Tag Archives: roadside treasure

Homestead Update 5/14/2017

13 May

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I have 30 gallons of used motor oil that I drained out of my dirt bikes and ATVs stored in unapproved 2 1/2 gallon jugs. I need to pour them over into a five gallon container and carry the oil to the recycling center. I picked up the yellow bucket out of a farmer’s junk pile then I spotted the black bucket on the shoulder of the road so I stopped and picked it up. But wait a minute, this bucket is not empty, it’s completely full. This bucket is brand new, never been opened. five gallons of free oil for my Kubota. It probably fell off of some farmer’s service trailer as he was driving past. SCORE!

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I made some sugar water feeders for my bees out of used plastic jars and scrap wood.

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I made a little wooden stand with hardware cloth covering the opening where I put an old plastic jar with tiny holes drilled into the lid. Works perfectly! I transferred 2 of my newly captured swarms into hives this week and I plan on getting more this week. I need to go through my old hives and see how they are doing and possibly harvesting some honey. I have several people wanting some! I’ll keep you updated, until then, keep prepping everyone!

Homestead Update 9/24/16

25 Sep

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I finally had a good rain on my garden area to bring up the turnip greens and deer browse I planted 2 weeks ago. I checked yesterday and it appears I’m going to have a good stand of greens to pick in a couple of weeks. I love some fresh winter greens! I found this good, heavy metal barrel on the side of the interstate. I’m not sure what it held, but the label said it was some sort of coating and sealer. It looks like it was full of thick, tan, rubberized paint. I might use this for collecting sawdust in my workshop. When I start working on a lot of wood working projects, that creates a lot of sawdust that I want to keep.

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I started feeding my bees with this 5 gallon community feeder. I know I am probably feeding bees from all over the area, but I haven’t had time to put the screened feeders on the hives, maybe next week. I lost another hive recently. The hive was fine two weeks ago, then I noticed a lack of activity yesterday. I opened the hive up and found no bees, and it was full of wax moth larvae. Nasty! I still had 15 swarm traps out because I couldn’t pick them up as I have been housebound. Well, I went out yesterday and picked up 6 of them and low and behold, there were bees in one of them. I brought them home and transferred them over, but they are really strange. I don’t think they have a queen. They have built 4 pieces of comb about 6 inches square, but there is nothing inside the cells, there is no honey, pollen, or brood. It will be interesting to see how long they last.

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These are some commercial hives beside a field I check each week. I know commercial bee keepers do things differently than us hobbyists, but these hives are on the north side of the tree line. These hives will be shaded all day long and the books say put your hives in the sun to help reduce small hive beetles. I have my hives in the sun and I always worry they are getting too hot. I have lots to learn about bees, I guess. Keep prepping everyone!

Homestead Update

12 Sep

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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

19 Jul

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Well, let’s see what went on around here this week. My Mother-In-Law’s lawn mower stopped running and I was selected to fix it. The drive belt broke and I figured how hard can it be to replace a belt. I first took off the deck and looked and realized I couldn’t reach the belt from there. I could see it but not reach it. I looked up the owner’s manual on-line and I looked up replacing the drive belt. The manual said this is a job best left to your authorized service dealer and is not homeowner replaceable. Well, challenge accepted! It really wasn’t that hard to replace except I had to remove the entire fender assembly to be able to access the pulley system. Once I had the fenders out-of-the-way it was a piece of cake.

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I finally had to break down a buy a new push mower. Our old one has been to the shop but it still is not doing what it should. It is hard to start and once you run it for 5 minutes when it chokes down you can’t get it to restart. Since the old mower was giving so much trouble, the grass inside the dog pen is 12 inches deep now. The new mower cut right through it without missing a beat!

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When I picked up the riding mower at my MIL’s house, I mentioned getting a new, small trailer for hauling my diesel tank to the station for filling. She said not to buy a new one, I should take that one sitting out by the barn. I reminded her that trailer had been promised to another son-in-law. She said it had been over a year and the trailer was still sitting in the same spot and she was tired of mowing around it and looking at it. She wanted me to carry it home and if the other SIL wanted it he could come get it from me. HA! good luck with that! The bed on the trailer is so long, when you unhook it from the ball, the rear drops to the ground and the hitch will hit you in the mouth if you are not careful! I cut off about 3 feet from the rear of the trailer with my Harbor Freight Double cut saw and now it is balanced perfectly. The trailer is made from an old truck rear axle and springs so it should have no trouble handling the diesel tank, especially since I will only pull it a few miles probably twice a year.

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I am still feeding the bees in my planter trays. I don’t know if they are all my bees, or if I am feeding all the bees in the area. I was out in the barn yesterday where I could keep my eye on it and refill it as needed. They were drinking up a gallon of sugar-water every hour! it’s a good thing I am not able to stay home and do that everyday. That would get expensive.

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I realized I haven’t found much roadside treasure lately. All I have found is this roll of heavy nylon cord. I can always use that. I guess I need to keep my eyes peeled for more treasure. Keep prepping everyone.

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No, this has not slipped my notice, I will have something to post about this later. Just more goose crap coming down on our heads from the Commies in Charge!

Homestead Update

1 May

The weather has taken a turn for the better and I have been going to work more often, but I still got a few things done.

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I got my bathroom in my shop hooked up to a septic system this week. Hey PP, my orange tractor digs a pretty nice hole doesn’t it? That hole is 5 feet deep, 4 feet wide and 6 feet long. That is where I buried the septic tank. I think 5 feet deep is about the limit of my backhoe attachment. I might go 1 foot deeper but it would take some careful positioning.

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I found this tool on the parking lot at Lowe’s. I think it is a pry bar that is designed to work on automobile brakes and rotors but I’ll find a good use for it!

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I have a good honeybee experience to relate this week. I had 2 frames of old black comb that I found last Spring, and I had them on my new shelves in my barn. I heard a loud buzzing sound and noticed several bees checking out the old comb. I got busy and finished my swarm traps and put a single old frame in each of two traps, but they were just sitting in my barn waiting for me to put them out.

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Thursday, I was in my office and looked out the window and saw bees flying around. I went out and saw about 100 bees flying around this hole in the wall where the AC lines run into the wall. I thought to myself those bees can’t go in there, the cavity is too small, but if I put my trap close-by, maybe they will go into it.

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I set my trap on the AC unit and as soon as I did, the bees started checking it out. By that time, I bet there were 200 bees flying around. I went back into the house and I could hear bees buzzing in the wall. OH No! Not good. If those bees take up residence there I will have to kill them so I hope they move. By 7:00 that evening, all the bees seemed to be in the trap and not in the wall. I checked them the next morning at 7:30 and I think all the bees were gone. RATS! I guess they didn’t like my trap after all. But by 8:30 I noticed bees flying around once again, so I ran to the barn and brought back a can of spray foam and filled in the hole in the wall before the bees went back into the wall. I moved the trap off of the AC unit to the porch about 15 feet away and I noticed scout bees checking it out all day so I hope they might settle in there after all.

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I also had one of these conical cardboard traps that I put out last week in a tree on the front of the homestead. I have noticed bees checking it out the past two days as well, maybe it will catch a swarm!

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We also made a trip to a nearby local plant nursery. They have this old VW bug near the road with a mannequin checking out the flowers growing under the bonnet. It sure makes the place easy to find. She had a lot of good garden vegetable plants, but I think I will take it easy on the gardening this summer, I have some other projects on my mind for the little bit of time off from work I will have. So until then, keep prepping everyone!

Homestead Update

25 Apr

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I had to work three days this week; still I managed to get the bathroom finished in my shop. The walls are painted, the fixtures are set, and the water lines run and hooked up. We had one connection leaking but we managed to get it stopped. I still need to hook up the septic tank, but I have to wait for the rain to finish tonight. I didn’t want to dig a six foot square hole and have it filled with rainwater tomorrow.

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After we hooked up the water supply lines, I used the stopper and filled up the lavatory to check for leaks. Kensey jumped up and stood in the water with all four feet and proceeded to splash the water out with his paw. Thanks for the help! Oreo was in the other room sleeping, he didn’t even come in until we were finished.

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While I was working, I saw this air conditioner housing in the middle of the road. Being a good Samaritan, I stopped to put it on the shoulder before someone hit it, and I noticed the mesh grill on the back. I immediately realized I had a use for that.

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I pulled it loose and carried it home to cut into 3 inch squares to cover the holes in my swarm traps to prevent the birds from coming in. I can get at least 24 hole covers from this so I won’t have to cut up my rabbit cage wire. I painted the three swarm traps I made and I will put out another one tomorrow. I will have one at the back and one at the front of our property. Oh, the Red Fox showed back up this Spring. Sweet Thing and I both have seen him out in the daytime just about every day this past week. He trotted past the dog pen one morning and Wilma barked at him a little bit but Jethro just stood there and watched. Some watchdogs you two are! Keep prepping everyone!

Swarm Traps, Homestead Update & Roadside Treasure

18 Apr

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I finally took some time to make some swarm traps today. As you can see, I have a large, medium and small size to see which works best. The small size is made from the 10 frame medium super I found on the roadside last Spring. It has propolis and wax on the inside so it should have that good bee smell already. The middle size is made from a new 8 frame deep hive body and the large size is made from a pine 1X12. When I found the 10 frame super I also found 2 frames still intact with old black wax and I will put one in each of the new boxes. Some of the people I’ve read recommended that, but some said not to do that because it would attract wax moths. Well we shall see, after all, this is a new learning experience for me. The weatherman says we will get some storms and rain tonight and tomorrow. If so, I will put a couple of coats of paint on them tomorrow. The lid on the small trap has a single coat of paint I put on it already today. I used a partial can of  paint I bought 17 years ago that has sat in my storage area where it probably froze and thawed repeatedly over the years, but I think it is still useable. Does it have some lumps and clumps? Yes it does, but I am just painting hives with it so I can just flick off the lump when I see it. The bees won’t care if it is a perfect paint job or not.

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When I brought the two boxes of bee supplies over to my shop, I set them in the man cave while I went to unlock the back door. By the time I had walked around, Kensey and Oreo had already spotted the boxes. “Hey what’s this? This stuff is new, we need to check it out!” Thanks for the help guys.

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I had to make a new burn barrel because the previous one finally fell apart. It lasted 2 years but between being weakened by the heat of the fires and the @#$%!! raccoons crawling in and out of it the wire finally broke down. I’m using rabbit cage wire so I have about $10 invested in it as well as 1 hour of my time. That’s much cheaper than the $459 model from DR Manufacturing I reported on last year!

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I also bought this little jewel. I have a large, professional model Troy-Bilt weed eater with the chainsaw attachment. It is a fine heavy-duty machine, but it is difficult to start for the first time of the day, especially if it hasn’t been run for a while. But you can plug this electric starter into the end and push the button and it will fire right up. It cost $29 but it prevents a lot of cussin’ and fussin’ on my part!

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I also found this roadside treasure this week. It is a brand new double roll of plastic warning tape, similar to police crime scene tape only it says “Warning, Buried Electric Lines.” Who knows I might need to mark off an area as off-limits some day and this will do just fine. I made Sweet Thing jump out of the vehicle and pick it up, by the way. She wasn’t too pleased about that! I guess that is enough for now, keep prepping everyone!