Friday, November 4, 2011

the end

Like my last blog, I got bored with this one and am now chronicling our adventures at Rock on!

Monday, June 15, 2009

I'm A Hack Sparky

I have an obsession with lighting.

Overhead lights make me very upset with their annoying, unflattering, harsh shadows, especially in the morning when I'm not yet awake and trying to make coffee without tripping over the dogs who are impatiently waiting to be fed.

I have slowly replaced almost every lighting fixture in my house with nice, efficient halogen spot lights, although by the time I am finally done, this will likely all be outdated, and I'll have to start all over again. Additionally, my level of skill in the electrical world is probably on par with the reject that wired our house in the first place. It hasn't been pretty.

Lately, I've been getting very jealous when I see nice, new kitchens in the fancy home magazines with built in under-cabinet lighting and all it's pleasant moodiness. Well, that and fancy granite/marble/concrete/copper/stainless/whatever counter tops that lack my 1" 1970's grout lines that soak up every bloody spill my drunk friends/family like to dish out in my kitchen, but we won't go there today.

I was at my favorite hardware store the other day and noticed that they have these xenon under-cabinet light kits and decided to try my hand again at electrical work. It was totally fun actually because they worked on the first try and now I don't have to be blinded in the morning whilst whipping up Hub's morning smoothie. I'm hoping they don't lead to my burning the house down - fingers crossed.

Plus, isn't it fun when you get to see the inside of someone else's house whom you do not know? My other weird obsession is seeing the insides of other people's abodes. Very strange, I know.

Anyway, here's my kitchen with the new-halogen-but-still-overhead-lights lights combined with my new xenon under-cabinet lights:


And here's with only the xenon lights:


Much improved for morning coffee and smoothie making.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Happy Peas

The peas are getting fat like they're supposed to.

I made the mistake of not re-reading the seed packet the other day and excitedly picked off a pea pod and force fed it to my husband because "O, it just tastes so sweet and fresh!", and then realized that this is supposed to be a SHELLING PEA, to be consumed sans shell. Well, it sure tasted good to me, but I will obey Renee's instructions and wait until the pods get fat with their little pea goodness and then shell them like the good gardener I'm trying to be. Gardening is a serious test of my attention span.

I find the pea tendrils totally fascinating and pretty.

Something stupid has been eating my cut-and-come-again butter lettuce before I got the chance to actually cut it again. I believe my VB1's impenetrable squirrel/bird/cat/whatever proofing has indeed been penetrated by a squirrel.

One by one, a different lettuce head disappeared each morning, but I was too stubborn to reinforce the previously mentioned varmint proofing, and the chives aren't doing so hot anyway, so I pulled out the lettuce and am going to transplant the chives somewhere in the backyard where they'll get more sun.

Sorry, Lettuce, you can't share a bed with the chives anymore. Don't take it personally.

Not sure what I'm going to replace the chives and lettuce with. Maybe I'll try some root vegetables again.

Monday, June 1, 2009

I Am Able To Grow Something And Eat It, Too!


It's not much, but considering that this is Trial Year Gardening for me, I'm pretty pleased with myself.

O yea, and I almost broke the new/old truck on Saturday. Loaded 1.5 tons of landscaping rock in a 3/4 ton truck. Whoops. She's doing ok after that harrowing experience. I'm doing ok, too, after being yelled at for a good 20 minutes on basic knowledge of payload capacity.

But let's put that all behind us and get back to the Butter Lettuce.

Don't mind my 15-year-old ghetto salad spinner.
first harvest of the spring 2009 season!

I learned that you can cut-and-come-again (bwahahahaha!) the lettuce, which means you can cut it, and it'll grow back a few more times.

Note to self: don't use the leftover chicken pine bedding to mulch the lettuces as it sticks to the leaves like super glue.

Friday, May 29, 2009

We Don't Know What Her Name Is Yet

I'm not going to be one of those bloggers that doesn't write something for what seems like eons and then apologizes to his/her non-existent readers for not keeping them posted on the day-ins and day-outs whatever the fuck he/she babbles about. Those people are annoying, so you get no apologies from me. I've been busy.

Busy buying a farm truck, that is!!

After searching hi and low throughout the South Bay and Santa Cruz and Monterey and wherever else Craigslist took us, we finally settled on this beauty.

"Well, she was just 17, You know what I mean..." started going through my head.

It started right up the very first time. And it wasn't warmed up prior to our arrival.
started right up the very first time!

The seat springs on the driver side are totally shot. Hence, the Driving Pillow. Makes for a fun, bouncy ride!
the pillow is necessary because the springs are shot...

I got distracted by a bee in a flower while Hub finished "the transaction". I tend to do that.

Smart Husband installed a tachometer because I drive like a retard without one.
new tachometer!

Smart Husband also rebuilt the carburetor, changed the spark plugs, fuel filter, and other things I don't know how to say nor care about.
rebuilt Holley carburetor

Now I can say, "I'm gonna take the ol' girl to the hardware/materials/nursery/whatever store." Wheee!
nice and spiffied up!

Monday, May 4, 2009

I Have Reclaimed Our Computer Room

The computer room has been home to the chickens for the past seven weeks now, and I didn't even bother trying to clean it while they were in there because it would be covered in dust again within a day. Dust from their pine bedding and their food crumbles was on EVERY FRIGGIN SURFACE of that room. I spent two hours this morning wiping everything down and cleaning the floor.

They moved into the chicken tractor permanently on Saturday, and of course, I woke up periodically throughout the night to check on them like the crazy Mother Hen that I am. I thought the rain this weekend would be a bad thing, but it actually helps to insulate the air and kept the temperature at around 55 all night long, so they were quite cozy all hunkered down for the night.

Being stupid chickens that they are, they kept trying to cram into one corner of the tractor, and because we put diagonal cross braces in each corner, they were all vying for that one spot between the frame and the cross brace where it was extra snuggly and warm (one would snatch up that spot, and the others would lay on top of her - I actually felt them while they were in this configuration, and the one on the bottom was almost hot!). So I decided to fashion a sleeping nest out of an old cardboard box that I cut down so that it is only about four inches tall, stuffed it full of pine bedding, and put it in that same corner. They instantly took to it and snuggled down and weren't freaking out about who got the warm spot.

We also went to a feed store in San Jose on Saturday and bought them a gigantic waterer and feeder. My trusty Rural Hardware in Los Gatos didn't have any with hooks/handles attached with which to hang them from the top of the tractor. This place also sold ready-made nesting boxes, but they didn't have a hinged lid - Hub, however, was able to get a better idea of how to build them for our coop.

Lastly, I nailed the dowel that we had inserted into their indoor cardboard box accommodations onto the tractor frame so that they have another roost instead of just using the cross braces.

"Thank you for putting us outside permanently. We were very unhappy indoors."

"Yo, this is MY feeder."

Friday, May 1, 2009

The Dog is Jealous

We had some leftovers from dinner at Scopazzi's last weekend consisting of a bacon-wrapped beef medallion, some mashed potatoes, and a few pieces of saucy broccoli, so we decided to give the girls a treat. Now, they are no longer satisfied with plain, old lay crumbles anymore - the ladies promptly DEVOURED almost every last morsel of the leftovers as well as half a banana leftover from this morning's smoothie. Again, we realize now that we mistakenly brought home pigs, not chickens.

We looked up in my Encyclopedia of Country Living book whether it was okay to give chickens leftovers after we realized that the ladies were becoming rather lethargic after their gorge-fest. Fortunately, all is well and they were just overstuffed - you can apparently give chickens just about anything to eat, but shit, I was kinda worried there for a minute.

Needless to say, the dog was insanely jealous. So we let him scrounge around after the chickens were transported indoors for the night. I'm pretty sure he ate some chicken poop, too. Yuk.

It's not every day you see a 105 lb. American Bulldog in a chicken tractor, you know.

"Ma, I can't turn around in here."