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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Construction Time Again

Yesterday I visited my mom and nephew at the ranch in La Grange, and while I was there I did some fruit and plant gathering. I came home with a bag full of green grapes and some odd plums- I have no idea what kind they are, their skin is greenish and the flesh is red. My guess is that they are Satsuma?

My mom said that she had gotten a few ripe Asian pears, but most of the ones I saw were green on one side, so I thought I'd leave them for another week or two. The fruit trees at the ranch did really well last year, exploding with fruit that was large, plump, juicy and really tasty. This year, the fruit is barely half the size, dry and flavorless or looks ripe but is really sour. We aren't sure what's happening, but the Asian pears tasted like paper pulp. The grapevines are having trouble too, most of them have some sort of icky disease in the foliage that causes the leaves to dry up and die, and the grapes go from unripe to raisons before you have a chance to pick them. I was lucky to salvage a grocery bag full from one vine that wasn't quite as affected, and the grapes are sooo sweet.  People rave on about homegrown tomatoes, but homegrown grapes are the bomb!

Along with a couple bags of fruit, I plucked up a Bing cherry tree and a Rainier cherry tree for our backyard orchard, some Spearmint, a branch of Hens & Chicks, and a really pretty purple plant that I have yet to identify. I also finally borrowed a saw from my mom to cut the 2x4's for the chicken coop cottage project.
Today I began sawing. I only got through the first 2x4 before the blade on the electric saw broke. It was a really wimpy saw anyway, just a glorified jigsaw. I asked my mom more than twice yesterday if she was positive it would cut a 2x4. For some reason, she didn't want me to borrow the circular saw. (I think she has this idea that I don't know how to use power tools and I will wind up cutting my arm off or something.) So with the saw blade broken and 8 more 2x4's to cut, I decided to resort to sawing the old fashioned way rather than wait who knows how long before I could get access to another saw or saw blade. It took longer by hand, but oddly enough the cuts were a lot straighter!  Plus, sawing is somewhat meditative.  Try it!  Tomorrow is drill day.  Let's hope I have better luck with the power drill.

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