Thursday, July 31, 2014

Making a Puzzle Piece for a Puzzle Missing One

I mentioned on a post a few weeks ago that when we were missing a piece in a puzzle, I used a piece from another puzzle with a similar color and cut it into the shape of the missing piece of the current puzzle. 

I mentioned in a post that we were going to do this flag puzzle that I did as a teenager with my family. (See that here.)I was sad when we finally finished it that there were lots of pieces missing. Princess Five hated the puzzle as most of it is the same and she refused to help me with it but Princess Four did lots of the flag and some of the sky. 

It was funny as we were almost finished, Princess Five sat down and started helping and both Princess Four and I commented about how she wouldn't help until it was almost done with maybe 20 pieces left. We made her feel sad and had to say sorry and I told her that any time I get to sit and visit with her, I am happy so I would love her to help at any point along the way when we are doing puzzles or anything else for that matter.
I ended up throwing the flag puzzle out since it was missing so many pieces. I couldn't see why anyone would keep puzzles that are missing pieces unless they hold some emotional value or in the case of the girls, they are part of their "collection."  
I have purchased about 6 puzzles over the past few weeks and we have really enjoyed doing them in the evenings after working on things during the days. 

It takes me back to when I would do them with my siblings while watching M A S H after the evening news in the summer. 
I found this fun old puzzle last week originally $.99 from Grand Central. Now my age is showing as I remember that being a store and not just a train station. We put it together and I loved how thick the pieces are. It is like the old time lithographs with the little dots you can see on the picture. The colors are muted and the puzzle is actually smaller than the picture so we kept getting confused as to where things went.
We get it finished and it is missing two pieces. I really liked the puzzle and the art and sentiment behind the puzzle. I thought it funny that he is smoking a pipe in the forest. I thought it funny that he is holding a baby deer but has a gun. Did he shoot the Doe? 

I laugh that he is wearing a shirt and tie in the woods eating beans out of a can but has a tin like he is going to feed it to the deer. It is all funny to me. I wanted to keep the puzzle more as a decoration and piece of art than for the puzzle aspect and loved that some of the pieces are in the shape of animals and are funny shaped. With that, I used a cereal box to make the missing pieces. 

I put the box under the puzzle and used a pencil to trace the shape of the piece onto the cereal box. Since the pieces are so thick, I actually did six or seven of the same piece and cut them all out and then glued them together using a glue stick. 

I used a pencil to color the pattern on the black and white dogs face.

I did the same thing with the other spot that was missing a piece. It was a darker area and so I just colored it in with a black sharpie which actually made it a bit too black.

I wish I had actually used a dark brown to color it in and maybe mixed it with a grey or blue but I will share something about making the piece to fit. 

On one piece, I traced it inside the puzzle like I shared and then used that piece, once cut out, and traced around it for the other same pieces to glue together. 

The problem with that was that it made the traced piece bigger than the original piece and I ended up having to trim all those pieces more so I would just use the empty space where the piece is missing and trace it like I shared up above. This give the piece more of a fit. 

There are razors or blades that would cut it a little better than scissors but I was lazy and just used scissors to cut out the pieces. 

It would have been smarter to do a thick piece of cardboard rather than so many thin cereal box layers but that gave the option to make it as thick as the puzzle as I could add another layer as needed. 

I left the puzzle piece of the dog natural in color but thought about using white colored pencils or crayons to shade it better. You can see it matches fairly well but the darker piece, I made way too dark. 

I shared how I wanted to keep the puzzle and really, the time it took to make the pieces wasn't really justified other than I wanted to see if I could make it work. I think one did and the other not so much but it was fun trying....

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Free Cell - Headache Helper

This week has been a VERY hard week for the human barometer. I had one headache last week and four continuous days of headache this week. 
We have had LOTS of BIG storms going on and my poor head and teeth have had a hard time keeping up with the pressure changes. Several times over the past two days, I have  gotten very dizzy with the quick changing weather. Today, I actually had to hold onto something in fear of falling down. I don't ever remember getting this light headed and dizzy in one day. Usually, there may be one or two moments during a storm but it has been over and over for two days. The pressure gets really intense and I get nauseous as well.

I have taken a hand full of pills and had about 2 liters of Coke today. Same for yesterday. When I am feeling so horrible, it is hard to get much done.  Here is a link to a post about my headaches and why I have them. Click here for that post. 

Yesterday, I surprised myself by getting quite a bit done but it was rough today. Princess Five was helping with some chores today and I kept telling her I was going to go sit down and work on my checkbook while watching a show as I wasn't feeling well. I never did get to my check book or the show.

I kept pushing through it and doing laundry, cooking, packing Princess Four for college, etc, etc, etc.  

I did sit down a few times while waiting for the pills to take just enough of an edge off that I could function without losing my cookies. During those worst times of the headaches, I have found that if I engage in something that really challenges my mind, it lets me forget about the pain for a minute or two. 

I have noticed though, that when I play with a headache, my winning percentage goes down significantly. I usually hover around 90% give or take. When I have a headache, it goes down into the seventies on a regular basis. 
This isn't a good sign though as that means when I am driving or doing other activities when I have a headache, I am not able to think as clearly as I probably should. Today, I also noticed as the pain killers started taking effect, I won more. I was playing a game when my headache was bad and didn't get to sit long enough for it to get better but I remembered putting it down frustrated that I was losing and when I came back and the pills had taken effect, I clearly saw a way to complete the game. 

Sometimes, just walking away for a minute can help clear the head. 

I shared in the past that I used to play hand held Yahtzee. Here is a link to that post.I mention in that post about being grateful for new starts. I like the hand held "Free Cell" by Radica because it gives me the percentage of times I win. The app I have on my Droid doesn't do that but I do like that it will auto finish and has an "Undo" button. I don't often need hints as I am fairly good at seeing where things need to go and like figuring it out but sometimes I accidentally push a button twice and take up the wrong thing and I can't undo it on the hand held game which ruins the percentage also but I still like that one better than the app. 

Anyway, if you have a headache or other pain, try focusing your mind on something that takes a lot of concentration and see if it helps. It works for me most of the time. That is why I switched from Yatzee as it was more a game of chance where "free Cell" I have to think it through several moves ahead. 

Here is to hoping the rain can come without all the clashing and banging there has been all this week. We are VERY grateful for the rain so I am trying to continually give gratitude even with the headaches as we need the moisture! 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Polishing, Waxing the Garage Door Using Teak Oil - Only After Cleaning Door

When I was using teak oil on my car and on my trailer a few months ago, I realized my garage door was a horrible mess and wanted to see if I put the teak oil on it, if it would take off the grime and oxidation like it did so well on the trailer. It DIDN'T take it off. 

If you are going to wax or teak oil your garage door, or anything else for that matter, do a test spot. If it is only dirty with oxidation, it will probably clean up and polish fine with just teak oil. If the test area doesn't come clean, make sure you clean it BEFORE using the teak oil!

To apply this to a clean door, just use a can or bottle of pure Teak Oil from Walmart or another hardware type store. Walmart had a good size can for $10. I would have had enough left over from doing my trailer and half of my car but it dried out as I didn't put a plastic cover over it before I put the lid on. There was build up on the can from all the use. 

So, when you use the can, make sure that you put a plastic baggie or saran wrap over the top before putting the lid back on. I wish they would just make a screw on lid but on the can I purchased, they don't. 

The oil covers a huge area. I did my 21 foot trailer at least two times around and the fiberglass about five times. I did the one side of my car and never got to the other but the drivers side looks great! I would have probably had enough to do my two car garage door at least once if not twice if it hadn't dried up. 
To apply it, I have lots of cotton rags due to my making lots of t-shirt quilts, check a few of them out at these links below. 

Using caps or hats on t-shirt quilts.

T-shirt quilt Princess 1 part 1. 

T-shirt quilt Princess 1 part 2. 

T-shirt quilt Princess 2  A and B

I have the rags and tried using them on the trailer but they left little bits of thread on the sticky Teak oil and then they would dry in the oil as it hardened. 

I found that a strong paper towel was the best option. One that is a bit thicker holds the oil better and doesn't shred while spreading it if you have to rub harder to get off some of the oxidation. Just pour some of the Teak oil onto the paper towel and wipe it on. When the cloth is dirty, get a new one. I find that if I just fold it into a square and then fold it over the other way once one section is dirty, it uses less oil as the other layers of the towel are already saturated with the oil but aren't dirty so I just use the paper towel until it is really dirty.
Above is the video of how I did the trailer and you can clearly see how much better the trailer looks with the Teak oil on it. I think it shows up better as the colors accent it. The garage door looks WONDERFUL now and as soon as I did that, I realized that the picture window to the side of the garage that has a bit of vinyl siding around it is FILTHY! I now need to use the same techniques on it and will have to show you how that works out. I haven't tried teak oil on vinyl before. Wood, fiberglass, metal and painted items, I have tried and they are great. Vinyl will be a new one but it is in need of cleaning desperately. I can't wait to have all the outside household chores done. It seems like I get one off the list and add two. The backyard play area is needing some attention soon. . . . I'll add it to the "list." :-)

Monday, July 28, 2014

Washing the Garage Door - Removing Mineral deposits from Sprinklers

It took me over a month to get this project done with all the other things we had going on but I am VERY happy to say, we finished the garage door!!!!

I have wanted to wash and polish the garage door for about a year. I had to finish working on the trailer and then with graduation, camp, car issues etc, we just never got back to finishing it even thought we started washing it over a month ago. In reality, it was probably at least two months ago. 

I can say that I am quite the expert now at knowing what will and won't take off lime, calcium and mineral deposits on your garage and what will take the paint off your door! 

You can clearly see in the pictures just how disgusting the garage door had gotten. From a few feet away, it didn't look so bad because the entire things was red from the red dirt we have in our area. When the hinged sections of the door open and close, the grease would collect red dirt and you can see the red lines of dirt on each hinge line across the door. 
You can also see, that the bottom corners of the doors have sprinkler mineral buildup on them. I fixed the sprinklers when we purchased the house so they don't hit the house anywhere so we don't have flooding or lime buildup on the brick or windows anymore unless the wind is blowing really hard when they are on.
However, I never took the time to remove the build up that was on the door when we bought it so over the years, the wind, rain etc just turned the build up that was on it red. 

I tried all of the products shown above as well as "Lime Away", "CLR" and a few others. My favorite by far was the "Tub and Tile" by melaleuka company but it is the least available as you can't buy it at any local stores but have to get it online or through a distributor. 

You can see us trying those products after we tried the others to see if any of them worked better than what we had. 

You can see that in the top four or five pictures, we sprayed each bottle behind where it is setting and you can see how some started removing it and dripping and others did nothing. Then, you can see in the next one how I scrubbed the areas and then see how much came off with the solutions and scrubbing. 

I actually really liked the "Totally Awesome Cleaner" brand of Orange cleaner and their version of the Calcuim, lime and mineral remover. 

I have always liked "Totally Awesome Cleaner" in the house on toys, kitchen and  laundry as if "Zout" doesn't get it out on the laundry or carpet, the "Totally Awesome Cleaner" usually does. Sometimes it takes both but it is a staple in my cleaning arsenal.

I took a video and posted it on youtube about what we tried to clean the garage and what worked best and will have it on here. Tomorrow, I am posting about polishing the garage door with Teak oil just like we did on the trailer. 
I will tell you not to use a stiff brush or a "Mr. Clean" eraser sponge on the painted door or other painted metal surfaces as it took off some paint. 

Princess Five was helping me and I didn't notice until too late that it was taking off the paint in spots so along the hinges, there are some areas missing paint in spots. You can see that in the picture how it took off the paint. I used a back brush from the shower to wash the door and scrub as it is a soft brush and it gave me reach to wash the top and I didn't have to stand on a chair so I liked that it has a long handle.
You can clearly see in the top pictures and here that the sprays made a huge difference in taking off the red dirt. 

In all, I think we scrubbed the garage door three times spraying cleaner on it as the dirt only came off where the spray hit and that wasn't always every spot so each time, we got a bit more of the dirt off. 
We did have an issues with the spray taking off the oxidation which is the color of the door and then when I would scrub it, it would drip onto the cement under the door as you can see here. I just sprayed the paint with the orange cleaner and used the brush to scrub the paint drips off the cement so it wouldn't dry that way. 

You can see it clearly worked. Added bonus was that the ants that seem to like the seam in-between the garage door and the driveway, HATED the cleaning solution and the orange oil I guess because the next day, they were moving out! Check back tomorrow for how we polished the door! 

Friday, July 25, 2014

The Home Decor Dice Story - Strange But True

Two months ago, I took Princess Five to Bunko with me as they were down a person and needed someone to fill in. 

We enjoyed a wonderful meal and Princess won a prize. It was a fourth of July flower decoration. It wasn't something she wanted and I don't decorate much anymore so we figured we could give it away.

Bunko the next month was earlier than normal and it didn't matter which week she did it, there were people on vacations and camps so she had it with 5 or six of us there and we just played a game called "Scum" or "President" and depending on how long you were king or scum, you got points for each round. In the end, I was probably one of the low winners but people didn't want the patriotic door mat she had as the biggest prize so even thought I didn't win, I got the most expensive prize.

I took the door mat back to the store on main street where she purchased it and they gave me $25 in credit. I walked around and since I am not one into collecting things that I need to dust and my house is where I like it, I didn't find much I was interested in getting. 

I did find these cool hand made dice that are $12 each. They were sitting in a set of three and I didn't have enough for them all in credit but I really thought they were cute so I purchased the third one so I could have a set of three. 

I set them on the little desk and thought they were cute and the next day, I realized that the little patriotic flower was also from the same store and I could have had enough credit for all three dice.

I head back to the store with the flower and ask if he can credit me back for the one die and let me use the flower to pay. He tells me it isn't ok with the boss to have lots of returns which was weird because he was so good with the door mat and it didn't matter much to me but I didn't have enough credit with the flower for much of anything so I asked if they had more dice anywhere so perhaps I could make a candle holder out of another one. He looks on the computer and tells me that somewhere in the store, there are two more. I am running late and don't want to take the time to search the huge store with two floors and another show room. I look over and there is a shelf hanging on the wall to the left of the register and they are tucked away on one of the shelves right there. I tell him I will take one and use the credit I have and pay for the other half of it. 

He does that so now I have four huge dice. A day goes buy and the leader for the young women in our congregation at church gives me a gift of a canvas that has a beautiful saying on it but the canvas is warped a little and she said she didn't notice it until she got it home and didn't have time to go replace it.

I asked where she purchased it..... Yes!!! That same store. It has been there for nine years or so and I have NEVER walked into that store before!! In a week, that would be the third time I would be back to the same store!!! I figured that there was some reason God wanted me to talk with that man as it was always the same guy working when I went in. I am sure they have someone else working sometimes there but what are the odds. 

So, I walk in and he starts laughing. He gave me credit back for the dice I purchased and I bought the last die so I could make two candle holders out of the spare two as I tried stacking them in different ways but they look better with candles on them than stacked high or in other formations as I like the look of three. Funny side note as one of my good friends that is in bunko with me said she went in and bought the same set of three a few weeks prior. 

Anyway, while he is figurine out the credits etc, I tell him that it is odd that I have never been in the store and that three times in a week or so seems rather odd. I asked him if he had any health problems as perhaps I was in there to help him in some way. He looked at me like I was from another planet and told me that he has been to three different ear, nose, and throat specialists in the last 3-6 months as he has had strep three times and has been having constant problems with his through, voice, mouth and sinus etc. 

I told him that I may have some information to help him. I shared about the sinus spray that I found after praying to my Heavenly Father for help getting mold out of my sinus and walked right into the store and to the shelf and looked right at this product and it did heal it. Here is the post about that.

I told him about my mothers brain infection and how I used different things to help heal her from that. Here is a link to my page on many of those items.   

I shared how her brain infection was perfectly clear after a week or so and shared exactly what I did as she had sinus and goopy eyes as well. Here is a link to that post.

Guess who hasn't been back to that shop in a week or two! lol I think angels guide us where we need to be to help those we need to help when they need it. 

This week I had two sisters over for dinner and somehow the conversation went to health as neither can eat gluten or dairy. After talking with them, one seems to have more of a gallbladder problem as her symptoms are more on the fat side of the dairy and the pains are different from the gluten stomach issues. The other, had a really bad yeast infection and didn't know what it was or where it came from and hasn't had it treated so I was able to help them both and then I was at a store the other day and ran into the same lady four or five times.

I picked up these "Keen" shoes as Princess Two has to wear dresses to work everyday and needs good comfortable shoes without a heal to wear to work. These are supportive expensive shoes as I purchased some before the girls missions for them. They are over $100 a pair. 

I mentioned them out loud and the lady with the lady I kept running into said, "I don't think your daughter will want them..... "with a smile on her face. I said, "Is that because you would like them?" she said she would.  I told her to try them on and if she wanted them, she could have them. She told me that was nice of me as most people would grab them up. I told her that Heavenly Father always takes care of my needs and if she needs the shoes, he would send me a better pair for my needs. Both women said I had a good attitude and I told them I had a blog of all the blessings that I have in my life as I have so many daily from Him. 

One lady mentioned a card for her daughters blog and gave me a card. I gave her back one of mine that Princess One made for me as I share often about health issues with people and it is easier to send them to my page than explaining it all out and writing it down over and over. 

She looks down at my card and gets all excited and said, "You do tapping? I just bought two book on tapping." 

Once again, I have to laugh at how Heavenly Father and his angels put people together. I KNOW she will see more results from tapping using my script than just the normal tapping montra. I have seen it over and over. Here is a link to the tapping script I use. 

I gave her my number sharing that I could help her learn the tapping points as I have them all down. We parted as friends. When I tell my kids about the guy at the decor store, the lady from the dehydrator place etc they just laugh when shaking their heads "no" when I say, "Isn't that weird?" They tell me it happens every day or so. I guess lately, it is quite often but it just seems even more often than is normal for me. 

I am not grateful to have gone through all the trials to learn all the stuff I know about but I am grateful for the knowledge that I have from those trials. So, in a way, I guess I am grateful for the trials. I am just hoping I can figure this latest health issue out for myself. Not eating gluten since September has helped me feel better but I am still tired, anemic and often still cold. Twice last week in a ball under my covers freezing for a few hours and it is hot and summer and I don't have air conditioning so the swamp cooler shouldn't get me to that point in July. 

I'm still learning and praying for answers to my health issues and know that when the time is right, I will be led to the perfect solution! I pray it is soon as I am tired of not feeling well! I love when I have a good day and get lots done. It has made me appreciate how much I used to do and understand why others can't do everything others do.

I was riding my bike last week with a friend and in her own kind way, she was telling me that I just "Needed" to force myself to do this or that. I shared with her that I used to judge others that way and figured if I was a single mom of five and could do this and that and stay thin, they should be able to as well. Now however, I am grateful if I can get one or two small things off my huge list of things in a week! I no longer feel that there is a standard for getting things done or judge that others may have a messy yard. I told her I fight being exhausted all day with the anemia and thyroid issues but was trying a new drug that week and actually had some energy. How grateful I am for those good days. She told me she actually takes thyroid. So, there you have it. She has more energy because she is getting help with it. I still need to figure it all out but know God will take care of it when I have learned the lesson He wants and needs me to learn.