Journal 2021

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Cabinet Shop
Custom Classic Construction, Inc.
Since 1985

 A personal view of us & our business



Click on a year below for older posts


2021    2020   2019   2018

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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.

December 20th




November 25th: 

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 10th: 

The coop is set up for winter . 



We have precut plastic inserts for the south and west side to  help keep the run and coop area less drafty



October 31st :

Happy Halloween


Starting with an idea:

I hand the drawing over to Jim to work his magic


Then I start to decorate


I am on my way!

I bought boxes of Animal crackers for the treats this year.

 Every adult had a fond memory to share about their childhood and eating those tasty little cookies.


A few Night time photos:



Day #10 

Ready for winter

End of Day #7

End of day #4

End of day #2

Pick up the first load of lumber and the build begins.

Sept 27th

The crusher run  spread out and leveled 

Sept 5th



Time to start the Kubota Run-in shed .

We will need to take down the Maple tree and order a load of crusher run for the base layer


Red Haven are starting to ripen



Garden is doing great

Our new 2021 Ford Ranger



July 4th

 Toby Keith - Happy Birthday America 


June 17th

It is hard to believe it has been 14 years since we were blessed with the birth of my nephew's boy Matthew

Happy Birthday Matthew!

Update on the Greenhouse:

Yellow Beets 

Pickling Cucumbers

Mini Melons:

 Cantaloupe and Watermelon I will train them to the trellis




Tomatoes and Onions




Close up of the beautiful Empress of India Nasturtium:

Black Oil Sunflower:





June 14th


June 6th

A walk around the pond

Minnows are thriving but still no sign of the 75 Yellow Perch we stock in November of 2019

Green Heron is a daily vistor to our pond

Bull frogs are getting very big! Their evening songs are loud



May 28th 

Everyone always asks "What are your plans for memorial weekend?" Most answers include family picnics, heading to the lake, opening the pool or some sort of fun in the sun with family and friends.

Instead of looking at the up coming  weekend  as  simply  the start of summer and date that says you can start wearing white please include in those reasons why it is a National holiday

Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans  established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers.  It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country.

 May 30th  (Decoration Day) was the day set aside to honor over 620,000 men that died in the Civil War. That is more than any other war in American history. 

Now of course in stead of it being a single day of remembrance it is a  3 day party weekend and the date was changed to the last Monday in the month  I encourage you to recite the Pledge of Allegiance ,put a flower or flag on a grave, say a prayer  and  to stop  at 3:00 PM  and take part in a moment of quiet remembrance. 


God Bless the UNITED STATES of America and those that gave the ultimate to keep us safe!



May 23rd

Finally an organized  Tool shed for the greenhouse:

The Potatoes have already started to bud:




An insightful Youtube Video 

Click on link below.

Where have all the carpenters gone? (Why The Trade Labor Shortages is Only Beginning....)


May 22nd 

We have running water ! 


Yesterday we painted what should be the final coat on the cabinetry in the shop. We pray no runs or defects so we can stay on schedule.

I even watered the greenhouse Everything was really thirsty!

We both took a LONG shower  and called it a day.





May 19th

Should I title this:

Things continue to challenge us


 Just another day on the homestead. 

Our latest news: It is now Day 5 with no water!

The spring well stopped working on Saturday morning.

When we opened the door we found the control box had fallen into the well after the board it was mounted to gave way from rot. 

100% our fault that was a maintenance issue we failed to keep up with.

Monday morning I called  Provost Brothers, Inc. Dick's grandfather dug our spring well in in the mid to late 60's.

Fortunately he had the control box in stock unfortunately he was booked and was not going to be able to come out so we ran to pick it up and our neighbor who is an electrician offered to installed it.

Unfortunately that did not solve the problem and since working on a well is beyond our scope of knowledge I called Dick again. He is trying to locate the 115 volt pump we will need to replace the existing one. 

Also another bit of news we have a bear that in lives in the area and  has decided to make us part of his (or her) weekly walk-about rather than the normal twice a year visit Spring for wild black caps and autumn for apples and grapes.

It has attacked two of our empty bird feeders over  a the last month so we put them up for the summer. We pray he doesn't find out how easy it would be to enter the greenhouse

On the positive side... It is kind of cool to catch him on the trail cam!


Here is a couple of videos I caught on our service road



May 10th

With the repair completed on our system we have been "re-learning" how to use it . 

 ALL of our "GO TO" settings are not working 

We continue to work on obtaining our signature hand rubbed finish that  we have come to expect on our cabinetry. After several days of frustrating attempts  we are finally getting close.

The Greenhouse is doing well considering the cool cloudy days we have been experiencing lately.


Spinach : I can harvest enough to add to our salads everyday now

The Broccoli is starting to form heads.


The cooler weather along with a slight breeze  has kept the nasty  Black Flies away giving Jim time to work on the Tool shed.

 The roof  and windows are installed and the batten boards started






May 5th

Gardening Update:

 Today marks our first harvest out of the greenhouse

Iceberg Lettuce:

This head will be the base for our salad tonight



I will add a few of the tender leaves off the beets in our salad


Our main course for dinner tonight I am making a batch of Greens and Beans 

North wall first planting of Cauliflower, Cabbage, Broccoli and Kohlrabi 

Kohlrabi is starting to bulb

2nd planting of head lettuce

Close up a  baby head that is already forming

Potatoes are  growing quickly

Carrots are up and Jim is starting to thin them.

2nd planting of 4 -Cauliflower  6 -Cabbage and 3- Kohlrabi

6- San Marzano 6- Rutgers 6- Mortgage Lifter and 2 Beef Steak Tomato plants  and the onions are starting to take off.


May 1st





April 18th

Greenhouse update:




April 7th

My nephew's Daughter turns 11 today 

Happy Birthday Leah!

March 27th

Greenhouse update:

Transplanted the young beets

Kohlrabi , Cauliflower and Cabbage

 Kohlrabi ,Broccoli and Cabbage:

Peas are up:

Started to Transplanted a few of the onion seedlings 


March 23rd

After a session of "catch and fetch" Ruby and Jasper enjoy a short rest in the shade.

While Aggie, Lucy, Ceeyou and Gimpy enjoy a walk about in the sunshine.


March 17th

"May your Troubles be less.

And your Blessings be more.

And nothing but Happiness come through your door"


This is the first Gator run on St Patrick's day in six years. Over the past few years the weather was not conducive for me to make  the 1- 1/2 mile loop. 

This year we were blessed with nice weather, a little sunshine and thankfully no big March winds. My inflatable leprechaun can be a real problem with wind. 

 Everyone was ready to spend a  " socially safe" driveway visit over an Irish Cream. a cupcake and a Harp's Beer.


 We toasted to spring being around the corner and looking forward to the day we no longer are mandated to wear a mask.




March 14th

I spent a few hours in the greenhouse cleaning the tool room and I decide to keep a section of each perennial in the greenhouse.

 I trimmed each one and replanted them into  22 qt 1/2 barrels




We can see the floor once again in most of the tool room

This is my organized mess.

 It is the best I can do until we build the shelves and  potting bench.

March !2th 

Planted carrots

March 8th

Planted peas



March 7th

We are done and ready to start planting


March 5th

We are both exhausted.

It has been 2 weeks and we still have another box to build, 2 to fill and one more area to dig out. Then we can retire the shovels and move on to re-plumbing the drip irrigation system.

Jim dry fit the new asparagus bed. I like it very much. Clipping that corner opens up the walk way.

March 4th

More of the same building charring and filling boxes.

We calculated that when all is said and done we will have moved 24 yards of soil one shovel full at a time.



March 3rd

 Removed the rest of the soil and then using the little electric tiller we leveled off the north wall .


By the end of the day we installed 3 of the boxes and filled them with sifted soil.


March 2nd

Time to work on the north wall First thing to do is move everything over to the south side.

Cut the blackberry canes and moved the plants into a barrel until we can plant them outside 

Also dug out the asparagus bed. 

The roots were very well developed and it turned into a major project. The crowns will be returned to the bed once it is redone.


Lots of frozen soil to deal with so it was a slow go 





March 1st

Added another tractor This time we bought  an enclosed cab Kubota L4330 It has both heat and air conditioning

Garlic bed is done


February 27th


North East section of the center bed is done


February 26th

Ran for more lumber and bought a Kubota (more on that later)

I did not work in the greenhouse but Jim did.

He charred 3 sections of 12 ft X 12" and a 5 ft X 12" for the southeast side of the center bed.


Northeast section removed and ready for install of new boards.

He also dumped the manure out of the buckets It is still frozen but hopefully will thaw faster in the beds.




February 25th

Except for the removal of a small bed on the end of the run ( it is still frozen solid) the south run of  beds are done  and ready for a layer of composted manure which is still frozen solid in the barrels.. 


The south  and east side of the center bed is  ready for new boards. There is no need to remove the soil. The weeds are manageable The beds  just need to be amended with peat moss and manure. 


February  24th

Started the day with a trip to Altamont Agway to pick up 12 - 3.8 cu. bales of peat moss

Raked the pea stone out to level the walkway.

Then worked the rest of the day shoveling the soil into the screen  cleaning out the weed roots and stones. We also amended each of the beds with  1/2 a bag of peat moss. 4 1/2 down and 2 1/2 to go on the south side.

We still have to top each one with some well decomposed manure, The manure was moved into the greenhouse a few days ago but as of now it is still frozen solid.

The north center bed is almost back to level.

Tomorrow we will tackle this mess which coming from the south west corner of the greenhouse has lots of frozen chunks to deal with.


February 23rd

All of the boxes are charred and ready to install.


Laid out out the weed barrier and Jim started installing the new beds.

I followed by screening the soil back into the beds.




February 21st -22nd

The last 2 out of the last 4 beds were frozen making for a long process. I chipped away and got it done

The lavender plant ( 1ft by 2 ft block )was frozen solid. It was so heavy it took the two of us to carry it to the center bed.

The Lavender along with the Thyme and Oregano plants will be moved to the edge of orchard in the spring.


In the meantime Jim kept building boxes 


February 20th

Ran for enough lumber to do the south wall. The bed boxes are going to built using a double stack of 2" X 6 ft pine

All the materials are inside and ready to go"

Jim assembled the first box 

Then burnt the  inside edge, the first few inches of the outside at ground level and bottom of the box, 

The process is called Yakisugi  also known as Shou Sugi Ban which translates to "Heat with fire" The purpose is to  keep the wood from rotting and is a deterrent to insects.

 Over all it is to help prolong the life or the wood. We do not want to have to ever replace the beds again.



February 19th

Time to replace the frames on the raised beds in the greenhouse, They are going on 11 years and showing major signs of rot

First thing to do is dig out all topsoil and the pea stone between the beds


We mounded  the soil into the center bed. It will get sifted and amended as we shovel it back into the beds

In just a couple of hours we were able to get half of the south side ready for the rebuid




February 8th


It is days like today that remind me of  how much my Mom and Dad enjoyed winter. No wind with crunchy snow under my feet  a beautiful sunny blue sky and no where I had to be. A day to work on outside chores, play with the dogs and listen to the birds.


February 6th

Started the day by baking some rolls:

I used my favorite recipe   FRENCH BREAD or CRUSTY ROLLS on our RECIPE page:



Spend a few hours in the shop working on projects I have put off for too many years.

 Finished grinding off years of surface rust off of our little wrought iron porch lamp.

 Then moved on to grinding off the surface rust a plant stand Jim made for me when he first purchased his oxy acetylene torch set up in 1978. 

Both projects are ready for paint.

And lastly spend an hour gently chipping off peeling paint on my "Nana's"  very comfortable  rattan porch chair ( dating back to the the early 1900's).

 My sister has the end table that went with it.

February 2nd:

When the storm wrung itself out we ended up with 13 inches of snow.


January 30th

Looks like I have a great germination rate on the onion seeds"















January 28th:

Onion seeds are already starting to germinate

I do hope that this means we  are going to have a productive growing season.


More pepper seeds have popped:


Happy little seedings :

Cauliflower, Cabbage, Broccoli, Kohlrabi and Iceberg Lettuce

While outside winter is still very much here:

I apologize for the "not so great" picture.

I only ventured as far as the deck to snap it this morning.


January 23rd

Back to work on the Tool shed.

 We finally got our lumber for the siding 

We recycled the old garage door window section that has been stored in the attic over the shop for 30 years. 

The window swings up to a eye hook on the ceiling.  

Still have lots to do but we are making forward progress once again.

Back in the house The seedlings are starting to germinate:


Once the lettuce gets it first true leaves I will plant another 6 pack  to keep a constant supply this spring.


I also always plant my pepper seeds Very early since it takes them forever to start to germinate. To my surprise I have a few starting to come up:

Yesterday I planted Wala Wala , Ruby Red and (new to me) Cebolla Granex onion seeds:

January 15th 

During the waxing moon (aka New Moon ) it is time for me to plant some above ground cool weather vegetables seeds.





January 1st

Happy New Year!