Fence time!

by Waterman981  

So time to finally get the fence returns done. The guys came out and got the posts in... Now just need to wait a week for the concrete to cure a bit and they'll put up the gates and fence.

(The other side just has a single post against the house, so it's kinda boring.)

Garden 2014

by Waterman981  

So the garden in 2014 is going well... We've done the concrete we talked about, stained it & sealed it with a wet look sealer. Put the box tops on, filled the sides with the rubber mulch we wanted. We've planted some groundcover on the sides of the boxes... Some has died, but most is starting to grow more and branch out.

Pilots in the Basement

by Waterman981  

So I've posted a bit about building my home cockpit. With the Malaysia 370 stuff going on, including investigators looking at the pilots home simulator, I thought the article the New York Times posted was cool. Check it out here: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/23/sunday-review/the-pilots-in-the-basement.html?_r=0

Painting our bedroom

by Waterman981  

Katie hates the beige throughout our house, so decided to paint it. Unfortunately she picked a weekend that she had a lot of real work to do, so we enlisted her parents to come help. They came over, along with our sister-in-law to help out, both with painting and child wrangling so Katie could work. We got the ceiling painted white, and 3 of the walls in the room.

The next week I took Friday off to mount the TV on the wall. After making my first two holes I though I had a problem.

Notice the wood in the hole on the left? That was taking up room in the wall. And that section was just above a cold air return. I didn't think the whole wall was part of the system, so pulled the vent to check. Fortunately it was closed off so I could continue.

I then made a large access hole to fit the drill in to run through the fire blocking. But I couldn't find it. Since I couldn't see in I came up with a clever solution, sticking my phone in to take a picture! Worked brilliantly and I did that several other times.

After I had my access holes I ran my cables. Power up the wall then across. 2 HDMI, 2 runs of coax, 3 network, and a stereo 3.5mm cable for the IR repeater.

And into the closet where I added the other end of the cables.

I made a large access panel to drop the network and coax cables directly down into the utility room.

Then came patching the holes. First some wood for backing. Then replacing the sheetrock. Some joint tape, followed by several coats of mud.

A few days later after work Katie finished painting the last wall. Before bed it was even dry enough to put the covers back on everything.

We wired everything up. (still messy, but all in the closet)

Then we connecting and cleaning up the dust I created.

After Christmas we plan to hang crown moulding to finish the room off completely. We love it. Such a calm peaceful color, and the clean wall is awesome!

Gardening this year

by Waterman981  

The garden was a success!

Huge bounty! Here's one days haul:

Lots of zucchini. We had it boiled, grilled with salt & pepper, sauteed with onions, shredded into zucchini bread, and stuffed. To stuff them we would add some green onions & garlic to a pan with olive oil and get them going, then add ground sausage and brown. We then cooked up some stove top and when the two were done combined them. Stuffed that into the zucchini, covered with cheese and baked. The last couple pans we also put tomatoes on top before the cheese which worked out really well.

Another thing we did with the tomatoes was make our "Tomato Cheese Bread". Basically tomato slices with lots of salt and pepper, then a slice of cheese on top. Throw it under the broiler until it's all melty and slightly toasted. YUM!

At the end of July I did get the center box built, and a pipe run out to it:

Now we've gotten it all cleaned up for winter, only leaving a couple basil plants for next year.:

Still to do next year, we never did get the concrete stepping stones done. That will be an early project. We also need to trim the top caps of the boxes like the center one. That will be done before planting. Then we need to fill in around with mulch. We want to use this rubber mulch, but at $10/bag it will take some time just to afford it all. At least it lasts 10-15 years!

We've also decided on changes for next year:
1 zucchini plant instead of 2 (in the center box)
8 tomato plants instead of 17.
No cabbage - bugs

More work on the garden

by Waterman981  

After grabbing lunch today we made a Lowes trip. We picked up a bunch of sprinkler supplies, peat moss, vermiculite, and manure. When we got home I finished off the watering system. Added a place to attach the garden hose to provide water, and a distribution manifold to supply water to soaker hoses.

One day I'll get rid of the hose attachment part and run it to a new valve on my system. But that will also require running a new wire out to that valve.

After the water system was done I busted open the peat moss and vermiculite, then started adding manure compost. We could only fit 8 bags on that trip, thinking 2 for each box. I put all 8 in the first box. I tilled it all together and made a beautiful mix! At that time my in-laws showed up. My father-in-law and I made another trip to Lowes and picked up 32 more bags of manure. I got it all added in, and tilled together.

Katie laid a bunch of weed cloth down as well today around the border. I think we're going to cover all the exposed dirt with it.

Next month we'll be doing formed concrete "stone" steps through the garden. Should look awesome.

I'm tired and sore.

Weed 'n Feed!

by Waterman981  

Last year we had Kristi and her family come up to help weed as Katie was super pregnant. I thought I would see if they wanted to do it again calling it Weed 'n Feed. Before they arrived I got the pile of dirt/sod moved into the garden boxes.

Before and after:

When they arrived Dana broke it up and leveled them out. Then I covered it with a layer of cardboard. This will prevent the grass growing, and eventually it'll all decompose into good stuff. While we did that Kristi and Katie worked to empty the other corner of plants. They moved a bunch of them to other locations around the yard, and into pots for Kristi to take home.

The rest of the plants went into the green waste bin. After that bed was clear Dana started moving dirt from it to the garden boxes, covering the cardboard, while I leveled it out. With just the dirt we had in the yard we got them about half full. We are thinking we'll go grab peat moss and vermiculite to top them off.

After that we moved to feed, where I grilled up burgers and dogs for everyone. After eating we raked the corner level. It looks like I may still have some extra dirt to move to the boxes, so I'll do that this week. It was a lot of work, so huge thanks for them coming up to help out!

Before and after:

Building boxes

by Waterman981  

So when we started planning this Katie mentioned she didn't want it to be ordinary 4x8 boxes. So we decided to tweak things. Today I got started. First off I made all my cuts at once. This allowed for assembly line construction later.

Eventually I got them all build and we moved them into place with Katie digging the holes for the corner boards to go into the ground.

Tomorrow we add some dirt, but probably won't get them completely full. We'll put some weed barrier down along the sides, and tear out the other side of the yard for a strawberry patch. Eventually all the boxes will be capped with 2x6's on top as a place to sit while working the garden, plus it will look awesome. Then we are thinking ferns along that back chain link fence as it is in shade 90% of the day, and some vertical herb gardens along the east fence. We'll also do some small bushes along the lawn edges and a concrete stone path through the garden. Of course you know the saying... it'll take years and cost millions (well probably into the thousands...)

Thomas had a great day crawling all over, even practicing going up and down the stairs. He's getting it quick!

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