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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Maintenance for Griffin Hill Farm

This article is intended for the use of Count Ferrari and those who might need to do work around his home.

It is intended to be a journal for home ownership.  Readers can skip this article unless they want to see how much one has to do to keep up appearances!

 Started January of 2012.

Roofing notes:
House:  1989 (new construction, Super Good Sense home from the PUD) with 30 year roofing
2019 Re roofed with compostition, 40 year with zinc treatment, extra thick ridge cap, $18,000

Barn:  Built 1984 with shakes, re-roofed with 40 year comp. in 2001

Carport/Shop:  Built in 1977 with steel, re-roofed in 2011 with sealing roll and three tab over new OSB sheeting.

Garage:  Built in 1992, re-roofed with 30 year comp. in 2012 ($7200, included plywood sheeting)

Big Pump House:  Original shake roof in 1977, re roofed in 2019 with comp and thick ridge cap

Little Pump House:  Original shake roof in 1978, re roofed in 2019 with comp and thick ridge cap.

Roof maintenance:


April of 2018:  Had Jose come in with his high pressure air device to have all the roofs cleaned off and moss kill applied.  3 year warrantee.
May, 2018:  Installed "Gutter Stuff" in all gutters, from Walmart (least expensive source), Removed it from the house in 2019.  Have to clear out downspouts now.

September, 2018:  Blew off the carport and shop roof with leaf blower.  Then used high pressure water to clean off moss in April of 2019.
August, 2021.  Used Stihl leaf blower to clear off the roof, no rain had been on it.

October, 2018:  Swept off the top of the Gutter Stuff.  Covered in needles.
2014:  Roof of carport blown off and Moss Kill sprinkled Jan 24

Swept and blew it off in July 2021

Paint note:

Entire estate painted by Rick Tesarik in June of 2012 for $9800.


First a dug well, 25' deep x 36" dia.  Not enough flow for everything in the fall.
Had a jet pump but took it out.  Need to work on foot valve and manual pump for emergency water.

Second well, 130' deep with standard 6" steel pipe.  Started with a 220v 1/2 hp submersible pump.  That was replaced in 2008 by Brown's Plumbing and Wells with a 3/4 hp, steel pipe replaced with PVC to pump.

Pressure tank:  2008 20 gallon failed in 2019, replaced with 44 gallon with interior bag instead of bladder which touched the outside wall.  Troy with Brown's Plumbing.

Pressure switch and Control box replaced in 2019.  Burned out due to bad tank.


July 2021, transfer station with horse trailer, 8 cans, $20
April, 2020:  The transfer station would not take recycle items.  Had to take in all to be dumped.
September 2019:  Took in 10 cans and only used 200 of the 360 minimum.  Plastic was compacted as well as I could make it.  Need another can.  Been getting the Brute plastic cans when on sale.  (expensive).
September, 2018, took in 10 cans and a bunch of other stuff.  Lori cleaning shop.... $40 (twice the usual price which is $20 for 300 lbs.)  Filled the horse trailer and some in the back of the Burb.
Had to toss out two galvanized cans with rotted bottoms and bought two new 44 gallon Brute plastic waste bins.
Note:  The plastic can no longer be taken in for recycle at Fiber International.  China will not take it.
August 2017 took in 8 cans to transfer station.
May 23, 2016 took 8 cans to transfer station
May 24, 2016 took in recycle plastic to Fiber International at Payne Field.
May 29, 2015:  Took 8 cans to transfer station
May 10, 2015  Took plastic to Payne Field location for recycle
May  12. 2015  Took aluminum, paper, and glass to transfer station recycle.

Feb 2nd, 2012:  Wastestream:  Went to transfer station using horse trailer and Burb.

March 14, 2013:  Wastestream:  Went to transfer station using H. trailer and Burb.

Compost taken out to composter.
Repaired extension cord.

March 21, 2014:  Wastestream.  Went to transfer station with H trailer, burb and 8 cans plus stuff.  $20 (they take Visa now)

Burnables:  Burn in front pasture 1-28-12 and whenever to present.
Plastic:  Take to Diversified Industries in Everett on 1-13-12
Compost:  Taken out to composter (black plastic) on 1-20-12
Glass, cans, aluminum, paper taken to transfer station, no charge 1-18-17
Plastic:  Taken to Fiber International near Paine Field, no charge 1-20-17
Plastic:  No where to take it since Fiber International is now refusing to take it.


Trench for Dish TV satellite cable.

Prune new growth off fruit trees in orchard.  1-01-12 through 1-30-12
Picked up trimmings and put in burn pile in front pasture.

2014:  Orchard is pruned, both apple and plum orchards.  Not much fruit from 2013, hardly worth the effort, maybe 20 apples, 0 cherries, 20 pears, 20 plums...

2017:  Pruned most of it in January.  Marginal return on fruit for 2016.  Similar numbers from 2013 but quite a few plums.  3 varieties and spaced apart to be consumed as they ripened.
10 x 12' tarp is about right.  Never let the
tree get higher than easy reach from
your ladder!  This is a 12' Orchard

The King Apple tree is about 50% of my pruning each year!

Driveway Caseron application:  Jan. 28, 2014 with the 4% product only where growth was green in driveway.

2014:  Orchard  is vacuumed by lawn mower in the dry weather we are having!  Driest ever noted by us living here  in the winter.  Jan 15

Wind dropped forest products 2012: 

Picked up and put in pile in the front pasture.
There was a lot of limb droppage after this.

Snow removal:

12" on the patio required shoveling the sidewalks and paths to barn and garage from 1-15 through 1-22-12 this year.

Down to 10" after a night of compression

Gen set:

Ran for two days and had to buy fresh fuel.  Used less than a gallon an hour.
1/03/2014:  Ran for 10 minutes ( run every odd month for 10 min).  Normal maintenance.


1st, 2014:
Started in on my pogrom to delete the popweed on the estate.  I sprayed about 1/2 gallon of Roundup on it where ever I found the leaves.  It is starting to grow, even in the cold and dry weather we have been having.  One cannot allow it to pop off with all those spores!
2nd, 2014:
Changed the air filter in the furnace/heatpump unit.  Every 3 months in the winter seems good, 6 months in the summer.

4th: (2012)
Chainsawed downed limbs to get firewood rounds.  2 tanks worth. Harvested 5 tractor loads of limb rounds this season.
Dedicated 'fire space' next to pond.

Hawkeye and Waffle came by for a round of disc and then assisted in 5-6 tractor loads of brush to the fire.
Spread one 50lb bag of Ferrous Sulphate on orchard lawn.
Brought up huge tarp load of evergreen limbs and tore tarp due to too much weight on it as it slid along behind the tractor.  Equal to ~6 tractor loads.
Tractor pulling tarp with limbs after taking 2-3 loads off.

Feb 7 (2013)

Pruning the Orchard:

Pretty much planted between 1978 and 1989:

Fruit production:
September, 2018:  For some reason we finally got some apples and twice the number of pears and plums as usual.  No cherries.  The King Apple tree is doing very well this season (normally has been empty for the past 5? years) as did the Golden delicious (horse apples only and they come every year).

orchard report:  

Apples:  1 King apple (big tree, 44 years old, fruit about every 4 years), 1 Gravenstein (medium size, 38 years old, 3-8 apples a year), 1 yellow delicious (lots of fruit each year but all to horses as I think this is not a good apple, too soft)

Cherry:  Bing but I maybe get 3 cherries a year off of it.  Birds and squirrels get the rest, not that there has been much.  (40 years old and severely edited this year with a chainsaw)

Pear:  One Bartlett (42 years old, fruit each year and a good bit of it), Two D'anjou (one has been edited by a horse to a stalk mostly and the other produces pears each year)  Both are dwarf

Thunder plum:  (35 years old, purple leaves, some small fruit but not often.)

Sorensen Plum:  Two of them, (40 years old now) grafted from my parent's plum tree in Kirkland to a yellow plum stock, done by Lori's father.  The mother tree was taken out so these are the only survivors.  Good large plums (maybe 3 dozen each per year?)

Italian Plum:  One of them and finally giving out fruit (40 years old), maybe 3 dozen plums a year

Yellow Plum: Sucker that grew up near the grafted plum.  Now there are 2 of them and these plums are very good.  4 dozen a year each?

Walnut trees:  one Carpathian, one English walnut, and one Black walnut.  Maybe 6 fruit in the last 35 years....????

That is the extent of the orchard.   Mostly kept for resale value on the estate.

Lots of Bartlett pears for the horse, not too many D'an jou.

D'anju pear planted 1978, dwarf

Golden Delicious Apple Planted 1978, drawf

King Apple, planted 1978

D'anju Pear planted 1978, dwarf

Bartlett Pear, planted 1978

Queen Anne Cherry, from Butch Bowman, transplanted
to GH in 1983

Gravenstiein Apple, from John Papajani, planted in 1980

All the limbs cut off in 2013 waiting for a burn.

Flowering Thunder plum planted in 1982
Hedge Trimming ( this format Started 2015)
NEVER PLANT a laurel hedge!

2021:  Trimmed this stupid hedge 3xs after it got about 3" of growth.  Less to haul off.  One cart per session.

August 14, 2020
Just disgusted with the damn hedge.  Doing it again.  Three cart loads of trimmings will indicate the growth.

May 12, 2020:  Small growth.  One cart load of trimmings.

September 27, 2018:

Trimmed hedge in about 4-5 hours.  Only 4 cart loads of leaves.  Two days worth of work and that drained me each day!  Only 3" tall on top with some sprouts going 12"

May 22, 2018

Trimming hedge and hating it.  About 12" tall on top.

May 18, 2016

Note:  Tarp to catch trimmings, cart to sweep most trimming into and used to stand on.
Done in one day this year in 4 hours complete with cleanup.  6 cart loads and tarp settings.

The new growth was about a foot high!

This trimming is being done July 5, 2015.  Longest
growth is about 12" on top of the hedge.  Too darn hot!
So far it is two days of morning cutting and then quit.
One more day should do it.
We could set an all time heat wave of 6 days over 90 today.
Last trimmed in October of 2014.

October 5, 2014
Pruned laurel hedge (40') It was only two garden way cart fulls of leaves.

June 9 2014: Pruning Laurel Hedge:

Pruning laurel hedge for the first time since November...  It took about 4.5 hours of toil in perfect dappled sun.  Let us hope this timing works for doing this deed only twice a year.  June 9 this yea

Laurel hedge looking good in Feb, 2013 from November
pruning.  A good time to do it.
Pruning the laurel hedge.  DO NOT plant laurel! Taken 2012

8th:  Pruning:
Started pruning laurel hedge (short growth at this point, so the thought is hit and less clean up).  Trimmer totaled for some unknown reason so halfway for now.

June 22nd (2012) Trimmed hedge behind back porch
Note:  Garden cart to capture leaves, with canvas tarp to make
clean UP easier.
Showing 20" B&D trimmer and the new growth since Feb.

Zephyr is wondering WTH?
Pruned the laurel hedge November 19, 2012.  This is when to knock it off.  Still good in March!

Fire wood:

2018 burn supply is in.  Maybe 6 cords in?  3 cords from a hemlock dropped in the front pasture by the power company for me.  (Drop and Leave, D/L on the tree).  The rest came from Devil's Mountain in the form of 3 trailer loads.

2015 Fire wood gathering:

One uses about 3-4 cords of firewood a year since 1989.

Cleaned off BBQ

Annual cleaning of BBQ

10th:  Wastestream:
Took a load of recycle to county recycle site.
Repaired fence where Zephyr knocked down a board.

12th:  Pruning
a. Pruned plum orchard for first time in 3 years.  Lots of scraggle.  5 trees, all smaller, two Sorensen plums, an Italian prune, and two yellow plums.  3 cart loads of limbs.
b. Sprayed Wet and Forget moss kill on North end of roof after replacing a bulb in the eve outside.  Sprayed front walk cement too.  Must monitor to see if it worked.
c.  Compost taken out to composter.
d.  Light Bulb replaced on eve end on north side of house.  Used 28' ladder for access.
Picked up new hedge trimmer.  B&D 20" electric corded.
Picked up 3 cartloads of hemlock/fir needles and cones from normal winter tree sluffing.  Raked UP by the Countess on the 13th.  She is good with a rake!

16th:  Spread out 250 lbs of Ferrous Sulphate, moss kill, on Pond Pasture by walk behind spreader.  UGH!
18th:  Finished pruning the hedge on the top and inside faces.  Clipped the electric cord with the new trimmer and need to add a new female end.

UP graded the 10 hole disc golf signage by adding white translucent acrylic to the background. (2012)

3rd:  Pruned the 'Screw Tree' Holly tree in the turnaround.
5th:  Put out 6 bags of Ferrous Sulphate on the front pasture.  Not enough to cover.
8th:  Hauled two carts of firewood over to the porch.  Warm weather wanted!
9th:  Vacuumed UP the leaves, fir cones and little branches while it was dry out.  One pass = a full hopper in the Honda mower.

March 15, 2013:  Put out a jug of broadleaf spray on riding arena garden and other garden areas.

March 16, 2013:   Spread moss kill on swamp pasture and orchard.  (5 @ 50lb bags of Ferrous Sulphate from Wilbur Ellis $26 a bag.  Spread with red walkbehind broadcast spreader

March 17, 2013:  GHEDI fire but it didn't burn all the way.
18th  (2012) Burned a big pile slowly at the GHEDI.  The GHEDI was a success.  See other blog article for 2012 GHEDI.
24th  Put out Casaron on driveway
March 25, 2013:  Roof Maintenance:  Blew off carport roof..

March 25, 2014:  Harrowed back pasture 3xs, seeded with Horse Forage Max, harrowed again, rollered with lawn roller.
seed for pasture (2 bags for this job.  Just did it.)
$50/ bag

rented 18" dia x 48' roller

Harrow 4' x 7.5'

Just after rolling.  63F out and perfect weather for it.

March 30-April 2, 2016

Spent the last few days being a farmer.  Holy shit....  Who knew driving a tractor for a solid 3 hours straight would beat you half to death?

Started with a round of broadleaf spray on the pastures and lawn with the tow-behind sprayer.  Then filled in holes with dirt on back pasture.

Harrowed with the 4' chain harrow, fertilized (820lbs), limed (4,000lbs), next seed the bald spots, then cover the seed with a bit of dirt layer, then roll it, then put out the sprinkler and watch it grow too fast for the beasts to eat so I will have to mow maybe???  At least it earns me some kitchen passes.

(blog started in 2012)

Pumpkin planting:

2021:  planted 4 sets of Jack o Lantern and one of pie pumpkin with lots of volunteers (20ish).  The volunteers are not real productive.  Tough year for pumpkins.  Maybe not enough water?

2020:  Planted 4 Jack O Lantern sets (12 Plants) and two sets of pie pumpkins.  One volunteer showed up on May 17.  Maybe more coming?

2018:  Planted 6 plant groups on pond edge in horse manure soil 4 years old or so.  Mistakenly got a bit of broadleaf spray on them so planted 6 more groupings.  They ALL grew well and produced about 19 pumpkins for the pumpkin carving dinner potluck held each October.

Tried a couple of pumpkin groups in the raised beds by the house.  Not too much production in this location.

2015:  Pumpkin starts were not forth coming this season with only 3/12 seeds sprouting. .  5 volunteers from giant pumpkins.

May of 2015:  Purchased are 'Jack o Lantern'.   Purchased 12 starts with 3 in each and these are all growing well.  MUCH better results with plant starts vs germination plants.

2014, April 6, planted pumpkin seeds in pots and kept them in the guest bath for germination.  Got 34 pumpkins of all sizes but only from the Giant seeds.

PUMPKIN GERMINATION (for 2015 and beyond)

Here are my recommended step by step instructions to maximize seed germination:
  1. File the edges of the seed lightly with a nail file or a piece of sandpaper. File all edges except the pointed end. This  step allows moisture reach the seed easier. Most importantly, filing your seeds makes it easier for the leaves to emerge from the shell without damage. The shell of giant pumpkin seeds are very thick, and the leaves sometimes have difficulty splitting open the shell. To avoid pinched or damaged primary leaves, we recommend filing the edges of the seeds for all giant pumpkins. As a matter of fact, it will aid germination and seedling emergence for hard shelled pumpkin seeds, or other seeds.
  2. Soak the seeds in warm (not hot) water for an hour or two. Some growers soak them for several hours.
  3. Fill six inch peat pots with soil. Use a Seed Starter mix if you are new at growing pumpkins. Experienced growers often make their own starter mix, adding a number of other things. I add a little ash from the fireplace and some compost. Add the compost in the bottom inch or two of the pot, and make sure it is clean of insects.
  4. Plant the seed in the pot, 1"-2" deep.
  5. Place the seed on it's side, or with the pointed end down.
  6. Water thoroughly.
  7. Provide bottom warmth to the seeds. Experienced growers use a germination mat, which improves germination rates, and shortens the time to germination. Once the plant has sprouted, stop the bottom heat, as it can harm the roots.
  8. Now the wait begins! In four to six days the seedling will emerge from the soil. Emerge is a misnomer. Healthy plants all but explode from the soil, growing at a fast pace even as a seedling.
  9. Note that the total time may vary, but it is usually a week to ten days. If they have not sprouted after ten days, start a second planting.
TIP: Coating the seeds with a fungicide offers protection against mold and fungus growth.

Pasture Maintenance:

2021:  The Shredder took out the purple succulent this year, done in the spring.  
2020:  Switched to Shredder 2-4-D.  two rounds in the front pasture with average result.  The back pasture, having been eaten to nearly the ground got one application and it is working well.

2018:  Flattened mud hole back pasture after rains softened it up.  Threw out some seed and it took where the mud was soft and was re rolled over.

Sprayed Pasture Pro on all the front pastures.  Not particularly effective.  Tried MCPA with Class Act binder.  Good results

2017: Sprayed broadleaf spray (Pasture Pro) in front pasture, orchard, and lawn. March 2017.

Back Pasture reclamation 2017:

Harrow, plant seed, roll to flatten, fertilize.  Echo tractor assault on the old body again, same as 2016.  Harrow with chain harrow is 3 hours on tractor, rolling is 2+ hours with mower pulling the water filled 48" roller.

Seeding is pushing the broadcast spreader about, putting out $200 in seed (two 20 lb bags ~, put 5 lbs of shade grass seed by fence).  I put out one 50lb bag of fertilizer with the broadcast spreader.

This preparation took about 10 days to sprout the seed.  The horses will be off the pasture for over two months at least.  We tried keeping them on  this pasture for the winter and they chewed it up pretty well.

It has been very wet this season (2017), maybe the wettest October to March ever, so no big fertilizer spread yet.

2015: April:  Put out broadleaf spray (Pasture Pro) which did a good job on all but the Henbit plant.  Spread 750lbs of fertilizer as previously done.
Spread 1000lbs/acre (2,000 lbs total) of agricultural pelletized lime for the first time. WHAT a difference!  The moss is melting away!  Same spreader from Wilbur Ellis.  Did the pastures 4 and 5 with the Suburban pulling the spreader.  Then used the tractor for the front 3 pastures as the load was diminished.

2014, April 9, put out 15 gallons of broadleaf spray on pastures trying to eradicate the 'popweed' from the estate.
2014, April 14, put out 780 lbs of pasture fertilizer as pictured below.  All was dry and it went smoothly.  Picked up the spreader with fertilizer from Wilbur-Ellis outside of Burlington at a cost of $315.  Picked it up at 9:30, towed it home with the Suburban, spread it by 12:30, had to wait for the truck to get home from a horse lesson and then took the spreader back by 4:30 PM.

4th:   Put out a jug of Brash from Cenex for broadleaf on front pasture
17.5 hp Kubota and fertilizer spreader with it's own motor
for broadcasting the product.
10th:  Spread 1200 lbs of fertilizer using the Wilbur Ellis product and spreader.  Rented the spreader with the product fully in to start.  Hauled it home, hooked UP the tractor and towed it about the front and back pasture with a loop or two in the orchard.  (2012)

2013:  April 10 (?) Spread 750 lbs of fertilizer  from Wilbur Ellis  again with same spreader.  Easier to do as it was dry enough.  Can be done in the rain if needed, but it should be un muddy.

Pasture management:
Spread Ferrous Sulphate on lower back pasture.  5 bags @50lbs

2014:  Spread 750 lbs of 21-7-14 fertilizer from Wilbur Ellis again.  Same routine and it worked perfectly!

2015:  Spread same amount of fertilizer (same type) as 2014 (April 6, and 18).  Also spread 2 tons of granulated agricultural lime.  This fall it has been recommended to spread 500 lbs of lime/per acre and then spread a combo of lime and fertilizer in the spring.

2016:  Got out early on the land, due to dry conditions  See above at the end of March.

Also seeded the bare spots and leveled the holes, filling with my own topsoil composted from clippings and horse manure and sand.  Leveled, seeded, and rolled.  I harrowed first.  (good idea)

12th:  (2012) Traded in 2000 Lexus  LS 400 plus $9k for a 2001 S-500 Mercedes.  Nice car!
Sparky and Chyna approve but do not get to ride!
Name of the new car is the Uboat.


Mercedes S-500  (2001 model) Purchased in 2012
Traded in 2000 LS 400 plus $9000

Infiniti G-35 Coupe, bought new in 2004 for $39k.  Great car.  Girl loves it!

Lexus: (Gone as of 2012)

Oil (synthetic) changed (148k), transmission solenoid replaced, headlight replaced (port), fog light replaced bulb (star) 1-15-12


Chains purchased for skiing
2013: Brakes Tires,
2014:  Oil leak on valve covers and oil sender, door lock actuators, differential fluids changed, tune up with plugs and wires ($2500)

The Countess driving the tractor trying to get some grass
growing for her horses.

15th:  Used tractor to fill in holes in pasture, mostly the orchard and back pasture that have mole sink holes from the horses pushing the dirt down.  Used top soil from front pile of composted horse manure and shavings.
17th:  Seeded using Pasture Max grass seed.  Touched UP using Weed B Gone gallon sprayer on pop weed.  The seeding without dirt on top of it is wasted.  NOTE:  Add dirt over seed next time.

(blog started in 2012)


2021: tried sugar snap peas.  Need to be planted every two weeks or so.  Pole beans must not be let to go too long on the vine.

Planted 2 Early Girl tomato from Cenex, 4@ sweet 100s from Mark's I-5 garden store, 6 cukes, (bush type), spaghetti squash (3), one scarlet runner bean, two other bean.  Using Miracle Grow once a week.  All in by May 13.

2018:  Planted 6 tomato plants from Co-op and 6 pumpkin plants at Mother's Day.  Had to replant tomatoes down by pond due to overspray of MCPA which really took it out.  Minor overspray was tough on it.

The fertilizer did the trick.  Massive growth in the pastures for the grass and broadleaf.

2013:  Massive growth in pastures again.  Tow behind sprayer needed for chick weed and buttercup.

May 8. 2013:  Planted tomatoes under coldframe, and radishes and carrots and bush beans and snapdragons.

May 15:  Put out two jugs of Range Star broadleaf control.
16th:  Planted tomatoes from Cenex and Haggen in cold frame, started pumpkins in qt. starters, started carrots in south bed.

Showing the cold frame open, flipped back.

Showing the towers, drip system and the anti-weed cloth.

Cold frame down and working to keep plants warm.

May 20, 2012:  Brought in 45' Genie Lift to trim back branches for the riding arena upgrade.

The before shot of the limbs on edge of the arena

21st:  Mowed pasture 2 for tall grasses after mowing lawn.
May 24th:  Ran generator for 10 min.  Siphoned off fuel for Genie lift out of gen set.
May 22-30:  Cut limbs and hauled roughly 30 limb loads with the tractor and forks, each load as large as the tractor over to neighbor who wanted fire starter for his stump pile.  I even got a bonus of 1+ 'rick' of firewood limb cuts.

Half way UP with this lift!

Cutting firewood lengths on the tree.

After the trimming and about 30 loads of tractor carried limbs taken next door for burning.

Tractor taking limbs to the fire on the turn around trimming.

(blog started in 2012)

June 29,2019:

Added in walkway to hydrant serving pastures 1 and 2.

June 14, 2019:  House re roofed:
New roof on pump houses too.

1st:  Put all the 'stumps' that were good in the forest for trimming to length for the new riding arena surround.  Burned all the rotted ones at neighbor's.
Mowed pastures 4 and 5 on highest setting knocking down poop grass and broadleaf.
2nd:  Put out 2 jugs of broadleaf spray in pastures 0 and 1 along with touch up on lawn and garden.
Spread some more casaron in driveway.
Cut new stumps for riding arena.  Needed 44, ended UP with 47, 14" in length.
Compost:  Took out full bucket to composter.
Trimmed branches off entry and driveway using the 45' Genie Lift Boom.

6 tractor loads of limbs from entry corner, 3 from top of driveway, and 2 from turnaround.

Showing the open sky a bit more at the top of the driveway.

June 19, 2014:  Pruned Screw Tree and got off two cart loads of trimmed holly leaves.

Looking South.  This holly tree topiary was started with Everett Alfred Sorensen and Count Ferrari in 2001?
Starting it was tough.  Doing the trimming each year is getting easier as it grows into shape.

Looking West

23rd:  Had garage re-roofed by Lester Roofing.  New plywood put on and the old Onduline roof retired.

26th:  Put out jug of round-up and a jug of Range Star on broadleaf in goat pasture and Pasture #1.

July 2012:

Rebuilt the riding arena to the tune of too much money.
Before the arena is stripped.  The cedar hogfuel is still there.

After the arena is done 
This project was HUGE!  It involved a former student of Count Ferrari.  Aaron Monty owns Ramo Construction and specializes in chip sealed private roads.  His wife is a horse trainer and he had done other outdoor arenas.  This project kept coming up with surprises but the end result is an all year outdoor arena that should be good for decades.

The project was initialized by stripping the hog fuel off and taking it to the neighbor, who wanted it for landscaping.  The base (3/8" minus compacted quarry gravel) was solid but the incorrect grade for the new footing which required a maximum slope of not more that 1.5% grade.  That required many trucks of new 3/8" gravel  (12 @ 18 tons comes to mind but I will check the numbers later).

That rock was graded using a laser leveler to the correct grade, compacted and then covered in sand to 1.75"  deep.  A rim around the small gravel and sand was established using 2" minus shot rock at least 18" thick to act as a dam to keep the under layment in place.

5 loads of sand, and one load of the 2" were distributed on the arena.

After grading and messing about for a week or so, the actual footing was distributed , then watered and harrowed using the special harrow purchased for the new footing.  I sure hope this works for 20 years.  I would hate to do it again.

Added gravel to the driveway and turnaround

Entry Road, 97th AVE NE:

Had 97th Ave NE chip sealed, summer of 2012, Cost $12,000, shared by all owners living on this road.  Cut the dust down totally.  No more grading of the road either!  Ramo Construction did the work.

July, 2020:

Varnish work:

Stripped and sanded the back door trim and removed the back door to the shop for a refinish.  Much better, 4 coats.


Totally stripped and refinished the exterior of the patio doors and trim over 9 days.  2 coats of Prothane, a lacquer based urethane finish, then 220 sanded, then two more  coats of finish.  Doors were removed and done in the shop, trim done in place.


Entry posts getting a couple of coats after being scratched with 220. This job was SO much easier than the patio doors!  One flat face to sand, tape off, and then get 2 coats of Prothane, then let sit for a night.  Then 220 handsanded and 2 more coats applied.  DONE.

The before picture:  Note the change in color about half way up the doors.  That is sun damage.

Here is a photo of the 'DURING' process.

August 2012:

Mowing the pastures where the horses do not eat.  Using the 38" Honda mower with out the bag.  It is barely wide enough but it does the job.

Pulled out the dead logs in the pasture by the driveway and burned them.  Leveled Pasture #1 with dirt from the recycled top soil and the left over sand from the arena project.

August 2020:

Preparing to pressure wash the carport roof.  August 2020:
First sweep the needles, cones, and sticks off.  1 hour
Pressure wash the moss bits off.  2 hours of noisy tedious washing, two tanks of fuel.
Apply Wet N Forget Moss deterrent. 1 hour

The before photo, after 8 months of neglect.

Gutter seal: August 2020

Used Proflex RV roof paint to reseal the aluminum gutters on the house.  This seems to be the best product I have found for this job.  Clean the area as best you can, Clean with a clean rag and then paint on this clear coat with some sort of fiber in it.  Very thick in application.  All the corners of the gutter need this or have all of it replaced with steel gutters that might rot out in 10 years.

September 2012:

Put 4% (the good stuff) Casaron out on the turn around and driveway.

Installed eyebolts to eve of garage for safety line for roof walking.

October 2012:

Blowing the needles off the roof of the garage and carport after the first big rain storm was needed.  Gutters on the garage were full.  The carport was completely covered.  Got in a dry day and blew them off.  The safety line makes the job very easy on the garage.

October 2013

Put Moss Kill on house roof.  Blew off carport and garage with leaf blower.

Disc Golf course with the 18 holes got signage for the GHIDN.

November 2012:

Vacuumed the leaves with a mow on November 1.
Pruned the Screw Tree for the November 3 GHIDN

Pruned off the bottom of the big cedar in the back pasture.
    This made a bunch of branches that need to be burned.

Spread a bit of Casaron in drive way. this was spot application with a can, just hitting the green bits.

Unplugged the downspout on the roof of the carport which was filled with needles.  November18

Cleaned off the fans on the ceiling of living room using 10' tripod ladder.  Nov 20.

November 2013:

Had to fix three fences and put two huge hemlocks in the wood bin.  Ended up with 1.5+ cords of wood.  Both trees were rotten on the inside and tough to split.

November 2, 2013

November 16, 2013

December 2013:

Infinity fully detailed by Waynes in Marysville.   $200  Nice job!

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