Category Archives: Health

Handmade Home Project

north east house view

click to zoom in

Grandson’s handmade house project is off and running again this year after an infusion of cash received from his income tax refund check. Grandson’s house project is a multi-year project, but, in the end he will not have a 30 year home bank loan to deal with. This project is being bought and paid for as cash and time allows.

The plan. My original plan called for the concrete slab to be 51 feet 2 inches by 30 feet 2 inches. As with many concrete form-up jobs, things did not go by the original plan. The slab was actually closed to 50 foot 9 inches on one side and 50 foot 7 inches on the other. What the heck, what’s 5 or 7 inches one way or the other. Grin… to late to be overly concerned the concrete is poured and cured.

Concrete slab was poured and red iron steel frame up work was accomplished last summer(2016). Wall height is 10 feet from floor to the bottom of the roof sheeting with a 4 in 12 roof pitch. This year(2017) Wall sheeting, roof sheet, trim, windows and outside doors will be in place in another weekend or maybe two weekends.

southwest view of house Once dried in, grandson can work in a dry environment and begin interior framing of room walls and doors. Installing electrical wiring, plumbing for bathroom, washroom and kitchen.

Note: Carport project is on hold until son-n-law and grandson complete drying in the house project.

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Backyard and Gardening Fun

Poor man’s Raised Bed Project.

Latest in designer summer swimwear.
On sale for $44.95, the Beloved Shirts Sexy Chest One Piece Swimsuit features an incredibly realistic screen-print of a man’s hairy chest.

Fall Gardens

The official start of summer is still 9 day away, however if you plan to plant a Fall garden, now is the time to select your Fall garden plot and ready it for planting. It is also near the time to plant your seed to establish seedling transplants.

New Fall garden site selection.
The major consideration for garden placement is sunlight. All vegetables require some sunlight; the most popular vegetables require full sun. “Full” sun means at least 8 hours of intense, direct exposure. If such exposure is not received by crops such as tomatoes, peppers and squash (vegetables that contain seed), the plants grow spindly, they have weak stems, drop blooms and are generally nonproductive. Shade in the afternoon (after 3 p.m.) is wonderful; shade in the morning is acceptable. There are vegetables which produce passably in the shade. Generally, those crops such as greens, broccoli, cauliflower, root crops (carrots, turnips) which do not produce a fruit with seed will yield sparingly in semi- shaded areas but even these crops will do better in a full sun condition. Crops such as tomatoes, peppers, squash, beans and cucumbers may not produce anything if grown in the shade; plants will grow tall and spindly. The production potential of the garden’s most popular vegetables depends solely on the amount of direct sunlight they receive.

Turf grass MUST be removed. Don’t think that you can dig or till this existing grass into the garden soil and get rid of it. Even a well-tilled, pulverized garden soil will contain enough bermuda grass sprigs to cause troubles for years to come. New garden areas are doomed before they begin if all bermuda and other lawn grass is not completely removed BEFORE tillage begins. If a raised garden is being considered, sod should be removed BEFORE additional soil is put into the prepared frame.

Chemicals applied to the grass to kill it rather than pulling it out. There are several brand names which contain the weed and grass killer glyphosate. These include Roundup and Kleenup check ingredients on label for the term “glyphosate” and follow label instructions for application rate.

Quick (30-60 days) maturing vegetables are: beets (1 1/2 feet) FT; bush beans (1 1/2 feet) FS; leaf lettuce (1 foot) FT; mustard (1 1/2 feet) FT; radishes (1 1/2 feet) FT; spinach (1 foot) FT; summer squash (3 feet) FS; turnips (1 1/2 feet) FT; and turnip greens (1 1/2 feet) FT.

Moderate (60-80 days) maturing vegetables are: broccoli (3 feet) FT; Chinese cabbage (1 1/2 feet) FT; carrots (1 foot) FT; cucumbers (1 foot) FS; corn (6 feet) FS; green onions (1 1/2 feet) FT; kohlrabi (1 1/2 feet) FT; lima bush beans (1 1/2 feet) FS; okra (6 feet) FS; parsley (1 1/2 feet) FT; peppers (3 feet) FS; and cherry tomatoes (4 feet) FS.

Slow (80 days or more) maturing vegetables are: Brussels sprouts (2 feet) FT; bulb onions (1 1/2 feet) FT; cabbage (1 1/2 feet) FT; cantaloupes (1 foot) FS; cauliflower (3 feet) FT; eggplant (3 feet) FS; garlic (1 foot) FT; Irish potatoes (2 feet) FS; pumpkins (2 feet) FS; sweet potatoes (2 feet) FS; tomatoes (4 feet) FS; watermelon (1 foot) FS; and winter squash (1 foot) FS.

Using your Spring and Summer garden site. Once the decision to have a fall garden has been reached, a gardener must take action drastic action. You must pull out some of those plants that have been nurtured from “babies” in the spring to monsters now. This takes courage and faith! It is recommend that all plants, weeds included, be removed except okra, cherry tomatoes and pole beans if the foliage is healthy. Large-fruited tomatoes may have some small ones still hanging on, but unless you have at least 20-25 good-sized fruit, pull them out, make green tomato relish or chow-chow. Pull the old plants up and discard them. Give them to the garbage man. Don’t try to compost insect and disease ridden plants.

The two charts below are for planting Fall crops in zone 7.
You will need to adjust your planting dates to suite the USDA zone you garden in.

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Tomato Season Is Near

blossom end rot

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service provides many pictures to help you diagnose and treat your tomato disease problem(s).
Tomato Problem Solver and
Disorders of Tomato Leaves

You can’t treat your diseased tomato plants if you don’t know what disease they actually have. The secret to successful tomato growing is to check your plants everyday and start a treatment plan as soon as you see the first signs of a disease or insect problem.

University of Iowa Also has a great fact sheet on line with photographs and treatments for many common tomato diseases. This is a PDF file.

You may find what you thought was a disease problem is really an insect infestation. If this is the case take a look at Colorado state University Extension service: Tomato Insect Pests fact sheet for insect identification and controls.

This has nothing to do with tomato’s but it’s too good not to share.
I am relieved to know that my T-bone steak was ‘made’ by my market and growing a cow for 2 or 3 years is no longer required. Click picture to zoom-in.

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May 21 – 28 ….. Post Storm ….. Week In Review

It’s the last week of May and we are seeing ‘real’ temperatures of 93 to 99 degrees and heat index is forecast to be 103 to 109 degrees in my tiny part of Oklahoma today and Sunday.

Garden, trees, bushes and vines are beginning the slow recovery from last weeks 100+ mph wind and hail storm. It is safe to say none of my plants are looking great.

The same storm was hard on my Hummingbirds. After the storm I only have about half as many Hummingbirds coming to my feeder. I can only guess what happened to the other Hummingbirds.

Bamboo was about 7 foot tall, but after the storm many of it’s canes had their tops broken off. I don’t think this years canes will grow any taller. Maybe next year it will succeed in reaching it’s mature height of around 20 – 25 feet tall.

Purple Martin’s have hatched and fledged. It won’t be many days and they will be self sufficient and leave their nest site.

Carport steel has been cut to length, bolt plates and support brackets are welded in place. Michelle L. has decided to paint all steel framing gloss black and covered with a dark green sheet metal to match her house roof sheet metal.

Duck and Goose. I am now the proud owner of a young duck and goose. Gave to me when the previous owners discovered how fast they grow and large they will be, Grin … Not House Pets. The duck is just starting to loose its down and growing it’s first feathers. The goose is still a few weeks from being feathered out. Grin.. I had forgotten how much water they drink and how fast feed goes from mouth to fertilizer.

Have a fun safe Memorial day weekend.

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First Speeding Ticket??

This is just to good not to pass on.

1896 Arnold Benz Motor Carriage is largely held to be the very first car to receive a speeding ticket.

The 19th century was a tough place to have an automobile. The law at the time required drivers to maintain a speed of no more than 2 mph and be proceeded by someone walking in front of the vehicle waving a red flag. For reference, that’s a little quicker than the average speed of an ambling cow.

Exceeding the speed limit, traveling at an estimated 8 mph. To make maters worse, no one was running ahead, waving a red flag. He was convicted of speeding and made to pay a lofty fine of a shilling “plus costs.”

Definition: Mothers day, Nine months after Fathers day

Hummingbird feeder update– New feeder arrived, took down old feeders and hung new feeder last Friday morning. Filled feeder with a fresh batch of sugar water (1 part sugar to 4 parts water, 2 cups water 1/2 cup sugar makes 1 pint feeder mix).
Hummingbirds seem happy with the new feeder and after 3 days, No Bees hanging around the feeder. Will buy more of this type feeders.

Today we hit 93 degrees F(33.9C). Spring rains are still staying 100+ miles north of my tiny garden moving east into Arkansas and Missouri. I’m still watering each tree and vine for 1 hour then moving on to the next plant. Sad smile… by the time I get all plants well watered it will be time to start the process over.

Daughters little 8 foot X 20 Foot garden space is filling up and looking really good. (Click photo to Zoom in).

Bamboo(year 2) and Cannas are doing well.
Cannas will soon be in full bloom and with luck Bamboo will reach it’s advertised height of 25 feet tall.

PS. Chiggers are active and doing well. 😦

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Cheap Entertainment. Hummingbirds In The Garden.

Top Secret Manhattan Hummingbird Project.

Every year I tell myself I need to do more to attract Hummingbirds to the garden but fail to follow through.

(1). This year I have purchased 2 – Honeysuckle vines to plant near the area where I hang my feeders.
(2). I have ordered a different ‘style’ feeder. It makes claim to have bee guards on the feeding ports and is equipped with a perch so the birds can land and feed verses chasing a swing feeder in the wind in an attempt to feed.

Grin… I must be easily entertained.

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World Naked Gardening Day (WNGD)

World Naked Gardening Day (WNGD) is an annual international event celebrated on the first Saturday of May by gardeners and non-gardeners alike. According to NBC’s Today News, WNGD “has become an annual tradition that celebrates weeding, planting flowers and trimming hedges in the buff. The day is meant to be funny, lighthearted and non-political.”

George Washington hated having visitors to his home in Mount Vernon and now we know why.

Happy Naked Gardening Day.

Figs and Grapes

The Brown Turkey fig tree and the Venus grape vine arrived and was planted yesterday. Temperature was OK, about 73 degrees F, but we had a 25 mph gusting to 30 mph wind all day. Warm weather and more than a week of 20+ mph wind have dried the soil. Digging the tree/vine holes was a chore with the soil so dry. At any rate I managed to get them planted and ran a slow flow of water for an hour on each new plant.

Wind permitting today I will put down 4 to 6 inches of wood chip mulch around the new planting to help control weeds and retain soil moisture.

Attracting bees to pollinate is or can be a problem in what is mostly wheat and grass pasture country. So I try to always buy self pollinating plants.

The grape trellis is now filled with 1- Flame, 1- Concord and 1- Venus seedless self pollinating grape vines. I’m not sure the dwarf Apple I transplanted will survive. If it dies next winter I will replace it with a semi-dwarf variety.

The native Pecan tree I dug and moved in to the orchard is only about 8 inches tall but it has leafed out and seems to happy with it’s new home.

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