Monday, May 31, 2010

A White Shirt Makes a Difference!

This was a very productive weekend!.....Finally!   Jeff got the new adapter for the power take-off to run the tiller from the old tractor.  He went over the remaining part of the garden and really tilled it up good.  While he was tilling the garden, I was back at the shed getting things ready for the evening.  It was pretty hot out and I figured we would probably sleep with the windows open this time and screens would be nice.  We had brought along screen fabric a couple weeks ago, but there was nothing to make a frame with.  I thought we might just tack the material around the window frame as a temporary measure, but then I started using my brain.  We had some old lath laying around that was used to stake the locations of the piers when we first started the shed.  Each one was 1 1/2" wide and about 4' long.  I measured the inside of the window frame and cut and mitered the lath to fit inside the frame.
I pushed screen into the opening in pushed the "frame" in piece by piece on top of it.  The miters kept the corners snug without any nails or fasteners.  They worked like a charm!!!!
   We retired early after stargazing and slept bug-free all night.  It was nice going to bed that night with a little bit of light.  I had purchased 2 cheap solar garden lights at K-Mart and brought them with.  They made a nice soft light in the shed while we got ready for bed.
   One thing that made this trip more comfortable was being able to wash up before bed.  We had an old enameled wash basin at home.  It was sitting, unused, under a table.  It now, proudly hangs on a nail on the back wall of the shed (in fact, you can see it in the picture where I'm sawing).  We keep a 7 gallon jug of water sitting on the picnic table in the sun.  By bedtime, it's nice and warm.  I never knew how good it felt to wash the dirt and sweat away with water heated by the sun.  I think the things that make me the happiest out at the farm are the ones that come about by using our heads and figuring out a way to do something with what we have available.  Something as simple as making a working broom out of twigs just makes me proud in my soul.  It's a good feeling.  One that keeps me going.
   The next morning we got up early and headed to the orchard for spraying and planting.  I brought a white tank top this time as the sky was cloudless and the temperature and humidity were both high at 8 am.  Jeff sprayed the apple trees while I planted the rest of the garden.  He had 120 trees to spray and I had 50 more jalapenos, 7 watermelons, 13 pumpkins and 3 rows of corn to plant!  We finished about the same time.  Jeff had bailed about 60 gallons of water into a tank to bring to the plants, so we gave everything a good drink and after 5 hours working in the hot sun, we could hear the hammocks screaming for us!!!! 

We had some lunch, took a nap in swinging hammocks, packed and headed home, smiling, after another working weekend.

Friday, May 28, 2010

It was a HOT one!

I was dirty, sweaty and melting!  And I only had 26 of the 60 Jalapenos in the ground before I called it quits.  Stupidity got me into this fix.  I only brought a BLACK tank top and BLACK shorts to work in.  And I was  planting the peppers in BLACK landscape fabric!!!!!  OUCH!

I thought it might be age-related fatigue until I thought about what I was wearing and where I was standing!  No, I'm not THAT old, but I think I've lost my mind!  What makes me want to spend my weekends sweating my ass off in the hot sun instead of sitting on my porch in the suburbs sipping an ice cold Pepsi?  Dayle has truly gone bonkers, me thinks!  No......I'm just working hard at making a place where we can grow old and have good home grown food and quiet times.  After reminding myself that I could plant more next weekend, I joined Jeff down by the shed and we had a couple sandwiches and decided to take a nap in the hammocks I made. 

They were made for sleeping in the shed at night, but they didn't have specific instructions that said you couldn't nap in them!!!!  So nap, we did!  We were inside the shed with all the windows and doors open, listening to nothing but bird songs and swinging in the shady breeze.  Slumber came easily and dreams were good.  What a great way to end a weekend of hard work!!!!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Very Good Day

We finally picked up the new tractor 2 weekends ago.  Had to rent a trailer to get it out to the farm.  Our trailer wasn't rated for the extra weight.  This thing has more knobs and switches than any car I've ever driven.  And starting it is a whole new experience.  It's a diesel engine, so you have to start the glow plug for 5 seconds before you turn the key to start it!  We read all the instructions and got it started, off the trailer and hooked up to the cultivator and Jeff played with his new toy!

When we got the new garden expansion done, we headed to the shed to finish screwing the floor down.  As you recall, we beefed up the floor with concrete piers.  After the piers were in, Jeff put extra 2x6 joists between the piers.  These fall directly under the wheels of the tractor. Obviously it worked!!  The folded roll bar cleared the top of the door by 1/2"!!!!  Whew!