Sunday, October 19, 2014

18 October, 2014 - Trailer Kits, Broken Refrigerators, Child's Play and more ...

A typical week in October for us would be ...?   I don't have a clue what typical is!  We do more cooking over the wood heating stove simply because it's in use more hours of the day and we run it hotter since the evenings and mornings are colder.  There's also an urgency on getting the wood in and putting the garden to bed.   But there is more to life as well.  We still take walks in the woods and do things for fun in addition to trying out new things on the homestead.  We also took a day "off" and drove down to the hot springs next to the Flathead Indian Reservation to soak in the pools there.  It's a natural hot spring that's been developed over the years and is now privately owned. They have three pools. The upper one is hottest.  You can't stay in it too long or you'll get overheated.  The second pool right under the first one is like a hot bath.  It's very comfortable even though it's on the hot side temperature wise.  Both of those pools have a strong sulfur smell.  The lower pool is a regular swimming pool with warm water.  That's the one Scott likes best.  He doesn't like the upper pools and says they're too hot and he doesn't want to get "cooked."  We finished the day with a meal at IHOP then headed for home.  It's nice to see gasoline prices edging back down a bit.

This week Susan tried out some baking rings.  These are supposed to be used for rolls, buns, biscuits, etc. to make them nice and round with smooth sides.  Our first experiment was with biscuits.

Fresh out of the oven now and it's too bad you can't transmit smells over the internet because these smell wonderful!  The rings worked okay but will probably be used more when Susan makes home made hamburger buns and English Muffins.

Scott needed a bath and like most three-year-old boys he likes playing in the water.  We combined the two for him one chilly morning.  This is an early photo.  As time passed there was more water being splashed out and more toys in the tub.  It sometimes takes little boys over an hour to take a bath in this manner.

Susan taking a break from writing.  The cold mornings give us a good excuse to get some morning writing time in.

We came home from town last week to find out that our refrigerator had quit.  So ... we had some things to get done in a hurry to save the contents.  Fortunately, in this instance, the cold nights helped.

You can get the full story on the broken fridge by going to my Grit Magazine blog at Steven Gregersen, Grit Blog or to Susan's Poverty Prepping Blog at Poverty Prepping (go to the post for October 13).

We try to get out for some decent exercise and woods roaming is good exercise!  This is on timber company land southwest of our cabin.  They logged it a couple of years ago.  We were planning on going up to where I was cutting firewood on state land but decided to postpone that since it was beginning to get dark.  We took a different (longer) route home.  We had the dog with us so we didn't see much in the way of wildlife.

This is the time of year for Shaggy Mane and Bolete mushrooms.  The woods are filled with Boletes but the Shaggy Manes (above) are a little less common.

We purchased a small trailer (kit?) from Harbor Freight Tools.  There are a lot of pieces in one of these!

The first step is assembling the frame for the front half. 

Next you put the tongue together and install it.  This is a tilt bed trailer.  I'll disable the "tilt" feature.  They weaken the trailer and rattle too much going down the road.

Both halves put together and the axle installed.

I had the trailer folded in half here.  Scott loved being a part of this.

He made the rounds ensuring that I had tightened all of the bolts and nuts!

Now he's getting ready to do some welding!  (Well, watch me do it anyway!)

I welded junctions where cross members were bolted to the frame.  It will make the frame a little stiffer and hopefully make it stronger and last longer.

After I finished it Scott was pretending to weld also.  Too bad a photo can't capture the welding sounds he was making.
This trailer is the folding model rated at 1195 pounds cargo weight. We would have preferred the trailer rated at 1720 pounds but they didn't have a complete one in stock.  We called the store and they said they had one but when we got there they couldn't find all of the parts.  We purchased this one then when we got home found out it was missing one box containing all of the bolts and stake pockets.  The store manager went above and beyond the call by Fed-Ex-ing the box to us at our home so we wouldn't have to make the trip back to the store (in Missoula - 180 miles each way). 
Susan is in the process of painting it black.  When she's finished I'll put the wheels and lights on it then we'll finish the bed portion.  This year it will just be a basic, open-topped, box.  We'll have to cover it's contents with a tarp.  While we're in Nevada this winter we'll put a top on it so that we can do away with the tarp and keep the contents more secure.

As always, Odie is keeping track of everyone and everything. 

Scott and grandma playing with trucks in the sand (around the tetherball).  This is Scott's favorite place to play.  He has a sand box but for some reason prefers it here.

More wood ready for splitting.  This was cut on our property so I didn't worry to much about stacking it tightly.  At the time of this writing I have most of this load split and stacked.
Susan is uploading another food preservation book.  This one covers vegetables, grains and beans.  It will join the other food preservation books she has published.  She will probably combine all three into one volume sometime in the near future.  There'll be more information on her Poverty Prepping Blog.  Her new book should be live on Kindle in the next 48 hours.  The print version takes a little longer to clear all the hurdles but should be available by the end of the week.

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