The pictures I took last year were actually quite similar which I thought was surprising. But comparing the two, there are fewer flowers overall. We are still missing a lot of carnations, mini carnations and daisies. There are a lot of flower shortages this year. Last year, even though the coronavirus was in full swing we were still able to get certain flowers (with difficulty) due to the flowers being already planted - just needed bodies to harvest them. This year, it was hard finding non-infected help to plant the fields and greenhouses, and when they did, they ended up planting late which delays flowering. Should be interesting, and stressful.
It was unusually warm outside the last couple days so I decided to do a little spring cleaning in the small garage to get a jump on Mother's Day (which is just about 1 month away now). Remember that we use the small garage for deliveries on the Friday and Saturday before so I need to make room. Anyhow, last fall one of our tables outside in front of the store broke and was not salvageable. After cleaning the house we had the old microwave cart stored in the garage which we decided could be used to replace the broken one outside. The only problem was that the top was made out of a compressed fiberboard which would not hold up outside where it can get wet. I figured I could find a scrap piece of 3/4" plywood to replace the top. Had a look around the garage while cleaning today and found a piece which was painted black on one side. Well, cut that down to size with the circular saw and rounded the edges a bit with a rasp and sandpaper but there were two 1" holes in it from something. I decided to fill them with Bondo (automotive body filler) as it sets up fast. Here's a pic of it on top of the cart with the old top underneath it.
In order to keep the Bondo from sagging out of the holes I used a piece of blue painters tape to create a false bottom then pushed the bondo in the hole and sanded it down when it dried. The painters tape came off easily and the bondo was completely flush to the bottom of the board so I didn't have to do any sanding on that side. Next up is to prime the board with some of that gray primer. This is the bottom side - you can see the two holes I filled in.
Looks good and should hold up outside for at least a few years. Probably going to put a coat of polyurethane on the bottom of the board yet and another on the top and possibly a coat over the whole thing (not sure if I'll have time for that though.
Yeah. they are not stacked because they need to dry first. Once they are dry they get sorted by type of bucket (all 5-gallon pails are not the same - even some by the same manufacturer) and then they are stacked and stored for when it gets busy again. Buckets can be stored when they are still wet, but the water between them creates a suction so when you try to separate them they take some skill and time, something you don't always have. And if one of the women designers need a bucket in a stack which is wet, they probably aren't going to get them apart. Whereas I can get them apart pretty quick because I've done it for so long and know the tricks. So that means I'll be called away from whatever job I'm doing to separate buckets for them which is... annoying?
Today it was really nice outside but I have to pick my fights carefully this time of year as it's still too cold (at night) to paint. Took advantage of the weather by catching up on buckets. We use plastic buckets for flowers and after every use they have to be sanitized or else bacteria will grow and multiply and eventually clog the stems of new flowers, which limits uptake of water and eventually kills the flower.
Needless to say, you have to clean buckets before reusing them. I use a combination of bleach and commercial bucket cleaner - in this case FloraLife DCD (Disinfectant, Cleaner, Deodorizer).. scrub the bucket with this solution and let it sit overnight or however long you want. In winter it's tough to rinse the buckets out and dry them for reuse as they take up a lot of room, and because it's busier, you are constantly using the buckets as fast as you clean them (basically a never-ending project). Throw in a holiday (like Valentines Day for example) where every bucket is called into service and you'll soon be overwhelmed with stacks and stacks of them. The last week was bucket cleaning week - I cleaned everything and stacked them up. Because of the weather I could take them outside and rinse them off with the hose which makes the process quicker, then haul them into the back garage to dry. Here's a sampling of the larger buckets I rinsed out and stacked today:
The buckets on the right side of the isle are the white pails... 5-gallon (19L) on the bottom, 4-gallon in the middle and 3-gallon on the top. Total: 74 pails. Stacked up to the ceiling. On the left side are the black pails... 4-gallon on the bottom two rows and part of the 3rd row, some 3-gallon display buckets in the foreground and a mixture of 2-gallon display pails in the background. Total: 84 pails. Not to the ceiling but it's close. Grand total: 158. I have about 75 more buckets left to do (they are cleaned already just awaiting a rinse). Maybe I'll get to that tomorrow if the weather cooperates.