Saturday, July 26, 2014

Honey Bees! July 2014

Hi

I have an exciting thing happening at the house now.. I have bees! Actually they aren't mine, they belong to this older Russian man named Leo. He contacted me from a craigslist post that I had looking for goats and asked if he could bring his bee hives to my property. I said sure! I have no fear of bees and I want to support them because there are a lot of diseases that are wiping out entire hives at one time. 
The bonus is that they will pollinate my plants, and I get honey as a rental fee!
This was just the first trip... 

And more hives!

And more hives!
Altogether there will be between 60-70 bee hives down in this little space. They have their own watering bucket and hopefully they will find enough to eat to make honey. One thing that got me excited today was that one of the bees had found its way to my greenhouse. And was busy on the canteloupe flowers...

This makes me happy! Although I wish I was able to have a veggie garden this year, but no way with the drought as bad as it is right now. It is actually getting a little scary how dry everything is out there. The slightest bit of spark or flame can cause a huge about of trouble.. I am praying for rain and the cooler weather of fall will be enough to help get us out of this mess. 

Julie

Sunday, July 20, 2014

How to repair a hose - Easy Project!

Hi

Life is hard for hoses at my house. They get ran over in the driveway, drug over rough ground and left out in the sun in the summer and the freezing cold in the winter. And while it seems like I am always buying a new hose or two a year, I also like to doctor up the ones that are busted. One easy thing to do is for those long hoses where they have split or are leaking, you can cut them up and for a few bucks in parts make new hoses of custom sizes.

You need to get replacement hose ends, and they are sold in male and female types. You need one set per hose. 

Female and Male repair set


Cut the hose to length that you want it to be


You end up with a section like this one

This is the male piece
Loosen the clamp and slide onto the hose before you put the piece in.
Do the same for the female part on the other end of the hose.
Female section being repaired

Tighten the screws on the clamps but be careful not to crack them!

 And you get a hose that is actually usuable for less than $5! Pretty cool huh?
Testing the connection to make sure it holds..
Try it next time instead of buying a new hose!

Julie

Foothill Conservancy - Benefit Raft Trip on the American River - Aug10th

Hi

It is that time of year again, the Foothill Conservancy is a group that I support that is trying to protect the Mokelumne River. One of the nice things about the river is that people love to go kayaking on it although I am not sure of the conditions this year with the drought. The annual river-rafting fundraiser is Sunday, August 10th. If you are in the area and you can go, please do! Here is the link to register:
Raft Trip Info

Sunday, August 10, 2014
Photo of rafting on South Fork American River
Photo courtesy of O.A.R.S.
Through the generosity of O.A.R.S. this amazing one-day trip on the South Fork of the American River is offered at at a reduced price of $100 per person (over 25% off regular price!). And 100% of the proceeds will go to Foothill Conservancy's efforts to protect the Mokelumne River.
Children and youth welcome if accompanied by responsible adult. Rafters must be at least 7 years old.
Important: Event liability release forms must be completed and signed prior to participating. Rafters under age 18 must have their releases signed by a parent or guardian. Download liability release form

Sunday, July 13, 2014

QP(Quick Post) Garlic 2014

This winter just like last winter I grew garlic.. but because of the drought we are having here in California, it didn't do as well as before. Last year I had so much I was running around giving it away!

Oh well.. it  is still nice to have it even if this all I get...

Julie

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Deck Repair Project - Post #2

Hi

The deck project is still going on... so I thought I would give you an update. Remember it started with my dad and I working on it over the Memorial Day week. I took the week off because I needed to use up some vacation hours. We ended up replacing most of the railings and really didn't get very many deck boards replaced. If you didn't see that post and pictures, you can find it here.. Deck Project Post #1

Since then there have been some more floor boards replaced but not all of them that I want to eventually replace. And I have started the painting on the railing. You can't just paint though, you have to fill in the cracks with wood putty. Then you have to sand them down and wipe off the dust. I used a paint sprayer and just regular outside paint for the railings. The floor boards are going to be rolled on because the paint I chose for them is by Behr and it is called Deck Over. It is very thick and fills in the cracks and splinters... supposedly. 

My nephew Jacob trying to pry up a board while being supervised by his mom (my sister) Denise

Here are the pictures form the rail painting..
Old wood meets new wood - lots of putty and sanding to get these together

Long railing before painting

Stirring the paint

Long railing after painting

View of the long rail and stiles about halfway through painting

The paint sprayer working really well to get a nice finish on the wood.. not brush marks or anything. I started early in the morning, around 7 am because by 11am it was too hot to paint. The paint will dry too fast and not be as smooth once it gets 90 degrees (F) or more. Makes finishing the rest of this deck a challenge. I just have to find those mornings where I can get up and get it going before everything is too hot.
Julie

Friday, July 11, 2014

Full Moon _ July 10th 2014

Quick Post 

Last night was a full moon and there were some high clouds floating by as well. Because there is little light pollution here the sky is more defined. You can see more stars and the moon is much brighter. It is always hard to take night pictures and I have tried it 100's of times but I think I finally got one!

What do you think?

Julie

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Red-Tailed Hawk - Pictures and Video - July 6th,2014

Hi

As I was leaving the house and heading down the driveway I saw a hawk sitting on my fence gate. I stopped the truck and starting taking pictures while he (she?) called to the other hawk in the area and spun around looking for food. He stayed for a long time!

Looking straight at me!

Looking for a snack!

This is the video of him... just a pretty bird!

And here is the picture of him flying away...
Julie

Friday, July 4, 2014

July 4th Weekend - Yard Work

Hi

It seems that the weeds and flowers are all dead by my 4th of July holiday weekend and now it is an annual tradition to mow them down. I had a good year with the wild flowers and the late rain helped them to extend a bit longer. But I haven't watered the front yard except for a couple of times this year so far and with the heat of summer everything faded fast. Here is a picture from January of this year of what the front looked like then with a little water. It was all green because the flowers really hadn't started blooming yet.
Jan 2014 - Casey in the front yard
Here is the yard in April when we finally got some rain..The flowers and the weeds were pretty high. They were so pretty though!
April 2014
Here is what it looked like today... before I cut it.
Walkway

From the front door

Front yard July 2014
It takes me about 2 hours total time to cut this mess and trim it all up.. and of course I alway bust at least 1 sprinkler and I have to replace it. Thankfully when I buy sprinkler parts I always buy more than I need so I have a spare on hand.
Busted!
When I am done the yard looks like this..
All mowed!
The neighbor's goats just love when I mow because I give them a couple of wheelbarrows full of the cut grass... 
She isn't shy!

Munching down on the free lunch!
I have been working on the deck some more so will post those next time.

Julie