Friday, February 26, 2010

Hoop Garden

I started this about a week ago when temps were getting pleasant enough to plow through some soil. That didn't last long...frozen again. So today I thought best to try and bring the soil temps up for spring seed planting by covering with plastic. I have about 15 varieties either bought from TM seeds or the local Lowes. I had plans to get it going by March 1, but that ain't too far off. The soil underneath has been turned over; just needs some cow crappins and some decent top soil mix

There will be three hoops. Each measuring four foot by six foot and will be covered with 6 mil plastic visqueen. The area will get direct sun from 9AM until about 4PM until the leaves begin to form on the trees. That happens about the first or second week of May. Also about the time the last frost occurs. I should say the latest period for frost. I think I found an average date somewhere around April 20-25.

Hopefully by that time healthy little plants will be ready for replanting here and there.  The area is also hidden from winds. The entire area is really, protected by hills on all sides except for the west. For the last week I lost interest, but now...I'm getting there again.

White Oxalis /green (shamrock flowers)  bulbs on the way as well. 250 of them to be planted below the fence along the driveway and into some shade. Information obtained says if planted in mid March there should be some flowering around June 1.

Daffodils trying....

Tulip bulbs popping through where the soil isn't frozen...

And the only flowering plants around...Violas. I may make an effort to have a mass planting this fall from seed...along with some other winter flowers. 

Monday, February 22, 2010

Chimney Fire. Yikes!

Or that's what the chimney sweep dudes tell me. About two weeks ago I had noticed it became a little smokey inside. Then one day I started a fire, went outdoors for ten minutes, returned and smoke was pouring out the seams in the chimney pipe. That was enough. At least the fire extinguisher worked. Not that I needed it, but did have to put the small fire out and air out the inside with 20 degree temps looming outside.

So today I get a visit from the chimney dudes. Getting tired of that cold heat, plus the power bill was near $200 last month for a small 1100 square feet. It seems burning wet wood (I knew that) and moisture build up with the flue closed to get a longer burn was a good recipe for massive creosote buildup in the angled portions of the chimney pipe.
"Some of the pipe may be warped..." mentioned one guy. Today's rainy weather prevents them from getting on the roof for a full inspection. A warped pipe means a weaker pipe...I guess. It's not noticeable from inside or out, but I believe they said it's double insulated or similar to oil cargo ships that have two hulls.  Added protection.

"So I guess that rules out getting it cranked up until you come back?"

The answer was.."if it was mine I'd get it going."
I'm still thinking, but hey they're the pros. The wood is much drier now, or in a range considers good.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

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Stranded In The Hills

What's wrong with this picture? Or what looks different?

No snow. Yep...much of it has melted away. Cold? What else is new.

I tried driving into town Sunday thinking it wouldn't be a problem until I got to the top of my driveway. Most of the snow had melted on my side but not the steep road leading up. Considering it's been well over 30 years since I've driven in snow I thought what's a few inches going to do?

Wrong! Thinking back I'm lucky I didn't go over the side. Almost landed in a small ravine bear the bottom. Not only was the road snow covered but iced from the Saturday night cold. I felt it sliding half way down the hill, turned close to the drainage ditch on the right in an attempt to gain traction. It worked until I got to the ravine. Yikes! After ten minutes of thought and evaluation I managed to steer it straight back on to the road and slid to the bottom where once again there was no snow.

So...two days later and it's still ice. This time of the year the sun sits so low it's not able to melt any snow or ice on that part of the hill. The truck sits abandoned at the bottom, waiting for rain or warm weather. Did I make it to town? No. There's another hill that gets no sun leading down to the main highway. A neighbor landed in the creek Saturday trying.

On the shopping list. A four wheel drive. My closest neighbor has no problems getting his small Toyota pickup (4WD) up and down the road...a little spooky but it works. We went into town Sunday for necessities. Sooo, it looks like Thursday or Friday before I can get back to normal.

Another sale sign at the top of the hill noticed since my return. That makes six properties up for sale. I heard a small lot of 1.5 acres went for $7K during my Xmas visit to Florida.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

If I Only Had A Tobaggan

..or a sled for that matter,  but there ain't no chair lift around here! With what looks to be two inches of snow that fell Friday and the continued cold weather, this snow will probably last a few days, this hill would be a winner. But if you can't stop, forget it; past the fence and down about twenty feet into the woods.

Pictures taken about 8:15 this AM. I need real gloves!

And the creek. Snow really brings out the beauty of nasty old man winter.

The trails into the woods...


Sunday, February 7, 2010

Spring Is On The Way?

Yea, we've seen this thing enough times. It tells me winter!

On the other hand these buggers say..."screw that groundhog, I'm telling ya spring is comin' right up.!" Daffodils poking through the soil...all over the place.
And these guys. I thought they would have been decimated by the cold since I was in Florida. Not so...
I suppose I didn't leave out enough munchies for the rodents...It's an empty dCon bait tray..several.
and this thing again...time to get cracking on that...around mid March

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Need More Space

I've been thinking about this quite a bit lately. There just ain't no room if I get visitors. Well one is fine, but what if sister Kim can drag along her hubby to the mountains. Hey, at least it's not like muggy Florida. May would be a great favorite, when everything is so vividly green.

Then we have my son Ryan. It's too crowded with Mom coming up as well. And I have thoughts of selling  floors online Ryan can do that...he has an interest and is very good at it.  Maybe two or three products...with the traffic I'm now getting, there's money to be made. It may be up his alley, but I don't want the hassle.

But...there's a space problem for sure. I thought about a temp trailer, an addition, then finally...a detached garage with an apartment upstairs! It would work great as an office area too. So here are some ideas. Preferably I'm looking for something that doesn't overwhelm the small cabin in the dimensions of 20 x 36 deep or so. Plenty of room for a workshop downstairs, and space for equipment, when or if we ever get into the installation thing we've talked about. Business on that end is downright dreary and the more I learn about the Atlanta market, it may not be worth pursuing...extremely competitive and low priced.

Just a few ideas. A balcony in the front upstairs is a must. French doors or sliders so one can enjoy the mornings. The garage would be situated on the west of the cabin.

Some initial ideas.

I like #3 with some adjustments. It would also be the same dovetailed log scheme as the cabin.