Archive | April, 2015

Homestead Update

4 Apr

The weather has really warmed up this past week. We had several really nice days and unfortunately I had to work so I didn’t get as much done around here as I would have liked.

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I put two coats of grey paint on the new addition to my shop and I think it looks good now. I also added 10 shelves on the back wall of the open bays. The shelves are each 2 feet wide by 10 feet long so I should be able to store lots of junk excess material on them.

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I was passing through town and watched a crew tearing down an old motel. The doors to the motel opened to the outside and I noticed they had removed the big plate-glass from each room. I don’t know if they hauled it away to melt and recycle or to sell as used sheet glass. If you will look closely at the picture, you can see doors leaning against the walls inside the rooms so I guess they are not going to salvage those since they were tearing it down as I watched. Seems like a real waste, that would be close to 100 metal doors that could be resold and reused. I could use a couple of those myself! I realize when you are figuring salvaging something for resale on a commercial scale, you have to figure in the cost of the labor involved. That probably makes it more profitable to just tear it down and load it on the truck and bury it somewhere. It still pains me to see that though. I am just too much of a prepper, scrounger, and pack rat to throw all that stuff away.

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I also had to was privileged to attend a wedding last weekend. The theme colors were black and white, and I didn’t know they used black at weddings. I thought they reserved black for funerals, but as I think of it, black is entirely appropriate for many marriages I see!

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The grooms cake was decorated to resemble a corn field at harvest with toy tractors on it for decoration. It was quite tasty as well. Maybe I can get some more projects done in the coming week, I’ll keep you posted. Until then, keep prepping everyone!

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Gypsy Spring

3 Apr

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I was checking my orchard a few days ago and I noticed the peach trees blooming. I saw 2 trees out of the 36 I planted that are not budding out as of yet. I will give them a few weeks just to be sure then I will replace them if need be. I might add some more blue berry bushes while I am replanting. Fruit trees blooming are a sure sign of Spring, as well as Gypsies passing through. That is known as “Gypsy Spring” in these parts, and why you might ask?

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We live near a major North/South corridor, and we get quite a few hitch hikers coming through. Many of them are like this couple pictured above, modern-day Gypsies. These Gypsies are street people who spend the warm weather up North in cities like Chicago where they ply their Gypsy trades, then they travel back down South to winter in the warmer climes like New Orleans and Key West. Many of these people ply the traditional Gypsy lifestyle of pick pockets, purse snatching, petty theft, con games and scams. Being homeless and mobile, when the law begins to look at them too keenly, they just up and move to the next town. Around here, one of their favorite scams is repainting metal grain bins.

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After time, grain bins get rusty and need repainting. A group of Gypsies will come through and catch some farmers unaware of the scam. They will paint the bins with silver paint, and immediately afterwards they look good. But being a Gypsy scam, they thin the real paint with so much diesel fuel, after a few months of sun and rain, the paint fades away and the bins look worse than they did before painting. But by that time, the Gypsies have moved on down the road and are long gone.

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Another of their favorite scams is driveway sealing. They come around and offer to seal the driveways for a really low price. But, being a Gypsy scam, they will cut the sealant with diesel fuel, and after a few months you can’t even tell the driveways have been sealed. Once again, the Gypsies have moved on and are long gone by that time.

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But probably one of their most profitable scams is roofing. They will follow around the country following hurricanes and tornados taking advantage of the desperation of people to have their homes repaired after a storm. They will offer to make the repairs at a seemingly good price. They will ask for a large sum up front to purchase the supplies and will promise to start in a couple of days. They might even climb on the roof and cover the damage with blue tarps to make the homeowner feel at ease. Then they never come back! After a few weeks of scamming, they have to leave the area when the police start getting complaints. All of this is just part of the Gypsy way of life, so as they say, let the buyer beware!