Winter is over, the warm is making it’s return and I am almost done cleaning up from the most disappointing maple sugaring season ever. I say disappointing because the yield this year was sparse, to say the least. Truth be told, though, if it had been any more appointing, I would have been drowning in sap and cursing the inadequacy of my equipment to process it all. So, it was a mixed blessing. I’ll accept that.
Now, it’s time to move on. It’s time to start building stuff and fixing stuff. Stuff is good. Building it and fixing it is even better. And I have a full docket ready to go.
In approximate order of importance, here it is:
- Build a new clothesline. The umbrella style unit we inherited with the house finally gave up. I salvaged what was worth salvaging and bought the new posts for a “T” style clothesline. It’s time to get out the post-hole digger. It’s time to stop using the gorram dryer.
- Finish cleaning up from Maple Season 2010. A bad case of start-it-itis does NOT want to do this. There”s not much left, though. Just cleaning the buckets and taking down and washing a few more lines.
- Mow the lawn. I feel like I have a rare opportunity with this weather to give the lawn a once-over before the violets pop up. Normally, it’s not dry enough before the violets bloom, and I can’t mow those down because we…
- Make Violet Jelly. It’s a whole springtime tradition thing.
- Dig the new garden. We have big garden plans this year, but before any of it can start, I need to dig the plot. A 10’x12′ section will be under a hoop house. Another 10’x10′ will be for wheat. I get the pleasure of digging up all that sod (and relocating it) and then rototilling the whole mess. I need to do that so I can….
- Build a hoop house. Made out of PVC pipe and plastic sheeting. We hope it’ll help keep excess rain from ruining crops, like it did with the tomatoes last year. We may even be able to grow in it through the winter. I need to do this so I can….
- Build raised bed planters. These will go under the hoop house. I’ve got that mondo pile of composite decking I salvaged last year that will be perfect for these, which I need to finish so I can….
- Build a drip irrigation system. To feed everything in the raised bed planters. I’ll be using all the old tubing from years-past maple seasons for this. And it’ll be worthless unless I…..
- Build a gutter/ install a rain barrel. The gutter is for the back of the garage (even though the other side and the house needs it as well…) and will fill the rain barrel that will feed the drip irrigation system.
- Start planting seeds. Those last 5 projects won’t count for crap if we don’t get started on this. We should probably buy our seeds soon. We should probably decide what we want to grow.
- Clean the yard. There’s still a Fall’s worth of leaves out there. Despite my forays into the dark arts, they still don’t rake themselves.
- New window sills and frames in the bedroom. I tore the old ones out when we insulated and painted this winter, with the promise to build new ones. Probably the least sexxy of all the projects, but the one that’s highest on Sara’s list. Soooooo….
- Build a deck. Okay, most of a deck. I’m sure I have enough salvaged PT lumber for the whole frame. Not so sure about the actual decking. May have to buy new, or better yet see what Craigslist/Freecycle has to offer. I’d like to get started on it soon, though, so we can possibly be using it by the end of the summer.
- Install the dishwasher. Two years ago, Dad brought me a 3-4 year old dishwasher from a renovation job he did. It still lives in the garage. It needs to live under my kitchen counter.
- Sugar Shack Upgrades:
- Put siding on the Shack
- Paint the new siding
- Build a new arch
- Build a steam hood pre-heater
- Install new (permanent) stack for the new arch.
- Add a cupola
- Landscape the creek
- Build root cellar storage in the basement. Gonna need somewhere to keep all the garden goodies.
- Replace the fuse box. Sara’s dad bought us a proper breaker box and breakers when we bought the house. We just need to have someone install it.
- Replace the house gutters. The ones on the front of the house have rotted off. Cuz they were wood. Oh well.
- Install a vent fan over the range. Meh. Maybe.
- Make beer. Because it’s beer.
- Make mead. See #18.
Did I leave anything out?
So, what are YOU doing this weekend?