My A to Z line-up schedule:
Every day of the week will have a different theme

A to Z Challenge Line-Up

Monday - Photos, Tuesday - DIY, Wednesday - Fiction, Thursday - Memoirs, Friday - Poetry, Saturday - Food

Monday, July 6, 2015

Happy Independence Day

Hello again,

July is upon us and summer is officially in full swing.
Our great country had just celebrated another birthday and as usual we have celebrated in grandeur.

Today is Monday and I have the day off work.  We just returned home from a long weekend up north at our friends cabin where we celebrated our holiday.

Among good friends, adorable kids and loads of food and drink we all had a blast.

This year marks the second year of what is now an annual tradition of fireworks at the cabin.

We had an excellent show and one heck of a grand finale which timed in around the seven-minute mark.  

It began with a giant pile of fireworks.  

Then we had to lay them all out on sheets of plywood, secure them and fuse them all together.
The fuses were of different lengths and burn rates to allow for consistent firing.
Once finished we moved them outside and covered them with tarps.  They needed to be protected while we shot off the regular fireworks show.  The regular show consisted of about 12 of the large cakes just like the ones on the plywood and about 60 mortar rounds.
We had 5 mortar tubes screwed to a board and 4 guys rapidly lighting them along with periodic cakes.  The cakes had anywhere from 9 to 25 shots in them.  It was all out madness.

Here are some shots of the regular show.  We were lighting them off behind the barricade.

The kids rode around all weekend on their quads, go karts and dirt bikes.  They had so much fun.
Even though I didn't own any of them they were still a pleasure to be around.

Other than the horrible traffic on the way home it was a great weekend.

Happy Independence Day to everyone!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Spring Frenzy

After a short hiatus from the blogosphere, I am back, for now anyways.

I've been busy - as usual.

It has been a frenzied spring and I have taken full advantage of the good weather.

I took a risk this year and planted my garden early.  Most folks around here do not plant until Memorial Day (May 25th)

I planted May 9th.  Yes, I worried a bit and I did cover my plants one night when a frost was expected.  We reached 34 degrees, Whew!  In the end it paid off.  My plants are off to a great start.

The irrigation system is tuned and I have a new controller that automatically turns the system on every day.  It has two zones.  One zone begins at 7:45 AM and runs for 18 minutes and the other zone begins at 8:05 and runs for 15 minutes.  Most of the plants have their own little drip emitter which puts water directly at the base of the plant.  This saves water and doesn't water any weeds which may pop up from time to time.  The drippers are set at 1 gallon per hour.  So each plant gets about a 1/4 gallon of water every day.  Some are less, some are more, it depends on the plant and its needs.

A view of Tomato Town

This year I put black plastic on the boxes.  I'm not a fan of plastic but with the blight
I had last year this should help keep it in control.  The blight spores live in the soil and when
 it rains it splashes them up onto the plant where they eventually kill it.  The plastic locks all the spores below.  I put a ring of grass clippings around the base of the plant to cover the hole in the plastic.

This row holds lettuce and celery with broccoli and cauliflower to the left.

This is my red and green cabbage.  The frame around it will be covered in
Tulle, which is what wedding veils are made of.  This will keep the cabbage moths and eventually their larva out of my cabbage.  The tulle is lightweight and still lets all the sun in but keeps the bugs out.  I got 40 cubic yards off Amazon for $18.

My green beans are on a soaker hose.

These are summer squash, zucchini, cucumbers and cantaloupe.
It won't be long and the entire area will be full of growth.

I also took some time to finish the flower bed around to the front porch.  I just need to get it planted now.  You can see the chickens love scratching around in the fresh soil.

My last and final project for this spring is the addition of a pergola to the back deck.
With full western exposure, it can pretty hot back there in the summer.  I wanted to add some shade so I can enjoy the deck all day and not just in the morning while having coffee with the hummingbirds.  A couple years ago I replaced the posts and the decking and have finally now gotten around to the rest of it.

Here is an old shot before the refurb and even before the paver patio.

After the initial refurb of posts, patio, and decking.
The railing and steps were left original due to budget constraints.

With the addition of the pergola, I wanted to add a removable shade sail.  Something to help even more with the brutal mid-afternoon sun.  So I came up with this idea.  Two shade sails attached to cables with clips.  This allows me to slide the sail over the entire deck and retract it when not needed.  It also allows me to remove it completely and store it for winter.

I just finished building the new stairs yesterday and now all I need to do is finish putting up
the railing on the steps and north side of the deck.  

I saved the spindles off the old deck railing and have them in the garage.  I cut them all to length and am in the process of sanding them down on the belt sander.  I will stain them in the garage and then re-install them later.

All of the "older" decking I installed a few years ago will get cleaned with a deck cleaner and the entire thing will be stained/sealed.

So that's what I have been up to, how about you?