Sunday, February 14, 2010

Winter Maples

We got a little bit of snow last night, about an inch or so.  It sure helps to keeps the dust down.  It's a lot better when Tucker ends up rolling in the snow instead of thick clay dust.  Although, mud isn't the best either.
Mom brought us some maple seedlings when they visited from Chicago last year.  A few got planted in the landscaped areas and didn't survive the transfer.  We had five remaining seedlings in a pot filled with the worst Colorado clay I think that she could find.  We were keeping them out in the garage, which is heated but not much light and so I brought them into Lori's "greenhouse" area in the basement, which they seem to like rather well.  All of a sudden we have leafed out plants in the middle of February.  We still have to transplant them into decent soil and individual planters soon.  I think we will leave them indoors, or as patio plants, for a few years.  Hopefully they can survive the altitude.
We also transplanted some of the lavender from the old house, as it seems very hardy and spreads nicely.  Those plants also like the heated floor of the greenhouse, and have new shoots and leaves.   The orchids probably won't go into the outdoor landscaping.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

We've been Organizing

  No, not stiff arming fellow workers into joining a union.  Not the kind of organizing that's intended to launch a political career either.  I bought a bunch of shelving and cabinets and spent a couple of weekends clearing out a lot of the scrap wood, tile etc that was in the garage and moving it to places either for long term storage, or in the case of the slate tiles, close to the back patio where they will be laid on top of the concrete for the future grill area.
  In the garage, we bought metal "gear" cabinets from Lowes.  Unfortunately, these came unassembled and came with an awful lot of screws, bolts etc.  Not hard to do but tedious, even with the power screwdriver.
(I should have taken a picture of the unassembled parts for effect!)
The two cabinets have five shelves each.  There are two base cabinets with a hard top that I originally was going to place between, but we were in Costco and they had this great maple top work bench, 8 foot wide and coated with polyurethane that was a great price.  Looks good enough for inside.  The base cabinets had a good spot underneath the window.  I bought mounting racks to go over the bench, on which will hang a couple of wall mount cabinets and other storage units.  Whenever I feel like dealing with all the screws and such again.

The floor is still somewhat messy, even though I used that monstrous shop vac there in the picture, there is a lot of drywall spackle on the concrete, and the cardboard is for oil pickup.  The back wall here was filled with leftover wood from the trim work.  That all made it down to the shed.
  We'll probably move the stuff out again to paint the walls, when it warms up. Then I can put up the wall mounts.

The cabinets had to fit around the control boxes, on the left for the Invisible Fence and the right for the sprinkler system.
I'm still working on snow-blower parking.  It's  a big piece and seems to fit here alright, but Lori's car is parked outside at the moment while I did the garage rearranging and we'll see how maneuverable everything is once the car is in.  Won't do to pull the car out without being able to clear off the snow.  Shoveling isn't a good option anymore, because I don't want too.
We had a number of stainless steel racks/shelving already.  Those were working out well, particularly with the rolling casters.  So I bought seven more units of various sizes.  For now, they are in the "secret storage room", located behind the bar through the hidden passage.

It's hard to tell from the picture but there are five racks in here.  Another was placed in the garage, and one in the under deck  "shed".  The garage and shed units are pretty solid, holding 600 pounds per shelf, with the large unite five feet wide and 2 feet deep, 6 feet high.

The shed was initially a four sided retaining wall that was to be filled with dirt, but we had an opening cut and put in a garage style door in the front.

The shelving on the right has been in here for awhile.  The wood fits nicely on the top, Lori's pots and gardening stuff on some of the other shelves.  A lot of that will come out during planting time. The slabs in the back are leftover marble and granite.  Hopefully we'll find a use for it..

 The left side has one of the new shelves, and Lori's gardening bench which can be wheeled to where it's needed. 
   The room is well insulated, as the back and right wall are underground and the left wall is foundation wall for the house.  It makes for a decent cigar smoking room, hence the chair and the heater.  The atmosphere isn't great inside, but the view out the door is.

Lori didn't get her green house with the landscaping.  With the concrete heated floors and wall of windows, I expect that the downstairs great room will be put to gardening use as a starter site.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Howling at the Setting Moon

I was up and getting ready for work. Sunrise occurs after 7:00A, and as I was sitting down to check the latest spam in my Email in box I saw the moon getting ready to set in the west just as the mountains were catching the early rays of the rising sun, giving off a pink hue. I whipped up the tripod and caught the last of the moon.

The coyote came around, at the back of the house, and was howling up a storm. A couple of the dogs from the horse ranch were wandering around the area where he must have a den, and scared him over towards us. Those dogs a biggies, Kangals from the looks of them, and probably weigh more than 120 pounds. This guy and 3 of his friends wouldn't want to mess with them. He seems a loner, and we catch him going off to hunt cutting across the back area by the barbed wire fence fairly regularly. The dogs bark and keep him away usually, but he got pretty close here.