Sunday, August 1, 2010

Sunday Mornin' Coming Down

Here it is only 8:30 am and my work for the day is essentially over.  Outside work, at any rate.  I wanted to turn the compost piles this morning and since the temp never got below about 74 overnight, I went out as early as I could see well enough, around 6:30.  Took about a hour and a half, all in all, and I must say that doing that kind of work makes me feel my age!

Oddly enough, it seems easier than it was back in Atlanta 15 years ago when I turned the compost piles weekly, so I guess that's a good thing, in a way.  On the other hand, turning the piles was generally the final chore every weekend, late Sunday afternoons, after two full days doing some kind of hard and physical work in the yard in the full, blazing summer sun and heat, so that is most likely why I remember the chore being so difficult.  :)

I was dismayed to see that the 'new' pile showed no signs of microbial activity at all, other than some ashy areas that were once green grass clippings.  It was really dry, so as I turned it I wet it down with gallon jugs of water brought from the house, about 6 in total.  One of these days I'm going to get a hose long enough to reach back there, but probably not any time soon.  The other one, the 'old' one, is looking great.  Moist, dark, full of bugs and even a few earthworms.  This one will definitely become compost by next spring and then I'll start another 'new' one.

And then, since I was in a turning frame of mind, I noticed that most of the buckwheat in the raised bed was starting to bloom, meaning it was time to turn it under.  This was not as easy an activity as I would have expected, although it might have gone better in that loose soil if I'd used a shovel rather than the fork.  I really didn't bury it all, but I'll go out in a week or so and turn it again, using the shovel, and that should take care of it.

So now we're back to using chicken wire to keep the cats out.  Tis a never-ending process around here, although most of them have learned that my yard is not a friendly environment for them.  I don't trust them, regardless.  Those old window weights do come in handy here and there!

While out in the back 40 I was attacked by biting insects.  Never saw them, but they were probably fleas, or flea beetles.  My bare ankles were good fodder for them, whatever they were, and I'm still itching even though I had a very necessary shower afterwards.  Red, swollen, ugly.  But, it'll go away.

I didn't get around to using the wire brush outside yet, but I did try it out some on the other window in this room yesterday.  I think it'll do a good job for me once I get started.  It made too much mess to use it inside -- white powder everywhere!  I already have white powder everywhere (Borax, for flea control) around the perimeters of every room, but this went everywhere!  I had much better luck on that window using a sanding block I bought yesterday.  I need to start on the primary window soon -- but need to buy some more stuff first, and I'm not going to have any more $$ until next Friday.  Insulation, wood filler, stuff like that there. I need to put insulation into the weight cavities before I can put the trim back on, and fill all the holes before I can start to put primer on.  I haven't even gotten around to paint color yet -- there are countless 'offwhite' colors available, so it's not as easy as it sounds.  I'll have to paint the new sashes when I get them, too,  before installing them.  They come pre-primed, but will need to be painted the same color as the wood trim of the window.  They have a protective coating on the glass that I can just peel off once the paint has dried, so no worries there.

Guess maybe it's time to think about more food.  I did all that work with about 6 oz of Kefir, some vitamins and a cup of coffee, and that ain't much.

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