Monday, November 28, 2011

How to Overhaul Truck Interior - Part 3 Putting it Back Together

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It has been a few weeks since I posted a couple of DIY posts about how I was trying to breathe new life into my worn truck interior.  I posted about cleaning the carpet with a pressure washer, and then I posted about cleaning the seats with a rug doctor machine.

It has been a few weeks since I put everything back together and I am posting the final results.  I am extremely pleased with how this project turned out.  After putting everything back together, I purchased a custom molded carpet dash cover that fits my dash perfectly.  I also purchased a set of Husky floor liners to protect all my hard work cleaning the carpet.  The Husky floor liners are expensive, but they are worth every penny in my opinion.  We purchased a set of these on my wife's new car back in 2007, and her carpet looks like the showroom finish still to this day.  Besides purchasing the dash cover and floor liners, this project was pretty cheap.  It cost me about 50 dollars to rent the rug doctor machine for a day and to purchase the cleaning solution that goes with it.  Everything else was my sweat equity.

This was what I started with, 13 years of neglect by previous owner.

Here is the carpet after the initial fit, it slid right into place and everything lined up perfectly.  This is one benefit of why I decided to clean my existing carpet rather than replace.  When you purchase replacement carpet, you have to cut all your own holes and trim it to fit yourself.

Another angle from the back

This was after I installed the backseat and trim pieces.  There were still a few small stains that became apparent when I put it back in the truck.  I used Tuff Stuff carpet cleaner and a towel, and all of those spots came right out.

Here is close up of drivers side after cleaning with tuff stuff, looks brand new.

Here is a shot of the front husky liner.  You can see how it is custom molded to your vehicle.
Here is the husky liner in the piece that covers everything.

Here is the custom molded dash cover.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Garden Harvests - November 27th

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The garden is all but gone, I have some lettuce and spinach growing but that is it. The holiday season is in full swing, so that is taking priority right now. I harvested a small batch of lettuce this week. It tasted great, and I should have plenty of lettuce to give away. I have about 12 heads growing now. I also had a batch of paper bag ripened tomatoes from my garden. I tried to make salsa, but it did not come out that good. The tomatoes were red on the outside, but were not a deep red on the inside. They were more like an orange-yellowish color. I don't know if this was why my salsa didn't taste right, but something was definitely off. I have been off the entire week of Thanksgiving, so it is back to work tomorrow.

Half pound of lettuce.

Nice batch of tomatoes
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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

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I know it is late in the day, but I want to wish all my garden bloggers a safe and happy Thanksgiving.  I hope to catch up on some reading and posting on my blog.  I have been out of town a few days in Nashville and I have been wiped out and catching up on sleep.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Garden Harvests - November 15th

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The first frost hit us last weekend so pretty much everything was killed off except for my lettuce and spinach. Of course today the weather is in the 60's for the low and almost 80 for the high. Mother Nature is so fickle, if it is gonna get cold stay cold why don't you.

I got to pick what was left of the peppers and green tomatoes and I got to harvest my lima beans. Although many of the pods didn't have time to form beans of suitable size, I harvested a total of 38 lbs. of pods from a couple of 4 by 8 beds! One bed filled an entire 5 gallon pocket full of pods. I will definitely be planting them again in the spring. I also harvested my first batch of fall lettuce and spinach. Eating fresh salads is great, but I am so spoiled I can't touch store bought bag lettuce. Yeah, I admit I am a snob, a lettuce snob.

Here is a half pound of lettuce and a little bit of spinach.

You know your lettuce is fresh when the water is as green as the lettuce.

Here are the last of the jalapenos, 8.40 lbs. from four plants.

2 lbs. on the nose.

Here is another 14 lbs. of green tomatoes, I have to work on ripening them now.

The best for last, this bucket was filled with lima beans from just a single 4 by 8 ft bed. This is square foot gardening at its best.
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Sunday, November 13, 2011

First Freeze of Fall

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This weekend brought the first freeze in my area.  It was a hard enough freeze that it wiped out what was left of my peppers, tomatoes, and lima beans.  According to my charts, there was a 50/50 chance of a first freeze coming before December so I can't complain.  I wish it would have waited a few more weeks, but I guess that is the life of a gardener.

While out in my backyard, I noticed my red maple was in all its glory changing colors so I decided to snap a few pictures of it.  I believe this particular variety is an Autumn Flame Red Maple.  I planted it about 7 years ago and it always has the best colors of all my red maples.  Its leaves take on awesome shades of orange and red which is more like a sugar maple than a red maple. 

In my dream house, I imagine living on acres and acres of land with a long winding driveway leading up to my house.  I see both sides of the driveway lined with these trees, what a wonderful sight that would be to come home to every day.  One day, if only in my dreams.

Monday, November 7, 2011

How to Overhaul Truck Interior - Part 2 Cleaning Seats

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The second step in overhauling my truck interior was to clean the seats.  I had the same issue with the seats as in part 1 when I cleaned the carpet.  Cigarette smoke and dog stains, as well as a nice odor.  Luckily the seats themselves were in pretty good shape.  There were a few cigarette burn marks, but nothing torn.  

I rented a rug doctor machine from my local grocery store.  I also picked up the optional upholstery attachment.  The machine works by squirting cleaner onto the fabric and then it vacuums it up as you move the attachment over the fabric.

It took several passes to clean the front and back seats, but I could tell a big difference.  It worked so well on my truck seats that I went ahead and cleaned the seats in my wife's car and my car.  I took pictures while I cleaned the back bench seat.  This was the first seat I cleaned and it was the least dirty, but you can tell in the before and after pictures the difference.  I should have taken pictures from the dirty front seats, but I just wanted to be done.

Bench seat before picture, doesn't look too dirty does it.

Seat after a few passes with the rug doctor, you can see the half I cleaned.

After a few more passes....

Close up of final cleaning, you can see how dirty the seat was and this was the cleanest seat.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

How to Overhaul Truck Interior - Part 1 Cleaning Carpet

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I mentioned a few months ago that I bought a new truck, a 1998 F150 to be exact.  I got a great deal on it, but the truck had several mechanical problems.  I finally got everything fixed and it is running smooth now.  So this weekend I decided it was time to start overhauling the interior.

The truck's carpet was completely trashed.  It smelled of smoke and dog mixed together and was covered in white dog hair and dirt.  I read online that you can remove the carpet and clean it with a pressure washer and it can breathe new life into it.  

I started by removing both seats and trim panels.  I then removed the carpet from the truck.  I scrubbed the carpet with powder Tide detergent and a push broom.  I took my pressure washer and blasted the carpet clean.  I am super impressed with how clean and plush the carpet is now.  It isn't perfect, but it is 100% better than before.  I am going to let the carpet dry for a few days before reinstalling it.  This method didn't cost  me a dime except my time, which was much better than replacing the carpet.  I highly recommend trying this method rather than replacing the carpet.

This is my new truck all waxed and shiny.

Here is the interior, doesn't look too bad from this angle but it is.

You can see how nasty the carpet was.  This was after I removed the seats.

The truck interior completely stripped and carpet removed.

Here is the carpet before I cleaned it, the clean parts are where the seats were.

Here the front of the carpet after I cleaned it, looks brand new.

Back side of cleaned carpet.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Tomato Harvest in November?!?

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I planted tomatoes very late in the season this year, mainly because it was a last ditch attempt to have some for salsa and tomato sauce.  I planted 3 plants on June 27th: One Better Boy, One Big Boy, and One Roma.  By the time I planted we were well into summer and none of the flowers produced any fruit.

The plants survived the heat of summer and once the temperatures cooled in early September they really started putting out fruit.  I have waited almost two months for them to vine ripen and although a few of them have, I think the temps are just too cool now for that to happen.

So tonight I decided to pick the best ones from the plants.  I am going to make some fried green tomatoes and let the rest ripen indoors.  The total haul in the large basket below was 19 pounds.  There are still more on the plants, but I will let them go until the first frost approaches.