Sunday, May 31, 2015

More updates...and friends pickup you up or lie down...

Two racks painted and back in place...three more to go (hopefully by next Sunday afternoon; between Uncle John's memorial service and rain coming on Sunday it became clear I couldn't get them done this weekend :( ):

Finally got the small tree by the garage down:

Stopped at Hart's for some more six-pack of veggies to fill in spots in the garden. I am working unbelievably hard not to buy these dinosaurs :D

Old plant containers dropped off at the swap shed at the dump...and this bench in need of cleaning brought home!

One tank of gas on Saturday, two more on Sunday. Rain came in earlier than forecast, but since it started as a warm rain and I was sweat soaked...I just kept on going as I got drenched! Maybe 1-1/2 tanks left to go and I'll be done with the bucking.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Shut up and Dance with Me

When I looked up the video for the song...I wasn't expecting one of the most fun, 80s homages I've seen in a while!

Memorial Day Weekend Doings...

More work around the house (except for a nice Sunday drive on Monday morning up to New Braintree and back...because I was too tired to work first thing in the AM!). Mom swung by to drop some things off, and John Lombardi stopped in to say goodbye before his move to New York. Finishing up today by watching Mad Max for the first time. How did I never watch this before? :/

De-cluttering the garage. As I have no plans to open a commercial greenhouse soon, I'm thinking my collection of pots can go...

Moved the electrical service to the house in 1999, guess it's time to take down the old meter housing.

4-1/2 chainsaw tanks of gas into the log pile, quite a few blocks building up!

Ratchet Rake for the bucket (a ratchet strap and cable system holds it in place)...this thing works really well!

Rake off, time to scoop and remove the debris:

Two shelves painted. Now once I move stuff to these, I can paint the remaining three. Wanted some bright color to make it "lighter" in the garage, and I'm hoping the tractor paint will keep them from forming the light surface rust the cheap racks were prone to do.

Letting some of the wildflower patches be for bees for now.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Early start to the day...

Up about 5...started with a 1.7 mile bike ride around the block (did have to walk up the hills), maybe about 20 minutes.

Then split wood for 30 minutes to make this nice load, then another 10 to get it stacked and the tractor put away:

Monday, May 18, 2015

One of the best meals I've ever made...

It started with a quick side-trip on the way home to Woodstock Orchards to pickup some apples...and on their counter was asparagus and my brain said, " know I think that could work..." A quick google and some customizations in my head gave me this meal :D

Grilled Chicken, grilled the Asparagus (my garden) and Crispin Apple (Woodstock) together, on bed of salad greens (Pakulis'), topped with a local Jack cheese I picked up at Sweet Peas Fine Foods, drizzled with warm honey and a splash of oil and vinegar.

It was just absolutely high-end restaurant level shear awesomeness!

Since I couldn't find a good stream last night, enjoyed it while watching the finale of Mad Men.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Another good Sunday.

Cooper came for an overnight on Friday:

Picking up sticks: You're doing it right :D

Silly tulip:

Started mucking out the swim pond. The tractor makes this job just a bit easier!

Sunday morning started off at 6:30 when I started cutting firewood. Ran a bit more than one tank of gas through the saw.

Nice London Broil with Asparagus with a simple oil/vinegar/salt/pepper for dressing and seasoning.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Tarping the garage (and more food)...

Out at 7am to blow the sticks off the roof...

I really need to get around to shaving off this moustache that both amuses and horrifies me :D

Making drain holes:

:/ 26' roof that I ordered a 30' tarp for which is actually 32'. But at least I have enough to cover the leaking spots.

Time for a break! Asparagus, and eggs with hot peppers, onions, and goat cheese:

Done...almost. I'm having an issue with the tires along the back sliding off! I may need to tack up something to keep that from happening. I was already planning to go up another day to straighten the tarp once more now that I have the two edges along the fascia nailed down.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

A good day in May...

Started off running a tank of gas through the saw:

Realized after I cut it I was...happy. Not simply satisfied, but actually happy knowing I have three years worth of wood. Happiness is something that eluded me for so many decades.

Then I changed and went for a bike ride. Last time I tried the roads near Natchaug forest was two years and fifty pounds ago -- and the bike back then wasn't safe for the road. My health and the bike after the tune-up did so much better today than back then. Felt especially good since I was able to only go out a couple times last year due to my injured Achilles (which is probably 95% healed now).

For dinner: grilled swordfish in a olive oil and lemon marinade seasoned with oregano and thyme (picked today) plus basil and mint (dried from last year's garden) to go with the season's first asparagus.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Peggy, with Swagger

Perhaps my favorite Mad Men scene ever, even better than "Sit down, shut the door" -- and not a word was spoken:

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Taking down the tree over the garage...and other things....

I need to tarp the garage roof (with an idea of a home equity loan next year to catch up on many projects), and this tree needs to go:

No idea what this was, but it sat next to the garage long as I can remember. I'm putting all the scrap metal Papu left together on the concrete pad and I'll have Bob Hunter drop off a dumpster to fill later this summer. I want to get all the stuff like that cleaned up before I go for a new appraisal.

Another view of the's at the limits of what I have for confidence I can take down myself, part of the reason I've let it be so long.
I'm reminded of the line from Saving Private Ryan, "Captain, if your mother saw you do that she'd be very upset!"
I've had these bottles hanging around for 15 years, maybe more. Last hydro test expired in '89, and four of them were 1980psi bottles that were functionally obsolete long before that. Bob had told me back then they needed to be cut open before he could haul them as scrap...after cutting them, I realize he probably had done that before and saw an opportunity to get a young buck to do it instead of him. That there is some high quality steel that eats saw blades for snacks.

Showed this pic to a friend (with a joke about playing with my pole [saw] on World Naked Gardening Day) who commented that looked dangerous. That was well in my comfort zone, the danger would wait till morning!
Finished up Saturday with a heck of a good dinner -- London Broil from Hunter's, salad greens from Brodeur's/Pakulis'

Went to the 10pm Age of Ultron show Saturday night, getting home after 1am...but it's now Sunday morning and time to finish picking up the top of the tree I dropped yesterday. I had already hauled away the brush. The tractor makes this seem like cheating after years of dealing with logs on the ground as I cut them up...

Put tires down on the roof to help absorb the impact when I take down the main stem:

Kinda sort of to plan. This is the dangerous part -- the tree didn't really "snap" down, it got to this point and stopped and I really didn't like how hinky the hinge cutting was going and there was no good way now to figure out which way it would go if I finished cutting the hinge.

Time of the heavy artillery. I've done similar manuevers using come-a-longs to anchors, but this sure was a lot easier. Drove the tractor forward to take the slack out of the system, then did the actual pull down with the backhoe hydraulics:

And again...diesel and hydraulics make things so much faster. This log will need to be split up, so instead of bucking it up like I did the smaller stuff I just hauled the whole thing down to the pile of firewood logs I had delivered and will handle it with the rest.

Finally got the onions and kale planted, plus some beets (one of these years I'll actually figure out how to grow them). Hopefully I can finish the rest of the stuff I should have planted in April in a normal year this coming week...but at 4:30pm I hit the wall for the weekend!

Sunday night is an April-May every single time we have lunch Special, otherwise known as a grilled chicken salad: