Working with tarps, helping with Mom’s wood pile. Clean up and some fall prep

August 13, 2019

Yesterday I got out to Mom’s place to replace the tarp over the chicken run. This one of those jobs that seems almost impossible to by yourself but is easy with two people.  Because of Mom’s location she gets a lot of wind blowing daily and often at a brisk 20-30 mph so if a tarp last a year in that type of breeze it is a good tarp.  We have noticed that the cheap “blue tarps” shred in a matter of months.  We suspect that the blue tarps are not UV protected.  We both have used the low cost brown and green tarps with UV protection and those tarps handle high winds/ beating solar rays.  Getting 9-12 months of use out of those type tarps very is doable.  Trying a new way of keeping the tarp on top of the chicken run in high winds.  I ran some rope through some PVC pipe and will place that pipe in the fold of the tarp and see if that keeps the wind from getting under the tarp and moving it around on the chicken run.

Mom stopped by today and got the rest of the mill ends, 2 old pallets for the base of her wood pile.  Mom’s wood storage area is a “Work in progress” but she is getting the the stuff needed to get the wood off the ground and the tarps to cover the top of the wood pile.  I was able to give Mom a couple of smaller tarps that I replaced with one larger tarp over my Doug fir wood racks.  I had a large tarp covering the mill end wood storage area that was a little worn around some of the edges, but is in good enough shape to keep rain and snow off the wood pile.

I got my Doug fir wood pile covered by tarps.  The wood pile is in old dog kennel and is a long but narrow space so a 10 x 12 foot tarp covers most of the wood.  A few of smaller tarps will cover the wood racks so the wood can dry/season but is also protected from rain and snow.  The carport  has over head cover and the shop and RV provide some protection from the weather.  One of the trickiest things about heating with firewood is exposing  fire wood to the weather/wind so it can dry/season but also protecting it from absorbing moisture while it is drying.  I’m hoping that I won’t use a lot of wood to heat this winter and I can build up a multi-year wood pile of dry and seasoned wood.

Lessons I have learned:

  1. I hate chicken wire!  I understand it works and is cheap but if I want a good fencing that lasts and is easy to work with I’d go with some sort of hardware cloth for retaining small critters of a larger panel square for larger critters.
  2. Even a cheap Dremal tool can sharpen tools and it is less intimidating than a grinder.  A Dremel is not a replacement for a grinder it is just a tool for stuff.
  3. Always try to repair things right the first time.  If you think the job is beyond you call in a pro.  I can replace a toilet.  I can’t replace a plumbing valve that is frozen that uses copper/ plastic/steel pipes that have galvanic corrosion.  I know enough to know I don’t know enough for that sort of repair.
  4. I’m learning a little bit about some electrical work.  I hate getting Zapped by electricity especially if that zap could stop my heart.  If I cut power all of my outlets installed seem to work without  electrical arcs.

I’ve rambled on a bit but replacing an electric plug really isn’t a big deal unless it is your first time and it works.  You need to smart and research how a repair job is done properly.  There is a “Fear Factor” of doing new stuff.  Unless you do new stuff you will not grow as a person or add new skills.  I was terrified of using a chainsaw. Now I respect the power of the chainsaw, I don’t fear using a chainsaw.


Cooler weather helps when working out side. Finish a job, start a new job around the house!

August 11, 2019

Having this cold front move through the area has felt so good!  We got some rain and my little Tucker dog no longer has an “Anxiety Attack” from the sound of thunder.  After several 100 degree days that rain and cooler temps this weekend helped my attitude.  I got more of the dropped apples and black walnuts picked up.  I filled up a 33 gallon trash container and the bag was so heavy lifting it was out of the question.  Those nuts and apples are a twisted ankle bomb just waiting to be stepped on.  I have to many other jobs to get done other than saving apples and nuts.  But I have to keep the yard clean so I can walk about safely and not let fruit rot on the ground that attracts vermin.  So into the trash for these tree byproducts.

I attack the grape vines again  to clear the way to chop wood.  I’m always playing catch up with the grape vines.  I have not found a way to make the vines drape artfully around my home.  I’m always doing cleanup or getting the grape vines out of the way for work.  The grape vines take no notice of all my work and keep on growing.  Good news I have cleaned out my wood chopping area so now I can start filling my  wood Kindling box.  I used my Dremel tool to sharpen up my cheap axes and wood cutting tools.  The hatchet is sharp, perhaps a bit too sharp for cutting kindling long term.  I cleaned up the hatchet edge using a stone, using a Dremel tool to start an edge on a tool does work better than a grinder for me.  Actually I think both tools have a place in sharpening tools.

I’m playing with the new washer settings. I have to give 5 stars to Samsung on trouble shooting the washer and Mr Appliance of SW Idaho getting the washer working.  Samsung stood by their warranty despite the washer being a 2 year old model, that I bought new to me.   Mr. Appliance of SW Idaho was great,  Richard was very personable, brought little rugs/carpets to place the tool bags upon.  Mr. Appliance showed up early after calling if it would be okay to show up early for the work.  That tends to be a very rare thing working with repairmen or contractors.  I understand that Good contractors/ repairmen are very busy.  As a customer I’d prefer a date for a non-critical repair and if the repair person gets an opening, a call to fix the issue.  I know it is never that easy as “Emergency” repair request happen all the time.

I spent about $6.00 at a laundromat over 2 weeks waiting for the new washer.  Drying clothes at a Laundromat  cost the quarters.  No big deal!

I cleaned up the wiring  of the light fixture in the Laundry room.  I added a couple of guides made of rubber to isolate the electrical cable.  Along with buying a big plug of rubber to make the light work.  The light is safe,  but I’m not happy as light should have been tied into the electrical of the add on of the house.  I’m trying to repair terrible half ass “solutions” and it always costs more to fix.

I cleaned caulk around the bath tub and the fiber board shredded.  Was that bathroom install to code?  Nope! I will save a couple of months to fix that problem. I’ll have to get green board sheet rock to make a good base for the new tub surround.



The washer works. Huzzah!

August 3, 2019

I hoped/thought the washer pump was unplugged or a wire had shorted out.  The washer literally had an unplugged “neutral wire” and once that was plugged in the washer drained.  I want to give PROPS to Samsung for helping me troubleshoot the washer and getting a local tech to fix the washer under warranty.  One of the washer’s plastic legs snapped off but they tech ordered a new leg to balance the washer next week.  I’m allowed to do small loads of washing until the techs get the washer balanced.  I doubt I can fill the washer tub half full of my weekly wash of colors and whites.

I have been wanting to clean up the caulking around my tub.  The caulking was a bit dried out caulk and  a bit of  visible mold that needed a more pro-active solution.  Welp! I cleaned out the caulk and all of bath wall surround paint/top coating started peeling away and exposed fiber board. Not good and it will take a couple of months of pay checks to correct.  Probably about $500.00 in materials going cheap. but that job will need a couple of months for funding out of pocket.

I finished up the “Kindling Box”.  I might add a few boards  to retain smaller wood/kindling, if needed.

I’m guilty of “Wrong think”.  I bought/ stacked over 6 cords of wood.  A disabled vet on SSD did this on under $1700.00 per month.   People like me get Rekt by the progressives as we make do with what we have.  We are not into the poverty pandering that progressives love.

The washer has a little problem but good news Mom is doing good after the day surgery

July 27, 2019

The washer will not pump out water!  I have it level and that was a pain because most of the top of the washer has curves.  One of the plastic adjustment/leveling legs snapped so that made the task a challenge.  I will say that Samsung was very helpful online and via the phone on troubleshooting the washer, getting the machine registered for warranty and contacting a local repair company with a good reputation to service the washer.

I’m a little disappointed that I can’t use the washer this weekend.  I understand with an “Old Model”/ new machine that these issues can happen and it is not necessarily the fault of the machine, manufacturer or the shipper, especially if they all have good reviews.  Hopefully the tech will come and fix/replace the pump and the washer will be good to go.  I did not empty all of the water out of the washer. I left about 1-2 inches of water in the tub so the tech can see what I am dealing with as the problem.  I think I will get the big shop vac ready, just in case I need to remove that last bit of water in order to work on the machine.  The 6 gallon shop vac should be able to empty the washer in 1 or 2 fill ups.

Mom is doing good after last weeks day surgery.  She is mostly out of pain for her back though she says she is being careful not to re-injure that area.

Mom is keeping up with the housework, mowing the lawn with the riding mower and keeping the weeds whacked and under control. Her church is going to do some yard work and Mom is really trying to set up the Ryobi weed wacker work for her as well as the old B&D weed wacker.  This might sound a bit sexist and I don’t mean it that way, but I think the Ryobi tools are set up for a male to use.  That is not a criticism but an observation.

Men are taller on average than women and most of their strength/ Center of Gravity is in the upper body. Women on average are shorter, have less upper  body strength and the Center of Gravity is the hips.  That makes a huge difference between how a man or woman uses a tool or how comfortable it is to use a tool.  Do I expect companies to change how they make yard tools?  Nope, because most yard work is done by men and that is a tool maker’s primary customer.  Some tools will fit women better and we need to let those manufacturers know us women appreciate those tools that we like and work well for women.  Please no more slapping a bit of pink plastic or paint on a  “Womans” tool.  Women tool users is an under served  market plus those tools that cater to smaller body frames and hands, opens up that market to young people in their teens just starting out DIYing.  Most guys go for the most powerful they can handle/ afford.  Most women want a light weight and simple tool that handles simple jobs like hanging curtain rods of building a small shelf.

Speaking only for myself and I am a “Tomboy” I always grab my little 9.6 volt drill first on any job and only get the big drill after the 9.6 volt proves inadequate. Now I’m female and I’m disabled so my strengths are not top notch, but I don’t think that is an issue.  Using a small light weight drill for a small job is smart.  Sorry for the rant as the 3rd wave feminazis just annoy me.  I was the first girl to play flag football in Idaho in 1977/1978.  I think I was the second girl to play in Little league baseball the same year.  I wasn’t striking some blow for feminism I just wanted to play the game.  I was on the team because I was as good the boys, I started because I was better than some boys.  Did I work hard or harder to get on the team?  Of course I did. Males have more muscle mass than females. I lifted weights and could leg press almost 900 pound as a 14-16 girl.  I was also a slow runner and the had the leaping ability of a safe.  I had stamina and was strong but not really talented for sports ball.

A couple things I learned about sports is all the hard work in the world would never get me to slam dunk a basketball. As my physical attributes mean I have no “hops”.  It did not matter, if I could shoot 3 pointers.  It does not matter that I’m disabled doing a job “living” .  I fail/ succeed on my own.

The wood pile is almost finished.  I have another 3 garden wagon loads of poplar to stack.  I have to finish up the “kindling” wood rack and start filling it.  I have been waiting for paraffin wax to go on sale to start making fire starters.  Some Greenies might attack me for using a renewable source for heat and using a petroleum product to create fire starters. Despite the fact I use far less paper to start my fires.

It is simple for the left.  Use a wood stove and you hate the earth and you are a Nazi/racist scum.  For gosh sake an article said White people like having dogs because they miss having slaves.  I would never speak for any other ethnic group but who does not like dogs or cats?  I don’t think love of animals is just a white thing.


Sorry long post and I’m all over the place.  I’ll try to clean it up.

Got some yard work done and a prayer request

July 22, 2019

The front yard has been been mowed!  I got a bit lazy as I did not want to pick up all the sticks from the high winds that blew thru last week. Today I got all the sticks picked up mowed and gave the front yard a “good watering” of several hours.  It felt good to get some outdoor work done after helping Mom with her surgery recovery and getting enough shopping done to top off the big freezer.

While I was mowing my neighbor was working on getting a mid size fridge in to his house up the front steps that have at least 6 steps and about 5 feet to the porch front door landing.  The neighbor had a dolly and did most of the heavy lifting but I helped keep the fridge on the dolly and assist with guiding , or adding a little extra ooomph to get the fridge in the house can make that job a bit easier.  The neighbor said he will help out with moving the old washing machine out or getting the new machine in my house. Should be be easier to move my washer as I only have a couple of steps to deal with getting the washer in the house.  Once the new washer is indoors and close to the Laundry area I can “walk” the washer into place.

I got the old washer out of the laundry area and strapped to the big dolly Mom loaned me.  Mom has offered to assist moving the old washer to the alley, but I want to test out how much effort she will need to help move the washer.  Mom was not given any weight restrictions for her recovery and she has kept up cleaning her house and taking care of critters.  I don’t want her to re-injure her back by helping me.  Getting the washer on the dolly, strapped down, I’ll do most of the weight bearing work and Mom will guide and any weight lifting should be minimal.

Onto the prayer request: My Mom’s new church has been hit with several small disasters. From flooding of the church basement to shingle/parts of the roof being torn off in a wind storm.  The pastor was diagnosed with prostate cancer that may recurring and perhaps the cancer has moved to his bones.  The church congregation is older and many are on Social Security and disabled so the can’t physically do much work around the church or donate to get needed work done.  The church needs to an Asphalt parking lot to replace the gravel parking lot they currently have in place.  The new parking lot will help those people that use walkers, wheel chairs and “scooters” get into the church.  I don’t want to add more info as I don’t want to ‘dox” the church.  Your prayers for the pastor and the church would be appreciated.

I use a walker when I’m shopping or going long distances walking(1/4-1/2 mile).  Trust me if you use a walker a gravel parking lot is some thing to be dreaded/ avoided. If you use a wheel chair thick gravel is impossible to navigate without help.  Heck, when I was in a wheel chair I avoided deep pile carpet,  gravel parking lots, forget about it!

Mom’s little surgery is done

July 21, 2019

Mom’s minor surgery seemed to go good overall.  She did a little bit of shopping, in the evening though I played chauffeur. The “surgery” seems to to be fairly non-invasive.  Heck I have dealt with IVs that used larger gauged needles.  Mom was supposed to have 24 hours of me watching but she wanted to go home and sleep in her own bed.  That is the state of medical care is it over compensates on others to provide safety and release the hospital from any responsibility.

I have a good quality guest bed, but sleeping in your own bed in your own home has an positive affect on your recovery. Mom could have spent another night at my home with no problem, but she wanted to go to her home be with her stuff and animals.  I don’t think either of us would place an “at risk” person at risk!  Mom is moving a bit slower recovering from drugs.  Overall after her 3+ hour nap (at my house) she was lucid and could use her shopping list.  I don’t think letting Mom go home to recover was a bad thing or unsafe.

Mom did great by going home, as she got a good nights rest.  As a bonus, I did a load of wash at her house before we came back to pick up her vehicle.  The new washer is supposed to be delivered on the 25th.  I only had to use the Laundromat once after my washer died.  I got the big “dolley” to move my old washer out of the laundry area and I have new hoses to install for the new washer.

I think I can install the new washer but I’ll know for sure once I try removing the old washer.  Mom has offered to help but at best she will probably just guide me through the doors ways and hold doors open.  That little extra bit of help is very valuable.  The trash guys will haul away an appliance for $13.00 so all I have to do is get the old washer into the alley.  If I can do that, I should be able to get the new washer into the house.   As a backup plan a neighbor has offered to help with any jobs around the house.

I’m excited to start improving the interior of my house rather than just doing basic/simple repairs to keep up the basics.  I spent a lot of money (to me) to get the a new roof, siding and new windows to get the exterior part of the house not only looking good, but better insulated. The siding does not need painting, the roof is a 50 year roof and the windows should be good for at least 15-20 years.  Now it is time to start working on the interior.

Honestly I will be “fixing” some of my choices of materials now that I have learned a bit more by doing some simple DIY projects.  I’ll be replacing old and cracking linoleum with new linoleum. I need to replace the computer rooms carpet and a soft spot in the sub floor that I think is a seam in the sub floor that has sagged or was not properly braced.  Much of what I want to do will look like cosmetic fixes but faucets wear out so the have to be replaced.  You might as well replace those items with something you want/like.

I’m not sure how you save up for those jobs.  I’m looking at one or two rooms at a time of what needs to be repaired and then looking for the materials I need for the job.  I’m trying to plan out the jobs  that I’m indoors in the cooling affects of A/C during the heat of the day.  Here in Idaho 100 degree + temps are coming though at least the humidity is low. Joke: (so is an oven).

I doubt we will see many Air Conditioning is EVIL from the Beltway writers or Greenies located in that area this week.  Heat can be life threatening so while I joke, having at least one room you can be cool, rest, drink some water even if the power goes out is no joke.  I can use mister fans that help the cooling affects of evaporation.  That can’t happen at 90% humidity. You only get damp and sticky feeling, not cooler.  If you can’t afford a small A/C unit buy cheap fans to help with the cooling affect of evaporation. Do any work in the morning or late afternoon.

This is common sense advice, but it is remarkable how few people have common sense.




It’s always something….and a bit of a rant

July 14, 2019

Darn and other dirty words! It looks like my old Maytag Washer is dying.  It has started making (metal on metal) noises when the pump runs or as the tub is spinning.  There is a distinct electrical/and burning oil smell, that can not be a good sign.

I can’t complain about the washer as it came with the house when I bought it in 2003 and it was probably 5-10 years old at that time.  Yes children, there was a time when major appliances lasted decades rather than 5-7 years.

The timing sucks as I’m paying off my wood pile this month.  I can wrangle the money around to get a “new” second hand refurbished washer from the same guys I got the dryer from three years ago for around $200-300 dollars.

I don’t want a new washer despite all of the fancy bells and whistles that manufacturers add these days.  It’s like some of the conversations I have had with people extolling all of the features of their smart phones.  Can you place a phone call and talk to people?  Maybe I’m a “boomer” but isn’t that the first reason to have a phone?

I need a washer that cleans clothes and that is it!  I don’t need wifi or a video screen. The Maytag washed clothes in about 25 minutes using the heavy cycle setting.  I doubt a modern washer running a longer cleaning cycle is more efficient on total electric energy costs.

I’m bummed out about my washer dying.  Not only because of the cost to replace it but because it represents when the USA made great products that lasted for decades and could be repaired by some one out of their garage.  These are Green products as they last for decades and not just a few years.  These Items can be repaired and not end up in a landfill due to a fried circuit board.

On of my biggest pet peeves against the “Greenies/Enviromentalist”  is they do not think about the day to day stuff because the are to busy Virtue signalling and taking the moral high ground.  I reuse, re purpose things daily. I plan my shopping trips to use the least amount of fuel because that is how I save money.  I’ll grant AOC lives in 2 of the most expensive cities. She is also making $174,000 per year as a Congress critter. That is $14,500 per month discounting all of the perks of government work/ per diem. I make about $18,400 per year as a disabled vet.   AOC literally makes more in 6 weeks than I make in a year. I know the struggle is real but my sympathy is sadly lacking for AOC.

I have a blind spot because I can’t imagine making $50,000 per year and having money problems making ends meet. I know it real, the person lives in a high tax state where property taxes are as high as the Mortgage payments each month. Or a person that buys food for 3 days at a time and seldom buys in bulk.  The person that never learned to cook and lives on fast food and microwave meals.

I doubt many in high tax areas “get” the west paying $100.00 per year for a house worth $100,000.   That is sort of cheap as our local governments also add bonds and tax levies but compared to high tax states the yearly cost is still low and your schools and roads still suck.  Honestly, our roads a schools suck too, but at least they suck at lower cost!