Monday, February 20, 2017

HappY Mondays!

Hey everyone, happy Monday!
Finally did some work in the garden yesterday, setting everything up for spring plantings. I weeded out all of the beds except for the strawberry bed and 2 others where the wiregrass has literally taken over so much that nothing will be able to grow in them. I have a lot of work replacing those two plus rebuilding the rest as they are all starting to fall apart. Add that to the stuff my wife wants done. Anyway after meal prepping in the morning and a short nap, here's what I did.

This is the elephant garlic that I thought was a dud purchase from Amazon.


Weeded out the volunteer onion bed. Speaking of onions, I did start some from seed but they aren't doing too well. I must be the only gardener that can't grow onions. 


Overall view of a nice, sunny day. I'll be tilling up the ground right in front of me for tomatoes this year, giving the raised beds a year off from them and cucumber and peppers. 



As I said above I have started the onions and that's it. I believe I'll start the spinach and peppers next weekend. Tomatoes, etc will have to wait until first week of March. And with the new planting season, my son's girlfriend bought herself a good- sized greenhouse that we helped put up last weekend. I finally have someone near me that gardens too. 


On the exercise front everything is going good; haven't hurt myself in a while *crossing fingers, knocking on wood.* Still meal prep


And I have an awesome gym photo here for you.


Yes, that's my feet. As I said everything is going good but mid section being a little stubborn. 

Finally WOF of the Week. Until next time. 




Friday, January 20, 2017

Hello to 2017 & To You This New Year

Hello and a late welcome to 2017. Ole TD here has been a busy bee since last post in November (yes November) so I wanted to catch you up on what's happening.
Seed catalogs: I have a lot of them, ranging from Baker Creek to Territorial Seed. I even have some from businesses I've never heard of. They may be good companies and I did peruse the catalogs but? I don't know. I am making my final seed list after this post though! Gotta get moving.
Garden planning: Yes, I probably should do this before the item above but as usual I will will come up with a basic plan and switch it up on planting day. And on a side note, the raised beds are starting to fall apart so there needs to be repairs or replacements happening this spring. They have built a few new houses in our neighborhood and I am eying the extra block left. Need to find out what they are going to do with it. I am definitely rebuilding with block no matter what. If I can't get it I'll keep my eye on CL or the Restore.
Facebook: I had an account on FB for some time and recently my wife and myself just decided to deactivate them. Tired of all the hassle and mess and idiots on it. I did start one for tossing dirt a while back and didn't do too much with it. I did a few updates on it this evening and plan on using it for my gardening, hiking, golf, etc. stuff. Check it out.
Chewy: We sadly lost our buddy on January 12th. We had previously decided that if the cancer came back we'd let him live out his life as best he could. It came back a lot faster and more aggressive than I had anticipated. I was out of town the day it happened so Amy had to deal with it by herself. He's not in pain anymore and we are happy about that. Our other dog and cat do miss him like all of us do.
Posts: Well with my Facebook dismissal I am aspiring to post more here. I'm not sure about the audience for bloggers anymore but hope to keep it strong.
Off to finalize my seed list!





Monday, November 14, 2016

Harvest Monday; November 13, 2016

Happy Harvest Monday to everyone.

Spent some time in the garden this afternoon. Used the air compressor to blow out all of the water lines to the beds, pulled the bell pepper and hot pepper plants, which now only leaves turnips in the ground. Still getting a few good ones here and there and surprisingly got four green peppers when I pulled the plants.

Looking pretty barren now. I don't plan on any new plantings until spring next year.


This bed was empty next to the onion bed so I tossed a few of the onions in it that were less than desirable. So they proceed to take off. Hope they turn out good next year. 


My green pepper harvest. I believe I will save one of them to get seeds for next year. I don't have great success saving pepper seeds, averaging about a 25% germination rate.


Someone's been in my turnip patch. My FiL comes over and grabs some every now and then.


Our male dog, Chewy, had surgery on his upper left leg this past week and I brought him home Thursday evening. The vet said that it was cancerous growth on his leg so we decided to go with the surgery hoping for the best. After it was over she said she wasn't able to get all of it as it intertwined with his muscle. We are sure it will be back. It has been a struggle with him the whole weekend. His gait is that of a bulldog so his twisting walk- motion hurts him when he tries to move around. His next appointment is tomorrow so we will see what the vet says. He was 6 years old when we adopted him and he's been with us for 4 years. He is a sweet, kind canine with no mean bones in him and it does bother us when he suffers. In hindsight we aren't sure our direction was the best. If it does re-appear I don't think we'll elect surgery, letting him live out his days pain- free. 

The other WOF in the house, as well as the cat, has been worried. She did pose for me Sunday so here's the WOF of the Week. Harvest Mondays are hosted by Dave at Our Happy Acres





Monday, October 17, 2016

Harvest Monday; October 17, 2016

Happy Harvest Monday. Cruise on over to Dave's site, Our Happy Acres for all Harvest Monday posts.
Contrary to popular opinion yes I am still around. Seems like anything that can come does come up. Been busy on other projects which means the garden has suffered. In my last post a month ago I was hoping to get some cabbage in but that didn't happen. I visited the garden this past Friday (and once before on the 26th of June) since last post and things weren't as bad as I thought they would be. Turnips came in strong and the mystery disease on the bell peppers seems to have gone away on most of the plants. Actually got a decent harvest of bell peppers and some turnips that will be cooked this week. Probably freeze the peppers. Let's take a tour.

Updated figures. Pales in comparison to last year.


I did some seed saving on the marigolds Sunday and plan on getting more seeds collected before years' end. 

Not real happy to see this Carpenter Bee cruising around but he/she is doing their job all the same. 


With the dire situation a lot of the bee population is currently facing, we need to do what we can to enlarge their habitat and garden responsibly. It is against the homeowner's covenants to have bees where we live but I may just do it anyway. I am considering mason bees as well as a hive or two of honey bees. 

Marigold Seed Saving 
Find the dead- looking ones.


Pull them out like you are deadheading them.


Pull the top off and there are the seeds. I got a lot of them saved into envelopes.


I also have more that are getting ready to bloom.


Pulled a few turnips out for meals this week. 


Part of the bell pepper harvest. 


As I know everyone is aware, Hurricane Matthew headed up the east coast last weekend and made a turn into North Carolina, our current home state. It started at our house Saturday morning and didn't let up till Sunday afternoon. We live about 120 to 150 miles from the coast so the wind speeds weren't hurricane- force but they were strong enough to topple a lot of trees. We did have a lot, I mean a lot of rain. It washed out a lot of the roads near us and people lost power for 2-5 days. Surprisingly we lost power for only about 5 hours Saturday. Usually we are the first to lose and the last to regain. People east of us towards the coast were dealing with flooding all week last week and are now cleaning up. Not a real fun time for all.

That's it for me for now. Happy Gardening.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Harvest Monday; September 12, 2016

Yes, made it back. Been a busy few weeks around here. Put the post up from our 2nd vacation day and I put our 3rd day up this past Saturday. But we are here for Harvest Monday. All Harvest Mondays can be found at Our Happy Acres.
Did a big clean- up this weekend. I let weeds overrun all of the beds, the tomatoes died off, and the marigolds have taken over. That in itself has been the best investment. Probably $5.00 invested. I got a few bell peppers and a lot of banana peppers picked this week.


The before and after shots. Man it was a chore to get those weeds out. Hope to plant some cabbages.



Hot peppers that are certainly colorful. My wife is going to take some to work with her for one of her coworkers. I am going to use some in my salsa. Have to buy some romas at the farmers' market though. Sad day here when tomatoes run out. 


Marigolds.



I planted some turnips a few weeks ago along with some cabbage seeds but the cabbage did not start. So my idea was to plant out the bed with turnips. Good idea if I had the seed to plant. 


Well that's all I got for now. Happy Harvesting. 

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Vacation Day 3

On our 3rd day of vacation we went ziplining. Now if you haven't tried this I do recommend it. It was our son's idea originally so we looked around for places near where we were staying and found a place called Navitat. Outstanding people and seemingly good organization with sustainable practices at the core of it's operation. They have 2 different sets of ziplines at the Asheville location; a 10 zipline course and a 3 zipline course. We did the 3 zipline course as it promised greater heights, lengths, and speed. Here's the link for more info. Navitat Canopy Adventures.
My son took his video camera and mounted it to his head. Here's a link to his You Tube posting of this adventure. And yes, he beats me 3 times.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Vacation- Biltmore

Vacation Day 2.
Missing Day 1 but this was easier since I had the pictures reduced last night, and we didn't take pictures on day 1.
Biltmore. America's home. Once you get a close look at it, it is unimaginable that someone could build this place. 6 years it took from start to finish with 2 years just building the foundation. It is covered in Limestone slabs from Wisconsin but the main structure of the house is steel and brick, bricks that were made on the grounds. George Vanderbilt originally had a 6,700 square foot home in mind for his mother due to her allergies. Originally from NY he visited the Asheville area and decided it was the ideal location for a home. His wife never saw the home until it was completed. Try that nowadays. Anyway here's my photographic tour.

Walk in from the parking lots and this is the view you get. It was said that the main drive onto the property was designed to turn the corner and see the home from this vantage point.


Carved and curved roof over the winter garden.


I will say this often. Everything is hand- carved. The ceiling you see are Italian marble hand- laid into place. The stone masons were brought over from Europe and were paid $4.00 a day. Regular workers were paid $1.00 a day, unless they had a mule, in which the mule itself was also paid $1.00 a day. 


Upon commissioning Richard Hunt, Mr. Hunt within 18 months drew 18,000 prints and built a model.  



Again, hand- carved in place. 


The slate roof tiles were laid in place, a hole drilled through them, then tied from the interior with copper wire around the roof joists. The roof was installed from the interior. There has been a little repair work but on our tour I got the chance to see how they did this and the overwhelming majority of the roof is original. Also look at the copper roof copings that have turned green. 


I saw this and asked the question "Are those George Vanderbilt's initials?" They are and here's something to consider; When the roof caps like these were installed, they obviously were gleaming copper. The initials were inlaid with 14 carrot gold. Can you imagine the site of this roof? Bright copper and gold initials glowing in the sunshine? 


This is the main copper roof over the entrance light. 


And here's that main entrance light! It weighs about 1,700 lbs and is supported by one bolt. The reason being was so it could sway when needed. The staircase is another fascinating thing to see. It is unsupported for three floors. Through those windows are small balconies. These limestone slabs were installed in this manner through the walls and the stairs are counter- balanced with the balconies outside. 


More carvings.


Main banquet hall with organ. They square footage in this one room alone is almost as much as our house. 


Library containing about half of Vanderbilt's books. Currently about 30,000 books reside in the library. 


Bowling anyone? This is located in the basement along with...


the heated swimming pool. 


Exercise room with state-of-the-art workout equipment. 


Typical servant's room. Contrary to some information, slaves were not used in the construction nor did they work at Biltmore. I heard a few people say that as we walked around the home. Read people!


Dumbwaiter. The house also has the first intercom system as well as fire alarms, electricity, water, and a heating system. It also had two elevators, freight and personal use. The one used for personal use is still using the original DC motor and Otis elevator still services it. 


Each one of the figurines were roughly carved on the ground then raised into position and grouted in place. Then scaffolding was built and the carvers would finish their carving in the air.  


You saw the Atrium before. Fredrick Olmstead was in charge on the entire 125,000 acre property and he did a lot of remediation on the grounds due to poor crop rotations and timbering before the home was located. Biltmore is also what some consider the start of managed forestry. Currently the home and grounds encompass about 8,000 acres. The rest was sold to the government for Pisgah National Forest. 



After Biltmore and lunch we cruise Asheville for a little bit. They had this along one of the streets and I answered it. Hike the APL Trail before I die. Appalachian Trail but it was low to the ground and I'm not exactly young. 


In one of the shops we encountered we found some landscape pictures that they are now putting on metal. They are beautiful to see albeit a little on the expensive side. My wife and I may get one if Christmas bonus is nice this year. 


I could have added a lot more but I have other things to do today so this is it. If you ever have the opportunity to see Biltmore, do it! The tickets are high but every once in a while you can find discounts. Christmas is supposed to be a great time to see it as they decorate the house. Here's a link the Biltmore House for more information.