Do-It-Yourself Home Repairs

One of the downsides to owning your own home is that you are responsible for fixing everything yourself, or hiring somebody else to fix it for you.  I’m not about to hire somebody else to do what I am able to fix myself if I don’t have to.  So today I spent some time fixing various things around the house.  Most of this was tightening down the hardware on cabinets, closets, and drawers of everything in the house.  Most of these were quite loose, which is what prompted me to go around tightening everything.  The more involved fixes were replacing the cylinder of a door knob and re-glueing a wood panel on the entertainment center.

The door cylinder after being replaced.

The door cylinder after being replaced.

A few weeks ago, my wife noticed that one of the bathroom doors was being difficult in turning the door know.  I finally got around to checking things out today.  It turns out that the cylinder, or whatever its real name is, was not retracting the door latch and needed to be replaced.  Luckily, one of the previous owners to the house had taken a door off and stuck it in one of the sheds and I was able to scavenge the cylinder mechanism as a replacement.  If another cylinder goes bad, I will probably have no choise but to purchase a new one.

Using books instead of clamps to re-glue a wood panel.  Large, textbook like programming books work well for this.

Using books instead of clamps to re-glue a wood panel. Large, textbook like programming books work well for this.

The other fix I did today was to re-glue one of the wood panels on a door in the entertainment center.  The panel has been attached on only a single edge since I moved into the house.  Today I detached the door from the entertainment center, pushed the panel completely out of the door, removed the remaining glue with a razor blade, and then glued the panel back in with wood glue before putting the whole thing under a stack of heavy books.  This should allow the glue to hold the panel well.  After the glue cures, the door is going back onto the entertainment center.

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Not Much Happens in Winter with a Garden

I haven’t written a post in over two months, which is not something I should be doing.  Big gaps are a large annoyance with other people’s blogs and I am positive that they are following this blog don’t like it.  It is just that sometimes there is not really that much to write about, or I’m not looking hard enough at what I am doing and then writing about it.  Probably the latter.  So, time to make up some lost ground with giant post that covers the past two months…

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Sad, dead tomato plants.

Shortly after the first frost of the year, the second frost came in and killed all the remaining tender plants.  There is nothing I can do but rip them up and throw them in the compost pile.  I might be able to get row covers for next year, but it is not very high on the list of things to buy.

Elephant garlic emerged in late October.

Elephant garlic emerged in late October.

I got a bit of a surprise when the elephant garlic I thought was dead decided to emerge from the ground.  Only half of the plants actually survived, the others are truly dead.

I also decided to plant some standard garlic I picked up at a farmer’s market stand.  As of my last check, 18 plants are still alive and growing very slowly in the winter sun.

The shelled and unshelled pecans.

The shelled and unshelled pecans.

The main thing that has been consuming my time is pecans.  Picking them up off the ground and then shelling them.  There are just so many of them and they are all rather small that it takes a long time to get anywhere.  It takes me about ten to twelve hours of cracking to fill up a quart jar with shelled pecans.  So far, I have managed to fill just over five quarts, two of which have already been eaten.

I had both mine and my wife’s family over at my house this year for Thanksgiving, which was both nice and very hectic.  Some of the pecans  were made into a very good pecan pie and the pumpkin that decided to grow out of the compost pile was used in making pumpkin pie.

Old bee frames I found in the attic.

Old bee frames I found in the attic.

While digging around in the attic to get the Christmas lights down, I came across very interesting two things: several boxes filled with glass jars and parts of bee frames.  I can only guess that one of the previous owners of the house was also a beekeeper and left some parts here at one point.  The frames clearly look old, but I have no clue as to how old.  I have a few frames in my hives that look as old and need to be replaced with new ones, so these could be fairly recent.