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Homestead Update 9/10/17; Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma

10 Sep

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When they first started talking about Harvey two weeks ago, it reminded me to check my preps. I got my two generators out and fired them up and let them run for 5 minutes each. I checked and made sure we had batteries for all of our flashlights and electric lanterns. I have Coleman Lamps and Coleman Stoves with plenty of fuel. I have propane fueled lamps and heaters with plenty of fuel, as well as kerosene heaters with fuel. I have a wood burning fireplace and a natural gas cook stove. The pantry is fully stocked. I only have 10 gallons of water stocked up which needs to be rotated and I need to add to that total. You might remember I had a shallow well bored two years ago, and I still have not attached a pump to the well. That will be one of my projects in the coming weeks. Spare water is definitely one of the areas I fall short in with regards to prepping.

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We have a small garden in the back where we have been having a fair harvest of tomatoes, squash, okra, and peas. We shelled two gallons of peas just this week and my thumbs are sore!

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I saw this 1966 Ford pickup at Lowe’s last week and instantly wanted one! He had it restored really nice but he was driving it around not just using it as a show truck. Nice!

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All of the talk of removing our monuments just makes me sick and scares me to death. For any of you that have not read the novel “1984” by George Orwell, this is exactly the prediction he foresaw while writing the book. The government controlled every aspect of your life, even what you could think. There was an entire, huge department of government workers whose job it was to rewrite and erase history that did not conform to the governments desired perception of reality. Scary spooky isn’t it? The communists and socialist are destroying this country one tiny step at a time and we are letting them do it just like a frog in a pot of boiling water. All the more reason to keep prepping everyone!

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Memorial Day 2017

29 May

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I would like to take a moment to thank all the veterans out there on this day, as we remember those who gave all in service to our country. We should all thank God we live in this country, even with all our problems the USA is still the best country in the world in my opinion. So if you are out and about just enjoying a day off, at least take a moment to think about those who serve so that we may enjoy our freedoms. Thank You, God Bless America, God Bless Our Troops, and God Bless You.

Christmas 2016

25 Dec

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Here’s wishing everyone a Merry Christmas! I hope each one of you is spending your day with family and friends. With all the hustle and bustle of the season, let us not forget the true meaning of Christmas. Jesus is the reason for the season, may God Bless you all!

 

Veterans Day

11 Nov

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Today is a special day, a day to honor those who sacrificed so much to protect our country. Take a little time to say “thank you for your service”, they will appreciate it. I noticed this morning, McDonald’s is giving free food items for Vets and I saw several Vets siting there telling stories to each other. So here is my thanks to all of you Vets.

 

Rain And Flooding

27 Mar

Two weeks ago we had 8-10 inches of rain in this area. Further South, where my parents live, they had 18-20 inches of rain in two days. That was not good.

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The lake is so high, this is the dock and little fishing house mostly submerged. I know it has never been nearly this high in the 20 years they have lived there.

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This is a cemetery near their house. Yes, those are headstones peeking up out of the flood waters. That is not what you want to see. But worst of all, we were preparing to move my parents into town and the house we just bought flooded 10 days after we closed the deal!

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There were over 200 homes flooded in this town, and some houses had it much worse than we did. Some houses had 2 feet of water inside them. We only had 1 inch in ours, but that was enough to ruin all of the carpets. The 2X4 base plates for the walls were saturated so I had to remove the baseboards and cut off 3 inches of the drywall so the base plates could dry before mold set in. I bought a high velocity fan for each room, and someone has been going in twice a day and moving the fans around to keep the drying out progressing. Since the flooring has been removed, and there is no furniture in the house, I figured now would be a perfect time to repaint the walls. This is the room I chose to stay in when I go to visit, and I decided that “Princess Pink” just wouldn’t do! I had those walls painted a nice, neutral beige color. I still have a lot of work to do before the house is move in ready. Just another thing on the long, endless list of things I have to do. I did manage to put out 4 more swarm traps yesterday. Every time I was putting out a trap, I heard bees buzzing around foraging on wild flowers so I know there are some in the area. I will try to put out of the rest of them this week. Until then, keep prepping everyone!

Homestead Update 2/21/2016

21 Feb

I am in a really bad mood as I sit here writing this post but I will get to that part in a few minutes.

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I was visiting with one of my clients in his office this past week and his big handsome Sheppard was laying at my feet. I took this picture and sent it to Sweet Thing and asked if I could bring him home. She said NO! You already have two dogs. Yeah, but mine are not even remotely well behaved like this dog. I need to get busy trying to train mine I guess.

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I also went downtown and early voted this week, and yes, I voted for Donald J Trump! I don’t think he can beat Hillary, but I am tired of voting for the lesser of two evils just because I think they might win. I want Donald to go to Washington and tear the whole system apart! We need to just burn the whole thing down and get back to the basics of the Constitution once again. I probably agree more with Ted Cruz than the others, but I know he has no real chance. His personality and appearance are just too off-putting for many people. I probably should have voted for Marco Rubio because he has a slight chance of actually beating Hillary in the general election. But I am ELATED Jeb Bush dropped out of the race. If he had been the Republican candidate I would have had a really hard time pulling that handle for him.

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I managed to put together 10 swarm traps this week, and I even painted a few of them in a sort of camouflage design so they would be harder to spot hanging in a tree. Maybe then some YaHoo won’t see them and use the traps for target practice!

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I can give a favorable review of the battery powered Porter Cable brad nailer. A fully charged battery will drive a lot of brads, and I mean it will fully sink these 2 inch brads into plywood and pine boards. I’m still not sure how well the brads will hold once the plywood starts to warp and buckle. Those 18 gauge brads are 2 inches long, but they are really thin. We shall just have to wait and see. Now on to the part putting me in a bad mood.

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I bought this used Honda ATV for Sweet Thing to have for her exclusive use. I went to check it out prior to purchasing it and I was happy with what I saw. The only negative the owner could tell me was it had a gas leak when the engine was off, so he had to shut off the gas line after each use. I looked and decided that could be fixed so I bought it. It also needs some brake work, but that is something I can handle myself.

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I decided the leak was coming from this spot on the old carburetor. That black knob is a fuel pump knob for use when the temperatures are extremely cold. I researched it on-line and discovered that part has a rubber seal that often goes bad after years of Ethanol gas. If you buy that knob as a OEM it would cost $51. Even buying it as aftermarket it costs $31. I bought that entire new carburetor for $57 and figured if that knob didn’t fix it I could replace the entire carb. Well, sure enough I replaced the knob and it still leaked. RATS!! What I hoped was a 10 minute job is back to a two hour job if I am lucky.

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But what really upset me is I discovered two of my bee hives have died since last week. The temperature was 68 degrees today so I opened the hives to add some more dry sugar on top of the inner cover. As soon as I lifted the outer top I knew it was bad news. I pulled up this frame and all those bees are freshly dead. I guess they starved to death even though each hive had a deep super full of honey going into winter.

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I opened the other hive and saw these bees also dead.

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If you look closely you can see some hive beetles in that open section, but they are also dead! I took several more pictures to show to the old timers at my next bee keepers meeting to see if they have any ideas about what happened. Last week both hives were flying on warm days and I had no inkling that any thing was amiss, so I am really ticked off by this development. Oh well, that is all part of the learning experience. I still have two hives with live bees, and I gave them some dry sugar today so I hope they make it. That’s all for this week. Keep on prepping everyone!

Homestead Update 1/10/16

10 Jan

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We had our first snow of the Winter last night. The temperature was 21 and it is forecast to be 19 tonight. That is really the first time we have had any low temps this Winter. We have only had a few nights where it has even been below freezing.

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I hooked up the electric heated water bowl in the dog pen in preparation of this cold snap. I also added some cedar shavings in the dog houses so they could snuggle down and keep warm. While I was in the pen, I put some heartworm preventive on their necks. I do this once every month so they are used to it. As soon as I put the leash on them and tell them to sit they drop right down and wait for the treatment. I wish they were that well behaved the rest of the time!

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I was organizing some of my junk supplies this week and I opened a box with some of my knives. This is not all I have but that is the majority of them. I think I am fairly well set as far as knives go, don’t you? I attended a gun show in Memphis and I knew it would be packed, but there were so many people there you could not move! I expected it to be busy because anytime you have a Saturday show in a town as large as Memphis it will be well attended. But this was the first show just a few days after Obama went on TV and outlined his executive orders on gun control. I didn’t bother to pay much attention to the guns, I could tell they all had new higher priced tags on them. I managed to pick up some bulk ammo still fairly priced. The main thing I went to the show to get was some 30 round AR magazines. That is going to be one of the first things that get banned so I want to have a good supply while I can. I bought some surplus military mags for $7 each. These same mags would have been $5 last month so I still considered them to be reasonably priced. After the high capacity mags are banned, I think they will go up in value considerably so I consider this an investment for the future. If you have any shortages in your firearms or ammo preps I recommend you take care of it while you still can. In the mean time, keep prepping everyone!