Monday, June 22, 2015

House And Garden - Now With Updates!

Updates:

Turns out there is a bit of a ding in the left hand (ice maker) door. Noticed it after the guys who installed it had left. (Don't think they had anything to do with it.) Steve will get started in on getting a new door for me.



We have a baby veggie predator in the garden!  I was just bringing the dogs back from there walk when I spotted a baby bunny wabbit! Not terribly much bigger than a softball. None of the dogs saw it (we were w/in 3 ft of it when I spotted it). I think Grif did spot it after it high tailed it over by the patio wall, because he lit up a bit.

Terminally. Cute. And I didn't have my phone with me. ;-p


Lots of things happening!. The new fridge arrived, and has been installed:

Awaiting the new arrival.
And more Friday Garden pix:

Future Sunflower!

Since there's a lot, more after the fold!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Straining Gnats

Well, the old screen door on the side porch is as fixed at it's going to get today.  Primary goal #1 - no holes in the screen, no gaps at the edges, and no flying bugs in the house. Done.


On my first go-round, I tried to 'fit' two bits of screen material to the two openings. Came loose in about a day.  This time, I tacked a single piece up, then put up the molding, used the new box cutter to trim away the excess, et voila'!

Just needs some holes and small divots filled, then paint.

The lower half has been more problematic:


I 'replaced' the old, loose board across the bottom. And, I screwed up the dado work on the right side, so it really isn't a great fit. Thus, for my next trick, I'm going to re-replace the board, and do the dado work right this time. (Godamnit!!) Then molding and paint.

I also need to shave the right edge down just a tad. It sticks almost like it's nailed to the frame during the summer (humidity == swelling is my guess), During the winter, the hook won't reach the eye to lock it,  Sigh.

So, yeah, a productive couple of hours!!

In other news, the new 'fridge arrives Monday, and the roof should be sealed/coated by the end of the week!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Love/Hate Relationships Updated!

Update:  Last night, I was noodling about with some possible solutions to the new bedroom situation that didn't entail a) kludges, b) lots of destruction and rebuilding. The thought occurred: "Skin the existing wall with drywall!" I figured that was a good compromise to  my problem and met my requirements.

Today, I was overjoyed to discover that there is such a thing as 1/4" thick drywall! Several of the reviewers at Home Depot said it was an excellent way to cover old walls.

So, I am now the proud owner of three 4' X 8' X .025" sheets of drywall, plus accoutrements. And if I have to do this again, I'm paying someone to pick up and deliver the stuff!
 </update>

The Flight Attendant Girl Friend introduced me to working on old houses when she bought her house back when we were dating in the last century:

(Courtesy Google Street View.)
 It was built, as near as we could tell, in the late 1910s or early 1920s.  Working on it proved the rule that, when estimating the time required for a project you should give it your best estimate, double that, and then bump it to the next higher unit of measure.  So, for example, a three day job takes one month. ( 2X3 days = (about) 1 week, next unit of measurement is a month, ergo, 1 month.)

When I worked on my own (newer) places, the law pretty much still held, but those places had far fewer surprises.  No interesting dry rot in the bathroom that was (supposed to be) the three day job. No electrical that followed the evolution from Edison to modern code compliance. Needless to say, I learned lots.

Flash forward to today. I have decided to move my bedroom from the back room of the third floor to the front room of the second. This reduces the possibility of damage from a leaky roof (it's getting fixed next week!), and more importantly, puts me in a room that has heat from the boiler/radiator system, rather than relying on the (very, very) expensive wall heater.

So, I decided that I wanted to spruce the place up a bit by painting it. Relatively easy and cheap. Wash the walls, floor and ceiling, pull out all of the old, useless hardware, patch some spots on the wall, and paint. The goal was to have the ceiling, walls and trim done by Wednesday (tomorrow).

There has been, in the words of every airline everywhere, a delay.  Observe:

This...
...turned into this...
...resulting from this...
...and this!
Scraping one little bit started to pull up goodly sized strips of painted-over wallpaper. I admit, there was something satisfying about  the way all that effing wallpaper came off so easily. (I really, really hate wallpaper.)

And, as I had expected, we're dealing with lath and plaster:

You can see to bits of lath poking out above.
And there is a bit of a gap between the wall and ceiling:


Given the gaps at the ceiling, and at the wall,


...I'm starting to toy with the idea of pulling out that the lath & plaster, and replacing it with drywall.

What could possibly go wrong??

Saturday, June 6, 2015

A Saturday Friday Garden

So, I went to the local hardware store, to get staples for my compressor-driven staple gun, and a quart of paint for my moving downstairs project.

And then, I saw that they had raised bed frames and peppers for sale. Gardening sounded way more fun than painting, so, meet the new bed:

Left-to-right, 'found' tomato, muskmelon, Serrano pepper (new), Thai Hot (transplanted).
 The 'found' tomato was found (duh) sprouting in the compost heap. I had tossed out some tomato, and voila! Since it wanted to sprout for me, I thought the least I could do was get started and plant it.

The other found tomato iat the top right, and muy mas Serranos.
In other news, when I got back from the hardware store, I saw that some of the pototoes were blooming! Who knew?

Potato flower
Next, a couple of views of progress:





Finally, in other news, the Sunflowers have a predator, as seen here:




Said predator being...





...Griffin.

I suspect he has a bit of a tummy ache, and the Sunflower leaves are his remedy of choice.  He sniffs just about everything f=green, including the lettuce and the tomatoes, but Sunflower is always the winner.

Finally, a rodent monorail (taken from inside the kitchen):


More, later!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Animal Husbandry Question du Jour...

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Mid-Week Friday Garden

Well, it's been just over two weeks since we've looked at the garden.  The rains over the last week or so have had quite the positive effect!  So, in a more-or-less clockwise pass:

The kitchen bed is overwhelmed by lettuce!

Reverse angle on kitchen bed to show the basil and rosemary (found that at Wall-Mart).

Sunflowers and honeydews.

Red onions, garlic and yellow onion. I added a few Poblano peppers from my sprouts.

Tomatoes, Thai Hots, and some more Poblanos. Also, some random tomatoes in the sprouting trays (center).



Potatoes in the background, the two Anaheim peppers and one Thai Hot. And one of the Early Girl tomatoes.

The Royal Candles are beginning to bloom.

Roses.

Another view of the Potato Forest!




Both of the Early Girls are living up to their names!

Finally, the wild strawberry is settling in around the edges of the garden. I think it makes a nice ground cover, so I'm letting it encroach pretty much where it will.

Sunday, May 24, 2015