Archive | February, 2012

Gravel Parking Pad

29 Feb

I bought a load of crushed limestone, grade 33C, to spread around the barn for more parking area.

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That’s $580.00 dollars worth of limestone, by the way. Sure seems like a lot of money for one load of 23 tons, but that is what it costs around here. How does that price sound to you?

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I spread it around the front of the barn to have a parking area, and a place to work and stay out of the mud.

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I fixed a small area to the side where I can back around off the driveway and not get stuck. I have a small pile left so I can fill in the low spots after it settles down a bit.

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I haven’t had much rain on it yet so it is not fully settled, but for now it almost looks like concrete. I also used some of it around the drip line of the barn.

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The water dripping is starting to wash out a furrow around the building. Someday I plan on having a rain water capturing tank system to make use of the water, but for now I need some gravel beneath the drip line to prevent any further erosion.

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But Sweet Thing got after it with a shovel and wheelbarrow and went all the way down both sides of the barn and now that problem is solved! So now we can move on to the next project whatever it may be.

Jamaican Holiday

28 Feb

It may be cold and wintry where you are, but it is warm and sunny in…                JAMAICA!

Sweet Thing and I spent 4 days in Jamaica where I had another of those educational and informational meetings. It really felt good to lay on the beach and soak up some sun. I really enjoy being in the Caribbean but I don’t know how much longer we will keep going on these trips. We enjoyed the times we spent in Cancun and Cozumel, but things got dangerous in Mexico because of the drug gangs. While we were away, I read where a gang of bandits robbed a group of tourist on an excursion off of a cruise ship while in Mexico. That is why we stopped going to Mexico, and that kind of stuff is just spreading and getting worse. We might stop going out of the country all together and just stay on a US beach somewhere. We could drive to a beach on the gulf of Mexico. We might even drive to Stephen’s neck of the woods in Florida and go to a beach there. It’s bad enough having to go through the hassle of flying to your destination and subjecting yourself to being groped by the TSA goons, but you have to disarm and leave your personal protection at home. One of our group was reading a gun magazine while laying on the beach and we got into a discussion with our waiter about guns. He said no one in Jamaica had guns except the police, but crime is very bad away from the resorts. People are killed and robbed everyday with machetes and clubs. It just proves the idea that guns are not the problem, criminals are the problem. But enough about that, we will save that serious discussion for later, so back to our vacation.

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This was the view from the balcony of our room. Nice huh?

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As I was laying by the pool, if I looked to my left I saw this view. This resort was all-inclusive, so as long as you had your wristband anything you wanted to eat or drink was included at no additional charge. This is our friendly waiter Adrion making sure the cool, frozen libations kept coming.

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If I looked to the right, I had this view. A nice cool breeze and the waves just kept rolling in.

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But this was my primary view most of the time, laying on my back underneath an umbrella just dosing. Even if you are going to lay under an umbrella, be sure and lather up with plenty of sunscreen, especially if you have that winter pasty white glow like me.

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And be sure and not forget to put sunscreen on the tops of your feet. If you forget you’ll be sorry. Owwww!

Tuesday Tunes, Alan Jackson, Hank Williams Jr.

28 Feb

I’m feeling like a country boy today so how about a double dose of country boy? First, Hank Williams Jr, A Country Boy Can Survive.

Then Alan Jackson, Country Boy.

Newest Follower

28 Feb

I have another follower to welcome. Debi, thanks for following and feel free to comment anytime, you are welcome here.

Newest Followers

28 Feb

I would like to welcome my newest followers. Adam has a blog all about TV and movies and gives his personal ratings and reviews at eat, sleep, television.

Malou is a lady originally from the Philippines now living in Holland with her husband and son. She has a blog about her life in Holland and her experiences travelling around Europe. Check out her blog at Malou Prestado.

Millican Pecan Company has a web site where they sell anything related to pecans. They also have articles and links to articles about growing pecans and interesting facts about pecans. Check them out at Millican Pecan Company.

Welcome and thanks for following my blog and feel free to comment or ask questions.

Sunflowers

27 Feb

I plan on planting food plots on the homestead to help feed deer and other animals and birds. One of the plants I will grow is sunflowers. This is a field I saw last Fall just prior to dove season.

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These sunflowers had already started to mature out and turn their heads down. People plant these fields of sunflowers to attract doves for hunting. I might harvest some of my crop to have birdseed for the winter months, and I can also feed some to the deer. There are a lot of nutrients in oil-seed sunflowers, this should help the deer grow larger and healthier. Maybe I can grow a large buck on the homestead.

Spiral Saw

26 Feb

This is another of my Christmas gifts, a spiral saw.

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I have never owned one of these so I am looking forward to finding some good uses for it. I found one use for it, I cut a hole in the plastic cover on my truck bumper to install some bolts through a bumper hitch. The saw also has an attachment which turns it into a hand-held grinder. This tool looks like it could come in mighty handy on the homestead.

Pine Needles

25 Feb

We have a good mix of hardwoods and evergreen trees on the homestead.

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We have some larger cedars like these and some smaller ones like this one.

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We have already picked out this one to be our “Charlie Brown” Christmas tree. If all goes as planned, this will be our first Christmas living on the homestead next year and we are really looking forward to it. Some people will think that tree is scraggly and thin, why don’t you buy a nice pretty one from town? It may be a little thin, but it is our tree from our woods on our homestead. That will make it be the prettiest little Christmas tree in the world to us. We also have some tall Pine trees towering towards the sky.

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I can’t use the pines for firewood, but if I have to build a bon-fire I can use them. And why would I need a bon-fire you might ask? Well, I am not as lucky as some people. We have an expression around here describing someone who is rich. “He has enough money to burn a wet mule with hundred-dollar bills and not miss it.” HAHA! Well I can’t do that so I will have to use pine wood for my mule burning.

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I can use these pine needles for mulch around the homestead. Almost everything growing can benefit from a good layer of mulch except Hostas. If you mulch around Hostas in this area, they will be eaten up by voles. Voles love Hostas, they must taste like candy to them. If you have never seen a vole this is a picture of one.

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They are filthy little creatures that look like a cross between a mouse and a mole. they will borrow all around the plants and feed on the roots until they kill the plant. They have destroyed several large Hostas I grew and babied along for years. About the only way to keep them away is to remove any mulch and debris from around the plants. Our cat Frank gets one in the garden quite often, good boy!

Bee Hives

24 Feb

This is something every homestead should have, bee hives.

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These boxes are on the edge of one of the fields I check each week. Several of my clients allow bee keepers to put hives near the field to help aid in pollination. I have to be careful about the insecticides I recommend in these fields, some of them are very toxic to bees. No matter what insecticide we use, when we have hives near the field we wait until late in the day to spray these fields. Late in the day the bees are back in the hives and out of the field so there will be little contact between the bees and the insecticides. Not only are bees good for pollination, they provide honey. Honey is one of the better long-term survival foods, it provides sweetener and honey flavor and will last for years if properly stored. Honey has been found in the pyramids which was over 2000 years old and was still edible. I am going to try to keep a few hives on the homestead someday. I will need to have someone help me since I know absolutely nothing about bee keeping and honey. (except eating it) One of Nephews friends has been keeping bees for 2 years, maybe I can give him a spot to set up some hives if I pay the expenses for them. It will be a good place to start learning.

UPS Truck Crash

23 Feb

I was on my way to work yesterday and I saw this by the side of the road.

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A UPS truck ran off the road on I-55. It looked like he just fell asleep and veered off of the road, but according to the driver he didn’t fall asleep. He said he had a coughing fit and blacked out and woke up after the truck had stopped. He was very lucky, if he had gone forward just a little more, he would have dropped 30 feet down into a gully. The truck hit hard enough to shift the load forward and burst through the front of the trailer. The truck was headed to Kentucky, so if you are expecting a package via UPS it may be a little late as well as smashed up a bit too! Let’s be safe out there, no texting and driving and get plenty of sleep. Remember, the life you safe may be your own (and mine too)!