Refinishing a Wood Front Door – Cheap and Easy

Left: Before. Right: After. Hopefully you did not need to read this to know that.

I remember shortly after moving in during 2009, during the “restoration” after our basement flooded, one of the repair workers commented that our front door needs to be re-painted. It turns out that the restoration company also does a lot of painting jobs. I hadn’t really paid much attention to how the door looked, as I wasn’t aware of many of the details in our house at that time. We have a nice wooden and glass front door, surrounded by two wooden framed glass panels. read more

Sewer gas smell in basement after ejector pump repair

Last week I had the pleasure of learning what happens when the ejector pump in our basement fails. Very messy and stinky to say the least.

I’m driving home and get a panicked call from my wife that we have a problem in our basement. She of course asked if I used the toilet the prior night assuming I’m responsible for blocking the toilet (again). For once, this wasn’t my fault. She proceeds to tell me that the basement toilet is backed up and now we have sewage water backing up read more

Bare Root Raspberry Canes – 3 and 4 month updates

I know this is quite late, but here are some updates from my bare root raspberry canes from last year.  The last updated had been the 2 month update.  Here’s how things went the rest of the summer (and fall) of 2016.

I started to get my first raspberries to pick around mid august on the floricanes.  The Joan J were ready a bit sooner than the Anne berries.

Many of the Joan J berries I got the first year were not very big.  I’m not sure if this is because it was the first year, because read more

Generac generator making buzzing noise

I was outside a few days ago tending to my yard when I noticed my Generac generator making a buzzing noise. I’ve been in my yard almost every day this past week, so I know it was new. Also, this was the day before the weekly test, so it wasn’t an issue related to the test. The service light was green, so nothing wrong there.

I’m not an electrician, but hearing a buzzing noise from a generator had me nervous. I called my installer and fortunately he answered even though it was read more

Bare Root Raspberry Canes – 2 Month Update

Here’s another follow-up to my planting of bare root raspberry canes.  You can view my previous posts on preparing the soil, selecting the varieties, protecting from rabbits, one week update, and one month update.

I originally planted my bare root raspberry canes on June 2.  On the advice of a gardener friend, I decided to put a very thin layer of mulch down around the plants.  I thought the most likely reason for losing one of the canes was the roots drying out.  I’m not sure why read more

Keeping rabbits out of my garden cheap and simple

As I mentioned in my posts about sunflowers and my one month raspberry update, rabbits are a big problem in my yard. My kids love them and my dog hardly notices them, but I hate what they do to the vegetation in our yard. After the second time one of my raspberry plants was destroyed, I figured I had to something or else most of my plants would probably not survive.

I looked into a variety of options including growing repellent plants like marigolds nearby (takes effort and time and may not work). read more

Bare Root Raspberry Canes – 1 Month Update

I planted some bare root raspberry canes one month ago, on June 2, 2016.  I previously explained why I chose to plant Joan J and Anne raspberry varieties.  I posted a one week update and now it is time for a one month update.

As I explained previously, I planted two rows of bare root raspberry canes, with a mix of five Anne and eight Joan J.  I wanted to alternate them when planting, but I lost track of which was which in the pale after the first two. One of the rows gets slightly more read more

Bare Root Raspberry Canes – one week update

I planted my bare root raspberry canes on June 2, 2016.  I wasn’t expecting much growth for the first several weeks, or even longer. Particularly based on my previous experience.  But I did get a little bit of growth after just a few days.  There was the one twig that had little buds forming after 3 days.  There were read more

Planting Bare Root Raspberry Canes

After selecting my Anne and Joan J raspberry canes for their flavor, productivity, and being thornless (turns out Joan J are thornless, but Anne have “mild” thorns), I placed my order from Nourse Farms.  Nourse Farms is one of the few places that repeatedly gets mentioned as a place to order bare root raspberry canes, and other berry plants. I liked that the orders read more

Sunflowers Drooping

Last year I grew some sunflowers from seed.  They were the only plants that grew so large in the pot that I moved them to the ground.  I had let the three sunflowers get pretty large in the pot, so I couldn’t easily seperate them when I moved them to the ground.  When they started to get big in the ground, my wife leaned them against a chair.  That worked fine until the heads got big and then those flopped over a little.  I didn’t do anything with them and the birds and squirrels read more