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Friday, September 9, 2011

Car Troubles and Getting Your Rocks Off

Hey there!  Happy Friday.
Thirsty Thursday was cancelled due to car trouble which this author spent most of the evening hunkered over the engine of his car.  Which by the way is only 3 feet off the garage floor and said author stands 6.  I was never any good at math or geometry but if you figure it out it equals very sore leg muscles and an aching back.  I won't bore you anymore than I have to but it was a bad thermostat (buried deep in the engine) and once that was fixed a plugged heater core.  Needless to say it is working fine. (for now).  I did enjoy a couple Leinenkugels Creamy Dark while wrenching on the little bitch so the eve wasn't a complete loss.

This morning I went scouting for new goose fields (this entails driving all the roads and looking in the fields for geese and then trying for permission to hunt) and found nothing.  The geese we hunt are still resident geese which means they do not migrate and this early season is to help control the population.  However after opening weekend these sky carp as we so affectionately call them become very wary and pretty much seclude themselves.  I suppose after repeated shotgun blast at my ass I would probably stay off the sidewalk too. (please note we do not aim for their asses.  nothing butt feathers lol)  So we have pretty much called early goose season over.  It starts back up mid October and duck season also coincides with it.  This season is much better because all the migratory birds are starting to arrive.  Our early goose season limit is 5 per day per person but the regular season is only 2 but you can also take 5 ducks along with those two geese.
I was asked if we eat what we shoot and the answer is most definitely yes.  If you check my weekly post up top you will see some meat being cut up.  That is goose breast.  It looks and feels a lot like venison.  I strip it up and smoke it making goose jerky.  I have a hundred dollar bill that says most of you would guess it was beef once cooked. 
The house is coming along nicely.  Well outside anyways.  I am saving the inside work for winter.  I have cleared almost the whole south side of the tree line now and will be seeding it soon.  I am happy to be rid of the brambles, garbage, weeds and poison ivy.  The ivy is what has slowed me down a bit.  I had a nasty case of the itchies for 2 weeks and it is just now subsiding enough to make me want to engage in the rest of the clean up.  I will be planning the garden very soon as well and hope to have the sod tilled under by the end of October.  I am also starting a compost site.  I would really like to have a composter that is a barrel and it spins on a stand.  I think I will start with a compost box for the winter though.  Those barrels are wicked expensive.  There is a block retaining wall along the driveway that I plan on disassembling and replacing it with boulders.  I have a knack for building boulder walls.  One of my old jobs was landscaping and boulder walls were all the rave.  There have been hundreds of tons of boulders pass through my hands and shape themselves into walls.  Perhaps thousands of tons.  No joke either.

Those blocks I plan on using to level out my garden space.  The back yard is a big slope and these blocks will be used on the down hill side of the garden and I will back fill with good garden soil.  Instead of one large plane I would like to make it several different levels.  Perhaps one level would be tomatoes and another bell peppers.  It would require more blocks but they sell them pretty cheap.  Utilizing my weed free garden process it will be beautiful and virtually maintenance free.  For 4 years I have been saving a couple hundred feet of small diameter tubing for this exact garden scheme.  I will use it to create a watering system.  Fruition is almost upon us.
I have also been cutting and stockpiling wood for the winter ahead. 
The lawn has been undergoing transformation as well.  I am cutting and grading where needed and filling in low spots.  I sprayed the lawn once with broad leaf weed killer and will be doing another treatment soon.  The "lawn" was mostly weeds when we moved in and I would like to walk barefoot in the back yard someday so I figured I would start this fall.  Weed killer and fertilizer are on the menu as well as as an insecticide. 
Back to the boulders.  I have tons of boulders and rocks laying along the property lines.  At one time I believe the land was cleared for farming and all the rocks get shoved to the edges.  It is quite a bit of work to get them to where you want them but I'm game.  It's a good work out and a huge cost save because boulders are going for around a hundred bucks a ton.  It doesn't take many boulders to make a ton.
In fact a 16 inch diameter boulder weighs around a hundred lbs.  20 of those and you got yourself a ton.  Now stack them up into a wall and you have about 26 sq ft.  That is if they are all perfect squares.  Many are flat or oblong and they lay sideways in your wall.  So a good bet is to call it 20 sq ft per ton when they are 16" boulders.   So if your wall is 10 ft long those boulders will only get you to a height of two feet.  Do the math it is much better to scavenge boulders than to buy them.
 Anything smaller than 16" I call rocks.  Those are good for the upper half of your wall.  I will provide pictures however I'm not sure it will be this year.  More than likely next spring.  I still have a lot of boulders to scrounge.  I'm kinda waiting for the poison ivy to die down first.  It will only take a day for me to rebuild that block wall into a beautiful natural looking retaining wall if I have everything stockpiled first.
Also here is a tip if you have a shady spot and want to make a shade garden.  I do and plan on a nice little shade garden with a frog pond and big mossy boulders.  To help your boulders grow their moss take a walk in the woods and collect some nice moss specimens.  bring them home and toss them in a blender with a bit of buttermilk.  Puree them and then spray the mixture on the boulders.  The buttermilk feeds the mosses and the blended up moss is full of "young"moss ready to grow.  Put a comfortable chair or a swing bench and a small water feature in your shade garden and you have a great place to sit and relax away the day on those hot summer days.
Take care!

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