Archive | June, 2014

Homestead Update

28 Jun

Not much went on around the homestead this week due to my work schedule. We mowed the lawn and pulled weeds from around the tomato plants, otherwise it was just work, work, work!


The corn is starting to tassel and looking good since it had so much rain so far this year.


Wheat is ready for harvest, lots of amber waves of grain now.


Of course, when the wheat is cut, many farmers burn off the fields to get rid of the straw. I strongly discourage my clients from doing this, it is a real waste of organic matter.


I found this on the shoulder of the road. You can’t tell from the picture but this is a 3/4 inch drive ratchet. Heck yeah! Those things are expensive, I can use this with my set I bought at Harbor Freight. I also saw a long handle shovel laying on the shoulder of the interstate, but I decided to pass it up and not go back for it. It was at the interchange of 2 interstate highways and the traffic was just too heavy to risk dancing around on the road. It’s not worth getting run over or causing a multi-car pile-up just for a shovel. Still, I sure did hate to pass it up. Keep prepping everyone.

Tuesday Tunes:Bob Dylan;Like A Rolling Stone

24 Jun

Today the original lyrics to this song that Bob scribbled on 4 sheets of hotel stationery sold at auction for two million dollars! I could sure use some of that. Let’s give a listen shall we?

Stop And Smell The Roses

22 Jun

As I was working this week, I noticed some of the flowers blooming in the area.



This is a Canadian Thistle.


This is a red Lily in my garden.


These are some wild pink roses.


These pink Holly-Hocks were growing in a ditch bank along a gravel road.


This is a bloom on a cottonwood tree. I think you can see why they call it that, this clump of seeds look just like an open boll of cotton. When a gust of wind hits a clump like this, the seeds go floating away for a long, long ways.


I also had to make a mad dash back to my truck to outrun a rain cloud. I stopped and snapped this picture of the rainbow about 2 minutes before the rain began pouring down. Actually it was a double rainbow, if you look closely you can just see it. Keep prepping everyone, and watch out for those rain storms.

Snakes and Frogs and Turtles and Lizards, Oh My!

21 Jun


Last week I stepped out on the back porch to listen to the rain and there was such a cacophony of noise I couldn’t hear the rain. The frogs were raising such a racket it was unbelievable! There must have been a million of these little guys out there to make that much noise!


I also encountered this soft-shell turtle as I was checking a field. His shell must have been 18 inches across. I couldn’t believe he let me get this close, as a matter of fact, about two seconds after I took this picture he went dashing off into the water.


I saw this small rat snake as I was riding my ATV.


I saw another 24 inch snake on a gravel road.


I saw this snake on a turn-row and fortunately he was dead because this is an infamous Blue Racer! When I was a kid, we lived in a little community about 4 miles outside of town. We rode our bike all over the community and rode into town to the baseball parks and swimming pool. Quite often we would see a snake slithering along as we rode our bikes down the gravel roads. If you swerved towards most snakes they would get back into the bushes as fast as they could. But, if we tried that with a Blue Racer they would come after us and chase us! It was a test of our bravery to mess with a Blue Racer. Part of the gravel lane we rode to get to town went through a small copse of woods just on the edge of the city limits, right before the lane crossed the railroad tracks. This area was known as Hobo Lane, because supposedly, Hobos would hop off of the trains before the trains entered the switch yard. The Hobos were said to camp in those woods and we were sternly admonished to avoid those Hobos at all cost because they all carried butcher knives and would cut your throat for your loose pocket change, then hop on the train and be long gone before anyone ever even missed us. I never saw a single Hobo riding through there, but still, if I was riding alone I rode as fast as I could until I got out of the woods!


I also saw a lizard like this Five Lined Skink, only the one I saw was at least 12 inches long. It was the biggest one I have ever seen! How many of you remember the County Fairs having games of skill such as the ring toss, and one of the prizes you could win was a lizard inside a small cardboard box? Well, if you remember that you are old! Now-a-days you could never get away with that, PETA would be all over that. The lizards were about 4 inches long with a bright blue tail. The older boys would tease the younger boys by saying if you broke the tail off of the lizard, the lizard would regrow the tail. BUT, the broken tail would keep growing and become a SNAKE! YIKES!


We were cleaning up around my shop one day, and one of my employees found this snake-skin. He wondered if he might encounter the owner and I said he might because I had encountered him several times this Spring. We would both stop and look at each other for a few seconds, then he would slither off on his business and I would go on about mine. Keep prepping everyone, and watch out for those snakes!

Tuesday Tunes: Elvis Presley; Bossa Nova

17 Jun

We haven’t had a tune from Elvis in a while so here is a remix of Bossa Nova from the film Fun In Acapulco. Enjoy!

Happy Fathers Day

15 Jun


I would like to wish all the Dads out there a Happy Fathers Day. Give your Dad a call or better yet go see him while you have the chance. I’m too far away to get to see my Dad today so I’ll just have to call. I love you Dad!

Aerosol Inhalants

12 Jun


While I had the day off, I went to Tractor Supply for some fun shopping and I picked up this can of lubricant to spray the rollers on the garage door. When the clerk rang up the item I had to give a birth date due to Federal Regulations. (I have encountered this before so I was not surprised) I always give a false date by the way, it is really none of their business and they don’t check. I looked at the clerk and said “Whoo Hoo! I’m going to party hearty today!” She just rolled her eyes and laughed out loud. Apparently kids (some as young as elementary school age) take stuff like this and snort it up their nose to get high. Parents, watch your kids and don’t leave them alone and unsupervised. They can get in way more trouble than you and I could have in our younger days, the world is a dangerous place now.



That reminds me of a Kildeer nest I encountered this past week. It was in a field where I was riding through on my ATV, and as I got right beside it the Mother flew off of the nest. When I went back to take a picture of the eggs, she came back to run me away. So here is this little 6 ounce bird willing to go face to face with a fully grown man to protect her eggs. She was standing there, not 3 feet away from me, flapping her wings and screeching as loudly as she could to warn me away! What marvelous maternal instinct God has given to this tiny creature. It is a shame all of our human Mothers don’t have this same instinct. Far too many of them are willing to pass their children off to virtual strangers so the Mother can go out and party and have a good time. Then you see them on the news after something tragic happens bemoaning the fact they just can’t believe it happened. Well, if you had been taking care of your child with half of the courage of this little bird, tragedy would have been avoided. So ends my little rant for today. Keep prepping everyone!

Rain, Rain, Rain

11 Jun

I work in a 50 mile radius around my home and it has rained somewhere in that radius every day for the past 3 weeks. Fortunately, it has not rained everywhere at once, until today that is. We had an area wide front roll through and drop an inch of rain or more everywhere, so now all the fields are too wet to check today so I am going to take a day off finally!


It is so wet in our yard, I spotted this good-sized bullfrog just sitting in the grass. I guess he figures everywhere is a swamp now so he can just go where he pleases.


I have my big puppies loaded in the truck to go to the vet for their annual shots and check-ups.


This is Kensey and Oreo in their outdoor enclosure. I put a tarp across the top of the wire so they even go out while it is raining, they don’t seem to mind getting a little wet.


We have been fortunate with all this rainy weather we have not really had the severe weather they predicted. Although in a nearby town I did see some straight line wind damage. This house had 3 fully mature Bradford Pear trees in the front and the wind snapped them all down. It always seems to happen like that, just as soon as a Bradford Pear matures and starts looking nice, the wind destroys it!


This big Oak got blown over, that will make someone a lot of nice firewood.


So I am not going to do much today I might just sit here on the front porch and enjoy another cup of coffee. Enjoy you day everyone, and keep on prepping. And yes I have been keeping up with the news. Obama is letting prisoners go from Gitmo, he is shipping busloads of illegals to Arizona, the Ukraine is still in turmoil, and our national debt just keeps on rising. I am just too tired to even think about that stuff anymore. It’s always same old, same old!

Tuesday Tunes:Sting and The Police; Roxanne

10 Jun

How about a classic from 1978, Sting performing their hit Roxanne. Enjoy! Sorry about the ad at the start, it seems that Youtube is putting ads in the front of most of the music clips.

Homestead Update

7 Jun

Well, as you might imagine, working 80 hours last week at my job not much was accomplished around here. Things are starting to look up with the crops, so maybe I can settle into a 60 hour a week groove now. That would leave a little time to work around the homestead. We did manage to get the yard mowed but that is pretty much all we were able to accomplish outside. Sweet Thing spent a lot of time straightening up and cleaning inside the house this week.


Some of the corn is starting to look pretty good.


The cotton is finally looking like it might survive the Spring weather and actually produce a crop.


I found 6 marbles this week.


I found 2 Indian artifacts!


I also found the base to an old-timey Iron that you heated on top of the woodstove. This thing is heavy, that’s why Granny had such big arms. She had to be strong to do all the everyday chores she did! Keep prepping everyone!