Tag Archives: clean

DIY Cold Frame

Just planted some lettuce and spinach and hope to extend its production as late as possible.  Hate to spend money, so found this old kitchen cupboard and a storm glass that is close in size and put them together.  We have lots of cupboards and windows, but i did have to buy the t-hinges.  Tons of hinges around our place, but no t-hinges.  It’s likely that future cold frames, i’ll use the hardware from the door of the cupboard, but the door on this one was missing already.

 

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Cupboard found – missing door.
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Old aluminum framed storm glass – nasty things, but perfect for this project.
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Cleaned up and painted with paint we already have.  I used an outdoor rated spray paint simply because it needed using before it became useless and won’t spray out.  Dark colour is great for absorbing heat.  Before painting, i removed all extraneous hardware.

 

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Cheap hinges from Orscheln’s
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As you can see the top hole of this hinge doesn’t reach the side board, so using a Sharpie marker, i located a spot that would reach.
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Then using our drill press made an extra hole in each.  However, when i installed the hinges, I found that two screws would be sufficient for the hinged glass ‘door’ would have been fine.
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Box completed – no use doing anything to the inside though i may add some sort of insulation on the bottom.
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Voila!  Ready to go to work.  Too early yet – we are expected to have temps in high 80s for another week!

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Spraying Done for this Year

One of the main projects i had planned for this year was to spray brush.  Truly had hoped to cover the entire farm, but there is just so much that between regular work and windy or rainy days – well, i did get quite a lot done actually and i’m pleased.  My focus did switch to completely covering (spot spraying) the west 160 and that was accomplished by July 1.  It is important to keep track of that date because three years from then, the farm can be used to grow certified organic crops.  Weed and brush management from now on will have to be by brush hogging and intensive grazing.  One of the ironies of ‘certified’ organic is that i can’t chemically treat individual plants even once for three years, but i could burn all the fossil fuel i want mowing them down.  But rules are rules.

So to finish the project also means to clean up and put away the tools used.  My 30 gallon spray tank and pump were purchased new at Orscheln’s this year and i hope to get several more years’ use out of it.  Their brand name is Country Tuff and it has worked flawlessly all season.  I did switch out the coiled hose for a straight one we already had – i just didn’t like the coiled one.

For the chemical, the easiest and most effective in my opinion is Crossbow.  i buy it by the case (4 gallons) at a cost of $200.46 at Butterfield & Associates Grain in Meadville, MO.  Mix half gallon to 30 gallons of water and you are ready to go.  This spring and summer, I sprayed about 1200 gallons of mixed spray.  That’s about 45 hours worth of spot spraying.

Cleaning up:

  1. drain and rinse out the tank with clean water
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This photo shows that i place a 2×4 between the tank and the edge of my Gator bed which keeps the tank from rubbing on the side and also keeps the clips that hold the sprayer wand from breaking off.
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i used a couple tarp straps around the tank to secure the tank in place.  The 3×3 inch board in front keeps other items from bumping against the tank and the motor.  (My Gator is usually full of other stuff)
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Under the motor, the draw pipe is located.  Shown here, i’ve undone the pipe from the tank and showing the screen is partially plugged.  The sprayer will operate with this little bit of stuff clogging it, but you will definitely notice a lack of spray distance.  It’s important to use clean water and keep stuff out of the tank which can clog the orifice and screen.
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I’ve cleaned the screen and replaced it.  (Yeah, i know, i need a manicure badly!)
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This tube actually had a small part of a leaf in it when i set out to clean the tank for storage.  I knew i had a lack of power and had cleaned the screen before.  I just thought maybe i had run the motor so much it was worn out.  However, i have no doubt now it was because of the leaf blocking this tube.  I’ll remember to check that next year.
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Inside the tank is the draw tube.  This is where that leaf had gotten trapped.  i’ve cleaned it out now.
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The electrical plug and wire goes from the motor and up through my Gator back window and down under the passenger seat to the battery.
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Horrible photo, but black to negative and red to positive for battery connections.
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Cleaned, drained, ready for winter storage
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Properly labeled as to what was used in this tank and when.

 

Shabbat Shalom!

tauna

Farm Scrap

One of the best environmental activities the federal government could assist, if it must assist, is providing a short term subsidy for scrap metal.  This one thing could clean up farms, ranches, dead car lots, any scrap metal lying around.  Generations of farm rubbish has been thrown in ditches and draws and would be cleaned up and turned into cash.  Win – win for environment and farmers, but not the third win for new metal producers: they would take a short term hit in sales that would definitely hurt.

However, for the past several years, scrap metal prices have moved between 2 cents a pound to its current 4 cents a pound here locally.  ($80/ton)  Clearly not enough to make it worthwhile to load it, strap it down securely, drive 30 minutes to the nearest facilty, then unload it by hand as well.

Cheers!

tauna

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I loaded this bit in about 30 minutes.  I weigh the truck, load, weigh the truck loaded, strap it down tight, then drive to Chillicothe, MO about 30 minutes away.  This load weighed 775 lbs and only yielded $31.  Sad, sad.

Site Inspect for FAMS

Dallas is not a good bathroom cleaner upper. Probably never will be, so occasionally, i can no longer stand the mess and start scrubbing. I don’t mind, he takes out hay for me when it’s too cold to live, manhandles gates i struggle with, and does lots of other jobs that are getting harder and harder for me. ANYWAY, here’s about as clean as one can get cheap Mustee brand shower panels after being used for 5 years. Took me about half an hour, scrub brush, cloth, Soft Scrub, hot water, and tooth brush to get this clean. However, as a former travel consultant and group air coordinator, i had the opportunity to participate in a few FAM (familiarization) trips. On FAM trips, we are paraded to various hotels, restaurants, etc in the hopes we would book their properties (they are paying for this FAM), so we learn to scrutinize. Looking at this shower, what would you check to see if it was clean?

Nothing can be perfectly clean, but there is definitely a minimum standard to be maintained to show respect for your paying guests. (this is our home now and no longer a guesthouse)

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Here’s the mostly cleaned shower.  If you were doing a site inspection for a hotel, where would you look?
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The bottom of the shower curtain.
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Run your finger or a cloth on all horizontal surfaces.
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Note the difference between the cleaned edge on the right vs still dirty on the left.
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Check the top of the curtain rod.
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Inspect corners and the BACK of the frame panel.
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The soap dish should be scrubbed.

Get ‘er Done!

Sometimes, we are stymied or overwhelmed by the number of tasks we have before us and sometimes, we are just being plain old lazy!  There are Scriptures which address that sluggardness.  Shake it off and get crackin’!   Analysis paralysis runs rampant in our culture.  You know how we, as parents, hear from our children ‘there’s nothing to do!’  Oh, mercy, that is music to our hears!  😉  (My children learnt at a very young age to never say that and as young adults, they know that there is also something to accomplish or improve.)

Here are some tasks that are easily put off, but are imperative!  (This list can be applied to ANYTHING; the car, pickup, office, shop, barn, you name it, it needs cleaning and organising!)  GET ‘ER DONE!  (The Scriptures even address cleanliness for our own good)

  1. Throw all the bedclothes, curtains, drapes, rugs, doilies, etc next to the washing machine and start a load of mattress pad or sheets.
  2. While those are washing/drying, clean out every single drawer, box, hanger, and throwaway or give away if you haven’t used it or worn within the past year or less.   Most stuff will be trash.  Papers, magazines, articles – throw them away!  If in doubt, throw it away.  Work fast or you’ll get bogged down and not complete the job!
  3. Keep the washing machine and dryer going!
  4. Now vacuum the mattress – both sides and the box springs (if you have one), vacuum each and every nook and cranny of the room; ceiling, corners, edges, drawers, closet.
  5. Scrub down and/or dust every nook and cranny, this includes floors, floor and ceiling trim.  If you have a lot of knick knacks that need dusting, consider giving them away. Take this opportunity to lighten your future workload!
  6. Keep the washing machine and dryer going!
  7. Wash windows, mirrors, and glass inside and out.
  8. Haul out trash to recycle or burn or take to dumpster.
  9. Keep the washing machine and dryer going!
  10. Make minor repairs as needed and make a list of supplies needed to make larger repairs.  Don’t lose the list!
  11. Put mattress pad and/or sheets back on the bed, rehang curtains, lay out rugs, whatever you have.
  12. The room should flow smoothly from start to finish with no stopping if you move along and keep the washing going and you’ve probably lightened the load in the room by half in dust, grime, and junk.  How relaxing!
  13. Boom!  One room down – now for the next.  Yeah, there’s something to do.

 

Remember, that giving away items to a non-profit organisation will garner you a tax deduction.  Ask for a form that will record the items and value.

Have Fun!

tauna

Stuck In the House

What does a woman do when she is stuck inside due to extreme ragweed allergies!?  It is frustrating because the weather is starting to cool off and there is always SO much to be done outside.  Fences need repair, brush needs cutting, barns cleaned out, livestock needs shifting to new paddocks…… the list is endless.  Up until this year, youngest son, Nathan, would do my basic chores (shifting livestock, checking water) from mid-August to mid-October, but he is off to uni this fall, so the task has fallen to Rick, our new hand whom we hope stays on to become manager – he is certainly capable.  So, while I’m grateful,it’s frustrating as well.

So, after spending most of last week at my farm in south Missouri (Dallas and I were hoping our allergies would be somewhat alleviated, and surprisingly for me, i did find some relief, not so much for Dallas) and redesigning and setting up the working corral and trampling through a ‘jungle’ of a small timber patch to string out some polywire in preparation for fencing it off this winter and we started tearing out an old house, but wrong time of the year for that – i got stung on my upper lip just straight away.  OUCH!  brought tears to my eyes!

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Built up dust on the leading edges of ceiling fan blades.

This week, we are back home, so my major goal is to ‘fall’ clean the house.  Spiders have built webs in every nook and cranny inside and out, so lots of vacuuming and dusting.  Of course, I vacuum all the furniture; under and around the arms and cushions, and turn them over to vacuum the dirt and dust from underneath.  Cobwebs in the corners, from ceiling to walls, and walls to floors.  Climbing a ladder to wash off the center and blades of our two ceiling fans and dusting the leaves of our one inside plant.  Dusting the tops and back of wall photos and pictures, top of furniture, and all the wooden trim and doors.  And definitely under the floor grates which cover the return air ducts.

Cobwebs everywhere!
Cobwebs everywhere!

One tip I learnt as a travel consultant when on Fams and checking hotel rooms, was to run your finger along the top of doors and/or shower rods.  If there is dust, then the room is NOT clean.

Washing windows is sort of an outdoor job, so I can only do so much of that at a time before becoming overwhelmed with allergy attack.  But i can plug away at it.

Additionally, Monday i listed a bunch of unneeded items to sell on Ebay, paid bills, and RIck and i pulled the CIDRs, administered Estrumate, applied heat detection patches, and mouthed a few of the 17 recip cows because the needed ear tags and i didn’t know how old they were.  The ear tag number starts with the year they were born.  For example, a four year old cow’s number would start with a ‘1.’  This took about an hour, so i was struggling a bit by the time i could get back into the a/c.  Took a break, then went back out to let out the cows into the pasture south of our house for observing and ran water for them.

Of course, breakfast, lunch, and supper preparations are everyday.

Froze up a couple gallons of green beans, cooked down, slipped off the skins, and froze a gallon of tomatoes.

Until tomorrow!

tauna

Climbed up in the back of my Gator to drill a hole large enough for this solar lantern to fit snugly into.  When it's really dark outside, I can't even find our own driveway!  Hopefully this will help.
Climbed up in the back of my Gator to drill a hole large enough for this solar lantern to fit snugly into.  When it’s really dark outside, I can’t even find our own driveway!  Hopefully this will help.