Subscribe via RSS Feed Connect with me on LinkedIn LASL on Pinterest LASL on Google Plus

Busy Weekend – Chore Pictures

By: Everett S

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.

A Barrel Full of Canning JarsAfter 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!
More Canning Jars

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:
Front Porch

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.
Fire Pile

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.

Oil DrumSo 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.

Category: DIY Projects, Roundups, The Transplants

Comments (4)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. We had almost exactly the same thing happen with a barrel, except that my husband kicked it, and rust flaked off all over the outside, opening up a lot of little holes. We cringed briefly – then water came pouring out like a brief but wonderful fountain. The rust was all that held anything in.

  2. I look forward to reading your adventures. I too have been fixing up an old farm (my place is around 200 years old). Anyway, I have an old 55 gallon drum in my barn – who knows what it holds. Maybe if I don’t look at it it will go away . . .

  3. I’m a fan of any post with “botulism” as one of the tags.

  4. Hannah says:

    It’s refreshing to read about a young couple interested in returning to “simple” things!
    The simple way of life sure keeps ya’ busy. The skills learned are something no one can ever take from you.
    I encourage you and your wife to learn as much as you can and share your skills with others along the way. There’s great satisfaction in growing and making your own things.
    Hopefully some day you will be able to pass this heritage on to your own children!
    Thanks for all you are doing!

Leave a Reply

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a Gravatar.