Tag Archives: culverts

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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Homestead Update 1-31-16

31 Jan

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I am under my Doctor’s order to walk for 30-45 minutes every day. I don’t like exercise walking and I never have. It always seems like a colossal waste of time. The whole time I am walking I am thinking about all the other things I could be doing with my time. So, I decided since I HAD to walk, I would at least walk through the woods on the back of the homestead. I was walking down a deer trail and I saw this fresh buck rub on this cedar tree. I’ve always heard the larger the rub, the larger the buck. Well, this one must be a trophy because that small tree is between 3-4 inches in diameter.

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We are having some strange weather now. Last week the temperatures were in the teens with snow on the ground. Today the high was 74 degrees! I decided to replace this culvert that washed out a couple of months ago. The culvert ended up hung between two trees. I drug it back to where it needed to go.

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I placed it where I wanted it and covered it with some of the dirt I bought last summer.

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Last week I had to remove snow from the entrances of my bee hives. Today I noticed bees flying around all four of my hives. I lifted the tops and poured dry sugar on top of the inner covers. I hope they have enough honey to finish the winter, but if they don’t maybe they will eat that sugar.

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I finally took down this pressed fiber swarm trap out of a tree on the front of the homestead. I hate to admit it has been hanging there still, as it should have been removed the first of July. But surprisingly, the weather hasn’t affected it, and it seemed none the worse for being out in the weather for that long. I guess these traps are sturdier than I thought.

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This is a big pile of limbs, brush, and sapling trees that I cut down in the last two years. I noticed the pile was much smaller from settling down. I decided to use the front end loader on my Kubota to push the pile into a smaller concentrated pile. As I did, I saw a lot of nice compost underneath the pile. I was surprised those limbs were breaking down so quickly. I am not going to add any fresh limbs on the pile, I will just keep turning it over every so often. Maybe I will have some good compost I can use in the garden in a couple of years. So until next week, keep prepping everyone!

Homestead Update.

25 Oct

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I have been trying to get my local dump truck driver to bring some dirt for a month and today he finally came through. He found a source of dirt from a construction site, and the dirt had some bricks and gravel in it so he gave me a discount. Usually he charges $100 for a load but this was only $75, so I had him bring 6 loads, which was all he could get. I needed the dirt to finish installing my big culvert so I could get to the back of our property. Those six loads will also give me a lot of left over dirt to use in the future on other projects.

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I finally had enough dirt to get the culvert buried so I crossed over and began to clear out a path to the back. I had to quit before I finished today, but I got within 50 feet of being to the back fence line.

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Oh, the truck driver also brought this load of stuff to me for free. They are constructing a new building on an old parking lot and they are digging up the pavement. This is a mixture of old asphalt and gravel and when the driver said he would bring it for free I said absolutely! I will use the gravel on the trail across the culvert, and pick up the asphalt chunks and lay it on the side slopes to help control erosion.

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Prepping wise, I discovered the carburetor on my generator was varnished up and it wouldn’t start. So I took it apart and cleaned it up, especially the needle valve and float. After a good cleaning it fired up and ran like a champ. Success! All this Ebola talk also got me thinking about our food supplies. We have enough canned goods to last 3 months, and we have some Mountain House freeze-dried stores set back for real emergencies. But I wanted to add some more and I discovered Sam’s Club has recently started selling long-term food supplies. I was not familiar with this brand of food so I bought a sample kit to try out and see if it is worth storing.

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Sam’s is carrying two different brands of long-term supplies, so I am trying them both.

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This is one of the packages in the plastic tub. You can see the best by date is Sept 2034. That’s 20 years! But if it doesn’t taste edible, it doesn’t matter how long it lasts does it? I’ll let you know how it tastes after we get a chance to try them out.

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I also bought a bee suit! I am going to a local bee keepers association meeting next week and I am hoping some kind soul will invite me to come look inside his hives. Maybe I can hold a frame in my hand and find some eggs and larvae. I would also like someone to show me the difference in pollen, nectar, water, and uncapped honey. Just in case I get an invitation, I wanted to have my suit ready. Keep prepping everyone!

Grape Vines, Firewood, and An Update On Old Man Arms

25 Oct

I was unhooking the bush hog from my tractor ( hopefully for the last time this year ) and as I was unhooking the PTO shaft, I realized my arms were pressed solidly up against the lift arms on the tractor. Ah, so that is where those “old man” bruises came from, mystery solved. That makes me feel a little better, at least there was a good cause for the bruises and they didn’t just appear out of thin air.

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Pioneer Preppy mentioned in one of his recent posts the difficulty and the danger in cutting firewood caused by wild grape vines. As you can see, I cut this 8 inch diameter tree and even though it is cut completely free, it is still standing upright!

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If you look up, you can see all sorts of vines running all directions through the limbs, holding the tree up and keeping it from falling. I had to hook a chain to the base of the tree and pull it loose with my tractor. I usually don’t cut good healthy trees for firewood but this tree was standing right in the middle of the path where I am going to install a culvert to cross into the woods on the back of our property. I hope to get that done this fall before the ground gets too wet and soft for a truck to get back here. I’ll keep you updated on my progress.

Wooded Acres

18 Jan

December 31, 2011 was an unusual weather day for us here in West Tennessee. It was 62 degrees and sunny, more like spring than New Years Eve Day. Sweet Thing and I decided to take a walk through the wooded area of the homestead. We have spent a lot of time on the front of the property where the area is open, but you may remember the pictures I posted recently of the gully running through the middle of the property. This gully makes it difficult to access the wooded area for now, but soon I hope to have a culvert crossing to the back side of the property. This is a picture of the most shallow and narrowest part of the gully. After looking closely, I determined this was a low-water crossing in the past. You can see the wheel tracks where they crossed and drove up the hill.

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This is the view of the gully and the view across the gully going up the hill. As you can see it is grown up with a lot of briars and bramble like this…

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One of the thorns stabbed through her gloves and made her squeal, HAHA, poor baby. Better be careful.

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This is the view going down the trail into the gully. As you can see, those trees are fairly good-sized, so I know the trail hasn’t been used in quite some time.

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If you look closely in the first two pictures you can see an orange dot. This is my steel pistol target, my own private shooting range. OH YEAH!