Monday, November 18, 2019

No Comments Update

Couple posts back I had no comments available. (First Hard Frost) Once again, some spammer found me and I turned them off. Then, changing my mind, I couldn't figure out why that post still didn't allow comments. Sigh, I figured it out and all is right with the world, once again.

Moving forward...

A New Greenhouse

On the small side. It measures about 5 ft square and 6 ft tall. I can stand up in it. Perhaps, I can grow some cold weather crops in it this winter.

Broccoli in the ground. Carrots in the planter. Will they freeze? Shelving on both sides will be good for Springtime seed germination. I'm keeping the bottom area open to ground for plants to grow during the winter. 

Carrots in the planter. Two larger than the newer ones breaking ground. 
I've been reading a book; The Backyard Homestead Manual by, Chase Bourn. It's pretty informative and pleasurable to read. I know quite a bit of what he's writing but, even though an old dog, I'm still learning new tricks from him. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

First Hard Frost

This morning it finally reached a freezing temp. 29F. The broccoli is under a webbed cover which I figured (hoped) would be good enough to keep the frost off of it. Not that you can see, they look a little wilted but, I believe they'll come back. We'll see.

I had carrots planted, and coming up in a planter several weeks ago. Sadly, the damned squirrels found the seedlings and demolished them. Then, here recently, some more carrots came up. I threw some more seeds in with them and covered them with a screen. I noticed the other day they had started sprouting. Will the screen save them from frost? We'll see.

I had also seeded another planter with Tom Thumb head lettuce. I cannot get them to sprout outside. This morning, after weeks of procrastinating, I pulled out my grow light and heater and seeded a few inside. Let's go. Let's grow!!!

The last tilling for the big garden until Spring.


After 8 years of backyard chickens, I'm down to one. Maggie is the last of my urban livestock projects. No more birds until (if) we move out into the country.

Also, I planted garlic in the old tater patch. They've sprouted and are growing. Need the cold temps to knock the green down so they can grow throughout the winter.

Tomorrow morning is supposed to be just like this morning. Cold! But then, milder for a week or more.

Friday, September 27, 2019

A Driveway, Too?

After installing the bathroom vanity, which was more than a simple task, I realized that the saved money for a rainy day wasn't ever getting wet. I'll still save money for large projects but, the smaller ones don't need to wait anymore.

The driveway was a larger project that we (I) kept putting off (for a rainy day). No more. Let's spend some of that savings.

I hired it out. This is a little too much for me to tackle on my own. After researching prices, these guys were more than reasonable. We are now the proud owners of a driveway.

Of course, after seeing it and using it, it needs to be a tad larger. I can handle the small stuff.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

New Bathroom Vanity and Sink

For years we had discussed replacing the existing sink in the bathroom. The faucet was so old there were no more parts available to fix the leaks. The sink was ugly and bulky.

Friday I decided to remove the sink and install cutoffs and flexible lines. Easy enough. 30 minutes; hour at most. HA! I must've forgotten this house is 60 years old.

Just to check, I put a wrench on the water line, at the wall, and attempted to loosen the nut. It was tight, really tight. So tight, the coupler at the wall started leaking. Rusted out. I back tracked and, thankfully, the leak stopped. All but a tiny drop/drip. Too much work for me. I called 'do it all' company for assistance. He answered the phone, 'hello'. Hello? Is this a plumbing company? I asked. He said, yes. I requested assistance. He says probably not today but, Saturday. I mentioned the small, tiny drip and said okay. He asked if I'd take a picture and text it to him. I did. No acknowledgement of receipt of text.

Saturday came and went. No show. No courtesy call. Nothing. That evening I started adding up the extra costs this is going to be. The whoa-man was off Sunday and we decided to go to Lowe's and pick up the vanity and parts to be ready Monday. All Saturday night I thought about doing it myself. Woke up Sunday, shut the water off and started disassembly.

It went as expected. Everything was rusted and broke off, leaving unusable parts. After cutting a hole in both sides of the wall and 4 trips to the store, the last one to get a torch, solder and flux. We were finally on the home stretch.

I didn't want to do it all but, after all the time we put into it, I'll be damned if someone else was coming in for the last 1/2 hour of glory. I'm fully capable to perform the task - I was just being lazy. Went off without a hitch. The pipe sweating had no leaks on the first attempt. Surprising.

All done. Water back on. I texted the company and told them to forget it. I fixed it myself. But I still wanted a quote for some other jobs. (Driveway and roof) Of course, no reply or acknowledgement.

Monday AM, I called to check on my text. Hello. Hello? Really? Don't  companies give their name when answering a call any more? I've had other companies answer with a hello here, too. Is this Company do it all, I asked? Yes. Asked him if he received my text. Yes. Can I get an estimate for a driveway? Yes. The concrete guys are at Fort Bragg finishing up a job and will stop by when they're through.

Did they show up? Did I get a courtesy call? Hell no! Figured I'd give them the benefit of the doubt and wait until Tuesday. They'll come by first thing, right? Hell no. 5 hours into the work day, nothing. No call. No show. I called him back. Hello. I give up. Told him who I was and asked what happened. Oh they couldn't make it yesterday. Well, I went off. 'Tell you what. Because you're so busy and don't have the common courtesy to call or text to let me know for the last 5 days, I'll find someone else. He comes back with, but, but, you're on my list. I told him to remove my name from his list. I will never call again. He said, okay have a wonderful and blessed day. I came back with, yeah right, instead of what I really wanted to say, and hung up.

Well, there's the long story. Now the short of it is, I saved hundreds of dollars by getting off my lazy butt and doing it myself. However, I'm paying for it now with a sore back, butt and thighs. Worth every bit of it. Very satisfying and fulfilling to complete a task of such magnitude. Confidence building at its finest. I still will not do a driveway or shingles. Nope. Not going to do it.

The most surprising part of it all? No cussing, renaming items or throwing tools or parts across the room.

Had to heat and remove those 2 T's and reinstall new ones with flux and solder. Called sweating a pipe or joint.

It looks marvelous!

Sunday, September 1, 2019


The whoa-man was up, later than usual, the other night and noticed the motion sensor security light at the coop was on. Looking closer she saw them. Not one. Not 2. But, 3 raccoons. Good thing the coop is safe and secure. I'll have to make sure to be diligent and lock up every night. Such a pain. But, a necessary pain. I've already learned that lesson too well, in the past.

With the old woman, next door passing on, perhaps someone will purchase her house and clean the pigpen up; removing the wildlife from our midst.

The only good thing having raccoons visit is, they clean up the left-over maters and food scraps the chickens don't/won't eat. Risky but, there it is. Strange they never touched the garden this year. (now that I've said it, watch my cantaloupes disappear.)

I have yet to see them but, have noticed the security light come on. The garden blocks a lot of the area. With winter coming on there will be some clear paths out that way so, I can see.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

So Long, Chatty

On a normal day I watch and take a head count of the chickens. For some reason, I skipped or overlooked it on that day. All day I hadn't thought about it nor did I venture out with treats or garden check. Not even a trip to the shop. It had been extremely hot the past couple of days.

Must have been late afternoon when I was in the chicken area. I smelled something. Something dead. Not unusual with the jungle and the shed of wildlife that lives on the other side of the fence. Using my keen sense of smell I pinned the smell down to the coop. I opened the big door and there she was. Face planted into the bedding. As if she had fallen from the roost overnight, perhaps breaking her neck?

I chalk it up to heat and old age. Her age was unknown by the owner when I purchased her. If I were to guess, at least 5. But, it's uncertain.

I'm down to 2 birds now. When they're gone, I'm done for awhile.