May 28, 2016

1 Ton Down

Last weekend I moved a ton of pellets out of the yard and under nominal shelter. On Saturday I made a skinny pallet as where I was placing it only had a small area for the storage. I brought home a packing crate for a machine, that was nominally shaped like a pallet. After removing small pieces of wood that were sticking up as holders, I added a bunch of scrap wood across the base to creat the pallet. The original base only had 4 slats - the rest were added by me

Homemade Pallet

The pallet was placed along one wall of the shed, then the stacking commenced.

One ton pellets gone from yard
One ton pellets gone from yard

Being an old shed, the roof leaks so I added plastic to keep the pellet bags dry (the bags have breathing holes so aren't water tight.

1 ton pellets in shed - covered

I plan on moving the other pellets that are in front of the shed into the house, then will tent the other 6 tons at some point.

Posted by Bogie on May 28, 2016 at 07:54 AM in At Home | Permalink | Comments (1)

May 22, 2016

Pyrex Mishaps

What happens when a 30+ year old pyrex measuring cup meets a newish Ball canning jar

Pyrex measuring cup versus ball canning jar

The Pyrex was only dropped about 6 inches  as I was placing it in the dish drainer after washing it.

I did get a replacement, but it isn't the same somehow. The handle heats up in the microwave - not badly, but enough to make me wonder what the difference is.

Posted by Bogie on May 22, 2016 at 06:46 AM in At Home | Permalink | Comments (3)

April 10, 2016

What I have Been up To

Two months ago I started a second part-time job cleaning offices at night. I had been only working 2-4 hours a week; working on Tuesday and Friday nights at a local dentist office with another gal and helping at other places when someone called in sick.

Last week I started working every week night as a gal decided 3 (!!!) jobs was too many and her last day was Thursday at another dental office in the next town over (this place is only open Mon-Thurs). This is a good fit for me as once a month I have the LOH meeting Thursday evening, so I can push out that night's cleaning until Friday. I will still be working the local office too. I will be getting in at least 3 hours every night except the Friday's that I only work at the local dental office - that will be about a 1.5 hour night.

Last Friday night I evidently didn't have enough of cleaning as I decided my wood floors really needed to be oiled. So, I vacuumed, mopped, scrubbed some sections, then got on my hands and knees and went to work. I moved every piece of furniture in the living room (except the entertainment center), while the rest of the room I just moved small things like chairs.

I was quite pleased with the results

Living rooom floor after oil-turned
Living rooom floor after oil-turned
Living rooom floor after oil-turned

Posted by Bogie on April 10, 2016 at 08:04 AM in At Home, House Work | Permalink | Comments (1)

April 02, 2016

Watch Kitty

I have squirrels that constantly raid my birdfeeders even though the feeders are literally right outside my back door. I thought that when Fuzzy was outside the squirrels stayed out of the penned in area. They have figured out they are in no danger from me if they are outside the pen and I am on the back porch, but surely the squirrels wouldn't come onto the porch while the cat was outside. Remember, Fuzzy was feral the first 5-6 years of his life and I imagine he caught a lot of his own food.

Yeah, right. See how my hopes are dashed :)

Fuzzy and Squirrel

Posted by Bogie on April 2, 2016 at 05:33 PM in At Home, Our Animals | Permalink | Comments (1)

March 26, 2016

Shedding Stuff

This has nothing to do with the rest of the post, but L*wes called me this morning wondering if I would take delivery of the 4 tons of pellets tomorrow instead of next Saturday - sure!

While cleaning out the shed to install old metal standing shelves that were previously in the basement, I realized I don't have enough space for both the lawn mower and the snow blower. Previously that wasn't an issue as they sat in the garage in front of the car. Umm, won't work this year dummy - pellets are there. So, I did something I had been planning on doing anyway; I put the garden tractor on CL. It is taking up fully half of the 8x8 shed - and taking that half out of the middle, so very inconvenient all the way around.

I haven't used the tractor at all, haven't even started it. I don't need it to rototill since I have raised garden beds, and half my yard is too wet to try to run it thru for mowing. I also like getting exercise using the hand mower. It is 17 years old and minus a tail light and headlight (thanks Ex for dumping it out of the truck within a month of my buying it). So, I put a nice low price on it at 3:30 this afternoon and by 5 I had not only a guy who will be here first thing in the morning for it. If he doesn't want it (improbably, he is driving 1.5 hours), someone else will be here at 11. Of course I will let guy #2 know not to make the trip if guy #1 takes it.

Either way, by noon I should have room for snowblower and mower. The shelves will be in there and the main reason for all of this moving stuff around; I will once again have room in the garage (barely) for the bike.

Posted by Bogie on March 26, 2016 at 08:00 PM in At Home | Permalink | Comments (2)

March 06, 2016

Fully Stocked

So, in my last post I talked about getting 2 more tons of pellets delivered while BBS had them on sale. I received the two tons on Tuesday, so have 4 tons sitting out in the yard.

4 tons Infernos outside

Then on Thursday, I was perusing CL and what should I find but a guy that had some of the better pellets on sale - for less than the set price I had previously posted. Even after delivery charge ($40 for a 70 mile trip), I was below that price. So, I ordered 3 tons and had them delivered yesterday.

Friday evening I moved the ton of pellets still in the garage into the basement. That left me with enough room to place the better pellets in the garage. The machine that they pellet guy used wouldn't fit in the garage (heck, my truck is too tall so I didn't expect his machine to go in), but he was able to push the pallets in so hand stacking was pretty much a breeze.

2 tons okies in garage
2 tons okies in garage

It took less than 2 hours for me to restack the 3 tons - and that includes a break between each ton. Also, the top 3 rows were challanging since I had to use a step stool to reach those.

All 3 tons okies stacked

So to recap my holdings; 4 tons outside, 3 tons in the garage and 2.3 tons in the basement. Should get me thru a couple of winters, or at least 1.5 winters.

Posted by Bogie on March 6, 2016 at 08:00 AM in At Home | Permalink | Comments (2)

February 27, 2016

Fueling Up

Since the winter of 2013/2014, wood pellet markets have been wild. Pellets have at times been scarce, and expensive. Last year I was thankful to find decent (not good, just decent) pellets at H*me Dep*t for $259/ton. Other decent pellets were going for upwards of $300/ton while the really good stuff could get up to $400/ton. But, with high oil and propane prices, I couldn't complain and still saved huge compared to propane prices. And I was thankfull too that last year, although some places had pellet shortages, I was always able to find what I needed (being able to store a couple ton in the basement helped too).

The pellet makers responded to the last two hard winters by making sure we had an abundance of pellets, and the Big Box Stores (BBS) likewise brought in huge stores of inventory, which is good in a sense. However, they are at the same prices as last year and with the mild winter, and cheaper oil, pellets were sitting and few were buying (those few were people like me who still save money over propane by using pellets). I started off the season with 5+ tons; four I bought in the fall and I had a bit over a ton left from last season. I have bought 5-10 bags of pellets here and there when I could find a good deal on something I hadn't tried and I have about 2.5 tons in the house/garage to get me thru the rest of this season (unless the weather gets really wacky, I should have plenty left).

A couple of weeks ago L*we's lowered their decent pellets to $199/ton, with free delivery if you bought at least 2 tons. I had 2 tons delivered about 10 days ago

2 tons of Inferno Golds

Monday is the last day of the sale, and HD hasn't lowered their price any, so I decided to order another couple of tons. Those will be delivered in the middle of the week. If HD lowers their price, I will probably get some of theirs too.If I get the chance to get some of the really good pellets at around the $259/ton mark, I will try to grab some of those as well. I may have to store a lot outside, but I need to take advantage of both the supply and the prices.

See, all the talk on the pellet forums is on what will happen next year. Several pellet plants have been shut down for the last month or so because they aren't selling their stock. Some of them may never reopen. Those that do, will probably not produce as many pellets next year to reduce their chances of being burned on the market again. The BBS will probably not order the inventory as they did this year, for the same reason. If those ideologies hold true and we have a tough winter next year, there may be pellet shortages and/or outrageous prices.

It will be interesting to see what happens next winter. It will also be interesting to see how big a lean-to or storage tent I need to set up.

Posted by Bogie on February 27, 2016 at 06:00 PM in At Home | Permalink | Comments (7)

February 14, 2016

Baby it's Cold Outside

Yesterday was cold with brutal windchills. This morning is the coldest morning I remember - definitely the coldest since I've been at this house at -21 degrees

Cold -21 degrees Feb 14-2016-turnded

By 2 pm, with a cloudless, sunny sky it had climbed to the high for the day at +4 degrees. It is all downhill from there.

Pellet stoves have done a wonderful job of keeping it warm in the house. Did have a brief scare with power flickers, but thank goodness nothing permanent.

By middle of the week we will be back in the 40's or 50's - I can live with that :)

Posted by Bogie on February 14, 2016 at 03:39 PM in At Home, New Hampshire News | Permalink | Comments (3)

February 06, 2016

Explorer Ready to Explore Again

I got the call on Thursday that the insurance adjuster had been in to the shop and authorized several things:

  • Break down the tire that got hit, take out the plastic parts that were wedged between tire and rim, remount, and balance
  • 4 wheel alignment. No other problems were noted, but the 4 wheel alignment would help determine if other things were out of wack
  • Order a new front bumper as there was damage (holy cow, I didn't notice damage and neither did anyone else that looked at it.

So, they did the tire stuff and alignment and ordered the bumper. That will take some time to get in, so when I dropped off the Focus for inspection (it passed!), I picked up the truck. I took a look at the bumper and there are just a couple of minor scratches. Nothing I ever would have noticed or expected to have fixed - especially since it is rubber/plastic/composite, so its not like it will rust. However, this vehicle was in truly excellent condition cosmetically when I bought it (except a known defect on the back door), and the bank expects it to be restored to that condition, so that is what they are doing.

Both vehicles are home and when I get the call that the bumper is in, I'll drop the truck off for a day. Meanwhile, I figure I have warded off any more snow until then; the local TV station says the computer is showing 2 models for Mon/Tues - one that the system completely misses us, the other that we get a good storm - I know which we would have gotten if I only had the Focus :)

Posted by Bogie on February 6, 2016 at 06:40 PM in At Home, Vehicles | Permalink | Comments (4)

January 30, 2016

Another Oldy is New

I've been looking for a vehicle that gets better mpg for everyday driving for the last month or so. Plus, I need an extra vehicle in case one goes down - I can still get to work. Case in point, while Explorer is in shop to check for damage from the accident.

Newly installed in the garage is a 2007 Ford Focus ZX4 with almost 200k miles. I paid a little less than what I got for the Patriot that had a dead transmission - I figure I'm ahead. It's in pretty good shape; just has high mileage. I'll see if it passes inspection next weekend, but I don't see any reason it shouldn't pass. It is a 5-speed so I'm looking forward to driving a standard again.

Ford Focus ZX4 2007 bought 1-30-16

During the test drive I forgot to down shift as I was coming to a stop light until the owner reminded me - funny how short a time one forgets even though I still have the urge to shift the Explorer on a regular basis (haven't ever reached for the clutch, just reach for a shifter that isn't there).

I'm still keeping the Explorer for driving in winter weather, hauling pellets and other heavy loads, and it can pull a trailer if I ever get one. Plus, it doesn't fit in the garage anyway, so no extra space is needed for the car.

Still need to get tags for the car, so it will be safely ensconced in the garage for a couple more days before I can start enjoying the 28-35 mpg (better even than the Patriot was at 26-28).

Posted by Bogie on January 30, 2016 at 07:40 PM in At Home, Vehicles | Permalink | Comments (8)