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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Summer stuff

Ok, so I realize I pretty much suck with doing entries... Either I don't for days and then lost track, or say too much daily, heh.

Guess too much is probably better than too little.

So, what did I do today, which is Monday? Stuff :) Just kidding.

Busted up and hauled wood down to the firepit. We have a few decent logs for the fire and a lot of scrap branches for kindling now. About a half dozen wheelbarrows total of hauling. I took a couple barrows over to the neighbors burn pile since they keep offering it, and since it was closer and I was feeling lazy.. But holy shit their scrap pile is so big right now, I was afeared of tossing anything else on. And we blew through quite a bit of wood wedding weekend, so it was time to stock back up.
Cut down the dead fruit tree flush to the ground. Felt bad about it too, poor thing. But it did make it kind of easier to mow the orchard. And cut up the fallen maple branch- man, that hand saw works great- kind of wish for a chainsaw, but it's sort of overkill on limbs that size, and I shouldn't be lazy, and it's good for my muscles to hand saw.
Mowed the front half of the yard. Still need to do the tune up to the mower, so I don't like to do a full mow all at once. Had to clear out barrows of wood and do some sawing in the back, and by the time I was done, it was to frigging hot and sweaty to deal with. I must face the reality that my pasty white skin needs to start getting into shorts and tanks to be outside working.
While hauling wood out back, realized the neighbors have some mighty fine tree chunks sitting- think I might ask them if we can snag a couple to replace the firepit stools the other neighbors stole and burned up last year.
One of our nice neighbors saw that we were out today and pulled up for a chat. She is so damn sweet and cool. Just wanted to see how we are doing since we hadn't chatted in a while. Looks like we might be getting our fence in this summer between the easement drive and the shitty neighbors, hooray! Our other out of towner neighbors have had a crew in for a week building a big ole pool and deck, so it looks like maybe those folks will be around more often- they are loud when around, but keep out of our yard, so no biggie.

And woah- trucks been coming around the last few weeks dinking with the road- it's now been patched and new gravel laid down. Makes for kind of slower driving because of the gravel, but much, much smoother than the potholes and dips it has been since we moved in.

We got our second car up and running again finally. I suggested we jump it, and yep, the jump took- till the car was shut off again. So my love replaced the battery.

Turned out the most recent set of stepping stones. The star stone turned out lovely, though not as flashtacular as I hoped with the work I did on the cabs. But meh, it's ok, it still looks great. But now I'm out of crete again, time to pick up a couple more bags.

Most of the garden looks good- I seriously need to start picking some herbs before the sage and tarragon become monsters, and all the lavenders are doing well. No blooms on the chamomile yet which is a bummer. No blooms on the nasturtiums yet either, I keep telling myself to be patient. All the potted irises are looking great. Of the veggies, the Long Island Cheese had totally puked out, as has the peas :(. The beans are all in bloom, which pisses me off a little considering how much time I took to make sure I chose ones that claimed to have different maturation days to help prevent cross pollination. And of the three serious vineing ones I planted, only one has actually vined. Only three luffas have survived, and they are small.. sigh...

So it's Wednesday already, time flies. Thought it might be a good thing to talk about recycling and such.

As any of my readers may know, we recycle here, a lot. We happen to live in a state where bottle and can returns get you cash- I really wish all states did this, it would probably save a ton of glass and aluminum resources. But beyond that, what about the space it takes up, what to do with all that crap?
Well, start off with recycling things that can be taken to a recycling center or that you actually will use- kind of pointless to save a billion sour cream cartons if you have no intention on using them, or setting aside all those newspapers if you have no intention of turning them in, right?
So. Paper goods. We recycle them all. I usually get paper bags at the store, they are great for projects and make handy garbage cans for all the paper goods like mailbox stuff and empty cartons. We use a bag or two every time we start a bonfire. The mailbox newspaper flyers get stacked up and used to make paper pots for seed starting, or shredding for worms or composting. Yep, you can compost paper. Toilet paper and paper towel tubes get saved for starting seeds too- and honestly, they are less time consuming than making pots. If you are feeling crafty, you can take your shredded paper, make it a pulp, and make your own seed paper or bombs.
Glass jars and bottles. Those are excellent for multiple kinds of storage from foodstuffs to soaps, and remember grandpas knack of nailing the lids to a board in the garage to hold all those little bits?
Plastic jars- I don't save them all, but big ones are just as handy as glass jars. Jars with shaker lids are great for homemade spice mixes, seed shakers, or chemical powder shakers- like fill one with baking soda to evenly sprinkle your carpets before vacuuming, or your washing powders in the laundry room to help prevent clumping in the box and it's easier to pour a bit in a controlled manner to your washer.
Food cans. These can be reused as pots, set into the yard to mark off borders, used by the crafty to make projects.
Egg cartons. Makes great little seed starters, containers to safely store small christmas ornaments, the cardboard ones can get filled with charcoal for perfect firestarting and grilling.
Plastic bags. You can laminate them with heat by several layers to make plastic fabric, or cut them up and braid them together to make plastic twine. The stuff is surprisingly sturdy.
Food and food scraps- great compost! Just leave the meat out or you will get maggots. You can recycle spent coffee and tea right with the paper. And eggshells are great for compost, and also good to grind fine for birds grit and calcium for their eggs, and also good to lay around slug prone plants to help deter those slimy critters. Some food can even be recycled into new plants like celery, ginger, horseradish..
Some food can also be recycled for seeds depending on what it is. Not every supermarket produce will have viable seed, but a lot of homegrown roadside produce is great. That wonderful heirloom tomato you got can be seeded and you can grow that yum for years to come!
We have never really been huge garbage producers, but just recycling all of that has cut what goes out to the can by at least half.

1 comment:

  1. My peas and most of my beans took a dump this year. Something ate off of the bottom leaves from my cherry tomatoes and I am having a constant battle with rabbits and morning doves over the rest of my gardens.

    I've slowly winning with the veg garden, but none of my lilies have any leaves left, just sticks with flowers.