Saturday, September 21, 2013

2x4 Bus Bench

2x4 Bus Stop Bench
So, now that the kids go to the Elementary down the mountain, they take the bus. Luckily, it is right in front of the driveway.But they didn't have anyplace to sit and watch for the bus. So, I as usual looked to the internet and found the solution to my problem. Thank You Jay's Custom Creations! I googled 2x4 bench and found the perfect plans. I did modify them slightly- As you can see I have only two 2x4s for the backrest instead of 5. Mostly that is because here in Japan, they don't sell 8' 2x4s, and I didn't want to buy an extra twelve footer. Well, anyway, I used some graph paper, drew some simple models and made a new cut list using four 12' 2x4s. Then I lost that paper and just winged it. It went OK.But seriously, Jay made great plans, easy to follow, and easy to adapt to your needs. 

All told, it took about an hour to cut and screw this bench together. I think it took me longer to gather my tools from their various hiding places than it did to make it. 

My helper and one of the main users of the bench.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Rice Update 2013

Well, I am sure that I am cursing myself to wild boar damage by posting these photos of my BEAUTIFUL ORGANIC RICE! I made the paddy 100 square meters (four times last year) and had nothing but trouble! Leaks and water holding problems- sand washing in from storms, a crab who kept tunneling into the water warming pond and releasing it all into the paddy ice cold! Heavy rains overflowing and washing out the paddy banks! But I learned a lot and I think with about 20cm of aged cow manure spread in there before winter, I might do even better next year.

Koshi Hikari  rice

Koshi Hikari rice closeup

A different angle of the paddy
My helper giving it a thumbs up!
It might look nice if you don't know much about growing rice, but I must admit the yield looks to be very skimpy compared to the neighbor's. Even so, if we escape boar damage, I think it will yield better than last year.

This year I decided to take fewer chances and fenced in the whole paddy by Sept. 3. Whew! Of course, it remains to be seen if it will work. I followed the instructions on the package of netting, One meter high, one meter spread outward on the ground, and staked down.

Elsewhere in the garden, my Sudachi (citrus) is covered in tiny lime-like fruits!
Margaritas anyone?
Sudachiade for the little ones?
Can anyone identify this?
I found this on the back of a pawpaw leaf.... wasps?
Same mud structure from a bit further away.