my 4 mowers, and mower deck repair

I have 4 mowers.  I use a scythe (21" blade)  to clear the growth under  fruit trees for which it is ideal.  Extend the blade to the near side of the trunk and pull sharply toward you and the weeds are leveled, all while standing a distance away without worries of snagging branches or snakes (I refer to the venomous ones - copperheads or occasional rattler).  It is also useful on a hillside where riding a mower is iffy. For how I peen my scythe and hand sickle, search "peen" on this site. Next Read more [...]

what to do with surplus eggs

Spring is production season and my hens are producing 6-7 eggs a day.  Although there are 10 hens, 2 are retired (Gimpie and Ameracauna) and 2 are matrons (Onyx and Lady MacBeth) so the main producers are the 6 offspring. My running group certainly enjoy the free range eggs with deep orange colored yolks, as do my neighbors who watch out for me when I am elsewhere.  But we had 5 dozen extra and this morning we tripped to CARES (Community Assistance Resources and Emergency Services) a local charitable Read more [...]

Bose Wave Radio/CD – quick repair

In July 2014 a power surge incapacitated a bunch of electronic equipment - see my tale of 2 destroyed desktops.    One of the affected items was our Bose Wave Radio - a small package with good sound, for which Bose is well known. I stored the radio in the basement until I was ready to work on it.  Caution - if you are not competent working with electricity, leave well alone.  I was prepared for the worst - having to test and replace defective components but was hoping for the best - a Read more [...]

new gable fan for coop – problems and savings

With temperature in north Georgia back in the 80's it was time to summerize the coop.  On the south and west facing sides I atttached the pre-cut tarp pieces from prior years, silver side facing the sun to reflect heat away from the building.  Then I plugged in the cord to the gable fan - and there was no response.  I examined the cord from the power socket to the thermostat and noticed that the white (neutral) line had been chewed by rats (now why didn't they chew on the positive line?).   Read more [...]

old house & appliance repairs

Past month I have been fixing electrical things in the Atlanta house which >35 years old.  The garage opener went dead so I replaced the whole caboodle (quaint word lodged in the past) - motor, track, chain plus the new required sensors to prevent the door closing on an infant.  Took a good few hours to figure out the components and how they fitted together and to come to the conclusion that the sensors have to be used and there is no override.  The new opener operates very smoothly and before Read more [...]

repair of double electric wall oven

Growing my own food, harvesting rainwater, using a well are part of being self sufficient, and so too is maintaining and repairing the house, automobiles and appliances.  So when, a couple weeks ago,  the wall oven showed no sign of life, no beeps, no noise, no lights, nada, I began thinking why.  And with me about to leave for Australia and the Thanksgiving meal fast approaching, I felt pressured. Usually there are warning signs before a shut down,  but not in this case.  I checked the Read more [...]

wood stove – details completed

In March 2014 I dedicated two posts to the process of removing the old fireplace and installing a new, efficient wood stove.  In the last post the stove was fully functional but looked "bleh". I had a lot of work to do - on the exterior the wood siding had deteriorated and had to be replaced and caulked.  And then on the inside the question was to either replace the sheetrock, not a real skill of mine, or do something extra.  I decided to tile the wall behind the stove, since the tiling Read more [...]

repairing a bathroom exhaust fan

In the past, when a bathroom fan failed, I simply removed the cover, unscrewed and unplugged the insert and installed a replacement - this was the NuTone brand and the replacement cost <$15.  However, at the log cabin it was not so simple.  The fan was manufactured in Canada and a replacement blower assembly was not available locally or at Amazon.  It could be purchased from the manufacturer but the cost plus shipping was greater than the $70 cost for a complete unit from Amazon. Since the Read more [...]

tale of 2 destroyed desktops

In addition to my nu trac life north of Atlanta, we also have a house in Atlanta.  The gas company decided to install new gas lines in the subdivision where our house is located.  They called in the "locators" who with different colored sprays identified the electricity, water, telephone, sewage and gas lines.  Then with a sophisticated omni-directional drilling machine they bored small diameter tunnels underground from one excavated point to another.  When the drill bit reached its destination Read more [...]

2 gravity feed tanks with 9 valves

All my irrigation is from harvested rainwater collected from impermeable surfaces, stored in large tanks at the bottom of the hill and then pumped to 2 tanks at the top of the hill for gravity feeding to the orchard and crops.  Today I added my 9th valve to the pipe system for the 2 gravity feed tanks.  Are 9 valves used and are they necessary?  I have concluded - yes. Here is a 'photo of the 2 tanks: And here is a schematic of the pipe system: You can see the 9 numbered valves.  Read more [...]