Saturday, August 17, 2013

1-17 August, 2013 Skylights, paintball birthday parties, winterizing, flat tires and old phones.

Finally got most of the roof completed so we took the weekend off to go camping and paintballing.  The photos are out of sequence time wise but stayed grouped together for the events recorded so I'm going to leave them as they are.

Susan has been picking a couple of gallons of raspberries daily.  We're now giving them to anyone in the neighborhood who will take them. 

I put my wall phone in the living room.  It's been in my room but I never hooked it back into the line after I moved the phone jack.  Now it's in operation again.  I used a portion of a sawmill slab for the back.

I then anchored the phone to the slab.

I ran the line to the phone jack between the charge controllers.

The left rear tire went flat on the Cherokee so I took it off to find the hole and got out my patch kit.

I found a broken screw in the tire.

I used a tire plug to fix it.  You run a reamer through the hole to enlarge it and smooth the sides.  Smear the reamer with rubber cement for the final reaming. 

Next put a plug on the tool used to install it and smear the plug with rubber cement.

Push the plug through the hole then remove the installation tool.

This is what it should look like.  Now trim the exposed ends down to about a quarter-inch and re-inflate the tire.

I installed it on the car then inflated it.  The green/black impact gun runs on 12 volts.  I ordered it by mistake then once I used it I decided to keep it.  It's not like a conventional impact gun.  When you hit the trigger the motor spins.  Once it gets it's momentum up it "whacks" the main shaft.  A couple of good whacks and the nut spins off.

My traps in the garden are still producing the occasional gopher. 

We've had some good rain and decided that the fire season is over for us so I put the siphon hose away for the winter and off-loaded and stored the barrels from the truck.

We took one Sunday afternoon off to spend some time at Dickey Lake.  It was a Canadian holiday that weekend so the beach was packed.  The Canadians near the border come here because it's closer than the lakes in Canada.  Susan and Scott did some wading.

We rode bicycles from the Fortine Mercantile to the lake.  On the way back I got a nail in my rear tire.  We were only a half mile from the Cherokee so Susan rode on to bring back the Cherokee while Scott and I watched the gophers while we waited at the ranger station.

We loaded up the UHaul camper to go to Dog Creek for the weekend.  When we went to leave the brakes wouldn't work on the truck.  The front chamber of the master cylinder was low.  I inspected it and the brake lines very carefully and couldn't locate a leak so we added more brake fluid, bled the brakes and hit the road.  By then it was evening so we camped at the same place we did last summer.

It was getting dark when we finally got set-up.

Scott likes to sit in the steering wheel and rock it back and forth.  I let him play a few minutes then picked him up (under protest!) and made him come inside the camper.

The next morning I went for a walk to another site about a quarter mile farther north.  We liked it better and moved there.

Saturday (the tenth) was my birthday so Emily made a cake for me (I'm now 59).

I like to play paintball so we rented a fifty pound co2 cylinder for refilling the small bottle you screw onto the markers (I have a fill station) and brought our paintball stuff along.  Not counting my marker we have enough masks/guns and tanks for nine more people to play.  Most of the kids have their own equipment but we loaned some of the extras to guests.

This is Stephen (Scott's dad) after one session.  We all sported some impressive bruises by the end of the day.

The women and kids spent the day playing in the creek and the dogs (that's not Odie) terrorized the local ground squirrel population.

Anna's older than Scott but they're about the same size and they get along great.  Water is one of their favorite toys!

I left one of the markers (sans co2 tank and paintballs) out for Scott to play with.  Bright and early
Sunday morning I looked out the window and noticed that he'd paid a bit of attention to the big boys the day before.  He was quite serious as he crouched behind the piece of firewood and watched the woods.   

After breakfast I repaired the flat tire I had on the last ride.  Scott was helping of course.

Before we came home we paddled around Dog Lake.  We'd seen it from the car but wanted to explore it more.  This is where we launched the kayaks.

It's a pretty little lake about a mile long and half-mile wide.  The north end and east side are pretty shallow though.

It's skylight time again.  We just can't stand how dark it is without our skylights so we purchased one to put back in.  I'm building the frame in this photo.  I got that one in then we went to Kalispell and bought a second one to put on the other side of the roof.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

8-31 July, 2013 - Busy!

We've been keeping kind of busy with both work and fun around here and I just haven't had time to put the blog together.

We floated down the Tobacco River from Eureka to Lake Koocanusa.  Susan is in front on a large float that's normally pulled behind a speed boat.

We took another afternoon to paddle around on Murphy Lake.  It's a nice mountain lake along Highway 93 about ten miles south of Eureka, Montana.  This is one of several beaver lodges in the lake.

Susan and Scott in their kayak.

Scott rides in the cockpit in front of Susan.  We bring along a blanket in case he gets sleepy.  He absolutely loves being in the kayak.

We spent one Saturday at the hot springs at Hot Springs, MT.  Scott in in the "cool" pool with his mom and dad.  They have three pools.  The upper two are smaller and very hot and hot.  Most people can only spend a bout 15 or 20 minutes max. in the upper pool.  The lowest (cool) pool is a full size swimming pool.  It's about the temperature of warn bath water. 

We stopped for a picnic lunch on Flathead Lake on the way home.

We hauled another load of junk to the dump.  Susan took a photo of the refrigerators behind the pickup.  She needs it for a book she's writing.

We spent another afternoon on Upper Stillwater Lake.  The train tracks run alongside the lake so we were treated to the sound of the trains every fifteen or twenty minutes.  Scott loves seeing trains so we always stopped and watched them go by.  Several engineers "tooted" the horns for Scott.

A neighbor has some ground squirrel problems...

They ate these clear to the ground.

I spent the first morning eliminating those I could with my 223 rifle.  That's me the arrow is pointing at.  I shot 19 times, killing 17 squirrels.

This is one of the little rodents.  There were many more I didn't get so we set some traps in key areas to get as many as we can.  Next spring I'll start shooting them earlier in the year before the grass gets too tall and before they have their litters. 

Ahhh ... the endless task of keeping weed-eaters, mowers and chainsaws going.  This one needed the carburetor cleaned.  We bought it at an auction for a dollar.  It's one that you can change the head on to make it do different functions.  We  ordered a brush cutting head for it so I needed to get it running.

Scott, being 2 3/4 now is getting a little more creative.  We made him a "playhouse" out of a large box.  He turned it on it's side so that he could stand and put his head through the window to watch television.  The Chipmunk (Alvin, Simon, and Theodore), movie is his favorite at the time so we've seen/heard it about a hundred times now.

He under the motorhome trying to corner the cat.

Susan picked a bunch of mint and hung it in bundles on the front porch.

I got my motorcycle out to get it running.  I knew Scott would want to sit on it so I tied it up to the Pickup to make sure it didn't fall on him.  I have the seat off to get at the battery (it needed charged).

I ran some jumper wires from the battery bank to the MC battery to charge it.

We ran the pump to water the garden.  The pressure as very poor so I took the suction-line apart to clean it.  It has a habit of collecting debris in the one-way valve near the pump.

Watering the garden requires hauling water. I've got seven, 50 gallon barrels in the back of the truck.  I've been filling them at a neighbor's then bring them home and siphon the water out of the barrels and into the main tank.  It takes 35 to 45 minutes for each barrel.

We finished up the porch.  It's great to have a place to relax where the mosquitoes can't get to us.

Harvest time for the raspberries ... finally!

This is the inside view of the screened porch.

We had a out-of-state friend stay with us for a week.  One of the things she wanted to do was take a canoe out on the lake so we spent a few hours on Marl Lake (a mile form home).  It's a nice quiet lake where you don't have to worry about getting run over by ski boats.  The deepest part of the lake is left of the island at the left side of the picture.  It's about 125 feet deep there.

She also wanted to go berry picking and we always take visitors up to the Mount Marston fire lookout.  These are some of the wildflowers on the way there.

It was a good place to let the dog run a bit.

Mount Marston Lookout.

In the distance you can see the peaks in Glacier National Park.

This is looking west from the parking lot.  There are about three lakes on the other side of the first ridge.  On a clear day you can see the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness area.

After the lookout we picked huckleberries for awhile.  Odie's taking a rest break next to Scott.

Scott needed a lift up the mountain.  He kicked off his boots near the road so I ended up carrying him when we moved to new areas.  We wore bright colored clothing to keep track of each other better.  The woods are thick here and it's easy to get separated.  We also carry FRS radios in case we get separated.

This is our friend coming back down the mountain.

One of Scott's favorite videos is about motorcycle riding.  He especially likes the freestyle events. It's hard to imagine what he's thinking but he was making some pretty serious motorcycle sounds!

Roofing ... ughhh!  We stripped off  the metal roofing and skylights.  We've been fighting leaks since we put on the metal roofing.  We figured it was more a problem with the skylights than the roof but the roofing had to come off to fix the skylights so we took it all off.  The skylights did end up being the main problem but we went back with asphalt roofing anyway.  We'll use the salvaged metal roofing on other projects.
I keep a file of photos of unique hinges and gate latches.  This one is an old horseshoe that latches the gate to a chicken pen.  A good example of using what you have on hand instead of buying something new that probably doesn't work as well.