Monday, July 30, 2012

Visits and Happenings

Well to catch up from the other post below, the remainder of that week went by pretty uneventful. We had friends coming in that live in Columbus, OH that Wednesday. We don't get to see them as often as we would like to as we used to be neighbors in WV. Anyway, they came on in, the girls hung out, and Tim and I played some much needed golf. It was good seeing them but they had to leave that Saturday and headed back home to work.

This past weekend The Wife's mother, her sister, and the return of The Yougest Boy was on order. The girls took off Friday for some antiquing then IKEA. I was sent a text from The Wife saying she was moving into the store. I knew that was a bad idea. Saturday morning brought an auction of an estate that we wanted to see. The real main reason was for a car that the elderly woman had. It was a 1995 Buick Park Avenue with 41,600 miles. We figured that if we could get it at a reasonable price it would be well worth it. These General Motors cars with the 3.8 liter engine run forever, are roomy, and get about 31 mpg on the highway. So we sat from 9 am to noon swatting at the gnats as at noon they were auctioning the house and property. A winning bidder bought a 2 bedroom, 2 bath house with enclosed sunroom, and 2.5 acres for $106,000.00. He got a real good deal on it. After the house they started on the guns, something which I have no real interest in. Then they moved onto the cars. The Buick was first up. I did some research the previous evening and determined that a good price for this car would be around $3,200.00. After seeing the car up close, we decided we would even go up to $3,500.00 as it looked like no one ever sat in the back seat and it had new tires on it. Besides two scratches, this car was perfect. The bidding turned out worse than I thought. The car sold for $7,600.00. Someone overpaid by double for what it was worth. But that's the way it rolls at times. At the beginning of the auction, things were selling slowly and fairly cheap. Then after about an hour, everything started going sky high. The best deal was the house. It was almost a wasted 4 hours. The Wife got a cake pan and I bought a tap and die set.

The Mother-in-Law and Aunt headed back to WV Sunday morning. The wife and I did some running that morning then I cleaned out the Oldest Boy's car so I could start driving it, changed the oil in it and The Wife's car, cleaned on the garage some more, weeded the garden, and pretty much piddled. I have been a good turnout of pickling cucumbers. About 3 every other day it seems. Everything else is in slow motion due to the heat. We have gotten a couple of storms that brought much- needed rain. And the bush beans have started blooming and setting beans.

Roma tomatoes are finally coming in.

Still losing bean plants but not as much as I have been. Carrots will be going in here soon.


WOF of the Week.

Starting this Friday after work, I'm on vacation until Monday, the 16th. Family coming down from WV and we're heading to the beach. I personally am not a big fan of the beach so I'll stay until Wednesday morning then I'll come back to the house. I want to sheetrock the last wall so I can get the remaining shelves built so I can get the rest of the crap off of the floor. Or I may head to the mountains and camp for 4 days. Who knows. Until next time.

Adventure Home

Sorry I haven't been on here for a while. As usual things seem to get busy and well, you know.

I titled this as Adventure Home so you'll get a good idea on what last Tuesday was like for me. I left the jobsite in Aiken, SC and drove to Spartanburg to drop off some materials to another contractor that we'll be working with on another new job in that area. So I decided to put my new GPS unit to good use and find a way home other than going all interstate. It gets tiring driving interstates all of the time, trust me. So with a few swift fake button pushes, a few minor corrections, off I went, Spartanburg, SC to Harnett County, NC.
The trip started off reasonably enough. I knew I'd have to drive some interstate to get to Charlotte, my next exit, and traffic flowed pretty well. My goal was two lane roads starting on the east side of Charlotte and following those home.

The next thing I know I'm driving, literally, through downtown! And I'm driving a "company vehicle," which is a Ford F-350 Superduty, long bed, crew cab. This thing is 30'-0" long by itself. Amazingly enough, I breezed through downtown. The suburbs is where I ran into delays. Eventually things weeded out some and I was on the two lane roads I was looking for.

You get to really see a lot when you take the back roads. A lot of farms where the corn is dying, place where American Pickers need to go, and the occasional dog. I eventually passed through Uwharrie National Forest. My youngest son and myself have been here several times as it makes a good warm-up to the backpacking season and it is not that big, so we're able to get a two nighter there. It had rained about 1/2 hour before I got to the forests' entrance and had cooled down enough for me to put the windows down. Driving through it had the damp, woodsy smell that reminded me of how much I love the forests. I had forgotten where one of the trailheads was at along my route or I would have stopped for some pictures (maybe next time.) I continued my journey homewards and passed without almost noticing Tobacco Road Golf Course. It's supposed to be one of the hardest in the country and I would like to go and find out some day. Maybe not. Well, it was almost dark and I was about 20 miles from the homestead, windows down, arm on the sill, turning a long right hand curve in the road, minding my own business, WHAM! A truck going the opposite direction came into my lane and hit the mirror. It folded in and threw mirror shards all over the inside of the truck, a piece broke off and hit me in the head, and I honestly was stunned. I stopped but they didn't. There was no way for me to turn around so I decided to go into town and see how bad the damage was. I was pissed.

But I am also glad I didn't have my arm/hand out of the window like I sometimes do. Sent an email to the boss that night. Actually I still am angry. So this was the end of my trip. What a crappy way to end an otherwise nice evening drive. 

Well, I have another post coming up with news from the homestead so stayed tuned for that. Stay safe out there kids and keep your arms and legs inside of the vehicle at all times.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

O Brother Where Art


More than likely our favorite movie. Well, probably mine as The Wife likes Gone With The Wind for some reason. I think she sees herself sitting on the porch in her hoop skirt and glass of tea. Me, well I like this movie. It is definitely a tale to be sure and the music is great. It has been on the TV on and off for the past few days so we pick it up when we can. And the phrases are so repeatable. "We thought you was a toad." "Damn, we're in a tight spot." "And stay out of the Woolworth." You get the idea.

The garden seems to be doing good despite the continued heat and dry weather. We finally did get some rain last night but definitely need more. I have picked some tomatoes and a few cucumbers and have enjoyed them as much as we can. Nothing to brag about on harvest Monday but we'll see what next week looks like.

You ever have one of moments when you're cruising around outside and say to yourself, "Wow, that's what was in that pot." 

Found these this morning. I knew there was some reason I was watering this pot. :)

Long few weeks coming up so off to get ready for that. Have fun kids.

Monday, July 16, 2012

I Hate Being Sick

Sitting at the house today because I awoke with a major migraine and in sweats. It felt like I'd been on a roller coaster for 6 hours straight. I've been getting a little work done here but can only do that for about 1/2 hour at a time. I do hate missing work but I have a laptop and access to email so I do stay caught up.

Went for a garden tour Sunday morning and snapped a few pictures. I'm still losing bean plants but not at the rate I was. I'm at a loss right now. Beans are supposed to be easy! As I said before, if these don't clear up I'll start again. I really want a lot of beans to can this year.

I did some trimming on the tomato plants, getting rid of the useless branches. They seem to be doing good despite the hot temperatures we've had the last few weeks. 

I am now considering what to get into the ground for the fall crops. I do have some carrot seeds and will be cruising the seed sites later. 

The Wife put up a hummingbird feeder off of the back porch and we now have three or so coming around. One is a bully but the other two seem pretty calm about things. I was reading the paper and was able to sneak in a few shots. Not too great but good enough for me. 

And as I finish typing this it is thundering outside. And the WOF is on top of me. She hates storms so my sister sent us a Thunder Shirt. She must be used to it yet. Hope it brings a lot of rain though. We need it. 

Stay safe out there kids.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Bean Dirt Verification

Well, I went out last night and took some measurements of the soil PH levels and nitrogen content.

This is a shot of the nitrogen. Right in line. I didn't take a picture of the PH levels but they were OK too. So a little more reading and now I'm thinking Fusarium Root Rot. I may have been over- watering the plants because of the extreme heat we've had the past few weeks. I mowed the lawn this evening and took a quick cruise of the garden and noticed that I'm losing a few more plants. So I put the timer on another 48 hour delay and cut it back to about 5 minutes thereafter unless we get some more rain like they say we will. Who knows but at this rate I may pull them out and start again if I can't get this to stop. Ahhhhhhh!!!!!

Monday, July 9, 2012


OK. I know, two posts in one evening. Yes, I am bored at this hotel. I went back through some of my pictures believing that the garden is not doing much. First picture taken 06-16-2012 and the second 07-09-2012, about three weeks apart.

So things are growing. Funny how you don't see it when you see it everyday, if that makes sense. Grass looks better too. Time to mow.

Bean Burden and Liquid Fence

Not really a burden per say but within the last week my bush beans have all of a sudden turned brown and died. And not from one end or another. Always seams to start right in the middle of the bed. It started with the smaller 8'-0" bed but now it is happening in the larger bed as well.

I did a little research online and it seems to be either A) Too much nitrogen or, B) Too little nitrogen. Looks like I'll have to break out the soil test kits and find out what's going on before I lose the whole crop. May be replanting these if I can't stop it within the next few weeks. The bottom pictures shows where I ripped out the bad plants with the idea that if it is going from one plant to another, hopefully I could stop it that way. I know the heat hasn't been too kind to most of us lately but with the temperatures climbing down (cooling trend) to the mid 80s this week, hopefully the garden will recover enough and get back in gear. I will say that even with the heat my tomatoes have been getting nice blooms on them. Not too many tomatoes yet and I have been doing regular weeding and suckering of the useless stems. 

The garden as of today. 

As I said hopefully this will start back in full earnest soon. Everything is growing but at a mind- numbing slow pace. The block is my sprinkler block. I added 10-10-10 earlier in the week around some of the cukes and tomatoes hoping for rain, which never came. So I set up my sprinkler on the block Saturday and gave the beds a good watering beyond the micro- irrigation. With the dry spell lasting as long as it has I watered all of the beds and dirt for a half hour. Don't know if it helps but I feel better. And the weeds can grow faster.

Liquid Fence Deer and Rabbit Repellent.

I do't know if anyone else has tried this stuff but with The Wife telling me about recent deer sightings on the edge of our neighborhood I thought it was time to spring into action. With a casual week- ago Saturday we made our way around True Value where the elderly gentleman directed us to Liquid Fence. Deer only he asks? Not sure but Deer and Rabbit. kill two birds with one stone. Application is around the garden and on some plants that aren't ready to be picked, once again the following week, then monthly afterwards. And no, I didn't spray the beans. So I followed the instructions and commenced operation DeerRabbit Repulsion. Another animal that will stay away from the garden with this application is the two legged variety. This crap smells like a sulfuric acid/pee concoction. They say the smell disappears to humans within a day but that's only if you can stand to be out there long enough to apply it! I had the taste in my mouth for two days afterwards. But I do need to do it again this week so on with the respirator and Tyvek suit. This stuff had better work.

No WOF of the Week picture this week as we have been super busy getting things in order around the house; hanging pictures, painting, moving crap, etc. After this coming weekend we are busy every weekend until Labor Day it seems like. People coming in for a visit, a vacation thrown in, and numerous other activities  that will take our time. I got the back wall of the garage finished off and painted Saturday night and proceeded to build shelves to get the crap off of the floor all day Sunday. Not real smart as it was 105 with a heat index of around 115. Nothing like spending a sweltering day in a non- air circulating environment to make you lose weight. No need for a celebrity weight loss reality show program, just come to the south in the summer and work outside. The Wife and I loaded the shelves as much as we could and called it a day at about 10:30pm. And it looks like we never touched anything on the floor.

I think we scheduled a yard sale at about the third week in September. There goes another weekend day! Enjoy the cool down and stay safe out there kids. 

Oh, one more thing; all of the cat pee bushes have met their maker. I transplanted some to the other side of the house and The Wife planted some at our driveway entrance to mark where the edges are (or we'll go into the drainage ditch.) All are dead. 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Gnats, Heat, Foghorn and WOFs

Gnats. This has become my new enemy! Go outside the house to work in the yard and they are flying in your face and buzzing your ears. And with the recent heat wave with temperatures hitting around 106 Saturday it's so much fun having to put up with them while you have sweat pouring off of you. We spent this morning weeding all of the beds and it took about two minutes for the little shits to find me. We didn't have them at the old house so my guess is  the sandy soil conditions must be their habitat. We are currently looking into different sprays to keep them at bay. After the weeding The Wife took to the mowing and I did weedeating so we could finish faster and get away from the little buggers and get out of the heat.

Caught her working although I need to let the camera sit outside a little first before using it. Fogged up quite nicely be as you can see. 

Foghorn Leghorn must die.
Living where we do now we are surrounded by farms and fields. And of course every morning we have roosters crowing to the rising sun. And we have one that will continuously crow all day. Foghorn. At first it was sort of a novelty but now...... all day. Literally all day. I can't imagine living on the farm where he resides. Maybe its what roosters really do. I was always under the impression that they had a sort of 'quitting time', like when your shift ends. Not him. He will be found. 

I did a tour through the garden late this afternoon and took a few pictures. Things are growing but not as fast as I'd like. And the heat's not doing wonders for me getting too many blooms on the plants. I did pick up a few more Brandywines and got the first Kobe Beefsteak. Also got a few cukes but I did lose my Zuchinni plants, probably due to the heat. 

The WOF still hasn't really adjusted to the new house and surroundings. She let us know her thoughts this afternoon. Sorry about the surroundings. We have a long way to go in getting stuff put away.

I just was informed that IKEA is open on the 4th of July.