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Homestead Update 8/6/2017

6 Aug

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Things have been a bit slow around here as you might imagine when one is working 70 hours per week at my job. Our cotton is progressing nicely as evidenced by this large, grown boll. I haven’t seen any open bolls yet, but it won’t be long.

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As I was out working, I encountered these buzzards roosting on an electrical tower. I was fairly close and they didn’t seem too concerned with me being so close. I hope seeing buzzards eyeing me closely is not a portend of things to come!

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Sweet Thing and I went to a yard sale and I bought this Coleman cook stove for $10. The man said it had only been used once and I can believe it because it is so clean and shiny. I talked him into throwing in that electrical worker’s canvas tool bag for free. I’ve always wanted one of those even though I don’t know why!

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I picked up another Native American artifact, this tiny arrow head. You can see how tiny it is in comparison to the button on my sleeve.

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I hung some new flags in my barn storage area. Not much question where I stand is it?

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There is a cemetery adjoining a field I check each week and I noticed this concrete armadillo on a grave stone. The stone had the man’s name and dates of birth and death along with the caption “Here rests the Armadillo.” I guess the man’s nick name must have been Armadillo.

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Right beside the Armadillo was a gravestone marking where the ashes of this lady was buried. I’ve seen the ashes of people entombed in a mausoleum, kept in an urn in a home, or scattered in the sea, but I don’t recall ever seeing them buried. I see some interesting things in my daily travels. I don’t have any pictures, but my tomatoes and squash are doing well, and my okra is just starting to produce and my purple hull peas are blooming so my garden is doing fairly well considering how little time I have spent taking care of it. I went to a gun show last week and bought some reloading powder as well as some 22 LR. I haven’t seen any of that sitting on a shelf in several years. I guess we can thank President Trump for that. People must be feeling comfortable enough in our situation to slow down stocking up, but not me. I say buy now while you have the chance so when the next big shortage occurs so you won’t be caught unprepared. Keep prepping everyone!

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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!

Homestead Update 6/11/17

11 Jun

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I have been out and about working this week. As I was checking this cotton field in the foreground, I noticed that steep, highly erodible hillside in the background is planted to corn. That corn will never yield very well. Even if we have an unusually rainy Summer, the corn will still suffer from drought stress because when it rains, the rain will runoff the hillside before it can soak up. Looks like a bad decision to me.

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The tomatoes in my raised beds are looking good. As I was cleaning out the grass and weeds, I harvested about 3 dozen onions I planted last Fall. I don’t know what I will do with so many onions at one time.

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I made a new contraption for harvesting honey made from plastic tubs and wedding veil material. I needed the frames to stand upside down so the honey would drain properly since the cells in the comb are at a slight upward angle.

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I didn’t have a comb uncapping tool so I used this hair comb that Sweet Thing bought at the Dollar Store.

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After I uncapped the comb, I clamped the frames down with two strips of wood to keep the frames upright. This method of harvesting seems to work well, although I might not get too much honey this year. Yesterday I discovered two of my hives were queen less! I just happened to have a swarm captured in one of my traps still hanging in a tree. I went out and brought the trap home and did a news paper combine with the swarm hive and the old queen less hive. I’ll let you know how that goes. Until then, keep prepping everyone!

Homestead Update 10-30-16

30 Oct

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Just a quick post to let you know I am still alive. I haven’t had an outbreak of psoriasis in 3 weeks so maybe the medicine is finally taking effect. Our cotton is almost completely harvested and the yields were pretty good.

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I made this cherry picker basket to lift up with the bucket on my front end loader on my tractor.

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I had to replace the security light on the front of the shop. While I was at it I replaced my American flag. She’s flying pretty and proud ain’t she? I had to buy that light at Home Depot, they don’t sell metal halide lights at Lowe’s anymore. All they had were fluorescent and LEDs and I thought the metal halide would be brighter.

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After I took the old one down, I had second thoughts however. This old one got hot enough to burn and melt the wires and ballast in the fixture, that is why it quit working. If I hadn’t already mounted the new halide light, I think I would have opted to put up an LED light. I have decided I really like the LED lights in the house even though they are really expensive up front. As the lights need replacing around here, I replace them with LEDs. Someday they will all be LEDs unless they come up with something better in the next few years.

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I planted these mustard greens 4 weeks ago and they have grown big enough to pick. Sweet Thing has already picked several sacks and took them to her mother and sister. I guess the next sack will be mine. I love fresh greens!

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I grew a few cantaloupes to go along with the peppers and tomatoes I grew in the raised bed I made. I am declaring the raised bed method a success! Next Summer I will have a couple of more beds ready. Until then, keep prepping everyone!

Homestead Update 9/11/16

11 Sep

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Just a quick post to let you know how things are going around here. I looked out of the back door recently and I saw 9 turkeys grazing across the yard. I finished planting the deer browse and turnip green patch in the back in anticipation of the 80% chance of rain the weathermen were promising. After I hurried to get it all planted, we only got 1/10 of an inch of rain so the seeds will just lay there until we get some decent rain.

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I started feeding bees with a community feeder. I hope to install the individual no-drown feeders in each hive tomorrow.

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I encountered this grain truck as I was making my rounds this week. The truck came around the corner of this intersection and the trailer full of corn collapsed. I bet the driver said “Darn”!

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I also encountered these pigs feeding in the edge of one of the cotton fields I check. After I took this picture, I chased them back to their pen where they belonged!

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I also saw this Mini-Mansion that had burned during the past week. It reminded me to check my fire extinguishers when I got home. You always need to be prepared for fire safety. Keep prepping everyone.

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No, I didn’t forget this was the 15th anniversary of the attack on 9-11. I have been watching the lip service the politicians have been giving this event over the weekend and I have been disgusted beyond words. I don’t know exactly what needs to be done with these terrorist; there is not one, easy solution. We might be able to stop the big organized attacks, but there is no way to stop all of the lone wolf attacks, so I guess we will just have to learn to live with those. We should have left Saddam in charge over there, he kept those people in Iraq under control. They were too afraid of what he would do to them to start any bull. Maybe we need to take a lesson from him? God bless America!

Homestead Update 8/27/16

28 Aug

I thought my psoriasis was getting much better until I went out to look at a cotton field and walked around for a couple of hours and got hot and sweaty.

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Now I have this red, itchy rash again! Oh well, I guess Sweet Thing was right, it is too soon to get out and work. Man, I hate it when she’s right!

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We were out looking at some cotton with a new disease for our area called Target Spot. If you look at picture closely, you can see a pile of leaves on the ground underneath the cotton plants. The leaves are supposed to still be on the plant, but the disease infected them and caused them to prematurely defoliate. That caused the cotton bolls to be underdeveloped and probably not be harvestable. There is really not a good cure for this disease, so that is just one more problem to worry with!

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I did manage to check my bee hives again, and they were doing quite well. We harvested 4 frames of honey and ended up with almost a gallon of honey. Sweet!

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My bees have been searching for water and I noticed them drinking out of this bucket I placed under the dripline of my barn. I use this water for watering my plants when the bucket catches some rain. I sliced some 1/4 inch slices of swimming pool noodles and placed the slices in the bucket for the bees to land on and get a drink. So far, they are not using the slices, they still land on the bucket and walk down the side to the water.

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I filled up this plastic tray with rocks and fresh water and they started drinking from it as well. I guess I am going to start feeding them sugar water again. I have been looking around for plants that might be blooming to provide forage for the bees and I see very little available. I guess we are in the late season dearth. Some of the fall plants such as Goldenrod will be blooming soon, but until then they could use some supplemental feeding I think.I promised myself I would take better care of my bees this year. Last year I neglected them due to beginners ignorance, and this year I was unable to tend to them for 8 weeks due to my allergic reaction and psoriasis. Well, even though I missed the summer caring for them, there is no reason to neglect them now. Hopefully next year will be the year they finally improve and excel. Until then, keep prepping everyone!

Homestead Update 8/20/16

20 Aug

I am happy to report my psoriasis is getting better every day! I decided to go outside today since it was overcast and cooler. It has been raining here off and on for ten days straight. That is bad news for our crops. The bolls are rotting on the cotton, the pods are shedding off of the soybeans, and the corn ears are sprouting on the stalk. In fact, I went outside while it was raining. I think it rained over an inch in 30 minutes, it just poured down. There was no lightening so I felt it was safe to be outside. I wanted to look at my culverts while it was raining; now I know why they washed out. The water was running so deep in the side ditch where I have the two small culverts, the water was overflowing the crossings. The water has never been that swift and deep in that ditch previously, so I think someone must have changed something upstream. There must be a new ditch or terrace dumping water into my ditch that wasn’t there before. This winter, I will walk upstream and see if I can see what is going on.

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After the rain let up, I brought out my 45 Colt for a little target practice. I am so sick of being cooped up inside, I really needed to hear something go BOOM! I had my pistol in this nice leather bag I bought at the Goodwill for $2. I don’t know who Chuck is, but I am glad he donated his bag. I need to keep my shooting skills sharp because no matter who wins the election this Fall, things are going to be bad. It will just be a matter of whether things get bad fast or get bad slow! It is really hard to believe these two &^%$# are the only choices we have now. Keep prepping everyone, and keep practicing your shooting skills, the Zombies are coming!

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