Saturday, May 30, 2015

Restoring Cast Iron Pans

For a change, this wasn't my doings.
J found these cast iron pans for sale on one of the FB sale groups and decided we needed them, or even if we didn't, we could sell them and make our money + more back.

(I don't know why the picture uploaded upside-down. I even turned it upside-down and saved it and re-uploaded it, but it still uploaded upside-down. Shrug.)

I started with the three smaller pans, a Lodge, and two of unknown make, and put them in my oven on the self-cleaning cycle. 

(Notice my oven hasn't been cleaned in a awhile. Probably since the last time I cleaned cast iron pans, lol.)

The self-cleaning cycle ran for 4 hours and 20 minutes, then I let the pans cool down before taking them out.

I scrubbed the burnt gunk and rust off of them with dish soap and a steel wool scrubber. 

I coated them with a light coating of Bacon Grease, then put them back in the oven on 400° for an hour.
Not sure if that was the right temp/time. I read so many websites, with so much different advice today.

The pans came out of the oven looking, not too good.

But I gave them another coating of Bacon Grease, and they looked a lot better.
I think I need to grease/bake/grease/bake a few more times.

Bonus, clean oven.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Spring Time at Frawg Farm

(We don't really call our place Frawg Farm, I just made that up for lack of anything more creative.)
(Although, it'd probably be a suitable name, considering all the Tree and other frogs that hang around here, my rather large collection of frog knick-knacks and gee-gaws, and our last name.)
Lack of posting, not due to lack of stuff going on 'round here.
(Yard and garden and work and stuff...You may be glad to know I wasn't eaten by ghosts or spirits or hallucinations or whatever. I haven't even seen anything else since the other day (I don't think?), maybe it used all its energy showing itself that day...or maybe whatever I'd inhaled that made me see things wore

This is my 3 Sisters garden.

No, we didn't plow it up. Don't know if we should have, I'll let you know later.

This is in the lower, old garden area, where we had a nice garden a few years ago, but then it stopped doing as well as before. Maybe it was drought, I can't remember, but J had said he had met a horse-lady during a call, and that he was going to bring home a load of horse manure to plow into the ground to sit over the Winter...... Yeah, that was a couple years back and never happened, so....

I don't know if the soil is any good or not. I decided to get J to go up to the landscape place and get a truckload of half mushroom compost and half garden soil to make the mounds on top of the ground instead.
(The weed fabric was his idea. I didn't think it was necessary. We ran out and did one row on bare ground. Guess see which one does better, or if it makes a diff.)

We were going to do 3 rows, but had so much compost/soil left, we went ahead and did 3 more.

First I planted the corn, 4 seeds in a 6-inch square, in every other mound.
I watered, and waited, and feared they wouldn't come up again, but finally, after a nice, soaking rain (my garden always seems to do better with rainwater than City water) the corn came up.

When the corn got a few inches tall, I planted the beans in with them, and 3 squash seeds in the other mounds. That was about 3 days ago, so still waiting on those to sprout.

 My Jack-Be-Little pumpkins I had been worried about not doing well where I planted them, are doing well.

My tomatoes are also coming along well, but my peppers, not so much.
I'm down to 3 Datil pepper plants, and they're still about the size of a quarter. They just aren't growing. I don't know what to do for them.

I've had a few blueberries come ripe. Okay, 3 blueberries.
One got ripe, and I left it...I don't know why...waiting on the others? But it shriveled up.
Then two more got I picked and ate them!  They sure were good.

I found a Chocolate Mint plant at the seasonal nursery up the road.
I had bought some rootings off eBay last year, planted them in pots, and they died, so I went ahead and planted these in the ground, and hopefully they'll survive - and prosper.

Everyone warns that Mint is really aggressive, and to not plant it right into the ground without a container, but everything in my yard is already aggressive.
Where I planted this Chocolate Mint, wild strawberries run all willy-nilly everywhere. (They don't taste good, though, so I'm not too concerned about saving/growing them so much.)
I hope the Mint prospers and takes off and takes over. I read that Mint is good for repelling ants and spiders, so hopefully I will have lots of good smelling Chocolate Mint, and not as many ants as I've had to deal with this year.

See these Daisies? So pretty. They didn't come from my yard, we stopped and picked them off the side of the road.

Know what I'm going to do with them?

Yep, I'm going to throw them out around my back yard and hope - I don't know if it works this way or not - that they seed and will grow lovely Daisies in my "meadow" back yard next year. I love Daisies.

And, I am attempting - again, because Never Give Up! - to root/grow/propagate some of J's Granny's heirloom Roses. 
I'm trying both the rooting in water method, and sticking the cutting in soil and covering with a Mason jar method. Both have worked in the past, only to die about a year later, in the container.

I don't know what it is about me and plants in containers, but I can't seem to keep much alive in pots. So far, only Aloe Vera and Christmas Cactus.

So, when these take root, I'll plant them in the yard. Not sure where, but since I've learned I can dig plants up and move them, I'll just plant them near the porch to get them going, then find a place for them later.

J got us a barn tear-down job we've been working at for a couple weeks. We've got the roof and top floor off now. (By we, I pretty much mean, he. I just load the truck.)

Between the scrap wood we already had, the chicken/rabbit cages we took down a month or so ago, and this barn, we're ending up with a lot of wood piling up and laying around in the yard.
We decided to build a wood shed lean-to onto the yard shed porch (which is supposed to be a garden/potting/work porch, if not for all the scrap wood piled on it) with some of the scrap wood, to house the scrap wood.

J had ideas how he thought it should be...I had ideas how I thought it should be....Pretty much neither one of us really have a clue.
So, turns out it's not really very.....(I've lost the word I was looking for.)

He built the one side with the 4 2x4's on each side, making a 6-foot spanse for laying wood on.
Problem being, 99% of the wood isn't 6-foot long.

I had him make the one sideways hanging thing for holding some less than 6-foot long lumber, but as you can see, the rest of it has no place to be/sit/lay.

I have looked for hints on the internet, but most the scrap wood storage suggestions are in nice, neat workshops, and/or a lot less wood than we have.
(I have also been weeding out and throwing some of the really small, or in not too good of condition wood onto the burn pile.)

Also, J and one of the boys took a big load of scrap metal to the recyclers,
me and my oldest son, Dan, had a yard sale last weekend,
I've carried off about 20 garbage bags of clothes to Goodwill,
along with a rubbermaid bin and some bags and boxes of random Stuff.

I got one of my hoarded rooms almost cleared out upstairs, just a few larger things I need to figure out where I can get rid of, or relocate them to.
The downstairs old kitchen looked like a hoarded room for awhile, but it was piled with yard sale stuff. There's still a few things in there I need to deal with, but it looks more cluttered/messy now, not as much like a hoarded room.

That leaves pretty much only one room still hoarded up, but I'm not going to worry about it right now, and worry about fixing/completing some of the projects I've already got started.

I'm a good starter....not so good of a finisher.

Sunday, May 03, 2015

I Don't Think I'm Insane, But...

Most insane people don't know they're insane, either, right? So, chances are, I may be completely off my rocker.

What happened was, back in February I'd posted that things had not gone all that well in January, and that I (thought I) had saw *something* in the house.

So I did the Smudge ritual to try to cleanse out any bad spirits or mojo or whatever, and things turned right around.

Yeah, well, that lasted about a week or two at most, then things started going south again.
I figured the Smudge was probably a useless endeavor, that there's no real hoo-doo-ery involved, just a bad case of "$h!t happens". 
Plod on.

At some point I can't exactly remember, I started seeing *something* again, mostly when sitting here at my desk in my bedroom. I'd catch of glimpse of something in the hallway outside my door and look up, thinking it was one of the boys. But there'd be nothing there.

I didn't really give it much thought, passed it off as shadows of birds flying by the window outside, or a power surge, or my eyes are tired.

But then, last Wednesday, I was out in the yard, scraping and sanding the storage room door to get ready for repainting.

I was up on an about 4-foot ladder, scraping the top of the door trim. I was working/looking to the right, but when I looked back towards the center of the whole piece of trim, out of the side of my eye to the left, I saw Someone right beside me, coming at me.

It startled me so bad, I nearly fell off the ladder.
I dropped the scraper, and bent to grab on to the top of the ladder to keep from falling off.

But when I looked up again, there was nothing there.
Not to mention, I was standing about 3-feet off the ground.

I can't tell you what the thing looked like, I only have a vague impression of a person. Male, I think, but that's about it.
There was no color, or, it was like the color when you look at a picture of something then close your eyes. Bright on dark.

It freaked me out.