Catching Up

I got wrapped up in getting things done, and then took ill for a week.  Now to catch up: lots of photos.

Featured Image: The Ozark strawberries are quite prolific, runner-wise! 12 babies on this side, and another 8 on the back side.*

The weekend after reclaiming the garage for my car, I decided to add something more to it: a proper workbench!

First Image: The previous owner had replaced the kitchen cabinetry and moved it into the basement for storage use, with an old door for a top. I brought it up into the garage and made a proper top for it.

Second Image: I’ve wanted a light table for years for some drawing projects. Now I have one! I used an old storm window panel that was an appropriate size.

Third Image: I used some of the duplicate-delivered pressure-treated lumber (which I had been told to keep) to make a nice, solid top for the rest of the bench. The boards are scabbed together on the bottom side, then I carefully screwed it into the cabinet frame (which was made with 3/4″ wood, so I had to be pretty close to perfect on my holes).

The weather is finally approaching freezing (no! not ready!).  After a half-hour of sewing, I had taken two of the row covers and made a cover large enough to go over the trellises and I got the tomatoes and cucurbits covered.

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It was after dark by the time I finished sewing, I had to use the car’s headlights to see what I was doing! I’m not big on trick-or-treaters stopping by, and I’m a little afraid that they’ll think this is supposed to be a “ghost” when they come by…

Last weekend (the 8th) was my last weekend at the Farmers’ Market for this season.

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It was a cold, windy day and I took Squeak along for company (and as a furry hand warmer!).

Unlike dreary, chilly Saturday, Sunday was beautiful.  I started playing “Pokémon Go” over the summer and was low on supplies, so I packed Squeak up in the stroller again and we went for a nice two-and-a-half hour stroll through one of the nearby parks.

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This great egret was about 40-50 feet off the path. They’re such beautiful birds.

Although the weather’s cooling off, the broccoli and cabbage are thriving – they like cooler weather.  I got cauliflower last year, but not broccoli (courtesy of the red squirrel); looks like it’ll be the other way around this year.  The cauli plants are very healthy-looking, but I’m not seeing any buds yet.

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Itsy-bitsy broccoli head!

Yesterday, I started making headway on the greenhouse space.  The nearest elm tree had a branch that was about half-dead and hanging so low that it was almost touching the ground – it was a hazard for walking around and mowing, let alone building a greenhouse in that spot!  After deciding there wasn’t a safe way to use the chainsaw to cut it, I tackled it with a handsaw.  I worked at it in short increments of time, but time all was said and done, it probably took 1.5-2 hours to saw through.  When I could hear it starting to crackle, I backed off and waited until my neighbor got home.  She came out and watched while I cut farther until it finally came down under its own weight.

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The branch is about 25 feet long, and the butt is 8 inches in diameter. I had to saw about 3/4 of the way through before its own weight was sufficient to bring it down.

Today, I got the chainsaw out and started hacking it up.  I realized I have plenty of firewood and that this branch would be great for some woodworking, so I used the chainsaw to cut a number of thin (1/2″-2″ rounds) on the skinny end.  But my little, cheap, electric chainsaw really struggled with the branch once it got over about 5″, so I just cut it into manageable pieces that I’ll let it dry for a while, then cut them into usable rounds over the winter – inside where it’s warm, when I can’t work outside anyway!  I’m planning to make tree ornaments, coasters, wall art, and hot plates with it.

Of course, now I can’t park the car in the garage again until I find a home for the logs!

* Because I intended to list the house this fall, I’d hired a lawn service to care for the lawn so that I could take nice-looking photos.  Their substitute weed whacker operator destroyed all but one of the strawberry runners on this side of the bed yesterday.

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