Natural cleaners using Mandarin peels

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In these handmade recipes, you can use any citrus fruit peelings. Oranges, mandarins, lemons, grapefruit, etc….

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I wanted to stop using one of my favorite and not so natural cleaners. COMET

  I researched many different ways this could be replaced and came to one of my favorite blogs, “The Nerdy Farm wife”. Here is her link to the recipe.

I love how she uses dried herbs as a scrub. I really wanted to use up our Mandarin peels and give it a try. Plus, how nice is it to have the clean, fresh smell of any citrus while you clean?

 I decided to dry only half the peels we saved and use the other half for another homemade citrus cleaner.

Once the peels were fully dried, I ground them up into a fine powder with the food grinder.

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Ingredients:

1 cup of Baking Soda

2 Tablespoons of dried finely Ground up Mandarin peels

10-15 drops of essential oil “Sweet Orange”

Mix everything well and place it into a glass jar that can be tightly sealed to retain the scent.

This natural scouring scrub is used for sinks, tubs, toilets, showers.

Feel free to use other dried peels and essential oils.

HOW EASY IS THAT?

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How to Make a Citrus and Vinegar Household Cleaner

With the undried half of Mandarin peels I made this cleaner to remove grime and residue.

Once you have enough peelings, fill any glass jar, then add white vinegar to cover all the peelings. Leave enough space to screw on the jar lid. Place your jar in a dry, cool area for 7 to 10 days.  This will allow the mixture to macerate (blend). This will make your cleaner smell wonderful at the same time creating the cleaner. This is a true cleaning agent and can be used throughout your home.  Be careful on wood and other porous surfaces as it can discolor it. Once your mix is ready, remove the peels and compost them. I have not yet tried this mix, it’s not quite ready yet. I can’t wait to add this to my spray bottle and get SPRING cleaning.

I can’t believe I haven’t made these sooner. I’m hooked and now I want to send my husband out to get me lemons.

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Outside our window

We were teased with a bit of snow and temperatures barely over freezing for the past week.  A steady fire has been burning for at least 3 weeks now in the wood stove, keeping the chill out and making for cozy evenings.

4The first row in the wood pile has a definite chew out of it and over the next few months one row after the other will slowly disappear. A blanket of bark and splinters will be left behind covered with the hundreds of cobwebs that the spiders spun between the wood over the past summer.

2Several days ago I began construction on a small drying shed for the lumber I am cutting. It’s not a very big enclosure but will be helpful to store the sawn lumber out of the weather. I’m using marginal material for this shed, lumber which has some defects yet is structurally stable enough to use for this purpose.

1The siding is random width edge boards and creates an appealing wall that has adequate spacing for ventilation to help dry the lumber.

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The cold damp weather halted construction for several days however today the skies cleared and brought with it very warm temperatures. I was able to finish boarding in the walls and the roof.

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I was also able to cut up a cord of firewood from the slab pile. This will be going to the neighbors up on the mountain. Nothing at the mill goes to waste, I bag the sawdust to use for bedding animals and for mulching beds in the garden.

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With more fine weather in the forecast I may be able to catch up with the many errands still to be done before the real snow starts flying.

 

 

 

Saw Shed

 

Yesterday and Today, among other tasks and errands, I’ve taken some time to build a small shed for the sawmill which will arrive soon. So far this little structure has been made with scrap rough lumber except for the floor which is left over 2 x 6 material  and plywood from previous work.

saw-shedAll the framing is either simple lap joints or mortise and tenons. I’ve used bolts and lag screws in place of wooden dowels. I’ve also applied a protective oil to the entire structure since we may be getting some wet weather in the next few days.

joints

If the weather does hold through the weekend I may be able to close in this shed and start setting up the platform assembly for the Mill.

saw-shed-1

Once the the Saw arrives the job of milling the logs into dimensional lumber and beams will begin. These logs and many more from our property will all go into building our house. I can’t wait to cut into the first log.

Approval

Everything in the garden is coming up nicely with the warm damp weather. The humidity and heat over the past few days has made working outside a bit unbearable, especially since it’s necessary to wear long sleeves and pants along with a hoody in most cases to keep the bugs from eating you alive.

dew

We finally received our certificate to “poop” on the mountain this week.  A document that states we can construct and install an onsite sewage disposal system as specified by the Province of Nova Scotia’s Environment Act. Eleven pieces of photocopied paper that cost $1500 and are based on a site evaluation that  took less than 10 minutes. 11 pieces of paper that have delayed all construction and progress at the building site. Now I can finally complete and submit our building plan for the Building Permit.

door-and-window

The reclaimed windows are installed in the shop and I’ve made proper storm doors for the entrance. The doors have a navy blue water base dye applied and were then sealed with a penetrating natural oil varnish. The trim is going up this week once I finish sealing all the frames.

shutters

Now we hope the weather will  cooperate as progress on the house commences.

Walls

A large square looking box is emerging in the woods. The walls are up and ready to be sheeted in. With the walls in place it is beginning to feel more like a building than just a dance floor.Rather than use 2 x 4 blocking diagonally between the studs, I “let in” 1×4’s at the corners for braces. This method is quick and extremely stable. It also reduces the amount of thermal bridging in the walls if I ever want to insulate them.

It looks like we may be getting a bit of rainy weather over the next few days so the pace may slow down a bit here at the building site. Good time to catch up with all the furniture orders.

Rainy Day Projects

We’ve had our first late summer storm systems rumble through, dumping lots of much needed rain. There’s been flooding in low lying areas of Nova Scotia but up here in the Highlands the water drains off quickly. With all this rain, work down at the building site came to an abrupt standstill. I placed a large tarp over the floor to shed most of the torrential downpour.

The rain provided some time to catch up with several of the furniture orders needing completion and also gave me some time to prepare the windows that will go into the shop. The windows are salvaged wood framed sealed units I saved from a job I did earlier this summer. With a couple of minor alterations and a coat of fresh oil these windows are perfect for the shop.

First I cut the beveled edge off of each unit, then the grooves off the ends. This provides a nice square simple window which will be easy to install and frame in.

The next step was to plane and sand all the cut surfaces. Then the whole frame received a thorough scraping and sanding. A fresh penetrating coat of linseed oil/turpentine was applied and the windows are ready to install into their new home.

Typically with most windows I salvage I remove the sealed unit and replace the old wood frame with a new one, however the wood in these is still solid and sound. They have a pleasing patina and will weather well. Only a small portion of the frame will be exposed once they are installed. They will also be well protected from the weather by a deep roof overhang.