The Groundskeeper

Sep 152018
 

mason jars

After spending all the time canning produce from your garden or elsewhere, the last thing you want to happen is to have jar go bad and not realize it till you “smell something funky” when you go to your pantry.

Take a few minutes to look over the jars you have.

Are they all still sealed?

Do any need to be wiped down?  If so, do it now before you forget.

If any have gone bad, dump the contents and sanitize the jars.  Check for chips before storing them till they are needed again.

Sep 092018
 

This post contains affiliate links.


The digital rewards site Swagbucks is offering big payouts during on their September Swago Board, which runs from September 10th through September 17th at 9am PT! Swago is just like bingo, but in this case you’re filling out squares as you earn points on their site for doing things you already do online. If you’re thinking of trying Swagbucks, this is a great chance to learn all about how the site works and earn bonus points while doing it, meaning you can get more gift cards faster. Here are a few tips:

  • Each square on your Swago Board will contain an action item to complete. They can be anything from getting a search win, completing a survey, or just visiting one of our popular stores!
  • Once you complete the action item in a particular square the square will change color signifying the action item is complete.
  • You have until 12pm PT/3pm ET on Monday, September 17th to mark off as many squares as possible so use your time wisely.
  • Be mindful of the patterns and their corresponding bonuses located on the right of your Swago Board. The patterns will vary in difficulty and bonus value. Once you’ve achieved a pattern, the corresponding “Submit” button will light up. You can have multiple patterns available for submission, however, you can only submit ONE pattern so choose wisely.
  • Each activity you successfully complete on your Swago Board will give you anywhere from 1-20 spins on the Spin & Win Wheel. PLUS, when you submit your board for a bonus you’ll get additional spins. The number of spins will depend on the pattern you complete. The wheel has all sorts of great prizes that you can win, and each spin is a winner!

The Spin & Win Wheel will be available all throughout Swago and you have until 11:59pm PT on Monday, September 17th to use all your spins.

Fill up your board and then submit your pattern to get even more points – if you can fill in the whole board, you get a 500 SB bonus, which is enough for a $5 gift card from the retailer of your choice.

Click here right now and click “Join” to get started! If you don’t already have a Swagbucks account, you’ll be able to quickly sign up; PLUS, if you earn 300 SB before the first of October, you’ll get a bonus 300 SB!

Sep 082018
 

The raised box for my strawberries is precisely that –  a raised box.  I made it out of a free pallet this past spring.  It was my first pallet project and not the prettiest of things.  The strawberries do not seem to mind, though, as they are setting runners left, right, and over the edge.

Per plant the 6 All Star plants, my June bearing plants, are setting a lot more runners than the 2 Eversweet plants, my everbearing ones.  Out of the 8 mother plants there are currently 10 babies trying to set root with more still growing.


With the hope to disturb the babies the least when I move them to a yet-to-be-built box, I used what I had to create pots inside the current bed for them to (hopefully) root in.  With a lack of small pots around, I turned to my pantry for a solution.  Disposable cups it was.

After making a drainage hole in the bottom, I labeled each as to the kind of plant it was – Eversweet or All Star.

I then used what I had on hand for a filler – wood chips.  It would be preferable to put potting soil in there, which I will do at a future date.  For now I wanted to get it started and at least the framework in place.

The pots cups were then placed into the existing bed in appropriately the location the runners fell naturally.  By cup number 10 it was starting to get crowded in there.

For the rest of this season and next I will pinch off runners from these plants so they can focus on growth rather than reproducing.

 

Sep 072018
 

This post contains affiliate links.
Schoola.com
Looking to update your wardrobe for the season?  Realize you could do with a few more long sleeves or pants?  Schoola is a great way to help support schools while saving money on your wardrobe budget.

We have used them several times and have always been pleased with the honesty of the descriptions as well as the quality of clothing.  Even the packaging is nicely done.

Right now, it is even better with their Refer-A-Friend promotion – $10 for you. $10 for a new friend. 40% to schools. It’s a win-win-win! Refer a friend to Schoola.com!

So what will it be – warm sweater or comfy pants?

Sep 072018
 

This post contains affiliate links.
Sale! ALL Craftsy Classes Under $20 at Craftsy.com 9/7-9/9/18.Fall is the perfect time to cozy up with a new craft project. And to help you get started, we’re putting every Craftsy class on sale!

What a great way to get a jump on your fall décor projects or the end of the year holiday presents.  Whether you are looking for something to help with your painting, cake decorating, scrapbooking, stamping, and sewing projects, or maybe your woodworking and gardening, Craftsy has something for you.

Don’t delay, this deal ends at 11:59 MST on September 9th!

Exclusions apply. Please see additional terms and conditions in coupon details.

Aug 312018
 

This post contains affiliate links.
Get Up To 50% Off Supplies at Craftsy.com 8/31-9/3/18. No coupon code needed.Who says you have to wait until Labor Day to start celebrating? The long weekend begins now, and we’re kicking yours off with a little something special. Get up to 50% off your Private Label supplies during this exclusive shopping party. Hurry, it ends Monday!

Exclusions apply. Please see additional terms and conditions in coupon details.

Aug 302018
 

I was compensated for this post.  This post also contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

 

“Some things are too good to keep to yourself.” That is how I felt when I received a surprise package in the mail.  I knew the sender and that I had not ordered anything from them recently.  Then I opened the cardboard package and saw another package.  This inner package, though, was wrapped in a bow.  What could it be?

This is where the good news made me feel giddy.  Starting today, August 30th, my favorite dollar store, Dollar Tree, is now carrying Hallmark cards!!! Expressions From Hallmark will be $1 each and Heartline a Hallmark company will have cards 2 for $1! No more excuse about having to pay $4-$5 per card for special occasions in your life.

While the price is low on these cards their look and feel is not. The recipients will not be able to tell you picked these up from the Dollar Tree.  Coverings a variety of life events and including a pre-written note inside, you can now find an economical choice at one of the 6,500 Dollar Tree stores nationwide to help share your notes of joy, sorry, and love.

Dollar Tree and Hallmark will also be coming together to offer a few other Hallmark card lines – Mahogany, Vida, and Tree of Life.  These lines are aimed to filled the need in certain racial or religious groups who may often feel a bit overlooked by the normal selection found in stores.

In addition to the Expressions and Heartline line of cards I also received a few from “joyfully yours, a Dayspring Company”.  These cards allow you to express your faith in just the right way, whether it be for a holiday, special occasions, or moments big and small.

If you have even been on the expectant end of my card mailing list, you would quickly find out that written notes and cards are not my strong suit.  A large part of this is due to my frugalness getting in the way.  It is not that I do not love or appreciate you to that extent, but would rather spend the money to take you out for dessert than to purchase a piece of paper which would end up in the trash in a few hours.

Now there is no excuse, I can do both – buy a card and treat you to dessert.  This is a good thing for everything except my waist line.

Aug 292018
 

My normal collection of bags is not typical I believe.  I usually have one purse I am using…and no back up.  I may have a few backpacks for various activities (going to the pool, to take to the park, to go camping, etc.) but not much beyond that. I use what holds up, the rest are usually not worth my time to buy only to throw away after one season.

The majority of the bags I use were received from conventions or training seminars.  They tend to be canvas type material and have done well through all sorts of uses and weather.

One collection of bags I own, though, does not fit this stereotype at all – the dog food bag collection currently happening in my garage.  Yes, these large, bulky items which look like something could be done with them but which our local recycling does not accept.

This has not been a problem in the past as we did not have a dog.  Now we do.  A big one, about 90 lbs. He eats a fair amount of food. At this rate we will add two bags to the collection every month.  I foresee this getting out of hand rather quickly, yet did not want to add yet more ‘stuff’ to the time capsule called the landfill for my great-great-great grandkids to dig up and say “Look, I found what used to pass as food for dogs!!!”

What is one to do then?

A quick online search gave me a few answers:

  • Funky Recycled Pet Food Bag Purse/Tote – while I do not need another bag for the beach, these would make great bags for grocery shopping.  This would also be a unique gift idea.  You could either give them as a gift or to put a gift into.
  • Reuse at home – to gather leaf mulch, as a container to store other items, and other uses.
  • More uses at home – outdoor pillow covers, trash can liners, moisture barrier for your floors, and more ideas from commenters. I loved seeing how many others used these “what’s in my hand” items for solutions to problems they had around the home. (Holding rose bush trimmings, anyone?)
  • Messenger Bag – okay, confession time.  If I were to begin creating these, I think I would have a much, much larger collection of bags.  I LOVE messenger bags.  There is something about them which reminds me of coffee, creativity, sophistication,…coffee.  This design was one using chicken feed bags, but with a bit of creative thinking it could be used for pet food bags.

If reusing or crafting are not your thing and you really just want them gone…but not to the landfill, then consider TerraCycle.  They not only recycle dog food bags, but many other things as well.  At this time they are only accepting certain brands of dog food, so it will not work for everyone.  This is a recycling program worth checking out as they recycle the hard to recycle products, send you a shipping label which covers the cost of shipping, and even have a reward program.

Are there other ways you find to reuse or recycle your pet food bags?

Aug 282018
 

 

Regular turning of your compost pile is one of those garden jobs that often is forgotten.  Turning your pile over does several things:

  1. Mixes the new items you have added to your pile with your older items.
  2. Allows air to get to items that may previously have not had it.
  3. Discourages pesky insects (gnats, flies, mosquitoes, etc.) from gathering and laying eggs by covering food scraps not yet decomposed. This is only an issue if your pile is near where people will be, and therefore they will be pesky.
  4. Speeds up the decomposition of your pile.  In other words, you will have compost that you can use faster.  (This is my favorite reason.)

If you are in a cooler climate, or just a down right cold area, you may have to wait till a warmer day. This is especially true if your pile is under snow or otherwise unable to be worked.

Aug 152018
 

mason jars

After spending all the time canning produce from your garden or elsewhere, the last thing you want to happen is to have jar go bad and not realize it till you “smell something funky” when you go to your pantry.

Take a few minutes to look over the jars you have.

Are they all still sealed?

Do any need to be wiped down?  If so, do it now before you forget.

If any have gone bad, dump the contents and sanitize the jars.  Check for chips before storing them till they are needed again.