am I a Maker?

There is a Maker movement afoot and a few weeks ago I visited my first Maker Faire, which was in Atlanta.  A few weeks prior I signed up for a MOOC (online course) on 3D printing and I was deciding which 3D printer I should buy - the large one in the photo above costs around $30k, I was thinking of $300.  Makers enjoy tinkering and making things most often using new technologies.  I think this is different from DIY where the focus is on repairing or installing things, which would usually be done Read more [...]

bees – preparing for winter

You can see my bee hive above.  It faces south, has an umbrella for summer sun protection and a window on the west side to allow the winter sun but not the winter winds.  Now that Fall has arrived I begin my winter preparations.  There are 2 larger boxes at the bottom, the brood boxes, where the queen resides and the 2 smaller boxes above are supers from which I collect honey.  My last honey harvesting was from the top super and I returned the super and its 10 frames to the hive for the bees Read more [...]

what’s growing

Tomorrow,  Thurs Sept 22, is the beginning of Fall, or Autumn as we called it in the UK and SA.  Time to take stock of what's growing. Apple production is ending and the Anna, top left, and Ein Shemer, top right, are almost all gone.  It has been a good 2.5 months of apple eating since the Pristine became available early July. Although the Asian pear is almost done, the other pears are still turning out large, sweet pears and as long as we cut out the bad bits, they are a treat.  M. is Read more [...]

common sense goes a long way

In my recent post on September 4 I described the installation of a whole house filter, see schematic below. Since this was the first time I was using pex, I was concerned there could be a rupture or seepage in the basement during the night when I was not at the house and so I disconnected power to the well pump which is located deep in the ground.  The following day when I switched on the power I was surprised that the pump had to run for some time to charge the expansion tank.  I thought Read more [...]

TV via antenna

6 years ago I wanted to receive TV via antenna.  We have DSL and I can access Netflix and YouTube etc. but not local stations.  I positioned the antenna facing south (Atlanta's direction) about 20 feet off the ground and connected a cable from the antenna to the cable attached to the previous owner's dish receiver, and in the winter received a few stations.  Since I have digital TV and the signal is digital I do not require a converter box.  In the summer reception fell off because the trees Read more [...]

time for a whole house filter

A few weeks ago M. confronted me in the kitchen with a glass of discolored water.  “It’s dirty” she accused.  I agreed but suggested if she wanted drinking water she should use the under sink 2 stage filters I installed, which deliver crystal clear water, and not worry about the water from the faucet.  She was not appeased and said she would not shower in discolored water nor did she want the dishes or clothing to be washed in the water.   We have a deep well I explained so bacteria is Read more [...]

exterior cladding and a vexing mistake

The house on the property has D log wood siding.  The "D" describes the shape of the log as seen in cross-section, one side is flat and the other has the shape of a D.  The house was built in 2002 and when I purchased it 10 years later the siding was neglected.  I engaged a well recommended painting contractor who provided a 5 year guarantee.  He recommended, rather than a transparent varnish which would show the wood grain underneath, that we use a block stain which required less annual maintenance.  Read more [...]


Last week we took about 2.5 gallons of honey from the hive - not a lot since we wish to leave the bees sufficient stores for winter.  But enough for our needs for making bread, sweetening our uncooked oatmeal and tea, and a few jars for good friends.  Inevitably scraps of wax are left over and what to do with them has been a learning process for me.  The first year I placed them in a stainless steel pet bowl outside the hive.  Bad idea - the sun heated the bowl, melted the wax and killed bees Read more [...]

what’s growing, maglite led conversion

Unlike July which was hot and dry, August has been tempered with rain showers and cloudy days.  My property 50 miles north of Atlanta has received a lot of rain while Atlanta very little - could this be the heat island effect?  The rain has filled out my muscadine, including the golden scuppernong, shown above and throughout the day they are visited by yellow jackets, wasps and hornets, and me in the earlier morning. With the exception of the Parks Whopper, most of my tomatoes are done.  The Read more [...]

what’s growing and recent reads

Recent good rains have juiced my crops.  We thought by now the tomatoes would be done, and some are, but others keep producing.  Most everyone complimented the taste of the small tomatoes.  We feel the larger tomatoes are less tasty probably from too much rain. Muscadine season has almost arrived and the black ones above although sweet, will be sweeter still when they roll into my hand and do not have to be tugged.  But then there will be many yellow jackets at the smorgasbord and M. developed Read more [...]