own style of mask, and most of us want to use the elastic rather than ties as they are easier and faster to make and we feel that they are easier for the wearer to use. However, we've had a difficult time finding that elastic.

That shortage of elastic is where my advice comes in. Anyone who has been making masks is probably well aware of the shortage of elastic. Two members of our group had ordered elastic in late March or early April, but the anticipated delivery date was mid May, so we were stuck on where to get the elastic we needed.

I was told by someone that he had been told that you can just go to Etsy, order it, and get it within a few days. I was skeptical, especially since he had not tried out this hearsay information, but I immediately went to Etsy and found a lot of elastic! Most of the vendors had it on hand and would ship it within a day or two. I noticed that a lot of it was from China, which I figured would take a fairly substantial amount of time for shipping, and we needed it quickly. So, I looked for sellers that were based in the United States, hoping I would get the elastic much faster. I found one in Southern California, ordered it on Sunday, and received it on Friday of the same week! I ordered 155 yards, and we're almost out of it already! Another member of the group went to Etsy a couple of days ago and purchased more, so we're hoping that arrives as quickly. Anyway, my advice is that if you're looking for elastic, check out Etsy!

 

We've been so busy making masks that a couple of the group have had their sewing machines go down. One has a couple of backup machines so she could use one of them. Her husband still had the other to use to sew the ties! The other was able to borrow a machine from another member of the group, so she could continue, too. Her husband does most of the cutting for their masks. The member from whom she borrowed it has a husband who does just about anything he can to help get the masks made. He's made trips to Home Depot to get electrical wire to use for the nose area to allow it to be molded and fit better and the cording that she's been using for ties. The guys are not members of our quilting group, but they sure have stepped up to help get these masks made.

 

It's been quite an endeavor, but we are all committed to getting them made because we know we're making a difference and probably saving lives!

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Touch up painting in the house, prepping garage trim for painting, working in the garden, and lots of long walks... spending quality time with my spouse.

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We've taken on growing  herbs and vegetables in containers. Some things were started from seeds; we started romaine from the stalk and avocado from the pit. It's a new adventure for us.

Contributor

Looking for gifts that would be able to fit in Mothers' Day cards for my sisters, I came across charming DIY Victorian decoupage-inspired bookmarks. They are topped by butterflies that poke out from closed books. Both my sisters are readers, so I jumped into the project--a craft totally new to me. I have scissors that will work for cutting around printed roses, and I'm awaiting glue and brushes by mail. Now all I need is patience!

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I have been doing LOTS of things since I am to be sheltered in place for the duration of this event. If i am not looking outside at the squirrels and birds going about their daily routines without any regard for the virus, I am finding odds and ends tasks that I have really been putting off for some time but now I find myself doing time consuming chores that should already have been done but were not.I am even staying ahead of mowing the yard for once!! Halleluia. Thank you Jesus.

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Newbie

Being stuck in the house has found me disliking many of the accessories I normally have put around.  Since I can't go out and but new ones, I decided that there was a possibility of just changing them around in various rooms-which I did.  Surprisingly the old living room throw pillows look just as nice on my bed as the previous bed pillows look in the guest bedroom.  Then because most of my bedspead were reversible, I turned them over for the first time ever and got a completley new look in the bedrooms to match the pillows.  I generally buy a spread because of one particular side and have never turned it over until today.  Change is nice and practical.

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I have been sprucing up a deserted rock garden that surrounds my patio. Lots of weeds, misplaced rocks - some large & too heavy to lift, others various sizes of many colors collected while traveling around the country. The "fill in" rocks are classic river rocks of varying colors. The problem with the rock garden was the connecting patio concrete slab that had a water drainage issue when it rains. For some reason, rainwater collected in one corner of the patio & since the rock garden has a slight upward slope on one side of the patio, dirt & fine gravel would wash down between the rocks & settle onto the patio. Always had to sweep or hose off the sandy dirt mix after each rain to keep the patio clean. Remedied the whole situation by digging a 3 inch narrow trench along that side of the patio where the rock garden meets the concrete patio. Also dug out a 3 inch trench along the adjoining side of that corner area about 3 feet along edge of patio. Then I placed 12 inch scalloped concrete edgers between the patio concrete slab & the rock garden on each side of the corner. To secure the edgers & keep the trench from moving dirt slush when it rains, I concreted the bottom of the trench, poured in a thin layer of dry concrete & used the water hose to wet it & let it set. That way, only water moves through the narrow trench, & should any dirt, sand, or leaves fall into the trench, I just use the water hose to push it out & keep it clean. To drain off the trenched water, I routed the flow outward from the corner edge onto the grass yard just beyond the rock garden, not on the sloped side, but on the flat side of the patio. It worked & now there is no puddle of water on corner of patio & the rock garden looks great as I sprayed the weeds with weed killer, then raked the river rock level & purposely placed the decorative large rocks in various areas of the garden ( with help from a relative & a lawn tractor). Am going to add a wrought iron windchime post & maybe put in a few colorful plants to add some beauty to the rock garden. If I could offer one piece of advice, it would be: don't buy an 80 lb bag of post concrete. Get a smaller bag or have someone waiting at your home to unload it. It is heavy !

C. D.

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This has been a great opportunity to clear out closets and the garage. I have successfully recruited my two kids who are finishing their senior years (1 from high school and 1 from college) with more free time. There was a truckload full of items they delivered to my aunt who owns a flea market. (With her permission, they left items for her family to move inside so that we didn't compromise anyone by physical contact. )They have helped get clothing ready to donate to a men's rehab center and a women's shelter. There is now enough room in the garage to put down the ping pong table. We've all played and it's ready for when their friends get to visit again.

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We expanded our three-season oval flower garden and built 10 lovely birdhouses of various shapes to attract all sorts of birds. After painting all the houses with bright colors, we bought several stencil kits online and decorated each house with a different design; what a great couples project.

The birdhouses have only been up in the garden a short time, but we already have cardinals, yellow finches, robins, sparrows, starlings and wrens visiting the backyard daily. Much to our surprise, we also have several bluebirds that have already built nests within two of the houses. Seeing all the colorful birdhouses and beautiful flowers coming up and watching the entertaining bird activity has definitely lifted our spirits this spring bringing us both much needed joy.

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My wonderful Horizon House (retirement community) neighbors - the sewing committee - have been making face masks for anyone and everyone.  How wonderful to have caring neighbors!   We, in Washington State, were part of the first to be hit............and we were the first to react in a pro-active manner.

 

 

Contributor

It's Spring! I'm happy to welcome the spring and one of my favorite hobbies is gardening. Heart First thing I did was cleaned things up. LOL!  Pruned my rose bushes, move one hydrangea bush to a new location and planted lots of plants (Chamomile, Shasta Daisy, African Daisy,Japanese Painted Fern, Fantabulous Plantain Lily and more... I have to keep up the maintenance and it's a lot to do. The results are rewarding and my garden is so beautiful. I love it!

 

SC - Sunshine

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Replacing my front yard grass with xeriscape plants, flowers and rocks.  No more mowing and useing expensive amounts of water, as we live in the high desert of CO.

 

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We have planted a vegetable garden and lots of wildflowers. As for advice, we're used to being at home a lot but just not used to being confined to our home this much. So my advice is to make sure you have some alone time each day. Do something that makes you feel good like reading, watching TV, connecting to a loved one on the phone, etc. Everyone needs their own personal space especially these days.

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We have been planting lots of flowers and vegetables to keep us busy. Nothing better than picking fresh vegetales from our garden. It'svery rewarding watching everything grow. Plus it's great exercise. Everyone should invest in a home garden.

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I've been cleaning out drawers and cupboards and closets.  These projects have been on my to-do list for quite awhile, but I've never gotten around to them.  Now, with less working outside of the home (we own a small business, which, luckily, has been able to stay open), I've gotten to these projects.  Accomplishment brings a sense of happiness!

 

We've also started planting our vegetable garden -- spring is here, and my outlook is positive!

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I am doing some cleaning myself.  I am over sanitizing toiletry items to stay busy.  I currently have one laundry hamper full of items to sell at the next yard sale I am able to have.  I still have several boxes I would like to give to Salvation Army/Goodwill.  In addition to that, I have gotten back to reading and corresponding.

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Hi everyone! I have spent my time cleaning out our garage, cleaning up our screen porch by getting rid of pollen so we can enjoy the nice weather that we have been having and just enjoying spending some good quality time with my husband!

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I've been going through digital photos, naming the pics, and then filing them away. I've let them  get out of hand and now feel better about doing this, so I know what I have. I'm also cleaning out and organizing my internet bookmarks. I've been cleaning out my drawers and closet and donated stuff to someone on a local residents page who is trying to make extra money on ebay after her husband lost his job. Finally, I've started baking bread! 

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I have over 10,000 photos and slides that I've scanned in digitally from many family members. I've been organizing and labeling, sorting by year, cropping and fixing color, etc. It's very time consuming but rewarding. When I'm done, I'll be sharing these with family members that will appreciate having a visual record of our lives. I'm backing up everything to the cloud in more than one place - just in case...

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I've been an avid daylily grower for many years.  In the Spring, when the plants start to put up fronds and reach for the sun, I clean & weed the beds, sprinkle Flowertone around them to boost the growth, remulch, then water.  As the plants grow larger and the scapes (stalks) with buds start to appear I protect the area where mine are planted with deer fence.  Deer LOVE to eat those buds.  These gorgeous flowers grow in their own little seasons - early growers, mid-season, late season.  Usually something is blooming from late May until early October.  The genus Hemerocallis literally means "beauty for a day," hence the flower itself only lasts about 24 hours, however, many buds on a plant indicate more flowers coming constantly.  It's the plant that keeps on giving.  I have about 50 different hybrids I've collected over the years.  This complex plant has been "engineered" by hybridizers to create well over 60,000 varieties.  It is one of the easiest plants to grow, and is especially drought resistant.  I look forward to the daylily season every year with great anticipation as each day brings new surprises in the garden.  It is a wonderful hobby and I've met some of the finest people I know in the daylily world.  

Regular Contributor

PhyllisW846096,

 

Daylilies are awesome. Are you a member of a Dylily Society? I love the great names they have. My favorite name is: A Moose Fishing On A Pond On Monday. It is amazing the differences in color, form, and size. I have some flowers that stretch over ten inches, and some that are only three inches. 

 

I am splitting this weekend. Last year both fall and spring were too wet and I hate doing splitting in the summer. I live in the Chicago area and I would be glad to share.

 

LindeStar123

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Linde,  Yes, I belonged to Tidewater Daylily Society for many years.  My knee prevents me from doing a lot of the volunteer work for them now, but I still stay in touch with my compadres there.  I always split in the Fall and try to get them to friends who can replant before the first frost.  I traveled a lot with my husband to the daylily gardens in Florida every year - my favorite is Luddy Lambertson's place where he grows nothing but purples.  My head just about exploded the first time I walked into his place.  I did a lot of purchasing from Spacecoast, Ladybug, David Trimmer, and Lambertson, and have traded many.  Two years ago Linda Pinkham hybridized a new daylily to honor my son who passed away in 2015.  We submitted it to the American Hemerocallis Society and it is now on record as "Dreaming of Zachary," a gorgous, BIG, multi-purple that darkens over it's season.  I love these plants and can't wait to see the first bloom - it is always Malachite Prism, a beautifully "engineered" geometric designed purple/lime green.  Best wishes with you garden this summer!

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