Tuesday, June 7, 2011

3-6 June, 2011 Carpentry, horse shoes, shooting, bicycling and rain...

We've had some nice days and some rainy ones and since much of our work is done outside we try to get as much done then as we can.  Rainy days are good for working indoors.  I finally broke down and  began using mosquito repellent when I'm outside.  They simply love drawing blood from me.  They seldom bother Susan ... unless I'm around then they snack on both of us.  We have accomplished a bit the last couple of days though.

We sorted through the sawmill slabs to find wood suitable for the next building phase on the porch.  (The cat is, of course, supervising our board selections!)

Since these are the cast-offs from the sawmill we have a bunch of sides we can put to use.  They do not have straight edges so we use a chalk line and skilsaw to make our own.  I usually cut one side, leaving as little waste as possible.  Next we measure the narrowest point and use it for the next cut.  That way the board is as wide as we can make it.

This is what we did last year to get through the winter.

Here we've begun with the front.  I measured how long we wanted the slabs and set up a small steel square for a stop to slide the boards against on my radial arm saw.  That way I didn't have to measure each one prior to cutting it.  It also makes the lengths more consistent.  You can see what the slab profiles look like in the wheel barrow.

The completed front from the deck side...

And from the front side.  I'm driving in the final nails holding the top board in place.

I finally got a chance to shoot the muzzle loader I put together from a kit.  As you can see there're reason they call them "longrifles."

It's pleasant to shoot and the sights were nearly perfect when I installed them so I didn't have to waste time getting it sighted in.  I worked my way up to 70 grains of Pyrodex "P" for a maximum load.  I'll get the chronograph out before hunting season and measure the velocity using different loads and different sizes of powder.  I usually use 2F black powder for hunting loads.  It's a light rifle and I was surprised at the recoil.  The small, deeply curved buttplates are designed to fit against your arm instead of your shoulder as in modern rifles.

First shot at the 100 yard target.  I can kill a deer with that!

The mornings are still cold with about half of them below freezing so we've fired up the wood stove every morning except one.  When it's going we also cook breakfast on it.  In this case it's pancakes.

Susan's homemade french bread.  It is as good as it looks.

Thyme that Susan dried and is putting in a jar for storage.

We rode bicycles out to check the mail yesterday (the 6th).  On the way back we took a back road home and came in from the north end of the lake.  From this direction you can see about half of the cattail mats on the lake.  There's a National Forest access at the end of this road.  Very few people know about it.

More of the cattail matts.

Susan taking pictures.

Susan wasting film ... er ... storage space on the camera.

We like riding bikes into Fortine to check the mail but it's about 15 miles round trip and takes us longer than planned.  We always see people we haven't talked to in awhile and by the time we all get caught up on the news we've used up half the day.  It's nice though. 

While I was doing my laundry and Susan was working in the garden we stopped for an afternoon game of horseshoes.  I got tired of the stakes they send with the kits always working loose so I used a couple of steel weight training bars and drove them into the ground.  They haven't worked loose like the short bars do.

We try to keep up on the mowing by doing small parts daily.  If we stay caught up we won't need to use the power mower.  Neither of us like the noise or smell of gasoline fumes.  The longer we've been away from town the less we can tolerate noise and exhaust fumes.  It's amazing how it can often cause physical symptoms.  The first comment people make when they come here is how quiet it is. Our kids have difficulty sleeping when they visit because it's so quiet. 

We have a daughter and son-in-law moving onto the property.  They've grown tired of city life and want to give our lifestyle a try.  They parked their motorhome at the new homesite and a bird quicky moved into it by building a nest inside the grill.  She was quite adamant about remaining on the nest too so I guess it will stay in place until her eggs hatch and young ones leave.

We started building their storage shed but got rained out about the time we finished the first wall.  Our son-in-law will be here tomorrow (actually today now) and if the rain will let up we'll get more done.

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