Tag Archives: cats

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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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!


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 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.

18 brad

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.


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.


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.


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.


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!


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 12/13/2015

13 Dec


There hasn’t been much activity around the homestead the past two weeks. I did manage to put up this Rubbermaid Accu-track rack system for hanging up weed eaters and garden tools. I got tired of having all of my garden tools leaning in a big pile in the corner of my workshop. Invariably, anytime I wanted a particular tool, it would be all the way in the back of the stack and I would have to move every other tool to reach what I wanted to use. These tracks have sliding holders for quick adjustment and they feel nice and sturdy.


These are some runaway goats I encountered back in October. I was driving down a turnrow of a field I check each week and I saw some animals way towards the other side of the field. At first I thought they were small deer and as I got closer I realized they were goats. I had seen some farm animals at a house I pass that is about 1/2 of a mile from this field so as I was leaving I stopped at that house. I told them if they were missing some goats, I knew where they were. He said those goats came from a house about a mile further down the road. They had been missing for 2 months but no one had been able to catch them. He told me the owner said if anyone could catch them they could keep the goats. HUMMM! I wonder if I could take some t-posts and cattle panels and make some sort of trap? I bet I could come up with something if I could get motivated enough.


The man I was talking to had these cattle behind his house. I think that black one is just about ready to go to the freezer isn’t it?


I have an update on Little Bubba. The day after my first post of him, I was telling my neighbor about him. He replied “I have been seeing some mice around my house and my granddaughter has been asking for a cat. How about I take him to my house?” He took him home the next day and now he spends most of the day inside the house and sleeps out under the carport at night. He just settled right in over there so he has a good home after all. Keep prepping everyone!

How Many Syrian Refugees Should We Allow Into The USA and The Newest Resident of The Homestead

21 Nov


There has been a lot of discussion in the news this week about allowing 10,000 Syrian refugees to invade come to the USA. We have been told Oh, most of them are widows and orphans so there is no need to be afraid. Only one in a thousand might be a terrorist willing to strap on a suicide vest and kill you and your family while you are out at a ball game or shopping or eating dinner. Well, I think that meme above puts it in perspective doesn’t it? I’m not going to eat any of those M&Ms! Even if there are NO terrorists mixed in with them, we have enough people in this country already living on government assistance without bringing in more. Let them stay in the neighboring countries around Syria. They are all Islamic states and would be a better fit than here in our country!


This is the newest resident of the homestead, Little Bubba. He is a probationary resident that I have granted temporary asylum. If President Obama can bring in thousands of Middle Easterners and allow untold millions of third worlders to stream across our Southern border and then grant them citizenship, then I guess I have the authority to grant citizenship to Little Bubba! He was dumped out at a friend’s house, and my friend said he couldn’t stay there. He was going to take Bubba to the animal pound and I just couldn’t stand to see him treated like that. Bubba is such a sweety, I hope everything works out so he can stay. He seems to be content to stay out in the open air area of my barn so I think he will be OK there. My other barn cats are still taking their time getting used to him. The first couple of days, they really hissed and growled at him.


Today I noticed them touching noses so maybe they are not too upset about Bubba invading their territory. We will just have to give it a little more time to see how it works out. If I decide to let him stay, I will take him to the vet to be neutered and checked out to be sure he is healthy. You can tell from that picture, Kensey is much bigger than Bubba. I think Bubba will grow a little more, but he will always be a small cat. I’ll let you know how it goes. Keep prepping everyone!

Homestead Update 10/11/15

11 Oct


The weather has turned so cool, my barn kitties were all cuddled up together when I checked on them today. The leaves are falling from the trees, but they have no bright colors this year. I guess the drought we are having are just making them turn brown then falling off.


I managed to get one of my projects completed and checked off of my list this week. I finished the field lines for my septic system for my bathroom in my shop/barn. That sure will come in handy this winter. There is no way I could have dug the trench for the lines without my backhoe attachment on my tractor. The trench is 2 feet wide and 3 feet deep, and the ground is hard as a rock. Even with the backhoe, it took a long time to dig. I had to drag the bucket along the trench digging up an inch or two at a time. That’s as deep as I could go because the ground was so hard.


I planted some buck wheat seeds 3 weeks ago and it is blooming! I wanted to have something blooming for my bees to work before they quit for the winter. I’m surprised that buckwheat blooms so quickly. I slung these seeds out by hand and like PP, I got mine way too thick!


I slung those seeds by hand, but I could have used this seeder I recently purchased. I used it to fertilize the grass up near the house and I used it to plant the deer browse in the back. It works well for something I paid less than $100 for. I had taken the seeder off of my ATV and I didn’t want to take the time to re-mount the seeder  just to spread the buckwheat, so I just used a bucket and slung the seed by hand.


The crop year is almost finished, all that remains to do is harvest the crops and see if they are good enough for me to come back and work again next year. I need to take this computer into the shop and get some unwanted mal-ware removed from it. That is one reason I have not posted for 3 weeks. My computer is running so slowly, it has taken an hour to put up this one post. If I can’t get it cleaned up, I guess I will have to buy another one. Until then, keep prepping everyone!

Homestead Update

27 Sep


Yes, I know I have missed a couple of weeks of posting but I have been busy. My busy Summer schedule is almost over as harvest is in full swing. The weather is changing over to a Fall pattern so my barn kitties came out into their chickenwire enclosure to enjoy watching the outdoor activity.


It is really dry around here, we only received 3/10s of an inch of rain all this month. Fortunately, I disked up the area in the back where I planted the deer browse and planted my seeds just in front of that little rain so it is coming up well. Most of that greenery you see above is buckwheat. I don’t know if it will have time to make any blooms for my bees before the cold weather hits, we will have to wait and see.


My bees have been really working these past two weeks. The golden rod bloom is in full swing, but soon the Winter dearth will set in and the bees will stop flying.


I stopped by a little roadside stand last week and bought some honey. Yeah, that’s right. I have 4 bee hives in the back and I still bought honey. I am new at this and I made several mistakes with my bees so I am going to give them all of the honey they produced to help them survive the winter. Next year, I hope to be more aware of what is happening in my hives and I will harvest my own honey.


The honey at this stand is priced at $5 for a pint and $10 for a quart, that is a bargain! I know it is locally grown, you can see the hives right behind this little tent stand. The stand is unmanned and operates on the honor system. You put your money for the honey you take into this small mail box sitting on a table. I was fortunate enough to speak to the lady of the house when I was there earlier and I asked her about losing honey or money. She said most people were basically honest and in the years they have been doing this, they have only lost a couple of jars in that time. Huh, her outlook on humanity and my outlook are certainly different! I’ll soon have more time for posting so maybe I can come up with some projects around the homestead. Until then, keep prepping everyone!

Homestead Update

12 Sep


The weather has finally taken a turn towards Fall, with cooler temperatures and lower humidity. I worked up a spot of ground in the back and planted some deer browse for the wildlife to eat this winter. I also put out some buckwheat seeds in this patch. I know it is late for buckwheat, but while I was at the bee keeper’s meeting, one of the old beeks showed me some pictures on his phone. He said he planted some buckwheat and after only 14 days later it was up and blooming and his bees were working it. So I decided to give it a try, maybe there will be time for the buckwheat to bloom and my bees can stock up for the winter.


I started putting up more shelves in the back of my new barn addition. I need to put up one more shelf and add the front legs and I will be ready to start adding junk valuable stuff on them.


Our local Feed and Seed store had these cats outside when I went to pick up my seeds for the deer plot. The owner said they showed up a few weeks ago and wouldn’t leave so he started feeding them and now they appear to have taken up residence at the store.


I found another piece of roadside treasure this week. I was driving down a gravel road and spotted this measuring tape in the middle of the road. It worked out really nice since I had just broken the one I carry in my truck the day before.


I was coming through an intersection in town and this auto accident had just occurred. This white car slammed into the rear of another car which then slammed into a pickup truck. The driver on the white car was probably texting and driving if I had to guess. Remember, Don’t Text and Drive!


And finally, if you look at that bright spot in the middle of the picture, you can see an aerial drone. It was hovering around the local High School football stadium taking videos of the on-field action. I have seen drones on You-Tube, but this is the first in real life. It could hover there motionless for a while then shoot off in any direction. It reminded me of a Hummingbird! People are just now thinking up ways they can use drones to make money, but I don’t see the usefulness just yet. Although they might be good for scoping out the area checking for Zombies! Until then, keep prepping everyone!

Homestead Update

2 Aug

I didn’t do anything much around the homestead this week. The heat index has been around 110 for the last 2 weeks but Tuesday the actual temperature was only 86 with low humidity, it was like being on vacation that day! I am still worried about my bees, they have not made any honey in the past 6 weeks. I have been feeding them sugar water but I stopped feeding this week. Maybe I am making them lazy and they need to go out and find their own food. I will be going to the area bee keepers meeting this week and I will definitely be picking the brains of some of the experienced beeks to see if I am doing something wrong.


This is a bee yard right beside a cotton field I check each week. And I do mean the hives are right next to the cotton. The hives are sitting within 5 feet of the cotton. What is that bee keeper thinking? All the bee keepers are screaming about the neonics harming the bees, and we apply those chemicals to cotton several times each year. He should at least move them back away from the field. I have been checking out the hives closely since I know more about what I am seeing. I noticed the commercial keepers don’t use inner covers or queen excluders. They also use migratory covers which they slide back from the edge to allow the bees to have an upper entrance.


I guess they don’t worry about the rain running down through the opening.


They are replacing the cross ties on the railroad near one of my fields. This is a pile of the old, ragged ones.


They used steel bands to bundle the good ties in groups of sixteen and stacked them up to picked up and put on a truck for resale. I sure could use some of those around here on the homestead.


I saw this freshly spread material on one of the many gravel roads I travel. At first glance it looks like crushed granite, but it is actually crushed steel mill slag. This slag is a waste by-product formed during the steel making process. You can buy this slag from the mills for virtually nothing except the cost of hauling the material. I saw them spreading some on the road one day and I asked the road worker if it was slag. He replied yes it is and volunteered it is a bunch of crap if you ask me! He said it is so soft after being driven over for a short while, the pieces get smaller and smaller until they just completely disappear. None-the-less, I could use several loads of that here on the homestead as well!


I went out to my man-cave today and Oreo and Kensey were laying on my workbench soaking up the air-conditioning. That’s two cool kitties! Keep prepping everyone!

Homestead Update

14 Jun

I’m going to make this post short and sweet just to let everyone know we are still here. I’ve had two nice sunny, dry work weeks where I put in 70 hours each week so I didn’t do much around here except the usual mundane tasks like mowing and picking up limbs. I did manage to take several pictures of interesting things that happened the last two weeks and I will save them and post them as soon as it rains and slows my work down a little.


I pulled into a farmer’s shop and these two adorable mutts came out to greet me. I started to bring them home with me!


I turned on the Air Conditioner in my man-cave and wouldn’t you know it, my cats still prefer to lounge around outside in the heat!


Most of the trees and berry vines I planted in the orchard last year are doing well, although I did have a few casualties. I picked the first blueberries of the season and ate them straight off of the vine.


I took off early enough one evening to attend a get-together dinner for my SILs birthday and we ate at a restaurant I have not been to before. I had the blackened grilled oysters as an appetizer and they were delicious! I am going to visit that restaurant again!


Outside the door, they had this old shipping pallet painted to resemble a flag. I have noticed some of these as I drive around on my daily routes so I guess that is the newest fad. That is a nice use of some old junk I guess, good thinking! More to come as I get more time, keep prepping everyone!

Wooden Shop Work Table

31 May


I built this wooden work table for my shop out of 3/4 inch plywood and 2X4s to make it nice and sturdy. I wanted it to be mobile so I can shove it around against the wall and keep the center of my shop open. I could put a shelf on the bottom, but for now I am going to keep it open. I plan on keeping my generator and shop vacuum underneath the table.


I used a 2X4 to attach locking 4 inch casters to each side of the table. Pictured above, the wheels are in the upright position, allowing the legs of the table to sit solidly on the floor.


I found all sorts of plans on the internet on putting wheels on the table and using foot levers to raise and lower the wheels. I decided to keep it simple. All I have to do to lower the wheels into the rolling position is lift the table and use my foot to fold the hinged wheels underneath the legs and the table is ready to roll. To set the table on the floor, I simply lift the table and flip the wheels out with my toe.


If you decide to try this I have one tip to help you out. I used my vice/anvil to bend the hinge about 3/8 of an inch up from the hinge pin. That way you can mount the hinge to the side and the center pin will be up off of the floor. Otherwise, when you flip the wheels up, the metal hinge will be supporting the weight of the table instead of the weight resting on the legs. It only took me 30 minutes to install the wheels and now I can roll the table to where I need it then roll it back out-of-the-way when I am finished. Pretty simple.


This was the first time I used my new vice and I was amused when I took it out of the box. It came with instructions! In my opinion, if you need instructions to operate a vice, you have no business using power tools of any kind!


Sometimes when I am working in my shop I let my kitties come out of the man-cave and help me. This is the culprit in the motor cycle seat scratching incident. What? Who me? I’m just laying here minding my own business!


Oreo started out on my work stool helping me. A little while later I heard a noise over my head and thought what is that?


I looked up and there he was climbing around in the rafters! Of course, he then wanted me to help him down. I should have just left him up there! Keep prepping everyone!