Friday, August 11, 2017

Sometimes Things Just Work Out

A few weeks ago we put in new hickory floors in our living room and bedroom.  We wanted to match the ones we already had in our kitchen and dining area. 

The carpet in these rooms was old and dirtier than we thought.  That was apparent when all the furniture was removed from the rooms.  It was a lot of work moving the furniture out of the rooms, but it was worth it.  It was something we wanted to do for a long time, and finally got it done. When the floors were done my husband and other family members thought it was time for a new television to go with the new look.  They wanted a new "smart" TV, but since I don't watch that much television in that room, I thought the "dumb" TV was just fine.  The "smart" TV would connect to Netflix, Hulu and Youtube with the wifi we already have.  We already have computers, tablets and phones that do that so what was the point.  The real reason I didn't want to get a new television was that I didn't want to give up the entertainment center that held the "dumb" TV.  The first reason was that the cabinet was so heavy that no one could lift it.  What on earth would we  do with it.  The thrift stores are full of old entertainment centers and no one is buying them, nor are they taking old TVs.  Most of these cabinets don't fit the new televisions .  The second reason was this cabinet was where I displayed my seasonal decorations especially Halloween and Snow Villages.

Being married 49 years means we have had years of practicing compromise.  I wanted to keep my cabinet for display purposes but also log homes don't have a lot of wall space to hang a television on.  I didn't want a modern television and a bunch of cords hanging over our rustic fireplace.  That would be just plain ugly.  My husband wanted a new TV.  The compromise was remodeling the old cabinet to fit a 55 inch "smart" TV.  

While the flooring installers were here, we asked them to carry the big heavy 36 inch TV out to our truck.  They said "no problem" but as they were sweating carrying it out, I think it was a bit of a problem.   Then we found a place that takes TV's because nobody wants them anymore (except me).  We had to pay $20 to get rid of it.  Getting rid of the TV meant there was no turning back.  At first modifying the old cabinet seemed like we opened a can of worms, and it might not be possible.  We decided if it didn't work out it was fine.  My husband knew either way he was getting a new television, and I knew there was a possibility I could keep my cabinet.  If not, maybe I could find something I liked that would work.

We took out all the components.  The whole right side of the cabinet had a glass door and shelves which held a stereo system, the Direct TV receiver, a DVD player and a VHS player (yes we still had one of those too).  He took the door off and most of the shelves out.

Then we bought some oak boards and some stain that matched the wood in the cabinet.  He cut back the center partition and framed out the top, center strip and sides.  The new televisions are so much thinner it didn't have to be cut back all the way.  Then some glue, a few clamps and a little stain made it match pretty well.

Once the cabinet was done, we had to find a TV that would fit.  We didn't think it would be a problem, but it was.  We measured down to the 1/8 inch.  Most 55" TVs were to tall.  We found one that would fit but the base wasn't right.  Another was a brand we had never heard of and didn't want to take a chance.  Finally we found a 55 inch Sony but it was still 1/4 inch too high.  It had a stand that would probably work.   We bought it, but had to make adjustments to make it fit. He had to use the router and take out some material so the stand could sit down in a groove.  We held our breath (at least I did) as we placed the TV into the cabinet.  It fit like a glove. 

We finally have arrived in the 21st century.  My husband is happy and has more TV programs than he will ever be able to watch.  I am happy because I still have my cabinet to put my decorations on. 

Monday, August 7, 2017

Making Baby Hydrangea Plants

Several years ago we purchased a hydrangea bush.  I always loved them and wanted one but never had room until we moved here.  I had a friend who had a couple varieties and would always have them drying around her home in the fall.  I settled on a variety called Limelight.  It has a light green color as the flowers are forming.  As the flowers become fully formed, they become white with a touch of pink on the ends of the petals.

The flowers start out as lime green.

It is a beautiful bush.  I pick some for drying in the house and leave the other blossoms to dry on the plant over the winter.  They turn brown but stand out in the winter.  They look pretty with snow on them.

In late winter, while the plant is still dormant, I prune them.  I cut them down to half of their size.  This year I had a friend message me to see if she could have some hydrangea leaves.  She was going to be in town in late April.  She had seen on Facebook how you can take the leaves, cut them in a certain way and root them.  I would have been happy to give her some, but this hydrangea variety has a different type leaf and during the time she could visit, the bush hadn't leafed out completely.

This was the hydrangea on April 25

Since the bush was just beginning to leaf out, I thought I would take some cuttings and see what would happen.  I had cut some in the fall and placed them in dirt over winter.  They began to leaf out but I think I disturbed them too soon.  The roots were very fragile.  If I would do that again, I would leave them undisturbed all summer.  They all produced leaves but one by one they died off.

A little bit of green budding

Around April 29th I cut ten sticks that had just begun budding out.  I placed all of them in a hanging basket and hung them on a shepherd's hook.

At this point I left them undisturbed.  I watered them when there wasn't much rain, but I pretty much left if up to mother nature.  Within two weeks I noticed some growth, but I wasn't sure if it would work.

Here they are in two weeks.  It's looking good.

Here they are over three months later.  The plants look healthy and have grown.  I figured it was time to separate them and pot each one individually.

I searched around for enough empty pots.  I found a couple diapers left over from the grand kids when they were babies.  I kept them for this very reason, potting plants.
 I put two of the smaller plants together so I have nine nice sized pots.  The bigger pot has two plants from one of my other varieties called Tardiva Hydrangea.  I used the same method, and I also got nice plants.  The Tardiva Hydrangea is really pretty, but different.  Some of the blossoms open and others do not. 

Tardiva Hydrangea

Hopefully all these plants will make it through the winter.  Only time will tell.