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Homestead Update 7/2/2017

2 Jul

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Well let’s see what has been going on around here the past 3 weeks other than working 70 hours a week. These are some of the onions I harvested from my raised bed garden.

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I picked this apple from our orchard. Most of the peach trees had no fruit because a late freeze got most of the blooms. But, one of the trees bloomed later and was loaded down with peaches. Unfortunately, every peach had a hole bored into it! I haven’t sprayed our trees, I have been just letting them grow and get established. I think next Spring I will spray them, they should be ready to produce some fruit by then.

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I was out working and I noticed this garden beside the field I was checking. There was a nice, old-fashioned, scarecrow to keep the birds away.

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I also parked in front of this old, closed down storefront. You don’t see many stores like this anymore, it’s a shame it is closed. I actually have a hat I would like cleaned.

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I found this jaw bone in a field. A horse maybe?

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I found these native American artifacts in a field. I found all of them within 10 feet of each other. I have found a lot of artifacts this Spring. I’ll take some pictures and show them to you later.

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I saw this large, blooming hedge by a field I was checking. I think my bees might like this.

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Anyone know what this might be?

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I have a large pile of soil I scooped up with my front end loader when we were building our house. I finally got around to making a soil sifter to clean the gravel, glass, nails, etc. In my very first wheel barrel load I found this nice projectile point, two marbles, and an old penny. Who knows what else I might find. I’ll keep you informed. Until then, keep prepping everyone!

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Creek Walking

24 Sep

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I’ve been watching YouTube videos of people walking creeks looking for artifacts, and I found a place where I thought I would try it myself. It was a nice, cool morning when I gave this a try. I was a bit worried about encountering some snakes in this creek, but after I stepped in I ceased worrying. This water is coming out of underground springs so it is clear and way too cool for snakes to be swimming around in it. I was still careful watching the banks and overhangs, but I didn’t encounter a single snake. I didn’t find any artifacts, but I had a pleasant day nonetheless.

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I did see quite a few butterflies and honey bees landing for a drink of water.

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Looking at this picture, you might think there some pinkish colored stones on the edge of the creek, but you would be mistaken. These are large lumps of clay that are washing loose from the soil.

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The clay feels like a giant lump of Playdoh! I plan on going back for more walks this fall. I’ve had good luck finding artifacts this Spring and I will show some of my finds later. Keep prepping everyone!

Homestead Update 7/3/16

3 Jul

I haven’t done any work around the homestead in two weeks due to my illness. I had an allergic reaction to Keflex that is so severe it had me in the hospital for 4 days this week.

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That is my right hip and upper thigh.

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That is the back of my left leg. Looks pretty bad, huh? Yeah it feels pretty bad too. My entire body, front and back, looks like this from my neck down to my knees. I expect to have two more really painful days then the whelps and blisters should be finished and I will just have to wait for the peeling and healing to finish. I have missed 10 days of work and will miss at least 7 more. My business partner and employees have been doing my work in addition to theirs so I am going to owe them a big debt of gratitude. I have been doing this job for 38 years and this is the first time in all of those years I have missed more than 1 day of work during the Summer. Another bad thing about this is the fact that I have to stay inside all the time. I can’t get hot or sweat in the least bit or the rash will just get worse. It’s a shame I’m home and not working but unable to do some light chores around here like straighten up my workshop or check in on my honeybees. I know they need some attention, but Mother Nature will just have to take care of them for now.

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This is a native American artifact I found a few weeks ago. It is actually a Paleo Point, which may be 12,000 years old! This is the old stuff PP often asks me about. I have found 3 new places to find artifacts this year. While I have been laid up in the house, I have been watching YouTube videos of people hunting and finding artifacts. I had to stop watching those videos, it is tearing me up that I can’t hunt my new locations! I hope to be on the mend soon and maybe I can hunt a little more before the crops get too big and canopy over and hide the ground. I have found some really good artifacts and I am preparing a long post with some of them. Until then, keep prepping everyone!

Homestead Update 11-29-15

29 Nov

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I haven’t done much around here the last couple of weeks. The weather has been rainy so I just spent more time straightening up in my shop and doing paperwork in my office. I hung up some of the saws I have collected in my work room in my barn. That small handsaw is one I got from my Dad many years ago. I wanted to drill a hole in the blade to hang it up so I got out my drill bit set.

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I bought this set at Harbor Freight a while back and I am really impressed with the sharpness of these bits. Not only are they really sharp, there are a lot of them so if I lose one or break one I can just go to the next size. When I drilled the holes in the shelf brackets I mounted on the bathroom wall, the bits cut through that soft steel like a hot knife through butter. Howerver, when I tried to drill a hole in the tempered steel of that hand saw blade it was a different story. I started out with a 1/4 inch bit and I quickly realized that wasn’t working so I went down to a 3/32nd bit and it still was not doing anything but spinning on the blade surface. That stuff is way too hard to drill through!

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I picked up this book at Tractor Supply for my prepper library. Yeah, I know there are lots of plans online to show how to build bee keeping equipment, but I wanted to have something on hand in case those on-line plans were not available to me. Besides I like to have something to carry into my workshop to look at while I am working. Maybe I can get started on some projects after the first of the year. Keep prepping everyone!

Homestead Update 11-15-15

15 Nov

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These are my rescue dogs, Wilma and Jethro. I had to go into their pen last week and fix the PVC dog feeders I have sticking through the fence. Jethro has pawed at his enough he finally caused it to come apart after 2 years. I had to make some repairs, but now the feeders are back in working order.

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I’ve started putting my Prepper library on the new shelves I installed. Those books are only about 1/4 of what I have accumulated. I think I am going to have to cull back a little bit, but I don’t know where.

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For instance, that stack of red books on the shelf is a 17 volume of Popular Mechanics Do-It-Yourself Encyclopedia. How can I get rid of something as useful as that? I just need more shelf space!

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My neighbor called and said he had a deal on some used metal roofing. A storm damaged the roof of a local commercial building last Spring and the roof was replaced. Since then the roof has leaked numerous times until the company decided the best course of action was to just start over and replace the roof again. Thus, they had a bunch of roofing to sell at a ridiculously low price so I said count me in! I have several building projects rattling around in my head already!

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We went to the Flea Market this weekend and I bought this old one-man crosscut saw for $10. I just had to have it to mount on the wall of my Man-cave.

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They also had a lot of chickens, ducks, pea-fowl, and rabbits for sale. Sweet Thing said NO! Oh well, maybe someday soon. Until then keep prepping everyone!

Antique Cars

15 Aug

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Sweet Thing and I ate lunch at Cracker Barrel last Sunday and we spotted these antique cars on the parking lot. I guess they had been to a car show in the area. They sure are spiffy aren’t they? I really like that truck pulling that camper, although I bet GMC never put out a stock model truck like that. That one is a purely custom job.

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This is a picture of one of the fields I work being replanted to soybeans on August 13th. And before you ask, yes, that is way too late to be planting beans. The river flooded out the original beans, but the land lord demanded they be replanted. The land lord has nothing to risk and everything to gain. If they yield 12 bushels he gets 4 bushels; if they cut 0 he gets nothing but it costs him nothing. On the other hand, if they yield 12 bushels, the farmer gets 8 bushels which won’t cover his costs of replanting and if they yield nothing he has to bear the entire costs of replanting. That is not a fair arrangement, but that is the feudal, share cropping system most farmers work under.

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This is a big ole’ bollworm buried up in this cotton boll. That is not something you want to see.

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This is a Fall Armyworm feeding on a cotton bloom. Soon he will be buried up in a boll as well.

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This is a milo leaf covered up with White Sugarcane Aphids. This is a new pest for us, one that is expensive to deal with. As you can see, there are several hundred aphids on that one leaf. They will suck the life out of that plant as well as dripping so much honey dew onto the rest of the plant that at harvest it will gum up the combine making it impossible to harvest the milo. More to come tomorrow.

Native American Artifacts

26 Jul

I’ve had a really good year finding artifacts this year. It started off slow but finished with a flurry.

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Early this Spring I found this nice cutting tool.

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This is what I picked up the rest of this year. Most of it is just bits and pieces of broken points, but if you look at the bottom row you can see some nice actual arrowheads. When most people think of “arrowheads” they picture something like the picture below;

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This is a really nice projectile point, but it is not an arrowhead. It is much too large and heavy to be fired from a bow. It is actually a spear point or some sort of defensive stabbing stick. But the points on the bottom row of my picture are small points that could actually be fired on an arrow from a primitive bow. They are very hard to find(1) they are so small they are hard to see and (2) they are thin and delicate and tend to be broken by our large, modern farming equipment. I have only picked up three small points in my entire life, but this year I picked up ten in one month, and nine of them came from one field. If you had suggested that would happen I would have laughed in your face and called you crazy! In addition to that field I just mentioned, I discovered another field where I found lots and lots of pottery shards.

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This is a picture of some Native American pottery in a museum. You would never find whole complete pieces like this unless you excavated a burial site or an elevated mound, both of which are illegal now. But you can find broken bits of pottery like these at old native campsites.

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These are three very large pieces I found at the site. If I had picked up all the small pieces I would have been able to fill up a 2 gallon bucket. I know for sure these are pottery pieces because a museum curator taught me how to identify them. The pieces are much lighter than stone or porcelain, and they have an open, porous texture. Modern pottery would have at least one surface of a highly glazed finish.

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This piece is large enough you can see the curve of the bowl.

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I found this drawing of a native forming a bowl out of clay and ground shells. I can just imagine him sitting in front of his animal skin tee-pee forming a bowl to use for cooking, eating, drinking and storing food. And now here I sit 200, 500, maybe 1000 years later holding a piece of his pottery in my hand! I wonder what his life was like, I wonder what he thought? I would like to go back in time and talk to him. That would be really interesting wouldn’t it?

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I was really, really happy to find this piece. It is a piece of pottery on which the maker took the time to use a sharp object and draw decorative lines on the bowl before he finished it. I knew they occasionally did decorative work but I never thought I would find a piece of one!

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I also found a piece of pottery that would have been a handle on a bowl. Very rare and hard to find.

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I also found this stone in the same spot. Now, I can’t be sure it is an actual artifact and not just a random stone, but it sure could be. The stone is smooth as glass, and has a perfectly flat bottom. When you hold it in your hand it fits perfectly and would work really well as a grinding stone. Since I found it on the site among the other artifacts I am going to keep it just in case!

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I found this tooth at the same site and it sure looks human to me. You can even see the cavity right in the middle of it. Maybe it was hurting and he pulled it out!

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And lastly, I found these two lead bullets at the site. Could they be related? Who knows, I guess they could be. Keep your eyes open everyone!