Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Hubby's handwork! A brand new - made from recycled items - compost bin...

My husband has a knack at keeping things going just a little longer or using parts from something that has completely quit working to make something new.  Ok...so sometimes I guess you could say I don't always appreciate the way my husband can re-invent things.  Sometimes, I just want a new one!!!  But - with our budget, we just can't get a new one.  Sometimes his handwork means he can start it, but this 'used to be city-girl' just can't seem to make it work!  I tend to just want to cart it to the curb if it isn't functioning properly (like push a button and it works) - I am great with recycling - but I want to take it somewhere and let someone else deal with what to do with it!

However - we have had televisions that operated long past their years - if you only knew just where to touch the buttons to make the required function happen (I once put a strip of masking tape under the buttons to detail the instructions to a novice user).  He has fashioned planters benches, a rabbit hutch, dog pens, a playground fort, an art room, a dog door, toy boxes, shelves, and literally dozens of other things out of retired items.

Over the years - I've been developing a love for growing things.  I really enjoy the taste of home grown veggies and fruits (and the price).  I've learned that composting is so essential to fertile soil, and really minimizes what I dump into the trash.  I've even tested herbs grown in store bought potting soil and herbs grown in compost and seen an amazing difference in plants health and size!  However, our compost storage options have left me begging for improvement.  We started in an old boat shell - but I quickly complained that, though it contained the compost well, it was difficult to turn the compost in the awkward shape of the boat (in a word: back-breaking).  Then we started keeping it in old barrels, cut in 1/2,  but this too was not "easy" enough for me!  Remember - I was born a city girl - and hard labor is just not my favorite thing!  Not to mention, I babysit, home school, and volunteer with church, co-op, and our school district, so I tend to be short on time.  Well - now - he has come up with a design that I am really excited about!!  I told him he get's the hubby of the year award.

He has fashioned a compost bin from the following items:

1.) 4 casters
2.) A big sturdy piece of wood (casters bolted to this) and some boards for support under that
3.) An empty 55 gallon plastic barrel (sits on the casters)
4.) 2 hinges
5.) A slide hasp
6.) Some pipe insulation
7.) And - an old steering wheel

Take a look at this bin:

This is the opening:

And here is my sweet daughter, who has the daily chore of emptying our compost bucket, and is truly excited about the steering wheel feature he added for her to turn the bin!

I am loving this new invention!  I am so excited because now we can easily turn the compost - and I love easy!!  I am also loving that now I can place a small container under the bin, tilt it down, and retrieve the fertile compost soil when I am ready to use it!  No more digging it out of barrels! 

Now....what to grow....where will I plant my next garden...I'm thinking herb garden....rose garden....wildflower bed....strawberry pots....veggies....hmmm...

Honey?  I think I need you to make another bin just like this one!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

First mother's day with my granddaughter!

I can hardly believe it's been almost 3 months since I met my grandaughter for the first time!  So sweet, so tiny, so perfect in every way!  Being a mom has been an indescribable blessing in my life.  Nothing could have ever prepared me for the way I felt for my children when they were first laid in my arms.  Then those first illnesses, bumps, scrapes, and bruises; who knew how strong you had to be to love them so much!  But it didn't stop there - there was first day of school, then there was elation when I realized I could keep them home to teach them.  There was my worry when they went to friends.  The worry got worse when they came home late.  Seeing them drive is really tough too - and then to watch them graduate - huge sigh - I can hardly hold back the tears.

Now...I have even more of a blessing.  One of those great kids has given me something I could have never expected to be so sweet.  It's like being a mom all over again, but different.  I just can't describe the joy I get when they drive up and bring her in.  When I pull back her little blanket to see her sweet face peeking out from her carseat.  When she smiles, when she coos, when she cries - that protective mommy inside me is now a protective grandmommy!

It's an amazing time when you become a grandparent - that little sweetheart is so special to me.  And - since I still have two kiddos who are in elementary school - it just adds to the joy to see them so thrilled with their tiny little niece.  They love to hold her and coo at her and it is truly precious to be a part of such a sweet experience as my children are now aunts & uncles too!

Happy mother's day to all moms, daughters, and grandmothers!  God has so richly blessed us everyday!

"I have no greater joy than to hear my children are walking in the truth." 3 John 4