Got the plants in to my pseudo garden and I'm happy to report that everything seems to be doing well. Blossoms have appeared on my tomato plants, the peppers are thriving, I have lettuce and onions sprouted--I can't wait! I also tried something different this year, I had some of the onions from last season left, so I cut off the tops, trimmed the roots and planted them. After a couple of days, the tops grew back and were sticking up out of the ground. My goal is to leave these in all summer so I have a couple of nice medium sized onions when the season is done. I'll let you know how it goes.
I'm also trying to get back to listing stuff on Ebay, I took the entire month of May off since we were on vacation and quite frankly, I needed a break from it. They've also changed some of their policies on listing, so I'm working through some of those new things. Ugh.
My dollhouse project is temporarily on hold due to a "structural issue". I've figured out how to fix it, I just need to make a trip to IKEA. Unfortunately the closest one is an hour away. Hopefully I can run down soon.
Since I'm not working on that, I decided to get back to something else that I had kind of shoved back in the corner. My goal is by the end of the summer to have the area where my dolls and bears are displayed all organized. Keep your fingers crossed for me! One of the things in my doll collection is an American Girl doll. I first discovered this company back in their early days when they were still Pleasant Company. I had taken a day trip to Findley Lake, NY with my husband and my best friend Susan. We ended up going to this cute little restaurant there called The Curly Maple (sadly it isn't there anymore). While waiting for the restroom, I took a seat and noticed a Pleasant Company catalog sitting there, so I leafed through it. Before I left, I ended up pulling one of the catalog request cards (remember, this was 1990, Al Gore hadn't invented the internet yet!). When the catalog arrived I was like a little kid, checking out the dolls (at that time they only had 3) and all the accessories. Unbeknownst to me, my husband was actually paying attention and for Christmas that year, he got me Samantha Parkington, a little girl from the Edwardian era. She ranks as one of the top 3 Christmas gifts he has given me in the 30 years we've been together. (In case you're curious, the other two were a camera and a watch)
Over the years I've acquired some accessories for her, some from American Girl and some from other places. One of the things I bought was a bedroom set that included a nightstand with accessories. The other day it dawned on me that one of these accessories was a clock with a fake phone, but it had a working clock--and I hadn't taken the batteries out of it. I was half afraid to get it out, I knew exactly what I was going to find, and let me just say that it was every bit as bad as I thought it was. In fact, it might have even been worse. I had a terrible time getting the battery compartment cover off because the corrosion had leaked out a little, but I did eventually persevere. This is what it looked like after I took the batteries out:
After watching it, I decided to give it a try. It looked easy enough and I figured if it didn't work, I wasn't really out anything more than a couple of minutes. It took a very simple ingredient--baking soda. So I assembled my stuff:
All I needed was baking soda, some q-tips and a little bit of water. You mix the baking soda in to the water so you make a nice paste out of it, then using the q-tips, start scrubbing. It helps neutralize the acids from the leaking battery as well as softening it up. I did have to use a sharp knife to get some of it off, but it was much easier after using the baking soda/water paste on it. After I was done I wiped it out thoroughly using a damp paper towel and set it aside to air dry. Here's what it looked like after I was finished:
Big difference, huh?!?!
While I was waiting for it to dry to try it out, I decided to clean my doll. I had the baking soda out anyhow. A while ago I noticed she had a sticky sort of feel to her, so I contacted the company to see what they recommended and they too suggested making a paste of baking soda and water. I set to work to clean her up, it seems to have worked. I did her legs first, then her arms and her face last. I did rinse her arms and legs gently with the spray attachment at my sink, but I DO NOT recommend doing this on a doll face if they have sleeper eyes (which she does) because if you get water in there, it not only could mold, but in many of these dolls the eye assembly is made of metal and it will rust and make it quit working. You don't want rusty eyes do you?!?! The nice part about using baking soda is it is completely non-toxic, so if you do have some residue left behind it will eventually wear off without the potential of it harming anything.
Samantha enjoying her baking soda "facial"
Once I was done with her, I wiped her off with a soft towel and set her aside to dry. I figured enough time had passed that the inside of the little clock had dried, so I got some batteries and put them inside to see if my efforts had paid off:
I set the clock about an hour ago and it seems to be working just fine. I did try to use some of the other things on it and I can't get them to work properly, but I think it might have something to do with whatever is rattling around inside--oops. I'm not really too concerned with that, I'm just tickled that the clock itself works, it will look so cute when I get my display set up.
The moral of this story--if you think something is broken, don't give up right away. Look it up on the internet! And let me just say that baking soda is wonderful for so many things, I can't even begin to list them all, and now I have found two more :)