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Monthly Archives: April 2013

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The Daffodils & Hyacinths have come and gone, the Tulips are now in full swing with the crab-apple tree, and the Lilac bushes almost popping.

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This was just a little fig tree Walt & Kaye sent as a housewarming present 4 years ago- the sun room feels so much bigger with it moved onto the porch for the summer. I’m glad I put it on a roller last year!

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Weeks ago we split established plants, moved established plants around, and added in 12 new shrubs and flowers. It should all pull together nicely in the next year or two.

The solar cat tails are back in place, and glowed through the evening.

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We switched bird seeds, and immediately started seeing this little gold finch.

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Here he is again with our red house finch. This is big excitement around here. No mind-blowing Oriels or regal Cardinals in these parts.

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We “opened the pond” about a month ago- drained, cleaned, separated and replanted all plants. Two weeks ago I put the filter back in place, and this weekend we added the UV light. The water is a bit murky, as E strained out a whole passel of string algae that was beginning to establish, but the fish all survived the winter and are fatter than ever.

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This is the only visible sign of my project from last Thursday. It is the intake screen for our new Whole House Fan, our alternative to central air conditioning. The fan is up in the attic suspended from the rafters with an insulated tube running down to the intake screen. It is a three blade unit, about 16″ diameter with a brushless motor pulling about 1700cfm at 35w- so super efficient, and three little doors that blow open then shut themselves when the fan turns off. Just open some windows, turn it on, and it quietly displaces all the air in the house into the attic in a matter of minutes, and continues to push cool air through the attic thereby displacing all the heat loaded into the house during the day. This will keep our house cool for all but a few of the tough weeks in August. And for that we have next…

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This little $99 unit replaces the gigantic 43 year old A/C hog that crouched on the side of the house, broken and useless to boot. It took the better part of an hour to free it up and make it walk the plank- it crashed to the ground with a gratifying crunch. The plug had been stripped and wired directly into the house, so I wired a GFI plug onto the anemic nub of available Romex and screwed the box onto the lip of the opening for the A/C – hidden by the headboard, so safety wins over perfect. The tiny new unit takes about 1/3 the space of the old, uses 1/8 the power, and cools 10x as well- and I can pop it out at the end of the season and seal the hole with insulation board and a panel. (I’ll likely come up with a less dorky platform by next summer as well). I’d meant to do this last summer when the wheezing old sourpuss went from barely working to not working at all in our record heat, and with record low temperatures over the winter, I really really should have; it had seemed like a complex job, when in reality it was just a bit of a stupid job. Getting around to refitting some the previous home owners “improvements” is usually a lesson in cheap-gone-bad, when an inexpensive solution is easier and better.