Sunday, February 16, 2014

Gentlemen, Start your Gardens

Today was the first warm weekend we've had lately.  I've been thinking about this years garden, but just hadn't done anything but finish cleaning up the garden from last year.  So, with the warmer temperatures, I got out, and got some of the compost I made last year mixed in, and then got some spinach, lettuce, onions and peas planted outside.
Peas are in the left bed, everything else in the right.

After getting those planted, I went inside and planted 3 kinds of tomato's and some jalapeno's from seed.  I've not started them from seed in a very long time, so we'll see how it goes.

Decided to try starting the seeds in some left over containers we had.  The tomatoes are planted in a spinach container, and peppers in some lunch meat containers.  They should help keep the moisture in till they sprout.  Assuming they work, we'll have to take the lids off as there just wont be enough room otherwise.

I also have to decide if I'm going to build a new raised bed this year.  I had planned on it last year, but I don' think it's going to happen this year.  Though Blackberry bushes will be planted this year!

We also spent part of the day researching chicken coops.  We've come up with some ideas, now it's time to get the materials and get it built.

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Things to come

I've not made any posts lately.  I've just been so busy.  A few weeks ago, I picked up a couple of online programming courses.  I've completed the first of the 2, but the second is really time consuming.

I expect the blog to get more content as we go into the Spring as the garden will really get going.  Also, we are looking to into get chickens this year, so as we do that, I'm sure there will be more than one blog post on that.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

14 years!

Today is my boy's 14th birthday!

14 years, where does the time go?  I remember the day he was born as if it were yesterday.  Waking up early.  Cooking a big breakfast for my wife and driving to the hospital so they could induce my bride.  I remember how beautiful my bride looked.  How much she hurt.  I remember keeping my wife from killing a nurse and how absolutely perfect my boy was as he was born just before noon on that beautiful January day!

I remember them taking him away to clean up and how happy I was.  The heartbreak and the fear I felt when they told me he had stopped breathing twice to the point of turning blue and that he was put into NICU.

I remember how large he was compared to other babies, but how small he was in my arms.

I remember how happy I was when we took our boy home just a couple days later, and how scared I was that this small, helpless boy was now our responsibility.

He has brought so much joy into our lives.  Into my life.  He's no longer the small, helpless little boy.  He's growing into a tall, strong, capable young man.  A young man that I love so very much!

3 days old

13 years, 341 days old (24 days short of 14)

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Food Prep

I am trying to lose some weight and get into shape for a canoe/hiking/camping trip this summer.  Also, we bought a new pickup truck yesterday and need to save some money by not going out to eat for lunch.

Because of that, I spent some time today doing some cooking.  I cooked up 6 pounds of chicken this morning.  I grilled 3 chicken breasts and put some hot wing rub on the rest and put them into the smoker.

6 pounds of chicken is a lot to go through before it goes bad, so I used my wife's vacuum sealer to store a bag of each the smoked and grilled chicken.

I'm ready to eat some chicken!

Picture Details of Grilling Chicken
Focal length 26 mm 
exposure 1/60 
ISO 100

Hello, Goodbye

Happy New Years!  I hope everyone has a great year!

For me, I'm glad 2013 is over, and I hope and pray 2014 is much, much better than 2013 was.

However, I did have some great points of last year

My son turned 13.  He had a small party and his cake was Minecraft Psy

I took some pictures of my son and grandson.  They were the first pictures I've every had printed.

Found a small sink hole in my backyard

I did my first ever 5K with me running the Warrior Dash!

I was able to take my grandson to his first ever soccer game when we went to watch the Tulsa Athletics.

My second grandson was born!

My wife, son and I took a cross country trip to AtlantaFest.

Got to see my daughter's family restored

On one of my many Boy Scout campouts, I got to sleep in a cave!

My son started his last year of middle school!

I enjoyed going on a trout fishing trip with my dad, uncle and grandfather.

I did a lot of work on our pickup.  It's really cool to be able to do the work and know it's possible without having to pay someone else to do it.

Over Fall break, we went to Greenleaf State Park for our annual camp out.

My wife did a great job making an elf costume for our son for Halloween!

We got a new dog named Ziggy!

Our son was in All District Choir!

My son earned his Black Belt in Karate

I was asked to take pictures at a Cancer Children's Christmas program.

Had a wonderful Christmas time with all my family!

We ended the year with me buying a new truck for my wife as an early birthday present.  We replaced our 93 GMC Sierra which we've had for around 12 years with a 2011 GMC Sierra

At the beginning of the year, I set a goal to read 36 books this year.  I managed to read 51!!!

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Flour Tortilla's

I've been doing a lot of things lately to find ways to save money.  One thing I've been doing is a lot of cooking.  Instead of buying a lot of mixes or pre-made food, I've been making stuff from scratch.

Since my son started school, we've have breakfast burrito's almost ever morning.  So, this week, I decided to try my hand at making some flour tortilla's.

I told one of my friends at work about it, and he gave me the recipe that this family really likes that he got from the Homesick Texan.

They're very good.  They're not thin tortilla's but they're a bit thick, but they tasted very good.  My family really enjoyed them.

Today, I decided to try a recipe I got from The Pioneer Woman's site.

These are much more along the lines of what I buy when I go to the grocery store to buy flour tortillas.  They're thin and seem to roll up well.  We've had several of these as well, and we've enjoyed these too.

I asked my wife, what she thought, and which she liked the best.  She liked them both.  She thought that depending on what you were going to have them with would determine which she'd want us to make.

So, there are 2 really good recipes for you.  1 thick, and 1 thin!  Take your pick, but you're winning either way!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Refrigerator Problems

Several years ago when we moved into this house, we bought a new Refrigerator.  We got a GE bottom-freezer refrigerator with water/ice in the door.

GE Refrigerator
It's been a good refrigerator, but earlier this year, we started having a few minor problems with it.  I'd never gotten around to messing with trying to solve them till this weekend.

Water under produce bins

We've had problems with water collecting under the produce bins to the point it comes out of the fridge and either down to the floor, or into the freezer.  It has been annoying, but not a lot.  We'd pull out the bins, and clean out the water.

Ice maker not working properly

Well, it didn't completely stop working.  But it might only make 1 tray of ice a day, if that.  This has been more troublesome.  We've had to start buying ice and either fill the bin or just leave it in the bottom freezer to scoop out.


Today, I had some time, to I've attempted some repairs.  First on tap:

Water under produce bins

Initially, I thought it was related to the ice maker as I thought it started about the same time.  But after I did some research, it appears that it's almost always related to the evaporator coil drain.  I had read several board were people were describing the problem, but it wasn't until I found this video that I decided to give it a try.

Though the video talks about, as did the message boards, having ice in the drain hole, I never found any.  I made sure I had good drainage, cleaned up other ice buildup in the area and put the fridge back together.

I feel pretty comfortable that I've corrected the problem.

Ice maker not working properly

After tackling the drain problem, I moved on to see what I might can find with the ice maker.

I pulled out the ice tray in the door, and looked closely at the ice maker.

There was a lever under the ice maker, a test button, and that was about it, and a tab at the top of the ice maker.

Samsung Icemaker
Model: IMC701
Part: DA97-05422A
I started with the tab.  I pulled it down and was able to slide out the ice maker, but only a couple inches because of the water supply lines.  I turned the ice maker a bit trying to look at it, but didn't have much luck.  So, I slid it back in till the tab locked into place.  I have found a site that explains how to remove the ice maker.

I looked at the lever next.  It pulls down several inches and immediately goes back up.  I was able to push it up just a fraction of an inch.  I believe this arm is what tells the ice maker to stop making ice.  When it gets full, the ice pushes up on the arm stopping the ice maker.

Last step, I took a look at the test button.  I pushed it a few times and nothing seemed to happen.  I did some more research and found a video that didn't really help too much, except it said to push and hold the test button for 5 seconds to "reset" the ice maker.  I did that, and little bit later, I heard the ice maker empty.  After that, I'm feeling a bit more confident.  However, while typing this, I found another article that said if pressing and holding the test button for 15 seconds, I should hear the ice maker cycle and that if I don't, I may need a new ice maker.

So, it appears that the jury is still out on whether or not I fixed the ice maker.  I'm hoping so as I don't want to buy a new one.

I'll update more as we see how well (if at all) these repairs work.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

First Day of Eight Grade!

Well, it's that time of year again... School Time! 8th grade!  Big dog on campus and last year of middle school!

As usual, you can click on the pictures to make them larger!

8th Grade

7th Grade


6th Grade

5th Grade


4th Grade

3rd Grade

2nd Grade

1st Grade