Wednesday, September 27, 2006

the saw

well, i finally got a table saw. i have so many plans that i can hardly wait. i bought it from lowes--that place sucks. i bought it the other day and couldn't fit it in the kia because it was full of a pile of omelays. i specifically asked them if they had another one in the box and they said yes. when i came back they only had the floor model. i complained, they said they would wave the assembly fee. i didn't want it assembled because it surely wouldn't fit in the car. after much pleading and haggling i managed to borrow a crescent wrench and partially dis-assembled it. i asked for help to load it and the sales guy said "sure someone will be right with you." no one ever showed up. some other customer walking by helped me.
when i got home i had to dis-assemble it it further because it was put together incorrectly and out of alignment. what a bunch of idiots. at the end of the day i have a completely re-assembled table saw and it works like a champ.

after spending the afternoon messing with the saw and it's frustrations we got a changing table/dresser from sears for the baby via UPS. this too needed to be put together. mind you this was not your simple ikea style assembly it was a convoluted set of instructions referencing parts that were slightly different from the illustrations. so different that them alignment of the slides was a guess. of course after completely assembling it i realized that my guess of the three possible positions was wrong. i needed to take all the slides back out and move them one hole position deeper.

having lived within a few miles of an ikea store spoiled us for great prices and the obvious ease of their assembly instructions.

Monday, September 25, 2006

rain, pond and other wet stuff

the past rain storms left three and a half inches of rain on our farmstead. the pond however hardly rose at all. the rain fell slowly and rather rapidly at times. this must be an especially porous time of year. our garden loved the rain. the bean arbor/arch met complete demise and tried to take out our fresh turnip seedlings. tabitha pushed it back to it's own row and stomped it in place. we removed two of the four trellises from the garden. they were just collecting squash bugs. our turnips are really enjoying this cool wet weather. the swiss chard is especially happy right now. it is very delicious we had some for dinner last night.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

birdhouse number two

the kids were jealous that we sent the birdhouse off with guests. today we made another one. i plan to send this one to my parents as a christmas present. no threat of them finding out here since they don't really read this blog. the kids will paint it tomorrow. i plan little hand prints dipped in paint. we'll see if i can pull it off. i'll save a spot for a little toly hand print too. maybe we'll make bird house for all our christmas presents. of course uncle matt will get something different for several very obvious reasons.

Thursday, September 21, 2006


yesterday we had guests. the kids ran out of stuff to do so i got everyone a hammer a few nails had everyone practice pound nails and screw screws while i cut pieces to build a bird house. everyone helped put it together but drew took the most interest in actually building it. we put it together and then took it to the painting tarp and broke out the kids safe paints. the kids loved painting the birdhouse and many other random pieces of wood. when all was finished the kids felt very accomplished and empowered. drew got to take the bird house home because he put the most effort into it and loved it the most.
it was great fun and educational.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

green house heater shed

i built this for bob. he hired me to repair the storm damaged end of his huge green house. things got a bit tangential and i ended up fixing the green house damage and we needed to provide heat without running the chimney through the melty plastic.

this is the end that was almost completely ruined by a huge tree. his green house is huge 30' by 100'.

i made it out of a combination of wood and steel. the wood was used only at a distance greater than 3 feet from the heater.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

catastrophic failure of bean arch

it rained all day and made the beans heavy and the bamboo soft--lesson learned.

Saturday, September 16, 2006 the place to be. farm living is the life for me....

i turned my compost bins today. the best part was that delicious black gold that i displayed in this post. we nestled it around the swiss chard and asparagus. it is supposed to rain tomorrow and it will wash down into the mulch that we put around the asparagus. i hope for a big bounty in the spring of two whole weeks of asparagus--that is all we are supposed to pick this first spring. this full bin should end up slightly less than half its current volume when it is finally finished. this bin is about three weeks old with fresh manure added as late as yesterday.

i have started repairing our grey water leach line. about 18 feet of 2" pvc is buried and i have 12 more feet to go. i'll do that tomorrow morning. this will act as an overflow and dumps past the yard fence. the walnut tree that lives right at the termination should really like all the water.

tristan helped me pull nails from some scrap trim that has been laying around as a tetanus hazard. i pulled the nails and he pulled all the staples. he actually was really good at it and finished before i did. he also helped when i was digging the trench for the pipe. he sorted the rocks from the dirt and got over half a bucket from just that little distance. kassi helped too.

there is a power struggle between the roosters and the guineas. i hope enrique ends as the final victor. on a funny note the guineas have adopted one of the hens they preen her follow her around and won't let the roosters near her. i'm not sure what to think of it but it is really odd to watch.

Friday, September 15, 2006

house photo

this is the latest photo of the front of our house. slowly but surely it's getting there.

Thursday, September 14, 2006


enrique is coming into his own. his feathers are getting that iridescent green. he is also getting much bigger than the other chickens. he'll realize it very soon.

this is my girl. she is such a gentle soul. all the animals are so attached to her. it is like she is one of them. a chicken, a dog, a cow, you name it.

Monday, September 11, 2006

the house is painted

i finished it. from photos it looks pretty much like the ones in the previous post. it was too dark to get shots last night and it is raining this morning. i'll get to it later today. i took the day off today because i worked a really really long day yesterday (dawn to dusk)and need the rest. besides i need to go look at a small job and give them an estimate. it is for larry's father and he needs a door hung. learning how to hang a door is one of my most vivid memories of my father teaching me how to do something. i don't really remember the place (my grandparents, my uncles, or our house) but i have vivid tunnel vision view of him using a chisel to create the slot for the hinges. memories are funny things like that.

i also have an appointment for thursday the 14th at 2 pm to work at jacks house. he really likes to be called john but i've only ever known him as jack and didn't recognize his name when he called. i hope to get a sizable client base before winter. additionally, i need to get my finances figured for tax purposes. i guess i should set up a little business since that is what i plan to do for income.

photos to come after the rain stops.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

before and during house painting

in true ozarks fashion i painted the most visible (from the road) portions of the house first. well, primed it with a cover coat of of oil based primer. i was being thwarted at seemingly every turn.
i borrowed a sprayer from bob. at first i didn't have all the pieces to start so i waited for bob to show up with them. then we tried to get it working for a while to no avail. after too much precious time bob left with his ailing paint sprayer. i then resorted to borrowing toms. he stopped by earlier to loan me his taping tools and supplies and mentioned that timmy, his son, could get it out for me.
i went over to toms and after much more precious time decided that i needed to not borrow toms very complex sprayer without better instructions and toms assistance.

feeling very anxious and wanting to get something done i got out my crappy little wagner sprayer. needless to say i hate that thing and waisted a ridiculous amount of paint refilling that little reservoir that kept trying to unscrew it's self from the vibration. at one point or another every part of that crappy thing vibrated apart and needed to be put back together.

by the end of the day i was covered in oil based paint and really pissed off. tom came over and graciously offered to help this morning finish the job.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

house painting today

i power washed most of the house yestereve. this morning i'll finish power washing the garage and i'll be done with that part. i'll then spray the moldy areas with bleach and wash then again. hopefully by ten o'clock i'll be borrowing the professional paint sprayer and be spraying the house. there is a chance of rain but i'm going to take my chances because there has been a chance of rain every weekend that i have been inclined to do this.

i'm off to take the before pictures and start washing.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

weekend visitors

our friends came from california for a visit. we are always self conscious about our place. the ceilings are very low, neither trim nor cabinets are finished, the kids graffiti the walls every time they get near a writing utensil and the worst is we don't really have a private bathroom. they were wonderful and great with the kids. kassi warmed up to them in record speed. usually it takes a couple of visits for her to let someone touch her. it was a really nice visit and the kids got some really thoughtful toys. the blocks are still a huge hit they stack them for hours.

on the farmstead front, the chicken waterer is acting up again. i hate that thing. i have been working doing electrical work for the past few days at bobs house. i hooked up two ac units condensers and all. john, our neighbor, had a leak in his plumbing to the addition to his house. he dug it up and we fixed it this afternoon. his main wouldn't shut off completely so we had some tricky plumbing to do. it is all fixed now though.

we have been toying with the idea of weaning merlin the cow. he is such a little brat and generally makes our life miserable. we have to wait th be sure if nimue is pregnant before we can do it though cause there would no way to milk her while we re-tried to get her bred. he'd nurse off her milk supply while she was away.

tristan has had the hives sporadically for a few days now. we assumed it was the aftermath of him taking all the medicine while he had a fever last week. he normally doesn't get all those chemicals and artificial dyes. our retort was to give him more medicine, benadryl. i'm not sure if that is the right course of action but hives can be the first stage to many worse and life threatening things.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

photo deluge

first things first, i have been busily composting trying to keep our soil rich and productive. this is the black gold that end up with.

the ingredients are simple, manure and wheat straw. sure other things get added like coffee grounds, lime sand and urine but mostly we compost our cow manure. this batch is almost there.

this is the current "add to here" pile the guineas scrap around in here for bit of undigested grain and bugs.

tabitha is proud of her harvest of butternut squash.

we spent the afternoon weeding and mulching the asparagus bed. we let it get a little out of control but it seems to be still very healthy. i'll add some slightly green compost to the top of the mulch just after the first frost. they'll like nutrients and the threat of scorching the stalks will be nill.

here merlin is eating the weeds that i pulled from the asparagus bed.

i built this little frame for the wet rich kitchen waste. this will be perfect for the chickens to scratch around in and eat what the may and the remainder can compost into a a rich loam for the garden.

here are our two dead orchard trees--killed by sme unknown peril. they seem poisoned but none of the spraying agencies will claim responsibility

i tilled this swath of garden 3-4 foot wide and we planted turnips maybe a week or so late but we love turnip greens steamed and they will be here soon. turnips are a neglected root vegetable they are wonderful sliced steamed, buttered and salted period.

our guineas are on garden patrol and are very appreciated for dispensing of many of our garden pests.

rosie is really setteling in around here.

the chicks are now chickens and growing at an amazing rate. the interloping raccoon has realized the futility of any further attemps at killing my chickens and have left us alone. i don't think i'll try to trap him aymore.
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