Monday, August 19, 2013

Ain't someone gonna stop the rain?

Here's my solution to find cover. Actually, it's a sail shade strung up at three points that will eventually protect anyone occupying the orange hammock underneath from the sun. It's been raining all afternoon & as the water is caught in the sail, it pools, suddenly causes the shape to change and it's instant waterfall. Fun to watch & guess where it will spill off.

My Meyer lemon tree has survived transplantation to a sunnier spot and is finally leafing out. Hope as it puts down roots, it also puts some energy into fruiting. I have big plans for those luscious orbs.

We've picked all of the fruit off of my Keitt mango tree, and it's been the smallest crop yet. The mangoes are huge but there were only about 25, and the resident squirrel had first dibs. I'll be making jam this week in order to preserve the flavor of this just picked fruit.

On the other hand, a few months ago I thought my Haas avocado tree was dying. Leaves turned brown and carpeted the ground. But that was followed by a new bright green wardrobe & lots of blossoms. They'll be ready to pick in a few weeks and it's fun to watch them grow through the clear plexiglass of the newly enclosed deck.

I've gotten my privacy back by replacing the see-thru narrow reed I had covering openings in my wrought iron back gate. The solution was a 4'x8' sheet of flexible hard plastic, normally used to panel commercial kitchens. It was easy to cut and fit without serious tools, plus mold won't grow on it! At Loews for just $20/sheet, and it can be rolled & tied to fit in your car.

The driveway now has a trench on one side, filled with small rocks, so the water won't puddle. The opposite side is where loose dirt was always dragged onto the concrete because of the height of the berm. After considering lots of solutions, I found pressure treated landscape timbers at Home Depot for $1.97 each. They're held in place with pieces of rebar, look neat and are several inches higher than the dirt. Total materials under $20. This hurricane season will tell if it works as envisioned.

The final project is a solution to the annoying need to keep a grill protected from the elements, yet be easily available to use. I hate the ugly heavy cover. Now there is a simple structure made of two pressure treated "T"s, one side higher than the other. Once I cover it with a tarp to form an enclosure, I can get rid of that cover. Using the grill will just be a question of letting it heat up & cool down. And when it rains the water will drip off the lower side, where a drain is located in the dirt.

There's still a bunch of things to complete including some landscaping, topping the current gravel with a layer of larger river rock (that won't get stuck in the soles of my shoes), finishing details on the arbor, installing some pavers, power washing and some lighting. At least the big things are done.

This has all taken longer than I anticipated (when does anything take less time?) I really need to focus now on selling my personal items & finding the right tenant for the former Bonni Bakes building. In order to do that I'm taking a short vacation from baking for a few weeksPlus, my daughter is coming down for Labor Day weekend, and we both need a little fun!

I'll let you know when I'm back in the kitchen & ready to bake up a storm. You can always reach me by phone (941) 746-6647 or email

Hugs from my kitchen,

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