Saturday, June 23, 2012

Wood - Water Craziness

Summer is typically not a busy project time for Wood, at least not for projects that involve wood. 

This year the husband has had to venture into the wonderful world of outdoor plumming. 

Our neighborhood recently had secondary water made available for yard use.  The city had informed us this would be available this year so the neighborhood was abuzz with talk of how amazing our lawns would look as the water would be much cheaper than the current culinary.

Two problems:

1) While our neighboorhood did have the secondary water lines running to it our individual houses did not have the water connections necessary to tie into the secondary.
2) The secondary water is about 2 cents cheaper than the culinary. Seriously!?! 

So after a couple community information meetings on how to build your hook-ups for the new water system (which really just consisted of people complaining about the cost of the water) we determined the following.

1) If we hired a landscaper to do the work it would cost about 500 dollars.
2) If we (we meaning the husband) did it himself it would cost about 200 dollars.

So why even do it to save a stupid 2 cents a gallon over our current costs....?
Here is the kicker..if we didn't go to secondary and we continued to use the culinary for our yard we were going to get charged almost double for the culinary after a threshold water usage.  Basically the city is strongly encouraging people to use the secondary as if you don't your water bill will be crazy expensive.

After the dissapointment of not saving money over our previous summer water bills we were left with the decision of landscaper or husband.

After numerous hours spent talking with other neighborhood husbands it was clear that all of the husband were going to attempt the connections on their own.  Apparently there is safety in numbers and if one can do it all of them should be able to.

That was about a month ago. 

The first step of this project was to track down all of the necessary components and apparently everyone and their donkey was installing a secondary water line so every sprinkler and plumming place around was out of stock for the big parts.  To be honest I also think the husband did a bit of procrastinating but we will blame it on on filter unavailablity.

This project was a bit more involved than just slapping some pipeing together.  It is really important to do it correctly so that your secondary (not for human consuption) water does not contaminate your culinary water.  In order to get the secondary water turned on the city must come and inspect your work to make sure you are not going to kill everyone on the block via water bourne illness.

So this past weekend the husband spent a bunch of time sitting in a hole in the front yard and making numerous trips to the House Of Hose (which when you say it sounds like a whole other kind of place of business).

I don't fully understand all of the connections that need to be make to make this happen.  All I know is that we need a swingline and that the husband needed to dig not only one but two large holes in the front yard. 

Is the project done? 

So close...all of the inspections are done and have passed!  We are just eagerly awaiting our water meter from the city. 

Then and only then will we be able to enjoy our not cheaper non-drinkable water.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Cloth - Ramblings - I Love a Parade!

This past weekend it was our local town days.  There is a rodeo, concert, fireworks, carnival, and parade.  If you grew-up or live in a small town you know that none of these activities are really grand or even for that matter super fun but somehow you end up doing them year after year. 

Amid protests from the husband we went to the parade.  I am always more excited to go before I get there.  Here are some observations from the parade sidelines.

1) You feel like a loser if you don't have kids. It is almost like you are a leper. No one throws candy to you and it is frowned upon if you dart out in the street after a piece of candy if a child is going for the same piece.  I like taffy too, lay off.

2) You are only impressed by emergency vehicles sounding their sirens up until age 8.  It becomes super annoying after about 10 seconds after that age.

3) You find yourself judging the high school girls that ride the floats as the town royalty.  "I would kill for her waist"  "Just wait until you get older and things start to sag" "By all means don't throw any candy we will just wait for you to adjust your hair and fake giggle to the girl next to you."

4) While you might think a parade is a good time to press the flesh and further your political campaign who I am going to vote for in a town election is pretty much the last thing on my mind.  Unless you are giving out candy to childless couples as you pass by you don't have my vote.

5) If you are a cheerleader that looks like a young Mindy Kaling you are alright in my book (if you are unfamiliar with Mindy I recommend you check out her book "Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me")

6) There is always at least one float that thinks it is a good idea to spray the crowd with water as they pass by.  I would like to have the same rules apply for water drenching as are employed with kids = keep on moving.

7) Let's limit the parade to bands, floats, horses, crazy stunts with cars and anything else with at least a small amount of entertainment value.  If you have slapped a sign for your business to the side of your car and crammed your waving family inside please reconsider your entry into the parade.

8) The best entertainment comes from the spectators.  You never know what you are going to see.

9) It is hard and tiring work being in a parade.  Make sure you take a nap before the parade starts.

10) Kids driving mini cars or bikes tied with balloons - WIN!

All joking aside it was a fun morning.  There truly is nothing like a small town parade. 

Next year however we will be employing some children to sit next to us and retrieve candy.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Cloth-Laundry Room Finishing Touches-Mini Fabric Clothesline

It is always fun to get a big project to the point of decorating.  A few DIY projects can really pull together a room.

I am going to split these projects into a few here we go with part one!

I wanted to try and incorporate as many laundry room touches into the decor as possible.  So how about a cute mini clothesline complete with coordinating fabric pants and shirts....let's do it!

Project Ranking
Difficultly - Easy
Frustration - Low
Makeability - 100% worth it

Clothesline (or rope of some sort)
Spray paint

Step #1: Spray paint your clothes pins if you want.  I wanted them to match my yellow and black decor.  I didn't take any special care when spray painting as I knew they were going to be up high and little boo-boos would not be seen.  If your going to put your clothesline up front and personal you may want to make sure your coverage is good and there are no goobers.

Step #2: Draw a pattern for the clothes pieces you want to cut out of fabric.  I am crafty, not artsy so I limited my patterns to a chunky shirt and pants.  A little dress would also be cute.

Step #3: Cut out your clothing pieces from cute fabric. and hang on your clothesline with your painted clothespins. 

Bam, done!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Cloth - DIY Berry Lemonade Bar

Is there anything more quintessential summer than lemonade?

The husband and I host a family BBQ this year for Memorial Day.  I decided to jazz up my lemonade a bit and make a "build your own lemonade bar."

Super easy, a bit unexpected, and yummy fun!

Step #1: Make your favorite lemonade recipe.
 -You probably want to keep the recipe fairly simple as you don't want really strong flavors to overpower your fruit syrups.

Step #2: Make simple syrups using your favorite berry or fruit.
-Basic Simple Syrup Recipe
 *1 cup sugar
 *1 cup water
 *1 cup fruit
 **Heat all ingredients to a boil and simmer for ~15 minutes
 **While things are simmering I did try to mush up the berries a bit so that I could get the most flavor out of them.
 **Remove from heat and pour through a strainer to remove any of the big fruit chunks.  Make sure the container you are straining into is heat safe as your syrup will be very hot at this point.

NOTE:  I was not really impressed with the blackberry syrup I made.  It may have been my blackberries as they were not very flavorful to begin with..the strawberry and raspberry turned out great.  I can't wait to try peaches once they are in season.

Step #3: Find containers to dispense your syrups. 
 -I used some cheapo vinegar bottles with spouts but you could use cute glass milk bottles or whatever else you have on hand.

Step #4: Cut up fresh fruit/berries to match your syrups and put out spoons for your guests to scoop the fruit into their lemonade masterpieces.

Step #5: Label your syrups with a cute tag. 
 -My printer decided to act up on me before the party so I ended up hand writing the ones for my actual party, not as cute as the printed one but they got the job done!

Have your guests fill up their glasses, mix in flavors to their hearts content, and enjoy the summer weather!