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Snow Day Painting

..A* loves when the snow flies and combines with workdays and gets a net result of a day where driving is deemed dangerous and she gets to stay home..and complete jobs around the hacienda…

Like finishing off our cupboards painting job. We bought these cupboards years ago for a good price and we are finally getting around to painting them. This is the 3rd set of cupboards we have painted so we are getting pretty good at it..the MOST important thing is the degreasing and sanding..followed by painting. Since this is a cheap set we also opted to not even take the doors off while doing the work..a huge time saver. Last time I did it I think it took longer to put the doors back on then it did to paint everything so we wanted to avoid that hassle!

We ran out of paint and still need to do a little more but this is the more ‘finished’ side.

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Posted by on December 18, 2018 in Construction

 

Sturdier implements..now fortified with ugliness!

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..our most prized tractor implement has started to pay the price of time out in the elements..ice and mud..rain and hard work began to take a toll on the old rear blade of ours ( it was rusted when we got it with the tractor as part of the price negotiation process ). The backhoe is great but for versatility and day-to-day usage the rear blade rules supreme. Moving and leveling dirt, moving dirt, moving rocks and most importantly of all..it is our snowplow so when we noticed it was beginning to pull free due to rust we began to worry..last spring ( it was a ‘tomorrow D-‘ problem which tends to be put on the back burner until something comes to a head..well, the blade nearly ripping free on a fall test run was the impetus we needed to start getting the blade snow-shape before we needed it in the winter.

These things are not cheap brand new…which makes us happy to have it welded anew for $100. It did take me nearly 3 hours to loosen the bolts so I could get the blade off the rest of the entire read blade tractor attachment ( once again thanks rust ) so that it would easily fit into the bed of the truck..but the time is well spent in compared to spending an additional $1400 on a new blade. I was in such a celebratory mood that I also ordered $150 in 1-and-3 gravel..which is the bigger stuff for road building..which we are going to use to cover uneven ground in an area we want to drive through without having to remove trees or dig down. The path winds through a copse of jack spruce on our property so if we did down we would immediately be in roots and we will end up killing all the tree roots..which is to be avoided for now.

Either way..this winter we are all set and fortified for snow plowing. Now lets hope there is no snow this year so we don’t have to use it…ignore the snow on the ground..that amount I could deal with..it practically is not snow.

 
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Posted by on November 24, 2018 in Construction

 

New Beds ( before the snow )

Fall is such a wonderful time of year. A nice warm(er) day before the snow files is always such a treat..if you squint hard the frost on the grass looks like dew on a warm sunny morning.
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Grabbed about 25 pitts from a nice cherry tree in the city I am hoping to get a version of..Might not make it but for the 10 minutes it took to clean the fruit it seems worth a shot. The biggest problem might be identification of the cherries once the weeds grow in. Hopefully.

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A ‘rose of sharon’ bed (9) from 1st year seedlings. Our neighbor grew the ‘rosh of sharon’ and he said he would drop ‘one’ by..but he meant a bunch so we decided to put in a whole 25 ft raised bed after we had just finished off the other beds…but free shrubs are free shrubs. They are small and might not make it but worth a try. We also doubled down on this new bed and put in 14 grape cuttings..as in we cut off a new growth and put 2 buds underground and 2 above for each cutting. WHen I finally did it I think I might have missed the ideal dates but I was trimming the grape bush back and thought I would try anyway with the spare room..if they take we will move them next year.

..and the rest of the bushes..rhododendron, smoke bush, 2 viburnums, 2 9-bark, dappled willow, 2 french hens and a turtledove, Hard to tell with no leaves left on anything but I blame winter for the poor tree identification..I know there are 3 more shrubs.

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Posted by on November 18, 2018 in Construction

 

See Ya Later Cookstove

Well…we love our Enterprise cookstove but tending the small firebox constantly, double splitting wood and less heat have finally forced the issue to the point where we made a change. The cookstove is going to the shed ( for some envisioned future expansion ( or a rust pile)) and we bought a new woodstove with higher heat output and longer burn times. Takes bigger pieces of wood too which will cut down on splitting time substantially. We have had a propane stove for 3 years so the cookstove was not as necessary as it was in the past.

We will miss you! Thank you for the 10 years of awesome service!

The light from the stove is also awesome at night.

 
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Posted by on October 18, 2018 in Construction

 

New Bed Beginnings

…this was the beginning. What started with a group of 3 bushes became 11 new bush beds and 20 bushes. A* will not upload the shots from her phone but I am hoping she will read this and post them as a last resort.

 
 

Some Like it Long

Added a new food bed. We took out the raised beds we had near our dwelling and have been growing only tomatoes, peppers and zucchini since that time. The bed soil from the raised beds went into 2 other beds with 2 haskap(s) and a goji shrub and the other bed is (now) filled with oregano ( 8ft x 5ft). Great soil but we wanted to start fresh and do some experiments with augmenting our clay soil so we can do more with it in the future instead of trucking soil in to grow ( spoiler: we do buy a little for top dressing ).

This new bed is in a wetter area ( during wet weather anyway) so we thought it would be a good spot to plant in the future with raised beds. We dug a 35ft x 4ft(ish) rectangle in full sun down 1ft to break up the soil. Next we took 4 tractor bucket loads of soil which was originally the plant matter for the area. When we cleared the land with the tractor I pushed all of the top layers of soil and dirt into a mound and let it all sit and break down. Now after 3 years the soil seems rich in composted vegetable matter. Still some clay spots but not too bad as it seems broken down.

Finished off with a truckload of some good garden soil and in a week or 2 we will mix in some sheep manure and cover the whole thing for the winter and test the soil in the spring. Hopefully it all goes well and it is our new model for bigger beds in the future!

..been working on a publication for my mother and I still have an Adobe Spark account for 3 days. Neat little program ( I used it with an inDesign publication )..but I digress. The moral to the story is don’t expect more artistically motivated pictures ( yes, I am looking at one of you ).

 
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Posted by on September 15, 2018 in Construction

 

Decluttering

For the last year I have also had my clothes in a different room ( my thinking was that having 1/3 of the space filled with my dresser and side of the armoir was not worth the 45 seconds a day I spent getting ready) and after a year A* decided to join me and we moved everything ( except her dresser ) into the spare (J*) room. Makes for a cleaner room which we want to be in and that led us to changing it up in the living area too.

Over the years thinking about some of the things we hate about our place..and usually things centered around lack of space. There are limits to what we want to build so we thought that one way to create more space would be to remove some of the things which are taking up space or too much space for what we need it to do.

Sold the couch, seated mirror, coffee table, small table, chest ( which was our counter in the kitchen for 10 years ( served us well and we sold it for the same price as we paid for it ( but I was willing to burn it if we could not sell it!)) and got rid of our old IKEA bed which was our ‘..well it still works..’ bed which we got it from a friend for $100 back in 2003..still worked but resale was not much of an option. We did replace some things…a full length wall mirror, my grandmothers old bed (which A* just refinished) and a smaller coffee table is in our purchasing future too.¬†We realize it will have more in it soon but we like it wide open for now!

 

 

 
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Posted by on September 3, 2018 in Construction