Forecast Says Rain

12 10 2010

There’s a chance of rain tomorrow and Thursday. The lean-to roof needed protection. Larry had to lay roofing felt and install the flashing. All of this took place in the few hours of daylight remaining after work.


The Shed Project (continues)

11 10 2010

The shed project continues. You didn’t think it was finished, did you? Come on now. This project will never be finished.

So here was our dilemma. Look at this picture. Do you see the big wide open area to the right of the shed? That is unused space, my friend. It would have made a great compost area or small garden since it’s out of sight from the house but the shed casts some mean shade back there. So we settled on building an addition to the shed – a lean-to.

Here’s Larry using the post hole digger. As you’ll see coming up, we’ll be putting in (4) 4×4 support posts parallel to the shed. See the large shrubs behind him. They’re leyland cypresses. We had to chop them down for this project. I thought about moving them to another part of the yard but I couldn’t find a good place considering their height at maturity.

So the posts are in and the rafters are going up. The rafters are 14 ft long. The short end of the lean-to where the four posts are located is 12 ft long.

Here is Larry nailing the sheathing to the rafters. I had all good intentions of helping him with putting down the sheathing but the rafters shook too much when you hammered a nail. Gave me the willies. I had to get down.

Here’s the view from under the lean-to. Even though I loved my shrubs, it’s going to be nice moving some of the bigger garden gadgets like the tractor wagon and wheelbarrow out here instead of taking up floor space in the garage and shed. We plan to raise the ground in this area and put in a gravel base. We will be installing gutters connected to rain barrels.

From here he looks like he’s smiling but he was in pain. It’s hard to have a desk job 362 days a year then build a structure on the other 3 days.

We’re not done with the lean-to yet. We still have to add some side trim pieces, flashing, and then shingle it. I’ll try going up there again. Now that the sheathing is down, the roof should have a more solid feel to it (I hope).

As you can see in the pics, we don’t have any siding on this side of the shed. The other 3 sides are done but we’ve been waiting (on ourselves) to get this part of the project going so the ledger board, flashing, and siding come together well.

That was our Columbus Day Holiday weekend. What did you do?


14 05 2010

Tonight I ran across a Mark Bittman NY Times video on making a rhubarb crisp. Watching him prepare the rhubarb and describe it’s tartness, brought back memories of how I came to love rhubarb.

Back in the late 60’s and early 70’s, my sister Shawn and I would occasionally spend the weekend with Paul and Louise. Paul and Louise were friends of the family but we knew them more as family. Paul worked at the Belden factory in Richmond, IN and Louise was a stay at home mother.

During the summer, Paul would plant a big garden in the back yard. He grew corn, string beans, tomatoes, radishes, and rhubarb. He grew more than that but that’s what I recall.

For some reason, the rhubarb wasn’t grown in the actual garden. It was grown next to the garage. It grew well in that location. I can remember helping Louise string the rhubarb before she cut it up for the pies she would make.

I also remember tasting the raw rhubarb. I couldn’t believe the tart sweetness found in the pie could start out so bitter. It almost had a caustic chemical taste in it’s raw form.

I haven’t had a slice of strawberry rhubarb pie in a long time. It’s probably been 40 years since I last tasted one. I think it’s time I round up some rhubarb from the farmers market and give Mark Bittman’s recipe a try.

Sea Level Rise

6 09 2009

Here’s an interesting Google Map mashup.  It visually displays the impact a sea level rise might have on a particular location. You can change the amount of sea level rise using the drop down box in the upper left corner.

Here’s a sea rise map for the area I live in:

Sea Rise Map – Jacksonville, NC

According Wikipedia, the Internet brain trust, scientists estimate a 1.3 meter rise over the next 100 years.

Check out these other areas of the world. They’re already at or below sea level today:



Florida Keys


The Moth

29 08 2009

I’m a big podcast fan. Podcasts and my iPod is like television and my DVR. I get to subscribe to the shows I really like but watch them at a time that fits my schedule. The same with podcasts. I subscribe and listen to my favorites at my leisure.

For the most part, I listen to podcasts only when I drive. It doesn’t matter where I’m going or the time of day, I perform the same routine every time I get in the car — I start the car, connect the iPod, start the podcast, put on my seatbelt, drive away. If the iPod is not in my purse, I stop the car, go back in the house, and I get it.

My podcast listening week begins with me syncing my iPod on Sunday evening. I subscribe to approximately 10 different podcasts through iTunes. Most of the podcasts are 30 mins long but there’s one or two that hit the hour mark. The podcasts are tech-related but I do subscribe to a few other genres.

There have been occasions where I get to a friday afternoon, driving home from work, and I have no more podcasts to listen to. I’ll be honest. I get this “I just smoked the last cigarette in the pack” feeling. I have to get home. Somehow. So I can sync my iPod, and fill it back up. Whew! In those situations, I will listen to the music on my iPod to fill that void as I drive home. But it’s not the same. I listen to my iPod music all day while I’m at work so I’m really not interested in hearing music when I drive.

Anyway, I found this new podcast. I’ve been listening to it for a month now. (When I find a new podcast, I never blindly subscribe to it. I must listen to two or three shows before I commit to the “subscribe” button). So this new podcast, The Moth, it’s really good. It’s 15 mins of some of the funniest stories you’ll ever hear. Actually the stories cover events you’ve most likely experienced in your life. Some of these events could have been traumatic at the time but funny as all get out when you hear someone else relating their experience.

The storyteller is different each week. I don’t know any them or recognize their name. The storyline is definitely different each week. Actually, the whole podcast has an NPR-ish sound and feel about it.

So. If you like a good laugh and have 15 mins to spare, check out The Moth podcast. You won’t be disappointed.

Earth Hour

30 03 2009

Big Picture photos from around the world of Saturday’s (March 28, 2009) Earth Hour. Starting with pic #2, click the image to see the lights fade.

Happy New Year

1 01 2009

I haven’t pinned down my resolutions yet.  They’ll most likely involve new habits or learning new things.  That worked well for me last year.  

On the other hand, I have so much going on this year that I’m not sure I’ll have the time to learn something new. If anything, my time management skills should improve! 

I do have high hopes for the coming year.  2009 is turning out to be the Year of Life Events. There’s going to be weddings, graduations, and a baby.

I think 2009 is going to be one of those years I’ll use to add or subtract time. You know what I mean. It’s how you figure out when something happened. It usually goes something like, “Jonas was potty trained so that meant he was two so it must have been 2011 when we bought that couch.” 2009 will become a baseline year in my life. A milestone.

It’s going to be an exciting time!