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!
This week I planted some cold crops in my raised bed. The bed did so well last summer even with me neglecting it badly I decided to give the lettuce, broccoli and onions a try.
I put together and painted some bee hive supers and assembled some frames. I even made some frames from scratch and they turned out really good. But, I have to say, if I can buy them from Mann Lake for 88 cents that is cheap enough not to make them myself.
I saw this cardboard box on the side of the road near our house so I just had to stop and pick it up.
Turns out, it was just filled with garbage! Oh well, you can’t find a prize every time.
The wind blew our newspaper down the road and when I walked over to pick it up, I found this nice, Uncle Mike’s sidekick holster. Score!
We spent the weekend in Memphis at the Peabody Hotel for a meeting I attended. While there we dined at Texas De Brazil. After consuming several pounds of grilled meats, I finished off my meal with Key Lime pie, vanilla bean ice cream, and coffee.
Sweet Thing finished up with Pecan pie, ice cream, and coffee. If you go to Texas De Brazil, be sure to bring your appetite! Keep prepping everyone!
Since I last posted, I have spent most of my time working on my taxes and working in my shop.
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.
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.
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.
Then I can add these 2X3s to hold full 8 foot sheets.
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!
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!”
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.
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”!
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!
Just a quick post to let you know I am still alive. I haven’t had an outbreak of psoriasis in 3 weeks so maybe the medicine is finally taking effect. Our cotton is almost completely harvested and the yields were pretty good.
I made this cherry picker basket to lift up with the bucket on my front end loader on my tractor.
I had to replace the security light on the front of the shop. While I was at it I replaced my American flag. She’s flying pretty and proud ain’t she? I had to buy that light at Home Depot, they don’t sell metal halide lights at Lowe’s anymore. All they had were fluorescent and LEDs and I thought the metal halide would be brighter.
After I took the old one down, I had second thoughts however. This old one got hot enough to burn and melt the wires and ballast in the fixture, that is why it quit working. If I hadn’t already mounted the new halide light, I think I would have opted to put up an LED light. I have decided I really like the LED lights in the house even though they are really expensive up front. As the lights need replacing around here, I replace them with LEDs. Someday they will all be LEDs unless they come up with something better in the next few years.
I planted these mustard greens 4 weeks ago and they have grown big enough to pick. Sweet Thing has already picked several sacks and took them to her mother and sister. I guess the next sack will be mine. I love fresh greens!
I grew a few cantaloupes to go along with the peppers and tomatoes I grew in the raised bed I made. I am declaring the raised bed method a success! Next Summer I will have a couple of more beds ready. Until then, keep prepping everyone!
I was feeling well enough to get out and do some light chores this past week. I started discing an area in the back where I plant the deer browse and turnip green patch. The ground was so hard and dry, the disc was just rolling along on the ground without doing much cutting. I took some scrap wood, made a tray on top of the disc, then placed 4, 80 pound sacks of Quikcrete on top for some additional weight. Now it will sink down and cut much better on each pass.
I made another wire barrel to burn our garbage. The old one lasted for a year so that is much more economical than buying the DR model costing $450.00!
Since I have been keeping bees, I take specific notice of any blooming plants. I bought this plant (Texas Jasmine) from the Master Gardeners sale last May, but I still have not planted it, it still is in the pot. The Master Gardeners have a sale each spring, and this year the sale was from 8:00 until 2:00. I learned from past experience, if you wait until 1:00 to get there, they are practically giving things away so they don’t have to take them home. They had some red wagons to place your purchases in then you could roll them to your vehicle. After 1:00, you could fill a wagon with everything you could get in one, and the total price would be $10.00! I bought 20 pots of different plants, but since I was confined inside due to my illness, they are all still in the pots. I did manage to plant 2 apple trees last week that I bought at Lowe’s.
I took this picture of our fruit trees while I was mowing late one evening. The trees are doing pretty well considering the lack of care I have given them. They are 2 years old now, so I think the root system should be well established. I am going to prune them back and shape them into the proper configuration to produce a maximum yield. And oh yeah, I still think Colin Kaepernick is a disgrace! Keep prepping everyone!
If Colin saw this, a bolt of shame should strike him right between his eyes, like a bolt of lightning from the sky, causing him to drop to his knees and weep in shame. Do you think that would happen? No, he is too much of an egotistical, narcissistic dog turd to feel any empathy for anyone other than himself.
I thought my psoriasis was getting much better until I went out to look at a cotton field and walked around for a couple of hours and got hot and sweaty.
Now I have this red, itchy rash again! Oh well, I guess Sweet Thing was right, it is too soon to get out and work. Man, I hate it when she’s right!
We were out looking at some cotton with a new disease for our area called Target Spot. If you look at picture closely, you can see a pile of leaves on the ground underneath the cotton plants. The leaves are supposed to still be on the plant, but the disease infected them and caused them to prematurely defoliate. That caused the cotton bolls to be underdeveloped and probably not be harvestable. There is really not a good cure for this disease, so that is just one more problem to worry with!
I did manage to check my bee hives again, and they were doing quite well. We harvested 4 frames of honey and ended up with almost a gallon of honey. Sweet!
My bees have been searching for water and I noticed them drinking out of this bucket I placed under the dripline of my barn. I use this water for watering my plants when the bucket catches some rain. I sliced some 1/4 inch slices of swimming pool noodles and placed the slices in the bucket for the bees to land on and get a drink. So far, they are not using the slices, they still land on the bucket and walk down the side to the water.
I filled up this plastic tray with rocks and fresh water and they started drinking from it as well. I guess I am going to start feeding them sugar water again. I have been looking around for plants that might be blooming to provide forage for the bees and I see very little available. I guess we are in the late season dearth. Some of the fall plants such as Goldenrod will be blooming soon, but until then they could use some supplemental feeding I think.I promised myself I would take better care of my bees this year. Last year I neglected them due to beginners ignorance, and this year I was unable to tend to them for 8 weeks due to my allergic reaction and psoriasis. Well, even though I missed the summer caring for them, there is no reason to neglect them now. Hopefully next year will be the year they finally improve and excel. Until then, keep prepping everyone!