Thursday, November 10, 2016

New roof!

Another BIG project. 
This time... Just wrote a check. 
A big. fat. check. But... It was so nice to just do that! 

Background. The house was thrown together in 1980. 
We knew we had some projects and a new roof was in the plans when we bought it.
Well... Last year the bathroom skylight started leaking. We patched it up and it held out until a month ago, just as the rainy season started.. Boo. Within the past year, things fell into place for us to be able to finance the much needed major repairs to the house. (The siding is coming up next year).
Needless to say...I have some cosmetic repair to do in the bathroom.

Anyways, I spent a few months looking for a roofer. We decided on a metal roof and a company called Coast Exteriors. The company had a spotless record, glowing reviews and great guarantees. A bonus was that they also could do the gutters! The estimate was in budget and reasonable. The crew were professional and kind. I even noticed that they had some music playing when I got home. It wasn't loud at all and... they actually turned it off shortly after I arrived. I can't say enough about these guys. They got our small roof done in one day. 

It looks GREAT!

We chose the charcoal color for neutrality. But I am so pleased with the fact that is is neutral in color but surprised that it seems to catch the colors of the sky. Just look how great it looks in the bottom photo taken during a beautiful orange and pink sunset!

I was hoping to be able to hear the rain on a classic metal roof sound but... I can't. Because the roof is insulated. Yay. Hopefully, we will see better climate control in the summer. Oh yeah... it comes with a ridge vent. We also have 2 extra downspouts on the east side. Our old gutters were a joke that had only 2 downspouts and were installed with wrong angles and poured over in the rain and collected water in the far ends. Sigh. No longer. Yay!

Time will tell the rest of the story but for now, I'm very pleased!

The photos show a detail of the gutters and standing seam.
Front and back elevations with before (taken in the morning) and after in the morning and evening.

Friday, May 6, 2016

May garden 2016

So it has been a while since I have posted. But that's okay I've been totally busy doing other things and recovering from an injury. Blogging is just not high on my to-do list. It takes a lot of time!
Here we are May 2016. One of my favorite times of year because everything just really starts getting going in the garden and in the forest.
This is when all of the hard work really starts to show. It makes me so happy.
In this post I'll give a pictorial tour of what's been going on outside.
I moved the blueberries from Blueberry Hill into pots & they love it. The hills past life as a gravel storage area made the soil too Rocky and alkaline for blueberries. I transplanted them into pots filled with compost and peat moss... nice and acidic. Now, I just have to keep them watered regularly.

I also moved the raspberries from their ground beds to raised beds. The ground beds were too shallow and we're allowing The Raspberries to spread beyond their borders. They handled the transplant well.

As you can see, the strawberry barrel didn't work out very well. For now, it is being repurposed into a flower planter until I can move it to a different location and decide what to do with it. The new strawberry planters seems to be working well for now. Time will tell. I have a pink flowering variety that I found as well as a variety called flavor fest. The pink is so pretty!

Potatos this year! I've tried bags and straw in the past with no success. Hopefully raised beds will help. Purple, red and yellow varieties.

Carrots seem to be doing well so far. Hopefully they won't get eaten from the inside out like they did last year. Lettuce is doing fabulous!  We'll see how my second harvest of heirloom garlic does this year. Hope it's as great as last year. I tried to plant peas but the birds ate all the seeds before they could germinate.

From top left clockwise. I have one yellow squash and one zucchini and that's all I need. Tomatoes...  I have 8 different tomato plants and one bed looks like my compost was still a little too hot. I bought a rhubarb start this year and it started growing just fine then all the sudden that happened now it's a corpse rhubarb. My asparagus is in its second year so I still have to wait before I can get a good harvest of that.

Now you get to see my mess. The top photo is of the Blueberry Hill. A tree fell on the fence and busted the posts but the deer fence mesh still stands. I have made two spots in the garden for two rain barrels and have a lovely arrangement from our high school FFA on the top of one. A few small hanging baskets are on some posts around the garden to attract the hummingbirds and make it more pretty. And the bottom is a panorama of the garden right now. Please excuse the mess it is still a work in progress and I am still trying to get some more seeds into some of these beds and finish up the pathway. Moles are still a constant battle.

The herb garden surrounds the vegetable garden. There are a little more than herbs in the herb garden. I have a buried clay pot with beautiful spring bulbs. This is also where I have put the baby Douglas fir trees until they grow big enough to not be bothered by the deer and Elk. I love herb!

Lots of flowers!

Now onto the forest...

I tried to propagate cutting last year of the blue raspberry without success. This year I am trying tip rooting. So far so good.
Salmonberry, huckleberry, salal berry, columbine (non native), native Blackberry, Oregon grape, hazelnut, wild strawberry. Didn't have a lot of nettle this year.

The orchard is a mix of good and bad. From top left and down...
The mystery tree that we transplanted from the forest is fruitng. Maybe we will see what it becomes (I think cherry).
Old Apple fruiting well.  Fig transplanted again but is handing it well now that it is safe from the deer. My cherry trees I planted 4 years ago are crap, and the apricot died (I do not recommend rain tree nursery!). 
I bought and planted a comice pear for my daughter... So far so good... Even has fruit this year.

The back 40 forest mystery peachy cherry has fruit too.

Happy gardening!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Summer 2015

A quick review of our family summer trip to the coast.

A visit to Mt. Saint Helens.

Stopping on the way to Astoria.

Time on the beach.