If you’re like us you’ve realized that just about the only wildlife that you can attract around your home are pesky squirrels. They dig in our flower gardens, eat our jack-o-laterns, and even break into our homes. Perhaps it’s time we just threw up our arms and said, okay, you win, make yourselves at home. One adorable way to do that is by hanging this mini retro lawn chair to your favorite tree and offering them a nob of squirrel-approved sweet corn. Would this lead to peace and harmony for the pumpkins on the porch? Something tells me no, but at least you’d get a laugh or two out of it. Mini-retro chair, $20 at Plow & Hearth.
Yesterday, on the drive home from our Labor Day getaway, we listened to a podcast on WNYC’s Brian Lehrer Show with David Robertson, the author of Brick by Brick: How Lego Rewrote the rule of Innovation and Conquered The Global Toy Industry. I learned a lot I didn’t know about the Danish building block company, but mostly I was reminded about the importance of looking at things with a fresh eye, even if they seem old.
TogetherFarm Blocks are a wonderful use of Lego-inspired designed because they do just that. They take discarded things like unwanted plastic milk jugs and other plastic waste and turn it into a fun and practical new way to contain your growing plants. The interlocking blocks come in four colors and can snap together to form just about any shape or configuration you can imagine — no tools needed! Anyone who has ever spent a day installing a wooden raised bed in their garden should rejoice in that news. The system is built with the garden in mind: There are stake holes which allow you to insert supports or trellises. Made from 100% BPA-free recycled plastic, they won’t fall prey to rot, termites or mold. Best of all, if you garden grows like mad (and we know it will) you can easily readjust and add to new blocks to accommodate.
The Portland-based company has put together a Kickstarter campaign to help raise the funds needed to jump start its manufacturing. Donors will receive some starter blocks to get their garden growing. This video explains it all.
Click here to visit Together Block’s Kickstarter Page.
There is one advantage to waiting until the summer season is half over to think about deck furniture: Sales! After seeing how nice our repainted deck looked once that project was finished, we decided it was time to step up our outdoor seating arrangements. Our previous table and chairs consisted of a slightly wobbly one that Chad made (though he gets an A for effort) and some blue plastic chairs from Ikea. Since we were already rocking a “vintage” look on our front porch with this glider, we thought we should steer in a similar direction in the back. (And honestly, I’m a little bored with the ubiquitous chunky teak/wood furniture all the catalogs have been selling this year.) At the oddly names site, OnWayFurniture.com we found this nearly perfect round white metal table with matching blue and white chairs on sale for $350. When it arrived, we were a little worried to see how low the table was, but once you sit back in a chair, preferably with an open bottle of craft beer in your hand, it feels just right.
We used to have an affinity towards squirrels. We placed them on our Thanksgiving table. We thought they were cute on an office desk. We even decorated our nurseries with them. Sure they would occasionally ruin a flower bed in the garden, but hey, that’s their domain, isn’t it? But now, squirrels, you have gone too far. You are officially on my rats-with-tails list.
You see, the other day we came home to discover this: a hole in our kitchen screen window. No, make that two holes. It seems that a bulb of garlic was just soooooo tempting to one of our yard squirrels that he (or she), gnawed right through our window screen and dragged it outside. Since that wasn’t tasty enough, he returned and nibbled on an apple that was on our counter. A palette cleanser, perhaps?
The next day, we borrowed a no-hurt trap from a neighbor and placed it near the scene of the crime. It took about two seconds to catch squirrel A. We transported him to our nearby woods reservation, and then did a step-and-repeat with his little co-hort.
The screen has yet to be repaired.
Have you had any invasive encounters with squirrels in your home? Share your dramas here!
We’re in love with the idea of having outdoor fires in our backyard, even though we don’t really have the appropriate patio-space that may be required. That doesn’t stop us from dreaming! These new MIX fire bowls from EcoSmart are sure lovely. Highly functional and elegant, MIX Fire Bowls can be easily switched on or off and relocated wherever ambiance, heat and the light of a fire is needed. Graceful bowls made from weather-resistant concrete, these freestanding fires allow you to put a flame where ever and whenever you need it. Fueled with bioethanol, an environmentally friendly, clean burning and renewable energy source fuel, they provide over 8 hours’ usage. With the clean design comes a no-mess factor — no ashes or soot to clean up. But isn’t that part of the fun? The MIX fire bowl is available via ecosmartfire.com, starting around $1000.