Posts Tagged ‘ Mister ’

Crafty Mister II (or how to… build a plant tower)

My Mister and I came up with an idea to maximize our small gardening space we share with neighbors in our apartment building in Chicago’s Ukrainian Village: We’d grow goodies along the Y-plane, utilizing endless airspace overhead.

finished terra cotta tower using broken pot on top

But instead of buying these fancy Y-plane kits (expensive), or building raised beds from scratch (too cumbersome and permanent), we’d make some plant towers ourselves using the giant plastic pots we already have, and some basic plumbing pipes and flanges.

See what you think.

Then try it yourself. Check out your pots. Terra cotta with a giant hole are all ready. Plastic pots usually need drilling. We used 4 pots each, a 1/2-inch by 60-inch length of metal pipe (Home Depot), a 1/2 flange (ditto, in the plumbing aisle).

1/2″ flange bought in plumbing aisle

The bottom pot has to be the biggest, then 2 medium and a small one, or three medium ones. Make sure with terra cotta that the pole will fit through the drainage holes.
plastic and terra cotta towers plastic tower on left; terra cotta on right

So you put the flange, flat side down, under the bottom pot, drilling a hole in plastic if necessary. If you drill, you need the kind of bit that bores a big hole.
initial hole drilling start the hole gently, then increase it

set flange in bottom pot, flat side down set the flange into the hole, flat side facing out

Screw the pipe into the flange.
screw pipe into flange screw the pipe all the way into the flange

Weight the bottom pot with bricks or rocks or something heavy that doesn’t take up all the pot space.
weight bottom pot before filling use bricks or rocks to weight the bottom of the tower

Fill with dirt, tamp down really well, and add more dirt if necessary. This is your foundation for the tower.
bottom pot all set tamp the dirt down really well so your foundation is solid

Thread a medium pot onto the pipe, and tilt it as far to one side as you can. Fill it with dirt, tamp, etc. Thread another pot, tilt it to the other side as far as you can, fill with dirt. Repeat until you’re out of pots or out of room.
plastic tower finished plastic tower to be planted with tomatoes and peppers

That’s it. We’re now growing on four Y planes.

It’s five if you count the wooden tower I experimented with for little herbs — nothing anchoring the wooden dowel in the center except for dirt.
bury pole in bottom pot anchor the wooden dowel as best you can
thread pots one at a time, tilting them as far as they’ll go

herby little tower finished terra cotta tower of small herb pots

Cross your fingers…


thrift therapy

As I write these words I know they’re wrong. I know it’s wrong to deal with emotional turmoil using a shopping cart. I’m also having quite a time at my job, and am tired to singing the same song to my Crafty Mister, who, to his credit, doesn’t tire of hearing it.

My office is in a terrible part of the Chicago area, in a built up McMansioned, retail hell containing fake-blue-water fountains, “upscale” chain stores and restaurants, and flocks of entitled drivers of ridiculous, expensive vehicles. Also, it’s 22 miles from my home and though we changed offices this year, the Powers did not even consider proximity to public trans for the 5 of us (out of 9) who live in the city, close to said public trans. Grrrrr.

The only upside to working in awful materialistic suburbs is the thrifting (grocery shopping is convenient, too) . A-holes who live at malls shed a lot of clothing, and leave all kinds of quality merch at 2 particular Salvy stores – one on the way home, one that requires a little more of a trip. And since my taste differs from the Mexican ladies who shop the one, and the Polish and Palestinian ladies at the other, I usually hit the jackpot.

Last week while passing each store, I stopped in.

Bunch of these goodies will go to Etsy. Bunches of the purple sort will stay in my closet where they await me.

I used to skeeve thrifted shoes because they’re harder to clean than your standard hot-water-washable blouse. But now that most shoes are made so cheaply from “man-made materials,” I prefer the older leather ones. Can’t always drop $90 on a single quality pair, especially a pair meant for fun, and I don’t want to drop that on shoes that only go to the hated office.

Ashamed to say I feel better.

Crafty Mister

My Mister asked if I would marry him. And he asked me after the Dolly Parton show in a photobooth of a Chicago bar where we (and Dolly) have some history. And it turns out he’s super crafty, having made a fantastic ring from one belonging to my grandmother AND having timed the proposal so the photobooth flashed while Promises were being made.

I am a happy, lucky lady. I have a fabulous man who’s mine for, as he now likes to snark, a Lifetime. And he gave me a token of that Lifetime fits me perfectly.

My father told me my grandmother also married in her 32nd year. Like me.

And my Mister’s grandmother’s advice was, “Never take the ring off. Ever.”

Done and done.