Tuesday, September 9, 2008

from April 6, 2008

YAY a good weather day!!!!!!
FINALLY!! A weekend of great weather! Yesterday was pretty much a bust since my sinuses we giving me hell and I was fighting a headache and slept most of the day. But today was a different story. Yayyyyyyyyyyy
I started out front, and raked up a big area of leaves on the north side. I laid out an area 24 x 2 feet for the grapes, and pulled up the sod. (It came in handy to fill the spot where I got the van stuck in the mud last month.) I wrapped the area in landscape timbers, then loosened up the soil by hand. I then shoveled about half into the wheelbarrow, mixed it with a heavy dose of compost, then shoveled it back in. I spaced the grape plants at 8 feet, with 4 feet on either end to the first and last one. After they were planted and watered, I covered the whole new bed with roughly 10" of leaves from the yard. I still have to put in posts and make some kind of arbor for them, but for now, at least they're in the ground.
I took inventory of the timbers I had left over, and laid out the new strawberry bed out back. It measures 24'x6'. For now, the timbers are just laying it out, I'll get the soil dug and cultivated later this week. I had enough timbers left to lay out the wild blackberry bed, and add onto the other blackberry bed in the back. The addition was an additional 8 feet, I got that one staked in, sod up, planted, composted, watered, and again covered with leaves. The new one out front covers the whole front of the parking area I made several years ago. I am going to use this one to transplant wild blackberries from mom & dads place. (there's hundreds of them behind the old shed) This one goes the entire 32 feet of the parking area, and I laid it out 12" wide. It needs cultivated and arbors set, but same as the grapes and strawberry bed, it will get done later this week.
I took some time to break up the pile of branches I had gathered in the front yard to good burning size and got them piled up. There's a LOT of dead branches stuck in the trees I'll have to get, plus trim down quite a few low hanging branches so I can mow under them. I cant wait for the first back patio fire of the season. I started to rake up last years dead leaves from the yard, but stopped since the wind was so strong and defeating the purpose. I decided that I am going to make a corral/wire bin near the garage for all of the leaves and grass clippings. This way its in one place, and easy to transfer to the garden for mulching, or to the compost bins for dry material. There's a pretty big pile of pine needles at the neighbors, and I'll get those out of his way and add them to the same pile.
When my back told me I had enough yard work for the day, I went into the garage and started the annual spring cleaning. Geeez I have a lot of junk out there. Ok its not junk, its treasure. lol I got all the yard & garden tools cleaned, oiled, and hung back in their proper place. I cleaned off one of the shelf units, and have set that one primarily for fishing and camping gear. So far, there are 3 lanterns, (1 propane and 2 white fuel), 3 cookstoves, (one 2 burner propane, one 3 burner white fuel, and one mini backack size single white fuel, 2 good cots, my 2 old tents, 2 sleeping bags, 2 sets of different size pots, pans, plates and bowls, extra tent stakes, a good set of sturdy plates, bowls, and flatware, a 5 and a 2 gallon water jug, and at least 8 large coolers. It's finally starting to look like enough. I just want to start back-stocking fuel and propane next.
I started to get all my paintball gear together, and made a decision. I'm going to stop playing and sell everything. I wont have a lot of time to play anymore with everything I want to accomplish here, plus it just too much money to spend. Besides the cost of everything I have now, I have to figure that every time I play, I have to pay for tank refills and paintballs. It averages out to about $45 every time I play. Playing every other weekend is roughly $90 that I can put towards other things that I want. More useful things. (most of which are circled in my Lehmans catalog like a kid at xmas with the toys r us book) What I can get out of all of it will go in the bank now anyway since work has been so slow. I'm also going to off the 2 gas weedeaters, one of the chainsaws, and that propane turbo heater. I'm thinking about posting them on craigslist to trade for things I want, but I'm not sure yet.
While I was outside doing what I can, Lisa was busy in the kitchen all day. She made 2 loaves of bread, and froze enough dough for 4 more, made a large batch of homeade noodles, and cooked 4 big casseroles, one for tonight, and 3 to go into the freezer. While things were baking or rising, she sat and shredded the bin of paper we keep next to the recycle in the house. Everything paper is saved, shredded, and added to the compost bin. Speaking of compost, I'm hoping to get the tumblers started this week too, and if I can, I'll set 2 rain barrels at the back downspouts for garden water. It depends on work though, hopefully I'll get a full week but I'm not gonna hold my breath.
I took a walk through the garden and found that something had eaten the tops off the last of the carrots. Whatever it was at the greens and about an inch down into the carrot itself. I'm not sure if its a squirrel or a chipmunk, but whatever it is will meet the pellet gun as soon as I catch it in the act.
Ah well, enough writing for today. I'm gonna go start a pot of coffee and sit to read till I go to bed. I started another book a few days ago, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingslover. Its yet another book of suburbanites who left it all and bought a place in the country to be self sufficient. I'm almost done reading "The Good Life", (that one stays in the van to read at lunch breaks), and read "Better Off" twice and loaned it to Ben. When I'm done with this one, I am going to concentrate on herb books since we've been talking off and on all winter about an herb garden. OK..........I seem to remember saying I was going to stop writing lol. I'll go more into books in the next post.

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