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Monthly Archives: July 2012

Putting Down Gravel

Hey Gravel..nice hairdo..did your head just get in a fight with a lawnmower?! Hey Gravel..your arms are so hairy it looks like you have a gorilla in a headlock..Hey Gravel, did clown feet come with those pants..cause those pants are a laugh!…

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No, not that type of putting down gravel..we had some more gravel delivered for the walkway…which we promptly put into place to save the dogs from tracking in even more dirt…and began levelling for a deck footing.

 
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Posted by on July 30, 2012 in Construction

 

Draw(knife)ing Inspiration from Others

OK, so I saw all the work going on over at (http://www.mellishfieldswest.com/2012/07/keepin-this-train-rollin.html) mellishfieldswest.com and A* and I have been talking about a log support for the front of our place once the deck is complete ( and we would have needed draw knife for the froe created wood shingles too..but we opted for siding on the chicken coop instead of the wood siding)..so I went out and bought a draw knife today..been looking for a secondhand one for a long time so I finally broke down and bought a brand new one..and as per usual, as soon as I got home I wanted to try it out. I worked on some of the logs from last month and it took me about 15 minutes to do 1/2 of an 8ft log..the log was not really optimal but I had just picked the closest log..not that we are going to do anything with this one..They are doing a good job over at mellishfieldswest so if you have never been over there before be sure to check it out..very exciting progress!
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IN other news, we put down some topsoil in one of the flat spots..we wanted to see one area semi-complete (and sealed off from the dogs (soon)) before we tackle the rest…no, the pattern is not staying!

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..and the sunflowers survived the transplanting!..2 of the 3 are now in full bloom..not bad for something we never even planted..but next year we want a bunch of them because they are so nice looking..the bees certainly seem to enjoy them!

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Posted by on July 28, 2012 in Construction, Gardening

 

Morning Coffee With Hoppy, Twirp and BladeRunner

A* has coffee with Hoppy, Twirp and Bladerunner (the chickens/fowl)..they are hard to see due to being in boxes..and it took too long to get Hoppy for me to risk opening the box and him getting out..

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We have been trying to plan for a little vacation..in the past we always let the chickens roam and we would put enough extra food and water out for the chickens..but with the recent fowl attacks we can no longer do this so we have decided to keep the chickens penned in their secure area while we are away..the problem is ( or was ) that Hoppy picks on the chicks and ‘Chickie’..not to mention that it is a small space to keep 6 adults and 3 chickens…so as a solution we gave Hoppy to someone who we were selling Twirp and BladeRunner ( the 2 Rhode Island Reds ) to…no more cramped space and no more random attacks!

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..this way we are once again down to 3 adult birds who are laying eggs and 3 chicks ( or juveniles anyway )..which should be more than comfortable (and secure and safe) in the coop area while we are away. We liked Hoppy and were sad to see him go but Hoppy being penned up would have been disasterous for all of the other birds. A* also really misses BladeRunner who was the most tame and A* would always pick her up and carry her around the yard.

The 3 departing fowl are going to a free-range farm 20 minutes away so they will not suffer or anything..we were glad that they were able to go to such a great farm.

 
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Posted by on July 26, 2012 in Construction

 

Pathway Plan

A* takes a break…
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..and plan (and work) is complete..
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..and now how we got here..

We were out looking and trying to decide on where to put a walkway (which we are going to gravel fill for now..or soon) and as we were tracing the various outlines in fill we were digging in a couple of inches..so when we finalized the plan we put the liner in with 1/2 hour more work..it is a small walkway afterall.

No rain yet so levelling the topsoil would be a waste..as long as we get it done before fall we will be happy.

 
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Posted by on July 23, 2012 in Construction

 

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My Precious Stumps!!

Someone or something made away with all of my stumps from the area we cut-out in the spring!..oh where can they be?

This is one of my favorite types of work…the kind where I leave for work for the day and return home to a completed (and very different) project. It took 3 hours for a large excavator to clear out the stumps from the area and leave the ground in much better shape (while walking through the area there is only 10% chance of taking a step and randomly breaking an ankle now..down from 70%!..) and (almost) ready for a garden next year..once I clear out more of the trees from the southern side.

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We also got another tandem load of fill delivered so that we can fill in any low-spots in our ‘lawn’ area. We have been busy little beavers attempting to remove all of the large-med rocks from the lawn in preparation of laying down some topsoil and grass seed..according to some of the dierections I have read you are supposed to stay off grass seed for 3 weeks after putting it down..which means we need to create a walkway of some sorts and devise a way to keep the pooches off the grass..well at least we won’t have to worry about relaxing for a couple of week!

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..and just for reference here is the area before we began cutting ( and putting in flower beds and such):

 
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Posted by on July 21, 2012 in Construction

 

On the Level

I actually think I used that title before…or stole it from another blog..oh well.

We had some delivery and excavation work done today..3 tandem loads of topsoil delivered and a mini-excavator to spread it all over the yard to create a lawn that can actually be mowed…there are too many dips, crevasses and exposed rocks to really use a lawn mower now so we have been using a whipper snipper..not to mention the fact that anytime one of our friends comes out we were constantly worrying someone was going to trip or roll an ankle..so levelling seemed like the right thing to do.

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..the railway ties from the picture are part of our yucky temporary deck/house entrance..as we begin to build our new deck we still needed a way to get into the house..
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..and only 1 hour later we have a level lawn..a couple of hours later and we had a load of topsoil delivered too..but before we get to that we need to spend some time with a rake getting rid of the bigger rocks so that we do not duplicate our old rocky ‘lawn’

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In the next day or 2 our guy doing the work ( who also is the same guy who hauls dirt out of our ‘driveway’ area ( which is where the fill came from(cuts down on delivery costs)) will be back with the HUGE excavator to pull up some stumps for us so next year we can have a big garden..finally!

 
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Posted by on July 19, 2012 in Construction

 

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Hot Garden

It has been HOT..in the area we are supposed to get around 90-100mm of rain in July..so far we have had 2-5mm..not much..and coupled with the fact that it has been hovering near 30c for weeks it means extra watering. The well is in good working order and we have been watering all the time so the garden has been growing like mad..we have never had snow-peas get this tall this fast before and everything else is doing great too:

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..and we figured out what these massive growths are now that they are beginning to flower, they are sunflowers…and since the only seeds we had were black sunflower seeds we assume that this is what has been growing here..not that we planted any but when throwing down seeds for the chickens to eat must have caused this..cause there is no other explaination..

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….but I had to relocate the sunflowers due to some excavation work..more details coming soon!

 
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Posted by on July 17, 2012 in Gardening, produce, water

 

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A* Gets Old

Happy Birthday A*…some decorations for the yard from a local guy who makes these awesome statues and benchesimage

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Posted by on July 15, 2012 in Construction

 

Some free stuff

A friend no longer needed a bunch of stuff that he had @ his house so rather than just throw it all out I took a bunch of it. Siding, plastic barrel, 40 pots for plants, a nice HUGE plant ( not in picture ), tarpaper and some metal shelving braces..and other odds and ends:

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..but it is soooooooo hot here today that A* and I just want to sit around and drink beer and watch ‘hoder’ and the chicks follow the adult chickens around the yard..but we didn’t. Instead we took a spin to the beach while we were picking up A*’s birthday gifts..( coming in a future post but I needed her to help me lift the gifts so I had to ruin the surprise)

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The siding is going on the coop in place of the froe created shingles I never had time to do..but we are just starting out another project so the coop will wait until fall when it cools down a little!

 
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Posted by on July 13, 2012 in Construction

 

The 3 Amigos

Looks like we had a (strong) visitor last night..not that my half-ass staple job was going to keep anything out but I was waiting for the weekend to fix it all up since it was getting dark when I originally did the work and was rushing to get done.

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SO, last night @ 2am I hear some urgent chirping..so I went out to poke around with Jango on leash ( so he cannot run away if it is a bear) and I see 3 critters scoot away from the coop..took a peak inside the mini-coop and the chicks were still there. So I set off after the critters..around 30 ft from the coop I see some black and white tails going up a tree..a mother and 2 juvenile raccoons..must have been the same ones who got Ma..I harrassed them for an hour or so..then went off to bed.

Well, when I checked this morning we still had chicks..minus 1 (blackbeard)..I had not counted the chicks and I know nothing was into the coop after I saw the raccoons but they had claimed a chick via the coop weakpoint..and nearby in the daylight I found the pelvis and spine..they had cleaned blackbeard to the bone.

..and then there were 3:
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Now that we have a problem I went out and bought a live raccoon trap and set it up in the mini-coop..awaiting another visitor.

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It is simple but seems effective..but raccoons are known to be wily so I will see it if works. I also moved the chicks back into the main coop and everybody seems to be getting along fine and now the chicks follow behind the main flock when out foraging..one mostly happy family.

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Hopefully more to come when I actually catch the raccoons..or the raccoons clean me out and force me to stop posting about chickens!

 
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Posted by on July 9, 2012 in Construction