Category Archives: projects

Can You Bake an Apple Pie?

Neither can I…
Actually I found out I can, those were just the leftover crust clumped up with cinnamon and sugar because I find it hard to throw food away, which is the reason for the pie.
We got apples at costco a few weeks ago, and only four or five got eaten, despite the fact they were fairly tasty apples. I figured they were a getting a little on, and the skins were starting to wrinkle just a bit when you pushed on them, so I figured that I ought to give a swing at seeing if I could do pie.
I found a recimape on the internets and it turned out we had everything but the crisco, so I substituted butter for shortening. Mmmmmm, butter.
All that experience working with clay slabs gave me that edge for rolling out the dough, but I think clay is more forgiving.
Look Ma, no hairnet!
And when Debbie said I had to make some vent holes I couldn’t resist making it cute, ’cause I’m such the homemaker.

At noon the city inspector showed up for the first official look at the garage. He said the forms we stressed so much over were too narrow for the type of pour we were doing, even though the city office cleared us for that type of footing on the official plans. He did say that if we pulled the forms and just poured the size of the hole we would be fine. Had we known that we could have saved a few hundred dollars as well as been able to pour while it was still warm and sunny. Chuck got off a little early due to the impending storm (we had hoped to pour the forms this evening) and he came over and removed them in just a fraction of the time it took to put them in. But that’s always the case, isn’t it? We pulled one board out and the leaves piled in the hole spilled off the board leaving one odd one stuck to the lumber. Turns out it was a well crafted butterfly.
Shortly after we got finished wrapping up the forms in a tarp to keep them from the snow it started to rain, and now we have about 5 inches of new snow.

Life on the plantation

trees.JPG one_year_old.JPGI was just outside making sure all my little trees had enough water in the heat of the day, and I had a nice little surprise. Last year I took some of the seeds that had fallen from the Kentucky Coffee trees on presidents circle and found out how to grow them. Out of the 4 or 5 that came up I only ended up with 1 by the spring of this year. So late this spring I planted 24 more for me (and 12 for my dad, not sure how those are doing). About 20 came up, and as they were planted together in two big terracotta pots, I had to separate them to give them enough room to grow. I’ve really enjoyed taking care of the ones that came up, but I really need to get my garage foundation poured (at the very least) so I can get my gardening stuff out around back. But the little Coffee trees aren’t the only things I’ve got growing in my little bonsai project garden, and that’s where the surprise came in.

One day a couple weeks ago I went out with Sam one afternoon at work and we rescued a couple Russian Olive trees from a field that everyone seems to be using for a dumping ground. Sam had read that olive trees were pretty hardy for transplanting and you could almost cut off a branch and stick it in a bucket and it would grow. We weren’t sure if that appiled to Russian Olives, but we figured we could give it a shot, as they’re pretty much a weed that grows around here.
It was quite the adventure with spiders crawling on arms, and ant infestations and the munching of rats in the garbage. The temperature was about 100 degrees and I’d been thinking that we took them in the heat and they didn’t survive, but today as I went out and inspected the little trees, I noticed a handful of buds coming out of the bark.
The larger bud is coming off at just the right angle for the first branch, but it’s a bit lower than I’d wanted, one of the smaller ones is a bit towards the front of the trunk (as it leans now) but at about the right height for what I’d envisioned. I guess I’ll kind of have to wait and see, but I suppose that’s the exciting part of gardening. (and who ever thought I’d believe gardening is exciting?)

You put the left footing in…

Well, we got the backhoe rented today and Chuck and Jack came around and helped get the footing most of the way in. We were done around 1:00, so Chuck wasn’t even too late to the studio. Now we have to get the rest dug by hand and look at getting the forms in before it snows.

Maybe someday my backyard won’t look like a complete dump. I’ve often said that all it really lacks is a car up on blocks. Although, there is a broken down motorcycle…