Wood stacking complete!

August 15, 2018

I finished the stacking of the last load of wood today!  Actually Mom and I loaded about a 1/2 cord of  poplar wood from my delivery into her Chevy one ton truck yesterday and I finished stacking up the last of the wood.  I think Mom got a little more than 1/2 cord of wood as we stacked a lot of smaller pieces of the Poplar and got a much tighter stack/load of wood compared to the larger chunks of Lodge pole pine she has picked up at Tucker’s Timbers.

I gave Mom more of the smaller size chunks of poplar because she has a smaller firebox and she has not picked up an ax to split wood into smaller pieces of wood kindling for starting fires.  I have about a 1/2 cord of mill ends, lots of small pieces of wood, a splitting maul, wedge and an ax to make kindling from my wood pile. Great deal for me as Mom gave me some big chunks of lodge pole pine to try out in my stove this year.

I won’t be selling any wood to neighbors this year as I think it will be a very cold winter.  I have been begging the neighbors  for 5 months that have wood stoves to go in with a delivery of wood and share the cost. Same thing with the gravel and no one would commit to sharing the delivery cost with me.  I may help them in a power outage this winter but selling them wood for winter heat is not happening.  I think we are going to see another very cold winter this year.  Like -20 degrees for 2-4 weeks sort of cold winter.  Even if I’m completely wrong and we have a mild winter this year.  I will have at least 2 cords of seasoned wood left over and can buy/stack more wood next summer.

Fire wood takes minimal effort protection against rot, all it needs to season is to be kept dry and breathe to avoid rot.  If life is easy, all you do is start a new stack of wood.  If things go “sideways” you may not find fire wood at any price.

Okay enough about the rant.  I can move/level the gravel and cover more area in the alleyway area.  The morning glory is starting to climb out of the graveled area and I think I may try the boiling water method to kill these plants.

I need to replace the weeds in the alley and I’m thinking Mint would start fixing the soil and spread. Sunflowers might be an option or berry plants.   I literally have a massive goat head plant reaching into my gravel drive way wanting to spread it’s seeds.  These weeds sere sprayed for years and the weeds always come back, unless replaced with good plants and soil building.

I am annoyed, but the best I can do is make my alleyway are the best I can for soil building with cover and introducing good plants that choke out the bad weeds and not kill the soil and good bugs.  Good news the gravel and wood mulch is doing everything I wanted and more in the alley.  Not perfect but it should hold the line on weeds until next Spring when I can start adding new plants.

 

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This is going to take some time…..

August 8, 2018

 

The delivery.

Stacking the wood

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 2 cords of wood has been delivered and I am still sore from the rock delivery.  I have to say the wood delivery people are great!  This delivery was easier for them as they only had to dump the wood in one spot (sort of) under the carport and with the rock being mostly in place stacking the wood is much easier for me.   I got caught out last year on late wood delivery and having to scramble for wood going into firewood season and the people at Tuckers timbers came through for me.

I have no understanding of people waiting till the last minute to get basic items need for survival.  I suppose it is a bit of human nature/lazy and this new world order of I can order on line and have it shipped via Amazon. What if there is none of what you want in stock?  All the money in the world won’t make what you want magically appear!  My fire wood lady said they had people ask for firewood delivery in December and could not understand the company was out of fire wood.

I want to give a shout out to Buzy Bee’s rock delivery and I was able to get at least most of the gravel spread in time before the wood delivery.  Getting the materials for fall/winter projects in place does save time  and usually some money.  There are a lot of scammers/bad contractors out there so when you get prompt service at the agreed price especially from a local company,  I think you should boost up these great businesses whenever you get a chance. Buzy Bee’s delivery of 2.75 yards of rock was less expensive per yard than getting rock from the local farm store and I didn’t have to unload the rock.

Mom stopped by the house and got the wheel barrow back after picking up a load of wood from Tucker’s timbers/ my fire wood supplier.  It is my wheel barrow but I loan it to her because I can’t loan her my little garden wagon.  I love my garden wagon and that is one of my NO LOAN tools.  I’ll share the wheel barrow but loaning the wagon is a NO/GO!   LOL

For the next couple of weeks I will be working on finishing up the garden beds and making a proper Tucker ‘the peke’ proof picket fence around the garden.  Cash is a little bit tight right now what with stocking up on low cost meat,  getting the chimney sweep and the rock delivery.  That is more of a matter of timing, rather than not being able to pay my bills.

Hopefully this up coming winter won’t involve scrambling for everything and nothing is available. I have my drainage rock in place, new gravel and mulch that covers most of my alleyway frontage.  Next spring I can start adding plants that will choke out the weeds.  The wood was bought early (Doug fir in April) and will be dried and stacked for easy winter use.  I can’t express how nice it is to see that pile of wood even if I have to stack it as I know my little Casa de Chaos will have dry firewood for heat this winter.  Mom wants to stack a mix of Doug fir and the poplar for her heat this winter.  With her small house and new windows and insulation she should be good to go this winter with a couple of cords of wood.

Knowledge coming at you (disclaimer).

A full cord of wood is at least 128 square feet of stacked firewood.  Generally considered a 4 foot tall 4 foot wide and 8 foot long stack of wood.  Most firewood is cut to 16-18 inch lengths, so a cord of wood stacked could be 12 feet long 5 feet tall and 2 rows of 18 inch cut/split firewood also equals a cord of wood.  There is a little bit of ‘fudge’ factor in that 128 square feet to equal a cord.   Remember it is the cubic volume of the cord of wood must equal at least 128 cubic feet when stacked.  I am now getting a close to full cords of firewood from the new supplier rather than “face” cords via the old supplier.  Oh there is a bit of wiggle room depending on how tight you stack firewood.  Overall I’m getting a much better deal of full cords of  cut and split firewood. Between the early delivery of Douglas fir, the mill ends and two cords of poplar I think  the wood heating is good for this year with a good level of back up wood on hand.  There is nothing wrong with buying a “face” cord or a “rick” of wood.  But you must know what a cord of wood  costs and what it is worth.  If you buy a cord of wood you should get at least 128 sq. feet of  stacked wood.

Gosh I’m getting a bit more wood stacked than I thought in this 100 degree heat. One cord is stacked and now I’m starting on the second cord.  I think there was a bit more than 2 cords delivered to me. Once I stack and measure all the wood. Well sometimes “KARMA” works for you.  I found a great wood supplier and that is making up for the bad wood suppliers I dealt with for wood.  That lost $250.00 I tried to help a person is now paying back to me.

It is amazing the efficiency of the new wood stoves.  While I don’t agree with outlawing old wood stoves. Survival takes precedence over the law in my book.  The new efficient burning wood stove are cleaner burning and safer compared to 70’s/80 era type fire wood stoves.  One of greatest things about the new stoves is they hold heat and the fire longer. This is awesome for a someone with a physical disability to have a firebox stay hot for at least 6 hours and not need feeding  wood every 2-4 hours so you or your pipes don’t freeze. Don’t forget to check your smoke alarms, Carbon Monoxide alarms and your fire extinguishers. I don’t know that you could fight a fire but having a fire extinguishers might help getting out of a fire.

Overall Mom and I have enough firewood to be snug and warm this winter. I’m not sure Mom will buy a cord of my wood as she seems to be making her own stack of fire wood.  That is all to the good as the wood will keep drying if we don’t use it. If we have an easy winter for cold and damp. the firewood only gets another year to dry.  I suspect SW Idaho may have a very cold and mostly dry winter in 2018.  Trust me I’m prepping for snow, but I don’t think it will happen this winter.

My new garden beds have been a bit of bust but that was my fault, not the garden beds.  We are in good shape for going into winter and it is only August.

Socially we are seeing the political pendulum swing back to the right and trying to find it’s center point. We have to hold the line about the difference between legal and illegal immigrants.  Re-building the USA manufacturing sector and imports via tariffs.  Nationalism and globalism and the wjat is good and what is bad about those choices.

I tend to be a Nationalist of USA first,  but international relations are a thing.  The USA can’t stick it’s head in the sand and ignore the world.  You people have “common sense”  what would you do now to make the world if not a better place at least a safer place.   Also you will have to show your work.  No saying everyone should be nice on twitter and some such nonsense.

 


Fall garden not happening in this weather

July 29, 2018

I shoveled some more of the gravel into place by doing a bit of work in the morning and evening.  The rock pile is slowly starting to drop in height and hopefully I can finish up most of the work by Sunday.  That will give me a couple of days to work on some jobs around the house and then rest up for the 2 cords of wood scheduled to be delivered next week.  I really like the look of the rock and I much prefer the rock for drainage compared to a concrete slab or Black top asphalt for drainage.

While I won’t say gravel is perfect as I suffered quite a bit of flooding during the bad winter of 2016/2017 most of the old historic district had less flooding compared to the new subdivisions or areas covered in blacktop or concrete.  I wish that more urban/suburban areas encouraged the use of rain catchment systems because most of the systems hold excess water and then release it slowly back into the water systems. I’m not denying any water rights holder their water. I’m just letting the water go into the local aquifer not in a flood but in a stream of water over time.  Even if several thousand people use rain barrels all of that water will go back into the water cycle. It’s just about storing in a time of plenty of water and releasing the water when the land needs water.  Gosh when was the last time you saw anyone storing water wasting it.  People like that store water because they value it enough to spend money to store it.

Moving the rock is the priority because the carport area will be the next fire wood storage area and I have to have that finished before the wood delivery. I have moved enough of the rock I should be able to drive the Kia mini-van across it and compact it a bit and reveal the spots that need more rock. Moving a couple yards of rock by hand does not seem like a huge job when you see how small the rock pile is but a yard of rock equals about a ton of weight.  Over all I don’t feel to bad that I will have moved around a ton + of rock over 7-10 days.  What I have done so far is mostly pushed the rock into place and out lined the area I want rock.  I’d like to have this gravel about 2-3 inches deep so I stop weed growth and get good drainage in the spring.

I got a bit of yard clean up done. It seems I am rushing from one project to the next to get stuff done this summer plus preparing for winter and the 100 degree heat is not making any of those jobs easy.  I feel the need to try and get everything prepared now for this fall and winter and there is just not enough of me to get all the jobs done.  The old saying about ‘if everything is a priority then nothing is a priority’ leaps to mind.

I shoveled a bit more rock around the carport area but I think I’ll sort of push the rock off to the side for the next few days so the wood delivery truck can drop the wood fairly easily in the carport area. The gravel drop area is somewhat level and easy for large vehicles to drive over so I’m finished on moving the mound of rock in the  driveway and under the carport.   The rock will need to be leveled but  it should not disable any low profile vehicles.  While the gravel is not as level or at the depth I prefer under the carport.  I can drive over the rock and the wood delivery will have no problems next week.  I have not only a better looking driveway, I should not have as much flooding in my shop.

I want to stack at least one of the cords of wood and Mom says she’ll take about cord to her place for fire wood.  That will give Mom a good mix of wood and around 2 cords of wood for place this winter.

I don’t think I’ll be able to do the fall garden other than finishing up the the garden beds hoops and start on the Tucker fence.  The 100 degree heat is tough to work in but I do seem to be acclimatizing. I think this weekend will be full of clean up and moving a bit of rock.

I made some more dogie food using the 7 bone chuck roast that only had 2 small bones.  The rice setting or multi-grain setting  does a good job on cooking meat fall off the bone  tender.   Add the grain you like and cook another 12-15 minutes under pressure.  You got dog food. The electric pressure cooker is awesome and easy to use but it is nothing a regular pressure cooker can do for cooking food with a bit of effort.

I’ll have to grind off several of the screws to rebuild the little chicken house.  The vice grip  pliers can’t turn the screw without cutting away the structure/wood.  It was a poor design for small roof of drilling a hole though the roof without making it water proof of at least rust resistant.  Once this last screw is remove I  can cut off all the rusted screws  and move the project into the shop. I don’t think a chicken house needs a lot structural integrity, but some reinforcement is required. Some sanding and a good paint job with a good semi-gloss enamel paint will make the little chicken house better than new.

I’m starting to see birds show up but the feeding station is a challenge for some critters.  Adding in the bird baths and providing fresh potable water has attracted wildlife.

This post is a bit of a mess of going back and forth on critical jobs.  Such is life!  I’m good for the firewood delivery and loading up Mom’s truck despite the gravel delivery in the carport area.

The new gravel “should” help with flooding during a wet winter.  Another 2 cords of wood should keep us warm in a cold winter.

Gosh I’m posting over 1000 word not good.  TLDR is an issue.

Synopsis: Rock is moved so I can stack fire wood under the car port.  Tucker the peke is digging up the garden beds so I need a new fence around the garden.  Last but not least I need to clean up the backyard and have place to be happy.

 

 

 


Back yard/urban chickens are icky!

July 25, 2018

Actually only 33 cases of salmonella have traced to Urban chickens and that is a bit iffy.  Nabisco has issued a recall of possible salmonella via a whey protein ingredient.

McDonalds has sicken hundreds with salmonella via Salad/ingredients. But you people must worry about urban chicken for salmonella infection.   I know this will sound radical.  If you handle chickens or any animal wash your hands before handling raw meat.   I mean you Americans do have soap and water to wash down counter tops.  Bleach as a anti-bacterial is not all that expensive to buy.

A little baking soda and some lemon juice or vinegar will make most greens/salad safe to eat.  Not perfectly safe but mostly safe.  You want to be safe dig in the dirt and expose yourself to life.  That is your vaccine/inoculation. If you want to live life in a bubble and to be “safe” I can’t help you.  Life is dangerous, messy and never works as planed.  I sure has hell never anticipated being disable in my 40’s as I planned to retire and start a new career. Stuff happens and you adapt or get left behind.

I think it is great that people are going for tiny homes, or homesteading or getting a sailboat to sail around the world. Good on you for escaping the debt and death paradigm.

Sometimes I wonder about setting a sale price for my home.  Then again I wonder about moving.


A fall garden?….

July 25, 2018

I have to say I was a little discouraged by Tucker digging up the plants in the garden beds this summer.  I did not give up completely but my motivation took a big hit when the temporary fence failed to protect the new beds.

I got an email from the Home depot garden club about planting a fall garden with plants that can handle a light frost or actually need a frost to set the sugars before harvesting.  Broccoli, cauliflower  can be started indoors in July and with some protection from hot sun and light frosts can be harvested into October in my Zone.  Root crops like turnips need a frost before harvest to reach maximum sweetness if you can protect the crops from sun/heat.

Gosh, I can do that as I have a lot of the Agribon cloth to protect from both heat and sun going into fall. I have a the basic materials for a two foot tall cedar picket fence to stop Tucker and all or at least of materials needed to make a fall garden.  Besides not giving up on the garden and I have motivation to get the new picket garden fence and hoops in place.  The garden beds will be complete for next year’s garden.

Moving the rock into place is taking a little extra time as I’m working on adding rock to areas that need it rather than just spreading rock flat and knocking down the mass of rock.  Mom dropped off the wheel barrow I loaned her, and that has helped but I forgot how much work is involved moving rock especially in high heat conditions.  What I’m doing is about two 45 minute blocks in the morning and then another couple of blocks of work in the evening.  Along with all those other pesky jobs you need to do around the house.  I did get the front lawn mowed and weed wacked but I have some huge thistle along the sidewalk that I did not notice because of building new garden beds or paying attention to the front yard. I can be a little monomaniacal in my focus in the yard.   So Jamie grab your leather gloves and rip out the the weeds and cleanup along the sidewalk.

If tariffs kick in, you will need to stock up on stuff from overseas.  Meat prices are low and going lower so fill that freezer or can meat. Stock up now before the costs start going up.  I find it a bit Ironic that farmers complain about selling to non tariff USA markets rather than paying a tariff to sell to the EU or Asian markets.

 


Rock delivery today!

July 23, 2018

I figured it would take a few days to set up a delivery day for the rock.  So when I called for a delivery I was shocked when the company offered delivery this the same day!  It seems someone canceled at the last minute and it was about the same size load as my order.  Total cost for the 2.75 yards of rock was $97.25  largest part of the cost was the $70.00 delivery fee.  I don’t feel to bad about the delivery cost as I only have to move the rock into place rather than unloading the rock plus move it into place.

The driver did a pretty good job dumping the rock in two different spots on my drive way area.  Especially in the narrow alley way with low hanging wires to worry about catching with the dump bed.  In front of my shop door he dropped about a yard of the 3/4 minus and I was able to spread this rock out and drive over it in about 45 minutes of work with the garden rake.  The larger pile of rock will take a couple of days to spread under the carport but I have over a week to get that job finished up before the firewood delivery shows up the 1st week in August.

Mom is going to love walking on the new driveway rock since she won’t feel like she is going to twist her knee or possibly fall, like she felt with the large drain rock. As for myself I really like having a the new rock in my driveway.  I know the rock will settle in time but having 2-3 inches of the 3/4 minus on top of the drain rock should help cut down on the water getting into the shop.  I have most of my alley way frontage is level with the alley road so that should cut down on any road winter/spring runoff into the shop.

Of course I have just started spreading out the rock but I think the light color of the rock and dark brown color of the mulch looks nice.  This next spring I’ll be adding some low growing cover plants to the mulch area that will choke out the bad weeds and slowly improve the soil.  Perhaps other people will be inspired to improve the look of the alleyway rather than think of the alley as a dead space that is fit only for weeds.  I saw a small sparrow land on the rock/mulch in the alley.  So I have attracted my first bird towards my yard.

I got Mom’s safe walkway area  filled in with the new rock.  The one yard of drainage rck was more difficult to move but I only had about a yard of rock.  Moving the 3/4 rock is easier but there is of 2 yards of rock to move.  A yard of gravel is over 2000 pound or a Ton of weight depending on the rock. Moving that weight in 90 + degree weather is a challenge.

I’m being a bit whiny as I have probably move about a 1.5 yards + of the rock into critical areas with a garden rake. The other parts of the carport drive will require buckets moving the rock.  Even if I just move a couple of buckets per day the carport will be ready for wood by the 1st week in August.

Overall I a am pleased that I got most of the winter jobs done by the 1st week in August.  The garden has been a bit of a bust but I’m working on new system so that is okay to fail and learn.

 


No luck attracting birds or squirrels yet!

July 19, 2018

I know animals are very cautious when things change dramatically but I thought I’d see a few squirrels show up for the suet cake or birds use the new bird baths filled with fresh water.   I suppose the heat of summer is not the best time of the year to set up a bird feeding station.  I suspect I’ll start seeing the squirrels once the walnuts start to fall and the birds once the grapes start coming on.

I did find a tall shepard’s hook to hold the bird feeders.  I added a thick layer of mulch on the ground around the bird baths to absorb water and give the birds a nest material/drying area.  I might change the smaller birdbaths from water to sand and dirt so the birds have a choice of a dust/sand or water bath.   Many birds love a good dust bath to keep healthy.  I will be adding some DE to the mulch as the mulch seems to attract earwigs, ants and unpleasant bugs.  The bird feeders are some distance from my garden so the good bugs should not be injured by the DE.

I finally got the 10 bags of mulch from Lowes today.  This weekend I should be able to finish up the alley area in mulch.  I talked with a neighbor about sharing a load of rock but I’m not very hopeful she will commit the money to get the rock.  No problem by the end of this week, I’ll be getting two yards of 3/4 minus rock to finish up my driveway areas.  I’m tired of fighting weeds and hoping others will join in eradicating weeds in the alley.  I’m not a big fan of chemically killing weeds because my neighbor used Round up and in less than two years the weeds are back stronger and spreading from his land.  The soil that got sprayed with Roundup looks dead. There are no bugs of any sort and honestly I think Round up is awful, as it not only kills weeds it kills soil.

With Mom’s help we dug out the goat heads, minimized the “cheat grass” and after a spray of roundup all of our work has gone to waste.  The nasty weeds are back with a vengeance. Hopefully by adding mulch and rock I will have good drainage and start building the soil to support some ground cover plants that will start choking out the weeds. Enough whining about about smart people being well educated idiots.

Prepping and how the new tariffs could affect you. Anything made of plastic or cloth will probably get hit with a price hike.  Diapers or even feminine hygiene products will start costing more at the grocery store in the near future. If you buy razor blades or stock up at the dollar stores start gathering those items you will need now!  Anything with a made in Asia or made in Europe will probably see at least another 20% rise in cost because of tariffs. Athletic shoes and clothing will jump in price.  Electronics are sure to jump up in price. Now food grown in the USA should come down in price so that should mitigate rising consumer costs.

I figure you have about 4-6 weeks before the tariffs reach the consumer in the USA.  What happens in August is kids going to school.  So you might want to get your kids “school kit” fitted out now rather than wait until the end of August sales.  Get the required foot ware for school now and save money.  Gosh I forgot the school appropriate clothing.  Get it now as the USA has no real cloth making industry.   The USA is a consumer driven economy so we don’t have to make anything dontcha know!?

I’m a firm believer in free trade. But we don’t have free trade in the world.  A person in China working to make NIKES or APPLE ipads for pennies per hours is not the same as US worker making anything.   These people live in ecologic Armageddon daily.  But no one cares as the USA consumer gets his Iphone and the Chicoms get cash dollars.

Why don’t you take your “OUTRAGE MACHINE” and boycott china? Or even Africa that is putting so much plastics into the ocean via the open trash dump they have made their rivers,  Nope sorry that will never happen as it not a twitterfic virtue signal.

Twitter: I’m outrage because you are not outraged!  The subject is irrelevant.  It’s to bad as twitter did good stuff in the early days of updates about fires, floods and avoiding riots.