Blog 2016

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Cabinet Shop
Custom Classic Construction, Inc.
Since 1985

 Welcome to our journal/open diary

  On these  pages we will share our thoughts, new ideas, frustrations and information with you.

Basically a personal view of us & our business


Click on a year below for older posts

2014      2015  

       2013      2012      2011       2010      2009      2008     2007      2006      2005


I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, 

and to the Republic for which it stands, 

one Nation under God, 

indivisible, with liberty and justice for all



November 14th

The most spectacular "Supermoon" since 1948.

According to NASA at its closest point the moon would be only 221,524 miles from Earth. 

I snapped this around 3 AM



The garlic cloves and spinach seeds are planted 

Over the weekend we decided to pull the rest of the tomato and pepper plants.

Jim picked a 1 1/2 gal bucket of a variety of tomatoes 

and I filled the colander with a variety of peppers.


The high tunnel has been striped of its window boxes, the water lines have been drained and the caps are installed on the roll up sides. 

The container plants have been moved to their winter location inside the high tunnel for the winter

The herbs are still doing well and I will continue to harvest fresh for as long as I can.

All of my jars are full of dried herbs to carry me through the winter. 

We grow Rosemary, Sage, Thyme, lavender, Oregano, Cilantro, Green onions, Curley and Flat Leaf Parsley. 


While working on firewood one of the Maple trees gave us this piece which we will turn into a planter.

 It need to go to the shop to dry out so it can have several coats of marine spar applied  to it before it is filled with potting soil.



November 11th

On the 11th day 

at the 11th hour 

in the  11th month

 of 1918

 The Great war ended and this day would be called Armistice Day

On the 11th day at the 11th hour in the  11th month we take a moment of silence to remember all of our Veterans.

To all that have served  past and present in the armed forces to protect my liberties.

 I thank you for your service.



October 31st

Happy Halloween 

 I baked  a couple of pies for the "Annual gathering at Da Mayor's home"

Apple Pie: Made from our apples

Squash Pie:  

   This year I used Frozen Roasted Buttercup squash we grew last year since we didn't grow any winter squash this year.

And a new item called  WoodChip's Green Tomato Breads.

Every year several of the neighbors meet  at  Richie"Da Mayor" home.  This tradition dates back to his Great Grandmother.
Rules: Food for the buffet table must be based on something you grew, gathered or hunted .
          You should be in costume, There are a few granted dispensation.
My tradition is 
 I choose a Theme:  this years it is : PATRIOTS

Decorate the Gator in that theme and make a 1 1/2 mile trip visiting with my neighbors.
The twist here is I bring treats for everyone. 











The wind was blowing and the sky got cloudy early  which always makes for a cold ride. 

When I got home I checked the thermometer and it was 27 F.
I am not complaining. After all the SHOW MUST GO ON! 

It is always great to see everyone  and catch up on the news before we all hunker down for winter.

This year I went as  the Patriot Sybil Ludington! 

She was the daughter of Colonel Henry Ludington, and a heroine of the American Revolutionary War.

On that rainy April 26th in 1777 at 9 PM Sybil mounted her horse Star, armed with only a stick to fend off British soldiers and loyalists she rode to alert rebel forces of the approach of the British moving on Danbury. 

Her ride was similar  the one Paul Revere did.
The differences are:

#1..... She rode  40 miles which is more than twice the distance of Revere

#2.....She rode alone

#3......She was only 16 years old at the time.

For the kids: Jim cut out horses with the CNC machine for them to paint, a small booklet I put together about Sybil An activity book about the constitution and a Breast Cancer awareness calendar for everyone big and small!

On the front side of the flag : Me asserting my First amendment right.

Close up of the posters :

October 2nd

Last update on the Pond Expansion project until next spring.

We connected the two areas of the pond to give it time to refill before winter.
 This way the "Pond" critters  can settle in for the winter :


Our Mountain of dirt:


 BEFORE: After clear cutting all the trees:


In the spring we will break the dam on the over flow end and drain it down again.
Here is Ruby walking across the dam end of the pond:



September 27th

UPDATE on Pond Expansion:

Racing against the Autumn rains Jim runs into several  hiccups with the backhoe.

After the July 24th Main Cylinder for the boom blowing a seal,  Sept 7th  the Hydraulic hose on that cylinder blows. on Sept 16th the front tires will not hold air and need to be replaced and on Sept 24th the battery dies. 

We have rethought our timeline goals.

Breaking the dam to start draining the pond:



While waiting for the overflow  bed of the existing pond to dry Jim works on removing stumps and rocks .



Now the digging can begin.


Day #3 He hit ground water or possibly a small spring. The ferns in the foreground grow in the overflow stream for the main pond.

Pond depth will have an average of 10 ft.






September 17th

We have been buying new from Gable Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep Inc. since 1996 and have always enjoyed working with Jody Gable and his sales staff.

   Yesterday we decided to buy a used 2010 GMC with all the bells and whistles in excellent condition.

 When looking for your next lease or buying a new or used vehicle give Jan Van Patten over at Gable a call. (518) 234-1075 Ext # 109.  We have known Jan for over 45 years. You will find him to be  polite and honest.



August 6th

The water is still coming in but we have gotten it so we only have to pump for about 15 minutes four times a day. Once the upper levels dry out some Jim can start digging again.


August 1st

 On Sunday July 24th (shortly after taking this photo) the main cylinder on the hoe blew a seal.

Our neighbor Mitch would come help us remove it on Wednesday.

We dropped it off at Schenectady hydraulics & Pneumatics to have it honed and rebuilt.  Stan Ducharme and Adrian Bowes had it ready to pick up 24 hours later as promised.

Mitch was able to come on Saturday.

Reinstalling it went a great deal smoother  and whole lot faster than the removal process.  We were back up and ready to get back to digging within an hour.

Jim ran the backhoe for about an hour before it started to rain.

2 days later it stopped long enough for us to take a look at where Jim had been digging.

 We are no where near ready for it to fill so off we went to Harbor Freight purchase a pump. 

The one we bought is 6.5 HP  The information on it says it will pump 9540 GPH. And as it turns out it was the right size to buy We were able to empty the hole in 1 hour 15 minutes.


Jim ordered the hoses and filter online from universal hose and fittings so we are at a stand still until the package arrives.






July 19th

Jim broke ground on the expansion of the pond. 

First thing to do was create a laneway to haul the dirt away. That involved pulling  a lot of stumps .




Start of the "Silt" catch pond

At 3 ft water started bubbling up.







UPDATE in the High Tunnel: Pictures taken yesterday,

Zucchini: with squash bugs being a major issue I am  NOT growing any in the HT until I can figure out a way to control them ( or better yet annihilate them all ) so I thought I would try raising one in a pot and it seems to be working NO BUGS so far

Broccoli: transplanted  into the HT on July 13th

Onions: Starting to get some size


Roma:  (I will be picking the first batch for processing today)


Independence Day: A great producer of a medium sized tomato

Brussel Sprouts have survived the summer so far and continue to set sprouts.

 Melons: Tiny Bites

Great Lakes lettuce: planted under the melon trellis is continuing to head up

Harvest for the day:

I made  (for eating now) Pickled Banana Peppers, Pickled Beets and a  jar of Roasted Grape tomatoes with Garlic: ( what is missing from the jar I used to make  Garbage bread)

And processed a small batch of my "WICKLES" They are a bread and butter with Cayenne peppers

July 2nd

On June 28th Jigs laid her first egg so now we are getting 3 eggs each day.

A day in pictures:













June 4th

Joining her coop mate  Rusty has laid her first egg. The 3rd on from the left was Red's first egg.

 Today's is the top left.

Rusty's egg  (top row 4th from the left ) is much smaller than Reds first one which sits just to the left of it.


I am sure this will all grow old once Jig's has started laying but right now it is fascinating.


May 30th

Please remember why we celebrate the day

"Lest they be forgotten" 

Remembering all that gave the ultimate for our liberties!


Our first egg! Thank you Red.





May 28th

Our first tomato!

We enjoyed our first tomato sandwich of the season.


May 27th

As per always I am behind on updating this:

With the Chicken Tractor build done we focused on a  project we started last summer.... clearing land to expand the pond.

We decided we are going to do the work ourselves so Jim set to work and  searched for a machine to do the job.

He found a 90's vintage John Deere 310C Turbo 4 X 4 with and extend-a-hoe. It has low hours. in great shape and we were able to get it at a great price.

Our first project is to start pulling all the stumps to get ready to expand the pond. 


May 7th

Our chickens  Red, Rusty and Penny (aka Jigs).

Each morning 5:30ish I open the "Pop" door even though they have not wander out of the coop and into the run area yet.

I am undecided if I should just put them out there or continue to wait for them to discover it on their own. It has been rainy and cold so I haven't felt the need to push the idea on them so far.

They don't panic but it is obvious they are  not sure of what to make of  Jasper who pokes his head in to see what I am doing when I have the big door open. Ruby is content to watch from a distance.

  Penny is still a tad skittish and hides when she can but they now allow me to pet and or pick them up without a fuss.

Yesterday I gave them a treat of a stalk of  fresh spinach. It disappear quickly and was the first time I have actually saw them eat. 

Red is the boldest and closest to the camera Rusty is closest to the wall and Jigs is in the middle  doing what she does: hiding.




May 4th

We picked up our three 17 week old  Rhode Island Red pullets. They are scared after the traumatic event of putting them in a dog kennel for a 40 minute ride in the back of the truck. It took a great deal of coaxing to get them from the kennel into their coop. 

The coop was ready for their arrival.

Finally got a chance to install the Linoleum.


Pine shavings added. I will feed and water them inside the coop until they are ready to use the entire tractor.







April 22nd

The High Tunnel is well under way.

 We have been enjoying spinach daily. We have many favorite recipes that we never get tired of.

They include:

Steamed spinach

Spinach Frittata

Manhattan Spinach


Spinach Salad

JT Burgers

Pasta with sautéed garlic &  spinach topped with Romano Cheese

4 Cheese White Pizza a blend of Cream Cheese,  Romano, Asiago, Mozzarella, garlic and spinach

and one of our favorites

Green and Beans


Broccoli is starting to form heads

First time Growing "Blend" Broccoli The head is tight and the buds are small.

Jim stays after the carrots thinning them out.

First of 3 plantings  of Peas 




April 5th


We put the roof on and moved the Chicken Tractor out of the shop

Still waiting on a Cabinet latch for the chicken's "Pop Door". 
I will pick up the water bucket on Monday.

Then we are in a holding pattern until April 28th. ( That is when our 3 pullets are ready to come home)


April 3rd

We used Fender Washers to install the screening.



We added an outlet 





 We spent time on designing the Roost area:

I decided to try the "Poop Hammock" method since I had everything I would need already here. 

To show you how it goes together

The roosting bar is easily removed but secure while in place


On the other end Jim slotted the board to sit on a couple of  pins.


It may be hard to see but he used Long Sheetrock screws as the pins.

I sewed a 2 1/2" loop at each end of a piece of 36" wide Landscape fabric for the dowels to slide into.


We used some open ended  closet rod cups  to secure the dowels. I have about a 9" sag in the fabric 

This is what it looks like assembled. We shall see if this design works. Also cut a vent in the floor to aid in  air exchange.


Added a few braces for the hooks to hold the water vessel and feeder 


 March 30th

We decided the time was right to add a few chickens to our property.

I was looking forward to raising  day old BLACK LACED SILVER WYANDOTTES but our male Border Collie Jasper can't contain himself from barking non stop when my Kitchen Audubon Singing Bird Clock  goes off on the hour so having little peepers chirping in the house would drive him, them and me off the deep end. soooooooooooo needless to say pullets was going to be our best option.

 I am able to buy Rhode Island Reds as pullets locally so that is bred we will have.

I pre-ordered 3 birds. They will be ready to pick up April 28th. 

We knew a Tractor vs a  Stationary coop was what we wanted but trying to decide on what to build took me me forever. After looking at hundreds of them on line we finally decided

It is about  4FT Wide X 9Ft Long 
I am sorry I  didn't document with as many pictures as I should of.

We purchased treated lumber for the boards touching the ground and rough cut 2" X 10" and 1" X 10"  pine for the rest of it. Our Sawmill guy also sells metal roofing He gave us a couple of cover sheets for the roof. Total $ 175.00

The deck is made from left over roof sheathing from the Tractor Shed project.

 I  sealed all edges and top and bottom surfaces with 2 coats of Marine spar. We made it in 3 sections so popping them out to replace them when necessary will be easier.
 I hope to find a remnant  of linoleum to set on top of it to make it easier to clean.




We stained the frame before we covered it with the vertical pine boards so all surfaces are sealed.

The  15"  Pneumatic Wide Profile Tires were on sale at Tractor supply for $19.99 per. We also picked up almost all the necessary hardware. Total $ 101.25 



Other than the TIME Jim has in to building it ( and it is taking a good deal of time) the material cost is not too bad ( It could of been done for less but we are keeping all of our  buildings with the same look)

 They are STILL going to be some expensive eggs but at least we will know what our chickens has eaten to make them.


Applied the battens made the small chicken door, run access door then took it all the hardware off and started to stain.



Next we applied a second coat of stain, added the trim color on the run door, corner and rake boards then reinstalled all the doors