Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Generator, Blueberry Pie, and Raspberry Pierogis!

First, the generator.   I'm getting nowhere with this.  It runs great, a Yanmar diesel.  It generates power for anywhere from a minute to a few hours and then quits.

As those of you know from my Drift Away blog, I'm not afraid to tackle things I know little to nothing about.  But I don't know where to start with this.  I called a generator repair place here in Fulton County and he said he wasn't interested and was too busy anyway.  Ideas, anyone?

Friend Bill and I were at our Amish sawmill on Friday.  They sell baked goods and such on Fridays and Saturdays, and I scored a blueberry pie!  This was tonight's dinner.

The blueberry pie was followed by homemade pierogis, by Pamela.  She recently returned from Connecticut and the family's Polish mother was visiting from Poland.  She couldn't speak a word of English, but she managed to show Pam how to make pierogis!  Stuffed with raspberries!

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm... are these good!

Isn't it great when your kids grow up and move out on their own, and you can have blueberry pie for dinner and raspberry pierogis for dessert?  No worries about setting a good example.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Framing The Pump House

I've started framing the pump house, and what I'm doing is overkill.  But this is practice for the house.  And part of the fun, for me, is figuring out how to do things without researching it.  As many of you know, I research  stuff to death, much to the dismay of my family.  But this is something that isn't really that important, and that I want to try to figure out on my own.

Even though this little shed is only 8 x 8, I wanted to practice tongue and groove.  How to do it?  I set my circular saw for 2", and cut into the rough cut 4 x 4s.  I put the cuts as close together as I could.

I then took a cold chisel and split off the wedges, and then used a wood chisel to clean up the cut.  This is what I wound up with.

And this is the first gable end wall.

A close-up of the gable.

Of course, I don't need to go through all of this for such a little shed, but it is practice and it is fun.  Next will be building a slip form foundation.  Yes, slip form on this tiny wall, but it is good practice for the house next year.

Victory beer!  Actually, six of them!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Starting On The Pump House

The pump house will be next to the well.  Temporarily, we will use a shallow well pump with a pipe stuck down into it 25 feet.  It seems to recover fast and hopefully will have no problem when we fill our 65 gallon water tank.  To that will be connected a 12 volt water pump to provide water to the RV, just like on a boat.

I ordered some lumber from our Amish lumber mill, and had some left over.   I decided  to get smart and put one inch spacers between the boards as I unloaded them from the trailer.  Being rough cut and green, they can be heavy.  Drying them out will make them much, much lighter.

The pump house is small, only 8 x 8, so this should go fast.  Except we decided to experiment with slip form walls and build a stone and concrete foundation for it.  This will be good practice for when we start on the house next year.

The cinder blocks and wooden supports are only temporary.  I leveled it, squared it, and then  later put two stakes at each corner with baling twine strung between to mark the outside edges.

I need to go to the Amish lumber mill and order a couple of dozen 2 x 4s and about 40 1 x 10s.  I'll layout a gable wall with a rafter so I can measure for the metal roof.

My plan is to put four inches of insulation in the floor,  walls, and ceiling.  I'll be able to heat this with a light bulb, or on really cold nights, a kerosene heater.  The insulation is also to act as sound insulation to quiet the generator that will live in there to power the  pump.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

The Shed, She Is Done

Pam and I just spent five days camping out on our property.  This works out well for getting things done because, without the internet, I start earlier then when we stay in our rental cabin.

The shed is completely done, including the installation of a solar panel, battery (from Dumpy the Dump Truck) and charge controller, and a 50 watt 12 volt light.

We found this one morning next to Pam's Miata.

I've read many accounts of Sasquatches being buddies with horses, and even braiding their manes.  I blew these stories off as preposterous.  What you're looking at is a piece of Katy the Horse's mane, tied up with some of the hairs.

Friday, August 14, 2015

The Run-in Shed is 99% done

I finished the left hay loft door, and cut and screwed into place the right door.

I installed the hinges first.  Then I screwed a strip of wood above the lower right door and set each vertical board in place and screwed it in to the beam.   If it didn't rain, I would have cut and screwed in the door braces, a simple half hour job, and then unscrewed the door from the beam.

All that is left is the door braces, a bit of trim, and to grind off the sheet metal roof screws sticking through the nailers.  Then it is done.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Tomato In The Driveway

First, this is the shed.

That's the hayloft door on top, on the left.  Its not really a door.  I'm building it in place and screwed the boards on.  I had to stop because I was exhausted from the heat and humidity and the work Earl and I did putting the shed roof on yesterday.  Well, at least it will keep tonight's heavy rains out.

I loaded the dogs in the car and drove from our property to the unabomber cabin.  I pulled down the driveway and there, right where I park my Kia, was a tomato.  A very small tomato, something no respectable grocery store would sell.  What?  Where would this come from?  We have a small garden on our property a mile away, but the tomatoes have been doing poorly this year.  How would a tomato get here?

I've read that once Sasquatch accept you, and if they like you, they will bring you gifts.  Maybe a Sasquatch saw our failed garden and decided to give it to us, and put it right where I'd find it?  That must be it!

I excitedly parked the car and picked up the tomato.  I proudly placed it by Pam's iPad where she'd find it.   She was refereeing volleyball that night.

Later, when she got home, I  pointed to the tomato.

"Look!" I exclaimed.  "It must be a gift from a Sasquatch!  I found it in the driveway where I park my car!"

Pam looked at the tomato and looked back at me, and shook her head.

"That's the  one tomato I got from our garden.  It was in the car.  I was parked there.  As I was leaving, I tossed it out the window, but my hand hit the windshield and it fell in the driveway.  And you're supposed to be the skeptical one?"


As Roseann Rosannadanna used to say on Saturday Night Live... nevermind.

The Run-in Shed Is Close To Being Done

No, seriously.  Yeah, I know this has been a long, drawn out project, but I don't work in the rain, I don't work when I'm vomiting,  and I don't work during happy hour.

Earl and I got the roof on yesterday, a huge thing for me!

The roof is burgundy.  It looks blueish because the sky is reflecting on it.

Next, before Tuesday's rain, I'd like to get the hay loft doors on.

They'll be heavy, so my plan is to put up the boards and nail or screw them in place, one at a time, and then go on the inside and attach the bracing and hinges.  I can see myself getting someone to hike a door up the ladder and them dropping it.

After the doors, there is building interior ladders to the hay loft, some cleaning up of my messy carpentry work, and installing a solar panel and lights.  And then it is done.

Hey, at least the goats like it.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

The Sasquatch Professionals Step In

Awhile back, two professionals, Steve and Ted, came here from Albany to look around. Ted belongs to a Facebook Sasquatch group that I also belong to, and me being me and being very open, I often post things that Pam and I find. Ted messaged me and asked if he and Steve could come to look around. They did and were interested in what they saw. They came back Friday night, arriving a little after 8 PM. They packed on all their gear, and they and Pam spent a few hours “squatching”. I did not. I'm not observant to begin with, hard of hearing, and night blind. There would be no point.

I went to bed around 10. At 11, I was awakened by either Ted or Steve “whooping”, which is making a very loud ape-like vocalization. And then I heard it. An answering whoop. And then another. And then another. Our three dogs started barking, and then (so I was told because I couldn't hear due to all of the commotion in the cabin) the coyotes started howling.

The three hiked up to the top of our driveway. Steve was looking around with his heat-sensing equipment and saw something very large by our landing by the highway. Bear? It stood up and ran off. Steve would only say that it was very large.   They came back down the driveway to where their car was parked. They were discussing what they'd heard and seen when something knocked on our Kia parked by the cabin.

Steve and Ted were very impressed and pleased with what they'd seen and heard. Steve has two hours of recordings to analyze. They want to come back again, but with a full investigative team to our property and not the cabin.  That was the direction of the answering whoops. They'll camp there and spend the whole night. I'll stay home with the dogs and save the world on Facebook.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Our First Harvest

Pam harvested our garden yesterday, and fetched this tomato!  The blackberries were growing wild.

It really feels good to grow your own food.