Tag Archives: firewood

Roadside Treasures

30 Nov

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Last week I saw this plastic barrel on the side of the road, down in the ditch. I could tell it probably blew out of a truck or off of a trailer so I stopped and picked it up. It is a really nice barrel with a full, screw off top.

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This label said the barrel contained green pitted olives. 55 gallons of olives. WOW!

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That would make a lot of martinis wouldn’t it? The label also indicated this was barrel number 40 of 84. Now that would be a LOT of olives! I don’t know what I will use the barrel for since I am not absolutely sure what has been in it, but when I opened it up there was a good layer of cedar shavings so I imagine someone was using this for a portable dog house. I found it the day before gun deer season opened up so I am guessing someone was heading to their deer camp and the barrel blew off of a trailer full of camp supplies. I think I might use it for a compost bin after I make a stand for it.

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This is the Harbor Freight portable garage that I use to park my mower and keep some other junk in the dry. I had to move it so the crew could work on my new barn section. I was worried about moving the structure, but one of my employees and I just pulled up the tie down pegs and tipped it over and rolled it down the hill. It stayed together and we just reinserted the tie down pegs and it is just as good as before. I was shocked it didn’t just come all to pieces when we flipped it over. I sure was lucky on that one. The metal frame is still in good shape, but the plastic tarp is starting to fray at the contact points. If I keep using it for dry storage, I will have to get another tarp to put across it, but that wouldn’t be a big problem.

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Sweet Thing bought this firewood stand from Big Lots and she put it together herself, I didn’t have to do anything except stack some firewood in it. There is enough wood in the rack for us to have a nice, long, toasty weekend so I am prepared for the next cold snap. Keep prepping everyone!

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Homestead Update

8 Nov

I haven’t done much around the homestead this week due to my eye healing up. And even though no one bothered to ask, my eye is doing much better now, thank you very much.

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Sweet Thing and I went to the big Flea Market two weekends ago; I looked at all the old tools and such. The only thing I saw that was a good enough deal to buy was this draw bar for my tractor at only $15, I couldn’t pass that up.

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That Flea Market is the same place I bought this $15 fuel pump last year. I used it a whole year without any problems until last week. I tried to fill my tractor and I pumped, pumped, and pumped on the handle but I couldn’t get it to prime and start pumping no matter what I tried. I thought “Dang, now I am going to have to take the pump apart and try to figure out how to repair it and order a kit to fix it.”

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But as luck would have it, I saw this sitting in a front yard by the road with a “for sale” sign in front of it. I checked it out and it looked OK, so I took out my new smart phone (yes, I finally caught up with the rest of the world and got rid of my old reliable flip phone) and went to the Tractor Supply web site to see if I remembered correctly how much this would cost new. The tank would be $499 and the least expensive 12 volt pump would be over $200. After you add the tax, you would be looking at pretty much $800 for this set up. Oh yeah, now I remember why I am using a Flea Market pump and 2 free oil barrels for my fuel, I couldn’t see spending that much even though I wanted one badly. I called the number on the sign and the man came out from inside the house and I prepared to do my best horse trading. I asked him if the tank was rusted inside, he said no and removed the cap and used his pocket flashlight to let me look inside. I asked if it leaked and again he said no, he just took it out of his truck yesterday. I asked if the pump worked and he said yes, the only thing he didn’t like about it was the long cord with alligator clips on the end which caused him to need to raise the hood of his truck and hook them up when he needed to use the pump. He then hooked the pump to my truck battery and you could hear the pump run, although it didn’t pump since the tank was empty. I asked why he was selling it and he said it was just taking up too much room in the bed of his truck so he was going to downsize to a 40 gallon tank and get a new pump wired directly into his electrical system. So now we got to the point where we would cut to the chase. I knew a new one was $800 so I figured he would ask somewhere between $400-500, but I decided I wouldn’t pay a cent over $350. I asked for the price and he said “I need $100 for the tank and $100 for the pump. I am firm on the price but I will sell them separately if you don’t want them both.” I said SOLD! So much for my horse trading skills, huh? Now it is sitting behind my barn, waiting for my new addition to be added to my barn. I finally got the original builder of my barn to come and give me a quote on an addition, (after a month of calling) and I hope construction starts soon. I need more space!

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Speaking about Tractor Supply, this is a semi trailer blown over on their parking lot. The last storm front blew through here with 50-60 MPH winds, it was pretty rough going for a while. The weathermen are all calling for the Polar Vortex to return this week, so I have been getting ready.

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I put a big stack of firewood on the back porch, and I have a stack in the fireplace primed and ready to go. All I have to do is touch a match to the paper and we will be all warm and toasty!

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The weather was nice and warm today so I went across my new culvert and walked through the woods this afternoon. I spotted this huge hornet’s nest in the trees. It was about 2 feet tall, so it would hold a lot of hornets! I found one like it in the front of the homestead last fall, so I will have to be careful as I am wandering around in warm weather. I wouldn’t want to bump into one of these while the hornets were home! More to come tomorrow, keep prepping everyone!

Rain, Rain, Rain

11 Jun

I work in a 50 mile radius around my home and it has rained somewhere in that radius every day for the past 3 weeks. Fortunately, it has not rained everywhere at once, until today that is. We had an area wide front roll through and drop an inch of rain or more everywhere, so now all the fields are too wet to check today so I am going to take a day off finally!

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It is so wet in our yard, I spotted this good-sized bullfrog just sitting in the grass. I guess he figures everywhere is a swamp now so he can just go where he pleases.

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I have my big puppies loaded in the truck to go to the vet for their annual shots and check-ups.

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This is Kensey and Oreo in their outdoor enclosure. I put a tarp across the top of the wire so they even go out while it is raining, they don’t seem to mind getting a little wet.

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We have been fortunate with all this rainy weather we have not really had the severe weather they predicted. Although in a nearby town I did see some straight line wind damage. This house had 3 fully mature Bradford Pear trees in the front and the wind snapped them all down. It always seems to happen like that, just as soon as a Bradford Pear matures and starts looking nice, the wind destroys it!

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This big Oak got blown over, that will make someone a lot of nice firewood.

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So I am not going to do much today I might just sit here on the front porch and enjoy another cup of coffee. Enjoy you day everyone, and keep on prepping. And yes I have been keeping up with the news. Obama is letting prisoners go from Gitmo, he is shipping busloads of illegals to Arizona, the Ukraine is still in turmoil, and our national debt just keeps on rising. I am just too tired to even think about that stuff anymore. It’s always same old, same old!

Homestead Update

16 May

I have been busy this past week due to planting season finally getting underway. I am at the time of year I might work 30 days in a row without taking a day off.

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Cotton planting got underway last week, this is one of our plots where we put out 12 different varieties to test out.

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We have some corn planted to look at this year and most of it looks like this, pretty small and weak!

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This is about the biggest corn around.

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I found this old hammer head in the field.

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I mowed the grass again, but I left this big, tall cereal rye grass in the back. This is part of my deer browse I planted, and I am going to leave it until the rye goes to seed. Maybe it will come back next year.

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This is some crimson clover I didn’t mow. It came back naturally from the deer browse I planted last year.

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I saw some honey bees working these blooming turnips, so I waited to mow this strip as well.

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I cut up the Magnolia tree that the wind blew down in the neighbor’s yard and I added the green wood to my wood pile for burning this winter. Keep prepping everyone!

Firewood

18 Nov

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I went back to my former neighbor’s house and picked up 2 more FEL buckets full of firewood. This wood was large enough in diameter I had to split it to be able to use it. And when I say I split it, I am not talking about some tractor attachment, hydraulically driven splitter. No, I am talking OLD SCHOOL! I used a wood maul and axe. It took me an hour to split a bucket full, and that might last 12 hours of burning in the fireplace. So I figure I would need 2 buckets to last a full 24 hours, and that would take 2 hours to split. And I have to say, if I had to depend entirely on a fireplace for heat, this house would stay a lot cooler than it does now! That 2 hours is only for splitting, that doesn’t include cutting, hauling and stacking. I am going back to the woodpile of scrub trees I have created on the back of the homestead and go through the pile and cut out anything 2 inches in diameter and larger for burning. That will be a lot easier than splitting logs and the small pieces will burn just fine. If I had to heat solely with wood, I would be spending a lot of time cutting wood. I guess that is why in the old days people had so many children. Cheap slave labor! Sure it was more mouths to feed, but more hands to do the many tasks necessary for survival on a homestead. I sure am glad all I have to do for heat is bump up that thermostat! 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.

Free Firewood!

4 Sep

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One of our neighbors came over and returned some hand tools he had borrowed. He said he had some news, he had just spent the morning at his attorney’s office where he filed for bankruptcy and divorce on the same day. I expressed my genuine regrets to him and he told me I could have his pile of aged firewood, he had no use for it where he was going. It was pretty dry, being 2 years old but it was free for the taking. I picked up 5 bucket loads to add to my supply, it never hurts to have extra. Be prepared everyone!