Homestead Update

28 Mar

Last week the weather finally warmed up and made it feel like Spring, although tonight we are expecting near record lows in the upper twenties. But while the weather was nice last week I took the opportunity to do a little work around here.


I noticed the field across from our house had a purple haze of color to it from the Henbit blooming!


That reminded me to get my bee hives set up and ready for the arrival of my nucs. You might notice the bottom board of one of the hives is painted purple. Why? Well, that bottom board is a screened varroa mite board and it came to me unpainted. I already had a can of purple spray paint so I thought “why not?”  It will add a little splash of color to my hives.


I was also able to get the 10X30 addition to my workshop framed up and sealed in. I was able to get the cat enclosure set back up so my kitties can come back outside and look around. They had been cooped up inside for 2 weeks and they didn’t like it one bit. I even got the garage door installed. This was my first attempt at a garage door and it worked out well. It took me and my two employees 4 hours to put it in and get it adjusted properly, but now it works perfectly. I think I could put one up in 2 1/2 hours now that I have some idea of how to do it.


Those metal tracks allow the door to roll up and down, and it has many places where you can adjust the spacing of the track and the rollers. Now that I have it adjusted properly, you can literally raise and lower the door with one finger. This additional space will be where I lock up and store my rolling stock, dirt bikes, ATVs, etc. so I will have room to work inside my shop.

Finally I might get around to doing some of the projects I have been putting off. Keep prepping everyone!

Homestead Update

15 Mar

I am typing this with my head totally stopped up from allergy and sinus problems so this post may be more rambling and disjointed than usual. Anyway, this week was pretty much a bust around here as far as getting anything accomplished. Although the snow and ice finally melted after 3 weeks, the rains came in with the warmer temperatures and we had precipitation for 6 out of 7 days this week, and it is a muddy quagmire around here.


I took this picture as I was feeding the dogs just at sunrise. The dawn was just breaking behind me and a full moon was setting in the West.


I bought this compost bin from Tractor Supply last week. Yeah, I know, I am the guy that buys mulch by the dump truck load so how much good is a 1.3 cubic yard bin going to be. Well, it will be a start and it will help ease my conscience  a bit. I have been throwing good vegetable material in the trash and this will be a place for old lettuce, banana peels, potato peels, apple cores, etc. to go without being a total waste. Maybe after I see the results I’ll get inspired to work on my big pile!


I received my bee smoker from Mann Lake yesterday and I remembered this picture I took at the Antique Mall on Valentines day. This booth had 12 old smokers for sale at $15-$20 each. Several of them had holes in the bladders already so I decided to just pay $30 and get a new one. Why anyone would need 12 smokers unless he had several people working for him in a commercial operation I can only guess.


I went to a bee keeping short course sponsored by my local bee club. The meeting lasted all day, and I picked up a lot of good information. Most of what was discussed, I already was aware of from reading books, watching Youtube videos and visiting bee keeping web sites but one thing caught me by surprise. This speaker was going through the process of installing bees in a hive from a package or a nuc. He stated after the bees were installed I would need to feed the bees with sugar water for a period of time, which according to him would be 6 weeks, and during this time I would probably feed 150 pounds of sugar per hive. WHAT! I immediately held up my hand and asked could you say that again, I want to be sure I heard that right. Yes, I should plan on 150 pounds of sugar per hive. I will need 300 pounds for my two hives, people will think I am making moonshine! I think I better send Sweet Thing to the grocery store and start stocking up, my bees should be here in a month or so. Until then, keep prepping everyone!

Gene Gene The Dancing Machine

14 Mar

Tonight we have another blast from my past. I was reading some blogs today and I discovered Gene Patton, AKA Gene Gene The Dancing Machine, passed away at the age of 82. When I was in college, times were harder than they are today. I stayed in a dorm where most of the residents were agriculture or forestry majors. This dorm did not have TVs and Wi-Fi in the rooms, heck, we didn’t even have air conditioning if you can imagine that. We did have a lounge area with a TV and whatever the group decided on was what we watched. We nearly always collected in the lounge in the afternoon after classes, and we usually watched shows such as MASH, Andy Griffin, and the Gong Show. One of the special treats while watching the Gong Show was the appearance of Gene Gene The Dancing Machine. When he came on, everyone in the lounge was required to get up and start dancing. If you have never experienced the pure unadulterated Joy that is Gene Gene, just click the link above and imagine a couple of dozen college boys dancing around the TV! Sounds kinda Gay now that I think about it. Enjoy!


6 Mar


So, you think prepping for the Zombie apocalypse is stupid huh? Well, I will agree with that for the most part, but how about a short-term local event like a snow storm? People were stuck on I-65 in Kentucky unable to move for 14 hours due to a recent snow storm. This was a storm that was predicted for a week in advance before it arrived and still people were unprepared. I bet most of those people in those vehicles had made no plans before hand in case of trouble. In our vehicle right now, we have a large canvas bag with our emergency supplies. Like what you might ask? Tools, booster cables, first aid kit, extra socks and gloves, blankets, flashlights, water, food, books and a hatchet. Why a hatchet? I might get caught out without my pistol at times, but with a hatchet in my hands I can stop a lot of BS before it gets out of hand! This kit stays in our vehicle at all times and the food and water gets rotated out a couple of times a year. When the weather is bad you should keep an emergency kit in you vehicle, even if the Zombies never come, at least you can be prepared for a storm! Keep prepping everyone!

Homestead Update; Snowbound Once Again!

6 Mar


Two weeks ago we had 5 inches of sleet which was just about melted away when this last storm came through and dropped 8 inches of snow on us. This is the most snow we received in several years so sweet Thing and I went out to play!


Here she is all bundled up like the temperature is 20 below!


We explored the woods and found several sets of deer tracks in the fresh snow.


Looking towards the dog pen you can tell it is a solid field of snow. I looked out later in the day while the sun was shining and I saw the dogs laying on the snow just like they lay on the grass. I guess the cold doesn’t bother them too bad when they have their winter coats.


We took them into the woods with us to run and play and she finally managed to get Jethro to sit still long enough to get a picture so you can see what a big boy he is.


Then he came over to me to give me some love!


Then Wilma came over and said what about me?


We never could get her to sit still long enough to get a good picture. She kept jumping on Sweet Thing and knocking her down. I recently purchased a double set of dog training collars to help teach them some manners. You might remember I found these two dogs dumped out in the boonies when they were puppies. I really wasn’t prepared to own any dogs at time, and it was at the start of my busy season so I didn’t have any time to work with them and train them any. So now they have grown up to be just like big rowdy puppies with no manners!


This is the field right behind our homestead. That large tree sitting just off of the fence line is a pecan tree. I think I might see a Karo Nut Pie in my near future. Keep prepping everyone!

John Boehner caves on Barack Obama’s Executive illegal immigration

4 Mar


I think this this illustrates the political theater played out in Washington perfectly. Both sides are in favor of mass immigration whether legal or illegal. Both sides have different goals, but the results are the same.

Originally posted on America's Watchtower:

john-boehner-crying Earlier today John Boehner caved and brought a Department of Homeland Security funding bill to the floor which did not cut off funding for Barack Obama’s Executive Action on illegal immigration. The legislation passed and naturally this has conservatives outraged but there is no sense in being outraged when we we all knew this was going to be the end result–I am passed the outrage stage.

  This result was predetermined from the beginning: I have written time and time again that all of the Democrats and most of the Republicans are on the same side, this was just a game played out in front of the American voters and the game is known as the Hegelian Dialectic.

  In reality John Boehner played his role in the Dialectic perfectly. That sentence will most likely outrage many conservatives who do not understand what John Boehner’s role was.


View original 392 more words

Homestead Update

21 Feb


Well, we have been iced in all week. I know that picture looks like snow, but it is 3 inches of sleet. I walked across the road and took this picture back towards our house.


These are our neighbors farm shops across the road, as you can see it is still sleeting as this picture is taken.


This is the road in front of our house, I don’t want to get out on that!


But as you can see, some knuckle-head in a 4X4 just had to get out and drive, just to see if he could.


Here is Wilma sitting and waiting for her food.


Here is Jethro chowing down on his feed. the cold doesn’t seem to bother them much. Sometimes I look out towards the pen and they will be laying on the snow and ice just napping. I guess when they get cold enough they decide to get back inside their houses.


Last Saturday was Valentine’s Day and I wanted my Sweetie to have a special day so I took her out to the Flea Market and Antique Malls. And we stayed out ALL day! We went from one place to the other, did I mention we stayed ALL day? Anyway, we started out the day at our favorite little hole-in-the-wall restaurant for breakfast. They don’t have a kitchen, they cook everything on a big grill right there behind the counter where you can watch it being done, and as always it was delicious.


Since we spent so much time in the Antique Malls, I managed to find a few goodies for myself like this old bamboo flyrod. It was manufactured and imported from Japan in the 1950’s, and looking at the cork handle, I can tell it has never been used.


It fits inside this nice wooden carrying box, it looks nice on display in my office.


I also picked up this red leather chair where visitors can sit in my office. And it only cost $10, what a deal!


I also picked up this one-man cross-cut saw. I have a good two-man saw hanging on the wall in my shop so this one-man version will look good hanging right below it. I hope I never have to resort to actually using them, but it is nice to know I have them just in case. If things get that hard I will just find some strong young studs and lend them my saws then lend them my knowledge and expertise. If times get that hard, I can just hear it now, “let’s go see old Swamp Dog, he really knows some stuff!”


When we got home from ALL day shopping at the Antique Malls, we got ready and went to dinner with a couple of our friends. As Sweet Thing was getting ready, she called me to her dressing table and asked if her hair was level across the back. I said it was not so she had me cut her hair! I guess I will have to add hair stylist to my resume!

This frozen spell has lasted all week, but last night the temperatures finally rose above freezing for the first time in 6 days.


So this morning we awoke to this sight, water all in the kitchen floor! We already knew we had a leak either in the front windows or where the porch joins the wall. The water is not leaking from the ceiling, it is running down inside the front wall. After we had a small 12 inch spot of water in the floor a few weeks ago the contractor came out and said he would fix it when the weather warmed up.


All that sleet was dammed up in the valleys and as the rain melted the ice, it started running inside. Our contractor said he would have to pull those vinyl shake shingles off of the front wall and put more flashing around the windows and in the valleys. He said if he tried to remove the vinyl in these cold temperatures, the shingles would break and we have no extras and they were special ordered when we built originally.  I think I am going to just go order enough shingles to redo the entire area and tell him to go ahead and fix it, I can’t have water running down inside the walls, that could cause all sorts of rot and mold problems. After Sweet Thing mopped up our water, I suggested she call her Mom and check her basement. Sure enough, she had 2 inches of water standing in her basement so I met our young Nephew over there and we wet vacuumed all of the water out. Our Niece had a leaky roof at her house and the sheetrock ceiling collapsed in her pantry! Sweet Things sister had water flooding her lower level garage due to the ice buildup on the concrete. This frozen stuff is for the birds, I am ready for it to be all gone. Oh well, Spring will be here before you know it. Keep prepping everyone!


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