Archive | November, 2014

Roadside Treasures

30 Nov

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Last week I saw this plastic barrel on the side of the road, down in the ditch. I could tell it probably blew out of a truck or off of a trailer so I stopped and picked it up. It is a really nice barrel with a full, screw off top.

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This label said the barrel contained green pitted olives. 55 gallons of olives. WOW!

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That would make a lot of martinis wouldn’t it? The label also indicated this was barrel number 40 of 84. Now that would be a LOT of olives! I don’t know what I will use the barrel for since I am not absolutely sure what has been in it, but when I opened it up there was a good layer of cedar shavings so I imagine someone was using this for a portable dog house. I found it the day before gun deer season opened up so I am guessing someone was heading to their deer camp and the barrel blew off of a trailer full of camp supplies. I think I might use it for a compost bin after I make a stand for it.

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This is the Harbor Freight portable garage that I use to park my mower and keep some other junk in the dry. I had to move it so the crew could work on my new barn section. I was worried about moving the structure, but one of my employees and I just pulled up the tie down pegs and tipped it over and rolled it down the hill. It stayed together and we just reinserted the tie down pegs and it is just as good as before. I was shocked it didn’t just come all to pieces when we flipped it over. I sure was lucky on that one. The metal frame is still in good shape, but the plastic tarp is starting to fray at the contact points. If I keep using it for dry storage, I will have to get another tarp to put across it, but that wouldn’t be a big problem.

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Sweet Thing bought this firewood stand from Big Lots and she put it together herself, I didn’t have to do anything except stack some firewood in it. There is enough wood in the rack for us to have a nice, long, toasty weekend so I am prepared for the next cold snap. Keep prepping everyone!

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Homestead Update

29 Nov

I hope everyone had an enjoyable Thanksgiving Day. I spent a few days with my family and it was time well spent as always. I haven’t done a lot around the homestead, I have two close family members who are in and out of the hospital and rehabilitation centers, so I have been going back and forth with them. But I do have a few projects going, specifically, a new addition to my barn!

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I am putting an addition onto the existing structure. The crew is behind schedule, they decided the rafters were too high to put up per their usual method, they had to rent a Skylift to work the rafters. Due to the slope of the ground, the bottom of the end rafter is 14 feet off of the ground and the workers weren’t comfortable working that high.

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They are attaching the new framing to the old structure, and when the new sheets of steel go up all the cutouts will be hidden and covered up.

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When the workers started on the construction, I had to remove the old hoop style enclosure for the cat run, so the cats have been penned up inside the man cave for the past few days and they definitely were not happy. The first thing I did today is to make a new enclosure so they could come back outside. The enclosure is held against the wall with two big deck screws so when the crew gets ready to pour the concrete in this area, I can easily move the enclosure without tearing it down. Oreo and Kensey were definitely happy to be back outside!

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The new addition is an additional 40 feet in length. The first ten feet next to the existing shop will be enclosed and will have a concrete floor. I roughed in the plumbing for a wash room by myself and I hope I did it right, it was sort of a rush job. The other 30 feet of addition will be enclosed on three sides with one side open so I can drive equipment underneath to be out of the weather. I will build some shelves and racks in the back to store things out of the weather and still have room for my mowers and tractor. How long do you think it will be before the new structure is full of stuff and I am wanting more room? Not too long I bet! I will have more tomorrow, keep prepping everyone!

Redneck book of manners

24 Nov

Freedom Is Just Another Word...

Tips From the Redneck Book of Manners
1. Never take a beer to a job interview.
2. Always identify people in your yard before shooting at them.
3. It’s considered poor taste to take a cooler to church.
4. If you have to vacuum the bed, it is time to change the sheets.
5. Even if you’re certain that you are included in the will, it is still considered tacky to drive a U-Haul to the funeral home.
Dining Out
1. If drinking directly from the bottle, always hold it with your fingers covering the label.
2. Avoid throwing bones and food scraps on the floor as the restaurant may not have dogs.
ENTERTAINING IN YOUR HOME
1. A centerpiece for the table should never be anything prepared by a taxidermist.
2. Do not allow the dog to eat at the table no matter how good his manners are.
PERSONAL…

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Tuesday Tunes:Waylon Jennings;The Dukes of Hazzard

18 Nov

For the past few weeks, the Duke boys have been featured in a commercial for some on-line used auto site and it made me nostalgic for the good ole days. That Daisy sure was a babe wasn’t she? Enjoy!

Homestead Update

15 Nov

I spent several days away from home during the past 2 weeks, including some time I spent at my parents house.

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Their house is on the lake, and they needed the seawall replaced. Every 4 years, the lake authorities lower the level of the lake so people can make repairs to the seawalls and docks. I had to hire someone to do the work since I was occupied with other things. I sure didn’t want to pay for that, but I just was not able to do the work myself. The men that put up the wall did a good job so I am satisfied.

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You can’t see it very well, but if you look below those red flowers, you can see a solid black squirrel that showed up in the pecan trees and my Mom is tickled to death to watch it running around her yard.

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I went back into the woods behind our house and finished clearing a path to the back side of our property. The leaves are falling and the woods are starting to open up where you can see a long ways looking through the trees.

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But I finally made it all the way through today! Now I can bring my tractor or ATV all the way to the back line.

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Joining us on the back side of our property is a 200 acre field that is usually soybeans, but this year it was planted in half corn and half cotton. Those trees are about 1/4 mile away, and they are surrounding a really nice lake. If the grid goes down, that will be my third source of water!

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This is a view from the field looking back towards the path I cleared through the woods. I cleared out a spot on the edge where I plan on having some bee hives next year. They will have a good source of water right in front of the hives, and be in a secluded location away from any roads where no one will be able to bother them.

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For safety sake, since my eye is still healing up, I decided to wear my safety helmet with full face shield to guard against any limbs and branches whipping across my eye.

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I also stumbled upon a prize this week. I looked in the local shoppers guide, and saw this table saw for sale. The man was asking $200 for it and he said it was working perfectly, but he wanted to warn me before I came to pick it up, it was over 30 years old and it was a big heavy steel model, not one of those nice, new lightweight aluminum ones. When I arrived to pick it up, I plugged it up and it did indeed work perfectly. He had 7 blades to go with it, a dado set, an adjustable extension stand, a precision fence, an angle jig, and several other items. It was a steal for $200, the blades alone were worth more than that. As we were loading it into the back of my truck, once again he apologized for it being so old and heavy, but I just grinned. That was exactly what I wanted, I already have one of the new, light weight cheap ass aluminum models. This steel table would cost $600 for a similar saw now. I am going to use it this winter while the weather is bad to make some bee hives for next Spring. Until then, keep prepping everyone!

Veterans Day

11 Nov

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On this day I would like to send out my thanks to all those who have served our country. There is no way to thank our veterans enough for the sacrifices they have made on our behalf. And when I see the fiasco the VA has become it makes me want to hurl a chair through a window. I spent a good amount of time in the Memphis VA hospital 2 years ago with Sweet Thing’s Dad, and I will say they took good care of him there, but many of the other hospitals were not so accommodating. I am glad they appointed someone to try and correct all the gross mishandling of our veterans who were being mistreated and neglected when they needed our help the most. So once again let’s say Thank You to all our Veterans and God Bless America. And since it is time for Tuesday Tunes, how about the classic from Kate Smith?

Homestead Update

8 Nov

I haven’t done much around the homestead this week due to my eye healing up. And even though no one bothered to ask, my eye is doing much better now, thank you very much.

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Sweet Thing and I went to the big Flea Market two weekends ago; I looked at all the old tools and such. The only thing I saw that was a good enough deal to buy was this draw bar for my tractor at only $15, I couldn’t pass that up.

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That Flea Market is the same place I bought this $15 fuel pump last year. I used it a whole year without any problems until last week. I tried to fill my tractor and I pumped, pumped, and pumped on the handle but I couldn’t get it to prime and start pumping no matter what I tried. I thought “Dang, now I am going to have to take the pump apart and try to figure out how to repair it and order a kit to fix it.”

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But as luck would have it, I saw this sitting in a front yard by the road with a “for sale” sign in front of it. I checked it out and it looked OK, so I took out my new smart phone (yes, I finally caught up with the rest of the world and got rid of my old reliable flip phone) and went to the Tractor Supply web site to see if I remembered correctly how much this would cost new. The tank would be $499 and the least expensive 12 volt pump would be over $200. After you add the tax, you would be looking at pretty much $800 for this set up. Oh yeah, now I remember why I am using a Flea Market pump and 2 free oil barrels for my fuel, I couldn’t see spending that much even though I wanted one badly. I called the number on the sign and the man came out from inside the house and I prepared to do my best horse trading. I asked him if the tank was rusted inside, he said no and removed the cap and used his pocket flashlight to let me look inside. I asked if it leaked and again he said no, he just took it out of his truck yesterday. I asked if the pump worked and he said yes, the only thing he didn’t like about it was the long cord with alligator clips on the end which caused him to need to raise the hood of his truck and hook them up when he needed to use the pump. He then hooked the pump to my truck battery and you could hear the pump run, although it didn’t pump since the tank was empty. I asked why he was selling it and he said it was just taking up too much room in the bed of his truck so he was going to downsize to a 40 gallon tank and get a new pump wired directly into his electrical system. So now we got to the point where we would cut to the chase. I knew a new one was $800 so I figured he would ask somewhere between $400-500, but I decided I wouldn’t pay a cent over $350. I asked for the price and he said “I need $100 for the tank and $100 for the pump. I am firm on the price but I will sell them separately if you don’t want them both.” I said SOLD! So much for my horse trading skills, huh? Now it is sitting behind my barn, waiting for my new addition to be added to my barn. I finally got the original builder of my barn to come and give me a quote on an addition, (after a month of calling) and I hope construction starts soon. I need more space!

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Speaking about Tractor Supply, this is a semi trailer blown over on their parking lot. The last storm front blew through here with 50-60 MPH winds, it was pretty rough going for a while. The weathermen are all calling for the Polar Vortex to return this week, so I have been getting ready.

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I put a big stack of firewood on the back porch, and I have a stack in the fireplace primed and ready to go. All I have to do is touch a match to the paper and we will be all warm and toasty!

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The weather was nice and warm today so I went across my new culvert and walked through the woods this afternoon. I spotted this huge hornet’s nest in the trees. It was about 2 feet tall, so it would hold a lot of hornets! I found one like it in the front of the homestead last fall, so I will have to be careful as I am wandering around in warm weather. I wouldn’t want to bump into one of these while the hornets were home! More to come tomorrow, keep prepping everyone!