Thursday, April 30, 2015

One Simple Thing-Muffled Drawers

While we await the perfect buyer for our home,
we're getting a few small jobs done.
It's mostly in move-in condition,
but a few little extras never hurt, right?

The kitchen in this house has tons of storage,
a real plus.
One minor problem was bothering me.
The cabinet doors and drawers make noise if they get away from you.
We don't have the fancy "soft-close" drawers,
and we don't really want to put any more money into the house, 
since it's on the market.
Big K and I are up early, getting ready for our day,
which includes opening drawers and cabinet doors.
With Lil' Guy sleeping in most days
(he's a teenager, need I say more?),
I decided to tackle this easy project.

For a few bucks and in less than 15 minutes,
we were on our way to a bit more quiet around here.
These felt pad cushions have adhesive on the back,
so all you need to do is place and press.
They come in several colors to match your cabinets.

All the cabinets and doors in both the kitchen and bathrooms
originally had these buffers on them,
but some were missing, or just looked worn out.

One package was enough to do each drawer and door in the kitchen
and both bathrooms.
With just a little effort and a smidgen of time,
peace and quiet reign supreme.
I like the sound of that!

One Simple Thing

Here are a few of the posts in our ongoing 
"One Simple Thing" series:

Basket Case
It's a Date!
Hang it Up! 
Grocery Shopping

Simple Saturdays Blog Hop

HomeAcre Hop

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Maple Hill Hop 78

Maple Hill Hop

Welcome to 
The Maple Hill Hop.
This is a hop for folks who love the outdoors.
Feel free to post about anything that's going on
in your neck of the woods,
no matter the season.
(Please share only outdoor posts.)
*Please link back to Maple Hill 101.*

Congratulations to Susan Schmitz!
You are the Sow True Seed recipient
from last week's giveaway!
If you'll email me at,
I'll get those seeds right out to you!
Happy planting!

We've been tweaking our backyard garden
for the past few weeks.
Today we'll share the third and final veggie bed installed.

These broccoli and eggplant were put in a few months back.
My gardening coach, Lynn, had given me quite a few extra seedlings he had.
A great perk of the job!
There were still a few ornamentals that needed to be relocated.
The beautyberry and the avocado tree had to stay,
so I worked around them.
The little shade that they provide can only be a good thing.
In the summer here, it's difficult to grow much,
so the shade will provide a bit of relief.

Once the ornamentals found another spot in the garden,
newspaper was laid down, 
as we had done in the other two beds we created.
This not only deters weeds, 
but acts as insulation around the plants
to keep them cooler in summer.
Once the newspaper breaks down, 
it adds nutrients to the soil.

The soil mix was then added on top of the paper.

Ready for planting!

We used the trench method again for these tomatoes,
as they were way past needing to be put in the ground.
When they get spindly, this method ensures that the stems will have enough support.
You can see that these maters are already bearing fruit.

We put in some of our cannellini beans.
These are wonderful in soups, stews, pasta salads and made into bean burgers.
This is our first time growing these.

We also planted some of these.
Guess what?

They were the first to come up!

We had acquired some pigeon peas from folks who came to one of our plant giveaways.
Never tasted these before,
but Sister is familiar with them, as she's from Trinidad.
Looking forward to seeing how these grow.

We reused the trellis we had made for our sugar snap peas.
A few metal pieces and some baling twine were all that was required.
The pine straw mulch keeps everything snug as a bug.

We added the twine about every 2 inches, 
so the beans will have ample support.
We'll continue to add twine as the beans grow up the trellis.

Last week, we posted about how we use this stuff
around the homestead.
It's one of the best items to recycle.

I added some leek as a border along the back of the bed.
This was another leftover from Lynn,
as he is running out of room for all of his goodies.
I'm happy to host them in our garden!
The last sowing was a few okra seeds.
They've already come up as it's the perfect time
for them to grow.
Gotta have some for our pickled okra recipe.

Now that all of the veggie beds are planted,
I'm working on our former veggie bed turned melon patch/flower bed.
There's always something goin' on outside here.
How 'bout you?

HOP on! 




Thursday, April 23, 2015

Thrifty Thursday-Baling Twine

Every day is Earth Day in our neck of the woods.

Repurposing is a way of life around here.
We're always trying to come up with new ways to use things.
One item that we frequently find uses for is baling twine.

 Our twine comes from the bales of pine straw mulch we buy at our local feed store, Doty's.
We save it every time we remulch the garden area in the backyard.
It comes in handy for so many jobs.

Cut into strips, it can be helpful to stake seedlings
until they gain some size and strength.
Once the crop is near harvest time,
it can be used to mark which plants have ready-to-pick goodies.

It's strong enough to bundle flowers or herbs
and keep them in place.
What a lovely bouquet!

 It works great as a support for peas and beans.
Here we used some metal poles and strung the twine horizontally.

 You can't beat it for defining parameters in a square foot bed.
Just string it from one side to the other in any sized garden.
Tied together, bigger beds can be easily outlined,
especially if you plan to add some curves to the area.

 One of the most helpful ways we use it is in our butterfly areas,
to mark where we've seen caterpillar eggs or chrysalises.
This ensures that we can monitor the critters in every stage of their life cycle.
 Don't wanna miss the good stuff!

How do you repurpose baling twine?

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day, y'all!
It's that time of year where we honor our Mother.
Here are some simple things we can all do to make the planet a better place.

Plant a tree.
Different parts of the country celebrate Arbor Day at various times.
Everyone can plant one tree.
Even if you don't have a yard or any room left on your own property,
you can always donate a tree to a public space,
like a library, fire station, post office or school.
Read more about planting trees on the Arbor Day website.

There are a myriad of ways to do it.
A pile close to the garden, a tin in the kitchen for food scraps,
a worm bin on the patio.
There really isn't much to it,
and just think of all that waste you'll be preventing!
Even if you don't have space for a big system,
you can direct compost, like we do.
This great informational chart on composting was found here.
Some of us appreciate that visual cue to help things stick in our brains.

Buy Less

Not only does this help you save money,
but there's less chance that packaging will end up in a landfill.
Concentrate more on experiences, rather than material things.
For a special event like a birthday or graduation,
enjoy a unique adventure (read zip-lining),
or revisit a miniature golf course or bowling alley.
I love this idea at Echoage,
where friends can donate to your favorite charity in your honor.


If you have a little more time,
or just feel the need to be outside more and give back a little,
volunteer at a national or state park.
There are all kinds of jobs that can be completed by folks who have the time.
You could even make it a project for your family or any organization to which you belong.
Think of it as giving a little back to Mother Nature,
who is abundantly generous to all of us.
Here's where you can start your search for jobs near you.

 We can all do something.
After all,
Mother Earth gives us so much everyday.
She deserves our very best.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Maple Hill Hop 77

Maple Hill Hop

Welcome to 
The Maple Hill Hop.
This is a hop for folks who love the outdoors.
Feel free to post about anything that's going on
in your neck of the woods,
no matter the season.
(Please share only outdoor posts.)
*Please link back to Maple Hill 101.*

Tomorrow is Earth Day.
We strive to make everyday Earth Day 
by reducing our use of packaging,
reusing items around the homestead
and recycling everything we can.
We also believe in growing organically
and using only non-GMO seeds.
These little conscious elections
make a difference.

In order to honor our Mother Earth,
we're hosting a giveaway.
We found out about a seed company
that supports our intentions,
Sow True Seeds,
based in Asheville, North Carolina.

 sowtrue sunflower

This is from their website:
"We are trying to create the world we want to live in.  A world in which farmers and gardeners have access to the seeds that are best adapted to where they live, without fear of corporate ownership of those seeds and the food they produce.  A world in which corporations care about the products they produce, the people who produce them, and the people who buy and use them.  A world in which profit never takes precedence over stewardship of the land and the environment that feeds us all."
How can  you resist getting behind that?

They were good enough to offer up an adorable seed gift packet.
Just look at this darling tin!

This gift set contains an array of sunflowers,
ready for planting now.

These sunflowers not only grace your garden with lovely blooms all summer,
they provide food for birds once the heads are dried.
They also foster a wonderful opportunity for pollinators 
to perform their magic in your garden.

The kit comes with a planting guide as well.
Notice the recycled packaging inside the tin 
that acts as a cushion for the seed packets.
Just leave a comment below to enter the giveaway.
We'll announce the recipient on next week's Hop.

As a rule, I'm not interested in adding to the commercialization of our culture, 
so advertisements are not displayed on the blog.
It is important, however, to promote and share knowledge about folks who are diligently working 
at making the planet a better place.
In honoring gratitude, we keep the good stuff moving. 
This company gets it.
I hope you'll enthusiastically patronize them, 
and pass their information along to other gardeners.
Tell 'em daisy sent ya!

 "Sow True Seed sells only open pollinated (non-hybrid and non-GMO) varieties of vegetable, herb, and flower seeds that will grow true to type when saved properly and replanted. We believe that the roots of independence and self-sufficiency derive from the ability to save seed. Open-pollinated varieties are more genetically diverse and are able to adapt faster to their growing region and specific climate variances. Each open-pollinated variety remains protected in the public domain as the common property of everyone."


GMO Cross Out Logo

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Singer Sewing Score!

A while back I talked about teaching myself to hand stitch.
It's still something I'm working on,
but not as often as I probably should.
Another thing I've been working on 
is saving for a vintage sewing machine.
I made some feed sack totes for our family,
and enjoyed it so much, I thought I could make a few more
and give them to friends or sell them. 
(A machine had been borrowed to complete the job.)

I've been scrimping, saving and selling a few items
to create the sewing machine fund.
Well, it took me a few months,
but I finally had enough to start looking.
The first place I usually look for things is Craig's List,
because so many used items need a home,
and I love the idea of older items being passed down to someone who will use them.

I met a lovely lady who actually refurbishes old sewing machines.
We took a drive to Springhill, FL,
about 2 hours from our home.
It was well worth the trek.

Ms. Linda not only repairs and resells these lovely machines,
she also has quite the collection herself.
Here are some of the beauties she shared with me.
This is a hand-crank model.
Can you imagine having to crank the handle
(where the wheel is on the right),
and sew at the same time?
What a workout!

She favors the treadle machines,
and showed me this model.
Just the table and foot pedal alone are enough to make a gal swoon.

Here's what it looks like without the cover.
So simple, yet elegant.

I can't remember the details about them all,
it was just amazing to see the variety.
They were all in such splendid condition.

This was another beautiful cabinet 
with a fold-out work surface.
Amazing ingenuity!

The cabinets were made so well
because they were used as a piece of furniture
when the machine was tucked away.
I guess back then, folks didn't have a separate room
designated for sewing, so it had to fit in with the decor 
of the main living room or parlor.

Here's what I brought home.
The carrying case is a little worn,
but I think it adds to the charm.

Here she is in all her glory.
There were a few accessories included,
though at this point I can't imagine being able to use them.
All in all, she's in great shape.

My gardening coach, Lynn, used to work for Singer.
He's actually the one who put the bug in my head about buying a vintage machine.
His take on it is that since they are all metal,
they're impossible to break,
(which is quite comforting to me), 
and I'll never need to buy another machine. 
I can get behind that.

He knows everything there is to know about these beauties,
so his advice is valued.
He gave her the once over, and deemed her solid and ready to go to work.
He's gonna show me how to properly maintain her,
(cleaning, oiling, etc.)
so that she'll be running fine for a good, long while.

I started perusing the manual,
but I've got a lot to learn.
It's all good.
Now, on to those feed sacks!
Here's an update.

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