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Perfectly Imperfect Life..........

Saturday, August 7, 2021

How to Hang Outdoor String Lights

 

The end of Summer is just around the corner and you may want to savor those last warm nights outside on the deck or patio. There’s nothing like solar string lights to create a warm ambiance for a magical outdoor eveningYou don’t need professional design experience to light your outdoor space attractively with solar string lights. Just follow these steps to hang outdoor string lights and create a space for entertaining and relaxing that will be the envy of your neighborhood.  

1. Choose a Straight Light Brand That's Always in Stock

It’s tempting to grab a few strings of outdoor lights in a post-Christmas sale and call it a day. The problem with that is that if you need to replace a bulb or decide you want to add a few more strings to your space, you might not be able to buy more lights of the same type. Ditto if you grab a box of no-name string lights in order to save a few bucks. It’s wiser to buy a reputable brand of café or bistro lights that are sold all year round. You can get them at most big-box home stores. Don’t forget to pick up an extra box or two for replacement bulbs, just in case. 

2. Take Glass Bulbs Off Patio Lights Before Hanging 

If you’re hanging glass string lights, take the delicate bulbs off the string before hanging and set them aside somewhere safe. You don’t want them banging against each other while you’re trying to hang the strings. You also don’t want to shatter an entire string’s worth of lights when you drop the string on the ground. Once your strings are hung and your connectors are secured, you can screw the bulbs back in. 

3. Secure String Lights with Coaxial Staples 

Coaxial staples are the best tool to secure string lights to wood, like trees, deck railings or the outside of your home. You can buy them by the bag at most home improvement stores. Make sure you get the right size staples for your strings. 

4. Decide Where to Secure the String Lights First 

Decorating an outdoor space with string lights can be logistically difficult. You’ll need to plan a layout that minimizes the need to install new posts, as well as one that works with your existing number of power sources. As much as possible, plan your string layout to use existing features like trees, deck railings and the exterior walls of your home, garage, gazebo or outbuildings. 

Choose a brand of string lights that allows you to connect multiple strings, so you can drape them across open spaces or wrap them around trees and still have enough to reach the outdoor receptacle. Common big-box store brands allow you to connect as many as five strings of lights, so you can get as far as 60 feet away from a power source with your lights. 

5. Choose to Cross or Not to Cross

In rectangular and square spaces, crossing string lights overhead can look really interesting. But in irregularly shaped spaces, you may want to stick to a design in which strings of lights fan out in a wedge pattern from a single point. Grab some paper and a pencil to experiment with different designs for your space. Think about how the lights will look in the daytime as well as at night. 

6. Secure Multiple String Lights with Tape 

When you have multiple strings of lights connected — especially more than a couple — the weight of the lights and the drape of the strings can lead to connections coming loose. Secure connectors with electrical tape to keep them from coming unplugged and ruining your careful lighting design. Use electrical tape the same color as the cord to tape connectors together. 

7. Leave a Little Slack 

Outdoor lights hung above an open space look best when they’re draped with some slack in the middle of the string that allows it to hang down a bit. Achieve this look by making sure that the hanging points at either end of your string of lights are level with each other. Then leave a little slack in the middle of the string instead of trying to pull it taught. 

String lights are a stylish way to spruce up your outdoor entertaining space and add some much-needed illumination for those summer evenings out on the deck. With a little planning and the right tools, you can decorate your patio, porch, deck or garden with string lights in no time and have an outdoor space you’ll be proud to show off to family and friends this summer. 

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Thursday, July 29, 2021

Mashed Cauliflower Potatoes


Here's an awesome low-fat, low-carb substitute for mashed potatoes. 
My whole family loved these....and that's a feat in and of itself!


What you'll need:

1 1/2 pounds Cauliflower Florets
1/4 cup and 2 Tablespoons Mashed Potato Flakes
1/4 cup and 2 Tablespoons low-fat Milk  ( I used non-fat Milk)
2 Tablespoons and 2 1/2 teaspoons Margarine
Salt and Black Pepper - to taste

Place a steamer insert into a pot and fill with water to just below the bottom of the steamer. Bring water to a boil. Add Cauliflower, cover and steam until tender, approx. 20 minutes. Transfer Cauliflower to a large bowl. Add Mashed Potato Flakes, Milk, and Margarine. Mash with a potato masher until Cauliflower mixture is fluffy, Season with salt and pepper.  Serve as desired.  Serves 6.

 

Loveable Cats and Dogs Coloring Pages













Enlarge, print, enjoy!

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Critters Be Gone! Pass & Fails

 

After dealing with an invasion of unwanted garden guests: rats, gophers, and raccoons (which I've posted many times about and tried everything imaginable)  I pulled out some new "remedies" I found.

Rats :

YUK and UGG!
I found a dead sparrow they tried to pull under the deck!
They don't like the smell of Ammonia.
So poured Ammonia around different places that would get beneath the deck.
You can see the hole they've chewed in the photo.
Since the Ammonia, we haven't had any issues with Rats!!
It WORKED!


Gophers:

Years ago when the neighbors had gophers, we had a Basset Hound that would keep the yard free of these PIA's!
Our dogs now could care less.

The gophers started along the right side of the yard at one end along the fence line.



Went to the end of that section of fence, 
turned left to proceed along the entire back of the yard along the fence line.




When the gopher got to the end of that section of fence it stopped.
Thank goodness! I was hoping it would go to the section where my pond is. Last thing I needed was gopher holes in my pond liner!

I read they didn't like Onions.
I cut some onions in quarters, 

found a hole and stuck one in, 


then covered it back up and placed a "marker" on top.


More mounds appeared. I uncovered the hole to find the onion gone! 
FAIL!  I guess they like onions :(

Next I tried flooding the hole. Something Dad always did.
We had all areas staked out waiting for it to pop up somewhere. 


The water ran for about 20 minutes


Then flooded back out. Never popped up anywhere.
FAIL!
The reason I think we didn't have a chance with the flooding, is I believe the Gophers have holes in our neighbors backyards - the other side of the fences.  Neighbors on each side and behind us have dead lawns/weeds/grass perfect for escape routes.

Next was Juicy Fruit Gum. Not sure how it's suppose to work....
I think they can't digest it.


I made sure to hold it by the package as to not get any of my scent on it.


Cut the Juicy Fruit into small pieces


then marked it.


I found a couple more holes and placed Juicy Fruits pieces in those also.
Smoothed all the mounds out.


No Gophers since! 
WORKED!

As for the Onions.....


they are popping


 where ever I placed an onion for the Gopher! LOL


RACCOONS:

No idea how this is suppose to work either -
WD-40


I bought a can for each side of the fence where they come over
and soaked each side of the fence.


No more Raccoons!
It WORKED?!

I also read Raccoons don't like Blood Meal.


I purchased a bag and spread it along the ground in front of the 
fence they come over.

No more Raccoons!
It WORKED?!

Was it the WD-40 or the Blood Meal?
Or both?

I don't care, I'm just happy the Raccoons aren't visiting anymore!

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My Magical Fairies Coloring Pages and Stickers









Print, color, relax 😊

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