Friday, April 21, 2017

The foundation is done!

When we woke up to perfectly blue skies and sunshine, we decided to work on the greenhouse.  We finished the cement block walls the other day in a driving rainstorm, so we were happy to see that the rain didn't disturb the last tier of blocks that went in while it was pouring. We put lag bolts in at intervals around the perimeter so that we could put a sill plate on top.
Ron drilled holes in the 2x6 treated boards that we used for sill plate, and I tightened all the bolts while he got each new plate piece ready.
Next step:  squaring the metal for the beginning of the greenhouse onto the sill plate.  Fortunately, the foundation was level all the way around, so we didn't need to make any adjustments to that.

Ron left to tend his mowing, and I used the tractor and shovel and rake to fill around the foundation so that the greenhouse will start at ground level.  I still need to bring gravel all around the perimeter, but the foundation is done.  Now the fun begins as we put together the Chinese puzzle that will become the greenhouse.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

The Great Greenhouse Project Continues

After watching the original greenhouse site for a couple of months at various times of the day, we realized it just wasn't sunny enough where we had it.  So the project got a lot bigger:  first dig a hole for the new spot (I'm determined to have it partially underground), then fill in the old hole, reroute the water line, then line the bottom with gravel, measure it from every angle, and level it.
More trips to Home Depot for more cement block for the foundation.  We are going to do three tiers of cement block, or a total of 90 blocks. (That's a lot of lifting and toting!)
We decided to order an 8 x 12 greenhouse from Costco, so it was really important to get our foundation the proper size.  We waited for the greenhouse to arrive to be certain of the dimensions.
So here's the greenhouse....yikes!
Including nuts, bolts, brackets, and panels, there have to be a thousand parts and pieces.
Fortunately I have a very handy husband, so the project is once again underway.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Making Good Use of A Sunny Day

When you have a tractor, there is always a job to be done.  On Sunday we helped my sister and her friend clear brush, move a greenhouse, and smooth out a level spot for a new building.
You can see the side of the greenhouse behind the back of the tractor.
The greenhouse is about 50' away from it's original site, in a new sunny site where we cleared the brambles for it.
I have to admit I had kind of forgotten about all the seeds I started in my mini-greenhouses I made from Costco fruit containers.  I was horrified when I checked the "boiler room" where we have our hot water tank and I had put them under a grow light a month ago.
They were pathetically dry, very leggy, and obviously needing transplanting.  
Even though it's way too early to plant beans outside, I didn't have much choice, so I planted the beans in my raised bed, and the peas with the row of blackberries I'm trying to start.  Now we really have to hope for warmer weather and no more frost. 

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Great Grand Babies and Baby Showers :)

Granddaughter, Sara, with husband, Dan, and the subject of the party, beautiful little Adeline.
Auntie Amy and baby Addy.  We almost had to arm wrestle to see who got to hold her next.
Fortunately there was more than one baby to hold - Tina and Jesse with Sammy - 3 generations.
Makes everyone think about having one!
Blue eyed beauty cousin - funny how the toddlers immediately find each other.
Sunshine and warmth made for a perfect day for a party!
Tina knows how to throw a party!
Food, good friends, and fun games.  I especially liked the "Diaper raffle" where everyone brought various sizes of diapers and a name was drawn for a prize.  Fun and Practical!
Even Jasper had fun because he got to hang with Jesse and Randy, "the big boys". 

Monday, March 6, 2017

Another Quick 8,000 Mile Trip

When we left Washington in mid-February to go to our Georgia winter home, we expected to see sunshine as soon as we got through the mountains of Oregon and Northern California, but this is what most of our trip through California looked like.
After months of rain, everything is flooded - rivers, streams, fields, orchards, parking lots, and some roads.
We got a tiny peak of sunshine and blue skies as we left Bakersfield before the clouds rolled back in and the rain started again.
Still under the Jet Stream in Texas, we encountered an amazing storm with lightning strikes that covered the sky and then this vertical rainbow.

On the positive side:  gas prices kept going down the further east we went, and we finally left the rain behind when we hit Mississippi.


Back in Georgia - sunshine and warmth, and spring flowers in bloom.
Every night we had a beautiful sunset to enjoy.
But we also had a years' worth of deferred maintenance, so we worked hard for a week getting everything back in order.

The trip home was much less stressful until we got to the Siskiyous, where we had some serious snow coming down.
It was snowing hard when we got home about 8 p.m. but fortunately, it wasn't sticking to the ground.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Getting Ready for Spring

I used to be annoyed by all the plastic containers - apples, eggs, tomatoes, nectarines, mangoes - everything seemed to be packaged in wasteful plastic.
Then I noticed they looked like mini-greenhouses.
Not only were they available in multiple sizes, they were easy to stack until the first seeds sprouted, and I could water them easily without them dripping all over my window sill.
I can use a sharpie to identify individual cells so I can plant multiple varieties of tomatoes in one flat.  I could also note the date that each container was planted.

As the seeds sprout and grow too tall for their ceilings, it will be easy to cut off the top of the carton, and keep them under a grow light until I'm ready to plant them in the garden.
In the meantime, my windowsill is full in an effort to keep me from going crazy when we have snow on the ground.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Lake Ice Update

After ten days of below freezing weather, the lake froze completely to a depth of about 3".  It was strong enough for me to walk on it without danger, but I didn't venture too far from the dock.  The lake is fed by springs, so there are definitely warmer spots where the ice could be thinner.
The thick ice lasted for one day before we had a warming trend, and the ice started to weaken.  When the ice first started to recede, it looked like a giant had created a jigsaw puzzle on top.
This is the last of the rocks we threw on the ice earlier.  All the others have already broken through.
Now the heather is in bloom.  The ice was a nice novelty, but we're ready for spring.