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Friday, December 4, 2009

Countdown to Hibernation

It's been rather chilly out here. We almost had snow and I think in regions south of us, they did.

We always get excited when we get snow. It's rare and it's brief, but it reminds me of growing up in Chicago.

It'll warm back up into the 50s next week, but we should be on the chilly side for the next three months. Chilly, as in Maria needs a jacket anyway cuz she's a wus. My family in Chi-town would laugh at me, but I don't care. I don't like being cold.

The greenhouse is not finished. We decided to cover the length of the greenhouse with one layer of sheet metal along the side with the gap (see picture), but I ran out of husband before he got the job done. I rushed to cover the openings at either end then cobbled together a makeshift barrier for the 10 inch gap on the side before it got too cold. I have plants out there and I don't want them to die now.

We are still getting cherry tomatoes and jalapenos. My snow pea vines are also still producing. In the greenhouse I started some bok choy and brussel sprouts. I also got a nice surprise when the onions I thought had died came back to life.

I have very sturdy plants. I guess they have to be if they live with me.

I'm a little disappointed we needed to compensate for the extra width on one end of the greenhouse, but it is an awesome greenhouse nonetheless. If I had built one, it would have never been this big, so the inconvenience is negligible.

To save money, we decided to use a combination of plastic sheeting for the body of the greenhouse, and corrugated clear panels at the end caps rather than panels for the whole structure. There is no telling how long the sheeting will last. If we have to replace it too soon, next time we'll spend the extra dough for the panels. I went with the sheeting because I knew it would go up faster and right now time is of the essence.

First comes the bones.

Framing the back end. The weather turned against us before we could do the other side, but Greg says he won't have any trouble finishing it.

This is the gap we ended up with on the last twenty feet of the structure. The ironic part is that we measured the circumference--but at the opposite end, which required exactly a 20 foot width of plastic. This end was ten inches more at the widest.

Emergency cover up. It's not pretty, but it's sealed, at least until I can trick Greg into coming back to finish the job.

Bought a 40lb bag of wild bird seed for my feathered friends. I don't worry about them during the warmer months, but I imagine it's hard for them to find food when the trees lose their leaves. It's nice to watch them land at the giant feeder and eat to their hearts' content.

The squirrels have been circling the pole, but not a single one has tried to scale Mount Feeder. It's got a dome at the top and two more along the pole to keep them from a successful ascent. I'm waiting for a crack team of squirrel Special Forces to rappel off Black Hawk helicopters and raid my seed bin.

Mmm...roast squirrel.

Greg bought his home entertainment system and we even got it local. I'm not a sound aficionado but it seems very nice. We kept waffling between a Samsung system that got some good reviews and the Bose.

The Bose won, despite the $$. The best way I could describe it is that the Samsung was good, but it felt like someone was yelling at me. The Bose, even from several yards away had an elegant sound, as if someone was speaking to you. The sound was very clear and distinct regardless how soft or loud it was. Since we watch so many movies, I thought it made for a good investment. It should last us the rest of our lives.

Da boys enjoying their new theater system. The other boy is at the camera. You can barely see the edge of the tv, but the picture is incredibly clear. I still prefer my old fuzzy tv, but I wasn't allowed a vote since I'm a convicted tech offender.

I bought a dryer to replace my dead one. I went with a Whirlpool Cabrio to match the washer I bought when I moved here. I hated to buy another digital machine because I'm always afraid the computer brain will die out on me, but the washer has been phenomenal and was worth the extra money. It has no agitator, yet the clothes come out super clean on very little detergent and water. It's one of those high efficiency machines. I was skeptical, but the results have made me a believer. I hope the dryer is just as good.

After all these expenses, I am through shopping for a while. Other than finishing the greenhouse and future chicken house, I plan to become a hybernaut for the next three months. Hybernaut--a word Greg made up to describe someone (me) who cocoons during the winter months and plots stories of world domination and future gardens.


Dru said...

wow, I've always wanted to know how greenhouses are made.

I hear Bose is the best system to buy. For those who have one they've had a negative comment.

I like your idea of hibernation during the winter months.

Have a good weekend.

Maria Zannini said...

Hiya Dru!

Ref: greenhouses

It was a surprise to me too. But Greg is handy, even if he is "expensive". LOL.

Shelley Munro said...

I bet the greenhouse will come in handy. We don't need one down here because our climate is fairly good year around.

We've had a mega crop of broccoli this year. I'm almost sick of the sight of it.

There's nothing better than a good sound system. It really makes a difference.

Marianne Arkins said...

I have greenhouse envy, lol.. My DH wouldn't put one up for me -- says they are "ugly". *sigh*

I bought my new washer/dryer last Jan and love them, despite having nothing but problems with the washer. We have the option to buy the extended warranty on both items (they came with a 1 year) and will do so -- normally we don't, but since I've had to call the repairman several times this year, I think it's a wise choice.

And YAY on the home theater system -- it's really cool to have HD. We just sprung for a new TV this year, and I love it.

Maria Zannini said...


Ref: greenhouse, ugly

Ugly!! That's blasphemy to a gardener! LOL.

Ref: washer/dryer
I gave my old washer to Greg when I moved to the new house since his was going out, but my dryer died all at once. I didn't get the warranty, but I might reconsider when they send out those reminders.

Maria Zannini said...

Shelley: The sound system is Greg's baby. If it wasn't for him I'd still be watching b&w tv and listening to 8-track tapes. LOL.

J.K. Coi said...

Oooh, nice greenhouse. We have one too. I like pampering the plants :)

I feel like cozying up indoors all winter this year, and I like the word hybernaut, it's fitting :0)

Maria Zannini said...

Ref: hybernaut

Hi JK. It's good to have a little down time. And it's the best time of year to cocoon.