Wednesday, May 30, 2012


I don't even have a picture for today.  I left the house at 5:30 to make it to work by 7am.  Just before getting there the rain from Tropical Storm Beryl had started.  There was TORRENTIAL rain all day with some tornadoes wiping out some houses.  When I left work at 7:30pm the sky was clearing and the rain was gone.  I guess I lucked out not having to drive through any of it.  There was water, water everywhere though.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Tropical storm Beryl is supposed to slide up the coast and will be impacting us tonight and tomorrow.  The boaters were all securing their boats today.  I'm sure the torrential rains will probably be at their worst for my hour drive to work in the morning.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day Crash

My stepdaughter ran a red light this afternoon and got broadsided by another car.  Thankfully nobody was hurt but I'm sure her car was totalled as it was a mess.  I didn't get a picture until all the cars had been towed.  This was the last thing left on the roadside.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

First Harvest

My veggies planted in the Earth Boxes are starting to come in.  Everything is growing like mad and there are probably 20 squash almost ready to pick in just one of the two squash boxes.  In the first pic I have two boxes of squash on the left, 2 boxes of tomatoes in the back in front of the windows, then bell and hot peppers and green beans on the right.  Just out of the pic to the left up on the porch are onions and multiple herbs.  The tomato plants are full of little green tomatoes,  pepper plants full of peppers and of course the squash which are going crazy.  Only the green beans haven't starting producing fruit yet.  The second pic is my first little harvest of three squash and a couple of jalapeno peppers.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Ocean Moisture

Just a shot this afternoon of moisture laden clouds rolling in off of the ocean ahead of tropical storm Beryl.  It's actually moving towards northern Florida today but is supposed to swing up this way in a couple of days so the rain will be picking up.  This picture is actually a bit of a cheat as I was playing with the Dynamic Tone setting on my Olympus OM-D which creates some wild contrast extremes.  The bottom of the clouds were not that dark.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Reduced Visibility

I had this heavy fog to contend with on the entire 55 mile drive to work today.  Needless to say it slowed everybody down so I was almost, but not quite, late to work.  Thankfully I left the house about 15 minutes early.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Monday, May 21, 2012

Which Way Should We Go

First Tropical Storm Alberto was forecast to hit here.  Then it wasn't.  Then they said maybe.  Now it looks like it will move off into the Atlantic.  I was kind of looking forward to it as the rain is good this time of year.  Today was my first day of 14 days of orientation at my new job in a regional hospital 50 miles down the road.  Seems like a great place with good management so we will see.   It will be nice to have some cash flowing in again:o)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Not My Favorite Place to Spend the Night

I spent a good part of last night in the emergency room with my stepson.  He started moaning at the house then continuously throwing up.  When he started saying "Oh God, Oh God, get me to the emergency room and drive as fast as you can"  I figured it was time to go as it is a long 30 minute drive to the hospital.  It turned out to be a kidney stone which we knew as he had one the year before last.  They pumped him up with IV Dilaudid and some other stuff then sent him home with more pain meds to wait for the stone to pass.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Calm Before the Storm?

We just finished 3 days of rain caused by a little area of low pressure that just sat off of the NC coast.  Today it moved south and we had beautiful weather.  I spent some time this afternoon just sitting and pondering life while looking out over the Neuse River in Oriental, NC.  Now that area of low pressure has intensified into Tropical Storm Alberto and is supposed to drift back this way over the next 3 days.  This is the earliest in the year that I can ever remember having a tropical storm out here.  I guess it will be back to rain and wind for the first part of the week. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Nothing but Rain

It has rained constantly for two days now.  Wave after wave of thunderstorms rolling in off of the ocean has kept outdoor work to a minimum.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Eggs and Veggies

I installed a small solar panel on the chicken coop roof today.  It charges a battery in the orange box.  At sunset it automatically turns on an LED light in the coop, energizes the electric fence around their coop and their outdoor area and turns on a baby monitor inside the coop which I can listen to from inside the house.  My veggies are doing great.  Tomatoes are starting to form.  Bell peppers are budding and the squash plants are getting huge.  The last pic is of baby squashes starting to form.  There are also green beans and onions along with multiple herbs in the mix.

Monday, May 14, 2012


It's nothing but projects around here.  After finishing the chicken coop and run I have moved to the inside.   I have started work on hurricane flood damaged floors which have dried without warping but which grew a funk on the surface.  Throw rugs have been down since removing the carpet after the flood.  I managed to scrub, lightly sand then wax the floors throughout most of the house this weekend.  Molding replacement and painting is next on the agenda.   I start a new job next week so I am trying to get as much accomplished as possible before then. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Flew the Coop

This is my last chicken post for a while.  Today I officially opened the coop into the new run.  The chickens just stood at the door looking out for about 15 minutes until one finally got the courage to hop out.  Once one jumped down the rest came piling out.  They loved it out there and when it started to get dark they all piled back into the coop.  Tomorrow I put a solar panel on their roof to power a light and an electric poultry fence which I will be putting completely around the coop and run then extending out into the yard.  This will give them extra room to roam around when I am here to watch plus it will create another layer of defense against predators.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Finally Finished

I finally finished my chicken run.  You can't see it in the picture but the sides are all heavy wire screen (hardware cloth) to keep the chickens in and the predators out.  I will be letting the chickens out tomorrow.  I still have about 1,000 pounds of sand to put inside the run but that's no biggie.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Chicken Run

All I have been doing for several days now is building the chicken run off the side of the chicken coop (garden shed).  I am almost done.  All I have to do is finish putting the screen on the front then extend the bottom below ground level all the way around.  A lot of time and money for a bunch of chickens but I am enjoying it and I am sure they will too. 

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Olympus OM-D

Well, I finally received my Olympus OM-D which I pre-ordered back in early February.  I have been so busy building a chicken run the last few days that I haven't even had a chance to give the new camera a real day out.  My preliminary assessment is that this is a gem of a camera.  Using it a bit around the house shows that the image stabilization is the finest that I have ever used.  The stabilized image in the viewfinder just seems to float.  Image detail at 100% is superb.  The camera is solid and substantial.   All control dials and buttons are solid and decisive.  There is nothing so far that I don't like.  This really is the Micro 4/3 camera that I have been waiting for.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Making Bread

Just whipping out a couple of loaves for the week.  I have gotten to where I love doing this.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Chicken Coop

Today I worked on converting the shed to a chicken coop.  I cut a chicken door low down on the side and five windows for ventilation up high on the ends.  Cheap vinyl flooring is on the inside to help with cleanup.  Tomorrow I finish up the vinyl, build some roosts inside, put wire screen over all the ventilation windows and attach hinges to all the cut out pieces so everything can be closed up if need be.  I also have some hurricane damage to fix which is that corner of the roof without shingles and some other broken pieces.  The chicken door will open out into a 15 foot long screened and roofed run which I will be building next.  For now I just need to at least get these chickens into the coop as they are getting overcrowded inside in their tubs.  I think the transfer will happen on Thursday.