Picket Fence Weblog


Father’s Day Is On The Way!
May 9, 2008, 11:57 am
Filed under: Links, Outdoor Enthusiasts, yard fun

June 15th to be exact. Dads can be hard to shop for. I think its fun to shop around and find unique gifts that are useful, practical and will be appreciated. The Propane Tank Monitor is one such item. Not to generalize, but let’s be honest – dads are the ones who do most of the grilling. This handy item alerts you when it’s refuel time. I mean, there’s nothing worse than being in the middle of cooking dinner and run out of fuel. And the price is right too – it’s on sale now for less than $20 you can make your dad happy. Check out the rest of shoppicketfence.com for dozens of other dad friendly gifts.

“That outdoor grilling is a manly pursuit has long been beyond question. If this wasn’t firmly understood, you’d never get grown men to put on those aprons with pictures of dancing wienies and things on the front and messages like ‘Come ‘n’ Get It'”
-William Geist, New York Times Magazine

Until next time… Ann 🙂

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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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The Spring Countdown
March 17, 2008, 9:13 am
Filed under: Links, Outdoor Enthusiasts, yard fun

Spring starts this week (Thursday to be exact). I saw my local town’s garden center is back open for the season so that is a good sign. Although around here, you can’t be safe planting til around Memorial Day. So, in the meantime, I have been tending to my indoor plants. I read a good tip recently on watering these plants. They suggest dropping a few ice cubes into the pot. As the ice melts, it waters your plant. How clever! If you want long term watering solutions, click HERE.

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Until next time… Ann 🙂

“It’s spring fever…. You don’t quite know what it is you DO want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!” – Mark Twain



Time To Get Your Garden Pond Prepped
March 14, 2008, 2:57 pm
Filed under: Garden, Links, pond

That’s right, winter is slowly receding.  There are plenty of us who are more than rejoicing at that fact.  It’s time to put away your skis and take out the golf clubs.  Well, maybe were not quite ready for that, yet.

Some of you may remember that I had started digging a garden pond at camp during the January thaw.  That turned out to be a pretty bad idea.  Now, the spring is practically here.  I am ready to get back down to camp soon (probably after Easter with family and friends) and get my project back up and running.

Floating Water Lillies

Now that most of the digging is done I can start focusing on cleaning and decorating.   There are quite a number of way to go about both.  Click here if you would like a little more information on getting your garden pond crystal clear.  Or click here if you want a few ideas for decorating and personalization.

As Always, Art.



Let There Be Light
March 7, 2008, 10:28 am
Filed under: Links

I know we have been talking a lot about the whole green cause lately. It can leave you feeling overwhelmed, thinking “what can I do, I’m just one person?” Well, every little bit of action helps. If everyone would just do one small thing, think how far we could come. My suggestion for those of you who want to help save the earth and save on your budget is to start by replacing your light bulbs. Every time one goes, replace it with a compact fluorescent bulb. These bulbs have come a long way. In the past, they were not very bright. Technology has improved and they give off the equivalent that regular bulbs do. And, over time, they save you money. They can last up to 5x longer than regular bulbs and cost less to use. They also come in more shapes and sizes for every kind of lamp or fixture.


 Two you might want to start out with:The Mini Twist – these compact bulbs fit all types of fixtures and you get a set of 4! Natural Bulb – I love this one because it simulates sunlight.Start small and remember – little changes add up to big ones!  Until next time… Ann 🙂 



Going Green in Alabama

I would like to take the time to bring attention to the efforts of Karni R. Perez, a dedicated volunteer with The Louise Kreher Forest Ecology Preserve, an outreach program of the Auburn University School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, and coordinator of an exciting upcoming event in Auburn, AL.    The Preserve offers 110 acres of beautiful wooded hiking trails and other special features such as learning stations, providing surrounding communities with a wealth of nature and native ecosystems to discover, learn from, and enjoy.   You can click here to view their home page and pictures.

There is an event taking place there on Saturday, April 5 called GrOw GREEN.  The event is designed to draw attention to the positive aspects of going green.  The fun and information-filled event offers those who attend “a chance to better understand some current resource and environmental issues”.  Not only will the attendees get a chance to “enjoy a day in the woods” but they will also be able to learn tips to meet the daily challenges of being Green Minded.

The staff at Picket Fence, as well as everyone in the office of our parent company QCI Direct, would like to acknowledge Ms. Perez and the members of The Louise Kreher Forest Ecology Preserve for their continuing efforts to bring awareness to the public.  We have always done all we can here to be as green as possible and to try and spread the word.  Lately my blog efforts have been about the benefits of solar power, the celebrities who have become involved, and all the small ways we (as the general public) can do our part to conserve energy and be less wasteful.  The responses have been vast and overwhelming.  There are so many people out there with a voice and opinion, in both directions, about the US becoming a fore runner in environmentalism.  This is an extremely hot button issue all around the world.  Many countries have spent innumerable hours and capital on developing perpetual resources to be used.   But, for most of us, without thousands of dollars to spend on solar paneling, there are plenty of small ways to think green.

We have been developing our solar powered products category and released it last week. You can view that by clicking here.  We will also by teaming up with Ms. Perez by donating our greenest products to be given away at the GrOw GREEN event on April 5th.  It truly is the little things that make the biggest differences and this is just the start to a long line of “little things” that we plan to do to bring more attention to the growing environmental problems.  Going green may be the one way to improve on global warming.   Is that enough?  Is global warming a serious enough problem to change our lifestyle?

As always, Art.

P.S. Thanks Alicia!