Sunday, April 8, 2012

Gettin' down right dirty on 'em, hella quick. [ A celebration of spring ]

Yaaaaay spring. It's on, at Chez Chaseman.

Juno is amazing as ever and already has most of this years crop ready to go, and the rest are hanging out in tiny pots in our living room.

Thats the badass hearty winter kale in the upper box, and its new neighbors will be snap peas and tomatos, if my sources are correct. I'll have to get Juno to chime in on the full layout for this year.

True to our pattern so far, we have once again added another bed this year. This time its a tiny gated community of herbs and flowers, that has the added benefit of flattening off a little inside corner that was always a pain in the ass to get with the lawn mower.

So far, it isn't very dense, but we'll be adding some more starts as they move outside. Currently we have chives, lavender, borage, and a columbine.

Last year's new bed never did very well, and we just let it fall away, pulled the bricks down, and turned the dirt over with our load of mulch at the end of the season. Which turned out lucky becomes sometimes... you get an inkling in your head.

On occasion, that inkling becomes a plan. And even rarer, that plan becomes a pile of wood.

Given enough time, and a couple beers, and that pile of wood might start to resemble a structure. . .

The next thing you know you've got big holes in your yard,

And then some fool goes and puts fuck off giant cinderblocks in there and you know you're in trouble.


Do you . .

Feel . . . like . . .we're being watched?

Don't blink.

Inspection time.

Luckily all my activities passed the inspection of my favorite neighborhood construction advisor, and I was given the go ahead to continue with the plans.

Which are for GRAPES!

Or, alternatively, a place to keep Juno when she misbehaves.

Who knows if we'll see any fruit this year, as we're planting starts... but I'm enthusiastic for them. I didn't think we'd get anything from our raspberries the first year either, but they managed to produce a few treats to reward our efforts. Hopefully the grapes will follow suit.

Saving fascia

February is the perfect time for ladder work in Washington.

A combination of a gutter than has leaked on our office windowsill since we moved in, and the sounds of animals in our attic finally pushed us over the motivation barrier, and we decided to attack the upper echelons of the house this winter.

I gleefully ripped off all the craptastic plastic gutters... a good portion of the work having to be completed with a sawzall, due to ridiculous mounting brackets and stripped screws.

I then began assessing the fascia boards beneath them and determined that about a half of them needed replacing. When I got to the area with the biggest holes in the boards, I found the evidence of rustling and nesting activities that I expected to:

After I pulled out all the detritus, I also discovered the source of the scraping & gnawing sounds I would occasionally hear while snoozing on saturday mornings. Whatever was up there was making its nest out of our rafters, and had gnawed over 3/4 of the way through one of them:

On the other corner I got a close look at the home of some wee birds who we see hatch every summer. Sadly, I had to evict them in the course of my repairs, but I may put up another house near by for them.

HausFrau offers some demolition assistance on the old downspouts:

New fascia was purchased, and a quick coat of krylon made it usable for our purposes:

And then came installation.

At this time I would like to take a brief pause, so that we can all give thanks to The Clamp. It is seriously the smartest tool ever. Way smarter than me, thats for sure. For hundreds of years, this simple tool has been turning 2 and 3 person jobs into tasks that one person can complete on their own, 14 feet in the air, in the rain.

Thank you, Clamp.

Once that was all taken care of, we cleaned out the remaining nesting materials we could find in the attic, and then covered up the vent slats with screens and 10,000 staples.

All that remained then was to call in the professionals:

I'm going to hope that now that we are completely prepared for all sorts of deluge, the laws of carwashing on a sunny day are going to apply, and we will get only mild amounts of rain this spring. Just enough to make the garden thrive; not enough to keep me off my motorcycle.