Busy Weekend – Chore Pictures
While waiting on Missy’s parents to arrive safely back in Ohio and share the pictures they took of our trip along the Blue Ridge Parkway to Mabry Mill, I thought I’d post some pics of the work-side of our busy weekend.
After a whirlwind drive to Cincinnati to visit my sick grandmother, I arrived home on Friday night about an hour ahead of Missy’s parents. Unlike a lot of people I know, I happen to get along wonderfully with my in-laws. It was good to see Pat and Rick again, and I can’t wait to see the great photos, which I hope to share with everyone. In between leisurely drives in the Blue Ridge Mountains, I still managed to get some stuff done around here, as the photos show.
Click the picture to enlarge. Here is a barrel full of old canning jars that I had to move from the spring/well house. I ended up filling three boxes, an old file cabinet and a 55-gallon drum full of fetid canning jars leftover from the mid-80s and on.
Another project I did this weekend was to move that file cabinet out of the barn. It made a good rack for more of those nasty canning jars once I’d taken the shelves out. In addition to the file cabinet, I also moved some decade-old 50-lb bags of rotten seed and a few hundred empty mayonnaise jars from the barn. The old couple who lived here before us didn’t like to throw ANYTHING away!
And here’s a nice close-up of the type of botulism-friendly environment you’ll find inside a canning jar that was allowed to freeze and thaw a few dozen times over a couple of decades – Click to enlarge:
After speaking with a half-dozen contractors, we finally went with the guy up the road. There was a gentleman from down near Winston Salem who I think would have done a great job, but in the end I wanted to stick to my guns and hire someone from here in the community. Here is what our porch looks like right now (click to enlarge). Notice the old foundation stones lying around:
This wood pile had been bothering me since we arrived. It would have been easiest to just burn it, but someone had thrown in all sorts of materials that I’d rather not burn for health and environmental reasons (treated lumber, OSB board, vinyl siding, plastic pipes…) while I also did NOT look forward to a day of moving the entire pile to the dump. Besides that, it would have taken up most of the expensive roll-away dumpster we have rented right now. In the end I took the middle ground by digging out all of the toxic and non-burnable materials I could find (throwing them into the roll-away) and then burning the rest. Unfortunately, it decided to rain a couple of hours after I lit the match so a second burning is needed.
Another toxic job I wasn’t looking forward to, this oil drum was beginning to rust through. I didn’t want to leave it there much longer for fear that it would begin to leak an oily mess all over the place, very close to where our drinking water comes from. I called around and found a garage that would take the oil off my hands to burn for heat, but first I had to get it to them. However, I couldn’t move it because A: it was too heavy while full and B: I didn’t trust the structural integrity of the barrel. After a few weeks of saving up every plastic milk jug I could find and digging out some old gas cans from the barn I had amassed close to the 55 gallons needed to drain the barrel.
So I put on the overalls Missy bought me (I don’t think she actually thought I’d wear them, but I did and will continue to do so.), as well as some rubber boots and latex gloves. I was ready to make an oily mess of myself – but hopefully without spilling much onto the ground. I put the first jug into position and hammered a railroad spike through the side of the barrel and… water. It was full of water! Sweet baby Jesus, I was so relieved!
My father-in-law Rick helped me fill up all of the jugs so I could take them up to the leach field below the septic tank and dump them. While there was no way I’d dump straight oil onto my property like that, I could handle the thought of some slightly oily water going into the ground where our sewerage goes anyway. Here’s a picture of the barrel. Looking at the grimy top, you can see why I thought it was full of oil.