Monday, June 20, 2016

A little of this and that

What have we been up to, you may ask?  We have been working on some small projects around the house, but sometimes find it hard to get motivated to move on to the bigger projects we still need to finish.  After working all day, the Hubs is tired and needs to relax.  We try to knock things out on the weekend but again, it's hard to get going when you just want to relax.

I've been messing around with my gardens, crafting and trying to get out and get some exercise during the day, along with keeping up the household chores.  Whoever said not working was easy, probably didn't have many hobbies!  Or keep up a household either.  So many things to do...yet so little time in the day!

So let's see...what to mention first??

Antenna!  We made our own long range digital outdoor antenna.  We are in a dead spot for cellular and digital TV reception.   We could only pick up a few channels on our TV.  We tried a few "long range" store bought antennas that just didn't work and cost a lot.  So the Hubs got busy looking for ideas.  Enter in INSTRUCTABLES!!!  The best DIY site ever!

He found plans to build your own outdoor antenna for little of nothing.  And we had a lot of the materials already.  So he built one and we ran a coax cable from the antenna to our TV and started to program our TV.  A few minutes later and what do you know.....we had 63 channels!!  We are getting channels from as far as Athens GA!!  We also pick up radio stations!  It's fantastic.

I wish I had been around to take pictures of how it was built but the Instructable is very easy to follow and I will add a link to it after the pictures of ours.

It's a bit hard to get a good clear picture of it due to it being black and the trees causing it to blend it but the Instructable has great pictures.

And now ....Gardens!  I love gardens and all the fresh produce we get.

I have a standard garden bed where we grow tomatoes, peppers, squash, zucchini and cucumbers.  Got a late start this year so it's not as big as I'd like.

We also built a worm tower container garden.

 Hubby came home with this awesome plastic 55 gallon drum from work that held a soap wash for parts.  Non-toxic and perfect with a good cleaning.

 We had to drill holes into the sides and cut the pocket space.  We were able to put 4 rows in with 8 pockets in each row.

We used a heat gun to heat the plastic up so that we could bend out the pockets.  This step did take a while as you had to heat each pocket area and then wait for the area to cool around your spacing object before doing the next one.

We used a piece of old metal pipe to bulge out the pocket.  Once it set for a bit while we were heating the next hole, we could remove it and use it for the next.

Tada....barrel completed.  On to the worm tower.

We used a 6 inch wide piece of pvc tube and drilled holes all around it.  The last line of holes is several inches below the top level of dirt.

We cut a hole the size of the pipe in the bottom of the barrel so that it would stick out just a bit and used a scrap piece for a band to hold it into place.  We then screwed the band to the pipe inside the barrel to keep it from sliding down anymore.  We bought an end cap for the bottom, so you can remove it to empty the composted black soil out now and then. 

We built a sturdy wooden stand for it and screwed it to the bottom of the barrel to keep it upright.  Once done, we filled it with our soil and added plants!   

We added a small bit of hay, soil and garden scraps into the tube and added about a 100 red wiggler composting worms to get started.  We bought a slide on cap for the top to keep bugs out and the smell down.  As you can's doing quite well.  We add more scrapes daily, along with our egg shells and coffee grounds. 

The idea is that the worms go into the tube via the holes and eat the scrapes.  They then burrow through the garden soil and leave their castings or worm poop for us first timers.  This helps provide loose soil for the roots to grow well and fertilizes the plants as well.  Also, the composting matter will leak out any liquids into the soil as well...also known as compost tea...very beneficial to plants.  

It's  wonderful cycle...all ending with wonderful herbs, veggies and even some strawberries, once they bloom.  Anything not eaten goes right back in as scrapes.  The use of fresh herbs in meals is wonderful!  

Lets see...what next??

I bought a coffee bean sack at the market and made a curtain for the cat litterbox area.  I just cut to fit, stitched it up along the edges using twine and used a tension rod to hold it in place.  It covers the box perfectly and the cat can now do his business in private!  :D  

Okay.. think that's enough for this post. I'll try to have some more for you soon.  I'm experimenting with canning and some other projects.  Hope you liked this post and it inspires you to build your own.  :)