Würselener Wald
Würselener Wald
Die gesammelten Sachen
Die Tipiuhr am Ende

World’s jankiest home improvement

Last night I slept terribly because it was very windy, and there was some really annoying clattering sound every so often which would wake me up just as I was about to dose off. Clare actually went out on the balcony in the middle of the night to try to figure it out but was unsuccessful in the dark. This morning I looked again, and discovered it was a loose vertical shingle right by our bedroom. I started wondering how I could fix it, and Clare suggested bubble gum. So I decided to give it a try. I chewed up a bunch, put it onto a fly swatter attached taped to a broom stick, and used another broom to kind of hammer it in. So far it seems to be working. Looking forward to a good night’s sleep.

Wood rack, take two


This summer I built a new wood rack. I had tried to move the one from our old house, but the movers couldn’t get it out of our back gate, so I finally got around to building a new one this year. I followed a pretty similar plan as last time. This time I did not make the roof as steep, because it ended up reducing the space for wood quite a bit. I used 1/4″ plywood on the sides, and 1/2″ plywood for the roof. I used a number of 2x4s leftover from Dave and Ellen’s reconstruction project, and bought a couple new ones. I did make one mistake – I put plywood nearly the entire back this time, including all the way down to the horizontal 2x4s. This meant that there was no place for the logs to rest. So I ended up adding some additional 2x4s inside the vertical 2x4s. This actually had the advantage of making it possible to stack the front row of wood without sticking out too much.

Spencer, Meg, and Clare all helped stack the wood.


Putting on roll roofing

Roll roofing attached

Assembling wood rack – using a small scrap piece of wood to hold up leg horizontally

Attaching plywood back

Handy screwdriver attachment keeps screws from falling

Wood rack complete

Finished wood rack

Spencer helping stack wood

Wood rack loaded with 1 cord of black walnut, birch and white oak

Meg and Spencer looking at the toad that came with the wood

Spencer holds the toad


Yesterday Spencer help me fix two gates in our yard. In this picture he is helping me put new hinges on the gate with a socket wrench. He is getting to be a real handyman.




The Fenders are friends and neighbors in Indiana. Angie gave me a tour of some of the projects they had been working on. We could smell honeysuckle as we checked out the ways they have worked to make their property naturally beautiful and useful. I forgot to take pictures of the garden and the wood carving picture didn’t come out. However, between the hand built canoes, the shelter from locally grown and milled wood, the pond with dueling zip lines, the mason jar chandeliers, the bark they pressed for a year to use as decorative finishes on the bar and the bed frame I can see both creativity, time and care they put into their projects. Thanks for sharing <3

New doors

In January 2010 we decided to remodel our bathroom. We put together a big order from Lowe’s and had it shipped to our house. As we decided on what to use in the bathroom, we decided to replace the door, since it was partially broken, and kind of crappy looking. We then quickly decided we couldn’t just replace one door. We had to replace all the interior doors. Clare then tacked on the exterior doors too, since Lowe’s has a flat shipping rate. Well, almost 3 years later, we finally got the rest of the doors installed. Clare and Ellen did a bunch of work staining and polyurethaning the remaining 3 doors for the bedrooms this summer and fall. The day after thanksgiving, we took the kids to school, and Clare helped me hang the doors. Then I put up the trim a little at a time over the next several weeks. It was a lot of work, but the end result is very nice. I’m not sure I would take on this task again though. If I did, I would probably get oak doors instead of pine, since staining and polyurethaning takes so much time, and is not really that fun.

Salsa 2012

Canned salsa up close

Canned salsa up close
Canned salsa up close

Yesterday and today we made salsa again. This year Mekayla helped Clare and me some, which was very nice. We went a bit overboard this time, making nearly 28 pints of salsa in total. In addition to a bunch of tomatoes from our garden, we also got a 25 lb box of tomatoes from a local farmer’s market. We ended up canning 2 batches yesterday and 1 today. The first 2 batches turned out approximately medium (compared to Pace brand salsa), and the third batch was close to hot. I could have probably canned 7 quarts instead of pints today, but I didn’t think we had that much to do, so I washed the pint jars. I am very happy with the final product. It turned out much more flavorful than last year, which I think was due to having more peppers and more seeds, and more vinegar and salt.

Here is approximately what we used
10-12 quarts peeled, seeded, and diced tomatoes
2 bell pepper
1 lb anaheim peppers
1 lb poblano peppers
1/4 lb serrano peppers
1/2 lb jalapeno peppers
3 lbs white onions
9 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp ground cumin
6 tbsp salt
3 small cans tomato paste
2 cups white vinegar

Wood rack

Today I had the day off but the kids went to school so I took the opportunity to do a project. I have been wanting to build a wood rack for sometime now. The rack I built is 3 feet deep and 8 feet tall at the back. The roof has a slope of 30°. In hindsight I think I would’ve preferred to have made it 15°. Now I should have plenty of space to store at least a cord or two for the winter for my fireplace insert. Now I just have to put some shingles on the roof.

fruit trees

The apple tree has lots of blossoms this year, which will hopefully translate into lots of fruit. We also planted a dwarf red haven peach tree today. It has a couple blossoms on it too.