Wednesday, November 09, 2016

little plaster chips and holes

Turns out having a kid is hard on a house.   I'm trying to figure out how to best repair all sorts of little dings and holes and chips in my natural lime plaster and limewashed walls. 

And by repair, I mean make it look like they didn't happen. I have attempted repairs in the past, and have never really been satisfied.  

bathroom window and finger:

other bathroom window sill and finger:

bathroom windowsill horizontal:

spot by bathroom door that gets hit by a small stool used to bring teeth high enough to brush: 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Drying Persimmons

We've now made bug screen tubes for the persimmons, and I suddenly came up with the idea to put hooks on the rafters on the front of the house.  It's funny how ideas seem to come out of nowhere, and seem so obvious once you have them.

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

War of the Rodents

So, here's some of the weird damage some sort of rodent is doing in our garden.  These are tomatoes that have been eaten while still on the vine, leaving just the skin still attached. 

Weird, right?  Here you can see one that's not quite ripe yet, so it hasn't been a victim, like the one behind it: 

what else is weird is these aren't down by the ground, they're about 5 or 6 feet up.  

This motivates me to continue my assault on all things rodent. I'm happy to report that I got my 4th mole today, which is in addition to my twenty one (21!) gophers in 2016.   Here's a product endorsement:

Monday, October 03, 2016

charged up about the new system

The solar trailer is no more!  Finally, the batteries, that we've had for 10 solid years, had had enough. So I got around to building a new way to hold all that extra power generation stuff.  A little box behind the house:

it was a nice little puzzle to work out how to get the inverter, charge controller, fuses and connections into a tight spot without causing other problems (like overheating):

Just 4 6 volts all in one series to make a 24 volt system that works with the old inverter.  Powering the chest freezer now!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Chimney holes

Deciding to just avoid all possible hot chimney pipe exposure to the walls, I've added a cement board outer wall:

There's still a gap, so I put cement board all the way around as well:

and then added a little extra aluminium at the top for heat buffering. Can't hurt, right?

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Rescued umbrella

Home grown umbrella pole attached to canvas umbrella rescued from the trash.  Creates great shade!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

hole on purpose

One more step towards fighting off the encroachment of nature on our stuff - removing mouse nest opportunities in the truck.    I finally decided to make the move and cut a hole in the plastic under the glove compartment.  Found a lot of leaves and mouse nest activity:

Cleaned that all out, made a wooden cover for the hole:

Sooner or later, the whole thing is going to be wood.

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Sauna updates - ceiling and heat shield

more updates on the sauna, which started with this post

The ceiling started going in, with a vapor barrier above it (which is really just a bit of a drip stopper plan).  Those are cedar fence boards from the lumber yard. 

As the roof was getting done, I started prepping for the cement board and heat shield installation, and thought I'd throw a little more heat shielding onto the studs: 

Here's the cement board - my 'non-flammable material', layer 1: 

Ceiling got done. Later got a piece of trim at the ridge line. 

A round wood post went in to hold up the center of the 'high bench' so it can take a lot of weight: 

And after the corrugated metal went in (non-flammable material, layer 2) I set down an old piece of granite counter top and got the little stove in.  
Now to go get the chimney parts, and figure out how I'm going to cut a chimney hole. 

Saturday, July 30, 2016

big things from the outdoors

Zuccs that got away:

Great Horned Beetle that won't go away:

One tree, saved for a rainy day: 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

project picking up a little trash

So this little item was down in a gully quite a ways off the road.   It had been used as a shooting range target for a number of years.  

Here's a view of the uphill path it eventually took.  It's maybe 50 yards at about a 45 degree angle.

Surprisingly, with a bit of cable and some chains, it came out of the woods pretty easily.  Now to bag up the trash inside it and get it all hauled off the mountain.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Setting up to bake

The solar oven got wings the other day, to increase reflective heat gathering.  There's also a stick with nails in it to help position them. 

Dragged this cedar shed over from the neighbor's who wasn't using it.  

and took a day or so to get it into place. I had built a simple sled underneath it, to hold it together and slide it on the ground.

And got it settled.  Now to clean it up, add benches and wood stove, and have a sauna!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Thar be dragons here!

that apparently can climb ladders...

more holes

Truck fuel line had mouse chewed hole.  Took me a while to figure out why the truck wouldn't run on veg. 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Split a Log

So there was this big piece of log laying where I was hoping to have a flatter space, so I decided to try and lift it up and get it out of there.  Turns out it was bigger than I expected:
 So I got it flipped over - it was a slab from a tree with one side charred from some old forest fire -and decided if I could split it, I could move the two pieces easily. So I got my wedges and my hammers:
 And after much pounding and hacking, I got it split.   someday, I'll put these pieces on the sawmill and make some lumber from them.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Holes in Things

So, someone keeps biting holes in my veg oil containers.  the dog? raccoons? 

It's not like it's just sitting around. I have it up on a tower...

And then I discovered that this PVC pipe just unglued itself.   I suspect that there was some amount of tension on the pipe further down the hill, and for whatever reason, it just came undone.   The sad part is that it means we lost 5000 gallons of stored rainwater when it failed. Bummer.  It will probably not rain another 4 inches yet this year to replace that.   
I've easily let another 10,000 gallons go off into the woods because these tanks were full early in the season.  It'd have been nice if this pipe had failed earlier in the rainy season, if it was going to fail. 

Monday, March 28, 2016

Cooked and Frozen

Miner's Lettuce, formerly two baskets full, scalded and vacuum-sealed.  

Spinach replacement for next fall.

Sunday, March 27, 2016


The local lettuce, Claytonia perfoliata, miner's lettuce, 
seems to really like our terraced garden with raised beds and containers. 

Saturday, March 19, 2016

This year's Greenhouse

all the regular stuff getting going: tomatoes, peppers, squashes, pumpkins... 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Spring is starting

Miner's Lettuce and Asparagus starting to come in strong in the raised beds. 

Saturday, February 20, 2016

re-gluing table leg

Argh.  I like projects, but I'd like to not have to fix things until I have the rest of my stuff built.  Still, fixing this made me feel like I was following in my Grandpa's footsteps. 

Thursday, February 04, 2016

the compost heater project

Well, I'd dug the hole a while ago, thinking I was going to build a firebox down there for an outdoor boiler system, but then the compost bug hit me again, and I decided to take a detour into this experiment. Here's a blurry photo of the hole, with some redwood branches criss-crossed on the bottom and old chicken wire over that, for bottom aeration.  

Again, the hole, now with a half a truckload of woodchips in it, and a very ornery twisting of 1inch diameter black poly water pipe that I found on my new property.  Believe me, organizing that into a coil was much more work than you imagine it.  

Then came the 3 truckloads of woodchips from the next property over, layered with two truckloads of horse manure from down by town, all capped with about 4 wheelbarrows of leaves/forest floor duff that I had gathered as fire prevention last autumn.  And each layer got gooey veg oil filter leavings as well as a bit of green leaves.   Ready to start cooking!

Then, we left for a bit, and so didn't start the experiment.  Getting back, I opened the water valves to have the water start flowing through.... and, I could hear a leak.   yay.  So, I had to dig out a bunch of that moist, smelly compost to find the leak, repair it and put it all back together.  I needed the exercise anyway!  It's all back together again, so we'll see how she does! 

Cabin shower pan getting in place

Actually, kind of happy about this progress.  It needed to be up so the drain trap will fit.