Wednesday, July 20, 2011

13-19 July, 2011 Sawdust, Swimming Building Supplies and Bear Tracks

It's been a very busy week.  (But not all work either!)

We had a case of oranges we weren't going to be able to eat before they went bad so ...

Susan canned them.  If you've never peeled a case of oranges you should try it.  It's a little hard on the hands!  The peelings will be dried then powdered in the blender and used for flavoring in muffins, cupcakes, etc.

We had about 120 pounds of potatoes left in the root cellar so we brought them in and broke the sprouts off the eyes.  The sprouts will be composted.  We gave away some potatoes and those we won't be able to eat soon are being canned.  In this picture Susan is peeling spuds for the canner.  Our carrots have already received similar treatment.  

Susan made strawberry/rhubarb pie yesterday with strawberries and rhubarb from the garden.  I cut the and cut too much so we sliced the leftover rhubarb and are dehydrating it.  The pie was great! 

This is one of our empty potato bins.  The cat is checking it over because that's the kind of thing cats do.  ("Hmmm  ... There's gotta be a mouse in here somewhere!")

This year the mosquitoes are the worst we've ever seen them.  It makes it difficult to get things done outside.  We've tried every home repellent we've heard of and noting works well this year so we've resorted to commercial mosquito repellent just to be able to work outside.

We put the tower for the water tank up this week.  I've almost finished the bracing so we can (hopefully!) get the tank up next week.

We've had a smallish black bear in the neighborhood lately.  Susan found some well preserved tracks on the road and photographed them.  What two major differences between black bear and grizzly tracks show that these were made by a black bear?

We took one morning off to do a little fishing.  It was early and still a bit on the chilly side.  Kind of strange when hearing about the nationwide heat wave that we still use a jacket in the mornings.

I caught the first fish of the day.  This is a perch.  He's a bit on the small side but we'll keep him.

Susan caught a pike soon after and since it was getting late and we had enough for breakfast we headed home. I fileted them and we had fresh fish for a late breakfast.

We had a fuel leak on the Cherokee.  I cut out the part of the fuel hose that was leaking and spliced in a short piece of pipe so we could drive it to town and buy a new hose.  When we got home I put the new hose on then decided to fix the trailer wiring connection.  Last week the trailer lights weren't working with the Cherokee so we bought an adapter to fix them.  It takes the newer type turn signal/brake light systems and adapts them to the older style where the turn signals and brake lights use the same bulb.  I was going to put it on then found out I'd have to take the lens housing off to do it.  The rear hatch lock quit working a couple of weeks ago but more pressing matters kept me from fixing it. I need to get the hatch open in order to take the lense cover off so I took the inside cover off the rear hatch and manually opened the hatch lock.  It was rusted too bad to work with the key so I spent awhile (and a half a can of WD-40) getting everything freed up.  It grew up in Wisconsin so everything is rusted on it.  Once I got it working I wired in the adapter and finished the trailer light wiring. 

It still needs rear shocks but that can wait for another day.

Tristan has been having trouble with his truck so we made a trip into town to look at it.  It began as a leaking water pump but turned into a genuine nightmare.  The bolts were corrode into the timing cover housing so he had to replace it and the water pump.  A friend gave him a housing off an old car they had but it was the wrong one.  He didn't find out until he had it all together and the new water pump leaked.  When he put it all together and it didn't leak then the truck wouldn't start.  It turned out that while he was trying to get the water pump off the distributor module got damaged.  He has a new one coming today.  Hopefully that will fix the problem and he can drive it again.  He knows lots of new FORD jokes now. 

Once in town we spent the evening at Randy's house with his family.  Had a great meal and evening of conversation.  He went yard saling and got some really good bargains.

I've been welding up the framework for installing  four solar panels on our tower.  We had them mounted in the garden last winter.  I used old bed frames for the steel so I needed to cut the rivets off (chisel and hammer time!) them do the measuring, cutting and welding.  I use a skill saw with a metal cutting blade to cut them to length then weld them together.  It's kind of a tedious process but we have more time than money so that's the way we do things.  The only actual expense we'll have is for the wire used in the welder and gasoline for the generator.  It's ready for installation but we have some other things to get done before I can do the rest.  When it's time I'll have to take the other panels off the tower so we'll be without power for a day.  Since it's summer and we're running the refrigerator we'll have to use the generator which won't be a big problem because I'll have it running to power the welder.

Building supplies arrived Monday. This is part of the lumber they'll use to build their house.  It's great to have it delivered and unloaded.  The delivery fee was very reasonable and they have to load/unload it.

It was a blistering hot day so we went to Dickey Lake for the evening. We took turns in the kayaks and swimming until we got chilled and headed back home.  The water in Dickey Lake never gets what any sane person would call "warm."

On the way out we spotted three hen turkeys and their little ones.  You have to look close to see the little ones in the tall grass.

We stopped to take pictures a bull elk on the way home (we cheated, he's on an elk ranch).

On down the road was a bachelor group of whitetail bucks.  It was getting dark and the shutter speed was too slow for good pictures.  These two had the largest racks ... about five points to each side.  There were seven or eight in the group.  It was early evening and there were deer everywhere.  We probably saw between 20 to 30 on the last four miles home.

The cat would feel slighted if I didn't include some more photos of him  ...

Susan had a little fun and introduced him to a snake.   He's not real happy about the situation...

... and took it out on the snake!

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