TUTORIAL: Bookshelf

Doing daycare I have a HUGE collection of books (I’m pretty sure I have not thrown away a single book since my kids were born except those that were ruined) and I have most of them up on high shelves because if I leave them all down they just end up all over the place.  So I needed something to contain them but still allow the kids to have access to them.  I found some inspriation over at Ana-White.com with her Flat Wall Bookholders.  I have modified it to fit the scrap wood that I had leftover from building my bed.

Here’s what you need:

3 – 1×4 boards @ 34″

 2 – 1×4 boards @ 8.5″

2 – narrow trim boards @ 35.5″

Brad Nailer Gun

1 3/8″ nails

Air Compressor

1.  Align two of the 34″ boards in an ‘L’ shape.  Nail along the bottom edge, making sure that the nail goes straight.

2.  Align one of the short pieces of 1×4 so that it matches up with both sides of the ‘L’.  This will be the end of your shelf.

3.  Attach the second short board in the same manner as the first one.

4.  Now attach the final longer 1×4 to the back of the shelf…leaving a space between the two and making it even with the top of the ends of the shelf.

5.  You are nearly done!  Now attach the trim boards to the front to hold the books in.  Attach the first one about 1/2″ above the bottom of the shelf.  Then the second one should be about an inch above the first one.

6.  That is it!  So easy and as I said I used scrap wood I had leftover from building my bed.  I painted mine to fit in with the daycare room.  I would paint the pieces first if I was to do it again.  It was difficult to get to the inside to paint it.

My Creative Child

Yesterday after school Blake came to me and asked to use the glue.  I told him he could if it didn’t make a mess.  Then he came and asked if he could use a scissors too.  I said yes but questioned what he was making.  He just said ‘something for dad’.  Let me tell you what this child can do with paper, markers and glue is amazing sometimes!  Just before supper he came back upstairs with this:

It is a paper Target Field.  You can’t see it well but it even said ‘Target Field’ down low behind home plate.  When Mike asked if he made something like this at school he said no he just decided to make one.  This kid is going to make some money some day with this talent.  I am great at copying ideas that I see but I am not one to come up with things on my own!  I am so impressed…maybe he can invent something someday and let his momma retire:)

Wrinkles

We all get them and I think most of us ladies at one time or another have thought about how to get rid of them.  I’ve been wondering for a while if it is best to be proactive and start using the wrinkle creams before they get bad or would it be best to just let them come and deal with them later.  I always thought I’d be a ‘age gracefully’ type of girl but now that I see the crows feet starting to show up I can’t help but wish them away.

So tell me what you use to keep your wrinkles at bay?  Have you approached it as preventative medicine or not?  Is there a product that works better than anything else?

The Wedding

No, I’m not talking about the royal wedding!  I’m talking about my brother’s wedding!  Last weekend in the rain and cold two people exchanged vows in an emotional ceremony.  While it was FREEZING in the building where the wedding ended up being held (because of the rain) it was great to see them say their vows and complete their family!  Here are some shots from the wedding/dance.

The happy couple…Janelle and Nakia

Beautiful bride with her kiddos…Braydon & KayleeAhna

Nakia & Braydon

The Family

Feeding each other cake…they were way too nice to each other:)

The couple

Miss KayleeAhna saying ‘cheese’

The ‘Berg’ family

The Como Family

My grandparents…Harlan & Leah.  Married nearly 71 years!

My brother Sonny and his girlfriend Amy…taken by Avery.

Lilacs

This is one of my favorite parts of spring.  My lilac trees are blooming and they smell so good.  I just love this time of year!

TUTORIAL: Raised Bed Garden

I started a garden last year and it didn’t do so well.  The soil where we live is very rocky and watching my husband try to till it was kind of amusing but not so easy for him.  This year I decided to try a raised bed garden instead.  Not only do they look good but it gives me the opportunity to get some new soil.  I thought I’d share how I did it.

What You Need:

8 – 22″ long 4×4 posts

4 – 10′ long 2×10″ boards

4 – 3′ 3″  long 2×10″ boards

Lag bolts

Cordless drill with rachet bit to fit bolts

Drill bit

Rachet set

Post hole digger

Shovel

2 yards of garden mix soil

1.  Find a drill bit that is just a tad smaller than the screws that you are using to drill a guide hole for the bolt.

 2.  Line up one of the 10′ long boards with a 4×4 post.  Make sure that the end of the board is even with the edge of the post and the top is even with the top of the post.  Then drill a guide hole into the board and post.

3. Screw the bolt into the hole using your cordless drill.  I had trouble getting some of the bolts to go all the way in which is why I needed to have the rachet set.  Just use the rachet to get it all the way in.  Use two bolts on each side to ensure it is secure.

4.  Do the same thing to attach the 3′ 3″ board to the end of the post.  Line up the end of the short board with the outside edge of the long one.  Place two bolts into the short board side, making sure that you stagger them so they don’t hit the two you just placed on the long board. 

5.  Repeat until you have all 4 corners together.  It will make a 10’x3′ rectangle.

6.  Once you have the garden bed ready to install have a strong, handsome man help you move it to your location.  In order to figure out where I wanted to dig the holes I placed the bed where I wanted it and then made shovel marks all around the corner post.  Then when I moved it I knew where the holes should be dug.  Now grab your post hole digger.

7.  Begin digging.  You may need to start the hole with a regular shovel  The hole will need to be about 14 inches deep to accomodate the post and ensure that the outside boards of the bed are touching the ground (you don’t want any dirt spilling out underneath it). 

8.  Once you have dug all 4 holes for the bed you again need that strong, handsome man to help you lower it into the hole (or just some strong muscles…I did mine myself one end at a time).  When you lower it in you will want to ensure that it is flush with the ground (to avoid dirt spilling out) and if not then you may need to dig out a little more in the hole or a little dirt under the sides of the bed. 

9.  With the bed adjusted fill the dirt back in the holes.  Now it’s ready for the soil!  I got some garden mix soil from a local landscaping company.  They could deliver it but it was a hefty fee so I sent my hubby strong, handsome man to get the dirt.  He came in handy for shoveling it into the garden as well…as did a certain adorable 5 year old.

10.  Once the dirt is all filled in you will want to level it out before you plant.  It seems like a lot of work but it isn’t too bad for the results.  I am hoping to have a wonderful crop this year…last year was a bit pitiful!  Just so you know…2 yards of soil is a bit much but I have used it for other things.  You will likely need to take some of it out and we were a bit messy:)

Mine is all planted.  Waiting for the seeds to sprout so I’ll post pictures soon!

TIPS: 

  • Don’t try to do the bolts by hand…it will take you forever!
  • I tried to get the bed as level as possible but I don’t know if that is entirely necessary.  Mine isn’t perfect but it looks good.
  • When you dig the post holes I would recommend piling the dirt inside where the the garden will be as it is difficult to get out of the grass.
  • Build the beds on a level area…makes it easier.  I did mine in the garage and on the driveway.
  • I plan to add some chicken wire around it to keep the varmints out!  I will show this later.

Surveys, Surveys Everywhere!

Has anyone else noticed that EVERY store seems to have a survey on the bottom of their receipts?  They drive me nuts!  Running a business I have to save receipts and in order to minimize the space these receipts take up I end up tearing off the surveys.  This is a pile from two weeks of receipts!  Some of them promise a $1,000 winner every week, others give you a discount code if you respond and some don’t give you anything for participating.  I personally no longer participate in any of them because I have yet to win anything or know anyone who has!  It isn’t worth it to me to take the time unless I have an exceptionally good or bad experience which doesn’t happen often.  I honestly think that the stores are spending so much money on paper and ink to print these and wonder if they are worth it to them.

How about you?  Do you respond?  Toss them?  Have you won the money they promise?

Cell Phones

I have to vent a little bit today because I think that common courtesy has gone out the window with the introduction of cell phones.  People are constantly accessible because most of us have a cell phone with us at all times.  I feel like there used to be a time of day at which you no longer made a phone call, but it seems these days there is no cutoff time to when I recieve a phone call or text message.  In the past few weeks I have received several texts after 10 pm.  Generally I’m in bed by 9:30 and do not want to be woken up!  My cut off for calling/texting people is 9 pm and if it is after that I KNOW that this person is up and/or waiting for me to text.  The thing that drives me crazy is that when i get a text and don’t hear the original notice it will continue to beep loudly all night long until I check it.  It usually ends up that i hear them at 2 or 3 am and then I am up and wide awake!

PLEASE look at the time before you call someone or text them.  I think it is a common courtesy needs to make a comeback!  If you need to reach me after 9 pm then email me!

TUTORIAL: Splitting Hostas

I purchased some hostas from my neighbors that they split from their own landscaping.  I have had them for a few years and they are starting to get too big for what I want so I decided to try my hand at splitting them.  It is super easy!  Here is how I did it:

JUST A NOTE:  It is best/easiest to split them when the leaves have not come out yet.

 1. I have mine in my river rock landscaping so I had to pull all the rocks back so I could get to the plant.

2.  I am not sure this is the ‘proper’ way to split them but it’s how I did it and they are still growing.  I put my shovel in between the sections where I wanted to split them and pushed it in.  This divides the root ball into two sections and allowed me to pull it apart.  As you can see the roots to the section I split are still attached.  Don’t worry if a couple of the buds get lost in the process…it will be fine. 

3.  If you are transplanting the section you took out you will need to dig a hole deep enough to have all the roots in the ground. 

4.  Place the separated plant into the hole.  Fill the dirt back in around the plant, fill the rock back in (if you have it) and water.  Simple as that!

5.  If you are going to sell them or give them to someone else just put them in an ice cream bucket with some soil and water them until you are ready to plant them. 

Can’t wait to get this gardening season in full swing.  I am working on building a raised bed garden so I will be posting about that soon!