Friday, November 29, 2013
Aggie was an orphan kitten that came to live with us when she was only 4 weeks old. She bonded to me immediately and created her own special place in my heart. She fought a valiant battle with kidney disease, high blood pressure and blindness for the last two years of her life. She was still cuddly and fiesty right up until the last day. When she started having trouble breathing, we took her to the emergency vet. Her X-rays showed her body was filling with fluid, so we had her peacefully put to sleep. Aggie ~ 5/1/93 - 11/12/13. Rest in peace sweet kitty. '''
You can see a photo of Aggie in my photo album.
Sunday, June 23, 2013
You can build just about anything you can think of using PVC pipe and a little imagination. These days you can even buy furniture grade PVC in colors!
When I first moved to Arizona in 1984, I somehow ended up with a patio table top with no base. Being a frugal person, I did not want to purchase a new table when I could spend the money on more important things. I headed to the nearest home improvement store and purchased two 2” x 10’ pieces of Schedule 40 PVC Pipe, two cross fittings, eight 90 degree elbow fittings, PVC primer and PVC cement. Back in those days I had to cut the PVC with a hacksaw and then use a file to clean up the cuts before cementing the pieces together. When I was finished, I had a patio table that I enjoyed for several years.
About eight years ago, my kids gave me a tubular arch to add to my garden. I placed it by the front gate and planted some jasmine to grow into the arch. We get some pretty strong winds here and, after a few years, the tubular arch collapsed. The plants were still alive and woven around the tubular metal, so it could not be removed. PVC to the rescue once again! I constructed an arbor using 1-1/2 inch Schedule 40 PVC pipe. My son brought his air compressor over and painted the arch so that the UV from the sun would not break it down. It leans a bit to the East because we had a microburst that uprooted a patio tree ten feet away from it and also broke a giant section of my 30 foot mesquite tree and dropped it in my yard. The arbor is still standing and I’m confident that with a few more monsoon seasons the jasmine will completely cover it.
Approximately seven years ago I saw a photo of some dog hammocks in one of those magazines in the seat pocket of airplanes. They were rather expensive, but I thought my dogs might like to have them on the patio. I purchased two 1” x 10’ pieces of Schedule 40 PVC pipe, eight 1” x ½” riser elbows, eight ½” x ¾” threaded male adapters, one ¾” x 10’ piece of Schedule 40 PVC pipe (for the legs), and two yards of shade cloth. I did not require PVC cement, as I was just going to press-fit the frames together so that I could re-purpose the materials if the dogs did not like the hammocks. I cut the PVC into pieces to make two rectangle frames approximately 24” x 48” in size. I cut the shade cloth in two pieces and hemmed all the sides. I constructed sleeves on the two sides and two ends to slide the PVC pipe into, leaving triangle shaped openings at the corners for fitting the pieces together with the riser elbows pointed towards the floor. I cut eight 6” pieces of the ¾” PVC pipe and fit them into the threaded male adapters. I screwed these “legs” into the threaded risers at the corners, and the hammocks were complete. I placed the hammocks on the covered patio against the wall to our kitchen where they were mostly protected from the sun and rain (unless the wind was blowing really hard during a storm.) They were a hit with the dogs! Our little male dog died November 2. 2011 and our little female dog is now 19-1/2 years old. She spends about 22 hours a day sleeping in the house. The hammocks were just gathering dust on the patio, so it was time to re-purpose them.
PVC Re-purpose Project #1
May 23, 2013: I decided the best way to re-purpose the dog hammocks was to make sun-screens to hang in the corner chicken pens that get more sun in the afternoon. Since I needed light weight frames for anything hung or suspended, I went to Home Depot and purchased ½” x 10’ Schedule 40 PVC pipe. I already had elbow fittings because I bought a bulk package when I installed the mister system in the chicken compound in 2011. I also purchased two cans of Rust-Oleum® Painter’s Touch Ultra Cover 2X that bonds to plastic in Cinnamon color to paint the PVC pipe to protect it from the UV rays from the sun. PVC is very strong for its weight, but does not have any UV protection built into the formulation and sunburns easily. I unscrewed the legs and my DH helped me remove the corners using a rubber mallet. Even though the corners of the frames were only press-fit, they had been on a long time and were pretty tight. Then DH helped me measure the covers so that I would be able to determine the size to cut the ½” PVC pipe. I taped two pieces of pipe together with electrical tape and cut the pipe using my table saw.
I balanced the other end of the pipe on a rolling 30 gallon trash can so that the length of pipe stayed stable.
The advantages of using the table saw to cut the pipe are these:
• I can cut both pieces of pipe at the same time to insure the pieces measure the same.
• I get a clean, even cut that requires minimal sanding or filing.
• The saw cuts the PVC with almost no effort on my part except to guide it.
• The table saw is at my waist height, so there is no strain on me.
I glued 90 degree elbows to the ends of each of the four pipes that represent the width of the frames. Then I painted the pipes and left them to dry in the hot Arizona sun.
Once the paint was dry on the PVC, I put the pipes through the channels in the sun screening and press-fitted the longer PVC pipe pieces into the elbows. Then I took the remaining paint and sprayed the fabric on the side that will be facing the street and left them to dry in the sun.
When the assembled screens were dry, and the sun had set so it was no longer in his eyes, DH hung them for me in the corner pens using cable ties.
Sunscreen hung in Robbie’s Roost corner.
Sunscreen hung in Quarantine Corner.
• The sunscreens give the chickens an additional spot of shade they previously did not get. Hopefully it will help them stay cooler in the hotter front corners of the compound.
• I re-purposed the dog hammocks so my out-of-pocket costs were only $1.81 for each PVC pipe and $3.37 for each can of paint.
• I reclaimed approximately 16 square feet on my patio that was previously occupied by the dog hammocks that were no longer being used.
PVC Re-purpose Project #2
The area that is now our chicken compound used to be my vegetable garden before my daughter and I built raised garden beds on the other side of my house in 2008. Because it used to be a garden, I had installed ¾” PVC pipe, connected to my automatic watering valves/controller, to water the garden. When I decided to make it the chicken compound, I had to shorten some of the risers and cover them with sand. The pipes in the aviary, however, extended into the area where I wanted to build the bantam shelter. Therefore, I cut them off and capped them with just enough length to re-connect them at a future date if I turn the area back into a garden. Below is a photo of the doggie-wheel-chair I was able to build with the salvaged pieces of pipe. Once again I had most of the PVC fittings I needed from installing the irrigation in the raised beds in 2008. I only needed to buy one 45 degree elbow fitting, mounting hardware for the wheels, Rust-Oleum® Painter’s Touch Ultra Cover 2X that bonds to plastic (Home Depot,) straps (99 Cent Store,) and the wheels (Harbor Freight.)
Our dog, Pepper, is 19-1/2 years old (that’s about 108 in human years) and getting senile. Her hind legs are getting pretty weak and she will need “Training Wheels” very soon. Her diaper covers are pink and purple. Therefore, I painted her cart purple to match.
Many thanks to Mr. Jerry West and The Rolling Dog Project for the design.
Monday, April 22, 2013
Wicking Bed Construction
After researching different gardening options for dry climates, I decided to try a wicking bed in a portion of one of my raised bed planters. I am planning to collect rainwater in buckets and fill my wicking beds with the collected water. The size of the water reservoirs was limited by the size of the existing raised bed and the PVC pipe installed below that supplies water to the remainder of my garden. I chose to use plastic tubs that I purchased at Lowe’s.
I used 1” PVC pipe and cut the pieces to fit in the bottom of the plastic tub. It is not necessary to glue the fittings except for the riser pipe that is used to fill the beds with water. The remainder of the fittings can just be a pressure fit.
I drilled holes in the bottom of the PVC pipe to allow for even flow of the water into the reservoir. The holes are only drilled into the bottom to prevent roots from growing into the pipe.
I used a 7/8” hole saw to drill holes just under the rim of the tub to insert a length of ½” PVC with holes drilled in it to act as an overflow pipe. This drainage pipe will have the holes in the pipe level with the surface of the pea pebbles to allow for drainage if the water reservoir is too full. The riser pipe is painted to protect it from UV damage from the sun. Prepare the area where the wicking bed will be by either digging down or building a raised bed to accommodate the water reservoir and the garden bed above it. Since this is a vegetable garden planted with seasonal plants, I allowed for planting soil and mulch levels to be 8 – 10 inches above the water reservoir. If I were planting perennials, I would allow for a deeper reservoir and deeper planting beds to accommodate the deeper root growth.
This is the raised bed that is prepared for the wicking bed. Notice that the size of my tubs was restricted by the plumbing that was already in place for my existing garden.
This is the placement of the two water reservoirs in my raised bed.
It is very important to make sure the tubs are level before filling with pea pebbles.
After the tubs are filled with pea pebbles, fill them with water to make sure the overflow drain is working properly
Back fill with some of the pea pebbles around the base of the water reservoirs.
Cover water reservoirs with weed cloth to prevent soil from getting into the pea pebbles.
Backfill with soil up to the level of the rim of the water reservoirs.
Amend the soil that is going to be your planting bed. You can use any brand planting soil that you like. I prefer a planting mix with high organic content. I mixed 35% existing soil with 35% Planting Soil, 20% Vermiculite, and 10% Perlite.
Then I put planting pots (with the bottoms cut out) around the bubbler risers in the pre-existing part of the raised bed. This was a step to keep water from running out of the planter when the bubblers come on and prevent flow into the water reservoirs. I could have just lined the planter in the back with plastic, but I rather like my “Rainbow Pots.”
Cover the amended soil with composted mulch.
Now the planting bed is ready to plant!
I planted my vegetables and tubers and then put a layer of weed cloth around them. Then I covered the weed cloth with colored mulch to not only hold in the moisture, but to make it attractive.
I finished the garden by putting down weed cloth and pea pebbles between my raised beds.
Monday, April 15, 2013
Please pray for my niece, Debbie Fisher, who has been going through a bone marrow transplant process in Seattle. She is having some serious complications and is in intensive care. Additionally, there are some issues with the only hospital-approved apartment facility for patients following bone marrow transplants. I have copied my sister’s update below for accuracy. Thank you for your prayers!
As many of you are aware, my daughter-in-law, Debbie Fisher is fighting acute lymphoblastic leukemia. She underwent 6 months of chemo at the hospital in Wenatchee. Debbie was accepted for the bone marrow transplant procedure and asked to report to the Seattle Cancer Center Alliance on February 26th. Her transplant was supposed to take place March 20th, however due to donor schedules it was delayed until April 5th. Debbie was told that she would need to be in Seattle for 100 days and would need to rent a hospital approved apartment.
The recommended facility was the Pete Gross building because the apartments have their own kitchens. They were not able to get into the Pete Gross building immediately but they were able to rent an apartment in another approved facility that would not be suitable after the transplant because the apartments shared communal kitchens. They were on a waiting list for the Pete Gross building and received a call that there was an apartment available in the Pete Gross building and promptly rented a one bedroom unit in that facility.
Debbie underwent total body radiation and chemo followed by the bone marrow infusion on April 5th. This is the most frightening time and a time for all types of complications. Debbie has had a very serious complication with bleeding in the lungs and is in intensive care and on a ventilator.
Meanwhile even though Clint has paid the rent on their apartment, he has received an eviction notice citing that renovations need to be done to the siding of the apartment. Obviously this had been planned before Clint and Debbie moved in and was not disclosed to them that they could only be in the apartment for a short time. This is unconscionable and maybe even unethical. Clint is currently in remission with a form of lung cancer and the stress all of this is putting on him is unimaginable.
I believe that the Pete Gross building needs to put Clint and Debbie in another one bedroom apartment in their facility---they were told they could be put on a waiting list----not good enough in my book.
We need help in getting the word out and getting the Pete Gross facility to do the right thing. As it stands now, they would have to move out on May 15th which is just about the time frame when Debbie would be released from the hospital and need to be in an apartment.
Can anyone think of a way we can get the Pete Gross facility to rescind the eviction or to move Clint and Debbie to another apartment in their facility that does not need "renovating"???
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Lylah, the two-year old daughter of our youth pastor was diagnosed with choroid plexus carcinoma. She has had two surgeries to remove the tumor and just completed the first round of chemotherapy on Friday. Please keep her in your prayers. Below is a message her mother created today. Please read and be inspired.
November 27, 2012
As we had to abruptly wake my peacefully sleeping daughter at midnight this morning and put her into the car to rush her to the hospital due to a rising fever, I became angry. Then once we got there and having to see them draw blood and hook her up to machine at 1:00am when knowing just an hour before she was peacefully sleeping in the comfort of her own bed, I became even angrier.
The thing is I was not angry with the Dr. or the fact that I had to be doing this in the middle of the night. I was no longer even angry at the situation we were in. I was immensely angry with SATAN, and what a dog he is. Angry that he is picking on my poor 2 year old innocent little girl and so many around the world. Angry that she not only is battling a rare brain tumor and chemo, but all the other obstacles he has placed on top of her (not being able to walk, talk or eat by mouth). Doing whatever he can to try and make this battle impossible. Angry that he is laughing at all this pain and misery, and plans to take so many down with him in the meantime.
Then while driving my car I reminded Satan how much bigger GOD was and that God is bigger than this situation. I reminded Satan of Matthew 19:26 “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." I reminded Satan that Lylah not only has amazing Doctors working on her side but she also has God working on her side with a prayer circle going bigger than I could ever imagine. That we are surrounded by an abundance of love, comfort, support and strength during this difficult time. Most importantly we are holding tight on to God because without all would be lost. Isaiah 41:10 ‘Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ That no matter what the outcome is in my situation we will still come out on top. That I know his plan and scheme to take as many people he can away from God. And I now have a new energy and excitement in the way that I live my life and that is to take as many people away from him and bring them back to God. To help people realize that this sinful world we live in is not the better way. That all the things that society now accepts or over looks is destroying their life. That the only way to fill that emptiness inside of them is to have a relationship with God.
I know Satan will still take a few warriors and not everyone will want to join in my battle against sin, but I can guarantee that I will not go empty handed. I will do everything that I can to empower those who will fight with me. I will do all that I can to give them the fire inside to try and conquer this world. That in the end Satan will still spend eternity in Hell.
Satan has picked the wrong family to mess with. We all had a relationship with God and had the want to bring more people to God. But now that want and relationship is stronger by 10 folds. All I can say is bring it on because again no matter what, in the end with God on our side, WE WILL WIN!
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