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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 4/16/2017

16 Apr

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I had some slopes on the Homestead that were starting to wash and develop the beginnings of gullies so I went to the Nursery and bought 1/2 of a pallet of Zoysia Sod.

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I used my Kubota tractor and disc to work and loosen the soil before laying the sod. Since then I have been watering the sod every day and it is supposed to rain several days in the coming week so I hope it takes hold. If this works out I plan on doing more of this next Spring because I have several spots with washes starting.

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The lettuce in the raised bed is doing really well. Sweet Thing picked a big mess to take to the in-laws for Easter dinner and I expect it will be delicious.

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Speaking of Sweet Thing, she has been working to straighten up and organize her sewing room. I noticed 5 different sewing machines over there and I asked her why she needed so many. She asked me how many woodworking saws I had so I just shut up and smiled!

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She really has everything neat and organized. Maybe I should ask her to come straighten out my workshop!

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On the bee keeping front, I caught my first ever cluster swarm. This lady called three weeks ago and said she had a swarm in a bush, but before I could get there the bees left. Then she called a few days ago about this swarm.

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The swarm was so low to the ground I couldn’t rake them into the box so I just reached into the swarm and pulled off several double handfuls of bees and dropped them into the box. Eventually the stragglers began to go into the opening on their own.

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After the cluster got smaller, I got brave and removed my glove and scooped up a handful of bees barehanded. That is a really strange feeling to have a hand full of bees, and not one single sting! I transferred them into a hive when I got home and now after 5 days they seem to be doing fine.

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I was out and about putting out my swarm traps and I noticed this shrub. There were many of them in this fence line and most of them had really pretty red flowers on them. I researched it and determined it is a native plant “Red Buckeye”. I think it will be suitable for naturalizing so I am going to dig up some of the smaller ones and replant them. Have any of you had any experience with this plant? And oh yeah, my swarm traps. I put out 22 traps, some of them have been out 3 weeks, some 2 weeks and some 1 week. I checked them all Friday and I had no bees. Skunked! 0 for 22. I still expect to capture several swarms and I’ll keep you posted.

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I hope all of you had a peaceful, blessed Easter. Keep prepping everyone!

Homestead Update: 1/15/07

15 Jan

Since I last posted, I have spent most of my time working on my taxes and working in my shop.

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I have been getting things straightened up and organized. One of the first projects I completed is this lumber cart for storing my short scraps and sheet goods. I put the really short pieces on the shelves on the right side and the longer pieces stand up in the bins to the left. On the back side I have a place for sheet goods like plywood, and in the middle I can store longer pieces of 2X4s and 1X4s. I put it on casters so I can roll it around out of the way when I am not using it.

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I also built this rolling cart to fit underneath my table saw. The cart has shelves for storing my accessories  such as push sticks and feather boards. I also use it for storing my miter gage and rip fence when not in use.

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I needed a way to rough cut plywood before I bring it in and finish it on the table saw. I cut these brackets I can mount on top of my saw horses.

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Then I can add these 2X3s to hold full 8 foot sheets.

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I can quickly take this apart and stack the saw horses and store all of this inside out of the rain. I have some more projects I will show you later, until then, keep prepping everyone!

Homestead Update 12/11/16

11 Dec

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Once again, I haven’t accomplished much around the homestead lately. I did cut up two small trees that died during the summer and I stacked the wood on the back porch in the stand Sweet Thing bought at Big Lots. The temperatures fell into the teens this past week. I know you Yanks probably consider that “light jacket” weather, but around here we consider that bitterly cold! I told Sweet Thing it was time to light a fire in the fireplace, but she said “No!”

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She already had the fireplace decorated for Christmas and she refused to take it down unless the power goes out and we absolutely had to have the heat. I guess I’ll have to wait until after New Years to have a warm, cozy fire.

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My niece bought a house recently and the previous owner subscribed to a garbage service which she wasn’t going to use. She called the company and told them to come get this big, green, heavy duty, rolling garbage can. They told her to just keep it because it would cost them more to send a man out to pick it up than it would to just write it off. She asked if I wanted it and I said “of course I do”!

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One of the young men that works for me recently bought a house and he wanted to dump into my back gully some old carpet that he tore out while he was remodeling. He also dumped this wood and fortunately I discovered it before it rained tonight! There was a good 2×4, 1×4, 2×8, 2/3 of a sheet of interior paneling, 1/2 a sheet of particle board, several smaller pieces, a roll of hardware cloth, a package of gutter leaf guards as well as this solid wood door. I asked him why he threw this away and he said he thought I didn’t like particle board. I said I don’t really like it, “UNLESS IT IS FREE’! Then I will take all I can get. This heavy wooden door is way better than the back door I have in my shop right now so I will replace it with this one soon. I told him not to throw away any more wood without checking with me first. I have several projects I can use that wood on. I will keep you updated on my projects, until then, keep prepping everyone!

Homestead Update 11/20/16

20 Nov

I started thinking what did I do this week to write about. Then, I kept thinking, “what DID I do this week?!” So I just went through my pictures to remind me.

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I drove my SIL to her doctors appointment and that took all of one day. I worked in my office on paperwork quite a bit each day. So I guess I spent the rest of my time organizing my work shop. I built and painted this charging station for my rechargeable tools. I put slots in one shelf to slip my drills into and I have all of the chargers on the top shelf. I even have room for drill bits and supplies. Now, all of my drills and batteries are all together where I can find them when I need them! I put castors on the unit so I can still hang tools on the wall behind it, then I just roll it out of the way when I need to reach the wall.  I painted it Tennessee orange to give a splash of color in my otherwise drab white and brown shop!

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Speaking of castors, I went to Harbor Freight to get some to use for some other projects I have planned in my shop. I picked four of the 2 inch castors from the bin, and they were on sale for $2.99 each, which is $12.00 for the 4. But wait! These furniture movers were on sale for $9.99 and there are four 3 inch castors on them. So quickly doing the math in my head, I can take the castors off of the mover and have four 3 inch castors for $10 compared to $12 for the four 2 inch castors. It doesn’t take a genius to figure that out! I bought 4 of the movers to remove the castors, and I also got sixteen 2 inch flat head bolts with washers and nuts, and four slats of wood from each unit to use as well. What a deal!

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Two weeks ago I was so sure Hillary would win the election, I went to Sports Academy and bought some 30 round AR magazines, some 38 Special bulk ammo, and even some 22 long rifle. That is the first time I have seen bricks of 22 on a shelf since Obama was elected. I also went online and bought more 30 round magazines because I figured with Hillary in the White House, the first time there was another shooting with an AR rifle, she would issue an executive order banning high capacity magazines. I wanted to stock up before that happened. Even though she lost, I am still glad I bought them anyway. I probably won’t get much accomplished this week due to the holiday coming up and needing to meet with some of my clients this week. If I do anything I’ll keep you posted. Until then, keep prepping everyone!

Homestead Update 11/13/16

13 Nov

This week I have spent most of my time cleaning up and rearranging my workshop. I am making a French cleat system for hanging my tools.

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As I was making the cleats, I realized I needed to make an out feed table for my table saw. I think it turned out really well, although it is fixed so that I can’t move it by myself. I have some modifications I need to make to make it foldable as I get the time.

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Before I started, I bought this Incra Precision Miter gauge. It is highly accurate with an expandable aluminum rail. It has a fold down fixture for holding the wood, as well as T-tracks for adding additional accessories.

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I also bought this Woodpecker brand precision T-square. This thing has holes bored in every 1/16th of an inch that you can stick a pencil lead through to get highly accurate measurements.

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I used those tools to make this exact width dado jig for my router.

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The jig allowed me to cut dados for a shelving unit that are so tight I really don’t even need glue or screws to hold it together. All of my other tools are from Sears or Harbor Freight so it has been really nice being able to use some high quality equipment for a change!

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Oreo and Kensey didn’t care for all that sawing going on. They spent some time out in the shop with me while I was cleaning and reorganizing but when the sawing and hammering started they retired back into my “Man Cave” and curled up in my old recliner. I hope to be far enough along with my project to post some pictures next week. Until then, keep prepping everyone!

Homestead Update 11/6/16

6 Nov

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I took a little trip this week to Heaven on Earth, otherwise known as Baxter County Arkansas. I had the opportunity to trout fish on the White River for two days and just relax and take in the scenery.

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I re-tarped my Harbor Freight Portable Garage after the original cover finally deteriorated. The cover lasted three years even though it was not set up on a level as the instructions said. I think if you bought this garage and set it level I think you might get 5 or more years out of it. That’s not bad for something that only costs $169.

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I noticed Missouri is voting on whether or not to require IDs for voting. I can’t believe you can vote ANYWHERE without ID, you need photo ID for almost anything. I’ll bet 99.999 percent of the population already has photo ID and if not it is really easy to get one. There is no excuse for not requiring an ID to vote, that is unless you want to make it easier for people to commit voter fraud. Humm, who is dead set against requiring IDs to vote? Democrats, that’s who! Enough said!

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I am in the process of reorganizing my work shop so I hung this cabinet on the wall with French cleats. The cabinet came with a dart board which I removed. I think I paid $5 for it at the second hand store.

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I put some shelves inside so I can store my safety glasses, pens and pencils, and latex gloves. I even cut a strip of Plexiglas to go across the bottom so I can see my pencils and markers. After I get a little further along I’ll post some pictures so you can see my progress. Until then, keep prepping everyone!