Monday, September 30, 2013

From Rubble to Resurrection  
Summer just won't give it up.  Well at least during the day time hours.  Still we are enjoying the 80 degree temperatures during the day but hearing the furnace kick on during the night time 40s.  With the first frost date only a couple weeks away, the garden is showing signs of being done for this year.  I for one am always glad to see the garden begin to go dormant.  It's time for the long winter slumber.  Yeah, right.  It's only time to turn toward the inside projects for the winter months.  This year it will be to continue to work on the basement.  The food storage room is done so now the rest of the basement will be tackled.  Since most of the stuff has resided there for over 10 years without being touched, I really think I probably don't really need it any more.  It would be nice if it became a game room for Bradley and neighborhood kids.  I know he would like that.
Work has continued on the reconstruction of the fence at Terra Nova. The three graphic panels have been restored after much gluing and clamping.  It looks pretty good from across the street and in the shade, doesn't it?  Those panels have a lot cracks, missing chunks, and crinkles when a close look is taken.  That's much like me. The panels stand once again has a memorial that no matter how bad things look, it can be better.  Never give up.  Defeat happens only when hope is lost.
In the middle of all the destruction, a Rugosa Rose blooms.  The bushes that I planted had many deaths among their ranks, but this one is alive and well. I ordered and planted enough to be able to transplant some of the others to fill in the gaps.  Now that the rail fence is gone the rose bushes will be more important to block the road from the garden.  My hope is that in about two or three years the garden fence will be blocked all together.
This last week was a special week.  Lydia, Bradley, and I flew to Las Vegas to attend my oldest grand daughter's wedding.  We had a great time with the culmination of the whole weekend being the ceremony at the Mt. Charles resort.  It was about an hour from Las Vegas in the foot hills of the mountains around the town.
One of the things we did while in Las Vegas was to go to the bridge across the Colorado river.  It was built after 9-11-2001 to keep traffic from having to cross the Hover Dam.  On the dam side of the bridge is a walk way that goes the length of the dam.  It has 69 steps up to the bridge from the parking lot and is maybe a half mile long.  My sister, Pam, Bradley, and I walked the whole length of the bridge.  It was a great adventure.
One of the favorite things to do when visiting Las Vegas is to feed the fish at the Marina.  These are huge carp fish and now a few wiper fish.  Stale bread is the best thing to use to feed the fish.  Once the word goes out that it's feeding time the fish literally fight over bread.
This is some serious fish feeding.  Can you tell that these fish are fed frequently?  It's another great adventure time for an eight year old boy. 

Have a great adventurous day.


Saturday, September 14, 2013

Fence Reconstruction  
Finally the cool September weather has arrived.  Seventies and eighties during the day make outside activities sweet.  Those fifties and sixties at night are awesome for sleeping with windows open.  Hopefully, the cooler weather will continue.
 Broken post stump removal has been a difficult task and took upward of three days to remove the five broken post bottoms.  I really didn't plan on having to dig up and remove the posts so I concreted them in the ground really good.  They certainly would have held up to strong winds but a big white van was just too much.
Yea, one down and four more to go.  Since I don't have hydraulics, good old farm physics helped with pulling the concrete up out of the ground.  A couple of the posts were a bit of a struggle.

 This little chunk is one of the first two posts that was planted in the ground.  I kind of over engineered it just  little.  Two bags of Quickcrete was a little much.  I definitely accomplished keeping the post from blowing over in a wind storm.  This chunk probably weighs close to 200 pounds.  Later posts only had one bag which was not only cheaper but easier to pull out of the ground.  This one really taxed my limits as far as strength goes.  I'm just not as strong as I used to be.
 A decision was made to fix this one so as not to have to dig it out. 
 Some more farm low tech engineering, helped hold the post together while screws were used to stabilize the post.  Four screws on each side did the trick and the post is as good as new.   I'm still considering maybe attaching one of the short broken posts on the side of this post for more stability but I'm learning that fence posts don't have to be that strong to survive.
The tomatoes continue to bury me.  The plants that produced tomatoes were grown from tiny little seeds under the grow lights.  It's really the first time I've ever been able to do that.  People are starting to stop by Terra Nova Gardens and ask for tomatoes.  The taste of these are tremendous.  I'm definitely going to grow these again next year.  They aren't really big tomato plants but they are loaded with tomatoes.  There's a day of canning in the near future.
This is one of the boards that need to be put back together.  A little Elmer's wood glue and a little time and the board will be good as new only with age wrinkles.  Kind of like me.
Well, that's it for this week.  The backyard hay field is calling me to do a mow down so until the next time be careful because I'd like to hear from you again.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Excitement at Terra Nova Gardens 
September gave us a small break from the hot weather then back into the sweltering middle and upper 90s.  A couple days ago we were blessed with a quarter inch of rain which is good but we really need a good soaker to moisten up the top soil.  Hopefully we will be getting more before the month's end.
On Labor Day news of an exciting event at Terra Nova was received from my neighbor that has potatoes planted there.  Apparently Bobcat Larry had called and told him that  someone had smashed through my garden fence.

 A big white van came roaring down the gravel road in front of the garden and lost control.  It tipped over on the driver side and slid through the rail fence and smashed into the wooden fence.  The neighbors in the area said it made a terrible noise that immediately caught their attention.  A fire truck, rescue squad, and police cars came to scene with lots of flashing lights.  This happened right after dark at about 9:30pm, so the effect was awesome.  The neighbor directly across the street made the 911 call and said that he had talked with the driver of the van.  At that time it didn't seem that he was hurt much but the rescue squad did take him to the hospital.  I'm very glad that he didn't get hurt too bad.
 The neighbors around the garden were actually more upset about the ordeal than me and encouraged me to pursue action against the driver.  I kind of look at this whole garden thing as an adventure with advances and set backs.  I'm not going to do that.  It's just a bunch of  sticks and wood that can be fixed.  This is a great challenge to piece the panels back together again.  They won't look quite as pretty as before but will have a weathered look with a story that will be remembered by the entire neighborhood. 
My grandson has the greatest humor ever.  I showed him the above picture and told him what had happened.  His comment was, "Hmmmm, I guess they didn't see the NO TRESSPASSING sign, huh."  He's only eight years old but I guess hanging around grandpa has rubbed off just a little.
This panel went back together fairly well.  I put three new backbone 2x4s that run the horizontal length of the panel right next to the broken ones and screwed them together for support.  Then the puzzle was put together by finding the right boards that made up the panel.  The missing board was shattered into three pieces and is in process of being glued back together.  It will be put in place on the next garden work day some time next week.  The other panel is busted up a little more than this one so it may require some small board replacements but I think it will turn just great. The posts that were broke off level with the ground will be a big task to get out of the ground for replacement posts.  Each of those posts have about 100 pounds of concrete wrapped around the bottom two feet.  Maybe I can get Bobcat Larry to help pull them out with his skid loader. 
I never knew that gardening could be this  exciting. So until next time reconstruction continues.  Have a great day no matter what you're doing.