Sunday, July 17, 2011

Corn capacitor, um....corning...

Here's a shot of the corn stalks, with pollination getting underway about a day or two ago. More of the tassels have opened up since, and I'm really, really hoping that we get some corn this year. Last year, I had half as many stalks (really fewer than that, because some didn't even sprout), so I'm hoping that this year, with twice as many stalks I'll have more corn. I have silks on a few plants, but I had a couple silks last year too. So we shall see.

The rest of the garden's doing well, for the most part. Carrots, growing nicely; onions, growing OK...taste great, but still kind of on the small-ish side; Big Boy tomatoes, going well; Sweet 100 cherry tomatoes, going nuts as usual; all three pepper plants are growing well, but I only have one pepper to show for it at the moment; both cucumber plants are growing like WEEDS, so I'm going to have an overabundance of cucumbers I think. The only plant that didn't do well was the tiny Yellow Pear tomato plant, which dried out no matter how much I watered it. So I pulled it the other day...I got some Swiss Chard seed from One Seed Chicago ( because they wanted to use one of my older chard pictures -- I hadn't planned on growing any chard this year, but maybe I'll drop a few seeds in the spot where the yellow pear tomato plant was and see if I get anything by the winter. We'll see.

Otherwise, I'm hoping to schedule the roofer to come out and replace the garage roof, and also to give us an estimate (and probably schedule time) to replace the damned leaky, incorrectly installed by the P.O., bathroom skylight with solid roof. That should be interesting, as it basically will wipe our "master" bathroom upstairs out of commission for a bit (and will create more work for us, in the end). But, it's gotta be done. The leaks are getting worse, not better.

And, of course, there remains the loads of backyard work that needs to be done, starting with replacing the sidewalks and adding a concrete pad next to the garage by the alley. Still worried about how the hell much concrete work will cost...and kinda scared. :) Any of you Chicagoans who have had concrete work done lately, I'm taking recommendations (and any information on how much the going rate for concrete work is around here nowadays).

Saturday, July 2, 2011

"You picked the hottest day of the year..."

Yes, yes I did. Well, my buddy Luis came over this morning to help me get further with the re-fascia-ing and re-soffit-ing of the garage. My brother Eddie and I did the north face and soffit, and Eddie tore down the rotted fascia and soffit on the east side of the garage last week. I put an additional coat of paint on the north fascia and a single coat on that soffit yesterday, then went to get the lumber for the rest of the garage.
First big score was that standard lumber was on sale at Menards for some ridiculously cheap that was huge.
So, despite feeling like Ted Stryker ( for much of the day because of the heat and humidity, we were able to get the entire stretch of fascia up for these two sides.
The soffit on the alley side actually is the first run of soffit on the garage that is NOT rotted and is in pretty good shape, so that was another huge score -- we left it up and intact, with the exception of a piece near the west corner.
Tomorrow, when it's supposed to be a little less hot and humid, I'll head out again and try to paint these two sides and possibly put up the east soffit.
Then, the west face of the garage becomes the issue. I put up a gutter (haphazardly, but it's there) years ago to stop runoff from bombarding my raised garden beds and to collect rainwater for my rainbarrel. At the end of the day, because I'm lazy (even though I love DIY work), I'm hoping against hope that it's in great shape and that I can either leave the soffit up or leave both fascia and soffit. But we'll see...I'm sure I'm not so lucky.
Then, finally, I can get the roofer out here to replace the roof.