October 03, 2015
Last Sunday was the perfect day for getting pellets into the house. My plan was to move 2 tons, then move the other 2 tons thru the week. I had to clean out the corner in the basement that I store pellets since I've been using it for storage while ripping apart other areas of the house. That would only give me room for a little over a ton (I already had a little over a ton there as leftover from last year) but with the cabinets for the bathroom in the house, I could start loading up the back wall of the garage with pellets.
Me and my trusty 4-wheeler (okay, it isn't motorized but it does have 4 wheels) started the project at 12:55 pm (first pic is at the very start of the project) got thru the first ton in about 45 minutes. Load 5 bags in the cart, move the cart to the door between the basement and garage, carry each bag about 40 feet (of course the storage is at the furthest corner from the garage) and place in a stack.
Then the second ton - the first 3 rows went into the basement and the rest went into the garage which much easier as I didn't have to carry them, just stack.
I decided I had enough daylight and energy to get the other two tons in so I now have a bit over 5 tons readily available for use.
I was done with pellet moving at 4:40 pm - not bad if I do say so myself.
September 20, 2015
Proof You can get Rid of Anything on CL
With all the digging I've been doing getting in gardens, I acquired a very large dirt pile that I didn't know what to do with. So, I put it on Craig's List. This is how the pile looked on 8/22 and I added more when I put in the extension to the trailer-side garden:
This is how it looked Thursday night after 3 nice young men took a large truck bed full
This is after another truckfull left on Friday (same kid came over with his dad instead of his two buddies this time).
There is still a little more left, but it is manageable. I just have to get it all back into a pile, then I can plant some very root bound holly - they should be very happy!
All Set for Heating Season
The rest of my heat for this winter arrived Friday afternoon.
September 13, 2015
Getting Ready for the Next Season
Since I was paying HD to deliver cabinets and such, I figured I would have them add in a couple tons of pellets so I don't have to pick them up 10-15 bags at a time (a ton is 50 bags). I don't have room for more than 3 tons in the basement and I have 1.5 tons left from last winter. Add to that I am preparing to sheetrock some walls, and everything not of immediate use is stuffed into the corner that the pellets are usually stashed.
So, two tons are sitting outside at the moment, until the garage is cleared of other stuff.
And, then Lowes got in some good pellets (compared to what I usually burn), and had $19 delivery (up to 6 tons) for up to 75 miles - so I have a couple more tons of pellets coming the end of the week. As long as I get it all moved before the sn*w is here to stay, I will be good.
And, here are some shots as to why the basement is not ready to receive any more pellets:
Yep, I tore out the wall that my workbench used to be on. The wood is holding up the insulation as I painted the sills today with waterproofer. I will eventually take out the whole thing. I have ideas on how I want to reconfigure it, but my real goal is for it to be ready for running electrical and then installing sheetrock along the wall that abuts the garage, and the foundation wall (which I had insulated last winter).
Finally - Glorious Rain
My little section of the world has been very far behind on rainfall. In a 3 week timespan, we got maybe 1/2" of rain. Funny as it sounds, I regularly drove/rode thru rain, and one night there were flash flood warnings for every town surrounding mine - but not mine (because the storms were going to either side). Other towns were dealing with cleaning up overrun culverts and drainage ditches alongside the roads, and I was watering my vegies and new plantings 4-5 times per week. I even had to water new plantings in the no-mow zone; which is a place that has always been damp. I water by hand as I find it very wasteful to water areas outside my gardens. And, I am not encouraging the grass/weeds to grow by giving them moisture. Fortunately watering is soothing, calming and lets me take the time to inspect for weeds infiltrating the mulch.
Well, Thursday into Friday we got a long drawn out rain. Probably only got 1-1.5 inches, but it was nice and slow so soaked in. Today it has been drizzly most of the day, and rain is expected tonight (assuming it doesn't go around us).
An extra 30-40 minutes per day gained in not watering is great!
August 23, 2015
Strange Cat Sighting
There are several cats in the neighborhood that I regularly see, but this one decided that my propane tank was a good place to rest for a while. Don't know why he was up there, but it didn't disturb him that I was taking pictures or using the flash.
August 14, 2015
New Culvert, Now a New Road
Monday I rode the bike into work. When I was coming home, I turned onto a dramatically different road than I left that morning.
The dirt was very soft and made the bike squirrely. I was glad I didn't have to go far (you can see my tire tracks in the first picture to the right of the driveway). Since then it has rained hard, so it has compacted a bunch - a good thing since I have to ride the bike to have some service done tomorrow.
Oh, and now that they have removed all the shade creating plants by the culvert, Japanese Knotweed is growing like, well, weeds - better in fact. I have to inform the town that it is there and maybe they will try to take care of it before it comes into my yard (if you will remember, that is what I spent so much time eradicating/controlling over by the garage). I read that Deering just did a spray program to try to control/eradicate this nasty invasive, maybe Hillsboro will do the same.
New(ish) Pellet Stove
Last spring, as I was perusing CL, I was looking at pellet stoves. I know, I know, I have 2 pellet stoves that performed well last winter and kept me toasty warm.
However, the really nice looking St. Croix Hastings has a small hopper, holding only about 35 pounds of pellets, and on really cold, windy days, it would run out of pellets just as I was getting home from work (literally shutting down either just before or as I was walking in the door). This cramped my style as I had to make sure to rush home from work on those days. No, I really have no place else to be, but working late or having a long commute time during snow storms stressed me a bit. Plus, the SC is more demanding than my Harman P61a (stove downstairs. It has a small ash pan, so it had to be emptied every weekend and the longest I can go between cleaning of the rest of the stove is 2 weeks.
So anyway, I was perusing CL looking at pellet stove, not really thinking I would find anything that I would be willing to afford, when I saw a Harman PP38++ (basically a P43 if anyone cares - which only a pellet-head would), located in Weare, being sold by someone who was moving. The asking price was about $600 more than I was willing to afford. Not that they were asking a bad price for it, just I already had a stove that worked fine, so I wasn't willing to pay what they wanted.
I let them know I would be interested for a certain price, and they rejected it (naturally). A couple weeks later they lowered the price and I reiterated my interest, for my price. One issue in my favor was that they needed it to be moved on a certain weekend. I was willing, and had a person from the pellet forum I frequent who was willing to help on that day. About 3 days before they needed it moved, the contacted me and accepted my price.
So, I rented a van from U-Haul and my pellet forum acquaintance (that is being kind - he was a total stranger who answered a plea for anyone willing to help me) and I went and picked it up. Much to my delight I found the stove is only 2 years old (the St. Croix was born in 2008m the PP38++ born in 2013). The Harman has been hanging out in my living room since then but I couldn't put it in place until I got rid of the St. Croix.
I have had an ad on CL with it for sale or trade (for a trailer), and I had it for sale for the price I paid for it last fall. I knew I wouldn't get that, but one has to start somewhere. About 3 weeks ago I lowered the price by $150, and I got a lady who was interested. She came to look at it last Friday and definitely wanted it, just had to arrange for transport. We "dealt a bit and I dropped the price by another $50 if her helpers would help me place the Harman in its place after removing the St. Croix.
Tuesday evening she and her helper picked up the SC, and they helped me move the Harman into place (I could have done it myself, but having help is easier). The Harman doesn't look as nice as the SC, but it has a 55 pound hopper, I can get a hopper extension for an additional 40 pound capacity, I won't have to empty the ash pan but every 3-4 weeks, and the maintenance and cleaning schedule is exactly like the downstairs Harman (clean every ton or once/month). I can also get decorative trim if I wish to dress it up a bit. I still need to hook up the exhaust which I have to modify from the previous stove since their heights are different.
I also made out as far as I was concerned because I have a newer stove that cost me less than what I sold the SC for - and that includes the $100 for van rental, mileage charges and gas. I am a happy camper and I hope the lady who bought it is happy with her acquisition. The SC really is a fine stove, just not the best for my circumstances.
So, Cop Car (who has heard about how much a U-Haul really costs to rent, but didn't know what I picked up), yes, my deal was still a good deal.
August 02, 2015
Town Work on Road
The town has been working on my road replacing culverts. They finally got to mine. It looks much better as before it was heavily overgrown with poison ivy and wild, invasive roses.
The water going into the culvert is extremely rusty - weird, since it looks clear up further (top of pic). Maybe it is from the culvert they took out.
Wish they had taken this tree. Most of the green you see is poison ivy
Hopefully this means that they plan on repaving soon.
May 30, 2015
Small House Projects
Last weekend I wasn't in the mood to do a whole lot, but there was one thing I definitely needed to get done; I needed to put a privacy film on the bathroom window. Up until last weekend, I just had plants in the window and a frilly, see-thru lace curtain on a tension rod (the curtain came with the house).Since the bathroom is still torn apart, I don't want to put holes in the wal or window frame to install a better curtain or shade.
I wanted to move the biggest plant outside which would remove the biggest screen to anyone outside viewing the going ons inside. Plus, if I ever get the bathroom remodeled the way I want it, I will have a light in the center of the bathroom (right now it is behind a wall from the window), which would make it more likely someone could see things at 4:15 AM that I would rather keep private.
During the day, there isn't much that can be seen from outside. This is the sight without the plants and curtain in the way.
If you look closely, you can see an aluminum grab bar that is installed on the framework the shower is attached to.
I had gotten some treatment film a month or so ago, so I finally got around to cutting it, cleaning the window, spraying the window, installing the film and squeegying the air bubbles out. No, it wasn't difficult and I don't know why I didn't do it before - but it's done now.
Now a night view from the outside isn't even possible. Yes, the light is on in the bathroom - it is screened effectively by the wall it is behind and that is why I haven't really worried too much about it until this point - especially with the Rosemary and lace curtains. I have no doubt it will be lighter when the light is in the center of the room, but it should still do a fine job of affording me some privacy.
And here is what it looks like with everything in place.