Grit Blogs > Adventures of Old Nebraska Dave

Rainy Day Activities on the Urban Ranch

A photo of Nebraska DaveHi again. The weather this week was rain with rain and more rain. There was not much to do except inside work.

I decided maybe it was time to clean out that kitchen cabinet that housed the left over containers. Just how many left over containers does a family of three really need?

Left over containers

In fact I’ve discovered that the best left over container is a mason canning jar. If the left overs are put in the jar hot and the lid screwed down it will seal. Now I’m not saying this will be good for long term storage but it does extend the left over time from 2 to 3 days to at least a couple weeks time. I store the sealed jars in the refrigerator as an additional precaution. Anyway one 33 gallon trash bag full into the trash made the closet much more tidy.

Clean closet shelf photo

Many of the GRIT bloggers have been posting about their chickens and their techniques on caring for them. Well, since I had time on my hands because of the rain this week I decided it was time to assemble my flock of chickens. I even found a barn coop for them to stay in if needed. I’ve been collecting my girls for some time by frequenting the local Good Will store. The Iris were cut from my sea of Iris on the West side of the house. These stems had fallen into the yard from the Iris bed. Instead of just throwing them in the compost I decided to bring them in the house to decorate the table. It’s the first time real flowers have been in the house since .... well since ever. Another first for Old Nebraska Dave.

Dining room table chickens photo

My black beauty tulips came into bloom right after the tulips of fire started winding down. They are now just about finished but the Iris are starting to come into full bloom. I am in need of reblooming day lilies and have been in hot pursuit of tracking down some for over planting the tulips. I have discovered that day lily roots are referred to as fans and the best I could find was about one dollar a fan. That’s just a little more expensive than I thought it would be.

Black Beauty Tulips

As you can see the Iris are really starting to put on a show. Hopefully this display will last a couple more weeks until the peonies come into bloom. They are starting to produce the big buds and usually break into full bloom about Memorial Day in Nebraska.

Iris Flowers

Since I couldn’t dig in mud for the watering system, I decided to start working on the trellis I have in mind for the living poor man’s patio. While in the home improvement store placing concrete blocks on the transport truck a man came walking by and asked, “How many of those are you getting?”

I replied, “I’m getting 10 but wish I could get more.”

He surprised me with, “I have about 30 blocks at my place that I would just give to you if you want them.”

Well, free is good, so I followed him home and gathered up the 27 blocks he had and sneaked home with a load of I figure close to 1500 pounds on my little Ford Ranger named “Ranger Rick – Ricky for short.” I think he’s rated for a payload of 500 pounds. I can truthfully tell you that I didn’t feel a single bump all the way home.

Concrete blocks in truck

This was one of the rainy days so I set up shop in the garage. I started working on the trellis that will hopefully be covered with pole beans and morning glory. I was real hesitant about the morning glory because in my humble opinion it’s real close to being a noxious weed. It’s hard to keep under control and stay contained. My plans are to plant it in a container on the patio and never let it get out.

Cutting 2-by-2s for trellis

This is the top of the trellis. The sides will be of similar construction and when it’s all together it will stand 8 feet high and 10 feet long. It’s sort of being designed as I build it. I do that a lot. I can build one step then the next and the next. I have the picture of what I want in my mind but I only figure out how to build it as I work on the project one step at a time. It’s not the best way to build I suppose but it works for me. A friend and I once designed a storage shed on a paper napkin while eating breakfast at Burger King, bought the supplies that afternoon, and built the shed over the next two days.

Top of trellis

I’m hoping to get back to the watering system this next week. I have run into a snag with the watering system. The tank has been setting for over 15 years unused and has rusted through the seam of the tank. I tried to light up sparky my welder, but just ended up blowing a bigger hole through the rust. The lesson learned was you can’t weld rust. The plan now is to pop rivet sheet metal over the hole, solder around the patch seams, and seal it up with silicone sealant. If that don’t do it then plan C will have to go into effect. Oh, plan C, ah, haven’t figured it out yet.

That’s what has been happening on the urban ranch this week. I hope you have enjoyed the adventures for this week. Leave a comment about what’s been going on in your part of the world. I hope you have a great week and I’ll see ya next week.