The Wife’s Shelf

So a few weeks ago I had the idea to build my wife a shelf to store some old jars on and to add to our empty dining room. A while back her Dad and Papa built us a book shelf for the kitchen. It was made out of a tree that had fallen up the road from where I grew up and was sawed into planks on someone’s sawmill. Her Papa had this wood stored for who knows how long.

Her Papa pretty much took over when I started this project, but I still think I was able to learn a few things watching him. Once it was cut out and assembled I hauled it home and starting sanding it. After it was acceptably smooth the staining began. Minwax Early American stain has become a favorite for us. After I finished the shelf and got it put up today. The wife and I both would love to build our own kitchen cabinets to match the pieces that we have made.

WP_20141023_001Her Papa working his magic.

WP_20141023_002Putting it together.

WP_20141024_001The stain going on.

WP_20141024_002Looking good.

WP_20141024_004Looking good.

6tag-23021619-842902119858656119_23021619Had to get some help hanging this monster.

WP_20141030_005All done.

Well that wraps up this project. I really wish I had a place and the equipment to do more wood working projects. It is something that I really enjoy. There is just something about making something that you imagined with you own two hands.

Fall is finally here

Ah my favorite time of year outside of spring. Here in the South it seems like sometimes we skip right through Spring and Fall, but right now Fall is here. Cooler weather, trees changing colors and cleaning up around the house. I’ve had a few trees drop limbs throughout the year so now is the time I like to have a small fire going while I work around the yard.

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No I’m not burning the tree down, there is a stump in front of it. Although that my look like a bigger fire, that is as big as it’s going to get. I will let it burn down from there. I find that the smell of a fire in the cool Fall air is something that I really enjoy, it reminds we of going camping or the fire that we used to have in the fire place growing up. All good memories.

The other thing I have been busy with lately is helping a family member clean up a down tree that fell in a recent storm. A week or so ago we had a strong line of storms move through. It cause a large pine to fall at my wife’s grand parents.

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WP_20141017_006This pile was over six feet tall.

WP_20141017_008The trunk was so big that I had to cut from both sides to get it all the way through.

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After a couple of days it was all cleaned up. Now on to other projects, like finishing the self for the kitchen that will hold all of the wife’s old mason jars she uses as decoration from time to time. Also we have a large chalk board that we want to hang in the kitchen to draw a calendar on as well as right notes and such on. I’ll post some pictures of that hopefully next week.

As always thanks for reading.

Pests

My garden is under attack. Well specifically my cabbage. I noticed a few days ago that one of my plants had a few holes in the leaves. I put of some slug repellent, and used some organic herbicide and fungicide. It is slowly starting to move to the other plants.

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If anyone can help me figure out what this is I would really appreciate it. Im trying to stay away from using harsh chemicals on my vegetables. I might have to go that route if its the only way my cabbage doesn’t completely disappear.

I’ve also started noticing some rooting in the other part of my yard. I don’t know if it is armadillo or ground squirrels.

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I look at these little mysterious as part of the fun of having a little homestead. I mean if you could just throw out a packet of seeds and a full garden pops up the next day ready to eat, everyone would be doing it. I enjoy trying to provide for myself (even if its just a fews heads of cabbage and broccoli) and the challenges that come with it make it all the more fun.

Weekend Update

My work schedule isn’t your typically 9-5, but it does allow me to be off two days and in a row. It’s like having a weekend after every work day.

This past Saturday I began splitting the enormous pile of wood that I was given. I didn’t get very far, maybe 6-7 bigger pieces. It was enough that the stack I had started looking like a wood pile but there is still plenty more to split. Sometime its slow going, working with a maul and wedges. Growing up with my grandfather we never had a wood splitter. I’m still splitting it the way I learned by watching him. It’s actually the same maul head with a new handle.  I’m not saying everyone should split their wood this way we don’t heat any of our house with wood at this point so I’m in no hurry to get finish. If I was depending on the wood I split to keep my family warm through winter, I would probably go buy a log splitter so I could split as much wood as possible. For now though splitting my modest stack by hand allows me to reflect on a past memory of a man who taught me so much.

WP_20140927_001The stack begins.

The other thing that happened Saturday was me, my wife and my aunt all went to the local greek food festival. There are a few food festivals that happen throughout the year that we try to attend, the Greek is one of the best.

WP_20140927_002-1And finally yesterday and today I’m not getting much done around my house. My aunt has rented a bobcat and has my brother and I doing some work around her house. There was a steep bank she wanted graded to be more flat, The wood line had gotten a bit out of control so it’s getting pushed back as well.

WP_20140929_001I think that slope is looking pretty good.

Well I’ve got to go, I’ve wasted enough daylight this morning. Thanks for reading, if there is a topic you’d like me to right about of a question you have please leave a comment.

Chickens

First off I’d like to thank those who have started following this blog, I hope I can keep the flow of content coming.

Now for the post…

Back in the spring me and the wife decided to get chickens, and build a mobile chicken tractor. I like the idea of having a coop that is in the yard and allow the chickens to wander, but having a large hound dog as well as a couple of neighborhood dogs letting them just roam free didn’t seem like a good idea. So after looking at a few different designs online I decided I could build one.

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I built the frame out of 1×3 studs. The coop on the back I made out of some scrap wood that I had around the house. A friend had the tin left over from a project, so he gave me some for the roof. It was a learning process, the hatch that is open in the above picture was just added a few weeks ago when I decided I needed a better way to access their water. Another thing I had to learn was originally I used wire screen with small holes instead of standard chicken wire. This made it difficult to feed them, the feed didn’t want to pass through the openings. So when I added the hatch I covered it with standard chicken wire and it’s much better. I’m working on a watering system so we can get their water off the ground and make it easier to refill.

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The little chicks that we got from tractor supply have grown up, and are now egg producing machines. We get five a day regularly and six every now and then.

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We have found a way to let them roam a little. We let our dog inside and the ladies can roam the back yard, it’s fenced in. One of their favorite places is my compost pile. They spread it out pretty good, but it makes it easier for me to turn, plus I figure it’s a bonus if I get chicken poop in my compost. I’ve heard it’s good fertilizer. They are a blast to watch, sometime the wife and I will sit and watch them run around. I think everyone should have chickens.

Im not really sure what kinda of chickens they are. They were the tractor supply left overs. If anyone has any ideas please leave your thoughts in the comments. As always thanks for reading.

My Fall/Winter Garden

A few weeks ago I got around to preparing my garden plot for the fall/winter garden. After talking with the wife we decided on the following plants, snow peas, cabbage, broccoli, onions, carrots, mixed greens, and potatoes. In my modest size plot it’s roughly 15×20. Some of that space was still being used from previous plantings. I had left some of my okra standing to dry out for seed, my asparagus stays in the same spot year round, and my jalapenos were still producing so I left them. Even with those taking up space, I was able to plant two small rows of snow peas, two small rows of mixed greens, sixteen cabbage plants, twenty-four broccoli plants, a larger row of carrots, a similar row of onions, and filled the rest in with potatoes.

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Above a picture from one end of my plot.

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The snow peas above came up practically over night.

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I bought the broccoli and cabbage from the local Lowes, they are the larger plants.

Now to make something for the peas to climb. Thanks for stopping by to read my blog, please leave a comment. Tune in for the next post.