We have had a wake up call this week. We had a brief shower and it made me think about my gutters! Luckily the sun came back out and the thought of cleaning them drifted away. Still it means that fall is on the way and soon I will have to prepare for it. Oh well, time to enjoy the sun for a few more weeks…

Willow Station Furniture

Some people are always looking for something new and different for their home décor. We found someone who can help you get that ‘different’ look for your home furnishings and he can even teach you how to make the pieces. Brian from Willow Station (503-897-7387) joined Robin to show her some of the pieces he makes and sells. If you have heard the name of Willow Station before, it is because of all the how-to seminars he has held with his wife, Sammy, over the years at local nurseries and garden centers. Brian is known as the ‘Willow man’ and he has been making custom furniture for years. In his classes he leads students through the steps to the completion of their own piece. He gets his wood with a permit from the US Forest Service. If you are interested in signing up for a class you can check out their website or give them a call. They are also moving into a new retail space in Salem. You can also see them this Saturday the 17th at the Fall Fling Garden Festival at Dallas High School (http://extension.oregonstate.edu/polk/polk-county-master-gardener-home-page). They will be holding a seminar and answering questions about all the different types of willow furniture they make.

Olive Oil Snacks

Last week we introduced you to a new business in Lake Oswego; The Oilerie (503-675-6457), that sells handcrafted infused olive oils, balsamic vinegars and seasonings. This week we returned to learn about some simple snacks that you can make for your next get together. Blake joined David to share these quick and easy recipes. The first one was a recipe that used cashews. Blake just put a little olive oil on the cashews, some sea salt (a flavored one from their store) and some finely chopped rosemary and roasted them in the oven for a couple of minutes and they were done. The second recipe was even easier! They picked up a log of goat cheese from the local market and poured some of their balsamic cherry sauce over the top and served it with crackers. Very yummy! Finally, the last item was a dessert. Blake used their vanilla infused olive oil with their raspberry truffle brownie mix. All you need is the olive oil, the mix, hot water and one egg and you have a tasty pan of brownies!

For more recipes you can check out the Oilerie website and they are adding more all the time!

Replacing Your Faucet

Robin is looking for a change! In her bathroom, that is. She was tired of the ‘look’ and she wanted to change the décor, and one of the easiest ways to change a bathroom is by changing the plumbing. We mean the faucet. Replacing a faucet is easy, or so we’ve been told. To learn how to do it we stopped by George Morlan (503-224-7000) to get some tips from Dave Charvet. Dave had a lot of questions for Robin before she made her decision. First what type of sink did she have? There are different combinations of holes in the top of the sink for the pipes. There are 4 inch, 8 inch and single hole models of sinks. Know your measurements! Second, determine the finish of the faucet. What style do you want, and don’t forget the rest of your hardware; towel bars, tub and shower fixtures may also need changing.

Next we moved to tools. There are specific tools that will help make the job easier. Dave met with David in the parts department to help him find the right tools for the job. The first tool we saw was a ‘basin wrench’. This will allow you to tighten and loosen the nuts around fixtures in those tight spots. You may also need to replace the shut-off valve under the sink and the water supply tubes. Check the condition of those before you make your first trip to George Morlan. Know the size of those tubes as well by measuring the connector. You will also need some Teflon tape, silicone sealer and plumber’s putty to help seal your connections when you install everything.

Next week we will see if David can install the faucet!

ReBuilding Center

If you are looking to do something good for the earth while you do your home improvement project we have the place for you. The ReBuilding Center (503-331-1877) in north Portland specializes in recycling and reusing building materials and appliances. Robin talked with Shane Endicott the executive director of the center to learn more about their mission. The center is a part of Our United Villages and accepts the largest amount of used building materials in the region. They take donations of materials and then add them to their inventory where you can purchase them for your next project. Their inventory includes lumber, sinks, tubs, tile, doors, windows, trim, and a lot more. They even have a division of the business called ReFind Furniture that is made from recycled wood products. If you have a building that you’re thinking of demolishing they can come out and ‘deconstruct’ the building for you. All the materials are then put into their store to find another use in someone else’s project. If you would like to check out their inventory you can stop by their location at 3625 N. Mississippi. If you would like to learn more about their mission check out their website at http://rebuildingcenter.org.


You may not know it but you have grown accustomed to phosphates. Phosphates have been added to cleaning products and detergents for years to help make the soaps clean more effectively. The problem is that phosphates can also add too many nutrients to the water systems and that causes an increase in algae growth and fish death in our streams. A couple of years ago phosphates in laundry detergents were phased out and now it is dishwashing detergents turn. This means that your dishes may not be getting as clean as they used to be. We stopped by Standard TV and Appliance (800-398-7177) to learn what a home owner can do to help keep their dishwasher working better. Tony joined Robin to fill her in on some tips. One of the tips is to make sure that the water is hot before you start the dishwasher. Run the hot water in the sink first and then your dishwasher won’t have to work at heating the water itself. Some manufacturers are also increasing the pressure of the water and this helps with the cleaning as well. Another tip is to make sure that you don’t use too much soap. Too much detergent will just leave residue on your dishes. And make sure you are using a quality soap. Consumer Reports says that the high end soaps will do a better job and will get your dishes cleaner. If you are frustrated, don’t worry, the manufacturers are working on new formulations of soap and soon we will have better cleaning detergents. Our fish and our dishes will be better off.


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This page last modified
September 23, 2011.