Monday, December 30, 2013

Rollin, Rollin, Rollin........

Been on the run as of late visiting family and friends up north in the great state of WV. A big shout out on my updated header. We left early Thursday morning and came back last night. In that time frame we had two more gift openings, a Christmas big family get together, bowling twice, dinner with my sisters :), dinner with our great friends from the farm, shooting guns, general family photo shoot, and a few late nights but nothing too bad. It was The Wife, Squeak, Bubby and his wife, and myself on the trip up, and just myself, Bubby and his wife on the way back. I talked Amy into staying longer so Squeak could spend more time with his grandparents. The WOFs have been in doggie jail all along and I have to pick them up after work today. I forgot the blanket this morning so there will be fur everywhere in my back seat! I took pictures of various places I went to and posted them to FB, sort of a "Where's Jp" type of thing. Fun to do actually and I got some good responses.

In downtown Marietta, OH looking north up the Ohio river. The bridge links Marietta to Williamstown, WV.

Fenton Art Glass in Williamstown, WV. The main foundry shut down a few years ago and they are selling out the gift shop now. Sad to see it go. 

Gun range at Mountwood Park. The boys love shooting guns. 

Ground- level shot on my in-law's street. It was a photo for guessing and one of my friends came very, very close to naming it.

Picture of pictures hanging inside Jimmy Colombo's restaurant in Parkersburg, WV. All of the walls are covered with pictures and they have the best house salad dressing around. I may experiment to see if I can match it. 

Dinner with sisters night then bowling. Young against old. Young....

And old. And the old ones kicked the young one's butts. Been a looonnnggg time since I've been bowling. 

Taken from Fort Boreman Hill. That is my old stomping grounds below you, Parkersburg, WV. On the left is the Ohio River and in the forground is the Little Kanawha River. the bridges lead to Belpre, OH (damn Buckeyes.) Notice the floodwall? Concrete and earthen walls protect Parkersburg from floods as it has had it's share of them, the worst I believe was in 1913. 

Two views of the courthouse, dry and flooded. 

"Let's be Friends." Back when we used W.Va. as the state abbreviation. 

Took all of my seed books north to finish my garden planning but barely looked at them. And now have another catalog to look through this evening. That makes me about 7 catalogs now. Need anything looked up let me know. Off to finish my work day (yippee.)

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Christmas 2013 has passed our homestead. By popular majority vote presents were opened Christmas Eve instead of today due to everyone's schedule. That and the chance to sleep in this morning. :) Everyone seemed happy with what Santa brought this year.

Daughter-in-law using her new tablet.

The Wife cruising the web.

 The boys playing games.
Me sitting on my butt watching Buying Alaska.

After sitting around for a while I needed to check on the onions. I may have promised pictures. I don't remember.

I went and got more lumber yesterday as I knew I'd have some free time today. Trying to get more work done on the building, and Squeak came out and helped me for a while. We were able to get the remaining walls up. Next I have to put on the exterior sheeting, build trusses, sheet  and shingle the roof for my next inspection.

After that I turned my attention to the garden even pulling up some more carrots.

I hope I'll be pulling everything up probably next weekend.
Well we'll be seeing family for the next few days and you'll see a few other things. Sad part about everything is that the WOFs are in the kennel. Oh well.

Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Almost There

Well kids it's getting close now. Amy has done most of the shopping as I was out of town all flipping week, not returning until this past Saturday evening. Needless to say I spent most of the day Sunday lounging around, after a little morning trip to get a few things. In hindsight I should have spent it outside working on garden things and the building but with the threat of rain during our daytime temps of 75 degrees, I saw no need to drag everything out then have it pour on me. Yes, 75 degrees. And it was 64 when I left for work at 6:30 this morning. Strange to say the least. I know it's coming. We are on the uphill run for longer days now but winter's far from over.
A milestone has passed a few days ago; Chewie has been with us for one year now. He's gone from yelping anytime you touched his head or pretty much anywhere else to a fun, playful dog. Every once in a while he'll yelp about something, but his previous life before us wasn't great so we take it in stride. And he has become The Wife's favorite, following her everywhere.

I took a look this morning at the onions I started a few weeks back and they are doing pretty nicely. Little green strands coming up like they are supposed to. As for the remainder of garden items for next year, I have a pretty good plan set up and will be ordering the rest of the seeds. I can't set up my light stand until Amy has the Christmas stuff down in the office. She needs to move her butt! And I need to resist temptation to start things too early this year. Maybe I might play with the saved pepper seeds to see how well I did with them. :)
Well that's all I can say for now. We have an open house with one of our neighbors this evening then I may try to catch the Alaska The Last Frontier show I DVR'd last night while putting my plans on paper. Great show to watch and has become my new favorite. Still messing with Amy about moving there and at times she says let's go, usually after dealing with idiots on something. But she insists on indoor plumbing (no outhouses) so this is an obstacle to work around. I have found some interesting items while cruising some blogs from there and will share later.

Keep cool kids??????

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Farming in the Suburbs

Interesting article I found today while eating my lunch.
Subdivisions being developed around or including farms. I can see this really taking off as more and more people are taking note of where their food comes from. Conflicts could arise but that would obviously be handled by guidelines in the HOA. But just think of it; going outside on a Saturday morning, meeting your neighbors over coffee, then getting your hands dirty in a project that will benefit everyone around you. And you get to eat the rewards! There are a few empty lots in our small development and Amy brought up the suggestion of asking the developer for use of one of the lots for a community garden. I don't think they would go for it but it doesn't hurt to ask. The last four houses they built still haven't sold yet so they may be open to the idea.
On a separate but related note we found out who owns the property at the power lines, where I wanted to put a secondary garden. The same person who has our development. These people must own half of Harnett County! If they don't go with the empty lot idea maybe I can sweet talk them into that.

Well back to work. 8 days kids!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

What I Want For Christmas

Funny as I was asked this not too long ago by The Wife. Usual response is 'nothing' as I really don't want anything per se'. Reason being, and I don't know if anyone else is like this, I like giving gifts but find it extremely uncomfortable receiving them. I don't know why this is the case but someone handing me a package to open makes me want to get up and leave the room. I am usually the last one to open gifts as I like seeing what everyone else is getting, unconsciously hoping the said gifts disappear. Am I happy receiving nothing? Absolutely. If I honestly want something I will go get it. So save your money.

Now with all of that being said, give me 50 acres, an old farm house, a few barns, and a tractor? I could handle that.

Back to work. Planning the final garden design this evening. 13 days kids!

Sunday, December 8, 2013


Friday as I left work it was near or at 80 degrees. Now it is 39 (real feel of 30) degrees with a nice light rain. Welcome to winter in the south. One day you're in a tee shirt and jeans, the next you're bundled in a down parka. Needless to say the morning dog walk went a little faster.

I was notified last night that I forgot the kitchen in the decorating display so here it is.

As I sit here typing this I am looking at the Gone With The Wind and Military trees, with Santas sitting in front of me on the desk. We do have a wooden Santa plaque- type thing that Ginny absolutely hates. None of the other decorations bother here but this one sets her over the edge for reasons unknown. 

Went out to the garden today and harvested some carrots (not that big) and two heads of cabbage. They each went for about a pound each. The collards froze but there's still some lettuce and spinach for the picking and the remaining cabbages hopefully will be ready to be taken out before Christmas. 

No work on the building this weekend do to the weather and my going on the road again today. Hope to miss all of the bad weather and I should as I'm heading south again. Next Saturday is the annual Santa vs. Grinch paintball game but with Squeak laid up with his bad knee and Bubby not coming over it looks to be just me going this year. Forecast doesn't look real good right now but that should change before then. I hope. 

I received another seed catalog this week from Park Seed and already have perused it. The only thing that I am not crazy about this company is the shipping; it takes a while to get your order. Another item received this week was a small seed order from Sow True Seed out of Asheville, NC. I like this company as they deal in heirlooms AND with every seed order they send two empty envelopes to use for seed saving. I got some Roma tomatoes (never too early) Tropeana Tonda Onions and Dorata di Parma Onions, both in seed form. I never had too much luck starting onions from seed but I am feeling confident this year. These are intermediate day onions that store well, the main criteria for me. Going to get these started before leaving for who knows how many days. I also got a car magnet and a Plant Label set, with marker. 

Well that's about all that can be said for today. 17 more days kids!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Told You

It was a long week. Next doesn't look much better.
Anyhow The Wife has done her thing and decorated the house for Christmas.

Santa overload. It's her thing. Our thing when I was growing up was the fake snow spray on the windows, lighted four foot candles, the cat running around the house with tinsel out of the butt because he ate it, and the whiff of the rotating four color lights.

rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. And that thing was hot. No dumbass safety guards back then. You touched it, you got burnt, you learned.
Not much tonight, more tomorrow after harvesting.


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Well That Was Short

It was. It was a wayyyyyyy too short weekend. I fell like I didn't get half of the things done that I wanted to. Doesn't help when I did nothing Saturday except watch movies, Christmas ones at that.
Thanksgiving was just The Wife, Squeak and myself. Sorry, dogs too. Bubby and his wife spent their time with her family. She then proceeded to get ill yesterday so they went straight home and we never got to see them. Oh well, that's the way it works sometimes.
The Wife and I ventured out Friday to do a little shopping, just to see what we could find. We didn't think about fighting any crowds, leaving the house at around 8:00. We actually found most of the stores not that crowded. Old Navy was another story. It looked like looting was taking place. The line to check out started at the front of the store, went clear to the back, then looped back around to the front. Needless to say we didn't stay. I don't have the patience for a lot of people in one place. Take a look.

Saturday was A Christmas Story, Christmas With the Kranks, and Muppet Christmas Carol. WOF kind of day.
Today. I cruised the garden (everything doing OK) then I proceeded down to my 'favorite' home improvement store for more lumber. I was able to get all of the main post bolts in, the floor down and two of the walls up on the building.

Not too bad if I say so myself. It just takes time when you're doing it yourself. I am hoping to get it under roof by the end of next weekend.
I did go through my seed catalogs and have a good idea of what I am going to be getting for next year, which believe it or not is not that far off! I will say that the Baker Creek catalog is like the holy grail of heirloom seeds! Wow!
Last but not least Growing a Greener World episode this week had some great information on home made pest repellants and killers, one of which I tried with good success this year (the dish detergent and water.) Good info here.

WOF of the Week. What can be said for just being comfortable.

Going to be long week I'm afraid, not looking forward to it. Lounge when you can kids.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

Wishing everyone a great Thanksgiving. We are staying home and eating too much. No shopping today! Maybe tomorrow.
Update. My phone post earlier didn't upload the picture I had. Deep fried turkey. So I'll show you what's on my agenda this afternoon and evening, plus the poor sad dogs that love turkey.


Monday, November 25, 2013

Cold Spell

has hit us in the Sandhills of NC. Left for work this morning to 14 degrees. I spent Sunday afternoon covering what I could in the garden (cabbages and lettuce) hoping that they would make it through the next few days. It has been below freezing the past few days but really hit bottom last night. We aren't used to having things this cold here so it is very 'refreshing' in the mornings! I did leave the carrots uncovered as I wasn't sure how they would fair. Some are ready for picking and others are on the small side. Mostly due to the farmer as I didn't do a good job thinning them out after they came up.


Next on the agenda is choosing what to plant next year. Instead of onion bulbs I think I'll try some seeds and start them inside now. There's a couple varieties I want to try, Walla Walla being one of them, and I definitely want my reds. Just as long as they store well.
As I said in my last post I thought about contacting the power company and see if they would lease me some land and I also promised a picture. After that post I ended up on the road for four days and was just plain busy this weekend. Maybe I can ask my wife to get one today so you know I'm not lying. :) Also maybe I'll stick her with the task of contacting them about my brilliant, stolen idea. She's not doing anything now anyway.
On the top picture above you may be able to see the faint image of a building floor frame. I finally started the outbuilding Saturday!!!!! After screwing around at Lowes in the morning (their fault) I pretty much worked non- stop till a little after dark- thirty and beer thirty. Squeak came out and helped as much as he could but could only manage 3 posts before heading inside (no ACL tear BTW! About a month's worth of PT and he should be good!), so I did everything else by myself. That sucks when you have heavy lifting and placing to do but is also a blessing to me as I don't want to listen to other people's opinions on shit. The second (beer- thirty) I actually got yelled at whilst sitting in the garage with my boots off. I hope to continue working on it throughout the holiday weekend and at least have the walls up and roof on.
Saturday when clearing out the tools and trash. I told you I finished after dark.
Sunday afternoon shot after trip to see the kids.
Got to get some plastic to cover the sheeting as it is now supposed to rain the next few days.
That's about it this time. One thing: The Wife came out Saturday to get some pictures of me and Squeak working, with her in her pajamas. Sadly I left my phone in the truck but was able to get a couple good shots. I can't share them with you as it probably would be the last time I blogged here. They were good though.
Stay warm kids.