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Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Around The House Projects

Since both of us are starting to feel a bit better,  we decided that we wanted to work on a couple projects around the house. I ordered these really cool lights from Menards, and wanted to put one on the top of each of the new fence posts

They didn't quite look that cool when I got them. They were a copper color. So before assembling them, I spray-painted each of the tops and the base sections with red paint to match the red trims on our house. The solar panel square at the top was still sealed from the factory with a piece of cellophane so it was pretty easy to spray paint.  I just love working on projects like this. 

Although the instructions said it would fit on top of posts, with the various size adapters in the base construction as the specifications listed, I think they are meant to fit onto wooden posts like deck posts! It didn't mention plastic PVC fence posts! ACK! 

Soon I realized I would not be able to use the nice base pieces that I had painted. But, as luck would have it, the clear prism part had a ridge on the bottom edge that would exactly fit into the recessed area of the PVC fence post!  Whew... crisis averted.

A few little dabs of my glue gun on opposite corners was just enough to hold them into place without being inadvertently knocked off.   I didn't want to glue them all of the way around the perimeter.

My dad used to use the term "INGINILITY"!  I believe it was a cross between Ingenuity and Ability. So I used my inginility to figure out how to get these lights on the top of the posts. And here they are!

I waited until night time to go out and take a picture. The lights are able to glow in either white, or blue, red, or green. We chose the white.

I was quite pleased with how they turned out, and they reflect off quite a bit of light. This was only the first night so far.  They didn't even get a complete day's worth of a solar charge.  

Another project that I worked on today was to rescue my clumps of coleus that are still growing in the yard, as well as some that I had rooting inside on the windowsill. I carefully preserve these the strains of these plants every year. I keep them growing throughout the winter in the basement windows. Other years I had planted them in individual pots. It was a lot harder to take care of them spacing them close together as I could with the tapered flower pots. 

This year I decided to use my long plastic window boxes and plant them in rows. I only had three window boxes, but my handy dandy husband built me a fourth one. He also made some wonderful support racks for down in the basement to hold the window boxes level to the south-facing windows.

Last year they grew quite well over the winter and got adequate light as well as the warmth from the furnace in the basement.

For the next few days we will roll them out during the day into the warmth of the sun and the weather and then in the evenings roll them back into the garage. But it's good we took care of this now, because the weatherman said tomorrow night we will be going down to 36 degrees! We might have a few evenings of frost coming up, so it's worth it to get these sheltered in the garage before cold weather sets in.

Another project I had seen was to make a tea kettle hanging sideways on a post. It makes an adorable little birdhouse. Since my mom just sent me a beautiful new blue tea kettle to keep in the motorhome, I took the old 1970s one I had in there and gave it a fresh coat of pretty glossy red paint. I think it's going to be cute. I just felt like getting it done because I had the spray paint out and wanted to get this accomplished before winter. That way we can hang it out by Springtime, perhaps on the end post of the fence and hopefully get some new inhabitants??

Here is a picture of 
the main idea of what 
I want to accomplish

Another project we decided to work on, with something else that we ordered. This time it was something we got from Amazon. Seeing as we are social distancing and remaining as isolated as possible, we are doing a lot of our shopping online or do curbside pickup.

Anyhow, when we use the water heater in our motorhome, we have it on a timer so we only use it at certain times of the day. Why waste all of that propane running the water heater 24 hours around the clock if we're only using water between say 5 and 8 p.m.?

Well, if that works good for our motorhome, we decided it should work good for our house!

Let me explain, our house has a fairly new water heater, but it's electric. It was put in by the sellers and was not our first choice of a source of energy for creating water in our house. So, we looked at replacing it with a natural gas power vented water heater and that would run us in the $800 range. Then we looked at the on-demand natural gas water heaters that along with all the configurations and items that go with it would probably run us $900. So, we decided to do the next best thing. Steve is always thinking you know....

Because of knowing how we use the timer in the motorhome, he looked up and researched about special timers you can buy for an electric water heater in your house. On top of it, we both researched into the Wi-Fi water heater timers. We already have our home heating thermostat on Wi-Fi, as well as our security system and door locks, why not put our water heater on Wi-Fi?

This is what we are ordered. It came in just a few days and we were all ready to set it up.

Steve took care of all the connections while I read the directions and downloaded the app for the smartphone. In no time at all we had it figured out. I did one Boo Boo on the setup and had to reverse it and reset and do it over again.  That was nice to be able to start over and correct myself. 

Now we are expecting to see a nice drop in our electric consumption. We set the timer to run between 5 and 9 p.m. That's when we do our dishes, take showers or baths, or perhaps throw in a load of laundry. The water still remains hot in the tank overnight. The next morning there is still enough if we want. But with most of our hot water usage between the hours of 5 a.m. and 8 p.m. or so. We will let you know after our next electric bill what are differences in consumption.

Like I said, our cool fall temperatures are going down and we have started kicking on the cute little gas fireplace in the She Shed. Tonight we are cozied up to it in our wool socks and our jammies. It's comfortable and cozy watching the flickering flames...

I have my glass of wine ready and the debates are going to start soon. We will see what we will see, not going to get political here. 

Just going to be an entertaining evening, 
I am sure!


  1. Glad you were able to use your inginility to get those solar lights on the posts, they look great.

    Entertaining would be one word for that debate....probably not my first choice after watching it. :) Take care and stay well.


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