Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Lawn Mower Tires

Last weekend noticed the tires on the lawn mower were getting a little flat. However we do not own any form of an air pump. :( This weekend I go to pull out the lawn mower and realize it is a little harder than usual. Lo and Behold the tire is completely flat. I push the lawn mower back into the garage.

At this point I have two options.
1. Purchase an air pump (and hope the tire does not have a hole in it)
2. Remove the tire from the lawnmower and take it to the gas station where I can use their air pump.

I wanted to chose option 1 but the budget does not allow for it right now. So Option two until next pay check. I raise the lawn mower rear tires off the ground and I proceed to remove the retaining clips for the lawn mower and give the wheel a firm pull. 

I spray the axle with penetrating oil and call it a day.

Day 2
I grab a 2x4 and wedge it between the tire and the frame to pry the wheel off.


I go out side and pull out the scissor jack from my wife's car and wedge it between the tire and frame.


I take the 2x4 and pull out my hammer and start wailing away.


But after about an inch or so it stops again

I spray the axle with penetrating oil and call it a day.

Day 3
I'm a little upset now ... thinking I really should have just purchased an air pump and called it a day. I pull out my sledge hammer and hammer the tire back to its original position. I spray everything again with a liberal coating of penatrating oil and this time use the 2x4 with the sledge hammer

About 10 powerful hits that would make John Henry smile. The tire came off.

I place the tire in the car and that is the end of Day 3

Day 4
After work I stop at the gas station on my way home that has free air and air up the tire. All seems well and return home. As I am putting the tire on I hear a small hiss and realize there is a crack in the side of the tire. :(  
I put the tire on anyway hoping to finish cutting the grass before it goes flat again. I get about 2/3rds of the way when I turning the corner and tire separates from the rim.

I push the lawn mower back into the garage.

Day 5
I woke up before work to see how much it would cost to order all new tires. The total ... $334!!! Maybe I am too cheap but I can get tires for a car for $70 a piece! Now I have to find a cheaper way to get new tires. I do not want to use any sealant type stuff but that may end up being the solution.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Existing Master Video

Above is a video created using google sketchup of how our master suite looks right now before we did any designing.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Orchard planning

Now that the plan for the front humming bird garden is in place time to starting doing a little more long term planning which is our orchard.

This orchard has been something Gloria and I have always talked about. I am not even certain how we got on the subject but I can imagine it had something to do with the fact that Me and now my son will eat all the fruit in the house and Gloria was tired of not being able to get any cause we ate it too fast.

So when we purchased this house we knew having land was important. Which is why we have over an acre of land for our small fruit orchard.

Now I must admit I am new to this so the plan is more than likely to change. Especially since I do not fully understand how pollination works and how to manage it properly.

Step one clear the land!
Below is an old picture from 2010 of what our land looked like. As you can see about half of it is covered in trees.

The portion boxed out is the area that will be deforested.

After removing the trees we should have something like this.
 Finally time to map out the trees. Our lot is 100' wide roughly and most trees require between 20-30 feet for spacing. I would like to not have the trees drop fruit over the property line. So all trees need to be within 10' of the property line. So now the width is only 80'. Assuming 20' between each tree we can have up to 5 trees per column. I plan to start out with only 3 threes per column. With a lot of spacing to make sure they get plenty of sun and to bring down the cost of the irrigation system. So we should have something like this.
The trees I would like to plant are:
moonglow pears
ozark premier plums
glohaven peaches
yellow glass cherries
fugi apples (my favorite)
gala apples

and maybe the paw paw fruit since it is native to these parts.

Well I'm off to do more day dreaming!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Front garden area

Starting to plan the garden area for the front porch. So far I have develop a google sketch up model to lay it out.

Its really a simple model. So far the goal is to have a planting area next to the stairs that provides cut flowers through out the growing season. Since we live in a zone 5b it will be little interesting. The other thing I am thinking about is that my wife and I saw a humming bird come to our front porch. We may incorporate some flowers for the humming birds and butterflies in the neighborhood.

Each green space beside the stairs is roughly 9' x 6'. At the far left side of the picture next to the overhang is where the gutter comes down (sorry I didn't draw it in) but I plan to add rain barrel here to collect water to water the plants.

Because the porch is floor is about 4' off the ground. I want the tallest plants roughly 4'-5' tall.

Below are some of the flowers I am thinking about:

Cardinal Flower | Lobelia cardinalis

Life Span: Perennial
Mature Height: 3.0'
Mature Width: 1.0'
Flower Color: Red
Sun Requirement: Full Sun to Part Sun
Water Requirement: Wet to Moist

Foxglove Beardtongue | Penstemon digitalis

Life Span: Perennial
Mature Height: 2.0'
Mature Width: 1.0'
Flower Color: White
Sun Requirement: Full Sun to Part Sun
Water Requirement: Moist to Medium

Large-flower beardtongue | Penstemon grandiflorus

Life Span: Perennial
Mature Height: 3.0'
Mature Width: 1.0'
Flower Color: Pink
Sun Requirement: Full Sun
Water Requirement: Drained to Dry

Showy Beardtongue | Penstemon cobaea

Life Span: Perennial
Mature Height: 2.0'
Mature Width: 1.0'
Flower Color: White
Sun Requirement: Full Sun
Water Requirement: Drained to Dry

I plan to place the large and showy beardtongues on the right since they are both drained to dry for water requirements. And the foxglove and the cardinal on the left since they both need more water. It also helps that the foxglove and the cardinal do not require as much sun light.

 I still have not decided on my filler plants more than likely they will be Gerberas or Carnations or tulips or daffodils. I need some sort of greenery I supposed. Clearly i have not made up my mind yet.