It really helped me mentally to get the toilet fixed. Turning over the compost heap and soaking got it rocking 110 degrees F. on the small pile and 140 degrees F. on the big pile. Getting the positive feed back from those jobs made me feel better, like I had actually accomplished something instead of just getting by for now!
I stopped by Home depot and picked up 4 bags of Scott’s Brown wood mulch for $2.50 each. That was enough to finish up one of the alley “sunny” beds. I want to add some hardy herbs/ground cover and a container berry bush or two to this area. My house is one of the few that did not fence everything up to the road and that area get used occasionally by vehicles so I have to use plants that can handle that sort of abuse and come back. The brown mulch and broken “concrete” stone looks much better than I anticipated. I have an idea of doing a hugelculture mound in front of the sunchokes using the dirt and debris dumped by the guy that delivered the mill ends. Mom has been digging through that pile and said the soil looks pretty good now that the smaller pieces of wood decayed, lots of worms in the loose sort of sandy soil. I can build a small hugelculture mound that get’s a lot of early morning sunlight right in front of the sun-chokes for another garden growing experiment that won’t limit parking but will protect some of my plants that can’t take being run over. I figure a foot high and 18 inch hugelculture bed won’t eliminate all that much space for maneuvering vehicles though it should be enough of a barrier against any other crazy alley shenanigans.
I found a couple of books that cover the things I have wanted to do on this house. One is a a Time Life book about making all kind of stuff from a home library to a root cellar area in the basement. Another book I got is practical landscaping and while its a bit dated on color schemes the designs range from large to small yards and even balcony projects. Very cool ideas in these books and they are geared towards a neophyte/ beginner with very simple, straightforward instructions. Speaking for myself, I need that type of instruction. While I don’t think I’m an idiot, I have been blindsided on DIY projects (like the toilet) that did not work so well until I thought outside the box and eliminated a few things that could become problems. I don’t think of a house as an investment I think of it as a very durable good as well a box you throw money at to make it your own. I bought my home as a place to live and not as an investment. There is nothing wrong if you see a home as an investment, I just did not see a home that way.
Mom bought a used dryer so I got the dryer vent fixed and all cleaned out. Another messed up installation by the previous owner/contractor. Now I know why they did such a crazy washing machine drain pipe setup, the dryer vent was in the way of the drain pipe! I pulled the outside vent that was only caulked into place and the pipe. Reattached the dryer flex hose and screwed the outside part of the vent into solid wood framing. Bad news I got the wrong size pipe for the washer drain but I kept the receipt so I can exchange it at lowes. I got the shelf behind the woodstove in place and cut two bucket loads of mill ends placed on the front porch. The clothes line has been tightened up and looks like it will make a good summer time alternative to drying clothes in the dryer.
I have put off getting my eyes checked and buying glasses but my distance vision and depth perception is getting worse. So for the next couple of months I want to concentrate on getting my health care needs that VA does not cover taken care of using cash. I’m trying out a local eye doctor and shop that seems up on the VA system not covering eyesight and is cool with me paying cash. Plus the optical shop offers several coupons for a new patient! 2015 seems to be the year when I focus on upkeep, fixing things and maintenance of the home, body and critters.
Diana the peke is doing well coming off the steroids but seems to have a bit of pain when the weather changes. I give her some tramidol when she starts to hunch up with pain and she does okay with half a pill once and awhile. Using a pain killer occasionally is easier on her system than the steroids everyday.
Overall the week start off bad mentally for me. By the end of the week we got a lot of things done the right way and started bullet-proofing our position financially, physically and mentally. Prepping for me is a journey not a destination and I will have ups and downs. While I can’t speak for others that prep, I doubt that I’m the only one that gets discouraged or frustrated from time to time.