Inaguration Day

Heating wax and comfrey’lavender  infused oil

In the spirit of contrarianism I thought I should try to get something useful accomplished this inauguration day. First thing in the morning, I performed the not so glamorous duty of rotating our compost bins. The bins are twenty gallon plastic trash cans with holes drilled in the sides and bottom for ventilation. Over the course of several months we’ll fill a bin with alternating layers of kitchen scraps and leaves or shredded paper. When the bin fills up we rotate it to the back to allow the contents to break down.

I moved the recently filled bin to the back and decanted the bin that had been sitting up. Apart from some egg shells and bits of fabric, the contents had broken down into a soil-like substance. The compost from the middle down was wet and sour smelling meaning it wasn’t getting enough air and anaerobic decomposition was going on. Perhaps I’ll drill some more ventilation hole.  I was also disappointed to find my red wriggler population had mostly died off. They probably weren’t so keen on the anaerobic conditions either.


Next up, I made a batch of comfrey salve. Comfrey is a medicinal herb that has significant wound healing properties. That’s what I’ve read at least. My tests thus far have been inconclusive. In any case, it makes a nice lip balm and moisturizer. We had a couple of bunches of comfrey leaves drying on our window sill for several months. Earlier this week I crammed leaves and some dried lavender into a jar, filled it up with olive oil and left it in a crock pot of water set to warm for about twenty-four hours. The low heat infused the oil with the aromatic and medicinal properties of the herbs. This morning I strained the oil into a sauce pan, added some wax and heated it on low until the mix until the wax melted. Then I poured the mixture into a variety of small containers to cure.

Afterwards, I headed over to my parent’s house for round two with the french drain. I brought my line level with me this time so I could ensure there would a down slope running towards the outflow. We had a fair amount of rain a couple of days ago so with the heavy clay it was pretty mucky going. I trenched a nice down slope running along the house and turning into the hedge row bed on the side of the house. After a few level checks I put down the irrigation pipe and back filled the trench, tamping as I back filled. Along the sidewalk I back filled with sand and some pea gravel left over from the shed foundation.

Starting on the trench on the along the back of the house

Laying in the irrigation pipe
Back filling
Back filling almost complete. I need to pick up some more pea gravel to finish by the sidewalk

The outflow along the side of the house.

Meanwhile, our friend Anna was at my parent’s house using the internet to take an online course. My Mom really like the Celtic knot we sculpted over the door of the shed but she had her heart set on a incorporating a cat visage somewhere in the afternoon. Late in the afternoon, Anna took a break from her class and asked me if I could mix up some plaster. I obliged and went back to the french drain. When I came back in about an hour she had this..