Thursday, September 30, 2010

30 September, 2010 Motorcycles and Pop Rivets

We drove into Eureka yesterday to get some sabre saw blades and pop-rivets.  On the way back we fed the buffalo a bale of hay. 

The dog wanted to get out and play but the buffalo don't have a very good sense of humor when it comes to dogs so Odie was confined to the Cherokee.

Susan picking some "greens" early in the morning. 

One of the carrots from the garden.  When the roots hit a rock they head off every direction.  We have lots of rocks so we often get some very uniquely shaped carrots!

Supper cookin' in the solar cooker!

Susan holding the window in place so I can trace around it.

Susan washing the windows.  I only have enough pop-rivets installed to hold them in place.  They're steel shafts and with my hand boogered up I can't get a good grip to squeeze the handles.  I'll add the rest of the rivets next week.  I have one more window to put in the front then it'll be time to make the back wall and put a door in.

In the afternoon I replaced the front tire on the motorcycle.  They want a bunch of money at the shop to do this but I've been mounting/dismounting motorcycle tires since I was 14.  The new tires are tubeless which is even easier.  The tool for removing the tire that's laying across the screwdriver handles was purchased by me when I was 14.  The new ones are plastic and won't scratch aluminum wheels like this one will if you aren't careful.

The new tire is almost on now.

Tire on mounted and inflated to 33 PSI.

My hand is healing nicely.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

28 September, 2010 Tuesday

Tristan and I spent Sunday getting a load of firewood.  This is the last load we need for the winter.  I took the Homelite with the new chain and it worked great.  I talked to the Stihl dealer when I got the new chain for the Homelite and he said they set the air gap on the coil on the old saws at .020 and the new ones at .010.  Sunday I reset the air gap on the coil to .010 and the Stihl worked like a new saw again.  We cut a full load and headed home.  When we got home we unloaded the pickup and that was enough for one day.  (I still have a few trees to take down on the property but the wood shed will be full when this load is split and stacked.  We watched a few more episodes of CSI Las Vegas in the evening.  Susan made bread and zuchinni brownies, dug up more spuds and spread them out to cure (they're spread ot n the living room floor with old towels under and over them), packed away some of the food she's been dehydrating and picked more herbs to dry.

Monday we did household stuff in the morning (I did more writing on one of my articles -- I need to be more consistent at that).  In the afternoon we cleaned out the Uhaul and planned out where we want the windows installed, stove, table, etc.  We had dinner with a neighbor in the afternoon/evening.

Tuesday Susan did more in the garden, washed towels and sheets and bandaged up my hand.  I had to search for new blades for the saber saw to put the windows in the Uhaul.  We traced the outline on the wall for the first window and I cut it out.  Then I found out I used the wrong window for a template.  Fortunately it was a smaller window so I just had to enlarge the hole a bit to make it fit.  When I was cutting out the hole for the second window my ladder slipped and when I grabbed onto the Uhaul I cut my hand on the jabbed edges of the hole for the first window.  So we got to play "first aid" for awhile.  I was glad we keep a good supply of first aid stuff around.  When we finished up I put a glove over the injured hand and finished installing the windows.  After supper (spaghetti) and when we finish our blogs we'll watch the final episode if CSI and take the series back and trade it for the next year.  We are borrowing these from our oldest son.  The whole family trades videos around.  Keeps us all entertained without spending too much money doing it.

These are seed pods off the asparagus.  The seeds themselves are inside.  You have to crush them to extract the seeds.

I used a metal cutting blade on my circular saw to cut the first hole out.  I used the sabre saw to cut the rounded corners.  The saber saw works much better so I used it for the next window.

The view from inside while cutting the first window opening.

Both openings have been cut and I'm installing the windows.

Outside view ...

Inside view.  We still have to put in the insulation and paneling inside.

My hand after the ladder fell over.  I let it bleed a bit to let the blood flow help clean the wound.

After washing it we got a better look.  They aren't that deep.  It mostly just peeled the skin back a bit.

I'm putting some antibiotic salve on it.

We broke into some of the larger pads for this one.

A large pad, a wrap of cloth tape to hold it in place.  A bandaid on the finger to hold that flap of skin down (hidden under the larger pad).  And a once-over from the dog and we went in to have some lunch.  After eating lunch I put a glove on to protect the bandage and finished up the two windows. (Five more to go.)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

25 September, 2010 More Rain ... multiple moose ... winterizing

Susan made stew using canned venison chunks, potatoes, and carrots from the garden (plus eleven secret herbs and spices!).  The only thing we used that we didn't produce was the olive oil she used to brown the venison.  (We still have some bear lard she could have used though.)  Unlike the potatoes, the carrots are doing great this year.

One of the cherry tomato plants was killed by the frost so we picked the tomatoes off of it and are trying to ripen them in the house.  We'll see how many ripen.

Frost killed the pumpkin plants so we brought in those that had begon to turn to see if they'll ripen in the house.  The long yellow one is a summer squash. 

Susan drying peppers.

Susan ran a loadd of squash through the dehydrator.  I'm picking the seeds out.  We'll dry the seeds and save them to plant next year.  We may roast some for snack food.

Dehydrated zuchinni squash.  Those on the right are fresh from the dehydrator.  Those on the left have been run through the blender to powder them.  The pan on the left was heaped to overflowing before she began running them through the blender.  She mixed some of the powdered Zuchinni in with brownies she made.  The brownies came out very good.  When she made the stew she used some of the summer squash in it.  That too came out well. 

These are dried potatoes, labeled and ready for storage.

On the way home from getting the mail Friday we saw two moose next to the road.  One made it into the woods before the camera came to life.  Susan got a couple of good pictures of this one.  Both were without antlers.

It's getting cold enough at night that I decided to get the pumps winterized so they wouldn't freeze. The water pump down at the marsh was the first project.  I disconnected the suction pipe and drained the pump housing then coiled the hose (100 feet).  I carried the pump, hose and cover to the house in a wheel barrow.

We store it on an old tire or pallet next on the south side of the cabin.  The tire keeps it up off the ground.  Sometimes the snow builds up them melts then freezes so we like to keep it off the ground in the winter.

I've already drained the housing so I covered it for the winter.  One of the reasons we keep it here is because it's to exposed for packrats to move in.  If we put it in a building somewhere the packrats would love to build a nest under the cover.  We ususally have them trapped within a couple of days of their arrival but in two days they can do a lot of damage.  It's best to prevent them from moving in in the first place.
We've had rain every day except yesterday (25th) when the sun finally showed itself for more than a few minutes at a time.  I got the weed eaters running again.  Susan's has a bad gasket on the back of the motor.  I made a replacement gasket out of a paper plate which got it running again but I need to find some gasket material and cut one out of it for a permanent fix.  The other one just needed the fuel line replaced.  It's an old one we found at a dumpster.  The choke knob is broken off but it runs great.  I've been splitting wood whenever the weather permits.  The wood shed is almost full.  We have enough to last the winter but I plan on cutting one more load today.  I have five dead trees on the property I plan on cutting down also.  One thing about firewood.  If I cut too much this year that's just less I have to cut for next year  We've had a couple of hard frosts this week so we're harvesting some things from the garden.  Some of our tomato plants survived so we're leaving them to grow as long as possible.  The pepper plants on the south side of the cabin are still doing okay.  The tomato plant on the porch is doing well yet too.  The tomatoes and squash took a big hit in the garden.  The pumpking plant didn't survive so we picked those that had begun to ripen.  Susan dug up a few more potatoes.  Some have very small spuds while some are big.  The large ones are in new areas of the garden.  We think the soil may be too fertile in the older parts for potatoes, hence the good plants but small spuds.  Next summer we'll plant the spuds in the new places that we haven't fertilized much.  The next project for fall will be getting the Uhaul fixed up for camping.  After that I hope to get the new solar panels moved to their permanent location and get the bathroom finished up.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

19-21 September, 2010 - More rain ...

It's been raining every day but the forecast shows some clear weather coming our way soon. 

Susan has been harvesting some of the mullein.  We seem to have a bumper crop of it this year.  This is just a small 1/2 acre section of it.

She isn't the only one with an interest in it.

She pulled up a couple of plants to dry in their entirety.

She's also drying some of the leaves.

Some more squash from the garden.  We're hoping it continues to ripen in the house.

The buffalo were waiting when we came back from a trip into Fortine.  (We spent a rainy afternoon at the tavern eating hamburgers and shooting pool.)  I don't like feeding them when they're waiting like this because I no longer get in the pen with them while they're there.  That means I have to break the bale open on my side of the fence and throw the flakes over the fence.  The wind is always in the wrong direction and I get hay all over me.  The bull is in front and always the first to eat.  He simpley runs the others off his portion.  The old cow is next in the pecking order and she allows her younger calf to eat out of her pile (and will come to it's defense if it's older brother tries to but the younger one out of the way).  The old calf is lowest in the pecking order and gets to eat after the others have taken the edge off their hunger.

The bales weigh about 80 pounds.  The hay stack is about 20 yards from the fence.  In a couple of more months there'll probably be snow on the ground.

Susan is cutting up some of the summer squash to dry.

This is the dryer we picked up for $5.00 at the yard sale a month or so ago.

The generator is running so we have both dehydrators going.  We actually have two of the white ones but we usually just use one at a time and stack more trays onto it.

Oregon (wild) grapes drying.  We put them in a shallow pan (in this case a pie pan) set on the blocks to the left of the stove.  When the generator is running we turn the fan on to blow air over them to speed the drying process.

Time to clean the chicken house.  (Uhg!) 

One egg was in the lower box so I moved it up to the top box.  I'll add hay to both before I finish.  I wanted to make sure the dog didn't help herself to the egg when my back was turned.  She's suspected of eating the eggs that were missing last week but she can't reach the top box.

First load ready to dump int the compost pile.

I shoveled it out down to the wood floor then added new hay.  Straw is our favorite but we didn't have any so hay will have to do.  When I opened the small door into the run (outside area surrounded by chicken wire) one hen had to rush in to see what I'd done to destroy her home.  They'll have lots of fun for a couple of days scratching through the hay looking for bugs and seeds. 

I thought it would be a good time to put the new chain on the 18 inch Homelite chainsaw.

New chain on and ready to put the side plate on.

Finished!  The new chain doesn't have the anti-kickback links.  These increase the chance of kickback but make cutting with the tip a lot easier.

I picked up some of the small fuel line the last time we were in Eureka.  I'm putting it on the weed-eater (the old fuel line had gotten brittle and broke).  I didn't get it started.  It was having problems before the gas line broke.  It has good spark so I'll pick up some carburetor cleaner the next time we're in town and go through the carburetor.  this is my wife's favorite string trimmer and I'd like to get it running again.