Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Paint Deals at Ace Hardware

Ace Hardware has two offers on paint that are a sweeeeeet deal if you need to buy paint in gallons or paint in pint size samples.
Through the end of the month (March 31st) you can get sample size paint in pint size for 99 cents!!! Up to 4 pints and all must be different colors.  This is right up my alley.  I am still going back and forth on different shades of green for my living room.  So for 4 bucks I can try 4 different colors.
The other paint deal starts tomorrow (Wednesday) through the 29th. It's a buy one gallon get one gallon free.  You can purchase up to 2 gallons per person which means you will walk out the door with 4 gallons. Chose from the Royal or Clark + Kensington brands and they can be either interior or exterior paint.

I'm not sure but you might need to be an Ace Rewards member BUT that's not a big deal.  Just sign up for a card at Ace (ask the cashier for a card) and then buy the paint.

Warm weather will be here soon so 4 gallons of exterior satin in the color 'Anonymous' couldn't come at a better time for us.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Killer Deals on Rain Barrels

This is just a quickie post to let everyone know about a great sale going on at Sears (no this is not a sponsored post).

Sears is having a sale online and anything over 59 bucks has free shipping in addition to the sale price.  I have been looking for rain barrels for the last two years.  What I have found are either ugly, expensive, or shipping made them cost prohibitive.  But lucky me I found the rain barrel of my dreams.
I wanted a rain barrel that is going to blend with my house.  So many of the barrels that I saw were terra cotta color and that just isn't going to blend with my dark grey house.  This barrel is made from recycled materials AND grey.  From what I can tell from the photo, it might just be the perfect shade of grey.  As you may already know..... there are 50 shades of grey..........yes, I went there....not to the movie but the reference.

The price is still kind of steep BUT there are savings to be had if you use this sale AND Ebates.  The original price of this barrel is $221.09 YIKES!!!! but it is on sale for $103.25 for a savings of $117.84.  It qualifies for free shipping, so you save yourself time AND money.  Plus, if you go to the Sears website directly from Ebates after signing up here, you will save an additional 6%.

Sears also has other rain barrels that you can purchase if this grey barrel isn't your cup of tea.  I know the price of barrels are not cheap but when you figure in the cost of water and the chance that your area may or may not have water restrictions, now might be the time to bite the bullet and spring for a rain barrel while they are on sale.

I'm buying 3 barrels to collect the water off of the barn roof and then 1 barrel for the back of the house.  I hope to collect enough rain water to be able to eliminate the need to use tap water for watering my plants.  We have well water so when we water our plants, we use electricity.  If you have city water then you are paying by the gallon to water your plants.  But if you use rain water it is FREE! plus rain water is FREE of added chemicals.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

The snow is finally melting

Today was finally above freezing.  I can't remember the last time I saw melting snow.  It's far too soon to call it 'done' when it comes to winter but there is that tiny flicker of light at the end of the tunnel.

Number one on our list to get done is move the beehive.  We need to do this before they get active. The hive is currently located right where the beekeeper put it to get the swarm to go into the hive.  He suggested that we let them be (LOL little play on words) until the bees got used to their new home.

The hive needs to go behind the barn where it will be protected from the west (driving rain) and from the north (cold winds in the winter).  We plan to add several more full size hives this summer plus we have the small hive (5 frame) that I purchased off of eBay.  That small hive will go in my flower bed on the north side of the yard.  It will be protected by the trees and my neighbor's house.

Number two on our list to to finish picking up all the branches and twigs from the tree that we cut down during the winter.  R has several tree stumps that he needs to cut down to the ground so we can use the stump grinder.

While he has the chain saw out he will cut some more off of the huge trunk that remains from one of the large dead ash trees that we had to cut down.  That remaining section is close to 40 inches in diameter and about 12 to 14 feet long.

Once things dry out we will start repairing the clapboards on the back of the barn.  Then scrape the paint, prime, and then paint it grey to match the house.  We also need to install a fascia board and add eave troughs and downspouts.

The project that I cannot wait to complete is the front door.  There is some filling and sanding to do before we prime.  I will probably prime twice just to make sure I get good coverage.  Then I will give it two coats of exterior semi gloss ultra white.  I know that white doesn't sound like much fun but with the wrought iron straps, door knocker, and door handle I want to make sure that I do not distract from those details.  I also purchased some cast iron house numbers that I want to install above the door.

But the project we talked about the most during this long winter is we need to clean out the barn. Holy moly where does all that stuff comes from anyways?  For some reason we have available space at the back of the barn but chose to pile everything in the front and now we can't get one more thing in the barn.

Of course we also need to throw out, scrap, or sell some stuff, too.  I mean we have three riding lawnmowers.  Also, too many weed whackers and a lot of race car parts that still need to go bye bye. The loft of the barn is filled with sheet metal from all of his race cars that he plans to use as wall art in the loft.  He also has a bunch of number plates from his race bikes.  Those don't take up too much space but he keeps finding one about every 6 months.  Several years ago a local business asked him if he would give them one of his number plates so they could hang it on the wall.  Flint Michigan was home to a lot of flat trackers and they have quite the collection.

So as you can see, spring cannot come too soon for us because my to do list is growing.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Best Dryer Vent

The best dryer vent????  Really? Yes, really.

I can't tell you how many times in the past that I have had to turn the dryer back on to warm already dried clothes.  Our old dryer vent was the plastic louver style which was a slight upgrade from our previous traditional sheet metal vent.

The problem with the plastic louver style is that over time the plastic gets warped and allows cold air to enter the dryer vent and ultimately the dryer.  There have been times during the winter where the cold air has entered the dryer and even cooled the laundry room.  So when I decided to buy a new dryer vent to replace the warped louver style vent I decided to search around and see what was out there.

I searched for dryer vent and came up with an interesting vent called the Deflecto Ultra Seal 4" Dryer Vent.  The reviews were great with a lot of the reviewers mentioning how well it kept the cold air from coming into the dryer.

I purchased ours off of eBay and it arrived in less than a week and the total cost was $26.40. Installation was straight forward and took longer to find the correct size screw driver than to unscrew the 4 screws that held the old vent in place and to install the new vent using the four existing holes.

The very first time I opened the dryer door I noticed the lack of cold air in the dryer.  The manufacturer says it cuts drying time but I don't hang around my dryer close enough to be able to make a determination on whether the drying time has been reduced.  The laundry room is definitely warmer, especially on cold windy winter days than it was with the old louver style vent.

The way that this vent closes and opens makes it self sealing with the help of gravity.  When the dryer is turned on, the cup that covers the vent pipe lifts up and allows the air to escape.  When the dryer turns off the cup floats back down over the pipe.   For added protection there is a larger permanent covering that keep the floating cup from flying off and keeps the weather from coming in. This dryer vent would also be perfect for weekend or seasonal homes where there is a need to make sure little critters do not gain entry through your dryer vent.

I did read in the reviews that you should paint the plastic to protect it but I think I will refrain from that because my vent is in a protected area out of direct sunlight.  I do wish it was offered in pure white instead of the off white ivory color.  They call it white but it's not white white. The ivory color works well with the brick on the Torrey Road house but I can see it being unappealing against the dark grey shingles and the white trim.  So when we install the dryer vent at The Gear I will probably paint it dark grey to blend into the shingles.

We are giving this dryer vent a big thumbs up.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Winter Blahs, Curbside Treasures, Vintage Shower Head

I just want it to be 32 degrees.  This bitter cold makes you want to stay inside and do nothing and that's pretty much what we have done this past week....NOTHING.

We braved outside temps in the teens and twenties and finished removing all the cut wood and brush. About 90% of the brush has been burned but the snow is now too deep to finish burning.  Today's temps were in the single digits but at least we are not getting a lot of snow like on the east coast.  I guess that is sort of a silver lining.......maybe???

Before we went into hibernation mode we did score several curbside treasures.  That's usually a spring, summer, and fall phenomenon but leave it to R to spot something cool.  He found two pressed back oak chairs in wonderful condition. Unfortunately they were not my style, so off to CraigsList they went and two days later we had 40 bucks.  So what did we do with the free cash?

We bought a huge vintage shower head.  Why?  I don't know.....LOL  We just thought it would look cool if we ever had an outdoor shower.  The shower head is huge and has a chain to turn on the water and weighs about 10 pounds.

Trips to Goodwill to drop off items that are still good, but are a pain to sell, have been happening quite frequently lately.  One day on the way home from Goodwill we spotted a round solid oak pedestal table with claw feet.  The reason it was at the curb was because it has tile inlay on the top and the tile was cracked other than that, the table was fine.  So we threw it in the barn and I'll list it in the spring on CraigsList.  Maybe I can make a few bucks and buy something else that we don't need.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Tree Cutting and Blog Comments

I mentioned that we cut down a large box elder tree that was hanging over the old tennis court.  We have the large part cut up into small chunks and several huge piles of small branches.  Our problem is that because it is inside the fenced in tennis court, we need to haul out the pieces in a small cart and then pull them uphill and into the front side yard where we have a humongous pile of cut wood.

Needless to say, this has been slow going.  But it does look a lot better.  R still needs to trim down the stump but right now there is snow on the ground and he needs to stand on the side of a slope to cut off the stump so we may wait until warmer drier weather to do that.

I was shocked to find out that I had oodles of comments that I was unaware of and went unpublished. There must be a problem because I am suppose to get a notification so I can publish the comment.  I think I will unable the comment moderation and keep my fingers crossed that the spammers do not come back.  In the mean time I published all the comments but I noticed that some did not generate an email notification.  I know that those who use google+ have their comments automatically posted so that might be an option for those who's comments are not coming through.

In the mean time, I am sorry if it looked like I was ignoring your comments because I always enjoy hearing from readers.  Marti.....I am really having a problem with your comments.  I published them but did not get a notification of publish so I cannot check to see if they actually published because I forgot which posts were the ones that you commented on.

In other news....I'll take a photo of the new dryer vent and let you guys know whether we love it or not. Doesn't that sound interesting?????  I also need to up date the solar lights that we installed on our eave troughs.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Here's to a great 2015

I had such high hopes when it came to getting things done this winter.  The end of 2014 was a busy one as we were able to cut down a large box elder tree and nearly get it cubed and put into the 'give away' wood pile. But I'm still optimistic that 2015 will be the year that The Gear shows a lot of change.

December was a busy month.  We got a lot done and even started a large project outside but that came to a screeching halt.   As we were cutting up wood, from the large box elder, on December 29th it started getting colder and colder.  You could actually feel the temperature drop and drop and drop. The wood is now covered in snow and ice and the air is so cold my camera would not come on when I went to take a photo.  I took that as a sign to go inside and warm up.  But we are still happy with what we were able to get done.  Not only was it a big money saver (at least $750 bucks stays in our pocket) AND a long time eye sore is gone in our back yard.

R has been busy helping his doctor buy a pick up truck with a plow and I've been busy fighting off a sinus infection and possibly the flu.  I've had a flu shot but I'm feeling very puny like the start of the flu.  So I've been sleeping a lot while I wait for the warm up which is suppose to come on Sunday.

We, and of course the rest of Michigan, spent last Sunday having our heart broken yet again.  So many bad calls.  It makes my head hurt just thinking about it.  I'll be cheering on Green Bay and acting like a born and breed cheese head this Sunday.

I've also ordered several cut out wood pieces to update my wreath for Valentine's Day.  My plan is to leave the wreath up until after St. Patrick's Day but just make small changes throughout the winter. So far the snowflake looks great with the white trim on the house and the dusting of snow on the ground.

By this time last year, our mail box had already been knocked off the post at least once.   By the end of winter it was in pieces and had flown down the street three times thanks to the snow plow.  Fingers crossed that it stays attached to the post this winter.

Hope you have a great 2015!