The most famous astronaut since the days of Aldrin and Armstrong, Canadian Chris Hadfield, is heading home! Before he left the ISS, he did a version of David Bowie’s classic, Space Oddity. If being a spaceman wasn’t cool enough, now he’s a rock star as well! Enjoy
I was sitting out in the workshop the other night and a stray piece of 2×6 caught my eye. It really should have been tossed in the burn pile but that would have been a waste so I thought about what I could make out of it. Here’s what I came up with – an iPad stand! It actually works with my iPhone as well. Simple and effective – here are the pics!
The Romans really had it figured out – hot and cold baths in which to soothe their conquest-induced aches and pains. I guess having an army of slaves to boil water and make steam helped as well. At our previous house, we had a hot-tub installed, mostly to help Josée with her many soccer related injuries. I must admit that I actually used it a lot more than I figured I would. Well, after many months of delay, we decided to get another one. We’ll use it now and then if/when we turn this house into a vacation rental, the tub will be an added attraction. Stop by sometime for a soak!
We have two beautiful ponds in the back, one of which remains full all year. Surrounding the ponds are a variety of trees, some of which are quite big. Last fall, we had a large alder partially drop so I decided to pull it out with Bob and buck it up before it fell on us. After clearing an area, I decided to take part of the tree which wasn’t rotten and turn it into a bench; we now have a nice area, dappled with sunshine in the later afternoon, from which we can sit and watch our pond. Now I just need a fishing pole now except the herons take care of most everything!
As with much in my life, starting one project leads to many subsequent endeavours. Several weeks ago, I started building some shelves to store overflow inventory. With one room done, I thought I might as well start on the second which then led to creating a storage bench for the back seats from the Element. The water storage tank caught my eye next so I rebuild the box surrounding it. I then ventured into my main workshop. It still had the original work bench with only a little storage space so I decided to tear everything out and rebuild the lot. Now I’ve got much more room and everything is better organized; here’s to next winter full of interesting projects!
It’s been three weeks since our return from the Garden Isle – Kauai! We were there longer than the title of this post but like the movie of the same name, got to see as much of the island as Harrison Ford and Anne Heche. What a great trip! Normally, Josée and I like to get off the beaten path a bit but we found a great deal on VRBO for a small condo in the village of Kapa’a on the East Coast of Kauai. Hawaii wasn’t our first choice but Kauai ended up being a great place for a relaxing holiday. It is sparsely populated and the locals are very authentic; I’ve never seen so many ‘shakas’ in action!
Wonderful weather, tremendous hikes, decent snorkelling and nice people all combined for a trip which was both relaxing and exciting. I won’t bore you with all the details; just suffice it to say that Mark’s Place, Anahola Beach and Kipu Ranch, among many other places, restaurants, hikes and beaches are burned into our memories! If you’re planning a trip to Kauai, I highly recommend it – if you need information, just let me know!
No my title it isn’t a spelling mistake! We’re taught that animal husbandry is one of the principal causes of desertification. I was reading one of my farm books a week or so ago and there was a bit about using animals to maintain and improve pasture, orchards and gardens. Nothing complicated and something we’re going to do, probably commencing 2014. In doing this research, I stumbled across this great TED talk which speaks to the greater issue of desertification on a global scale. Take a few minutes to watch the clip; it’s very interesting and extremely applicable if you have a small holding. Enjoy!
Our chicken coop is affectionately known as the Hen Hilton. Coined by Manuel one hot and dusty summer day, the nickname stuck, its usage directly proportionate to the size of the ongoing project. Recently, my trustee helper and I decided to re-work the wire run, expanding it a little and re-setting the posts. I was hooking up the augur to Bob when I remembered (somewhat unfortunately) the old house siding (kept because one just never knows when blue vinyl siding may come in handy) and thought now (why not – we never have much going on) might be time to re-fit the coop and clean up the original, rather dilapidated, Hen Hilton.
As with most renovations, it took on a life of its own, moving from quick siding job to include new fascia, a hand-crafted English Oak (er, West Coast cedar) door, enlarged and modernized run area, renovated kitchen cum eating area and some fancy white lattice to cap things off. I hope these hens produce at accelerated pace – at this rate, we’re going to need to sell more eggs to pay for this project. I’ll add a few more of the final completed look when I’m back at my desk!
If you’re feeling blue, tired of the constant barrage of bad news, just watch this video. If you don’t feel inspired after this..well, you will! Have a great weekend!
I had a nice Christmas break but like many, if I don’t leave home, I keep finding small projects on which to work. Over Christmas, I had a few key things to go. First off, was to create a weight for the back of the truck, a vehicle useless beyond belief in even the thinnest snowfall. A few measurements and some concrete later, I had a block weighing about 190kg ready for action. Luckily, the form I constructed was accurate enough to allow Bob’s warped fork-lift arms under, enabling me to lift it into the truck; now I just need some snow to test it. The address sign was something I started before Panama trip but figured it was time to dust off the router and get ‘er done. It’s gorilla-glued to a rock at the front of the house – so far, so good. Finally, I cleared out a path through the blackberries to the pond, hauled out a few storm-snapped trees, bucked them for firewood and then took the trunk of one alder to make a bench. By late spring, I figure most of the bushes will grow back and we’ll have a nice little sitting area to watch life on the pond.
Happy New Year!