Friday, September 2, 2016

Back to Little Chicken

In preparation for a little road trip to Goldendale, WA for a birthday camping party, I thought I'd do a little work on the galley of Little Chicken. I bought a stair runner that was just the right width and a couple of inches too long to use for the shelf. 

Then I prepared the shelf supports. 

Did a bit of priming.  

Then a bit of painting, and attached the shelf supports. 

In went the shelf. 

And then a bit of trim and the wall piece to separate the galley from the sleeping area.
The wall piece is a piece of flooring that fit perfectly width wise so I only cut the length by a couple of inches. I also used a couple of small blocks to hold it in so that I can open that up for ventilation. So now I have a little shelf up there too. 

So I ended up not going anywhere this weekend. My poor little Nellie was sporting a swollen eye on Wednesday night so I figured I'd better watch it. She got a bit of Benadryl because she's fond of eating stinging insects. Thursday morning it looked better, but Thursday afternoon, more swelling. 
More Benadryl for this little lady. 

Friday morning and it looks better, but still is a little bit swollen. So decided to stay home.  I also had an online job interview this morning, so we'll see how that went. 

Glad to have made some progress on LC, but sad to have missed the party. 😕

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Pergola 2.0

So here we go again. 

I had to cut one of the uprights because it had a big hole and crack down the middle, then I cut one other corner to match. So these two are now 6 1/2 feet tall, while the other two are 8 feet. 

I put it back together much the same as the first go round. 
This version is slanted toward the west. 

Nellie hard at work just like before. 

And the frame is finished. This is the view from the house. 

One added feature is the fence t-posts that now anchor the uprights. Yes, I painted them brown so they would blend in a little. 

I also separated the panels of the cover, so the wind can't have quite as much lift. Then the cover is attached by grommets to screws. I wanted to use screw hooks, but didn't want to spend the money. I'll get some for next summer season. 

Grommets are kind of fun. Well, except for the hole I put in the mat at the bottom of the stairs outside. 

Next I'm putting the solar light strings from the porch onto the pergola. Got one string up so far. I'll save those pics for another post. 

So there you have it. Pergola 2.0!

Sunday, August 7, 2016


Now that I've revealed the family swear word, not that it was a secret or anything, I'll reveal why I used it.

Yes, the pergola took a little flight to the other side of the fence.  I will just say the wind here is amazing. That is all. (Actually, I'm just sparing you the other swears I used yesterday when I found out and this morning when I saw it for myself.)

A gigantic THANK YOU to Robyn and Keith for moving it off of the neighbor's property.  I'm also grateful that nothing else was damaged, except the fence. (Not even a mark in the garden as it flew over.)  Guess I get to start over with that project, but first I need to eat a bit of chocolate and take a nap.  Maybe I'll even read a while or watch a movie before starting again.
Back to the beginning. Took it all apart and it looks much as it did before I started in the first place. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Update...long overdue

I realize that it has been a while since I updated this blog.  I didn't feel like I had much to say other than the plants are doing well.  At this point, we are having some gardening challenges.  I'll go into that another time.

On June 22, I officially finished my picture scanning project.  I sent a packet to some of my family members that contains some hard copy pictures, letters, and other memorabilia along with a thumb drive of pictures.  Whew!  After so many years of on and off work on the project, it is a strange idea to think I'm no longer the only one in my family to have the entire collection in one place.  Now everyone will have the pieces that are relevant to them.  I also decided to include a copy of piano music made my grandmother, Neva Simonsen in 1984.  She was an amazing pianist and these 13 pieces are a treasure.

This past week I have had two triumphs.  I built a pergola, and I put in an air conditioner.

The air conditioner, which I installed today, replaces the swamp-cooler-tower-fan that has been doing a very poor job of keeping the house cool.  With high temps in the 97-100 range, the inside of the house has been pretty toasty.  I'm glad to report that the install was easy-peasy, and plug and play cool air is so welcome!  I'm excited to get a thermometer for the inside of the house and see what temp feels comfortable to me.  I also need to reset my kill-a-watt to see how much electricity it uses.  
It is a 5000 BTU unit that is rated for rooms of 150 square feet, and cost about $130 on Amazon. Heavenly!

I've been wanting to build some outside shade for a long while and I finally did it.  I got some pallets from my friend Matt at Klein's Custom Countertops (love $free.99 wood), and another project was born.  PS. I also got the wood for my fence there.  This batch of pallets had 2x8, 2x6, 2x4, and 2x3.  I just love 2x3...not sure why.  ANYWAY, plenty of wood for the pergola and about a ton left over, not to mention about 15 lbs of nails.  Side note about these pallets...they are made for carrying stone of countertop size, are 11' long by about 3.5 to 4' wide, and they weigh about a ton a piece.  

They aren't the typical pallets you get from the back of the grocery store.  Also a warning...reclaiming this kind of wood is not for the faint of heart.  I recommend getting a pry bar or two and a rubber mallet. You will be happy you did.  
I spent at least two days taking the pallets apart. I still have quite a few nails to pound out, but I had the pieces I needed to make the pergola so I left the nail pounding for another day.  

Nellie hard at work.

Used 8 feet of the 2x8 and 2x6 for the corner posts, with the leftovers for the supports.

Standing up...

The 2x4's on the sides and over the top.

My neighbor in Ogden, Adele, had given me some really great outdoor fabric that fits almost perfectly. Still needs a little edge work. 

I used screws that I already had from building the house, so in total I spent $20 in gas to go get the pallets. Like I said, I love $free.99!

I'm still going to stain and seal the wood, so I'll spend a few bucks on that, but compared to the cost of purchasing the wood, I feel like I'm getting quite a bargain.  

I'll post again when I have more of the little details completed.  For now, I finally have some shady outdoor living space!  Bring on the garden party!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Growing stuff update

I planted the garden yesterday so I figured it was about time for a little update.  I planted watermelon, beets, chard, zucchini, yellow squash, carrots, and spinach.  I think I'll have to make a little shade for the spinach once it gets going.  

Everything else is doing really well...

Except for the blueberries.  They are struggling.  I think they like to be in the ground better.

We have quite a few strawberries so far, none ready for eating, but a few are starting to pink up.
Side note:  I'm so glad that school is out and my job is finished for the summer.  Another adventure awaits.  

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

More planting...but not so much planning

Strawberry update...all but maybe two strawberry plants are looking fantastic! Even have a flower. See below.

The rhubarb is coming up!  So excited about that!  See below.

The apple trees are starting to leaf out!  See below.

The flower bulbs I planted are coming along nicely...See below.

The blueberries aren't doing so well.  I may lose three out of four.  I'll have to try again on those.  See below.

The cucumbers are getting their true leaves.  Now I need to do some serious garden planning.  On the other hand the  butternut, yellow and zucchini squash haven't sprouted and neither has the watermellon.  Time to get some newer seeds I think and try again.  I may just plant them outside in the garden at this point.

I planted the Mammoth Russian Sunflowers along the fence.  We'll know in 10-14 days if any of those are actually going to grow.  Although it may take longer to see them because I planted the seeds among the grass, which I trimmed first, but now I won't be trimming for a while again.  I also threw out some grass seed in our little yard.  I figured that since it is supposed to rain every other day for the next week, I'd take advantage of the free watering service.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Planning and Planting

Spring has sprung here in Northern Utah, and as usual the weather is like a giant roller coaster.  Last week 70's and sunny (perfect!), this week torrential rain, wind, hail, and lows in the 30's.  So I rely on the saying "April showers bring May flowers" to get me through.  I also enjoy the fact that there is no watering to do because it has already been taken care of.  
On a more garden-y note...I've got some seeds going in the house, zucchini, yellow squash, butternut, cucumbers (pickling and muncher) and watermelon.  So far only the cucumbers have sprouted and I got so excited!

I've also got my columnar apple trees planted in planters outside.  There are four of them that will make a nice little feature at the front end of the yard.  Very excited for them to start leafing out.

The blueberries are ready to go in their own buckets, just needs to be warm enough at night to leave them out.

Then I also have about a billion strawberry plants...well, okay, not a billion, but 75 sure seems like a billion. I'm going to try the strawberries in rain gutter along the top rail of the fence this year and see how that goes.  Got the gutter, put in the drain holes, and put it up.  A little excited about that.

And half ready with dirt

And ta-da! 40 strawberries in their nice new home. 

What to do with the other 35? Put them in with the apples...
And make a centerpiece for the patio table. 

I got some mosquito repelling plants, lavendar, bee balm, and basil.  No marigolds at the store yet so I got some marigold seeds. 

Then I'm such a a can. That is all.

Question of the week...where to put the rhubarb? 
How about in here?

And I was thinking that today might be the day to plant the sunflowers along the outside of the north side of the fence. :)
Actually, that will have to wait until next weekend. I'm pooped!

A trial-and-error plan.  I'm going to disconnect my kitchen and bath water from the mulch basin and use that water for watering the garden.  I'll keep you posted when that takes place...not quite ready for that yet, but since the title of the post is PLANNING and planting, I figured I'd better mention some future plans.