Candler, NC – An Offline Vacation

A short six hour drive and we finally arrived at our destination.

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We planned on arriving around 3pm but traffic and heavy rain delayed us about an hour.  About 15 minutes out from Pisagh View Ranch my cellphone rang and they wanted to know if we’d be on time for for dinner.  We gave them an update on our location and we arrived in time to eat dinner with the rest of the guests.  See meals are served family style at specific times, so don’t forget to let them know you are skipping a meal or if you are arriving late.  Dinner was awesome!  Homemade pot roast, grilled vegetables, homemade rolls, and polenta.  Stuffed, they surprised us with dessert, apple crumble with ice cream on top.   After dinner we checked in to our log cabin which was built in the 1940s, complete with rocking chairs on the front porch.  
The reason behind the title of this post is there are no televisions in the cabins and there is no cellphone service.  WiFi is available at the main house and if you need to use the phone to make a call there is one that you can use for free.

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Happy 13th Year Blog Birthday!

It’s an unofficial blog birthday! My blog has actually reached it’s teenage years! I actually started blogging in 1999, however something happened with my self hosted webpage and I lost everything from 1999 until June 2000. In 2001 I discovered b2 and everything changed! b2 -A classy news/weblog tool (aka logware). No more static webpages that seemed to run on forever. It’s hard to believe that when I started ‘blogging’ it was such a new thing. It was even more impressive to myself that I setup and installed my own blogging software. All I needed was a hosting environment, a database and PHP. It’s amazing how far blogs/weblogs have come! Anyone can set up a blog and be blogging in no time!

Solar Powered Clothes Dryer

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Let’s try a little test to see how much my electric bill goes down.  The trick will be dealing with all the rain we’ve been getting here lately.  I found this clothes dryer at Dirt Cheap for only $7 which to me seems like a deal.  I added a umbrella stand so that we don’t have to cement it into the ground.  Plus now it’s portable and I can move it to the porch if it rains.  35 years ago this was the only kind of clothes dryer that I had.  Money was tight and I was young so I had to save every way that I could.  Drying clothes in the winter was fun especially if it went below freezing during the day.

Staystay tuned for a monthly savings update.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Homemade Self Watering Planter – $5 & 30 Minutes Labor

So I was checking out some gardening equipment online a few months back and stumbled across one of these. It’s a self watering planter for people who don’t have a lot of space, plus it can be used on the patio or a porch if that’s all you have. Plus it’s $40.

Considering I’m the type of person who likes to deconstruct things just to see how they work here’s what came next. My engineering mind figured I could probably construct my own self watering planter for less money and here’s what happened. After doing a little research around the garage I found enough items to do what I needed except for a good 5 gallon bucket. I picked up a good bucket at the hardware store and now it was time to put things together.

All the supplies needed to construct a self watering planter for my tomato plants.

All the supplies needed to construct a self watering planter for my tomato plants.

 

 

Cut the unused field lines so that they lay in the bottom of the buckets.  Insert a piece of 1 1/2 tubing into the bottom, so you can add water directly to the gravel area in the bottom.  Cover with gravel and landscape cloth as this is where the excess water will live.  A 1/2 inch hole was drilled at the top of the gravel for drainage.

Cut the unused field lines so that they lay in the bottom of the buckets. Insert a piece of 1 1/2 tubing into the bottom, so you can add water directly to the gravel area in the bottom. Cover with gravel and landscape cloth as this is where the excess water will live. A 1/2 inch hole was drilled at the top of the gravel for drainage.

 

Next I placed a tomato cage into the bucket and then filled almost to the top with some good potting mix. I placed them early so I wouldn’t move around the drain lines in the bottom.

Since the planters are pretty heavy and a little awkward to move when filled I decided to put them on planter casters. This worked out great when we had a late frost as I just rolled them into the garage and back out once things warmed back up. We did have a windstorm on day and one of the planters blew over, actually it blew the planter and it rolled off the side of the sidewalk and turned over. I’ve fixed that now by adding a paver next to the buckets so they don’t roll.

Here’s what it looks like today:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzkf-tSdcxc

 

Blooming Cactus I Say!

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In 2000 someone at work was going to throw out a small cactus plant that just wouldn’t grow.  I took it since I knew it only needed more light than what it was getting in the office.  Well it didn’t fare too well for me in my sun room either.  Then two weeks ago I moved it to my front steps and now it’s booming!  Maybe it’s happy now in its new home or either it’s going through some type of blooming cycle that comes around every 14 years or so.  I’ll never know but I can enjoy its blooms!
*June 1, 2014 – Update – that was the only day the blooms were open.