Bathroom Makeover– Chalk Painted Linoleum Floors


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This is a great way to update any room really.  This article shows how to update a bathroom floor by painting it with stencils.  You can see the result.  The article is long with many pictures, so I’ll post a link to it (Otherwise I’ll be here all morning cutting and pasting, and there’s snow that needs shoveling so…)  I hope you enjoy this and perhaps use this idea on one of your floors.

How to Get Motivated When You Have No Motivation to Do Anything


Have you ever had one of those days when you say to yourself, “I have no motivation to do anything” or ask yourself “Why do I have no motivation for anything”? Perhaps this is acceptable on a casual, lazy summer day when you are on vacation from your usual duties and nothing is at stake. But for some people, there is a constant, perpetual feeling: I have no motivation for life. Whether it’s going to the gym, going to work, looking for work, or doing house chores, sometimes it’s hard to work up the motivation to do anything. Below are a few simple strategies to allow you to get a “jump start” on your motivation.

Focus on the Little Positive Things

Sometimes it’s important to find ways to distract yourself from the negative elements that kills any motivation. Focus on the things that fuels you, not kills you.

Don’t Underestimate Yourself

Regaining some confidence in your own ability will help you build some momentum into actually completing a task.

Focus on the Process, Not the End Result

Focus not on the distance of the end result, learn to appreciate all the little things that come along the way of getting there.

Find People To Tag-team With

Reaching out to others can provide you with an external motivation that you may have trouble conjuring up on your own

Imagine the End Result

Creating a positive result in your mind can motivate you to do something that you otherwise may not even want to attain in the first place.

Being motivated can be hard. There are probably more people who tell themselves “I have no motivation” than people who are clearly motivated. The tips offered here are but the fundamental elements. There are many more useful advice to learning how to get motivated when you have no motivation to do anything. The most important thing is that it all starts with you. Remember, nobody can motivate you more than you. It may not be easy to get started, but once you pick up momentum, you will achieve your goal before you know it.

Shelter Takes In The Chubbiest Cat They’ve Ever Seen

When shelter staffers first saw Bazooka Joe, they had to do a double take. Pictures of the gentle giant just didn’t do him justice.

a person holding a cat

Tipping the scales at over 36 pounds, Bazooka Joe couldn’t even fit in a normal cat carrier. In fact, when he tried to squeeze into one, he got stuck.

He can barely fit in someone’s arms. a man holding a cat© SPCA of Wake County“It’s jaw-dropping how large he is — and how long he is, too,” Darci VanderSlik, director of communications for the SPCA of Wake County, told The Dodo. “He’s 34 inches long, so he’s a very square cat.”

Bazooka Joe entered the North Carolina shelter system when his former owner, an elderly man with dementia, passed away. The large cat arrived at the shelter matted and dirty. His girth prevents him from caring for his coat adequately — and, boy, is there a lot of coat to care for.

“He’s struggling to groom himself properly, he’s struggling to play with toys, to do what normal cats do,” VanderSlik said. “But he’s still very agile for the state that he’s in — he’ll jump up on the bed and climb up the stairs.” a cat lying on top of a table© SPCA of Wake CountyAt only 5 years old, Bazooka Joe is still a young cat with a long life ahead of him, noted VanderSlik: “He’s got this kitten personality in this oversized body.”

And while he looks imposing, his personality couldn’t be sweeter. “This cat is the coolest cat ever. He’s so mellow and chill,” VanderSlik added. “He’s just happy all the time.” a person holding a cat© SPCA of Wake CountyRobin Anderson was scrolling through the Maine Coon Rescue Community on Facebook when the tabby’s sweet face popped up on her screen. After losing her Maine coon in August, she had finally found a cat large enough to fill the hole in her heart.

Anderson immediately called the shelter, hoping that the cat hadn’t already been adopted. a person holding a cat© SPCA of Wake CountyWhen shelter staffers heard her personal story, they knew they had found the perfect home for Bazooka.

“She herself had lost over 120 pounds and now runs marathons,” VanderSlik said. “So she was super excited to step in and help him and document his weight loss journey. She even wants to harness train him so he can get some cardio.”

Bazooka Joe went home Monday, less than a week after arriving at the shelter, and has since been renamed King Augustus.  For now, the chunky kitty is taking a few days to get acclimated to his new surroundings, but soon he’ll be meeting his “little” brother, a 10-pound dog named Rufus.

With a new name and a family, it’s clear that King Augustus will have many happy — and slimming — years ahead.

Calling All Hummingbirds—and Those Who Love to Watch Them

Calling All Hummingbirds—and Those Who Love to Watch Them

Photo: courtesy of Terra Nova Nurseries Inc.

By Gary Lewis Fine Gardening – Issue 192 Fine Gardening


Who knew there was a plant for fans of the cultural phenomenon that is the Angry Birds video game and movie? While the unusual plant Cardinale™ Red red birds in a tree isn’t going to chase treacherous green pigs (or garden gnomes) out of your borders, it will certainly add long-lasting color, botanical intrigue, and numerous hummingbirds to your landscape.

The straight species, Scrophularia macrantha, also known as Mimbres or New Mexico figwort, is an interesting yet little-known U.S. native related to penstemon. It is found on the rocky slopes and within the coniferous forests of a few mountaintops, often referred to as the Sky Islands, in New Mexico. The straight species gets quite large, reaching upwards of 3 feet tall and wide. Since not everyone has that kind of garden real estate available, the newer cultivar Cardinale™ Red offers the same great traits of red birds in a tree, but at nearly half the size.

This is a bushy perennial consisting of dense, upright stems with bright green, triangular to egg-shaped, serrated foliage. The common name refers to the unusual, small, cherry red, slightly curving, tubular blooms with little white lips that dot the branched flower spikes and resemble a flock of plump little birds perched in a tree. Cardinale™ Red blooms over many months from midspring into fall with or without deadheading. As you might imagine for a North American native plant with red, tubular flowers, red birds in a tree is as popular with hummingbirds as the Angry Birds franchise is with children and adults. Some gardeners report that their hummingbirds dismiss all other nectar-producing flowers in favor of this stunner.

This is an easy-care plant. However, in hot summer climates you should provide it some afternoon shade. Cardinale™ Red is tolerant of clay and sandy soils and also of drought once established. Be careful not to overwater it or plant it in excessively moist sites, which can cause yellow leaves and stem dieback. It can struggle in places with lots of winter moisture, so try planting it in lean, sharply draining soils. Whether you’re a fan or not of Angry Birds, try this beautiful native perennial in your garden and—at the very least—you will become a fan of red birds in a tree.

Cardinale™ Red red birds in a tree

Cardinale™ Red red birds in a tree

Scrophularia macrantha ‘TNSCRCR’

Zones: 5–9

Conditions: Full sun to partial shade; average to dry, well-drained soil

Native range: Southwestern United States


Gary Lewis is the owner of Phoenix Perennials, a specialty nursery in Richmond, B.C.

Illustration: Elara Tanguy