Tag Archives: Handmade

Thanksgiving a different prospective


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Abandoned and Orphaned – Give them a second chance

As we approach the holidays think of the many poor abandoned and orphaned Fruitcakes.

If someone forces a fruitcake through your letter box or abandons it on your door step. Sometimes you will find them hidden on dark shelf’s of pantries, lurking behind a jar of juice in the back of your refrigerator. They may be found well concealed in an Amazon, eBay or Walmart box marked ‘Christmas gifts.
While at work you may discover someone has abandoned a poor little Fruitcake and secretly placed it in your bottom right desk drawer, don’t despair.

If you have no place in your heart or home or desire to adopt and care for one of these abandoned or orphaned Fruitcakes post them as soon as possible to me at Town and Country Gardening blog.

I will give them a home, treat them with respect, feed them with a sprinkling of spice rum from time to time while waiting for them to mature. Fruitcakes will get the attention they deserve being displayed on my best silver platter as a special treat for my family, friends and special holiday guest.

About Texas Fruitcake I find serving large quantities of wine, brandy and whiskey before serving Collins street bakery Fruitcake makes my Fruitcake more appealing and it disappears quickly as my guest comment of the luxury taste and texture of my holiday Fruitcake.

FYI: I am in no way affiliated with nor do I receive free gifts or monetary compensation. from this bakery. I just like their fruitcakes.
Happy Holiday season

Southern Comfort Food

Modified re-post from 2013
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Make Pies

karo pieSource Karo Syrup used in making Pecan, Peanut and Walnut Pies or any nut that ‘you like.’

Add a surprise taste to your pie with the addition of 1 ounce of bourbon whisky(whiskey) or spiced rum.

* Thought of the day: Free advice to all Republicans, Democrats and Socialist bureaucrats.
If you get to thinking you’re a person of some importance and influence, try ordering somebody else’s dog around.

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Why is Common Sense so Uncommon?

Handmade – Homemade Not Cheap

I haven’t posted about Shop Projects Day results.
SNL’s recently acquired Snap-on model 230sl MIG welder had polarity correctly set but did need some major amperage, wire feed and shielding gas setting adjustments and a new bottle of CO2 shielding gas.

Daughter told my poor old SNL that she need 2 or 3 smallish wall shelf’s.
SNL, grandson and I have use up about every piece of usable steel from our steel salvage pile so I ordered 5 bars each of 1/4 and 3/8 inch round rod, as well as 5 bars each of 1/2, 3/4 and 1 inch wide by 1/8 inch thick flat stock and 2 bars each of 1 X 1 inch and 1 /1/4 X 1 1/4 X 1/8 inch thick angle iron for shop, farm and home projects and a new bottle of CO2 gas. For a total investment of near $200 dollars.

Grin … my daughters wall brackets and shelf’s were not cheap!

Happy Gardening

Shop Projects Day

When I retired I gave all my welding shop equipment to my son-n-law(SNL). After 10 years of use with little or no maintenance there are several items of equipment in serious need of a bit of tender loving care(TLC).

SNL has recently acquired an older Snapon model 230sl MIG welder that is not feeding wire nor welding as it should. I think it needs to have the gun polarity reset from electrode negative to electrode positive.

Hobart model 175 MIG welder is not feeding any wire to the gun. Not sure but I suspect the trigger switch has a broken wire or bad contact at the trigger. So I will dissemble the gun and re-solder the trigger wires. If that fails I will check the trigger it’s self and replace the trigger if need.

The 9 inch angle head grinder also has a sticking trigger problem. Most likely it needs to be disassembled, cleaned, lubricated and reassembled.

I’m sure that the larger air compressed has not had water drained from it’s air tank this year so I will also drain the air tank before our first day of freezing weather.

SNL works in town, so I will have him pick-up a small order of 1/4 inch rod and an assortment of 1/8 inch by 1/2, 3/4 and 1 inch wide flat steel and a new bottle of CO2 gas for the MIG welder.
If you only do a small amount of welding using flux core wire is fine but flux core wire cost 2 or even 3 times as much per-pound as solid wire. However CO2 gas is required as a shielding gas when using solid wire.

Eat Well From Your Garden Summer and Winter

Reading a post by Tammy Algood about preserving her Butter Bean crop put me looking for more useful information on DIY freezing fresh foods.

Here’s what I found that I think will be useful by many Home Gardeners.

National Center for Home Food Preservation has a website that list all the information on How To Freeze your summer garden and orchard harvest.

Their How To DIY charts and other useful information covers everything from Apples to Zucchini and is useful by even the most experienced Home Gardeners.

Eat well all winter from your summer garden and orchard harvested fruits.

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Five Year House Project

Grandsons house project is quickly coming to an end and move in day is near. I’m hoping to see an announcement for open house sometime near the 4th of July this year.

Summer 2015 concrete slab was poured and ruff in plumbing is finished.

Spring / Summer 2016 In the beginning red iron was purchased, trusses custom constructed and house framing was welded up waiting dry in day.

Summer 2017 House dry in.
Exterior doors, windows, insulation, wall and roof sheet was in place before our fall rain season and the first cold weather arrived.

Summer, Fall, Winter 2018 Interior room framing, plumbing, electrical wiring and drywall in nearing completion.
Most of the detail time consuming projects are underway. Drywall taping and bedding, painting, wall outlets and light fixtures, ceiling fans are being installed. Much of the trim work still needs doing.

Winter / Summer 2019 There’s daylight at the end of the tunnel. Tile flooring has been installed. Kitchen is in it’s final phase, appliances are being installed.
Water, sewer plumbing electrical service are all installed.
Grin what else does a grandson and grand daughter in law, great grand son and great grand daughter need?

Grandson may forget to say thank you for all the help and encouragement but I won’t forget. Had it not been for Mom, dad, uncle’s, aunt’s and many others this house would still be nothing more than a few grand plans on scraps of paper.

The best and most important part of this 5 year project is he owns his house free and clear without the need for a 30 or 40 year mortgage. Has no bankers or loans to contend with .

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U.S. Army 244th Birthday / Flag Day

Pacific Paratrooper

244 Years Strong

THE U.S. ARMY

AMERICA’S FIRST NATIONAL INSTITUTION

Since its official establishment, June 14, 1775 — more than a year before the Declaration of Independence — the U.S. Army has played a vital role in the growth and development of the American nation. Drawing on both long-standing militia traditions and recently introduced professional standards, it won the new republic’s independence in an arduous eight-year struggle against Great Britain. At times, the Army provided the lone symbol of nationhood around which patriots rallied.

PLEASE TAKE THE TIME TO VIEW THESE TWO (2) VERY SHORT VIDEOS.  THANK YOU

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Tomorrow is also Flag Day, an annual observance of the Second Continental Congress’ official adoption of the stars and stripes in 1777. At the time, they “resolved that the flag of the 13 United States” be represented by 13 alternating red and white stripes and the union…

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Cinnamon flavored adult beverage

This only works if you like the flavor of Cinnamon.

1 – 750 ml bottle of Gin, Vodka or white(clear) Rum 86 or 90 proof
3 or 4 sticks Cinnamon
1 cup cane sugar
1 cup distilled water
1 clean, sterilized quart canning jar with tight fitting lid

Variations or additions to this drink: Add few Clove seeds or fresh Vanilla seeds

* Bring 1 cup water and sugar to near boiling point. Stir sugar water until sugar is dissolved and clear until no hint of undissolved sugar remains

Put Cinnamon sticks and sugar syrup into quart jar

Pour 750 ml bottle of rum, vodka or gin into quart jar secure lid tightly

Refrigerate for 15 days or more, more is better

Carefully remove Cinnamon sticks, strain (I use a coffee filter) any Cinnamon bits left behind and bottle.

Serve cold with or without ice

** Warning this recipe makes a very, very sweet drink.
You may want to consider making your first bottle using 1/2 as much sugar and water.
Grin, you can always add a bit more sugar, but it’s really difficult to take sugar out of your adult beverage.

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Planning Your 2019 Garden Now is the time to make spring garden plans

A gazillion words and post have been published about the benefits of raised bed gardening and square foot gardens.

In truth raised beds may not be your best choice. Raised beds are generally best suited to cooler and wetter climates than weather conditions found in Americas West and Southwest.

Pros of Raised Bed Gardening:
More control over the location of the garden
Ability to choose the best soil for your particular plants
More efficient draining
Can be easier on backs and knees due to less bending and stooping
May be helpful keeping weeds out of your garden space
The soil warms up earlier in a raised bed, so you can plant earlier and extend your growing season
May work better keeping ground dwelling pests out of your garden plot

Cons of Raised-Bed Gardening:
Will be more expensive to get started
Requires careful planning to make sure there is enough room for plants that need to spread out, and to ensure that you can reach the middle to tend the plants
*** Because raised beds drain so efficiently, they will also need to be watered more often and may require an irrigation system
In the west and southwest water is a valuable, often scarce resource. Areas with little natural rain fall, daily temperatures at or above 90 degrees and humidity levels often dropping to 10% or 20%, tap water is an expensive way to water your garden.

Raised bed planting has the disadvantages of more frequent watering during dry periods and the cost of filling your beds with large quantities of compost, soil-less growing medium and may require more frequent use of commercially made or organic fertilizers.
Root vegetables, think potatoes and carrots that penetrate more than 3 or 4 inches deep into the soil where they are planted may suffer in raised bed plantings.

Amending garden soil by digging in or tilling in large amounts of compost and planting directly in the amended soil very well may be a better choice over raised beds. You will over time develop a quality garden soil that holds moisture. Couple this with extensive use of mulch water needs will be greatly reduced and over heated soil temperatures can be moderated.
* This years mulch will be tilled into the soil as an amendment for next years garden.

Practically Free Raised Beds by Will Atkinson

I saw a great post about salvaging and recycling wood fence to construct raised beds. Many wood fences are made from cedar and are naturally insect and rot resistant. Practically Free Raised Beds After building your first recycled wood fence raised bed is a good time to consider a square foot garden. If used to it’s maximum advantage, you can grow a lot of food using only a few square feet of garden space.

4-hole-dibbleboard

Build A Dibble Board
If your one of those that want and insist that every plant be perfectly spaced. This little gadget may be just what you have been looking for.

Build A Dibble Board Check out ‘gardeninggrrl’ blog for a lot of pictures and building instructions.

Keep in mind you may need two or even three of every dibble board. Most garden seeds need to be planted 1/4 inch, 1/2 inch or 1 inch deep. Seed planted 1 inch deep that ‘should have been planted 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep may never break through to see the light of day. In this event you have wasted your time, water and seed.

My dibble board consist of placing my seed on the ground at my desired spacing, using my finger to press the seed into the soil to the proper planting depth, cover my finger dibble hole with soil, then wait for them to germinate.

furrow planting

Farmers over the last 8,000 years have devised main 3 planting methods to maximize water usage and fertilizer to produce the most vegetables at the lowest cost on the least amount of land.

Furrow planting is common in areas with enough rain to produce a crop but with the need to conserve as much soil moisture as possible.

bed planting

bed planting

Bed planting provides additional root zone drainage as well as providing a reservoir to hold moisture near the plants root zone for a longer period of time after irrigation or rains.
Bed planting act much like raised bed planting without the cost of constructing bed boxes and filling raised beds with soil/soil mixes.

Minimum till planting is a method that has been used for thousands of years and in the past 25 years has been rediscovered by farmers in the USA and the UK as well as many other more developed countries. In minimum till planting, last years crop stubble is left in the field to prevent or minimize soil erosion from winds and heavy rain water run off and reduces soil drying by providing ground cover {mulch}.
At planting time, seeds are planted on flat ground without removing old crop stubble.

What gardening method is best for you? That is a decision that only you can decide. Using raised beds, furrow planting, bed planting or minimum till planting is mostly {for home gardeners} a personal choice dictated by ‘your’ garden plots size, location and amount of time and effort you are willing and able to put into your home garden.

No matter what method you choose, keep an open mind and consider other gardening methods if the way you are doing it now fails to produce as much as you feel that it can and should be producing.
The old worn out, I have always done it this way is not an acceptable answer to resolving a gardening problem.

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