Category Archives: Home Projects

Repairing the Wellhouse

Well House - 3One of the benefits of living in the country is the wonderful, clean water from our own well. To keep the well from freezing during the winter months, it is housed in a small building next to the main house.

One day I walked out to the well house to get some tools and got quite a shock…someone had ran into the building and knocked it off its foundation.

At first, I thought someone had merely “tapped” the building and simply busted in the wall near the door… but as I dug into the problem this Monday, I quickly discovered how hard it must have been hit.

In a nut shell, the entire south wall was moved 4.5 inches west – busting loose the concrete bolts used to mount the west wall onto the foundation. Continue reading Repairing the Wellhouse

Corn, Corn – Oh My – Lots of Corn – Shall We Freeze It?

Ah, corn. Good old sweet corn – and bees. 

Yelp – bees. 

It is amazing thing, but without bees you can not have a garden – or, actually, you can have a garden, but you wont be harvesting a lot….  Undecided

Luckly for us we have lots of bees in our garden – meaning that we have lots of corn to harvest…

This of course, brings it own set of problems – namely the fact that two people can not eat that much corn… Undecided[@more@]

So we decided to blanch and freeze a buch of ears. Cool

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Start by shucking the corn – unless you want to eat frozzen corn husks… Once the water is boiling, put the corn ears into the water and let boil for about 10 minutes (depending on the diameter of the corn ears).

After the 10 minutes, dunk in ice cold water for 10 minutes and then dry. 

 

 Wrap in alumninum foil and then place inside a frezzer bag. Place in freezer for a few months and then enjoy wonderful home grown corn in the middle of the winter. Cool

Learning To Pickling Pickles

I love dill pickles – so when our garden started producing tons of cucumbers, we decided to learn how to pickle pickles. Laughing

Start by washing and cleaning your cucumbers…

 

 

 

 

 

 Chop them up – either in slices or spears. We choose to use a pickle spice package from the store as we didn't want to mess with figuring out the mixture.[@more@]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heat up the brime mixture (ie. water, vinegar and spices) while bring a pot of water to a boil. 

 Fill your jars with cucumbers…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top off with the brime, screw on the lid and place in the boiling water. Let boil for a few minutes and then take them out.

 Let them sit for 12 hours to cool (don't they look good?) Laughing

And boy – do they taste good! 

Note that this burger is made with neighor raised organic beef, garden fresh beans, corn, tomatoes and of course our famous pickles. Cool

 

Pea Blanching

Remember those peas we pick? Well, we decided to postpone the enjoyment of our taste buds for a few months – saving them for the cold winter months instead of gorging ourselves with peas today.

This is where blanching comes into play. Speaking of blanching – who ever thought of such a word? Ever time I say the word I think of the banshee in Darby O'Gill and the Little People…. ok… so I'm a tad strange… Undecided

Anyway, so in order to keep the peas we harvested this weekend, we boiled them in a pot of hot water for two minutes – then immediately dunked them into ice cold water for another two minutes. [@more@]

This process – called blanching – is supposed to allow the peas to be frozen while keeping all the healthy vitamins and nutrients. 

While the process seems straight forward, it was actually a tad scary as our cook warned us against under cooking the peas in the boiling water, over cooling them in the cold water and everything else…. sigh….

We took the "a-few-seconds-here-or-there-shouldn't-kill" approach. Hopefully we will still be around next Spring after enjoying our peas all winter. Tongue out

After the blanching process, we sealed the peas into four quart size zip-lock freezer bags and stuck them into our deep freezer. We will continue to add to this stock pile over the summer so that we will have plenty of home grown vegies this winter. Laughing

Harvesting the First Fruits

This past weekend was a joyful occasion as we were able to harvest the first fruits of our garden.

You know, when you think about it, gardens are pretty amazing. You dig up a piece of dirt, throw in some tiny dry seeds – add water and the next thing you know you’re standing the middle of a vegetable aisle!  Tongue out

*smile* I know there must some kinda of spiritual lesson there…but I’m going to skip commenting on it and tell you just to read Mark 4. Smile

Peas where the first vegetables we were able to pick (some of our co-gardeners harvested some radishes before hand, but we missed out on them). =Frown   However, a few days later we were able to pick a few tomatoes – and let me tell you, these tomatoes were awesome!

Eating these first fruits is a reminder that all the hard work of weeding, watering and taking care of the garden is worth it. It just takes a little patience. [@more@]

Image a roof.

Shingles, wood, tar, sky light.

Now put a hole in it and add some rain.

That has been my life these last few months. But no more!!

The roof is still there – as is the shingles, wood, tar, and sky light – but the hole has been repaired and the rain is (hopefully) on its way out.

Now if only I can find an egg beater, crowbar and a milky way bar…. Innocent

Crying Stairs and Other Leaky Problems

Rumor has it that Southwest Idaho has broken the all time record for Spring rainfall. Regardless if this rumor is true or not I believe it!

Why do I believe it?

Because my basement staircase is crying!!!

You read correctly my staircase is crying. The ground has soaked up enough water that it is starting to force it back through the concrete into my basement. Sigh. Frown

At first I thought the water was coming in under the basement door so I placed some towels by the door and waited. The next day, the basement floor was flooded and the towels where dry.[@more@]

At this point, I was very confused. A friend said he thought it may actually be from a pipe or something similar, so suggested I should find a plumber just in case. I took a look at a few websites, like https://valleyservice.net/fargo-services/plumbing in particular, but decided to sleep on it.

Today however, it was raining when I woke up meaning that I had a chance to find the leak. After staring at the staircase for a while, I finally figured out where the water was coming from!

Once I knew that, I hooked up a system to where the water coming out of the staircase could run directly into my shopvac. Problem solved!

Or so I thought…

I had found one leak…there where multiple leaks through out the staircase…

Much sadness. Cry

Tonight at Bible study one of the guys told me that there was some chemicals you could put on the concrete that would seal it up. Alternatively, I could just look on a website similar to www.paultheplumbernh.com/amherst-plumbing-heating-cooling/ to try and find a professional solution to my leak. This would probably be the most reliable method of returning my home to its normal state.

All I must do now if find some of that stuff and pray for the rain to stop!!!

Gardens and Sinus

This has been one of the worse allergy and sinus Springs on record. Well, at least, it is at the top of MY list!!

There was a time when I used to mow and bale hay without trouble – minus the first few days when everyone was sneezing. Now days – in my old years – I live on allergy medicines and tissues.

I guess I need to eat more local honey. Undecided

Oh – speaking of Spring – we have a garden!

Yeah, this may be old news for most of you – but to me it is still pretty cool! This would be my first “real” garden since I was eight or nine. [@more@]

We are sharing the garden with several ladies in the community – which is nice when it comes to watering and weeding the garden. However, it also comes with…shall we say…challenges?  As with anything, the more people you have working on a project, the more opinions and comments you get. I guess the Lord wants us to work on our team building skills. Undecided

Yesterday was my day to work in the garden. It seems that the soaker lines we placed in the ground were not reaching the corn or tomatoes rows. Frown  Seeing that not having water is bad for the plants…yesterday was a day of moving water lines, digging trenches and adding new soaker hoses.

Lord willing the plants will get water and the vegs will grow. Cool

I was Farmin!!

traffic jamWeeds and dirt. oh – and a machine with lots of teeth.

Yesterday was the start of a love/hate relationship with the soil and weather of Idaho.

Yelp – we are planting a garden.

Only, it is not on our property as originally planned – it is next door at my neighbors place. She has a nice garden spot where she has been farmin for years. Only this year she is unable to work the land like she is used to…so Em and I decided to help her out.

We prepare the land and she helps with the watering and picking. A win-win deal. Laughing[@more@]

Shoot – we are thinking about hosting a "community garden" there as the plot is big enough to grow a TON of food. We are not sure who, if anyone, is going to join us…but we are offering. Smile

So, yesterday we broke out the tiller and started turning the soil – trying to chop up all the weeds that grew up over the winter and spring.

It was slow going…well, until we were told to stop. Frown

Our neighbor has found someone with a tractor who is willing to disk the whole thing….