Yard cleanup, fixing the compost pile and I love my Roku

I got the lawn mowed and used the weed eater to get a few spots a little more under control. The two biggest jobs were the compost pile and tilling the water main dirt again. It seems that my compost pile ratios have been off and I need to do a better job of keeping it damp and mixed. So today I  used my wheel barrow as a sort of holding area and then took all of the compost and moved all the top stuff to the bottom, mixed in more browns and gave each layer I mixed together a good spray down with the hose. I made my pallet compost bin with two main areas with a smaller  third spot for the finished compost.  My plan is once a week for the mixing is move the stuff from the top of one bin to other bin, that should give the pile a good mixing and I can make sure I’m watering the pile enough.  I added a few of those burlap bags  stapled to the pallets and one to cover the pile. That should help the pile retain heat but it can still breathe and use any rain that comes my way.

I have to say that I thought a compost pile would be easy! Just like anything it takes time for you to figure out what works best for you and what you are physically able to do.  I can say that building the compost pile out of pallets gives me much easier access to mixing and watering my pile plus I can make a much bigger pile compared to one of those little store bought plastic boxes I used that did not work for me.  There will probably be more tweaking to be done of my compost system in the future but I’m learning and on the right track.

Rototilling the water main area was needed to give the grass seed better soil to grow. The soil is improving but it needs more work to make it a good for growing. The areas where I put down some of my early compost is getting richer and more of a dark brown rather than the very dusty tan color I started with in the water main soil. My backyard also has some low spots that seem to accumulate the alkali from the soil.  There was some good looking compost at the very bottom of the bin so I added it to the water main area after raking some of the brown soil into the low spots. Having the wheelbarrow to move that compost around rather than using buckets made that job much easier.  Improving the soil this way is sort of slow but it is also cheap. I seem to be learning and getting a better feel for the soil and how it should look as well as watching what is growing and if it is healthy growth or just a few weeds barely hanging on to life. The soil has a lot of potential it just needs some help to make it really bloom and produce and that takes time.

The neighbors stopped by and since they don’t have TV so to speak we all just sat around and watch some of the old Carol Burnett show skits and out takes.  One of the nicest things about Roku is you can stream Youtube onto your TV with a wifi network.  My TV watching is free since I cut off Dish sat. and paid for the Roku and my Amazon Prime account compared to paying $30.00+ per month to dish.  About the only thing I don’t like is if I lose access to the Internet I lose my “home phone” via magic jack and my Roku programming. I do have battery backups but it is still a single point of failure that can screw up several things. I think it is worth the risk because #1 I save a lot of money each month and #2 if the Internet goes down, not watching a TV show will probably be the least of my problems!  I have my Ham radios for backup comms and plenty of  DVD’s to watch if I can generate power to run the TV.  I have found I don’t really miss not having cable/sat. TV and sitting down to watch a show is a treat rather than background noise. I am a big reader of books and there is always something to be done around the house so I don’t miss not having TV that much. Now going without the internet is a whole ‘nother animal and I would really miss not having it, but I think I can go without it and not suffer too much withdrawal.



13 Responses to Yard cleanup, fixing the compost pile and I love my Roku

  1. I use an above ground compost bin I built. It has a wide wire mesh bottom that lets the composted stuff just fall through. It takes it a bit more time to do it”s job though I think but doesn’t need as much stirring up either.

    The wife won’t use it though and started her own because she says mine doesn’t work properly 🙂

    • Jamie says:

      Pioneer: That is a very interesting idea I had not considered. My buddy Gallo says over a cubic yard/meter the ratios are not quite so critical so I think I’m okay as long as I set up a system to mix and water regularly.
      But I can see some potential in your idea of having a bit of space for the compost to fall as it finishes. You obviously don’t need bugs though they may help for making compost because so many folks use compost tumblers and swear by them.

      A big advantage of building compost bins with pallets is they are flexible for adding things like wire and even my burlap bags to try some little twist that other people do for thier compost pile.

  2. Dannyboy53 says:

    Jamie we have had our Roku for about a year and love it. We like being able to watch whatever we want, when we want and without the annoying commercials depending on what you load.

  3. Jamie says:

    Danny boy I got my Rokus this spring and I love them. While many folks go for subscriptions to things like Netflix for around $10.00 per month I go for Amazon prime with the extra benefits of shipping and stuff. While I don’t pay for any subscriptions I think anyone that has control of the TV and can drop subscriptions without a penalty is making a smart money decision.

    By the way how is the pain salve working longer term for Mary? Have you tried it out on your little aches and pains Danny? Did Mary add the comfrey salve to healing? Did it work or was it a bust? I’m looking for info on how the stuff works on many types of injuries and real humans and real world applications.

    • Dannyboy53 says:

      Well, if you’ll permit me first I’ll give you a brief run-down. A year ago last Spring Mary’s neck was broken when she was thrown from a horse, several vertebrate are fused together. Last fall her pelvis was crushed when a horse fell backwards, landing on her, she has a plate across the front of her pelvis holding it all together along with some screws and pins here and there! Her pain has been pretty intense. But I’m happy to say since using your pain salve the pain in her lower back is gone and in her right hip is nothing but a mild annoyance!

      I have broken two vertebrate in my back and had bone spurs in my lower spine surgically removed to prevent further nerve damage and the salve has been a God-send. I also feel no pain after using it. We were expecting it to take a couple of days as you suggested but it starts relieving the pain in a couple of hours!

      It has been such a relief to the two of us. And we have not tried the comfrey, we are so happy with the results of what we are using now.


      By the way, Mary is no longer breaking and training horses.

      • Jamie says:

        Dannyboy I’m so happy that the salve is working so good for you both! Chronic pain is brutal and can really wear you out and stress a body , which is why I’m so excited about the pain salve and hope it works for others besides me.

  4. kymber says:

    Jamie – we thought compost was simply dumping table scraps (minus dairy and meat) and then voila – dirt. it takes much more work than that. you do have to keep it watered and a very good sign that you have good compost is noticing a lot of earthworms when you are turning it. we’ve also noticed that it takes about 2yrs to get dirt whereas back in the city it only took one year. we think it is due to the salty air.

    anyway, i will be making your pain salve this week – but the comfrey salve and heal-all salve that i make is lovely, too. do you want some comfrey or heal-all seeds? i can send them to you. i am very glad that your salve is helping Dannyboy and his wife – what a nice thing to do for someone.

    now listen – slow down gurl – yer making the rest of us tired and feeling like losers with everything that you got going on – bahahahah! much love jamie!

    your friend,

    • Jamie says:

      kymber: You and must have read the same website/book about composting 😉 Gallo down in Texas has been a huge help “holding my hand” so to speak getting this compost pile working.

      I’m not familiar with heal-all so I’m not sure if it will grow here or how to grow it. My aunt gave me a little comfrey plant and my neighbor has a huge one that she gives my the leaves to dry for my salve.

      I have been blessed that with the new vitamins and the pain salve I recovery so much better compared to last year.

      I think that all of the power tools have been a huge help in getting stuff done. The little electric roto-tiller has been one of my best purchases, though the battery powered chainsaw and weed wacker are close.

  5. kymber says:

    good stuff!

  6. I am still using Direct TV and a “package” from our crummy telephone company that supplies my internet access and land line. Neither of the latter work too well, nor are they reliable. But it’s the best I can do.

    • Jamie says:

      Harry, That is tough! One advantage of being in the city even a small one is usually better internet.

      This isn’t a big city but there are 3 different ISPs that have to compete so service is pretty good. Though the cost on average is stiil a bit higher than most areas.

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