Thursday, July 29, 2010

Barrels of Fun

Yesterday I installed six 45 gallon drums in the Green House.  I had painted them a flat black to help them absorb sunlight.  They sit against the North wall of the Ghouse and absorb sunlight releasing their accumulated BTU's when the temperature drops.  Some more thermal mass to keep the temperature in the place stable.
The red plastic on the three closest tires helps the tomatoes to get larger and keeps moisture in the soil.
We continued with the transplanting and weathered a couple of thunder showers.  Even with the rain the garden is getting pretty parched and job one this morning is to take care of that problem.  Then some more shelf building in the Ghouse and maybe getting the water plumbed so we can get back to drip irrigation.  The small potted plants need to be watered several times a day by hand to keep them from wilting.

We are looking forward to a visit from my Sister and her husband today.  Always fun!

Hope your having your share today also.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Trouble With the Armies

And my leggies arn't much better.  I cut the tires and put them in the green house.  Using "normal" size tires was a lot easier than using the logging truck tires that we use in the outside tire garden.  The ache in my arms comes from straining a yard or so of soil to put in the tires.



I made the Blom-omatic 2000 soil conditioner, er strainer, in the morning and we used that to mix together some of the clay soil we have been conditioning with compost and sand, with some of the black salvaged soil from the old horse coral and several bags of peat moss and perlite.  A nice loose mix with a lot of organics in it.

Today we will plant Tomatoes, Cucumbers,  and herbs in the green house.  And put some squash outside and re pot a bunch of flowers which can stay in the green house for another week or so.  Were also going to try some Stevia, a natural sweetener.

Hope your having a sweet day.  And your armies don't hurt too much.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Good Fences Make Good Neighbors

And we have great neighbors.  They pasture a hundred head of Belgian Blue cattle on our pastures and generally the cattle are very good with the fencing.  None the less,  from time to time I have to get the fencing tools out, walk the line and retighten and repair broken strands.

Of course I have help with my outside projects.  Boose, the Calico cat, likes to tag along through the grass and offer advice on the best way to solve a particular problem.  In between belly rubs.

We got the grow beds plastic wrapped and installed in the green house.  Today's task list includes getting the cut tires into the beds, filling them with soil and transplanting.

Sometimes it just gets exciting around here!  A friend our ours gifted us with a couple of Medussa pepper plants from his green house.

While Medussa's are apparently edible I am very wary about eating decorative peppers.  Capsaicin on the Nuclear Device level.   You have been warned. That's all I have to say about that..

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Forget the Candle: Use Compact Flourescents..

Making a bit more progress in the Green House.  I have the two main "tub"s , two by four and plywood trays made and water proofed ready for plastic liners and tires and soil.  Maybe if I get the fences repaired in time today.  We've been suffering through an infusion of yearlings through the barbwire in a few places.


While I save up some money for some high pressure, or even l.E.D. grow lights I wired in some Rube Goldberg substitutes.  They are 43 watt compact florescent's and  are pretty bright. The electrician cobbled them together from old round fixtures with  Pizza pie party plates as reflectors.  They work surprisingly well.  At midnight last, under a full moon, we took a drive down to highway 16 to see if we would notice the lights.  Very easy to see from several kilometers away. 


This is a bad thing.  Beware.  Microwave popcorn that smells like bacon.  And tastes pretty wonderful too.  Junk food supreme.  Not good at all.  If you come across it, send it to me for safe keeping so that you may continue with your non chemically infused lifestyle.  Do not ask for it back.  I can quit anytime I want to - I just don't want to.

Hope you are having a rejuvenating weekend.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

To Light a Single Candle



Or rail against the darkness. Or write my manifesto. Friends of mine gave me an emergency lighting system for my birthday. It's a neat candle holder that has a rock embedded in it that acts as a striker. I was giving it a a test prior to any emergency situation requiring light. I was thinking about the years when the only light available was candles. What a different world that would have been. One we get to experience on a regular basis as the power grid succumbs to fallen trees. Mind you we do have an emergency diesel powered and gas generator, led lights, innumerable flashlights, white gas lanterns, and even coal oil lamps - but a box of candles is always close at hand. Just something comforting about the light.

I am writing in my paper PDA with a wonderful pen my daughter and husband gave me for my BD. I have a smart phone, several computer PIM's but I still prefer my customized Harvard Planner. Its portable, never runs out of batteries. It is still the fastest method of entering dates. Sure it's "old fashioned", but I have used PDA's since the earliest Palm Pilot and computer software from the pre Pack Rat pim through ECCO and of course, the ubiquitous Microsoft Outlook. They all have their strengths, but none, in my opinion can top a paper based system. Sometimes simpler is better.

I also got the Four Agreements written on concrete hearts. My sister Echo did them. She is a very talented calligrapher producing breath taking art on concrete castings and found stones as well as the traditional paper forms. I put the four sayings on the four pillars in the Green House.

Xena is particularly interested in one:
And she rarely does. She is one of my Spiritual Guru's. Happiness on four legs. Although I stumble daily, I do aspire to be half the man my dogs think I am..

Friends of ours dropped by for a quick over nighter and their dog joined in the nightly discussion of cheese and the relative merits of Stilton versus Kraft. Usually a short but lively forum with participants displaying rapt attention..
Hope there's some cheese in your life this week.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Something on My Mind

Decided to get something off of my mind.

The barber insisted on a signed release form from my significant other...

A friend of mine was despondent over losing her hair due to some Chemo Therapy. For some reason she laughed when she saw me. I don't know why..

And now I have to deal with zero degree July weather. Wearing a toque in July. Who'd a thought. Jeez if it ever gets hot we are going to evaporate..


Just got back from a quick trip to the Coast. A friend of mine passed away and I went to his service. A fellow I met on my first day on the job was there. He was 90 years old and still sharp as a tack. Found out about it at 5 a.m. and by 5 p.m. I was at the coast a thousand kilometers away..

I drove back yesterday, leaving the coast at 3 a.m. to beat construction on the highways, and when I got home Jo-Ann jumped in the car to make a quick trip to town. I got the call that the car was broken down by the side of the road. Turned out to be a broken fan belt. Glad that didn't happen in the Fraser Canyon.

While I was at the Coast I painted the bedroom my grand daughter is going to use. That was fun.

Laid linoleum in the Green House in prep for the growing beds. Exhausting work. The temperature had soared to 24C.
I have all the trim done. It was salvaged barnwood that I put a coat of stain on and a couple of coats of clear. There is also the same stuff around the floor but wasn't on when this pic was snapped.

Xena thinks the floor is way cushy for napping.l

Today some friends are dropping by to celebrate my big 60th. We're hoping for some sunshine. Hope there is sunshine in your life today!

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Herding Cats


Kermode, AKA Kermit, has decided he wants to be included on our morning walk down to Savory road and back.

He is vociferous and tags along behind constantly mewling at the injustice of small legs and a two kilometre walk. He is a very talkative cat and comes when he is called. Letting us know he is coming with his strident mewing.

He isn't looking his dandiest lately as we have had to cut off a bunch of hair matts that were causing him some discomfort, and giving him a lumpy appearance. He is looking forward to having his luxurious fine coat back.

We put a coat of primer on the green house and stained the window wall a ceder hue.

Today I will high pressure spray a couple of coats of Eco friendly ( i.e. recycled) acrylic latex on and then a floor covering in preparation for Tire growing beds, Lights, wood heater and some kind of window insulation that has been percolating in the background for a while now.

The white really increases the light in the place.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Gate Crashers

Xena was outside having a snooze in the shade. 10C is just a little hot for her. She missed these gate crashers scoping out the place.

After they decided they didn't smell anything of interest in the yard they proceeded West right along side our balcony and then demonstrated the deer Limbo to go under the barb wire fence into the west field.

Today on bush walk we found a neat old split trunk fir that was left to seed the place from previous logging operations..

Right next to it on some flat bench land we found another "House". This one had an internal chicken coop, metal roof and sun deck.

This place was pretty well hidden in the bush and would be invisible from fifty feet away. According to an old timer the builder was an eccentric hippie type who lived on the property and would build these places and then knock them down to build another one. I don't know if he was trading up or what. I suppose I could salvage it but it would take a couple of days of clearing a road to get to it. And it is jam packed with a pack rat midden, much to the Gurls delight. Apparently there is another place on our property but we haven't found it yet.

Spent yesterday grinding siding and spreading caulk down on Tom's new rental place and then we trimmed out the green house and started caulking it in preparation for priming, painting, staining and varathaneing. Sounds like next week is going to be a painting marathon. The weather is supposed to be nice. I am going to take the seats out of the Van and put my paint sprayers and equipment in so I can Paint Tom's, the Gates around here and the Green house.

Hope your having a great weekend.