Sunday, July 27, 2014

Using a Rain Barrel to Collect Condensate from Your Air Conditioner!

We live in Texas and in the summer it doesn't rain much.  As a state we have severe water shortages every where.  The air conditioner also runs a lot because it HOT in Texas!  The a/c causes lots of condensation that just runs out onto the ground.  From what I've read, condensate water from the a/c is 99% pure clear water, no chemicals, just a bit of dust!  Why not catch it and use it?  We did just that!  Here's how we did it.
This is our final product and it works perfectly!  Why didn't we think of this a long time ago?  We dont know, but I'm glad my honey decided he wanted to try and catch the dripping water.
Our unit is in the attic, so the drip line runs across the attic floor to the outside edge of the house.  At first it just dripped down at the base of the foundation.  My honey added some PVC pipe and a few elbows to make it drain out onto the grass.
When he decided to catch the water he used a cat litter container and just cut a hole in the lid for the PVC to fit into.  That was all fine and good until the darn thing was full in about a 36 hour time period.  That's lots of water!  Then he decided he'd make a rain barrel to catch it.  GREAT idea honey!
We started out with a brand new bright and shiny metal trash can.  $19.97 at Walmart.  Keep reading and you'll see why we decided not to use the metal can.  But in the mean while I'm going to tell you what we did so we could get the water out of the container to use it.
You will need a barrel and a water spigot with a few other items to make your very own water catcher!
You'll need a hole saw to make a hole for the spigot to fit into.  LOL! Are you wondering why my honey has a blue finger nail?  He tried on my newest nail polish for me so I'd know what it looked like on.  He's the best!
A few rubber pieces to use as a gasket to help seal the hole cut in the barrel.  We used an old bicycle inter tube that was left over from the DIY Kids Bike Makeover my honey did back a few months ago.
First, grab your spigot.  We used a washing machine cold water spigot for our barrel.  Make a mark on the rubber piece so you can cut a hole to fit the spigot through.  You'll need two of these, one for the outside and one for the inside of the barrel.
To cut the hole, use a box cutter.  Cut an X in the circle and slip the spigot through the X.
The white fitting you see in this picture came with the spigot.  Adjust it to the proper space needed and then add one piece of your rubber to the spigot.
We bought this faucet rosette washer and nut in the 1/2" size (the size of our spigot) to add to the inside of the barrel for the final seal of the spigot to the barrel.
You'll insert your spigot from the outside of the barrel like you see above.  Not shown in the picture, but we did add Teflon tape to the spigot threads in the final barrel.
On the inside add another rubber piece and then the washer and nut piece and tighten down securely.
Next, water test.  Add water to just above the hole you cut in the barrel.
This is what happened to our pretty metal can!  It leaked badly!  The spigot leaked too!  Back to the drawing board!
We ran into town and grabbed a big plastic barrel.  It cost us $22.
These barrels are actually all one piece, no lid to take off so you can get to the inside.  Using a reciprocating saw, cut the "lid" off.  As you can see, this barrel was nasty!  After it was open, it got a good scrubbing with soap and water.
And then just follow the previous steps I showed you up above.  Remember to add the Teflon tape to the spigot for a better seal.
We used a piece of screening to filter out any unwanted yuck into our water barrel.
Next, my honey used the hole saw again and made some drain holes in the lid just in case it rained, the barrel would catch the water. Double duty!
The lid is actually turned upside down.  It makes a perfectly snug fit to hold the screen in place.
To raise the barrel off the ground, my honey built a stand using left over 2x4s, 4x4s and some more of our fence pickets.  That's another post though!  The stand was necessary so we could get a water can under the spigot to use the water we'd gathered.
We placed the stand in an opening of our shrubs near the existing PVC drain, added a couple of 45 degree elbows to redirect it and TahDah!  Lots of water being captured!

It took right at a full week to gather a barrel full of water.  That's approximately 55 gallons of water that would have otherwise jut gone onto the ground.  Now we use it to water all the little plants and the garden!  Thank you Baby! You're the bestest!

It doesn't have to be done all at once.  It is a slow process in the works! C-ya next time!

I'm Linking to:
These lovely and FUN parties!
Between Naps on the Porch
DIY Home Sweet Home
We Call It Junkin


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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

My Mama always made homemade spaghetti sauce, but I always used the ready made jar version and doctored it up. Why? Because I thought it took too long to make homemade.  I never tried it until one night for supper I wanted to make spaghetti but I didn't have any sauce, so off to Pinterest I went!  I found a yummy recipe here.  I changed my recipe up a bit because I used what I had on hand.
Homemade Spaghetti Sauce
  • 2 lbs lean ground beef
  • 2 large cans (28 oz.) diced tomatoes
  • ½ yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp garlic salt
  • ¼ cup fresh basil (1/2 tsp dry basil if you don't have fresh)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 bay leaves
Directions
  1. Brown ground beef and onions in a large pan.
  2. Drain ground beef and add all ingredients and simmer using a medium to low heat for 15-20 minutes, longer if you like.
  3. Serve over whole wheat spaghetti and enjoy!
Since I've tried the homemade sauce I've not purchased another jar of the store bought stuff!  Homemade is just so much better and it took me all these years to discover it! Just goes to show ya, Mama IS always right! :)

It doesn't have to be done all at once.  It is a slow process in the works! C-ya next time!

I'm Linking to:
These lovely and FUN parties!
Between Naps on the Porch
DIY Home Sweet Home
We Call It Junkin

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Sunday, July 13, 2014

Reuben Burgers - Yummy Summer Food

Grilling in the Summer is our favorite!  For Father's Day I gave my honey the Weber's Big Book of Burgers.  The book not only has burger recipes but Hot Dogs, Sides and Drinks too!
The Reuben Burger is one of the first recipes we tried.  We loved it!  Just so you know, these are not anywhere near healthy eating! So not good for the waist line!  Nuff said!
Here's what the book looks like in case you go looking for it.  I think it would make a great gift for guys or girls.
The recipe I'm about to give you is straight from the book.  I hope I'm not breaking any rules by sharing it.  These burgers are a bit of work, but very worth it!
Reuben Burgers

Patties
1 pound ground chuck (80% lean)
4 ounces pancetta or lean bacon, finely chopped
2 tsp whole grain mustard
1 tsp granulated onion
1/2 tsp granulated garlic

Kosher Salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Dressing
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tblsp sour cream
1 1/2 tblsp ketchup
2 tsp prepared horseradish
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp minced fresh dill
1 garlic clove, minced or pushed through a press
1/4 tsp white vinegar

8 slices rye bread
2 tblsp unsalted butter, melted
8 slices Swiss cheese, each about 1 ounce
1 cup sauerkraut, drained

1. Mix the patty ingredients, including 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper, and then gently form four patties of equal size, each about 1 inch thick.  With your thumb or the back of a spoon, make a shallow indenetation about 1 inch wide in the center of the patties to prevent them from forming a dome as they cook.  Refrigerate the patties until ready to grill.

2. Prepare the grill for direct cooking over medium-high heat (400 to 500F).

3. Combine the dressing ingredients, including 1/8 tsp salt.

4. Lighlty season the patties on both sides with salt and pepper, and then  grill of direst medium-high heat, with the lid closed, until cooked to medium doneness (160F), 9 to 11 minutes, turning once.

5. Brush one side of each bread slice with the melted butter, and place them on a work surface, buttered side down.  Spread the unbuttered side of the bread slice(dressing side up), one slice of cheese, a patty, another slice of cheese, sauerkraut, and a second bread slice(dressing side down).  Place the burgers over direct medium-high heat, close the lid, and cook until the cheese is melted and the bread is toasted, about 4 minutes, carefully turning once.  Serve warm.
If you like a regular reuben sandwich, you will probably enjoy these burgers.  They are so good!  If you happen to try this recipe, let me know how they turned out and if you enjoyed them as much as we did!

It doesn't have to be done all at once.  It is a slow process in the works! C-ya next time!

I'm Linking to:
These lovely and FUN parties!
Between Naps on the Porch
DIY Home Sweet Home
We Call It Junkin

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Sunday, July 6, 2014

Kitchen EAT Sign - A Thrifty Find

I've been wanting an EAT sign for our kitchen forever, but I am too cheap to pay lots of money for one, so I finally made one of my own!  We've been looking at letters every time we go to thrift shops, yard sales or auctions, but these people know the letters are wanted by us DIY types so they mark those prices up!
Just so happens the last swap meet we had in our little town finally gave me what I wanted.  E A T letters for a good price! $2 each! YAY!
The 6" letters are metal, a very nice weight of metal, a real bargain at $2 each.  They had some all thread screws in the back of them, which I removed with pliers so they would lay flat against the wall.  I cleaned the dust off of them with a wet paper towel, let them dry real good and then they were ready for paint.
Since the letters had a slick surface, I wanted to used a primer first.  We had Rustoleum primer good for metals on hand, so that's what I used.  I used Krylon's Pumpkin Orange gloss paint for my color. 
I just grabbed a scrap piece of wood for my painting surface and got to work.  First the primer.  I used a few thin coats and then let that dry really well.  Final step, the color.  Same thing, a few thin coats and let it dry really well.  So easy!
There they are hanging over the kitchen window.  It took me a while to position the nails just right to match the screw holes already in place in back of the letters, but I really like how they turned out!
I love the orange!  It really pops against the lighter colors in our kitchen. I guess you could say it makes a statement! Ha ha!

It doesn't have to be done all at once.  It is a slow process in the works! C-ya next time!

I'm Linking to:
These lovely and FUN parties!
Between Naps on the Porch
DIY Home Sweet Home
We Call It Junkin

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Sunday, June 29, 2014

Easy Turkey Provolone Pinwheels

If you're having friends over for lunch and want to make something a bit fancy, but easy to put together, try this quick and easy recipe.  It's sure to be a hit!
Turkey Provolone Pinwheels

This recipe makes two wraps (4 to 6 pinwheels each):

Ingredients:
2 whole wheat tortilla wraps
2 Laughing Cow light queso fresco & chipotle spreadable wedges
1 handful of salad mix or baby spinach leaves
12 thin slices of deli turkey (6 for each wrap)
4 slices provolone cheese (2 for each wrap)
1/4 red pepper thinly sliced
1/2 of an avocado thinly sliced
Salt & Pepper to taste

For each wrap, starting with your tortilla first, layer the ingredients as they are listed above.  Spread cheese wedge over entire tortilla.  Next lay down the salad mix then place turkey evenly around the tortilla over the salad.  Center provolone and all other ingredients along the middle of the tortilla.  Wrap up and then cut into about 2 inch sections to create your pinwheels.  Lastly, ENJOY!
All the flavor combinations in these wraps are perfect!  Not only are these yummy but good for you too!  They travel well for a take-to-work lunch if you skip the cutting into sections part and wrap them in foil for traveling.

It doesn't have to be done all at once.  It is a slow process in the works! C-ya next time!

I'm Linking to:
These lovely and FUN parties!
Between Naps on the Porch
DIY Home Sweet Home
We Call It Junkin

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

23 Picket Fence Projects and a Hometalk Feature

Hometalk?  Have you heard of it?  Did you know you can find Clover House on Hometalk too?  You did? Oh, ok...some of you have seen the graphic over there on the right.  Gotcha!  Well, just in case you haven't visited Hometalk, I post there all the time and I also love to clip my favorite ideas that I see on there.  There are lots of awesome people with fun stuff to clip for future reference. I have many boards to clip to.  One of them is being featured by Hometalk!  How cool is that?  The coolest!
Just look at all those awesome projects up there?  Do you see something up there that catches your eye?  Would you like to see the entire post for each of my 23 clips?  Just click on over to My Fence Picket Love board and see all the beauties you see above and more!  If you're already a member of Hometalk, you can follow me HERE.  If not, sign up, its FREE!  See ya on Hometalk!

It doesn't have to be done all at once.  It is a slow process in the works! C-ya next time!

I'm Linking to:
These lovely and FUN parties!
Between Naps on the Porch
DIY Home Sweet Home
We Call It Junkin

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Sunday, June 22, 2014

DIY Kids Bike Makeover - Summer Kid Fun

Do you need a fun summer project that the kiddos can get involved in?  Keep reading!

But first, have I ever mentioned that my honey is the best? If you follow me on Instagram, you'll notice I use that tag a lot! #myhoneyisthebest  You can find me on Instagram by searching ddcamp170 if you're interested.  Anywho....my honey is a true handyman and he loves to work with his hands.  Just had to brag a little!
A while back we had his nephew over for the weekend and they decided to makeover his bike while he was here.  What a fun project!  Purple is Payton's favorite color, so purple was definitely the color of choice.  They used Krylon's Purple Gloss paint.
This was the before picture.  The bike was weather worn and had lots of peeling stickers that needed to be removed before repainting could happen.  Of course there were some minor repairs to be done as well.
The two of them worked together and got all the little tedious work done so the bike could get a fresh coat of paint.  Payton took his time and taped off each and every spoke with painter's tape so the wheels could be painted too.  While Payton was doing that, my honey worked on some of the repairs needed.
Payton even got work using some sandpaper to remove the sticky that all the stickers left behind.  They needed a smooth service before they got to painting.
After all the prepping was done, all the pieces got two thin coats of metal primer.  They let each coat dry real well before they went on to the purple paint.
The wheels got two thin coats of gloss black and the bike body got two thin coats of gloss purple.
We let Payton pick out a font on the computer and then I printed out his name onto paper.  My honey used an exact-o knife and carefully cut out the name.  He then taped it on the side of the bike and used it like a stencil and traced it with a black sharpie.  After the tracing was done he removed the paper and filled the rest in.  Pretty cool huh?  Most kids don't have their name on their bike, but Payton does!
After everything was good and dry, they removed all the painter's tape and then reassembled the bike.
The bike got new pedals, new reflectors, new hand grips, a new chain and fresh tubes in the tires.  Almost like new again!
I think they did a fine job with the makeover.  Hopefully Payton learned a lot that day and can makeover another bike someday on his own.

It doesn't have to be done all at once.  It is a slow process in the works! C-ya next time!

I'm Linking to:
These lovely and FUN parties!
Between Naps on the Porch
DIY Home Sweet Home
We Call It Junkin

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