Tuesday, February 26, 2013


I have been attempting to compost for awhile now without the success I would have liked. Basically there has been no compost coming out after a few years now. When we took the garden down last fall all of the plants were piled up with the hopes they would become part of the compost. They did not break down much over the winter. My brother recently began to use the lawn mower to break down the plants and other material that had been in the compost pile. We combined this with what was in the compost bin. The weather got really cold so the pile we had created sat for a little while until the weather improved and we could put everything back in the bin. 

Here is the pile in the center of the garden area. One change we are working on is to keep it wetter.

This area is my compost bin, basically stakes and plastic netting. You can not see my standing plastic compost bin since I moved it once it was empty. You can see the rolling bin which we left alone.

To augment the compost my father brought over a bag of chicken manure. I also got a bag of coffee grounds from a coffee shop near work that they offer for free.

While moving the compost we kept it wet to make sure it would be damp throughout.

We also kept the new pile wet and mixed the manure and and coffee grounds in as we shifted the compost mix over.

It is awesome to see the shift in Katie and what she can do to help each year as she gets older. When we started she grabbed her shovel and started working without even being asked, she shoveled with me for a large part of the time, she also jumped in with the hose to keep things sprayed down.

She insists on wearing a dress and her dress shoes but I am still proud of her wanting to help. On another note her main play with play-doh is to make a flat surface, poke holes then make seeds and plant them. I like to ask her what she is planting, it ranges from common vegetables to things like rainbows, wouldn't it be nice to plant and grow a rainbow?

My happy helper

I do not have a photo of the new compost pile since we worked until we lost the light. The hope is that if we shift it around in the next couple months it will be ready to work in the soil for this years garden, I will keep you updated on the progress.

Monday, February 25, 2013


In addition to the painting and flooring changes in my living room I also wanted to change out the light fixtures. The hanging one by the door was clearly from when the house was built and looked it. The second light was very small and matches the lights in the hallway but it really did not look right in the room. Here is a look at the existing lights.

And a closer look at the small one.

I replaced them with matching semi-mount fixtures. Each one has two bulb which proves much better lighting in this area.

The next fixture to replace was the ceiling fan in the dining room. This was a new one put in just before I bought the house but was a shiny gold fixture that was probably the cheapest one they could find. Here is a look at the existing fan.

A while ago I added a ceiling fan in my living room, removing the old light fixture. I went with the same fan in this area. You would have thought it would be a simple task to just replace the fan however  when the old one came down we discovered that the proper bracket was not installed above the fan. What should have taken about an hour took most of a day including climbing in the attic to install the bracket.

Here is the fan coming down, it went to my parents house to replace their old fan which is beginning to  die.

The hole in the ceiling, we saw this for a very long time.

And here is the new fan installed. It is much more pleasant to look a at and is not nearly as gold and shiny.