Fall Procrastination

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As usual, I have written that we are going to do something in this blog, and we have not. The new wall has sat empty since we put the wire up. Instead, we have been busy doing other things both in our yard and in our shop.

A few weeks ago we started getting some evening frosts, so we decided that it was time to pull the remaining plants and flowers and start buttoning-up the yard for the winter. All that was left were our flower pots, the tomatoes, potatoes, cucumbers and squash. The rest had been pulled a few weeks earlier due to Basil’s adventures in picking her own snacks. The strawberries we leave as is so that the plant leaves can protect the roots for the winter. Worked like a charm last year.

While we cleaned up, we harvested everything that we could. It wasn’t a bad haul, considering we didn’t think anything was growing anymore. Our potatoes were definitely our best yet, with nice full loads in the towers. Kurt is going to tweak a few things, but overall, we are very happy with what we managed to produce.

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We had a lot of tomatoes that just did not want to ripen on the plant, and with the cooler weather, we knew that they weren’t likely to ripen any further. So, I took all the most viable tomatoes, including our smaller orange zinger cherry tomatoes, and planned to ripen them in the house. Overall, most have done so, with just a couple rotting. It has been nice still having fresh tomatoes for meals.

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While we were cleaning up, we took a look at our tree stump that is beautiful, but a complete pain in the butt because it is always trying to grow back. We noticed that it hadn’t sprouted any more branches since Kurt last trimmed it a few months ago, which was odd, as it usually needs a trimming once a month. What we found was some beautiful looking patches of fungus climbing up the trunk. It looks like it follows a water vein as they are clumped in a pattern. The tree is officially dead, which is great, because we have made the decision to cut it right down and get rid of it. As usual, our backyard plans have changed again and we want a large open area at the bottom with the pond and fire-pit area. Eventually the raised beds will also be removed, but not until we have finished terracing the one side and start growing on the hill.

Once the yard was done, the plan was to start filling the wall. Who knows? We might still fill a few sections if the weather continues to be mild. Instead, Kurt bought me a new tool for my birthday, and I have been playing in the shop ever since. There are a number of tools I would really like, so Kurt told me to pick one and he would get it for me for my birthday, so I went with a router. I should have lots of time to use it this winter as Kurt and I made a deal to have the boat stored outside for the winter, giving me the full shop to work in. In return, I am going to build some planters for the front yard garden, a few for the back by our patio, and a king size bed frame with headboard. I’ll be busy!

In order to get the boat outside, we wanted to have a quick and easy way to store the brand new motor, without it being laid down on the floor. After a few pinterest searches, I found a nice boat motor stand that was easy to throw together and nice and sturdy. It has casters on it to make it easy to move around, and adds the bonus of making oil changes and work on the motor much easier. I, of course, had to use the new router on the project so I free-handed Kurts name. My original plan was to write “Boaty-McBoatin”, but I wasn’t sure how Kurt would feel about that. The project turned out so well that our friend would also like one for his motor, so I have added it to the list.

The next project I worked on was for the spoiled doggies. When we got Ellie years ago, we designated one of our chairs as hers. This was our attempt at keeping her off the regular furniture, which we were unsuccessful at doing. We love our dogs and want cuddles, which is hard to do when they are not allowed on the furniture. We have since bought new couches that we are actually trying to keep the dogs off. We now go to our rec-room, which has old couches, to cuddle and watch some TV. The problem we are finding, is that both dogs want to sit in the chair when we are upstairs. So, I decided that I would make a new chair so that we have two doggie designated spaces.

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I started off by measuring and using the existing chair as my template. I cut all the wood to the sizes that I needed and used a palm sander to give it a nice finish, as well as round the edges. This is where one of the tools on my list, a planer, would have been extremely handy! Oh well, it was relaxing listening to some tunes in the shop.

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From there, I started putting it together and learned a few new techniques while doing it. I love my Kreg, and use it whenever I can. There were a few spots on this project that I put in beautiful pocket-holes. But, there were a few areas that pocket-holes wouldn’t work, and I didn’t want screws or bolts showing. So I waded into doweling territory. To be completely honest, I thought this was going to be disastrous, frustrating and I would give up and go with good ol’ screws, but it was much easier than I thought it would be. There is definitely some room for improvement, but I will be using this joining option much more in the future.

I finished the build last night, and now just need to give it a nice stain and build some cushions. Because it is for the dogs, and the cushions will be replaced a number of times, I am going to use old pillows that I have kept, but will not use again, to build some super soft, comfy cushions for both chairs. The current chair is in desperate need of some new cushions, so I figured I would do both. I will update with the finished product once I get to it. It will be sooner than later as the girls are driving me nuts, jumping on the couches when the other is in the chair.

In the mean-time, enjoy the fall weather with whatever projects you are working on!

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