July 18, 2010
When we found out we needed about 2 tons of gravel to go on the outside of the root cellar as part of the drain system. The truck doing the delivery had a delivery cost was $75.00 so we decided to just splurge and get load of 14 tons. On Friday, the primary 4 ton pile was dumped up near the cellar the driver did a great job spreading the remaining down the old dirt driveway. After a little leveling it looked great.
Ronald, Vicky and Paul showed up Saturday morning and started putting the metal roofing, fascia and soffits on. Monday he will finish the roof cap, and start putting the metal on the sides. The last thing will be to put the shelves up and start our initial stocking of our winter stores
July 14, 2010
This morning started out overcast and rainy. Nine o’clock came and went. I thought maybe the block layers would not show up due to the weather. About 10:00 the sun started to peek in and out and the sky cleared. Eleven o’clock Ronald rolled in with about four pick up trucks following behind him like a wagon train. Behind one of the trucks I could see that it towed a small concrete mixer. Four muscled men jumped out of the trucks and immediately started to work. Ronald filled them in on all the specifics. Within four and half hours they were finished. I couldn’t believe how fast they worked. Every time I checked on them they had a layer or two finished.
Moving right along
Tomorrow Ronald will tar the exterior sides of the building where the earth will be pushed up on the sides. We will also have get another load of gravel to be spread around the side edges before the earth can be pushed up against three sides of the building. All this will keep water from seeping into the cellar. He also put in two air vents near the top of the building that will automatically open and close depending on the temperature. Before long we will have a working root cellar.
Right now my meager amount of pickles and consort will look a little puny on the shelves Ronald will soon install, but I noticed we have some green beans coming on and the tomato plants are chock full of fruit. The onions are ready to harvest and I think the potatoes are too. We don’t have many of each. Next year I plan to plant more so we will have enough to last through the winter. This years garden was more of an experiment to see if we could garden at all. Overall I think Sonny and I have proven that we inherited some of our ancestors green thumb genes. Even if it is only on the tip of our thumbs.
July 13, 2010
Ever have those days where you feel like nothing gets done? Like your wading through a quagmire, trying to reach dry land, but the mud just keeps sucking you down. It’s been that way for me since Sunday.
Right now my house is mess, I have boxes of things that came from the apartment and I don’t know what to do with it. I don’t like things in disorder. It stresses me out, even if I tell myself not to sweat the small stuff. And in reality it is small compared to a lot of other things that can happen.
Sunday I made a plan to go to town and buy the things I need to make squash conserve and bread & butter pickled zucchini. I have never made either one before, but it looked like a good way to use up some of the harvest. So with my list and a smile on my face I headed down Rt. 50 toward town. I figured I could get a head start on the week. Maybe can up the pickles when I got home and can up the conserve on Monday. I’m good at time management, I should be able to put away a few boxes and clean up the house in between canning. By Wednesday I should be able to enjoy a clean house and admire my gleaming jars packed with tasty treats harvested from my own garden. Uh oh, traffic ahead.
Apparently a large truck that was too tall tried to squeeze through an underpass. Traffic was backed up for miles on Rt 50. I was trapped. There was no turn off in sight. I had to sit and wait until we reached an exit. Two hours. I got off on the exit and headed straight home. So Monday I tried again. I made it to town just fine but it took me all day to run the errands. I did make progress though. I was able to make six pints of bread & butter zucchini pickles.
Squash Conserve and Bread & Butter Pickled Zucchini
Today I had to meet Ronald at 8:00 this morning to go back to town and pick up some supplies to finish the root cellar. It took us until after noon to get everything and unload it here at Pot Hole Farm. Not too bad. Still time to get something done. Then the census man came to the door. Then it was one thing or another to interrupt my plans, but I did prevail and was able to can up some squash conserve. At least that is something, and it sure looks pretty sitting on my counter. Hopefully it it tastes as good as it looks.
The boxes are still sitting there glaring at me, the laundry basket is overflowing, the floor needs vacuuming and I can write my name in the dust on the furniture, but no matter. It will be waiting for me tomorrow. Oh, the block layers will be here at 9:00 A.M. I will be busy taking pictures and watching the root cellar go up. That’s ok. When it’s finished it will be a big accomplishment. The other stuff….not so much.
July 12, 2010
Frontier to Buy Verizon Rural Lines!!! I feel like I just lost my mind. If you don’t know what I mean check out the earlier blog “My Telephone Nightmare” and the follow-up “Stood Up Again“. Be sure to bring a hanky to wipe your eyes. I only hope I can keep my frustration level in check while I try to explain what I need again. Would rather put a stick in my eye.
July 11, 2010
Hope everyone had a wonderful July 4th. We enjoyed ours with the company of my sister, cousin John and Carol. We did the traditional hot dogs on the grill with all the fixings and delicious side dishes. Of course there was lots of laughter. That is a key ingredient here at Pot Hole Farm. You can’t come visit unless you have a sense of humor. Otherwise you won’t understand a word we say. The rest of our week was extremely busy. Unfortunately it was time for my sister to go home to her own family. We spent a great week together and I appreciate all the work she did to beautify Pot Hole Farm with pretty plants and flowers.
Sonny and I had to finish up moving our furniture from the apartment in Virginia. Of course it was scheduled for the two record hot days that have occurred in years. Temperatures reached up to 104 degrees. With all the soar muscles and heat exhaustion we needed to take a few days to recoup.
The chickens are doing great. They love it when Sonny throws them a handful of freshly caught bugs. It’s like watching a hockey game as they run around trying to steal the bugs from each other. You have to have a quick eye to see who has the bug at any given time. I do believe that two of our feathered friends are roosters. We have conformation from Ronald that at least one of them is. Somebody is going to have to go. There’s not enough room in the hen house for two little gangsters.
Root Cellar blocks being delivered
We had a pleasant surprise Saturday. We decided to sleep in for once, but was awakened by the familiar squeak of the Green Goblin. We squinted our sleep bleary eyes as we peeked out the window, while trying to stuff our stiff limbs into uncooperative clothing. We were shocked to see a large red truck follow Ronald up the drive. It was loaded with the cement blocks, sand and bags of mortar needed to build our root cellar. Ronald has come through for us again. That man is a God send. So later this week the block layers should show up to do the job. Before you know it we will have another project finished.
Pot Hole Farm is shaping up nicely. It is beginning to feel as though we have lived here for centuries. It’s not only because we have reached many of our goals but because friends and family have helped to form and build it piece by piece. Their memories are imprinted in every nook and cranny. I hope we continue to build happy memories and that the spirit of Pot Hole Farm will be one of peace, refuge and joy to all those who visit.
July 3, 2010
We got up before the roosters this morning to go to our usual Saturday flea market. John and Carol followed us out in Whitie ( their flat bed truck ). The sun was just starting to rise over the mountain tops. You know the old saying, the early chicken gets the first bugs. Sorry, thats my version. I think the original was something about a bird, but it really doesn’t matter. In any case the early riser gets the best deals. Its usually worth missing that second cup of coffee, but barely.
We ended up having to park the cars in the back forty because apparently there are people who skipped the first cup of coffee and got there before us. We started down the rows checking out vendors when my eyes caught sight of a table at the end of the row. Chickens. Beautiful white Leghorns and Rhode Island Reds. There were a few squawking ducks and a couple of pairs of doves, but I ignored them. My eyes looked like kaleidoscopes as I moved closer. The vendor saw the glint of a sale in my eyes and threw out the hook by saying “five dollars a piece.”
I put my game face on. He wasn’t going to get me that easily. How old are they I asked? He respond with “A year.” We were really looking for some pullets. He pulled out a wooden crate containing five Rhode Island Reds. Two bucks a piece. The chickens looked healthy and a crowd was beginning to form. He loaded them up in a box for me and off we went. So now I am the proud parent of five pullets.
The chicken house is finished except for a few finishing touches, but the girls don’t seem to mind. They checked it out and appear to be comfortable. The only thing we had to do was put up a fence. Since we already had the materials, Sonny, my sister and I knocked it out in about two hours. It was fun watching the girls strut around the pen pecking anything that moved and stretching their wings. They look right at home. The only nightmare we might have is if we made a mistake and ended up with five roosters. To be continued…..
Janice helping with the fence
July 1, 2010
Today the big red concrete truck arrived. They poured 10 yards of concrete for the garage floor and the Root Cellar. Sometime next week we will order the block needed for the walls and get the blocks layed.
The Floor is Poured
Below is Root Cellar
Root Cellar Floor