Despite the high-90 temperatures these past weeks, I’ve managed to check a few items off the “to do” list. One project hanging over my head for some time was the electric fencing, which is finally installed. The process is pretty simple, but the execution is somewhat tedious. First you have to install the insulators, those yellow doohickies. Each one had to be pre-drilled and nailed onto the posts. Then a continuous wire was strung through all of them, anchored at each end of the fence line. I haven’t made gate openings in the wire, since I don’t have gates yet.
The second step is installing the three ground rods. Each rod is 6 feet long that I managed to hammer all but a foot into the ground. The ground rods are then connected with a wire and clamps.
Finally the ground rods and the fence wire are connected to the charger, solar of course. That’s it. Turn on the charger and test the line. I have a tiny fence tester: one end hangs on the wire and the other pokes into the ground. If the line is charged the light will light up on the tester. I have to admit I have been reluctant to touch the wire myself, but hit it accidentally while mowing yesterday. It works. I didn’t get the full charge since I was wearing two layers of clothing and rubber boots, but I felt it. One project done.
The fence has been up for quite some time but I had yet to build any gates, even though the wood was sitting in the garage and the cutting plan was ready on my desk. I tackled that project on Saturday and, despite the heat, finished one gate and installed it on Sunday morning. I’m very pleased with it. The hinges are self-closing so there’s no chance of forgetting to close the gate. I’m not sure what the dogs think of it, but I’m happy they’re more secure. Now that I’ve built one beautiful gate, I have the prototype for the two others. Two projects done.
Removing the texture from the dining room wall has been on my “to do” list since last fall. I was a little burned out after the popcorn ceiling removal projects and wanted to concentrate on outdoor projects for a while. The summer heat was my motivator for doing some more indoor projects and I had everything I needed to tackle the dining area wall. This is the wall on which I wanted to experiment with earth plaster. The first step was to scrape off the major bumps of the wall texturing and clean the wall surface. Then I applied a special sanded primer to give the clay something to hold on to. The first coat of clay goes on thinly, but roughly over the primer. That’s the scratch coat. Once that dries, you apply the finish coat, smoothing it as much as you want. The photo shows the dried scratch coat and the dark wet finish coat being applied. The clay was really easy to work with, very forgiving, easy to smooth and repair, and no odor.
The finished product is an elegant background for the dining table light. My vision for the kitchen is finally coming together.
This little painting, given to me by my sister many years ago, was my color inspiration, although I didn’t realize it at the time. The blue is the exact same blue as the background farm buildings, and my intention for the wall it rests on is to use the golden tan color from the fields.
The best thing about natural plasters is the cleanup. There’s no staining and no waste. Splatters wipe off with a wet sponge. The leftover clay can simply be dried and returned to the bag to be rewetted for another project or used for repair. It never goes bad. Three projects done!
My “to do” list isn’t any shorter, new projects are added daily, but it’s always satisfying to cross a few of them off.