Sunday, April 8, 2012

1-8 April, 2012 - Tapping Birch Trees, Charging Batteries, Bicycle Rides,and ...

Susan has her first non-fiction book published on Kindle and it must have hit a niche because it's selling very well.  She sold 59 in the first four days.  It's outselling her fiction book "Tale of Two Preppers" which was her top seller (and is still going strong).  It's easy reading and doesn't overwhelm the person who is just beginning to store up extra food for emergencies.
It's beginning to look a lot like spring now.  Most of our snow is gone and we've had some absolutely beautiful days this week.  So we put them to use...

The infant seat and rack was given to us by one of our kids to pass on to the next person who needed it.  We never dreamed we'd be the next people needing it though.  The seat comes with a rear rack.  To use the seat you slide it onto the rack then lock it into place.  It works great.

We installed the bike seat on Susan's bicycle.  Since the seat wouldn't fit on her bike rack we had to switch them.  I've got the old one off so Scott and I are installing the new one.  I had to find some longer screws to hold it in place on Susan's bike.

All ready to go on our first test drive.

Scott is our test subject.  This is his very first ride on a bicycle and he loved it.  Scott is at the age when he mimics the sounds and words he hears so when some dogs began barking at us Scott barked back at them.  (And I had the pepper spray aiming toward them in case they wanted to do more than just bark.)  We rode in to Fortine to get the mail.  We drive down to the pavement so it was only about nine miles round trip.

I didn't start my S-10 at all last year so I expected problems when I tried to start it this spring.  I wasn't disappointed!  The battery was dead so I tried jump starting it from the Cherokee.  That didn't work, so ...

I took the battery out and started the generator and used the fast charger on it.  The battery was so dead that it took about an hour before the charger began showing any charge.  When a battery is that dead it takes a lot of voltage to overcome the resistance inside the battery.  Once it begin to take a charge the resistance decreases and it becomes easier to charge it all the way up.  I ran a load test the next morning and it passed so I put it back in the S-10.

But the truck still wouldn't start so I hooked up the Cherokee and we towed it to start it.  It still took a bit of towing to get it running but we did.  It acts like it has a carbon track in the distributor.  I just drove it back home and parked it in the driveway.  I'll check it out more in a couple of days.

I made a chicken feeder and attached it to the wall inside the chicken house.  I was feeding them in a bowl but they wasted so much of it that I made a feeder. 

Susan took advantage of the sunny weather to trim some trees.

Scott loves being outside and he did a bunch of it the last week.  Here he's posing with the dog (Odie).

Now he's tasting the wire around the old horse corral.

And now he's playing on the trailer.

...he's taking inventory of the cabinets.

He and Odie are plotting something.

I did some book swapping in my room and Scott helped there too (when he wasn't reading the books, that is).

He's been driving his car outside too.

And riding one of Grandpa's bicycles.  This is a Schwinn mountain bike I found at the dump.  It needed tires and shifter cable. 

He's now helping me do my Sudoku puzzles.

While the generator was running to charge the battery I plugged in the lead melter and melted a few pounds of scrap lead.

These are the steel bolts from telephone and power poles that hold the insulators for the power lines.
The insulators screw onto lead threads cast onto the top of the bolts.  I melt them down and use them to make bullets.  They're pure lead.

Bacon and eggs for breakfast.  The bacon is organic from a local farmer.  He's kind of famous in these parts for killing a grizzly bear with a .410 shotgun.  We buy sausage from him also.

The four eggs on the left are from our chickens. Not only are they larger, they're a deeper orange.

I tapped some Birch trees (eight) this afternoon.  I made the taps out of pieces of plastic pipe cut to about three inches long.  I cut one end at an angle to pound into the tree.  I drill a hole using a brace and bit then hammer the tap into the hole.  I go in until the cut-out just enters...

I then pound a nail into the tree and hang the jar under the spout.  I use a jar with a ring and screw the ring down on some baling twine used as a "bail."  Between 2:30 and 7:00 (pm) I got almost two gallons of sap off those eight trees.  We'll boil it down into syrup.

Had company over on Friday.  Note the ages and their occupations.  Each one had access to the Internet using their assorted electronics.

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