Thursday, June 12, 2008

JuneBug - Horse To The Stars...

Assuming that I'm a star. Well, I'll use that term loosely.

I finally got a horse - her name is JuneBug. She's a retired reining horse - so she knows all the moves. It's her rider that doesn't know much.

I'm going to take some lessons with Matt - he holds things together behind the scenes at Horses For Clean Water.

Plus it will give me a chance to wear my cowboy hat. =)

She seems like she's going to be a great trail horse. We went on our first ride today after I got home from work, and she did great. At one point there were two barking dogs on our left, and two motorcycles on our right, and she was calm as could be. Nice.

I'm hoping I can improve enough to do the "spin" move that reining horses can do.

I also put in my order for an equestrian helmet today. I hope I'll never need to test it out.
Wish me luck

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I'm Here For The Party...

Or "Why I spent 23 hours in one weekend landscaping."

So Rancher Ron is getting married this month, and let's just say that the ol' farm house is not going to be featured in Dwell magazine any time soon. If this house was on, you'd say it has a good personality.

Here's a picture from a while back when we were building the garden, but if you look in the background, you can see the back of the house. They planted a tree too close to the house that completely discolored the vinyl siding. In fact, this side (the south side) of the house was pretty nasty.

It was covered in this green/brown gunk in various stages of "gross!" And since I didn't have a pressure washer, I went and bought a telescoping brush made to clean RVs and just started scrubbing the outside of the house.

It was nothing short of miraculous! What an amazing difference. But it was kind of like a sweater unraveling. Once you start on the back, then you notice how dirty the side is... then the front... then the other side, etc. You'll also notice that me and Neighbor Bill ripped out the tree and the gnarly bushes that must have been on sale that day, because they planted them everywhere.

I also paid a neighborhood kid called Dwight $10 an hour to prep the side of the deck for landscaping.

Then it was time to call in the big guns! I pleaded with the future Mother-In-Law for a little help - who am I kidding - a lot of help, and she showed up on Sunday with her shovel, ready to go. LD was the mastermind behind the first stages of our landscaping, so I figured she would have some more good ideas for the rest of the house.

We went to our local Mega Wal-Mart and dropped about $200 on plants and bark. Here's a video of how the front of the yard turned out:

The only thing left was the back of the house. Gerty and Frank, our dogs, like to lounge in that flower bed on hot days, so we decided to just put in a few big bushes and then a couple of pots with some flowering plants.
Here's how the back turned out. There's another matching pot off camera to the left. LD is going to bring by some more flowers from her home garden to finish out the pots.

I also picked up a cedar bench for the front porch and gave it a good scrub down. And I replaced the top on that little box that covers some plumbing. It had a ratty piece of particle board on it. I cut some nice fir and gave them a few coats of clear finish. Much better.

Well, at least the outside of the house is ready for the party. I just wish I could take the hose and scrub brush to the inside of the house too!

See you next time~

Monday, June 9, 2008

War On Moles Part 3

In my ongoing battle vs. the little tunneling monsters, I ran across this at Harbor Freight:
The Solar Powered Mole Chaser. I know what you're thinking. NO WAY! It'll never work. And you might be right. But at $9, I thought I'd give it a try. The box says it covers 6000 square feet. So that's one every 60 feet. I bought four to put around the house and the back yard.

That's about the cost of one box of Talparid.

Here's how it looks installed.

I have no idea how it will work, but I put one in the back yard right next to the most recent mine field of mole hills. The instructions say to let the battery charge for a day before turning them on.

When I powered them up, they make a somewhat high pitched noise about every 45 seconds or so. I can hear it, so it's not ultra sonic like a dog whistle or anything. They've been buzzing for about a day - I'll keep you informed on any new mole hills!

Wish me luck.