Tuesday, May 31, 2011

27-31 May - Dancin' dogs and shoveling sh ... manure.

Memorial Day weekend ... rained all day Saturday!  But Sunday and Monday were pretty nice so that was a change over most years.

Susan is picking asparagus seeds from the hulls.  We harvested the seeds last fall and saved them to see if they'll grow new plants.  The seeds are inside a red berry about the size of a pea.  You break the outer shell and pick out the seeds inside.

Went fishing with our oldest son and son-in-law on Saturday on Flathead lake.  It has swells about two feet  high and intermittent rain and wind.  Not the best weather fpr people and evidentally not good for fishing either.  Several hours out and no fish! 

This is Ice.  He likes to go fishing also and jumped up in anticipation every time we reeled in the line.

Susan was pulling "weeds" in the garden and dryng them for use a goat food this winter.  He absolutely loves dandelions (dried or fresh).

Potatoes frying ont eh wood stove.  It's been in the thirties most mornings so we have a fire going int he stove anyway ... so why not use it to make breakfast and save on the propane?

Susan doing laundry.  The bell shaped tool is called a "Rapid Washer."  We bought ours from Lemans several years ago.  It has baffles inside the channel water through to  help push ti through your clothes.  It works much better than a toilet plunger, stick or canoe paddles (things we've used before).


We went fishing this morning.  We had a good time on the lake but didn't catch anything.  I'm starting to believe I'm some kind of jinx when it comes to fishing.

A muskrat house.

A beaver lodge.

A view of the mountains to the east of us.

The buffalo got out a couple of times and got into the hay that was stacked here.  What they didn't eat they defacated in so I'm forking it into the truck so we can compost it for use in the garden.

The dog decided to sit in the truck and listen to the radio.

Odie with one of the leg bones from the buffalo.

I've been tethering the goat out during the day to eat fresh grass, etc.  Susan caught him on top of the scrap pile jousting with the little pine tree.

Mowing already ... ugh!

We had one muffler hanger missing and one broken so I got the welder out to fix the broken one and put a new one where the one fell off.  I had to make it from materials I had on hand so I used a piece of scrap steel and cut rubber insulators from an old tire.  I welded the bracket to the tail pipe rather than waste a clamp.

After I finished the Cherokee our daughter got here with her car.  It needed exhaust work too and also a wheel bearing tightened up.

There are water bowls all over the place for the cat, dog and chickens but the cat decided to drink out of the water storage tank instead.  If we could have tweaked that plastic pipe that would have been a very wet ... and angry ... cat.

I was batting the tetherball around and the dog decided to join in.  She's pretty good at keeping the ball moving but isn't too careful about which direction she hits it.

She's coming back down to earth after leaping to hit the ball with her front feet.

I did some repair work on a picnic table we were given.  The legs are rusted out on the bottom so I welded another pipe alongside to reinforce them.

We've been working on the new homesite of one of our daughter's and her husband.  Susan mowed the "grass," smoothed out the driveway entrance and drained this mud hole.  (I was unloading the pickup into the compost pile at the time.)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

24-26 May, 2011 Rain, Sawmill Slabs, Gardens, Birthday's and Apple Trees

It's been raining all day today.  The good thing is that it's almost filled the storage tank.  I spent a little time in the rain getting one of the rain barrels to siphon.  The siphon hose was cold and stiff so I had to tie the end in a piece of angle iron to keep the hose straight.  It was curved enough before that I couldn't get the end to the bottom of the barrel.  If the rain keeps up tomorrow I'll have to scrounge up some more barrels and fill them too.  One thing we never get enough of is water.  I got more writing done today although after a few hours of writing I may as well quit and do something else because productivity falls off.

I did get the rifle I've been putting together finished today.  I had a hard time finding a drill bit the right size to drill the holes for the barrel tenons.  I needed a #32 bit and no one had any.  I fished out my micrometer and looked around more at home here and found a 3mm bit that was just the right size so I used it to drill holes for the tenon pins.  I was almost to the point of drilling them out to 1/8 inch and making my own pins.

The finished rifle.  I haven't stained the ramrod because I'm going to use a different ramrod.  It's a Traditions 50 cal. Kentucky rifle kit.  I did the browning on the barrel and stained and sealed the stock. I haven't had a chance to shoot it yet but hope to soon.

It's a percussion lock.  I'd have preferred a flintlock but this one was on clearance for a very good price so I grabbed it.

The forward half.  I still have to fine tune the sights but they should be close enough to get it on paper.

A daughter and son-in-law are moving out here soon.  They brought the motorhome to stay in while they build their house on the western edge of our property.

They came up on Susan's birthday (24th) to get some preliminary things done before the move.  One of the things was to put a new sight on his rifle and sight it in. 

Susan received an apple tree for her birthday so we got it planted right away.  We put it where the previous tree died after a rabbit girdled the tree.

I finished tilling up the garden on Tuesday morning. Susan was busy weeding and planting while I ran the tiller. 

Wednesday we drove to a sawmill and picked up some slabs to use around the house.  We have a building project in mind for them. 

The weather was looking kind of stormy by the afternoon.  We tied on the load and headed to Eureka.  We had a couple of stops to make then we went to the farmer's market.  Susan boought some kale plants and a few other plants.  We ran into Randy (Gonefishn) and he gave us some extra seed to try out.  We drove up to this place and I borrowed a ratchet strap for tying down the wood slabs and a drill bit for the rifle tenon pins (turned out to be the wrong size).  I had taken a bucket full of ratchet straps out of the Cherokee a couple days before and forgot to put them back in before we left for town.

Today it has rained non-stop so we caught up on our inside tasks.  I sent out a query for an article and got
approval a couple of hours later.  I'm also working on a book I just signed the contract for yesterday so I'm going to have to put in a few extra hours writing.  Now it's late and I need to put in a few hours sleeping.

Monday, May 23, 2011

15-23 May, 2011 Gardens, Grandchildren, Guns, Lean-to's, and Blanket Thieves

Been a busy week for the most part.  The weather hasn't cooperated much.  We've had some sunshine but mostly overcast with intermittent showers.  Not enough to soak anything, just enough that you can't get as much done outside.  The odd thing is that it's flood season and creeks and rivers are running bank-full.  Mostly from snow-melt.  We had above average snow depths last winter which is good unless it melts off to fast.  Today the pictures are lumped into categories rather than sequence as I usually put them.

If you kept up with our Nevada blog you might recognize Hannah.  She, her mother and brother stayed with us the last couple of weeks.  We brought her recliner and the bear up from storage and took them home to her.

Susan and Logan.  He's happy now after having drained his bottle.

Susan's planting peas.  Hopefully they won't get frosted off when they come up.  This is seed we saved from last year.

Susan is weeding.   She got the garlic weeded earlier and has been working her way through the other parts of the garden since then.

These are dried potato peelings we saved for the goat.  One didn't want to give up and sprouted a new plant. We'll plant it in the garden and see how it does.

Thi si just a comparison shot to see what Susan's been up to.  The bed on the left is one she cleared out.  It looked just like the one on the right does before she started.

She planted some pepper plants then the temperature hit a low of 20 and killed them all.  Gardening can be more than just a little frustrating here.

She's been digging, transplanting, selling and giving away rspberry plants like crazy.  She sold a bunch at the farmer's market in Whitefish on Saturday.  We may try selling more at the one in Eureka on Wednesday.

We've been waiting to see how many of our apple trees made it through the winter.  This one is doing well.

More to plant when we get the greenhouse built and the nights aren't so cold.

Our flowers are finally blooming.

More flowers ...

and more flowers.

It's so dry we did some garden watering.  We don't have much planted yet to water but the things like raspberries, onions, garlic, asparagus, blueberries, fruit trees, etc. that are already up were getting really thirsty.  We got the water hoses out of storage and ran them to the garden.

The storage tank has a couple hundred gallons left from last year and the spring rains we've had so far so we didn't have to haul water ... yet!  I take the intake pipes off in fall and put them together again in spring.  I leave the end that goes into the water upright and pour water down it until it begins coming out of the pump's tank. The bulb in the pipe near the pump is a one-way valve so the pump maintains it's prime after it's shut off.

Once the water starts running out I know the pump is full and primed so I close the spigot, put the inlet pipe in the tank and start the pump.  I leave teh valve shut until the tank fills and the pump shuts off.  Once the pump shuts off I put the hose on then open the spigot to pump the water wherever it's needed.

When Susan weeds the garden she throws the weeds into the goat's pen.  The goat loves them.

I went to gather eggs and found the nest occupied.  I'll give her some time then check again.  If she's broody too bad.  We dont' have a rooster so I'm not going to let her try to hatch out the eggs.

The back side of the chicken house now that we're finished with the run.

This is stew meat from the buffalo.  It's ready to can.

Some of the ground meat will be vacuum packed and frozen.  The rest will be canned.

Buffl'er stew.  Even the herbs and spices Susan used were home grown.

I made a Whelen Lean-To from plans in an article from either Backwoodsman or Wilderness Way magazines.  I finally got it put up so I could try it out.  I uses canvas drop cloth material and sewed it on my Singer treadle sewing machine.  I bought some UV rated thread from a craft store in Eureka for the seams.  So far it's been tested in the rain and is waterproof.  I made the satkes out of some long stakes I keep on hand for muskrat trapping.  After a bit I noticed a sweet smell in the air and realized that I'd used some stakes that I pulled last year and they still had muskrat lure on them.  At least muskrat lure smells good.  Every other trapping scent I have smells ike some combination of skunk and rotted meat.

The dog kept me company last night.I brought her blanket out so she wouldn't be sleeping on mine.  About midway through the night I got cold and stole her blanket too.  I had one folded up wool blanket under me and two on top.  With the dog's blanket over me and the dog stretched out beside me I slept pretty good the rest of the night.  It was in the upper 30's when I got up this morning.  I tried sleeping without a pillow and did fine until I rolled on my side.  I have some shoulder problems stemming from too many years using an impact gun under cars so laying on my arm was not an option.  So, I rolled over the short log end seen at the head of my "bed" and used the flat part for a pillow.  It was different but worked.  I think I'll bring a real pillow tonight though.

I'm almost finished with a Kentucky Rifle kit I'm puting together.  I browned the barrel, polished the brass, and stained and finished the stock.  I need to put one more coat of Tru-Oil on the stock and assemble it then I can take it out to shoot.  I've got a couple fo other ML rifles but this one is the lightest and I'm looking forward to hunting wth it this summer and fall. A fifty-caliber round ball should kill a gopher shouldn't it?

The water pump started leaking on the Cherokee so I installed a new one.  Of course as soon as I began working the rain started to fall.  It was a light rain so I kept on working.  In this picture I think I'm trying find a bolt I dropped.

We took some old mattresses into Eureka to the dump and brought home a load of pallets.  They always come in handy around here.