Bleg Archive

Electrical/light bulb question

Posted February 17, 2013 By Ruth

I’m in the process of setting up my seed starting area, and trying to figure out lighting.  I have a batch of small light fixtures that I used to use for my fish tanks, that all say to use type A bulbs.  Which is the “normal” type bulb.  Which is all well and cool….but looking at bulbs that come in the right type of light needed to grow plants and what not, can I put a PAR bulb into these as long as the bulb itself otherwise fits and I don’t go over the recommended wattage?  It looks to ME like they’re the same kind of base, but I hate to assume when it comes to electrical stuff…..

Rifle bleg

Posted January 16, 2013 By Ruth

Well, I wasn’t going to do this for a while, after I’d done more research on my own, but with the passing of new laws……we’re not in a position to pick up and move unfortunetly.  Hopefully before to many years have gone by that’ll change.  Anyway….

Where we live its legal to hunt deer with a rifle (during the appropriate season of course).  If I’m reading it right NY requires a centerfire rifle for deer hunting.  Neither hubby or I have handled a rifle before.  He always did all his hunting with a shotgun, same for his dad.  As such we don’t really have anything to go off of for experience. 

Hubby’s got lots of shotgun experience, I’ve got some shotgun, some air rifle (I’m kicking myself right now for not having completed my pistol permit already, life got in the way dammit…..).  Suggestions of things we should look for, brands or models, or anything else?  Budget’s a bit tight for extras right at the moment till I’m working again, so as usual money’s an issue….

Gardening bleg: rhubarb, corn, sweet peppers….

Posted January 10, 2013 By Ruth

Ok! I don’t remember who it was who posted the list of heirloom seed companies who send out free catalogs, but I’m not sure I should be thanking you.  On the other hand I’m having fun browsing seeds.


Rhubarb: I tried to do rhubarb before, planted it in a bad spot, it didn’t do well, then hubby mowed it.  Ooops.  So I’m regrouping.  Anyone have any suggestions as to types of rhubarb?  Theres bunches and I feel like I’m picking one at random….


Corn: I’m not sure I really want to do corn, I anticipate having to fight the wildlife for every ear.  But at the same time I want to try my hand at growing popping corn.  Anyone have any experience with growing popping corn who can offer suggestions, advice…..


Sweet peppers: I want to try the Sweet Chocolate variety, anyone tried these?

Bleg: shooting starlings and seed starting

Posted January 5, 2013 By Ruth

Starlings: Alright, the general concensus is that the best way to get rid of starlings is to shoot them.  I have no objection to doing so, however I don’t have a good place to put the feeder that will allow me a shot without a house or street behind it.  Admittedly both houses and road are 50 to 100 feet (or more depending on which way and angle) from where I’d be shooting, but still.  Best compromise I can come up with is to move the feeder to a place that’ll put the shot away from the houses, and it would have to go through a couple bushes and trees to get to the road.  The pellet gun we have would go through all that and still go through a car window if I timed the shot badly.  What is the lowest speed/size/etc air rifle (BB or pellet) that will do enough damage to the starlings to make it worthwhile?  (Ok, I’ll admit I could move the feeder to the back of the house and shoot off into no-mans land, but then I can’t SEE the feeder from in the house.  We tried that last year, took all the fun out of it, there’s no good way to watch the feeders in the back from inside the house (yes, thats a failing of the house, one we’d like to eventually fix…..))

Seed starting:  Last year I had surprisingly good luck with my attempt at seed starting.  I didn’t get much off the plants, but I think that was a weather issue and my inexperience more than anything else.  So, this year I’d like to do a bit more.  I’m looking at setting up a proper seed starting tray, with lights, so I can start more seeds and hopefully have them a bit more mature when its time to put them out.  Question: do I NEED a heating mat?  What about anything else equipment wise?  What do you consider essential to seed starting?


Posted January 2, 2013 By Ruth

The things you notice when you’re home unexpectedly lol.

Anyone have any ideas on how to keep the starlings off the suet without discouraging the woodpeckers?  I know they sell cages to keep out the big birds, but I don’t want to discourage the red-bellied woodpeckers who enjoy it as well, and I don’t want to turn it soley upside down feeders only as all sorts of other birds feed on it too.  I tried leaving it empty for several days, and they were slow to come back, but here they are……and unfortunetly there really isn’t a good angle to take a pellet gun to them…..

Covering plants for the winter: bleg

Posted November 24, 2012 By Ruth

So, I’ve been, slowly, covering the various containers and beds with straw for the winter.  The weather was warm enough that various things were trying to sprout.  Picked up what should be my last needed bale of straw yesterday to finish up.  Of course it was raining by the time I got home, so I didn’t put it out.  It was (I THOUGHT) supposed to be dry all weekend, I’d just finish up then.

So I get up this morning and this is what I found:

With no obvious sign of it stopping and melting any time today.  Maybe tomorrow, but not today.  Sigh.

Do I put down the straw over the snow layer, knowing that it’ll likely melt in the next couple days, or do I wait till it melts (which I do expect it to do) and put it down then?  All the plants do have a base layer on them, I just wanted it deeper and around the sides of some of the deeper container/beds.

Garden & bleg

Posted September 7, 2012 By Ruth

Baby pumpkin 1 didn’t make it, however there are now baby pumpkins 2, 3, 4 and 5…..however I have serious doubts about their long term survival considering we’re already in September…..


Does anyone know anything about purple sweet peppers?  Two of the pepper plants are producing purple peppers.  I’m not positive they’re the SAME kind of purple, the pepper shapes are slightly different.  However searching online it looks like some peppers are ripe at purple and some purple peppers then turn red when fully ripe.  Does anyone have any experience with this?

Butchering a large animal– Tool Bleg

Posted July 28, 2012 By Ruth

So, I was able to get ahold of a large case of pork necks.  Skin’s already gone, but otherwise most of the pieces look to be the complete neck.  Since they’re for the dogs, I need to break them down into smaller pieces, especially for Arty.  I’m thinking a hacksaw, but is there anything else that might work better?  Money is, as usual, an issue, but since I expect to be able to source pork necks and other similer pieces from this supplier on a regular basis getting something that’ll DO the job is worth it.  Any suggestions from you hunter/farmer people?

Bleg: odd computer issue

Posted June 22, 2012 By Ruth

A couple days ago I noticed that my desktop shortcut for Itunes was broken.  As in, no cute little picture, it was no longer associated with any files, and attempting to delete it resulted in ‘access denied, file in use…’.  Weird.  Reinstalled/repaired Itunes, took the newly created shortcut, which worked, and tossed it into the desktop folder where that set of shortcuts is kept.  Where it promptly broke again.  Wtf?

Uninstalled Itunes, reinstalled Itunes, with reboot inbetween.  Same problem.  Shortcut is fine till I attempt to move it.

Created a couple duplicate shortcuts of random things and attempted to move them into random folders.  Same problem.

Now, I can go into safe mode, change the security settings for those individual files and delete them, but thats annoying.  Oh, and its only shortcuts.  Attempting to move any other file type appears to work just fine.

So I loaded into safe mode, updated and ran Malwarebytes.  Came back clean.  Ok, really weird.

I’m currently attempting a restore to a version from a week ago, but I’m not sure, off the top of my head, when the last Itunes update was, so I’m not sure when exactly I really need to go back to.

I’m running XP sp3.

Does this ring a bell at all?


Edited: Figured out when the last Itunes update went through, since the problem likely occured before that, and pushed the restore back to a week before that.  The restore FIXED the broken Itunes shortcut, but any shortcuts newly moved (after the restore) still break when they’re moved….I hate to go any further back, its almost a month as is.  I guess I need to just consider breaking down and backing up my files and doing a clean install to 7 like I keep saying I’m going to….

Edited again (saturday morning): discovered in the process of doing backups that although it’ll backup the files to the external drive with no issues, some of the odds and ends that are “newer”, zip-files and .exe downloads, apparently also got screwed up by the problem (I downloaded them, installed the program, and tossed the zip into the folder to archive later), though at least a couple OLD .exe (self contained programs with no other files) did not get messed up when I played with them.  So I have to re-download those directly to the external drive.  Husband and I were talking about it, and a couple months ago I DID have trouble with a couple of windows updates that weren’t taking right.  They were security updates, we THOUGHT we’d gotten them to install ok, but maybe not….I haven’t been doing much on the computer lately though, so its possible its been that long….

Rhubarb in containers? Bleg

Posted May 19, 2012 By Ruth

So, my rhubarb isn’t happy.  The stalks are barely 6 inches tall.  I know what rhubarb is supposed to look like when its happy and this isn’t it.  I suspect that its because the area where its planted tends towards being either REALLY wet or REALLY dry (yah, it wasn’t a good choice of spots, unfortunetly there isn’t much of a better one the way my yard is set up, there’s a reason I set up this year’s garden in containers).

I was considering transplanting it to a container, the (fake) half barrels I’m using for the rest of the garden this year are 25″ in diamater and about that tall… I hit Google.  It looks like the big concern would be keeping it from freezing solid in the winter while still getting cold enough to go dormant.  But I’m going to be looking at the same thing with the herbs I just planted, so thats ok…..I think I’ve come up with a solution for them, so whats one more container?

Any one out there have any experience trying it?