Tomorrow is the first day of Spring, but this is what we had last week, maybe 2 inches of snow.
I ordered these large bags of wild flower seeds but I need to wait another month before I plant them. I wanted to have some flowers for my bees to feed on. Speeking of bees, I split one of my hives today. I opened it up and every frame was crawling with bees and there was a LOT of brood, much of it capped and ready to hatch. I did a walk-away split on this hive last year and it worked perfectly, I hope it turns out that well again.
I made 10 telescoping covers for my hives recently and I wanted to put metal on the covers like the ones I buy from Mann Lake. I bought this metal brake from Harbor Freight two years ago so I decided it was time to give it a try.
I have to admit my first attempt was an abject failure! The cover on the bottom is my second attempt and it looks just fine. The cover on top is the one I had to re-bend and try a second attempt, that is why it is so wrinkled and ugly. After covering six of the tops, I realize I really didn’t need the metal brake because the aluminum flashing is so thin. The flashing might be twice as thick as a store-bought pie plate, but describing it like that is being generous. I could have made a metal brake using a couple of 2X4s and it would have worked just fine for this task, but I might need to bend something heavier in the future so I will hold on to it.
I had a meeting with one of my clients at his office and I checked out his train set. This is not a child’s set, this is a big-boy set!
I doubt if I will ever see a more elaborate set than this one!
I was looking through my pictures for this post and I realized I haven’t posted a picture of Brandy lately. She weighs 9 pounds now and that should be her final, adult size. It is a real ball of laughs watching her play with her toys!
I was in the restroom of Subway recently, and I saw this sign written in braille stating employees must wash hand before returning to work. Then I wondered to myself “how many blind people do they have making sandwiches at this Subway?” Just more unnecessary government regulations intruding on our lives. Keep prepping everyone!
The temperatures have been unseasonably warm the past 3 weeks so we are having a false Spring. When this happens, we always get another hard freeze after the fruit trees have bloomed out so we will have no locally grown fruit this year. The daffodils are starting to bloom, the trees are budding out and the forsythia is blooming. This is 2-3 weeks too early for here. It has been so warm my bees have been really flying! They are not just cleansing, they are foraging and bringing in pollen. I plan on adding some sugar water to the feeders next week so they don’t starve. I went into Winter with 5 hives, but now I am down to 4 hives.
This is the dead hive. I was one frame short in the lower hive body so when I placed the medium super on top of it, the bees drew out the comb to fill in the space anyway. The comb just hung down from the frame above it.
I set up 7 hives in anticipation of swarm season and I will add 3 more hives next week. I am tired of the grass growing up around the hives so I put down a layer of landscape cloth before I set the hives.
I will come back soon and add some pine bark mulch on top of the fabric to hold down the grass.
I took this picture of a tree outside of one of my farmer’s shop.
That is what a 20 year old crepe myrtle looks like if it hasn’t been butchered back to keep it short. I really like the look of that trunk with the bark peeled off, that tree has a lot of character.
I used my front end loader and pushed up a pile of old limbs and I discovered this really nice looking composted material on the bottom of the pile. I flipped it over with the old compost on top of the fresher limbs on the bottom. I think in a couple of more years, I can get some good usable compost from the bottom of the pile. I also uncovered a big brown snake under the pile. I’ll have to start watching out for them now since the weather is so warm.
I put together this 12 inch bandsaw from Harbor Freight. And like anything from HF that has a lot of parts, following the instructions is a bit problematic because they are obviously written by some Chinese dude with only a rudimentary grasp of the English language. You really have to use your imagination and judgment to put this together. But after a little trial and error, I only had one small screw hole that had been drilled incorrectly, but I redrilled the hole myself so problem solved! I’ll have another post next week, until then keep prepping everyone!
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
I haven’t done much around here the last couple of weeks. The weather has been rainy so I just spent more time straightening up in my shop and doing paperwork in my office. I hung up some of the saws I have collected in my work room in my barn. That small handsaw is one I got from my Dad many years ago. I wanted to drill a hole in the blade to hang it up so I got out my drill bit set.
I bought this set at Harbor Freight a while back and I am really impressed with the sharpness of these bits. Not only are they really sharp, there are a lot of them so if I lose one or break one I can just go to the next size. When I drilled the holes in the shelf brackets I mounted on the bathroom wall, the bits cut through that soft steel like a hot knife through butter. Howerver, when I tried to drill a hole in the tempered steel of that hand saw blade it was a different story. I started out with a 1/4 inch bit and I quickly realized that wasn’t working so I went down to a 3/32nd bit and it still was not doing anything but spinning on the blade surface. That stuff is way too hard to drill through!
I picked up this book at Tractor Supply for my prepper library. Yeah, I know there are lots of plans online to show how to build bee keeping equipment, but I wanted to have something on hand in case those on-line plans were not available to me. Besides I like to have something to carry into my workshop to look at while I am working. Maybe I can get started on some projects after the first of the year. Keep prepping everyone!
It’s hard to believe it’s already November isn’t it? Well how about this?
Only 54 more days till Christmas!!! Better get ready! Oh, I took that picture in Lowe’s back in SEPTEMBER! Please, can’t we wait until after Halloween to start Christmas? Maybe we need to pass a law.
It rained 4 inches this past week. Most farmers in the area need about 7-10 days to be finished with harvesting their crops, so hopefully the next rain can hold off for that long. I didn’t do a lot around the homestead this week, I took the opportunity to catch up on some paperwork since it was wet and rainy. I did assemble this drill press I previously purchased at Harbor Freight. I had it out of the box and up and running in a matter of minutes. I also mounted on the wall this antique metal sign I purchased on Ebay.
I used the drill press on these metal shelf mounting tracks. I bought six foot sections and cut them in half so I have two 3 foot sections from each unit. There was only 3 screw holes in each one after I cut them, so I drilled 4 more holes in each one for a total of seven screws each. Why so many you might ask? I am going to put 5 foot wooden shelves on these tracks and fill the shelves up with books from my prepping library. This is in the bathroom of my shop so that is a perfect place for a library. I have books on Survival, Prepping, Homesteading, Do-It-Yourself, and many other subjects that will be handy after SHTF! Those books will be heavy, but with 7 different 3 inch screws in each track I hope they can withstand the weight.
I also did a little work on my MIL’s truck. The fan belt broke and as it was whipping around it broke the upper radiator hose. The two hoses are made together with that plastic valve body as one unit. I replaced the belt, hoses and refilled the radiator with anti-freeze so now she should be good to go. Keep prepping everyone!
Well, once again we find ourselves here on the eve of a new year. I like to look back on the past year and remember what has transpired as well as look forward to the new year. All in all, 2014 was a good year for Sweet Thing and me, although there has been some illnesses in my family that have kept me from getting much homestead work done lately, but that is just part of life I guess. I think it is time to bring out my list of resolutions from last year and brush off the cobwebs and just reuse it again for this year. After all, it is always the same old things isn’t it? I’m not any thinner, richer, wiser, nicer or more helpful so I can just look at last years list and scratch off the date and start again this year.
Oh, but I think I need to add one new resolution to my list. That would be to stop buying so much crap from Harbor Freight! Today I bought this multi-position ladder and this section of heavy-duty scaffolding. I am a little leery of the ladder when I get too high up, it feels a little shaky for comfort, but the scaffolding is really nice and sturdy. I have wanted both of them for a good while, but I really didn’t have any room in my barn for storage, but since I added on the new section I have plenty of room. I need to get to work enclosing the new washroom, but all those good college football games are on tomorrow so I will just have to put it off a while longer. Keep prepping everyone!