Winterize those Pipes!

We’ve got a little early snow here in Blodgett, Oregon. It started coming down a few hours after I finished winterizing the two water wells and the pump house. Whew!

Our climate is just cold enough that it’s best to use pipe heating cable in addition to pipe insulation, so that’s what I did.

Sadly, this particular industry is very inarticulate. The Frost King heat cable I used never mentioned the wattage of the cable, and while it seems to be a fully waterproof, outdoor-rated product, the packaging never says this anywhere. But they go to great lengths to assure me that the cable must be used with fiberglass pipe insulation. I hate fiberglass — it’s nasty stuff — and refuse to use it, so I always use foam or bubble insulation. I’ve done this for years and it has always worked perfectly, and I wish that the manufacturers would get their acts together and write directions that actually acknowledge successful ways to use the product. I’ve also used heater cable without pipe insulation, which they say doesn’t work, but it works fine in draft-free areas, down to 15 F, anyway, which is as cold as it ever gets around here. read more...

Suppose You Lived Next to Lover’s Leap?

Suppose you moved into a house on a cliff over the ocean, with the world’s best view, and then discovered that it was everyone’s favorite place to commit suicide?

Don Ritchie accidentally bought such a lover’s leap house. (Click the link to see the article.)

His solution? While yelling at the realtor and moving out immediately must have crossed his mind, what he actually did was go out and talk to the jumpers as they’re getting ready. Given the option of jumping off a cliff and stepping into his kitchen for a nice cup of tea, hundreds have opted for tea over the years. read more...

Time to prepare for winter!

The weather is turning colder but we’re having an unusual string of sunny days. This is good! The cool temperatures are a clear warning about winter coming, overcoming my procrastination, and the sunshine makes it easy to prepare. My wardrobe has already changed — I’m in flannel-shirt mode, and will be until April.

Because of the work we had done on our water wells, we have exposed piping that has to be winterized, and it’s time to mow the pasture one last time before winter sets in. It won’t do to have tall grass up against the sides of the house in the winter — it leads to rot. read more...

Time for Fall Brooding!

We got 200 day-old pullet chicks today. Fall’s a good time to brood chicks if you’re not in a particularly hard climate. The weather gets cooler as the chicks get bigger and more cold-tolerant, which works really well. These chicks will start laying before Easter.

Lots of people have had great experiences with fall brooding after reading my book, Success With Baby Chicks, which goes into year-round brooding in great detail.