Tuesday, February 20, 2001

A raised garden

Linda wants to plant a garden -- tomatoes and squash and lettuce and such. We really have no soil that is good enough for that. So we will put in a raised bed, using used railroad ties for the sides. A railroad tie is roughly 8 inches by 8 inches by 8 feet long, so if we put 2 ties end-to-end, we can create a bed that is 16 feet by 10 feet external measure, and 14 feet by 8 feet internally. Stacking them two high gives 16 inches of depth, enough for most crops.

Before putting this together, we mark out the space on the ground and dig down. Although at the moment we are expecting only a vegetable garden, it seems to me to be prudent to dig as far down as we can and get the rocks out of the ground under the garden. We rent a jack hammer to break the rocks into manageable size pieces.

Then we put the railroad ties in place to form the garden form and fill it in with some real good compost dirt (Growers Mix) from Austin Landscape Supplies. The total cost comes to $427.59. Later we need more even more dirt for the garden, another $271.71. We used 16 cubic yards of growers mix plus 12 #1 railroad ties.

Friday, February 16, 2001

Replace the Oven

The oven in the kitchen stopped working, so I replaced it.

Linda picked out a 27 inch GE model (JKP15BABB) that is the same size as the previous one, so I can just pull the previous one out and put the new one in.

Unfortunately, the mechanical controls that the old one used are no longer available; now we have electronic controls. The installation instructions say that the circuit boards can overheat if there is not enough outside air flow, so I had to cut an opening under the oven into the drawer below the oven. $660.27 from Bettis Appliances.

Update:  June, 2019.  The top (broil) heating element burned out.  Spectacularly.  We were trying to cook some salmon, and suddenly there was a burst of light, sparks and flames.  The element burned for some time, and eventually a section about an inch long fell off.  Turn the power off (at the circuit breaker).  Let it all cool overnight.  Then remove two screws, unplug the broil element, go get a replacement piece -- WB44K5009 Broil Element $61.11, plug it in, put the two screws back that hold it in place, turn the power back on, and everything (seems) to work again.