Sunday, October 22, 2017

Fall Projects

About 12 or 14 years ago I built a 24 x 16 pole shed out of used utility poles. It was mostly for hay storage when we were boarding horses in a more serious way and needed additional covered storage. It was built on a budget with many expenses spared. It wasn't pretty, but it was functional. You can never have too much storage space on a farm until you get older and need to thin out your stuff. I added a shed roof to the north side of the building and a short while after Stitch moved in It was determined that a small greenhouse was needed on the south side. Again, every expense was spared. There was very little actual money spent for materials and it showed, but at least it was functional and you could grow food in it for longer than you could if it was outside trying to survive on its own. The door was salvaged from a friend's remodeling project, windows were from old houses and remodel projects around the area. I bought some of the lumber new, but much was salvaged.
It ain't pretty, but it is functional. Then winter happens every year and the snow and ice fall off the roof onto the salvaged storm windows which don't use tempered glass. They break.
Here are the windows that we removed last weekend. Pretty sad.
So I was left with no south wall. A triple wide glass entry door that was being replaced by a local  homeowner came up a couple of months ago on our local ISP site. It was free for the taking, but moving a 106" x 80" door took some doing. My neighbor loaned us himself and his snowmobile trailer (he doesn't actually own any snowmobiles) and we hitched it to our truck and away we went. It was a monster to move, but we did it and brought it home.
Basically, it is three 3' wide insulated glass doors in one large frame. After the removal of the old windows and reframing for the "new" glass we were ready to install it.
Using the tractor to lift it over to where it need to be and with the help of my neighbors, Rich and Heather, and my friend Yvonne, we managed to get it in. No, it didn't go smoothly and we had to raise the top part of the frame because someone (guess who?) measured incorrectly. It was a quick fix and with the strength, determination, and wisdom (thank you friends and neighbors) we got it installed!
I'll seal it up against the weather, put some snowguards on the roof to keep the snow and ice up there until I can remove it safely, and wait until spring to put it back in service. I am really tired now.

In other news, Dakota is back for the winter while his owners  go off to suffer in Arizona until about May. He is an easy horse to deal with and he has spent a lot of time here, so he knows the routines. Yes, his eyes are blue.
Remember the maple tree in the backyard and all its beautiful colored leaves? Here it is today, nearly naked with its leaves on the ground. We know what comes next.


  1. Jono--I am looking forward to snow and ice, because it might mean a snow day now and then. (And teachers' favorite days are snow days. ;)

    It looks like you're on your way to being ready for winter...

  2. Your old greenhouse looked pretty cool; but I'm guessing your new one will be more functional. Good work!

  3. The new south wall of the greenhouse looks snazzy! Hopefully it will last many years.

    Yep, fall is advancing steadily here, too. Our colours are now about at their peak. And there are no windstorms forecast for the immediate future to rip off all the colour! (knock on wood it stays that way)

  4. Sioux, As a selfish student It never occurred to me that teachers might
    enjoy snow days, too. If I were truly ready for winter I would have fattened up and gotten my nest ready for about a 5 month nap.

    Tom, Yes, that is the hope, but we'll see how it is working in the spring. It adds about a month on either end of the growing season.

    jenny_o, I hope so, too, as I don't know how much energy and strength I will have down the road. I know for sure it will be less than what I have now. If only I had a clearer picture of that 40 years ago. A harsh autumn wind can make a huge difference in a hurry.

  5. You did an amazing job. Loud cheers from here. Not surprised you are a tad tired. I think I would be bed bound.
    I hope your winter is gentle. And look forward (when I am a sad and soggy sweaty mess) to seeing some cooling images.

  6. I would love to pet dakota and give him a carrot or two.

  7. Liking your shed, even before you got the patio door. I thought about doing something similar on the garage and then realized it would cut the light from the only window there. I suppose it won't be long and the snow will fly there.

  8. I would have NO IDEA how to live in the snow. The first year for me would be a real education. Sorry you had to rebuild that shed.

  9. I got tired from merely reading about your pole shed renovation. But it looks beautiful and brand new now, well worth my (I mean your and your pals') efforts.

    Dakota is so gorgeous. Glad you have her around these days.

    Keep a smile, friend.

  10. Winter happens every year? Who thought up that dumb system?

  11. I've always wanted a greenhouse, never had one. And now I have moved into a 55+ community, no room for one. The patio door will work much better than all those poky old windows. A job well done!
    Yep the snow will fly soon, but so far it's been 20C-24C here in my part of S Ontario, with only a very slight frost a few days ago. Sort of like spring, definitely shirtsleeve weather. In fact I saw people wearing shorts of the golf course today.... not usual at the end of October. A bit worrying really.
    Could it be Trump's doing?

  12. I like your old greenhouse but the new one is wonderful. Now you will be really able to grow more.
    A good job done by you and your friends.
    Fall tried to come several times but summer keeps coming back. So your friends in Arizona will be very happy.
    At lest we have out cool mornings. It was 57 when I got up at 6:30 but it is 95 now !
    Dakota is beautiful and I would love to visit her with a carrot and apple and take some photos.

    cheers, parsnip

  13. "Every expense was spared" - LOL! Sounds like our latest woodshed project. Your new setup looks great, though! We were thinking of doing something similar for a cold frame/greenhouse - those old glass patio doors don't conform to the new building code anymore, so they're a dime a dozen out here. Now that you've inspired us, maybe we'll get off our duffs and do something about it. Or maybe not... ;-)

  14. Elephant's Child, When I look at your blog over the coming months I will warm right up with the heat and bright colors.

    anne marie, I will give him some and tell him they are from you.

    Sharon Q, It is all usable space and comes in handy when you don't want things strewn around the yard. I think I felt snow this morning when I was feeding the horses. It was dark. There are flurries predicted for the next few days.

    Silver Willow, It is best to laugh in the face of winter and go out and play in it. All the while one should keep it in the back of their mind that it can kill if one isn't careful.

    Robyn, I have noticed in the past few years that physical effort, not to mention mental effort, tires me out much sooner than it used to. I hope that isn't a sign of something. :)

    Debra, Yeah, whose idea was this? "Think I'll go out to Alberta, weather's good there in the fall..."

    Shammickite, Maybe you could start up a community greenhouse that would work cooperatively like a community garden. Wouldn't that be fun? Unfortunately for us there will be a lot of things tRump can and will be blamed for. I am sure he will deny responsibility for everything no matter what.

    angryparsnip, The good thing is that the greenhouse actually works quite well. I don't think we'll see 57 degrees until spring. Except indoors, of course. What is really fun is to step outside into a hundred degree difference on a cold winter day.

    Diane, Recycle, cheap, and salvage is the name of the game for some projects. I never thought of going across the border for salvage, but since Canada has stricter building codes than we do down here it makes sense. Many of my neighbors to the north, especially in rural Thunder Bay, seem to do quite well with"previously owned" building materials.

  15. Great picture of your shed in the snow. The new doors look snazzy and Dakota is beautiful.

    I love to watch fall and winter come to my blogging friends. None of that stuff here in the high, drought ridden, desert.

  16. there is a satisfaction when you do it yourself with what is on hand.
    the Ol'Buzzard

  17. Nice work. "It ain't pretty, but its functional" would be a great slogan to put on a T-shirt.

  18. Linda, We looked at moving to a place that was drier (Colorado) where people talk about water like we talk about the weather. I realized that enough grass to graze was a luxury even though the climate was generally nicer.

    Ol'Buzzard, It can be a challenge to do things on the cheap and certainly more labor intensive, but it is satisfying when it works.

    Agi Tater, I am afraid of what part of me they might think I was referring to. My (alleged) mind works that way.

  19. wow that's a lot of work..and ooooh I love the horse

  20. I'm tired just reading about all the work you did! I've never had a garden, but my parents always had a greenhouse-like structure in their vegetable garden, made of old windows.

    I'm very excited about fall here. We had the windows open the other night! Of course it got warm enough for AC the next day again...

  21. That horse is more photogenic than most women I know.

    I'm envious of your greenhouse. Give me functionality over appearance any day, and it still has to feel more satisfying having built it/repaired it yourself than just slapping down one of those generic, overpriced pre-fabbed units.

  22. JACKIESUE, Luckily can still do it for short bursts.

    Pixel Peeper, I am surprised how relatively easy it is to find certain types of "previously owned" building materials. Glad things are cooling down for you.

    ABFTS, He is a handsome devil, isn't he? Most things are overpriced. It is especially hard on those of us, like yourself, that are just born smart and good-looking instead of rich.

  23. It looks like you're on your way to being ready for winter...


  24. A beautiful meditation on Winter coming. Love the horse

  25. Roth, Thanks for stopping by. I am usually completely ready by spring.'

    Cloudia, Do you get much in the way of seasonal changes?