Wednesday, July 13, 2011

5-13 July 2011 Rain, kids, weeding, compost turning, burning.....

Been a busy week.  We've gone to Kalispell three times in the last week.  That's more often than we'd usually go in a month!  We've also had a couple of good, drenching, thunderstorms roll through.  It makes it difficult to get much done outside but it's sure good for the garden and to keep the fire danger down in the woods.   

We did take an afternoon off on the way home from Eureka to do a little swimming in Glen Lake.  Even in mid July the water is still pretty cold.  We were in about an hour before we had to get out and warm up. 

I'm in the process of "turning" a compost pile from last year.  We didn't use all of it and the weeds took over.  I cut the weeds off then shovel the dirt into a new pile.  Since I let the weeds take root I'll have to do it a couple more times to kill the weed's roots.  There's about a ton of compost in this pile.

We heard the dog bark outside and investigated.  She had a gopher (Columbian Ground Squirrel) cornered under the step.  I flushed it out with a broom stick and the dog killed it.  She was very proud of herself and we praised her lavishly.  The gophers are cute but do a lot of damage in the garden and around the house with their digging.  We don't want them near either the house or garden.

This deer ran across the road in front of us about a mile from the house then posed for pictures.

Another half mile down the road and we caught this one still in bed.

The last several times we've gone out this stump has been occupied with a gopher standing watch.  They don't often stay in one place long enough for pictures.

On one of the trips out I needed to stop at a daughter's house and check out her car.  It's been vibrating at around 65 MPH.  She had the tires balanced and rotated which changed the feel of the vibration but didn't fix it so I jacked the car up and we checked the tires.  She has a bent rim on the left front.  (I'm not sure why they didn't catch that when they balanced them.)  We loaded up the trailer with some of the stuff our kids left here when they left home and dropped it off at her house then re-loaded the stuff going to her brother's house.  Hanna decided to sit on the futon while I tied on the chair.

Here I'm running the tire up to speed so our daughter can see how it's bent.

One trip to Kalispell I needed to do some plumbing on another daughter's house.  The old drain pipe from the sink had collapsed internally so I had to replace it.  It took awhile to put in 40 feet of pipe and I was a dirty mess when I finished.  We stuffed my coveralls in the washer and I took a shower.  The grandkids are a fringe benefit of working on the plumbing!

We had one evening at a son's house for a family barbecue.  This is Hanna after she found the watermelon.

This is Anna peeking around a tree.

The guys shot a few boxes of shells at some clay pigeons after eating.

Another daughter sent some fertile duck eggs home with us to see if our hens could hatch them out.
After the barbecue we went to one of our son's homes to load up some stuff for his sister.  There we found out that the lights on the trailer weren't working so we loaded it up and took back roads to our daughter's house and dropped the loaded trailer off there.  We were back in a couple of days to put in an order at Lowes for the materials needed for our daughter and son-in-law's house here.  We brought the trailer back with us in the daytime.  I found the parts in WalMart that I needed to get the lights working on the trailer. 

We're still weeding sections of the garden.  This is the garlic patch.  A small section has been weeded to show the contrast with the part that hasn't been weeded yet.  It was like this all through the garden.  Fortunately we've got quite a bit of it done now.

Sunday was laundry day.  The big tank has lots of pollen in it so I siphoned water out of one of our covered barrels for washing my clothes.  I use a siphon hose and pump sold for outboard boat motors.  It works much better than the cheap siphon hoses and pumps sold in most places. 

Part of the laundry left over from Dirttime in California.

After I washed my clothes our daughter washed hers.

I had some welding to do on another project so I welded some handles to some shovel heads we had around.  One had a handle broken by one of the kids.  (He ran over it with his truck.) The other two were found in the dump.

The finished shovels.  The handles are tubular steel from an old garage tent frame and two of the shovel heads were found at the dump so we did pretty good on this batch of shovels.  The steel handles are about the right thickness to give plenty of strength yet still not weigh much.

Susan is having to cut the grass in the raspberry patch with her hand shears.  The pair she's used for years finally died so she bought some new ones while we were in town Monday. 

Yesterday we got permission to burn brush for one day.  Burn permits are usually for ten days but open burning has been baned the last couple of weeks due to the forest fire danger.  We had a big thunderstorm move through Monday night so I called the Ranger Station to see if I could get a one day permit to burn this pile.  They said okay (along with some specific instructions) so we burned it.  The brush was thorougly soaked and it took awhile to get it started.  (I used a 20 minute road flare.)  We finally had to pile juniper brush on it because that was the only thing that would burn when wet.  Once it got going good it had enough heat to dry the rest of the pile and burn it.

Our daughter is making soap.  We like the home made soap better than store bought and are fortunate to have two daughters that can make it.  We've used goat milk soap and oatmeal soap so this is a new type to try.

I have no idea what's going on here (I was still burning the brush pile) but nothing blew up so I'm assuming that this is what it's supposed ot look like at this stage.

As she stirred it the color changed until ...

It was time to pour it into the molds.  The molds are PVC pipe lined with waxed paper.

These are the onions Susan had drying.  She's getting ready to store them.

She was busy yeasterday peeling and washing and cutting up carrots to can them.  We need to start emptyng the root cellar to make room for this year's crop.  She's canning the leftover carrots.  This is the first crate and we have one more to go.  After that she'll do the potatoes the same way.  The carrots came out of the canner this morning and every jar sealed nicely.

We had another thunderstorm last night which filled up the main water tank so I had to pump some water out of it to the tanks in the garden. It's great to have plenty of water in mid-July.  We've had years when the woods were so dry this time of year that everything was in danger of burning up.  

No comments:

Post a Comment