Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Memorial Day Weekend Memories

Did you enjoy the long holiday weekend? Wouldn't it be great if 3-day weekends were mandatory during summer months? We had a few cloudy days to deal with but we still managed to get a lot done and have some fun. Check out the progress:
We both took Friday as vacation days so we could get a jumpstart on the weekend. After blueberry pancakes and smokies for breakfast, my first task was to head to Home Depot for a load of plants.
After a cloudy month full of rain, Bibbers was ready for the flowers on the patio.
While I potted plants, Scott took the Ranger to the north edge of the west yard. He loaded the trailer with a bunch of limbs that we had piled up earlier this spring before the undergrowth took over.
This spring has had its share of rainy and windy weekends so it was nice to have a day calm enough to start a fire - which made quick work of the trailer load. Later in the day, Scott found a few odd pieces of junk wood in the barn which he agreed to take to the fire. Good job, Scotty!
Later in the afternoon, Scott took the Ranger up to the Gleaner to collect the flower boxes. Doesn't he look like a real farmer, walking out there in the tall grass?
This year, I'm trying verbena, lantana, and marigolds. Let's keep our fingers crossed that we'll have a pretty display!
 Sometimes, Bibbers just needs to be cuddled.
I've tried something different at the south end of the front flower bed, too:  dwarf spruce trees and coleus. Will they thrive? Stay tuned to find out!
Saturday was rainy and cold but Scott and I worked up a sweat with an afternoon task. For three years, windows removed from the 1920 and 1972 portions of the house were collecting dust (and spiders, and who knows what else) in the barn, waiting for the day that they would be recycled. The day finally arrived! We pulled them out of the barn, brushed off the dirt, and removed a bunch of nails and old trim. We loaded the trailer and took the load to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, where they were happy to take them off our hands.
Rejuvenated by the window disposal task, Scott took the chainsaw-on-a-stick out to the driveway. Some branches from a elm tree were hanging just a little too low for his liking. We hauled the branches down to the big pile on the east side. (We've got to get a burn permit one of these days to eliminate that pile!)
After another cloudy/cold/rainy day (Sunday) when we accomplished not much more than napping and snacking, Monday was welcome relief.  Sunshine!! A full day of sun was the perfect ending to our 4-day weekend. While I took care of more planting (Thanks, Lowe's!), Scott pulled the power washer out and his waterproof boots on. The courtyard, northwest stoop, and driveway - plus all three cars - got a good rinsing.
noTTafarm is now officially ready for Summer! 
When will you be visiting?
Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

All Because of Bibbs

Because Bibbers is an important member of the noTTafarm family, Scott takes great care to make the life of our little feline friend as comfortable as possible. For several years, Bibbers has received a daily ration of Kit'n Kaboodle but much of it has been consumed by turkeys and raccoons who rudely leave trails of poo and dirty footprints. A few weeks ago, in an effort to foil the attempts by turkey and 'coon to steal the food, Scott designed and constructed what he likes to call the "feeding pavilion."
Ta Da!
This bottomless crystalline box is covered with pieces of polycarbonate leftover from the connector's stair project. The frame was created from the metal tubing of a long-abandoned laundry sorter. (These tubes are the type of thing we don't throw away because 20 years later, you may find yourself building a feeding pavilion and need just that type of tube to complete your design.)

Scott's design inspiration was the Mies van der Rohe Farnsworth House which was constructed of glass on an all-white steel frame. He considered painting the tubes black to more closely copy Philip Johnson's Glass House, an iteration of the Farnsworth House. All told, it's an architectural feature that noTTafarm was  lacking. . .and Bibbers demanded for his discerning dining needs.

The pavilion has been relocated the the northwest stoop for the summer so that we can try and keep the courtyard free of the aforementioned poo and prints. The food continues to be eaten by unknown creatures - unknown until Scott recently put the trail camera on the stoop. The photos tell the story of the disappearing food:
The pavilion was created with a five-inch gap on the sides to allow a nice-sized kitty in but deny access to a tall turkey. Here, Bibbers emerged after a snack.
Wait a minute...that orange guy isn't Bibbs. It's Leo! He just left the house where there's a full bowl of food but headed straight for the food bowl on the stoop.
Well, geez. Does Wilson really need more food? The five-inch gap is apparently wide enough for our 20-pounder.
Trail Cam Selfie!
Wilson got an up-close shot. 
Trail Cam Selfie II!
Being this close to the lens gave a "fun house" look to our Leo. 
Aha! The Culprit!
After the parade of kitties finally passed by, our ol' friend "Scarsdale" paid a visit to the pavilion. This scrawny raccoon has been around noTTafarm long enough to earn a nickname. He enjoys free reign over the food (after all, look how Bibbers "watches" his every move.)  I guess even raccoons appreciate good architecture!
Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!

Garage Organization Improvements

The weekend of May 2-3 was sunny, rainy, windy, cloudy, and calm . . . the perfect weather for installing cabinets inside the garage! Since Scott brought them home over two years ago, the cabinets (4 bases, 4 uppers) have been waiting patiently in the garage where we've moved them, stacked junk on top of them, and generally ignored them. Now that the paint is finally on the walls, we turned our attention to the cabinets.
Before removing the interior shelves and doors, Scott labeled all the pieces with tape. The cabinets are laminated particle board so they are really heavy! Removing the doors definitely made the job a little easier.
A day at noTTafarm wouldn't be complete without Bibbers stopping by to check on the work.  Thanks, Bibbs!
Scott used a stud finder to find the studs (duh!) to which we could attach the upper cabinets.  Two sets of cabinets will be attached to the south wall (shown) and the others will be positioned on the west wall.
Not to be outdone by Bibbers' involvement, Leo came out and inspected everything. Two orange cats make any task better!
Since Sara was out of town, Kevin and Bennett decided to take a roadtrip to noTTafarm! Bennett was intrigued by a step ladder, the Ranger, and general "work."
The upper cabinets were hung by first attaching a ledger board to the wall. Scott used the laser level to keep everything straight while he screwed into the wall studs.
Once the upper cabinet was "hanging" on the ledger board, Scott secured it with several screws.
Halfway through the process, the laser level decided to stop working. We made an emergency trip to Home Depot for a replacement and were back in business. Have you ever known a project at noTTafarm that didn't require a new tool?
With all the ladders out, Scott still chose to stand on the base cabinet to finish attaching the upper.
Two wall cabinets are on the west wall. Scott wanted to keep open space beneath the north cabinet in the Audi's bay (shown at left.)
With the wall cabinets installed, Scott turned his attention to creating bases for the lower cabinets. We made a trip to our favorite lumber yard . . . the barn! We had all the 2x4s necessary to get the job done.
The base cabinets are perched on the 2x4 frame, providing a toekick and room for the doors to easily swing open.
The cabinets on the south wall have been designated as "mine." I don't know what all I need to store but at least I'll have space when I figure it out.
Finally, the shelves, doors and drawers were re-attached to the base cabinets. Now all we need to figure out is what to use for counter tops!
Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!