Search This Blog

Monday, May 2, 2011

Homesteading Update, 02 May 2011

Saturday morning I met Rae at KT's, and she and KT and KT's husband and stepdaughter and I all went down to Canby for the Master Gardener's Show.  It was pretty cool and I'd do it again in a heartbeat.  It's basically like a huge farmers market except that everyone's selling plants or garden art or the like.  I found another cider gum, the same size as the other three I already had and spent $1.95 less on this one! So now I have four for the coppice.  I also bought an evergreen huckleberry for the front yard- it will go in right of the driveway, and two more tea camellias, and a cilantro.  I've planted the all four tea camellias I own now, and eaten half the cilantro. I also bought a Goji berry bush at the show.  Goji berries are supposed to be delicious and full of antioxidants, but one of the interesting things about Goji plants is the fact that they're good for a permaculture guild because they pull up a lot of good stuff from deep in the soil and make it available in the soil surrounding them, so plants placed around a Goji berry are supposed to do well.

Then Sunday Steve and I had a good breakfast of Dutch Babies and then hied ourselves off to Home Depot.  The plan was to load up on a bunch of materials for several projects at once so that we could get it all home with one truck rental.  We live really close to the HD and find that the truck rental is a pretty good deal for us because getting home and back in the allotted time is very doable, and it takes very little gas (you have to top off the truck before you return it).

So what did we get?  Materials for the breakfast nook, the dining nook, the chicken coop, the guest beds (day bed and trundle), and if there's anything left over, a rabbit hutch, but that's iffy.  This means fourteen 2X4s, two five-eighths-inch exterior grade plywood sheets, two three-quarter-inch certified sanded plywood sheets, three quarter-inch sanded plywood sheets, two different lengths of 2X10s, and one t2X8X10, several different little molding pieces, five pounds of nails, a pound each of two different sizes finishing nails (are you bored yet? okay I'll stop)….suffice to say we spent a lot, but now I have almost everything I need for a bunch of different projects and I'm working on them.  We also got two large fiberglass pots for the citrus because I changed my mind about growing them alongside the garage.  Lemons and limes don't have the heat requirements that oranges and grapefruit do, but I was concerned that it would still be a little cool out front for them.  I think the deck will be the best place for them, since we know that it is a warmer microclimate area for the yard, they should do much better on it.  I'll just have to water the hell out of them over the summer.

Today after feeding the Steve and cleaning up the breakfast dishes, I got started on the breakfast nook.  It is going to be somewhat rustic because I'm in a hurry to get it done and it doesn't have to be fancy.  I got the wall supports in, which is just a couple of 2X4s lag bolted into the studs.


I had to cut around a receptacle box, which was placed inconveniently for me.  I also got the bench for the long side completely cut and glued together, and sanded for the most part.


I also got the one half of the short bench cut as well, but discovered that I need another 2X8 for the front half of it because there wasn't enough left over from cutting the long bench.  I'll go get that tomorrow and a can of stain for the nook, because I changed my mind about what color to make it.

Last August when I made the big rack in the garage for firewood, I hung on to every scrap piece of 4X4 left over from the job, thinking I'd use them for firewood, if necessary.  I never did need to burn them, and I'm glad I didn't because the short pieces are almost the perfect length for the legs for the breakfast nook benches, and the longer leftover 4X4s look mighty like they're going to wind up as bed posts for the day bed for the guest room.  Of course, anything leftover from this job also gets saved because I constantly get these ideas and then go out to the garage to see if I've material to do it.  For instance, Steve said over the weekend, "shouldn't the hopper to the grain mill have a cover over it or something?"  Country Living sells a wooden one, but they want $16.95 for it.  I grabbed a piece of scrap pine, traced the outline of the hopper on the underside of the scrap, cut it out, cut a rabbet edge all around with my beloved Marples dovetail saw, sanded it, sealed it with Boos sealer, and popped it on the hopper.


It cost nothing but my time, which I have a lot of these days.  I have an idea for a hopper extension, but it will have to wait until my big projects get done.

The garden needs attention because stuff needs to get planted or the tomato bed needs digging, plus I've several trees to get into the ground.  I'm hoping to be far along enough on the breakfast nook to do some gardening on Thursday, because that will be the third of three dry days, so I should be able to double dig more of the tomato bed.

Of course, I'm asking myself how would I be getting this stuff done if I'd managed to land that job?  There's nothing like keeping busy to help you forget life's little disappointments.

14 comments:

Tamar@StarvingofftheLand said...

Love the hopper cover! That's just the kind of reason we keep scraps from all our projects. I only wish we could keep them *and* still have room for the cars in the garage.

Every post, I become more and more convinced that you need a pick-up truck.

Paula said...

Currently we don't have room in the garage for the car, with all the new materials in the way. But usually when it's just scraps, we do. We're a dedicated one car family, and I'd love to have a truck, really love one, but it's not in the cards. The home depot's one ton rental truck is a good way for us to go which is why we do it. Twenty bucks a few times a year when we really need a truck is a lot cheaper than paying for the truck and the insurance and the gas and the upkeep on a second vehicle.

Plus now I have a friend with a truck and she said she'll work for home made ginger ale or beer or even coffee.

But you are right- I need a pickup truck. I just don't need it all the time. Still, I'd love to have one of my very own....

Rae said...

:) Annnnd, loaning my truck services means that LJ gets to drive my van. He complains, but I know he secretly loves that vehicle. Lol.

I am a hoarder when it comes to lumber scraps. I snatch up anything that might be useable before LJ can toss it on one of the burnpiles. He complains that we'll never use them, and then I go out to grab a scrap for something and find he's incorporated them into some project or other. :)

Btw, I like the phrase "feeding the Steve". Lol!

Miriam said...

I aspire to a kitchen with a nook by a window - I imagine sitting with a book and my morning coffee, with the sun streaming in. In reality, I'd probably just be hopping up to get to work on some job or other, but still, it's good to have something to aspire to!

We keep all our scraps, too, and they've come in handy so often I'm convinced that's a good thing to do. But the clutter! This is one place where my desire to streamline and simplify seems to smack headfirst into my desire to be frugal and make good use of every resource. It's probably all in the organization...

JustAnotherGraphicsGirl said...

Totally fascinating! Where did you learn all the woodworking skills?

jules said...

Wow. Oh, to have your energy and drive!

Paula said...

We feed our beasts, whatever their names (or species, I might add).

Paula said...

A nook by a window with sun streaming in sounds pretty ideal, but our nook window is north-facing. So much for direct sunlight. You are 100% right about organization; it's the only way to keep it under control. But once you've organized it, you know where to look for just what it is you want. Organizing lumber scraps is easy; figuring out what to do with extra fasteners is harder. I keep all those in a plastic dish pan that the last owner left in the garage. That way I know where to look for them. It's oversimplified, but it works!

Paula said...

You know what JAGG? I started in college with a shop safety sticker in the art department. I dropped out of college. Later I took a furniture making class and learned a lot of good things to know, but skills-wise they really only work if I was going to invest in a bunch of really expensive shop tools (to say nothing of the real estate they'd occupy).

The best thing for me has been taking baby steps and then drawing pretty elaborate plans. It also helps to know what the real sizes of available lumber are. The 2X8s I use are nominal, which means that they are really 1.5X7.5, for instance.

Nothing I make is super-perfect; that's for sure. When you're working against the walls in your home, you're at the mercy of the skills of the guys who built it; you'd be surprised at how off a wall that looks like it's alright really is. I am fortunate that I can figure stuff out as I go along. I think that skill is probably the one that contributes most to my success!

Paula said...

hey Jules- if you didn't have to be somewhere every morning or had a passel of kids to watch (not that you do, but I don't have either), you'd have plenty of energy and drive. I'm embarrassed that I get so little done, considering I'm not working right now!

Alienne said...

Paula - what on earth is a dutch baby?

Paula said...

Alienne- do a search for dutch baby on my blog and it will show the the post 'Dutch Baby for My Deutsch Baby', which includes a recipe and a picture.

It's essentially a Yorkshire pudding baked in butter and served with lemon juice and powdered sugar. We love them.

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Paula. I've really enjoyed reading and chuckling my way through your posts .... and I suspect we may be kindred spirits in practicality skills! :)

Paula said...

Hi Nutty Gnome- I'm glad you're enjoying my blog.