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Homestead Update 5/7/2017

7 May

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I have been working around the yard this week planting new shrubs and perennials. I received another order from Hostas Direct and they came in perfect condition. It is hard to believe I can open the shipping box and find 8 perfect specimens like this. I also bought some hostas and other plants from the FFA chapter of a local high school and they were really nice. I planted some tomatoes and peppers in the new raised bed I made last month and they seem to be doing well despite the 6 inches of rain we received last week.

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Sweet Thing has been working on some crafts so she made this picture frame. I cut the wood and sanded it down then she white washed it, added the twine to hold the picture, and added some decorative accents. She is going to donate several of these to our local Bee Keepers club to auction off at our yearly fund raiser.

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She made some vinyl letters and designs to stick onto these drink glasses. One of those machines I showed you in her sewing room printed these on vinyl and cut them out. Don’t ask me how. I may think of some ideas she can do for me with that machine!

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I was in my shop last week making 3 more swarm traps to put out and Oreo and Kensey came in to help me. I have 22 traps out now and 4 of them have bees in them but I haven’t brought them in yet. I might get one or two tonight and bring them in and transfer them in the morning. The past two days have been sunny but the wind was blowing 30 MPH gusting to 40 MPH. Not good conditions for working bees, that wind puts them in a really BAD mood! I don’t like the wind either. I’ll keep you updated on events around here. Until then, keep prepping everyone!

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Homestead Update 12/19/2015

19 Dec

I haven’t done much actual Homestead activity this week, but I have been Christmas shopping! I always buy myself some nice gifts for Santa to bring me.

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This is a Porter-Cable 18 gauge 20 Volt cordless nailer. I haven’t seen a cordless one before and I just happen to have 2 other Porter-Cable batteries that will fit this tool so I just had to buy it. I’ll let you know how it works out after I try it on a project.

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We shopped at a local flea market/junk store and he sells hand-made metal objects-DE-art. This is a metal catfish sculpture that is about 4 feet long. I sure would have liked to have it but it was out of my price range.

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Two weeks ago, I had a bag of apples going soft. I intended to throw them in the woods behind the dog pen and just for kicks I threw some of them in the dog pen. Jethro loves apples! I kept feeding him one apple per day until the bag was gone. The first day that I didn’t give him an apple, after I filled his feed bowl, he just ignored it and stood up on the fence looking at me as if to say “hey, where’s my apple?” I had Sweet Thing buy a cheap bag of apples and I give him one each morning. You can see from the picture, he really munches them down.

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We went to a Christmas dinner party at the home of one of my clients. He had this big tray of 2 inch thick fillets which he cooked on a Big Green Egg and they were delicious. That Big Green Egg is on my wish list. They sell a generic version at Lowe’s for $300 so I may end up with one of those someday.

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Sweet Thing used some big cans of mixed nuts in her World Famous Chex Mix. After removing the labels, she then took those empty cans and covered them with Christmas paper and added bells, bows, and ribbons. I think they look really nice for gift giving!

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I went next door and visited with Little Bubba today. My neighbor said I can’t have him back! His Granddaughter loves him and they are best friends now. I think he just might wander over to my shop for a visit every now and then. Keep prepping everyone! Oh, I almost forgot our Christmas tune, enjoy!

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!

Fall Folklore Fest 2015

18 Oct

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Sweet Thing and I attended the Fall Folklore Fest yesterday. They had exhibitors demonstrating some old timey skills such as blacksmithing, broom making, candle making, pottery making, and other pioneer skills.

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This was a man plowing a field with a brace of mules. And yes I am old, but this skill was before my time!

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This woman was plowing with another brace of mules. That was a hard way to plow, but people have been farming like that for hundreds of years.

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You could take a ride on a mule drawn covered wagon.

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Some of the kids were having fun shelling corn.

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You could also pay $2 and milk a goat. I should have paid my money and tried it, I have never milked a goat! That goat just stood there so nice and easy, she had probably been milked many, many times.

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There were square dancers doing their thing.

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There was some pickin’ and grinnin’ on the front porch of and old log cabin which had been moved and restored at this museum.

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There were big displays of pumpkins and gourds.

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They even had a place where you could try your hand at picking cotton. Uh, not for me thanks, I’m trying to stay out of the cotton fields for a while! The weather was perfect for a festival, with a lot of interesting things to see and do. Keep prepping everyone!

Ornamental Plants And Bottle Trees

12 Sep

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Last week I was at the West Tennessee Agricultural Research Station to tour the cotton test plots for 2014. At one of the stops on the tour, the young man pictured above is presenting the information about this plot. This young man worked for me during four Summers while he obtained his BS degree in Agriculture. He has since gone on and obtained his Masters Degree in Ag and is now working towards his PhD in Agriculture. He must have learned a lot working for me! Who knows, someday he may have a high-up job with some big Ag Company and he might give me a job and I could be working for him the next time around. It goes to show the old adage in life has a lot of truth to it, “To get far in life, it’s not what you know, but who you know.” While I was there, I saw some interesting ornamental plants around the campus buildings on the station and I brought Sweet Thing back on Saturday so she could see them as well.

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Last year, there was a lot of metal objects such as these old disc blades used for decorations. The primary objects  used last year were old bicycles and they had them placed strategically all throughout the displays. I can’t say I was too impressed with the way they looked.

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When you first enter, there is a big wall of hanging bottles greeting you. This year the decorating theme is bottles.

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This is a metal sculpture representing a caterpillar.

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There were strings of bottles hanging in the trees.

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There were objects created with small beer bottles.

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They also had the usual bottle trees.

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If you look closely, you can see strings of colored pill bottles hanging from the trees. Those are actually clear hobby bottles filled with colored water to create the desired effect.

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They added metal wings to some of the bottles to make them resemble insects. I actually kind of liked those, but they look way too time consuming to make! This post is getting a little long and picture heavy so I will save the plant pictures until tomorrow.

Cardboard Paper Rolls

2 Sep

The County Fair is coming up and sweet Thing is helping our young Neice make some projects to enter in the Fair.

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They took some cardboard tubes from the inside of rolls of paper towels and made a robot to paint and decorate.

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Next they made a long skinny pig. They are always coming up with cute little projects to make. She will take some pictures of the finished projects displayed at the Fair. Keep prepping everyone!

Antiques And Collectables

27 Jul

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My Sister-In-Law gave me this sign to hang in my barn. It is made from recycled metal parts to spell out TRACTOR. It is made from old tools, hardware, a horseshoe, a hinge, a gear and a pet comb. The US ships boatloads of scrap metal to China to be melted down to make steel for their booming infrastructure, but some enterprising entrepreneur intercepted these pieces before they were melted to make this sign and sell the scrap right back to us! Why can’t I think up stuff like that?