Mischiefs' Folly

Discussion in 'Members' Systems' started by mischief, Sep 26, 2013.

  1. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    One of my friends had their dog pinched out its kennel on their deck. She went to the pound to see if he had been handed in..... unfortunately he hadnt.
    While she was there, she saw Amy and gave her a pat.

    Apparently she passed her aggression test with flying colours and is onto the next step.(This amazed me... this is the dog that tried to pull the neighbours old dog through the fence by its snout!!!)
    I took her documentation in to show that she had been fixed and chipped a week after I surrended her cos I was told that it does help get them re-homed.( Took me that long to find them).
    My friend had a bit of a chat with the official on duty came away with a good feeling for her future.
    Does make me feel like a bit of a failure though.

    On the other hand, Jack has been so much more calmer and relaxed and has been responding very well to his own training.
    I had to buy him some tennis balls and teach him to fetch because he wasnt getting the same exercise and was starting to look a little fat.
    I did try to run around the back yard with him, but like with my old dog, I wound up getting nips on my backside because I wasnt fast enough.
    My firewood friend delivered another load of wood today and commented on what a good natured dog he was, which did make me feel better.
    I have always had One dog in the passed so,perhaps it was a mistake on my part to think that I could handle two.
    She is a pretty, very intelligent dog and very active hopefully, she will get a new home where she is the only one and has a human more suitable to her needs.

    I got the next part of the crazy paving done. This is a 4.5mx 1.3m section courtyard side of the bed where I put the trellis up that divides the parking area and the courtyard. 1.3m wide because thats how long the practise piece was. So far its looking quite good.
    I really hope my neighbour lets me have more so I can do the entire courtyard.

    And for play time, I got a couple of windchimes and put them up on each end of the trellis.
    One is just a little thing with a higher pitch(?) and the one on the far end is more mellow lower toned. Together, they sound really nice.

    The next bit of this will be the path that goes around the water tank.Once I have got this done, I can redo the step. They are just a little too wide but I didnt want to sort that out til Ihad the final height worked out.
     
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  2. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

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    peace in the house is always nice. :)
     
  3. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    It has been nice, we are both definitely alot calmer. I do like that.

    The bit of paving along side the house got done. I worked out that that means I have done one third of the courtyard so far.
    I did put more of the round river stones in this one and even found a couple of flat ones to use.
    It does look really good. So far mum is the only one who has seen it and she commented on how nice it looked with them in it.
    I'm not too sure how much more I will be getting from my neighbour cos she has now decided to make a crazy paving path through her garden and so too has a friend of hers.
    On the up side, a friend of my mums has let me have some urbanite they have cluttering up their yard. I get to pick this up tomorrow.

    I think we might actually get on quite well, that old girl next door and I. I quietly watched her work away wondering what the hell SHE was doing.
    She pulled out the steps to their front deck- the one on the driveway side and re positioned it to the side door all by herself.
    I thought that was quite a clever idea on two counts.
    One, it made her front deck private in that visitors dont seem to want to access it even though it does has another set of steps further along and redirects them to the side entrance of her house.
    Two. with the side entrance, door knockers only get to see a smaller portion of her living room compared to the original layout, which bares all.

    I have started to tackle the old wash house.
    The base plate is replaced, I used a section of the bearers that I scored with the glasshouse.
    The studs that were just hanging in mid air held on only by the cladding are now all in the the right place. The originals were not directly under the bits they should have been>(tired and I cant think of the right name for them at the moment).
    All the old cladding had to come off along with the old window.
    I decided to not have any window on this side. Instead I am going to put a bigger window in the front which I happened to have in the garage. This has two casement windows that actually open. I do need to strip them back and repaint.

    So far 90% of the rear wall is done. Just a narrow section that I need to measure and cut exactly to fit. I didnt feel up to that today, so I worked on plans for another project-the porch.
    I did go off and get the timber I needed for it though.So tomorrow should see that bit done.

    To do the roof bit, I am going to have to work out how to make a cover of some sort so that I dont disturb the bees.
    I got buzzed for about 10mins when I was putting the tarpauline on just in case it rained over the weekend.
    Much to the perverse amusement of my mother.
    I was stuck on the lean-too roof that abutts the wash house because this...this LITTLE thing decided to get antsy with me.
    I couldnt jump down because of all the rubble in the way and had to sit still while this angry thing snarled nastily around me. Cowered by something a fraction of my size.

    I had to take off two bits of roofing iron off only to find.....arrrrrh! who the hell cuts corro sheets across the gullies letting water seep in.
    Now, I need to replace rotted out boards in the roof.
    I have a long tarpcovering the whole thing while I sort it all out.
    The good news is that the two long load bearing walls are perfectly okay which is amazing really when you consider that they are 80years old.

    I'm still waiting for the back door to come back from the glaziers. I popped in to see how they were getting on.
    The frame and door sill is made but they were waiting for the glass to arrive for it.
    Because it is a door and so under 2 mtrs,i t has to be safety glass.
    I dont actually mind because I am also waiting for the builder to get time to come over to install it.
    I do need to get it back at least a week before he arrives cos I have to paint it all first. I find it easier if I can paint it whenits lying flat rather than when its in place.
     
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  4. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    The old wash house rear wall is finally sealed and water tight.
    With the roof I just did the end wall bit,had to replace two joists and the purlins that went across these. The corro iron I put up had to be taken off because I cut it too short and now that is sorted.
    Finally.

    The to-be back door finally came back from the glaziers. They have done a wonderful job, I didnt want to paint it but it had to be. Varnish just doesnt work for an outside door.
    The frame looks really good although the doorsill looks alittle deep to me so that may need to be trimmed to fit.
    So far its had the primer and one coat of paint on each.

    The new laundry windows have been stripped back and have the same primer and one coat of top coat so far.
    Due to expecting heavy rain, these have been put away in the store room til further notice. Now I just need to chase up my builder friend to let him know that i am ready for him to put them in after the rain stops.

    The piles of mulch are slowly shrinking.
    Today, one magically lost at least a third after numerous barrow loads got poured under fruit trees, on the vacant section of vegie bed and alongside the driveway to top up what got laid there last summer.
    I have found that couch grass is really easy to pull out when it has been smothered in woodchip, it just lifts straight out and with a little shake you have bare roots.I am not going to worry about the other areas that this is growing in now. I'm just going to mulch heavily and deal with it when it grows up through it. Hopefully this will be the same for areas that still have alot of convovulus.
    Funnily enough, I found the woodchip that was dumped in winter was easier to move than the late summer load. it is damp from the last lot of rain but still now where near as heavy as when it was fresh. and already has alot of worms in it.

    I have small piles of various types of 'urbanite' in front of the end pear tree bed and larger ones on the bed that divides the parking area from the courtyard. Even so, it still looks reasonably nice.
    My new neighbour asked me today if I still wanted more of the foot path concrete that her predecessor left her. I was quite relieved to hear that to be honest. What I do have at the moment is alot of little stuff whereas hers is quite large chunks that will do really well especially in the middle of the courtyard where the table will be. I do need this really flat and groove free so people dont get their chairs caught up on them.

    I was looking at the NZ Cabbage tree next to where I was going to put the ramp up to the back lawn....It has trunks that have started to lean down over this area meaning there is no way I can walk through here now, let alone drag a whellbarrow between the tree and the woodshed.
    However.....I found a new place for this ramp to go. I think I will be able to make this going from the courtyard up between the Feijoa tree and the geriatric Rosemary.
    At the moment its just bare soil and so is already sort of ramp like, just needs to be made alitle ore solid and maybe the grade cut back abit to make it more manageable.

    I have been spending probably way too much time sitting watching my bees.
    Sometimes just standing at the bottom of the steps next to the terrace where I can see the entrance and not be in the bees way. Its been great to see things you read about in books.
    The observtion window, Ithink it a must have, for any body who is thinking of getting a hive or two of their own.
    I do Not need to open the hive to see how far they are getting on with their comb building -this has been my main concern seeing as I did get it a little late in the season.

    I get to see things like them exchanging nectar from one to another,grooming, hanging off each other when they are apparently secreting wax and/or building the comb.

    I did mess up by not puttin two frames tightly together, but have learnt a lot from watching them build the burr comb,fill it with honey and cap it and then set about opening the cells up again,empty them and refill with pollen.

    Just by watching them, you learn so much. I have found that they are not worried at all when I sit at night with the flashlight on on my phone and shine it at the window to see what they get up to when the sun goes down.

    I have noticed things that need to be changed. For example, with a long hive, I dont need the bee space that is at the top of every frame. These would be better to be solid across the tops.
    I'm going to have a chat with my beekeeper/carpenter friend about making my own hive- it will most likely be my ideas and him making it. Hopefully we will be able to get together in the next week or two to talk about it.

    I did freak the other day when I thought I saw a hornet in the hive. It was running up and down the glass so I only saw the underneath of it-bright yellow. It wasnt a hornet but a carpenter bee. There was a hornet hanging around the front of the hive but it never managed to get in.

    Jack has learnt what bees are. Unfortunately there were some that were walking around the terrace rather trhan flying and he got stung an the foot and again when he sat on one. He doesnt like coming up here to sit with me any more.
    The day after he sat on one, he was dancing around in circles with a panicky look on his face.... because something was stuck on his tail- a cobweb.

    He does a double take at flies that land on him now, just in case they are a bee.I'm sure he will love the taste of our honey when we finally get some though.
    I have had to Properly block the terrace off now that the grapes are ripening. I caught him trying to sneak in front of the hive to get to them. Not a wise idea.
    Now, I pick the ripe ones and we share.

    The peaches ripened but were not nearly as big and juicy as last year, nor as many. they also went brown really quickly too. Its been a funny summer.
    Not enough sun at the right time, rain at the wrong time and not enough in between. Too hot but too cold at night. I had the fire one day this week cos it was so cold.
     
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  5. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    The 'new' ramp works a treat. I hadnt realised how much I had put off moving the woodchip around where it was needed just becaue of those 5 steps I had to drag the wheelbarrow up.
    I just had to rake off the loose soil and mulch from where my new ramp/path needed to go, pop the old woodshed step in front of this. It was still abit high so a 4x4 in front of the step, with a 2x4 in front of that has made a huge difference.
    These dont have to stay there all the time,just when I need to get the wheelbarrow up, which will make it easier for others trying to walk up.
    When I finish paving the courtyard, this will be the next thing that gets done to make sure the soil doesnt wind up being washed down.

    I'm going to get hold of the guy I got the chip from and let him know I am just about ready for re supplying, if he happens to have any over my way.
    It will probably be a good idea to organise for a set amount, maybe 4-5 loads so he doesnt waste time turning up to find there is sitll no room for it.
    I really should have covered the paths first, this would then have saved an awful lot of work in weeding and Then when it had broken down, what was left should then have gone onto the garden beds.
    I knew this, I even read it in Linda Woodrows' book, sometimes I just shake my head at myself.

    This week I spend some time helping my mum at her place, fixing up an area alongside her garage.
    For some reason she started to get water coming in when we had a heavy downpour. She thought it needed to be re worked, so thats what we did.
    I took down a couple of retaining boards I still had and made her alittle path between the garage and the (now) garden, making sure the soil level was below the concrete slab of the garage.
    She new has a raised bed along the fenceline that is now easy to get to and look after.
    Then I went around the back of the garage for some reason and saw that she had planted a Canna lily right next to the garage which had raised the soil level to above the cladding. I think this is probably what caused the flooding and pulled it out and cleared it back to where it used to be.

    Then it was up onto the roof to check for leaks. The plastic panel that lets the light in looked scorched where the timber beams crossed it and it had split and again at the bottom in a line right across where all the nails were making a huge gap where rain would have been pouring in. This got a patch up job with gap filler while she organised for a new panel to go on.
    It hasnt really rained since then so I dont know yet if we got everything covered.

    My neighbour is ready to start working along her driveway now and needed the concrete slabs to be taken away. I thought her friend was going to take aome but she said I could have it.
    Now that the end pile of woodchip is moved, it made it easier tossing the slabs over onto my side, there were a few that had to be dealt to with my sledge hammer. Then into my trusty ol' barrow and up my driveway.
    I am allowed to grab as much as I want.

    I have made a start on the central part of the courtyard using some of the old curved pieces of old fence from my friends lot. The 1/4 rounded bits have gone in the corners and a couple of doubles of these have gone alot the lengths. I played around with the round stones and found enough to fit inside these.
    My new slabs are lined up ready to put in place.
    Guess what I will be doing next week....trying to stay ahead of her.

    I decided to feed the bees, they have been doing really well in building up there numbers, but have not been able to build much new comb.

    I made the mistake of setting this feeder up next to the hive and didnt realise that I would be feeding other peoples bees as well as my own, til I noticed late yesterday afternoon, that bees were taking off from the feeder and going in three different directions.
    Luckily, it took them all a long time to find it so it wasnt the feeding frenzy from hell.

    There is an ants nest in a hole of the concrete, under the hive. They dont seem to bother the hive but found the feeder first.
    I didnt have any cinnamon in the cupboard, but did have some mixed spice which got sprinkled around the feeder. They didnt like this at all and vacated the table it was on.

    Just on dark, I moved the feeder to outside the glasshouse and changed the robber screen around so that it left the small gap across the entrance to the hive.
    The last thing I needed was for my hive to get robbed out by stronger hives.

    Today was still quite scary, with bees flying around everywhere.
    My girls were all doing their re orientation flight due to the entrance being changed, not just the new foragers, so there was quite a cloud around the hive all day.
    Usually, the new foragers go out around 3pm and do their orientation flights. This is impressive enough but was down right scary today, there were so many of them.
    My friend came over to check things out and all was normal under the circumstances.

    For the feeder, I used Michael Bush's 5 parts sugar with 3 parts water...sort of, I changed it to 1 part cider vinegar and 2 and a bit parts water with a little more sugar.
    The idea was to add the cider vinegar to lower the ph to something closer to that of honey. When I checked it was too low and added the extra to try to raise it a bit again.
    They all seemed to love it and I hope it helps them get the comb built up.

    Jack took one look at all the goings on and decided that it was too hot to sleep outside and took himself of to the cool tiles in the bathroom for his afternoon nap.
     
  6. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

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    i've never heard of adding anything to the feed or
    there being any need to lower the pH before...
    interesting. :) i would probably watch the bees all
    the time too if i had some.

    i keep forgetting to call the neighbor and ask him
    who he's allowed to set up eight hives along our
    property line. it is blocking access for us during
    the summer and ruining our birdbath visitor
    population. i hate having to do things like this as
    it makes me look troublesome, but when something
    causes issues and we've tried "live-and-let-live" for
    a few seasons...

    we're still getting some snows and well below
    freezing temperatures here, one night last week
    was down to -14C. yet there are some flowers
    starting to poke up too.
     

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