Picket Fence Weblog


My Newest Addition
June 6, 2008, 8:23 am
Filed under: Home improvement, Outdoor Enthusiasts

… to my deck that is. Isn’t this lamp gorgeous? I should have taken a picture at night. It’s solar so there are no cords and you can place it anywhere. It has a bronze finish and offers up to 8 hours of light. It’s nice and solid too, so it won’t topple when it gets windy (as it tends to do where I live). It is supposed to be in the 90s this weekend, so it may be too hot to be spend a lot of time outside, but when it finally cools down a little at night, this light will be bright!

Until next time…. Ann 🙂

P.S. The beware of pet sign you see here is held up by our siding hooks. They hold a lot of weight. This sign is made of slate and it stays up without falling.

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The Indoors Come Outdoors
April 25, 2008, 8:31 am
Filed under: Home improvement, Lawn, Links, Outdoor Enthusiasts, yard fun

The weather here has been beautiful lately. It’s almost as if we skipped Spring and went straight into Summer. I put out my deck furniture early. Flowers will go out in May. I bought an Outdoor Pillow to spruce up my patio table chair. It’s really comfy and can withstand the sun and rain. I’ll attach a pic so you can see how nice it looks. I think it’s great that you can now buy the weatherproof furniture, rugs and accessories that look as nice as the home decor you see on the inside of your home. Have you put out your deck/patio furniture yet? The time is here! 🙂

Until next time… Ann 🙂



Awesome Awnings
April 2, 2008, 9:36 am
Filed under: Home improvement, Links, Outdoor Enthusiasts, yard fun

Now that warm weather is finally on the way, my thoughts are turning to my deck. I know it is too early to buy flowers, but by the end of April I am planning on putting my deck furniture outside – no matter what!

One new addition to my deck this year will be these retractable awnings. I haven’t decided yet if I want to put them over where my back window is or over where my sliding door is. Decisions, decisions. Either way, I love the fact that these go up easily and cost about 70% less than other awnings. If you haven’t priced awnings lately, you are in for some sticker shock. These are very affordable and the quality is very good. I actually purchased them last season but never got around to installation. The green color set against my gray siding is going to look great.

Until next time… Ann 🙂

P.S. The second pic on the right is a pic of my deck from a few summer’s ago.

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So Long Spiders & Silverfish
March 24, 2008, 12:22 pm
Filed under: Home improvement

Art’s blog about bugs really started me thinking on how much insects upset me when I see them in my house. I especially hate spiders and silverfish. They just creep me out. There was a silverfish on my ceiling the other night. I used the Bug Buster to catch it. This handy device generates suction that captures the bug. You can then release it outside (or down the toilet). Silverfish are pretty speedy, so you need to be quick. It works great for other creepy crawlies as well. Picket Fence sells a huge assortment of pest control products.

Check them out HERE.

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Until next time… Ann 🙂

“Two-legged creatures we are supposed to love as we love ourselves. The four-legged, also, can come to seem pretty important. But six legs are too many from the human standpoint.” ~Joseph W. Krutch



Purchasing a Home – The Green Way
March 11, 2008, 9:23 am
Filed under: Home improvement, solar power | Tags: , , , , , ,

How can a mortgage be green?  Is it printed on green paper?  Or is the ink green?

There is a new way to help buy and save on your new home purchase.  This might be a great way for first time homeowners to save some money and have an excellent angle on getting that first mortgage.  By purchasing an energy efficient home many companies are helping you save, figuring that the money saved on long term utility bills should be applied to mortgage costs.

Bank of America, Citi-group, and JP Morgan Chase are all offering discounts on closing costs for energy efficient homes.  These are homes built to Energy Star Standards.  There are many appliances that meet Energy Star Standards, as well as insulation, windows, and heating and cooling systems.  This can help the homeowner save on buying an old home.

If you are looking to buy a home, you can go to www.naseo.org and find the contact information for your closest state energy office.  You can contact them for the specifics on efficient renovations and low-interest loans.

Green ideals are popping up everywhere.  They are becoming integrated into every aspect of our life.  To the car we drive, to the way we heat our homes, to the way we buy our home, to our schools and jobs.

As always, Art.



Generation G, for Green
March 3, 2008, 4:31 pm
Filed under: Home improvement, solar power | Tags: , , , , ,

I came across something over the weekend that I wanted to share with you. Ever since I became interested in “green” philosophies and writing about it, the response has been overwhelming. There are so many people out there, of all ages, that are interested in this topic. I read a quote yesterday from Home Furnishings Business Magazine. It was in an article about an opinion poll called “Going Green”. Names were not given in the poll. One response said,

“Nowadays there are a lot of energy efficient products. I must admit that I had to swallow hard the first time I spent the money to buy new light bulbs…I will save money over the life of the bulbs…Ten years ago, I didn’t have the option to chose ‘green’ lighting, so maybe I appreciate it more now.”

I can’t be certain, but I think many people around the U.S. are starting to feel this exact way. The popularity of green lighting, solar power, and other energy efficient tactics has become less debatable and more accepted. That could mean a brighter future for generations to come. If more children see this type of behavior, they will carry into their adult years as the “norm” instead of a new idea. Any one with me?

For energy efficient and solar products click here.

As always, Art.

chicago city hall

How’s that for going green? Chicago City Hall’s rooftop has saved in energy costs and reduced water runoff. Read more about it here.



Solar Power is Star Power; A Brand New Category
February 13, 2008, 4:06 pm
Filed under: Home improvement, solar power, yard fun | Tags: , , , , ,

For accent lighting and general accessory lighting it seems to be a waste of time to set up complicated wiring patterns . I know of a few people who have wanted to set up some lighting on their walkways to showcase what they are growing and the path to the front door, called in an electrician to bury the wires properly, only to have problems with it later that same season. It’s not impossible to set it up yourself, but there is a much easier way to do it, without breaking your bank and without having to bury wires and set up fixtures. By putting in solar accent lighting, you will save yourself money and time. Technology has made it much easier for us to accomplish those little things. Solar power is so useful and its there for the taking.

I have been writing about solar power a lot lately . I am a huge fan of perpetual resources. This includes wind, tide, and solar power. It’s not just about going green, its about making advances toward the future, for better, more efficient ways of electricity. It’s not an easy task and it’s some what of an uncharted territory for many of us. But there are plenty of small ways to do your part to help, such as my example at the opening of this blog.

Shoppicketfence.com is introducing a new category on the website. This category showcases some of the best solar products available on the market today. It’s a cutting edge way to accent your home and become the first on the block to do it without raising your electric bill.

New Solar Category at Shoppicketfence.com

Gather up the sun and get it done!

As always, Art.

P.S. Solar Power is making some headlines in Hollywood with big stars like Ed Norton and Will Ferrel. Click here to check it out.