Following up on things

I got to follow up on a couple of things this evening.

We hit 32C/89F today, so once things got cooler, I headed out to water the garden beds.

Yesterday evening, after letting the silicon sealant cure for more than 24 hours, I filled the rain barrel by the garden, so today was the litmus test. I’m happy to report, there were no leaks at all at the cracks in the barrel.

With the barrel set up in the shade of a tree, the water in it was actually still cool! But not cold, which I’m sure the squash pants appreciated. Some of the leaves look like they got shocked by the cold, the last time I used a hose to water them.

While watering the beets and carrot beds, I startled a little friend.

It even gave me a chance to get pretty close with my phone to take pictures, before disappearing. This is the first time I’ve seen one of the green tree frogs jumping out of these beds. Gosh, they’re pretty!

While there, I decided to check on my other green friend, in the chokecherry tree by the junk pile.

The caterpillar is still there – and noticeably bigger! If you look at the veins in the leaf to compare between the two dates, you can see he’s quite a bit longer. The colouring has smoothed out, too. I’ll have to check again over the next while; he might get as big as the ones I found when I was a kid!

I’m happy to add that I saw flashes if kittens while making my way between the garden beds. While I was checking on the caterpillar, Butterscotch even emerged from the spirea to say hello and let me pet her. 🙂

I’m glad she didn’t move her kittens.

The next thing I’ll be following up on is how things go tomorrow! We’re headed to the city for my husband’s first appointment with the pain clinic. I’m glad it’s finally happening, though to be honest, I don’t have much confidence in how it’ll go. After all these years, I think I’ve gotten way too jaded, but between the 2 years it took for my husband to get a 14 page form to fill out, and what was in the form itself, I am already not impressed with this place.

Mind you, I don’t think I’ll even be able to go in with him. They said he’ll have to wear a mask to go in, without anything about medical exemptions – and he has several conditions that would apply! I already know wearing a mask triggers my chronic cough, so maybe we’ll both be able to get exemptions, but I doubt it. Another reason for my expectations to be very low.

Hopefully, I will be proven wrong.

The Re-Farmer

Garden rain barrel; redux

With yesterday’s rain, it wasn’t until today that the rain barrel set up by the squash beds was dry enough to try patching again.

The silicon sealant is white, and so is the Plasti Dip spray, so it’s hard to see! Especially after I spread the sealant into the cracks.

Hopefully, this will do the trick and there will be no more leaking. Though, to be honest, the amount that was leaking was so minor, I’m not too worried about it. It’ll just water the spruce tree it’s sitting next to! 😀

I’ll leave it to cure for at least 24 hours before refilling the barrel. Then we will see how well this worked. 🙂

The Re-Farmer

Garden rain barrel, follow up

This morning, I was a bit late doing the outside part of my morning rounds, having taken the time to finish the second hoop to cover the rain barrel by the sun room.

On checking the rain barrel by the garden, it seemed to be okay, but I did find a very minor leak from one of the larger cracks.

Then I noticed this, beside it.

It’s a bubble of water! The Plasti Dip on the outside it still holding it, but it won’t take long for it to give out.

So I need to empty the barrel, then add more sealant after cleaning and drying it.

I’m out of Plasti Dip, but I did finally find the silicone sealant we’d used to fill the holes in the wall from when the satellite dishes were moved from the side of the house to the roof of the sun room. It’s designed for exterior use, and is what I’d wanted to use at first. So that is what I will use on the inside of the barrel.

For now, though, I think I’m going to shut down the computer as we hunker down. Storms are coming through, and look like they’ll actually hit us this time. So I am expecting to lose our internet completely at some point, and probably at least some power flickers.

The rain is going to be wonderful. It’s been a long time since we’ve had a solid rain.

The Re-Farmer

Garden rain barrel, done!

This morning, I emptied the can of Plasit Dip on the cracks in the rain barrel.

Yesterday, I found a couple of hoola hoops at a dollar store in town, and this afternoon, I dug out the role of window screen mesh we found while cleaning out the basement. I hadn’t quite figured out how I was going to attach the mesh to the hoops, and decided to just sew it on. The only problem with that was holding the mesh in place, so I ended up applying the WeldBond glue I’ve got to the hoop, then laying the mesh I’d cut to size on top of it.

Made a real mess on my hands, pressing it into place, but thankfully, the glue washes off easily.

After it had set long enough, I then just sewed the mesh on with a needle and thread.

It’s a bit on the light side and I want to figure out how to add weight to it. With the screen directly on the top of the barrel, any weight on the hoop could potentially tear the screen. I’ll probably just put a board across the top.

Here are the areas I sprayed with the Plasti Dip, both inside and out. I even sprayed areas that I wasn’t sure was cracked, or just a deep scratch, just in case.

That big crack at the top? It’s actually sealed. I didn’t think it would work, but with enough layers, it filled the gap! Most of the seal on that one is on the inside layers.

After giving the inside of the barrel a quick rinse, it was time to fill it and test out the seal.

As of tonight, it is completely waterproof. When I do my rounds in the morning, I’ll see if it held up through the night.

I’ll also be able to water the garden using water that has had a chance to warm up, instead of ice cold well water. 😀

The second hoop is currently sitting in the basement with the mesh and some glue. Tomorrow, I’ll use needle and thread to attach the screen securely, then put it over the rain barrel by the sun room. It’ll be nice to use the water from there, and not have my watering can’s head get clogged up with leaves and other debris. 🙂

It took a while to get the garden rain barrel to the point it could be filled, but I think it was worth it to keep adding more layers to the cracks, with lots of time in between to cure.

It may not be pretty, but it’ll do the job! And that’s all that matters. 🙂

The Re-Farmer

First coat

This morning, I applied the first coat of spray-on rubber to the legs of the picnic table, and the cracks on the rain barrel.

This is the product I am using.

I have never used this stuff, or this brand, before. It was the only one on the shelf, so it’s not like I had a choice of brands or product versions. I think it will work just fine.

The first time we used a product like this, it was a can of liquid rubber deep enough to dip things directly onto. Like the handles of tools. Which is what we did at the time. Or it could be brushed onto a surface. The first time we tried a spray, it was basically the same product as an aerosol. My husband used it to coat the handle of one of his canes (made with aircraft grade aluminum, that could also be used for self defense), and to a cord wrapping he added to parts of his walker for extra support to hold the weight of the backpack he has hung on it. For the can, a dip version would have done a better job, but as a spray, it worked very well on the uneven surface created by the rope work. It’s still holding out, and it’s been about 5 years.

So that was basically what I was expecting. Black, spray on rubber.


It’s white.

At least it looks white against the blue paint.

It’s also a lot lighter and thinner than I expected. Which I suppose is exactly what I need to fill in all those crevices. I added extra along the part where the most rotted wood had come off on the one leg.

I probably could have applied it more carefully to avoid drips, but there is no aesthetic requirement on this.

On the rain barrel, it looks a bit different. The barrel got sprayed both inside and out.

Here, you can see it has an almost blue tint to it. Depending on the angle, it looked a bit more purple than blue.

It should be interesting to see how it looks when it’s done.

How many layers we put on will depend on how well it coats. It requires at least 2 hours between coats. Depending on how often someone can get outside to add another coat, this may take a day or two! It then needs at least 4 hours of curing time after the final coat for the coated object can be used. Thankfully, these are not things we need to use, quickly.

The Re-Farmer

The power of ice

So, a little while ago, while at my computer, I heard a strange thump outside.

I thought the cats might have knocked something over, but when I looked into the sun room, all the kittens were on the bench, sitting up, and looking in the same direction the sound came from.

Then I saw it.

The rain barrel had fallen over.

Now, I’d emptied the rain barrel, but then we got a whole bunch of rain, immediately followed by freezing temperatures, so when the barrel froze over, I just left it.  I couldn’t break through the ice, and it was too heavy to push over.

I found it fallen over into the garden, and managed to roll it to one side, so it wasn’t blocking the path in.


So why did it fall?

Check out the base.


As the water began freezing, deeper in the barrel, the ice prevented it from expanding out, or sideways.  So it expanded the only direction it could.  Down.

That base used to be level, with only about an inch or two of the blue plastic encased in the yellow ring.

Kinda shows how freezing water can burst pipes, split rocks and crumble highway surfaces!

The Re-Farmer