Show Notes: Save the Pumpkins!
Show Notes for On The House with the Carey Brothers recorded October 20, 2018.
Carved your pumpkin too early? On The House with the Carey Bros can (pumpkin) spice up your Halloween with these sweet pumpkin-saving tips!
Save The Pumpkins
It’s time to decorate the house for Halloween and you always start with the pumpkin!
Pumpkin carving and decorating is a favorite pastime during this time of year. After you’ve carved an amazing design or face into a pumpkin or two, you want to show it off through your window or set it out on your porch for the neighbors to see. Without knowing the tricks to save your holiday pumpkins, they can turn slimy, moldy, and mushy in as little as three days.
Here is how to keep your carved pumpkin from looking mildewy, but remaining scary
Soak It in a Bleach Solution
This is an easy and effective way to keep your carved pumpkins from molding for up to seven days. The sodium hypochlorite kills microorganisms that make pumpkins rot and dries out the pumpkin.
The steps for making the solution are super simple:
After your pumpkin has been carved, rinse it out with water to get rid of excess strings and gunk.
Take a large bucket or tub and fill it with three gallons of water.
Stir three teaspoons of bleach into the water.
Dunk in the pumpkin. Be sure to hold it down as it will try to float. The entire pumpkin should sit in the solution for two minutes. You might want to wear gloves, too.
Remove from the solution and let the pumpkin air dry.
You may have heard to spray your pumpkin with WD40 – don’t do that IT’S Flammable!
We just found this: non-toxic alternative:
Pumpkin Fresh Spray:
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Samantha has dogs. Dogs that need bathing! The Carey Brothers give some ideas that could lead to a more pet-friendly bathroom for her and her pups!
Holiday Shopping Online?
Special Delivery: Keeping Your Packages Safe
Online sales are up, and so is the number of boxes delivered to homes. Here’s how to keep them beyond the grasp of porch pirates
How about considering a porch package receptacle.
We looked at the Elephantrunk II locking parcel drop
This full service, large locking parcel delivery receptacle can accept multiple parcels with its wide and deep compartment. The keypad allows for keyless, electronic access. Its sturdy design is constructed of cast aluminum and heavy gauge steel fully powder coated to give a splash of color and character to your doorstep. Its design embodies a variety of architectural styles all while providing you with peace of mind knowing your parcels are securely awaiting your arrival home.
Simply leave it in normal mode so the carrier can deliver to it without a key or code-locks automatically right after delivery
Allows for multiple deliveries in 1 day by including your code in your delivery address for the carrier
2-other modes to suit your preference – always locked mode (vacation) and never locked mode for universal access if security is not a concern
Reprogrammable digital keypad retains your 4-digit pin code, which can be changed an unlimited number of times
Holds deliveries securely and prevents damage from weather
Easy access top opening lid with friction hold to prevent slamming or accidental closing
Delivery carriers are not required to have the 4-digit pin code or a master key when using the standby mode leaving your unit unlocked until delivery is made and lid is closed engaging the lock
Unbe-leaf-able Buying Guide:
Which Leaf Blower is Right for You?
The best leaf blower design for you comes down to personal preference. The market offers handheld, backpack, and wheeled leaf blower styles.
Handheld Leaf Blowers
As the name implies, you carry a handheld leaf blower in your hands. Most of the weight is borne by your arms and hands. However, some handheld leaf blowers have a shoulder strap that helps distribute the weight more evenly across the body.
Backpack Leaf Blowers
If you want a bit more blower power than what a handheld unit provides, consider a backpack leaf blower. You wear the power source on your back and hold the hose in your hands to direct the airflow. Most backpack leaf blowers are gas-powered units.
Wheeled Leaf Blowers
If you have a large area to clear, a wheeled leaf blower is the most efficient choice. Wheeled leaf blowers are highly powerful, and they can get the job done in a hurry. These gas-powered units are extremely heavy, weighing anywhere from 75 to 125 pounds. To use a wheeled leaf blower, you push the unit across the area, blowing the leaves forward.
Choosing a Power Source: Corded Electric Leaf Blowers
Corded Electric Leaf Blowers
A corded electric leaf blower obtains power from a cord plugged into a wall outlet. This configuration may be suitable for small jobs, but if you need to clear leaves over a large area, a corded electric leaf blower may prove inconvenient. For one thing, you’ll need a long extension cord, and that extension cord could end up getting tangled in the trees and bushes that dropped the leaves in the first place.
Battery-Powered Leaf Blowers
You don’t need to worry about a power cord with a battery-operated leaf blower. Instead, you attach a manufacturer-supplied rechargeable battery to the leaf blower and proceed with your tasks. When the battery drains, simply place it on its charger. Once the battery is fully charged, the leaf blower is ready to go again.
Conveniently, you may be able to use the same rechargeable battery on multiple outdoor power tools from the same manufacturer. Mind you, the battery will add weight to the tool. Battery-powered leaf blowers are heavier than corded electric leaf blowers. But cordless leaf blowers grant greater freedom of movement, and for some users, the trade-off is worth it.
Gas-Powered Leaf Blowers
Gas-powered leaf blowers deliver more power than leaf blowers powered by electricity. Consequently, they get the job done much faster than both corded and battery-operated leaf blowers.
However, gas-powered leaf blowers weigh a lot more than the other types. They also create more noise and require more maintenance. If you’re interested in a gas-powered leaf blower, you’ll have to choose between a two- and four-cycle unit. Two-cycle leaf blowers run on a mixture of gasoline and oil, whereas four-cycle leaf blowers run on gas
What Else Can a Leaf Blower Do?
You can use a leaf blower year-round. Some “off-season” tasks may require extra parts or features, however.
● Blowing Light Snow: A leaf blower works well for removing lightweight snow from steps or sidewalks. However, leaf blowers aren’t designed to clear heavy, wet snow.
● Cleaning Gutters: Rather than cleaning gutters by hand, you can use a leaf blower to blow out debris. It may not work well to clean wet debris out of the gutter, but a leaf blower can handle dry debris easily.
● Sweeping Driveways and Sidewalks: You can use a leaf blower to clean gravel or mowed grass off a driveway or sidewalk.
● Vacuum and Mulch: Some leaf blowers have a vacuum-and-mulch feature. When you reverse the motor, the leaf blower sucks in leaves and small debris. The refuse is chopped up and dispelled into a collection bag. If you want to vacuum and mulch debris with your leaf blower, make sure you own one with metal parts for mulching, rather than plastic or nylon parts.
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Fall Gardening: Four Surprising Mistakes You’re Making
Feeding the plants. Adding fertilizer too late in the season will encourage new growth that may not have time to mature before the temperature drops. These tender additions will almost certainly die with the first frost — and could bring the rest of the plant down with them. Let your garden play out the rest of the season as-is. Feel free to hit your lawn with a fertilizer high in potassium, though, which will stimulate root growth below the surface.
Maintaining a consistent watering schedule. The nights should be getting cooler and the days shorter, meaning plants need less water to maintain good health. Let nature take it from here — slow and then stop supplemental watering as fall approaches.
Forgetting to prune. Perennial plants — especially herbaceous perennials like coneflowers, asters, and grasses — need to be cut back each year, but when you choose to do it depends on your gardening style. Some folks like to lop it all off after the first frost, leaving a clean, mulch-sprinkled garden ready to bloom anew next spring. Others wait until the thaw, leaving plants in the ground to feed birds, insulate roots, and gracefully model the frost. A final (very active!) camp cuts back bit by bit, as plants fade and flop and generally stop looking pretty. I either trim as I go or wait until spring, but I understand the desire to get it out of the way early.
Raking up the leaves. Put away that rake! Regardless of what you choose to do with your lawn, there’s no reason to remove all the leaves from your garden bed. That organic matter will break down into humus — which is great for the soil — and insulate roots over the winter. Leaf debris does make for a messier aesthetic, but I’d say the benefit to the plants and soil outweighs visual appeal.
DIY Insulation Projects You Can Do In 15 Minutes
Get a Door Snake — the Simplest DIY Home Insulation Ever
Keep drafts from sneaking in with a door snake, an object you place along that crack under your door. A 1/8-inch gap can let in as much cold air as a 2.4-inch diameter hole in the exterior wall, so a door snake makes a difference.
A rolled-up blanket makes a great snake — or you can buy the real deal for less than $20.
Caulk Around the Dryer and Bathroom Vents
The hole in the wall where your dryer and bathroom vents exit the house leak air, too. Go outside and put silicon caulk on the outside edge of the vents, where it meets the wall.
You’ll also keep bugs and other critters from sneaking in through the vent gaps.
Put Insulation Sleeves on Water Heater Pipes
Keep pipes from losing heat (or worse, freezing and exploding one very cold day!), by wrapping them in a pipe sleeve. They’re strips of fiberglass insulation that fit around the pipe. You can tape them to the pipe.
Bonus: You’ll raise water temperature by two to four degrees, so you won’t have to wait as long for hot water.
Wrap Your Water Heater in an Insulation Blanket
If your water heater is old or in an unheated area of your house, you’ll cut your heating bill by as much as 16% with an insulation blanket. There are different types of insulation blankets for water heaters, but most are made of fiberglass or foil and cost less than $50.
You’ll need to wrap a gas heater differently than you do an electric one. For safety and access reasons, different elements of each type can’t be covered. Read the instructions for your heater type carefully.
Get a Fireplace Plug
Your fireplace and chimney can be a superhighway for drafts, with one study showing an open fireplace increases heating bills by as much as 30%. A fireplace plug — an inflatable piece of urethane that you stick in the hearth when you’re not using it that looks a lot like a square balloon — keeps cold air out and warm air in.
Install an Attic Stairway Insulator
The door in your ceiling that leads to the attic is another source of money-sucking drafts. An attic stairway insulator (also called a stair cover) is a tent-like insert made of foam, aluminum-coated fabric, or fiberglass that you can strap or staple into the doorway.
Look for one with a zipper opening so you can crawl into the attic without pulling out the insulator.
8 Simple Ways to Naturally Freshen Your Home
Fall is the last time of the year where you can really open your windows and let the fresh air in, which makes it the perfect time to freshen up your home before winter hits.
- Open the windows! Simple, self-explanatory, and effective. Even in the winter, opening up your windows for a mere ten minutes can really allow the air to circulate and get some fresh air into your house.
- Make a homemade air freshener to replace the store-bought ones – Like this do-it-yourself air freshener that contains all natural ingredients! (Pssst: I have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to homemade alternatives for any and everything here!)
- Add a few drops of essential oil to the filter in your vacuum cleaner. Choose a purifying essential oil, such as lavender, tea tree, eucalyptus, lemon, or tea tree. As you vacuum, the aroma of the oil will be released into the air, detoxifying and making your home smell wonderful!
- Save lemon peels in the fridge or freezer instead of tossing them. Daily (or whenever you remember!) throw some into your garbage disposal and give it a whirl. This will get rid of any odor lurking in your kitchen sink and unleash that clean, citrus scent.
- Sprinkle a natural deodorizer onto your carpets before you vacuum. My favorite oils to mix into this homemade natural carpet deodorizer is lavender or lemongrass. I have three dogs and eliminating odors this way makes a world of difference in my home! (Tip: Sprinkle it over your couches, too.)
- Wipe down your bathrooms and kitchen with citrus-infused vinegar cleaner. You can also just spray this around the house as you would an air freshener. Both vinegar and citrus are powerful odor-eliminators and citrus will purify the air.
- Scrub down your washing machine. Many people often forget they need to clean the thing that cleans their clothes. Notice a musty scent when you walk into your laundry room, or if you forget your clothes in your washer for even an hour? Time to freshen up the washing machine! You will notice a huge difference in the scent of your clothes and the air around your machines. My favorite technique is using vinegar and baking soda. Here is how to clean and deodorize your top-loading washing machine:
Fill up the empty washing machine with hot water and add two cups of vinegar. Let it sit for ten minutes.
– Take a washcloth or sponge and scrub the insides really well. Pay attention to the parts that aren’t submerged under the water, too. Let the washer drain.
– Fill it up again with hot water. This time, add two cups of baking soda.
– Scrub the insides again. Make sure you get every nook and cranny! Let it drain, and you’re good to go.
Side note: If you have a front loader, run two regular hot cycles, once with vinegar and another with baking soda. You can also grab a bucket, put a little water and vinegar in there (one part of each), and give your washer a good scrub with a sponge.
Tip: Leave the lid or door to the washer open to let it dry it out between uses and you’ll keep the musty smell at bay.
8. Grow some windowsill herbs or house plants. Not only will this liven up your space visually, but herbs will also add a lovely aroma and house plants will clean the air.