Wednesday, October 2, 2013

50 Pounds of Dimes vs. 50 Pounds of Quarters

Which would you rather have... 50 pounds of quarters or 50 pounds of dimes? Which is worth more?

I would think dimes have more worth per ounce so that would have been my pick. Ten cents packed into those thin little things. But I was wrong. I weighed 1 pound of each...

1 lb. Nickels = $4.60

1 lb. Dimes = $20.20

1 lb. Quarters = $20.50


50 lbs. Nickels = $230

50 lbs. Dimes = $1,010

50 lbs. Quarters = $1,025

Not much difference between the dimes and the quarters. Supposedly, the silver content should decide their worth but our coins haven't had any silver in them since 1964.

Every once in a while someone will tell me I have too much time on my hands. Those are usually the people who suffer from a deplorable lack of curiosity.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Painted Guitar

Had an old guitar that College Man's grandfather gave to me for painting on a long time ago. The neck has a crack where it attaches to the body at the back.

I sanded the gloss off of it with 220 and wiped it down with a damp sponge. Used regular ole craft paint on it. Still needs a clear coat.

The silver part is my son, College Man's style. I browsed his facebook photos till I found one of his sharpee designs that I thought I could mimic. Mine isn't executed nearly as well as his. The blue part has the lyrics to Desperado painted in darker blue. The sides are a gorgeous turquoise.

Finally. A plan comes together...
Shoes: goodwill, 3 years ago.Hat: ebay, 4 years ago.Chair: garage sale, 1 year ago.Painted the guitar: last night.Goose neck lamp: bedroom, just now.

Sure needs some John Lee Hooker star stocks though.

All in one so I can pin it...

Saturday, July 13, 2013

DIY Drinking Water Filter with Aquarium Charcoal

UPDATE: In the Spring of 2016, my town's water treatment plant was destroyed in a massive flood that also took out a highway. Our town was without running water for one week while we awaited an emergency mobile water treatment truck rented from New York. After the truck arrived, we were still on a boil water notice for many weeks and very restricted water conservation use.

Fortunately, the water filter experiment in this blog post was already under my belt from a few years prior. I boiled about two gallons of water each day and then ran it through the filter explained below, to remove the small but visible debris. I let it drip into a tall tea server that had a spout. We used the boiled and filtered water for cooking, making tea, and for safe potable water for my dog. This was something we would not have been able to do with a small unit attached to the faucet. And the tiny amount of charcoal in the store-bought faucet filters (about two tablespoons) could not have handled this situation.

THE ORIGINAL BLOG POST... I've been filling up water jugs down at Cool Clear Water. Tastes great; I love it. But I drink a lot of water and would really like to not go down there with so many jugs every week or haul one of those big honkin' bottles back and forth. So I bought one of those "Pur" water filters that snaps on to the faucet. The water did NOT taste good. It tasted terrible. If it doesn't taste good, I'm not going to drink it. I want crisp, clean-tasting water.

So I happened to have a big tub of activated charcoal for aquarium filters. I rinsed it, and rinsed it some more, and some more and some more. Took a lot of rinsing for the water to stop being gray. Then I drilled a tiny hole in the lid of this tall smartwater bottle you see in the photo, cut the bottom off the bottle, turned it upside-down into a glass jar with a coffee filter, filled the water bottle with my rinsed charcoal, and poured my "pur" filtered water into the charcoal.

A tub of activated charcoal for aquarium filters is waaay cheaper than the pur or brita pitcher filters, which contain only a tiny amount of charcoal.

The water is sitting in the bottle while it slowly drains through the tiny hole in the lid (the longer the contact with the charcoal, the better). It is passing through the coffee filter (to catch any remaining charcoal dust, even though it's healthy for you - people even eat charcoal tablets for health reasons), and into the glass jar.

It tastes pretty good but I still like the reverse osmosis water from Cool Clear Water and will probably continue to get my drinking water from there.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Clay pot bird houses on vintage-look sign

My husband, Johnny, built this awesome bird house for me. He always wants to put a nice, thick coat of paint on everything and get it looking as new as possible. I convinced him to give it to me "raw" so I could do a little vintage whapah! on it. It's hard to tell if he actually likes things looking old and weathered when I'm done with them or if he's just going along for the sake of peace.

  • The back is 1x12 pine, cut two feet long at the high point.
  • The roof tops are 1x8 pine.
  • He used a masonry bit to cut the hole in the bottoms of the clay pots.
  • A circle of wood was cut to fit inside the large opening of the pot.
  • Holes were drilled into the side of the pot to fasten it to the wood circle with screws and washers.
  • Four screws come through the back of the sign board into the wooden circle to hold the clay pots to the board.
Here is a blow-out sketch that might help...

The wooden circle sits just inside the clay pot. The washers and screws go into the drilled holes in the side of the pot, and into the wooden circle to hold it in. More screws come in from the back to hold the wooden circle to the back board.

I drew the screws too big; make sure yours are just the right length to go through the back board into the wooden circle but not so long that they go all the way inside the bird house and poke the poor bird to death.

I painted the back board with watered down craft paint so plenty of wood grain would show through. I free-handed the logo but I've seen pretty awesome ones done with those vinyl stencil printer-cutter things (I don't have one and don't even know what they're called). Then I roughed it all up with a sanding block. I'm going to attach it right onto the outside of the house in a little niche near the front porch.

Aged it a little more with some oak polystain. Wish I had kept the polystain off the pots though; they looked better before. This would be the "don't do the stupid thing I did" portion. Get your backboard looking just the way you want it before you attach the pots. This was an afterthought for me though and I accidentally got stain onto the pots and then was like "Screw it" and covered the pots too. Now they're too shiny.

(But I still like it)

Friday, March 15, 2013

Finger Crack Friday

I used to have a blog called Finger Crack Friday. It only had three posts...

We're about to say farewell to the dilapidated trampoline. I made this little video for the kids...

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Homemade Gatorade Mix

This is a recipe I originally published on my old blog Texas Tootbloom. The homemade gatorade (homerade!!) entry had lots of hits every week. I was with my mom when she bought a tub of gatorade powder mix this week and that stuff's not cheap. So here's the recipe again.

My kids and I had taste-tested all the experiment stages until we came up with this winner:

1 pkg. unsweetened Kool-ade mix
2 quarts water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt substitute (for the potassium)

Most homemade gatorade recipes that I see online just say "salt" but the potassium in the salt substitute is important to get the electrolytes benefit that a sports drink provides.

We like the lime kool-ade with this mix but the grape was blech. Haven't tried it fruit punch style yet. And the lime comes out that awesome radioactive green. We've also doubled the recipe and used one packet lime and one packet lemon.

I've also seen a lot of recipes call for 1/2 cup of orange juice. They say it's for the citric acid but the kool-aid mix already has the citric acid. So we throw our gatorade together just like you see it above and it's just right.

Grams is sugar in 8 oz.:
Gatorade - 13.6
Homerade - 12.5

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Drawing, woman on a city street

One of my drawings
Pencil on Paper

The original sold to my college band director many years ago. He bought it for his sister; he said it seemed like her. I wonder, sometimes, if she still has it.

Newbery Award Books by grade-school category, genre

This is a partial list of Newbery Award books (winners and honors) and which grade-school reading categories they can fit into.  A friend wa...