Journey in the Woods

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Maintenance Work

Various things that need doing are getting done.  Like vacuuming the car.  I moved the baby seat and found a garden Jack was starting:

I decided to try and do a little touch up work on the limewash, rather than attempt a full re-painting.  it's actually working pretty well.  Here's next to the kitchen sink.

and the big one this week: cleaning and protecting the yurt.  First, to go up and clean off the dirt and tree sap. Here's a first pass at one section of the roof:

Then to get up there and clean the dome, and put 303 on it -a sort of 'armor-all' for boats and things. Done! 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Tomatoes and Chicken Jail

I added some features to my solar dehydrator: a chimney and an intake tube.  Both help move hot air through the thing. The intake tube in particular, in the afternoon sun really heats up and has hot air pushing out the top.

The trays are made from old onion bags. I'm surprised at how long it takes to dry out the tomatoes. They smell fabulous during the process.

Saving them in olive oil: 

Gave up on the pasture for the chickens. They were getting comfortable getting out and going on long walks in the morning. That's not a big deal this time of year, but if there were berries out, I'd have lost them. They did manage to find the few tomato plants that weren't fenced in.   
So I built a 'chicken tractor' as they call them.  a fully enclosed pen that is light and moves every day, so they have new ground and weeds to get at and destroy. I left the back end open so I simply move their hen house up against that end and they can go in and out as they want.  This ends the need for a timer for the door, and getting up in the morning to let them out.  A good trade off. 

Another photo of the whole 'chicken jail', with my glove in one corner. 

Monday, September 09, 2013

Valve Cover Gaskets replacement on the subaru

Well, finally got to this job. I had known it was necessary quite a while ago, but it took me quite a bit to get all the pieces together and to feel prepared to go.  So, after removing some stuff to get at it, here's the valve cover off the passenger side:

Here's a close up of the same thing, and you can see those black rubber gaskets around the tubes that the spark plugs go in have built up crud.  They were what was leaking. I think they just get cooked over time and don't work well. 

Here's the inside of the cover, after wiping away the wet oil. I would guess those burnt marks are where oil has been cooked onto the aluminium. 

Here it is after I cleaned it up with some solvent:
 Then, as I went in to change the spark plugs, I discovered that the end of the wire from the distributor -that connects to the plug -  had broken off and came out on it's own, rather than at the end of the wire. Not good. Had to go to town and buy a set of 4 wires. (they don't just sell one)

But, I got everything back together, did a bunch of cleaning, and it seems the car is running well.  Here's the engine, looking clean, all back together.

Monday, September 02, 2013

Steps, Nuts, and Tunnels

The back steps finally got done, after I finally got some more concrete chunks to put in for the patio - so I'd know how far down the steps needed to go!

The entire almond harvest... still, they say that almonds don't grow here at all, and I didn't water the tree once.  Next year, we'll treat the tree right, and see what we get!

I was losing my corn and squash to gophers, so I just gave up and dug up the whole garden trying to find them and put in traps. I had put down 'hardware cloth' aka 1/4in screen, and when I got down to the bottom, I was able to see all their tunnels under the screen.  They managed to find a hole where it overlapped, and got up into the good dirt.