madshutterbug (madshutterbug) wrote,

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Sky Grumblers

Yesterday on Teh Ranch

Day started off much like the others on this Stay Home From Hospital stretch; up not terribly early nor late, coffee at a civilised pace, some browsing, some tube with Herself. Then out to feed the Ranch and start the chores.

The weather forecast for the day stood at a 30% chance of rain with thunderstorms in the afternoon. This meant we needed to get the refrigerator and freezer which Herself brought home from Horse Arena off the trailer and under cover. I'd started the project Tuesday by clearing some shelves on the back porch of Studio 318 which we'd been threatening to clear for a while, anyway. The back porch isn't huge, isn't small, and is the second structure I built back in the day when we first moved onto the Ranch. Lots of lessons there.

So, lessons first. The original structure (still there) is 14'/4.25 m wide by 30'/ 9 m long. 10'/3 m by 20'/6 m are enclosed & roofed over, though enclosed is more of a relative term than otherwise. Once upon a time we used this quite extensively, including the 10 x 14 section that is open to entertain, sit and relax, and such. The laundry area, washer and dryer, are on this porch and use the power from Studio's breaker box. Used to use the water from Studio as well, bit of a re-route of the original plumbing. As I've mentioned before, age and the '04 hurricane season put paid to the plumbing in Studio. So we've been servicing the washer with a hose connection from the yard and a nearby bib.

Along with the laundry, there are two large chest freezers, and a couple of ceramic kilns (latter not currently powered) up on the porch under cover. There'd been a good amount of 'stuff' left outside from one or the other of the three tenants we rented 318 out to over time. Now, three is also a relative term, as is rented. Tenant #1 was Herself's youngest brother, who actually spent little time there for various reasons. Tenant #2 & 3 were both acquaintances/friends and both of them had room-mates/house-mates for a portion of their residency. So upwards of six people or so are involved in leaving 'stuff' behind here.

Last year I cleared off the stuff on the outside uncovered portion and said to myself, O Mai. The decking for this porch is 2x8 dimensional pressure-treated lumber, hence weather and insect resistant. As I mentioned, second structure I built out here, so built in late '88 earliest, more likely early '89. Either way it is now 22 years old and the portion of the planking that's been 'outside' is showing its age.

There is a walkway along the outer edge of the enclosed portion, which likewise mostly served as out doors storage for a major part of those 22 years. About 30-40 feet (12 m) away is a gorgeous, treasured old twin live oak. Twenty-two years of leaf shedding every spring, sometimes allowed to accumulate and stand (because no one walked the walk way) contributed to the current status, even on the open deck portion. At any rate, and sometime relatively soon, I'll need 15 boards to replace the ones over the open deck area. I'm planning on simply cutting off the walkway, not replacing that. The roof doesn't extend the full 14' width, you see, so roof run-off rainwater and leaf accumulation and such...

Lessons learned. Cover the entire deck, and clear off organic matter regularly, to maintain. The planks inside the covered portion are in very, very good condition.

About 50% of the stuff on the shelves went into the trash. This meant that 50% did not. Of that portion about 20% constitutes storage bins which may be re-used inside Studio 318 to help with organising the many things needed in a photography studio. The remainder either went out to the garden as being garden applicable or are cleaning supplies or other, and moved to appropriate locations as well. Half the inside (ceiling) roof and structure got hoovered seriously to remove cobwebs and other cocoon and egg sack such things. Obviously this means the other half still needs that done. On the other hand, we were watching the sky getting overcast, then darker, and once happy that half the zone is truly cleared, moved the refrigerator and freezer onto the deck and under the porch roof.

Before the rain started.

Still need to re-mount the doors of the refrigerator. That's on for today. Eventually I'll need to extend the electrical wiring that exists here, but for the near term a very heavy duty and short extension cord will suffice to provide power to these units. Since I'll need to go get that extension cord (probably going to investigate a heavy-duty surge protector type) I'll also check the mail. We use a Post Awful Box here on the Ranch, since a mailbox on the road is ... a goodly distance from the house. When both of us worked off-site we didn't want to leave anything out on the road post delivery until we got home to check mail. Post Awful Box made more sense.

That may change in the next few months as well.

Anyway, then the rain started, including thunder which always gets Houdini stirred up. I've told the story elsewhere (from his point of view) and it boils down to he is convinced the Evil Sky Grumblers are jealous of his fine fluffy Border Collie tail, and are trying to take it away from him. He does much better indoors during thunderstorms, and Herself says he does much better even then when I am home and with him. Don't know why that should be so --

We received about a half-inch / 1.25 cm of rain. Short ways to the north and south of us here (as in easy short drive of 5-10 minutes) they got hailed upon. Not here. So Herself's garden did well with the additional watering.

Right. Worked on proofs from one of the photo sessions last week, nearly ready to burn that disk for delivery, and starting on the second session today, later, when once again the weather forecast calls for rain. With Sky Grumblers. And a Houdini to crawl under the desk by my feet.

This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.
Tags: life the universe and everything, photography, ranch

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