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... the sky is baby blue, and the just-unfurling leaves ...
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Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 9629

PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 18 7:55 am    Post subject:  Reply with quote    

I don't think he can use you on the camera without your permission Gregotyn. He has to have your express permission or he is breaking various laws I think, even without the new rules. Have fun with the playgroup theatre. I hope they invite you to one of their shows when you have done the work for them.

We fired one kiln yesterday and got another one loaded. Two of our volunteers very kindly came back in the afternoon and helped us. The other two were rather older (in their mid 80s and not in really good health) so went early. As our volunteer group activity we tried to identify grasses using a new book one of them had, but it wasn't as effective as he hoped. Found I knew more than I thought I did though, and we got quite a respectable number along the ride at the top of the wood.

In quiet times watched the bluetits feeding their young. There are a lot less caterpillars in the world now, and a lot fewer horseflies as we killed loads yesterday. Still think a few got us though.

Jam Lady



Joined: 28 Dec 2006
Posts: 1868
Location: New Jersey, USA
PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 18 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

The 416 fire continues to worsen: "According to the most recent official update on the fire, it had burned nearly 17,000 acres (6,900 hectares) by Sunday evening, an area larger than the island of Manhattan." And it is estimated that it will be June 30 before the fire is contained. Due, I suppose, to the extreme drought conditions, effects of wind, and the very difficult terrain.

Raining when I left home yesterday, overcast but dry when I reached Wave Hill. Rain starting as I started home 4 hours later, raining all the way home, raining all night. Total of one inch by morning.

Poppy event was pleasant. Walk around gardens looking at poppies, poppy relatives, poppy look-alikes. Cooking demo / tasting was a poppy seed lemon salad dressing and a poppy seed lemon cake. And saw a wonderful majestic copper leaved European beech.



Now that the more-involved-than-anticipated renovation of the guest room closet is completed (it had no molding around double doors, no baseboards, shabby paint - you get the idea) it is time to move things back in. The impetus for the closet upgrade was to store the folding ladder used to put up our bedroom skylight curtains in this closet rather than two floors down in the basement.

So I am now sorting through clothing that has been out of sight, out of mind in garment bags. Some is quite nice but I'll likely never wear again. Need to find a consignment shop. Will ask for suggestions at my Wednesday knitting group.

Why does everything that seems simple at the start - why don't we store the ladder upstairs? - end up in an ongoing "adventure"?

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 9629

PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 18 6:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

It always ends up that way I am afraid Jam Lady. I sometimes put off quite simple jobs because before starting I have to do about half a dozen other things to prepare for them.

That is a beautiful tree. We have a good number like that, and ancient pollards in our wood. I hadn't realised, but we have far more veteran/over mature trees in our wood than is common, and although it does make management difficult, they are very beautiful and a good haven for wildlife.

The fire sounds terrible. I hope the weather helps rather than hinders them and that they bring it under control as soon as possible.

We have just finished another session of charcoal firing. One kiln fired Saturday, the other yesterday. I had a Trefoil Guild meeting in the evening, so had to leave husband to go back up to look after it. During the day we emptied the other kiln and did 30 bags of charcoal, 15 of which went out yesterday, and the remaining 15 will go out today. Then we have the rest of that kiln full to bag, and more later in the week. We have an order for at least 20 more this week, so all go.

gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1615
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 18 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I often have the preparation for a job done quickly only to find when I start, I am short of various parts to do the job and which I should have thought about in the preparation stage!
The old tree is another fine example of age and beauty

I completed the making of the play group stage roof, only to find that one of the bolts was too short, (put in the wrong box at work by someone who should read the labels, but could also have come with a bolt consignment. So the play 'thingy' for the play group is complete apart from the new bolt obtained today and to be fitted tonight and will be installed next week, in theory.

The new charcoal burner sounds very good and if you can earn money with it elsewhere then even better. But don't let them get the message that it is easy or you may loose the business if they think it is a simple process and they buy their own! I can understand the need to keep the machine out of the public part of the woods, but that won't control trespassers. I have often wondered if the charcoal would come out square if you put sawn timber in the kiln, which would be more efficient if you can eliminate void areas. Or would it eliminate the burning process altogether!!? It is possible you need void areas to get the right burn? I know nothing about it-obviously.


I am currently hunting a decent 1.2m square pallet with only one middle runner. It will have a piece of plywood nailed to the top half and painted with black board paint for the little dears to practise their writing and maths skills; the bottom half will have some of those plastic balls with holes in them and act as an abacus beneath the black board, with the balls suspended on strings. Finding a good clean pallet that size at our place is difficult if I don't get to it quickly!

cassandra



Joined: 27 Mar 2013
Posts: 1615

PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 18 2:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I have been attending meetings and markets for the last few days, and being the neighbourhood donkey/samaritan depending on how you look at things.

New neighbours up the road who were there for a week to sort out paint and cleaning issues, neighbours over the road who blew up their engine by not installing the new radiator correctly (I do wish people would get sensible help before playing with motors when they have no clue), and my elderly neighbour across the road who disappeared some time ago to hospital has finally been tracked down to his present whereabouts and his needs sorted out. I was worried they had just stuck him in the nearest old people's home that had a bed, thus isolating him from all he knew, so was pleased to discover he is fit and well and has bought a unit closer to his daughters and looking forward to the move and the increased convenience.

This morning was a meeting by Council to discuss re-zoning to let it go ahead. This is a great proposal for the village but as usual a lot of objections from people who have so little insight into the process that they shot themselves in the foot - ie failed to address the matter under discussion while wildly speculating about water storage tanks blowing up under non-existent pressure. Glad I went as I had heard so much scuttle butt I had lost track of what was actually going on.

I have posted a summary of the meeeting and its implications on my candidate page. I also approached my preferred mayoral candidate and was pleased to hear he will be announcing his candidacy this week.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 9629

PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 18 6:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

That blackboard come abacus sounds a good idea Gregotyn, but might the abacus be easier to use if the balls were on wire, not string?

One problem with the charcoal process is that everything stays the same shape, so a failed spoon blank remains the same to haunt me when it comes out as charcoal. I don't think the kiln would work without some air gaps, and also people don't tend to think it is 'real' charcoal' if it is square.

Cassandra, glad you found your neighbour doing well. I ought to take more care over elderly people I know, but I am afraid that I have so much to do that I am barely coping with my immediate problems, without that as well.

Glad you found out what is doing in the council and that things aren't as bad as were rumoured. Sounds hopeful that your favoured candidate is standing too.

We have a day out to do with work today, which I will be able to tell you about later. Anyway a day off from charcoal, and have finally got my nails back to about the right colour. Back to digging out a charcoal kiln tomorrow and bagging up again.

gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1615
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 18 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

A good idea of yours, MR, to use wire rather than string for the abacus runners. The one I saw had string so that was the way we were going. There are 3 colours so we can do single digits, 10's and 100's more than enough for the pre school gangs to comprehend.

I see what you mean about "regular" charcoal, MR, it would lose its identity if not in random shapes. I would like to try it, however, just because I am that sort of idiot. If it worked then you could be making at least another 20 to 40% depending on how bent the timber is that you put in the kiln, possibly more? If you had to have spaces then it would be possible to stack regular sawn wood with small regular gaps. I don't know what you are complaining about with dark finger nails, MR., why, some girls pay a lot of money to have their nails painted black!!

I have cracked vehicular problems, Cassandra, I pass them on to a suitably qualified mechanic. My limit to the engine is suck, squeeze, bang and blow if it is petrol fuelled, and that is the limit of my knowhow. I was much better with pig husbandry. Now I go to work-pick it up and put it away-sums my job up-3rd store man on the left I call myself-doing the jobs the other lads don't want, and then come home and chop firewood from pallets!
It is more important now that you consolidate your good works for the community, 'cultivating' them ready for the next election.

I am having a run on chopping wood and am doing around 5 nets sawn to length and chopped every day; the next day I net them up ready for sale, and if time, I start the sawing process to try to get ahead of the game, I sell on average 10 per week. I want to get as many as I can before the weather gets colder, when it is not so appealing outside, sawing and chopping firewood. The slowness comes when I have poor quality wood or when it is full of nails or worse staples. I pick the pallets when I can, dry is the main thing but am looking for straight grain to give an easier chop , but a decent amount in the net too. I must keep my customers happy and wanting my wood!

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 9629

PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 18 6:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Another problem with your idea about regular sized chucks of wood is that we don't use 'sawn' timber. Ours is usually the thinner stuff or very chunky stuff rough split that is no good for firewood. Some of the hazel is straight, but some of it is like the hind leg of a donkey; you wouldn't believe how randomly hazel can grow under the influence of shade and things nipping out the terminal buds.

I think when girls paint their finger nails black it is an all over colour and proper black. Mine is more a dark stain, mainly down near the nail base. Had to scrub them again yesterday as we emptied the kiln and bagged best part of 40 bags. Couldn't start until the afternoon as it was raining yesterday morning, and charcoal will absorb an amazing amount of water, so wanted it as dry as possible.

You seem to be doing well with kindling Gregotyn. It is a thing that we don't do very much as it is rather labour intensive and we are better employed spending the time doing something else. I could do with making some more besoms, and the firewood orders are piling up rather too.

cassandra



Joined: 27 Mar 2013
Posts: 1615

PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 18 7:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Gregotyn, we are not all lucky enough to have a suitably qualified mechanic available (and the funds to pay them) as an option - them over the road are both on disability so thought they could do it themselves (never a wise decision and frankly a bit silly when there are so many houses advertising mechanical skills by littering their yards with cars in various states of renovation). But he has mental health issues and the medication does not help his logic skills at times.

It snowed yesterday night and I woke to find the residue melting into the bales of mulch out the back. Fortunately today was a bit warmer though so while I have had the fire going it has not be roaring (though it's getting cranked up at the moment).

I have done nothing useful today being engrossed in various arguments with fools on Facebook, and following some news stories of interest.

buzzy



Joined: 04 Jan 2011
Posts: 3322
Location: In a small wood on the edge of the Huntingdonshire Wolds
PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 18 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

gregotyn wrote:
………………………………….

……………………………………………………………

I have cracked vehicular problems, Cassandra, I pass them on to a suitably qualified mechanic. My limit to the engine is suck, squeeze, bang and blow if it is petrol fuelled, and that is the limit of my knowhow. I was much better with pig husbandry. Now I go to work-pick it up and put it away-sums my job up-3rd store man on the left I call myself-doing the jobs the other lads don't want, and then come home and chop firewood from pallets!
…………………………………………...


Though I don't understand, I don't think I really want to know how "suck, squeeze, bang and blow" works in pig husbandry!

Henry

gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1615
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 18 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Henry, there is a full stop between the sentences. The 'suck, squeeze, bang, blow,' is my limit of knowledge regarding a 4 stroke, petrol engine, in a vehicle. Though I can understand how you would become confused, if you have not been to an agricultural college, of the difference between a petrol engined vehicle and a pig, as both have 4 parts touching the ground! Alternatively let's not go there!!

gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1615
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 18 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

You have convinced me regarding regular shaped charcoal MR, My hazel at home is all over the place in its growth habits, as I don't harvest it-maybe I should get a local charcoal burner to come and utilise the stuff I have. One of my neighbours is totally organic and has a burner, which he travels round with, and does 'biochar' for people who want it, which include some of the houses that are opened to the public. He sells biochar and uses it himself for his organic veg. garden. Another thing I wondered about charcoal is does all wood when it is used for charcoal burning, have the same calorific value? It probably doesn't when it starts the process, but may be of one value once converted to charcoal regardless of its timber origin.
I was only thinking you were very "with it" regarding the black finger nails, MR!

My full kindling nets are growing in quantity. I have to do 250 by the end of December at least which I am well on track for, and hoping that the weather stays warm for at least 3 months and more if it can to delay the start of fire lighting time. I am working on them quite well now I seem to have a routine. I could do more if I had another place to chop wood as well and could store the blanks there and carry over what I saw. It is all in the same place so I waste time setting up. It is all a bit too Heath Robinson at the moment. I feel the last 2 years have gone too fast and I have not taken advantage of that time as well as I could have done, doing too many other things and not concentrating on the present/ future needs. An alternative would be to give up work and 'do' at home, draw the horns in-spend less-and may be find part time work for odd days rather than going to work every day for half a day. There may be some changes coming at work and I may be able to reduce my hours I would have to watch that it didn't swallow all the money in fuel, but it would keep my supply going of wood for the kindling. On the one hand.....etc!

I take the point about vehicle servicing, and its cost; but it is your own life as well as other 'accidentally taking part' folks' lives, that is/are in jeopardy. I prefer to be a live, but poor driver, rather than a dead one.

I put the point about the wire for the abacus MR. and she agreed a good idea. I can't find another pallet in good order to make a second pallet counter/blackboard, all our current pallets have something wrong and I have to make another for the other play group this friend runs. I must go now to beat the school buses out of the car park!

Jam Lady



Joined: 28 Dec 2006
Posts: 1868
Location: New Jersey, USA
PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 18 1:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Squirrels climb the pole on which the bird feeder hangs. At least the chipmunks stay on the ground.

Himself spent some time manufacturing a support that sticks out from the house. It matches the one on the other side of the kitchen doors from which the rain chain hangs. It was installed yesterday afternoon. Two birds found it right away.

Not 24 hours later a squirrel figured out where it was, and was trying to access it by climbing up the screen door. . .



Squirrels have very sharp claws, and the metal trim around the door is getting scratched.

The feeder is back on the pole. I may hang a plant from the bracket. Stay tuned for future developments.

gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1615
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 18 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

That is some squirrel, climbing down the door frame, especially if it is metal, no problem for them if wooden, I think I have seen them going upside down on trees. The cat is looking interested in the squirrel, Jam Lady.

This morning I have had a beard trim, by a friend who does this in the local tractor supplier's office on his site-her husband-and is why I am so late in the library. Being there I have heard of a friend whose wife had a call from the "bank"-it happens-however, it was not the bank, and as a result she lost £8,000, as she spoke! The bank rang later to say that there was an unusual amount of movement in the account and was this right? Clearly not. Although I have heard of this happening, it is the first time I have heard of it happening to someone I know.

Weather awful now, raining like stair rods. I am going back to cut and chop firewood. My wood is already to go I prepared last night!

buzzy



Joined: 04 Jan 2011
Posts: 3322
Location: In a small wood on the edge of the Huntingdonshire Wolds
PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 18 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I have heard that Vaseline applied to a bird feeder pole can help stop squirrels climbing. We use a baffle round the pole, primarily to stop the rats climbing up. Works on rats, but the squirrels circumvent it by leaping from neighbouring objects to the feeder pole above the baffle! Furry little s***heads!

Greetings, Jam Lady, to your cat from ours:



He was sleeping after a hard day swearing at the squirrels, and says "Black and white is the way to go!"

Henry

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