Wednesday, September 12, 2018

New Coop is Almost Finished

On May 20, 2018 we began bringing in the lumber to start building our new outdoor kitchen, referred to as New Coop until a better name comes along.

On September 11, 2018 we finished up the last major detail of what we wanted it to look like.

114 days... 

Not all of them were productive, and some were slowed considerably by the oppressive heat and occasional rain.  But we wanted it done right so 'how long' was not the issue.  We wanted it to be a really special place, and we definitely got what we waited for.




We've already started cooking in it, but the real test comes when everything is in place and works well for us.  So far we are tickled pink with how comfortable it is. 

The last project was to set the salvaged "Katrina Windows" in place to make it look like a bistro.  We finished those yesterday and they really tie everything in to the Bistro look we want for the space between New Coop and New House.  We've got lots of plans to make it even nicer.

But as of now, we have an outdoor kitchen worthy of showing off and fun to cook in.  What more could we ask for to round out our new life here at Terra Mariae in Covington, Louisiana.

Here's a short video as it was late yesterday when we put away the paint brush.

New Coop on 9-11-18


Sunday, August 26, 2018

First Long Cook in New Coop

Now that New Coop is 'operative' I've been trying to catch up on some cooking.  Yesterday I decided to cook a small pork butt that we found on sale at our neighborhood Walmart.  

But I also wanted to try some rub seasoning we bought at the Abita Springs Farmers Market last week.  It was our first time there and we really like what we saw.  We'll be going back.

It was raining and we had to get some stuff from Lowes, so we didn't stick around long.  But we did get to meet one of the vendors and try some of his BBQ.  And we were impressed enough to purchase a bottle of rub and a bottle of his BBQ sauce.

Anyway, it was a good day for cooking so that's what I did.

Here's a video of the cook.

Friday, August 17, 2018

First Cook in New Coop

We moved into New House on November 1st, 2017.  Our first priority was to get settled well enough to function.

Then we built the attic elevator to help store some of the items we just couldn't get to fit anywhere.

Then two months ago we started building New Coop, our outdoor kitchen.


We aren't finished with it yet but we're far enough along that we can cook in it.  And that's what we did yesterday.

I made a video of the that long awaited moment.

First Cook and Tour of New Coop


Maybe now you can better understand why we worked our asses off in the heat to get New Coop up and running.  

Life will definitely be more fun around here.






Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Kirkpatrick McMillan - The Devil on Two Wheels

As many of you know, I have a lot of Irish and a lot of Scottish in me.  Some of it in the form of DNA and some in the form of beverage for which each country is noted.

Being a little of each gives me both curiosity and enthusiasm in a world where technology is quickly exceeding my ability to absorb its advantage to the world about me.  But I am blessed with a decent mechanical aptitude that sometimes allows me to repair what can be repaired, and even create something that has never been created.

Even so, nothing has ever gotten in the way of my curiosity nor has it stopped me from trying to understand things I can't change.  And there's great joy in changing what I can change.

I would dearly love to leave this planet in better shape than I found it.

There was another McMillan (also spelled MacMillan)  (note the spelling is slightly different than my own name: McMillin) who's ability to apply ideas to the technology of the day set in motion a form of human transportation that quickly changed the world.  And it continues to do so today.

My distant relative, Kirkpatrick McMillan, is now recognized at the person who invented the human powered bicycle in 1839/1840.


And in doing so, he changed the world for the better.

If you have ever owned a bicycle, you owe its existence to Kirkpatrick McMillan.

If you have a few minutes you might read this accounting of him and his invention.

Devil on Two Wheels






Sunday, April 22, 2018

Jack Semmes Ranlett Baptism and Party

Nephew Chase Ranlett, and his wife Cheryl, asked if I would take pictures of their new son, Jack, as he was baptized.  Of course. 

But there would also be a family celebration party afterward.  Of course.

The timing was perfect.  It was Easter and the day was beautiful.

Everything went smoothly, and before the day was over I had over 200 photos and a lot of video.  I had to discard some, of course, and edit others, but in the end I think I did a fair job of showing the two events.

The whole day was very nice.

Here's the link to the YouTube video: 

Jack Semmes Ranlett Baptism and Celebration

Friday, April 13, 2018

Another Sod Day at Maison des Poulets

You wake up thinking that it would be a nice day to recover from yesterday's sod wounds.  But no - there's even more sodness to be dealt with today.

Maison des Poulets just doesn't look like it did yesterday.  And in many ways it looks even better after we came to grips with our sodlessness.

The truth is, we really needed some 'Sodness' in our lives.  If for no other reason than to perhaps serve to remind us that not everyone is lucky to even have Sod.  We had it but Mother Nature took it from us. So Sod.

We were fraught with worry over what we should do.  But in the end it became clear that we just had to take matters into our own hands.  We did, and we feel really good about it.  And we decided that Sodness can be a good thing when handled properly

So once again we're off to the Sodest place in Covington, knowing that we would end up being even more banged up and dented, and a lot Soder than yesterday.

Maybe these photos will show you what I mean.  These were taken this morning as a new sun arose.  You can actually see the sodness as it spreads to the right, affecting everything in its path.


Here too...


Yes, we need about 1,500 more pounds of Sodness before we can truly say we've got our sodlessnes under control and our feet firmly on the ground.

Next day, we added another 1,500 pounds of Sodness, plus two full wheelbarrows of beach stuff.  Then we waited for the promised rain.  It came and looks like our efforts to achieve Sodness Nirvana paid off.  We feel the power of success.



More proof that Sodlessness can be overcome with a plan, some $$$ and a lot of effort.


Saturday, March 24, 2018

Finally, A Shed

A shed for our growing collection of lawn care and gardening tools equipment was high on the list of 'things to do' here at La Maison des Poulets. 

(Yeah... I know I said I would no longer have to do lawn mowing, but somehow my plans went awry)

We flipped and flopped as to what kind of shed (build it ourselves or buy one) because of the area where it will be located.  We wanted it to look nice but be functional.  But most of all, it needed to accommodate items that were unnecessarily taking up space in the garage.  And it had to meet the Homeowner's Association guidelines.

In the end, we opted for a resin (plastic) shed that would do the job.  And the one we chose comes with a 10 year limited warranty.  I take that to mean if it fails on the last day of the warranty, the cost of it's warranty replacement will be calculated by dividing its original cost by 3,650 days minus one.  So in this case the company would give us a prorated refund of $0.22. 

But hey, if I built my own, my warranty would be 'Zero.'  So we probably made the right decision.

It came in a box and was set up and functioning as a shed before the day was over. Judy and I assembled it ourselves.

Take a look.






I will be mounting some hangers and hooks to hold most of the stuff off the floor.

Next project: our outdoor kitchen...