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Monday, October 9, 2017

Some Good Things

I complain sometimes.  Well, the things that go wrong bother me.  I don't like failures.  But some things have been going right.

1.  In spite of all my measurements for the new double compost bin,  I failed to  account for the 1/2" hardware cloth on the top accurately enough.  I missed it by an inch.  And an inch is enough for mice and even rats (though we don't have rats here to my knowledge).  A rat in the yard?  Marley would catch those easily.  LOL!

So, today, I added 3" boards to the top . I found 6" wide pressure-treated boards among my collection of excess wood.  I cut them to length and then ripped them in half the long way.  I glued and screwed them under the top frames.  That narrowed the gap to be covered with 36 inch 1/2"mesh to 32"'

Even a mouse can't get through 1/2" mesh wire.  Tomorrow, I attach the 1/2" mesh.  That will complete my compost bins.  Well, OK, I can add some chain to hold the tops at 110 degrees when lifted, but for now they can rest on the fence and that is fine.  I'm declaring the project "complete".

2.  The first compost bin is now a foot deep of kitchen waste and cut weeds.  I have a trash barrel full of old soil and dumped an inch on the top.  That will encourage worms to move there.  I am also setting a small area of good lawn covered with a tarp.  That will stay damp and encourage more worms to the surface.  And I will pound a metal stake into the edge.  When I pound it later, the worms will come the surface.  A trick I learned from Dad.  I will collect them and drop them in the compost bin where they will think they have gone to Heaven.

3.  I had the trailer full of old pressure-treated lumber from the old framed beds of 20 years ago and more from the original 25 year old compost bin.  I hesitated to bring the load to the landfill when it was raining every few days because of the mud and then just never quite got around to it this month.

I finally went there yesterday.  The landfill is more user-friendly!  Small customers like me get to just drive a few 100 feet to a dumpster and toss it in.  They haul it to the real landfill area later.  They don't want cars stuck in their mud.  And there was even a guy there to help me unload my trailer!  OK, I know he was doing "community-service work" paying for some minor crime, but he was friendly and I didn't ask for details.

4.  I took out my electric chain saw and tested it to check that the chain was properly tightened.  In the coming few days, I have 6' long  6" diameter oak logs to cut up into 1" "coins" (like cutting a carrot into round pieces) for use in the smoker,  2  dwarf apple trees to cut down (the squirrels steal all the unripe apples anyway).  More good smoker wood there.  And a bunch of shrubs I no longer want and never loved.  And there are new junk trees that have grown 5' high and must be stopped.

5.  And speaking of unwanted stuff, there are the wild blackberries covering an 1/8 acre after I removed a few trees shading the garden..  You can't win sometimes.  I am debating on how to remove them.  Cutting them down with a hedge trimmer works, but drops them all on me thorns and all and they are hard to pull off.  The chain saw is worse because it is shorter and I have to really get under them.

No brush remover company wants to accept the job.  It is either too small a job for them, or they want to use equipment too large for the area (there are spots I don't want scraped clean 6" deep because there are 100s of daffodils planted there.

I think I need crazy handyman with a steel-bladed weed whacker.

6.  I took 4 wheelbarrow-loads of garden pots out of the basement to the new shelves in the old toolshed.  Every wheelbarrow load makes the basement easier to get around in.  I am even close to being able to have a fire in the fireplace.  I have piles of old scrap wood waiting to be burned.

Between the garden stuff being moved to the toolshed shelves and the scrap wood being burned, I will have 100 more square feet of usable space.  That will be wonderful.

One small improvement every day...

7.  I made pizzas 2 nights.  Hadn't made one for a few years.     They weren't round, but they were good.  And I had dough left over, so I made a calzone filled with bell peppers, cubed smoked pork, an italian cheese blend, and crushed simmered canned tomatoes.

I've never made one before.  It was an experiment.  I made it way too stuffed and large.  Crimping the edges was tricky.  And getting it onto the pizza paddle was delicate.  But nothing broke and with the cornstarch on the paddle, it slid off onto the 400F pizza stone perfectly.

I would normally have cooked it at 500 (and the recipe DID say 400), but I had beets baking on the top shelf so I waited.  The crust was supposed to be "golden at 14 minutes".  14 minutes came and went.

I finally accepted the crust "done" after 24 minutes.  And it turned out GREAT!

On the other hand, why bother?  It is just a pizza folded in half.  I'll just make pizza more often.

Funny story:  My sister and hubby visited me 10 years ago and I made pizza then and referred to them having made it for me when I visited them a few years ago.  She kept trying to "shush" me and I didn't catch on at first.  Oops, 2nd marriage...  It was the first guy who made pizzas...  Yeah, I'm dense...

8.  The Washington Nationals baseball team won a playoff game!  They are notorious for losing them.  So when they were losing in the 8th inning 3-1 I was expecting the worst.  But when they scored 5 runs suddenly, I was shocked.  Maybe they have a chance.

I try not to refer to the home teams as "we".  I'm not on the teams.  But I'm glad when they win.   Not sure "why".  Yeah, it is a bit irrational.  Maybe it is because the core of the team are long-term members.  And it is a "built" team, not a purchased one.  Even most of the new guys are from the AAA farm clubs.  That makes an odd difference.


2 comments:

MeezerMews&FrecklesWoofs said...

Though we are mostly Tigers fans...we *are* rooting for the Nationals in the playoffs. Hubby is from Washington, DC. I have had trouble with wild blackberry canes too. And rogue wild roses. Now I have one small patch of wild berries, because I like to eat them, and so do birds...and keep any I see trying to grow, pulled right up. The rogue wild rose was cut down, and shoots were too. Then over the years (We have been here over 30 years as well...), I have pounded a sharp shovel into the remains. I think its finally dead and gone, LOL! Now my problem is the leftover crater...so we put fill in it from our patio pots and its starting to level up.

Want any walnuts?? They are ever so yucky and we have the biggest crop of unwanted green tennis balls I have ever seen. YUCK. I need a hard hat back there...

Megan said...

I'll keep my eyes peeled for a crazy handyman with a steel-bladed weed whacker. But, having read your post of October 10 before I read this one, I could put it to you that you got a visit from two crazies - albeit holding a handgun rather than a weed whacker. Perhaps you need to write your blog posts using internet-style punctuation for your search:

crazy AND handyman AND steel-bladed AND weed AND whacker.

I'm concerned that you just wrote:

crazy handyman steel-bladed weed whacker

and Google sent you people who corresponded with the first search term - 'crazy' - only! LOL

Worms - could you not just purchase a bunch (or a 'clew') of worms and have them start work in your compost bin immediately?

Megan
Sydney, Australia