• Time to call animal control again….

    I’ve ranted about my across the street neighbors a couple times….1, 2, ok, 3 times.  Which doesn’t do that particular problem justice, but I figure you all don’t want to listen to me rant about them constantly…..

    Yesterday afternoon, I looked up from my book to see a good sized tan and black hound-ish dog trotting across their yard towards their northern side neighbor who has huskies (including an intact bitch) and my first thought was that another neighborhood dog had gotten loose and was headed to sniff out their bitch (its happened a couple times, they catch the dogs and turn them into animal control).

    Then I saw one of the kids from across the street hurrying along behind the dog…..please don’t tell me……yup, kid grabs collar and drags the dog back to their house.  Sigh.  They have a new dog.  Wonder how long this one will last…..

    Then, about 9pm yesterday, Apollo abruptly goes ballistic at the front windows.  Hound was loose again, trotting across our yard, with two of the kids in hot pursuit again.  They finally caught him and dragged him home.

    This morning, about 9:15, I glance out the window about an instant before Apollo does and spot a tan and black dog trotting across my front yard with two kids trailing…..

    After watching them chase him in circles for about 10 minutes (the dog was having an absolute blast), I grabbed a dog bowl, and dumped some kibble in it, stepped out the front door, and called “hey big guy, want some food?” as I shook the metal dog bowl with kibble…..dog pricked up his ears and came trotting over to grab a mouthful.  I scratched his ears for a minute, told him he was a good boy, and walked him back to the kids who looked rather dumbfounded.

    One of the kids kept saying “he listens so well inside the house!”……..

  • Cucumbers

    I’ve now harvested 14 cucumbers from my plants, as of this past Saturday.  As of today there’s another 4 ready to be picked…….I think we’re going to have alot of pickles this year…..



  • Solar Panels update

    When we first put in the solar panels I’d intended to try to update here regularly with what our energy production was.  Yah, that didn’t happen.

    But here’s a screenshot of the lifetime graph for our energy production as of this morning:

    spupdateI’d have to go dig through the files to tell you exactly how much thats saved us in costs from the power company, but I can tell you that in the summer our bills, even when we’re running the central air, are pretty close to half what they were before.  Keep in mind that the upstate area tends to be very cloudy, we don’t get a whole lot of very sunny days here in comparison to the rest of the continental USA. However that side of the house gets very little shade.

    We’ve got a few more “around the house” projects that need to be done in the next couple years, important things like putting gutters on the house so that the rain will stop screwing with the foundation, and then we’re going to look at adding to the number of panels and adding a battery backup system.  Our goal is to eventually be able to use this as a backup generator that doesn’t require us to stockpile fuel.

  • Blunt does not equal rude

    You asked my opinion, I’ve never been one to sugar coat stuff, and the subject is one I feel strongly about.

    You got a blunt answer.  Blunt and to the point.

    I was not rude.

    But if you’re going to insist that “everyone’s been so rude” I’m going to give you an example of what exactly rude would have been so you can see the difference.

    If you can’t handle blunt and to the point, much less this thing called sarcasm, you’re not going to be happy hanging around me.  I don’t do special snowflakes, I don’t sugar coat it, and telling me you’re in tears cause everyone’s been so rude is just going to make me roll my eyes and wonder how you reached adult-hood alive…..

  • Gardening note to self

    If I grow the Miniature White Cucumbers again next year, try growing them on a trellis or netting instead of tying them to stakes.

    Also, every review I can find says they rarely go over 3ft in height.  My 3 original stalks are all a solid 3ft or taller (the tallest is 43″ tall as of a few minutes ago), and all three are still growing.  All three have put off numerous side shoots, the tallest of the side stalks also measures a solid 3ft and the shortest aren’t much short of that.

    Also, 3 of these plants is likely to be plenty if even half the current baby cucumbers mature!

  • Ouch

    We’re expanding the fenced in area for the dogs.  Meant to do it last summer and just ran out of time/money/energy.

    Yesterday we rented a single man gas powered auger to put in the post holes.  Digging one post hole by hand is fine (and infact we have one left we have to do that with due to its location), digging 10 just isn’t going to happen.  And at $80 for the day I’ll take it.

    The auger isn’t that heavy, less than the 50lb bags of concrete anyway.  But the muscle power required to hold it on target was noticable, and it was a two person job to lift it out of each hole.  Husband and I swapped out every other hole, so that the work got spread around.  

    Between the auger and moving the 50lb bags of concrete I hurt today.  Upper body’s not TO bad, just enough to let me know I did WORK yesterday.  My legs though, the thighs and knees are sure yelling at me.  Guess that means I was lifting right at least……

    But the fence poles are in, the fence itself is going to be 10×6 chain link “kennel panels” which should be pretty easy to actually put in, so it should go pretty quickly now.  Good thing two, I have a pair of dogs who need the extra space to run around in!

  • Striped Cucumber Beetles

    There are Striped Cucumber Beetles on my cucumber plants.  And more than a few too.  Today is the first day I’ve seen them but thanks to the aggressive Tree Swallows who’re nesting nearby I’ve not been paying as close attention this week.

    An online search says I MIGHT have luck with Neem oil.  But I might not too.  Has any one else dealt with them and how?


    Edit: I just found some on the cantaloupe and watermelon and peas dammit!!

  • And here I was blaming the chipmunks

    Sunday evening I went out to pick strawberries and found this:


    (picture actually taken Monday morning)

    It looked to me like something with teeth had been at the strawberries.  And every single ripe berry looked like that to some degree.  Oh, there was some obvious bug damage, but THATs not bug damage.

    I was mad as heck, sprayed all around the tire with deer/rabbit repellent, and started keeping an extra eye on the strawberry tire.

    But I never saw anything except Robins anywhere near it.  Well, maybe they’re coming by at night……

    Then today I read this.  Do those damaged strawberries look familiar?  Yah, me too…..guess its a good thing I have bird netting left over from trellising the peas…..

  • Why I find “Smart Homes” scary

    Found this over at Weekend Pundit.

    Nightmare on Connected Home Street.

    Yup, can you picture the viruses that would be possible, considering today’s computers loaded into the entire home?  I love the concept of the smart thermostat that can learn your habits and control the temperature appropriately for you.  And I can just picture the havoc that such would cause when it gets hacked…..