Friday, April 26, 2013

Wish Me Luck......

After a huge amount of careful planning for the past three months the day has finally arrived.

I am known for my strict schedule every time we go somewhere. I watch the clock and schedule a certain
amount of time to each activity. It works great when we are trying to get in as much as we can in a couple of days or three, this trip is a little different though. The first two days are set in stone, but the other seven is up in the air. My OCD is in overdrive about this, but I think it will be okay.

This is also the first time the wife and I have ever gone anywhere for a whole week, much less without the kids. This is also the first time I will have ever left American soil.
Usually our outings are a couple of days with the camper in tow. If we do get a chance to get out of the area then I always squeeze in a battlefield tour or two. The wife hates it, but she goes along with me anyway. She has even went as far to say "no battlefields this time".

Tonight we will be in College Station with the oldest girl showing us a night out on the town. Then on to Huston where yes, I managed to talk her into a tour of the San Jacinto battlefield. Then off to New Orleans and the French Quarter, then on the boat for seven days.

I am lucky enough to have some friends that will be staying at the house to make sure it is secured and the animals all get taken care of. I also have about twenty folks that will be watching the place while I am gone. I have no worries that everything will be just as I leave it when I get back.

One other thing I want to clear up. I am not going to justify this trip, but I do want to say, living the lifestyle I live has made it where we do not vacation. My homestead is my vacation and the activities we do there is our release from the everyday life. I have never felt really any need to spend money on something that will just be memories in a month or two. Sure I could have used this money to further my dream of the homestead and when it's all said and done I will probably regret that I didn't do just that. The homesteading/survival/prepping life has always been my life. I didn't just wake up one day and make a decision to do this. My mom and dad live this life, my grandparents lived it and for forty one years I have. It is the normal for me, not a weekend trip to the farm or an apartment pantry filled with food. Not saying that is bad, but saying what most of the blogs I read dream of living how I live.
I said all that more for me than you so I can justify it to myself that the wife and I do need to get away for a week. This is not so we can refocus or need a break from the mini farm. It is so we can be together doing something we have never done before in a place we have never seen, while we still can. It's that simple.        
Y'all have a great week and I hope to see ya on the flip side,

Monday, April 22, 2013

Another One Completed

I am in aw over how long it took me to complete the Aviary for the wife, but it's finally complete and ready for birds. I chose not to stain it. Instead I am just going to water seal it.
I don't think I will ever build anything like this again. It took way too much wood and time. I do like the look and the way it turned out though. It makes a great focal point and fills in the back yard.  I just need to find some dove and pigeons to fill it now.

After I cleaned everything up and got the yard mowed we had a scheduled tour of the Mini Farm. The first thing the people walked to was the new Aviary.
So there you go, it has already drawn a crowd.

It is good to see everything green and the gardens growing again. The tour group strolled the gardens and talked about how they wished they could have this set up. While that was going on I had the kids feed the baby goats that are still on the bottle. They also got to watch the baby geese and play with the pet pig. I think they really enjoyed their time here.

Here is a quick garden update. The soil-less potatoes I am experimenting with are growing. So far five plants have came up and I really think this might actually work. They are slow growing because I don't think they are getting the nutrients they need that they would get from the soil.
The idea is for the roots to grow down through the newspaper and into the dirt. So far that has not really happen.
Time will tell.

These are some of the garden beds. On the left is one bed of tomatoes and on the right is one area of peppers. All these were started from seed in the greenhouse months ago.
Since the pictures were taken, cages and supports have been added to the plants. The beds are under the shade I built last year. The shade will keep the summer sun from burning them up and I will be able to extend the growing season by a month or two.

Other than that it was all work and no play this weekend. I started the Hydroponics project yesterday and I have two more ongoing projects I am currently working on. Instead of boring you with all the details I will post about them when completed.

I also wanted to say a welcome to a few new readers of MDR. Thank you for hitting the the little button and becoming part of the family. If you need anything just let me know.  

This week is all about getting ready for the trip we are taking to the Caribbean .
Y'all take care and have a great week,

Friday, April 19, 2013

What A Week

From Bombings to Man hunts to Gun Laws to Tornadoes to Explosions to a Husband and wife killing team, it has been one big and depressing week. I normally do not watch the news, but this week I watched it every night plus listened to it all day on the radio, my brain is in overload.
I have read a lot of blogs on some of these issues as well and have my own opinions on them, but saying all that I will keep them to myself and let the more intellectual people tell me what I need think.   

Last night we had another freeze. As soon as I got home yesterday the wife had a hand full of sheets and told me to come on and get to covering. We reached the nineties during this week and I even turned the AC on one night just to sleep and now I had to scrape the ice off the windows this morning. Crazy stuff, I guess all the hoop law on global climate change is correct, just kidding, that is Texas weather.

My weekend plans are simple, get the big bird hotel finished. It shouldn't take but a half a day as long as I have one of my girls up on top putting on the boards. I am too heavy and not as flexible as I once was.

And mow. This will be the second time I have had to do the deed this year and for some reason it's not getting any funner.

And that' it, Oh I do have one little project I have been working on the past couple of weeks I want to show you, but it will have to wait till I get it finished.    

I'll get back with ya on Monday.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Ohhh My Knees

Yea I'm gunna whine a little about my pains.

Saturdays fishing was not as bountiful as I would have hoped. The cold front last week dropped the temps back down into the thirties and that didn't help the cause any. Maybe the heat being up in the lower nineties this week will bring them back in. I ended up getting skunked with the youngest girl out fishing me and bragging about it the whole time. Redemption is mine this next weekend.

The middle girl, Bop, turned 18 this weekend. She chose to spend her birthday down with her older sister at A&M acting like a college kid. I didn't have to bail anyone out of jail so I guess the weekend went good.

Saturday and Sunday I half heartily worked on the big bird hotel taking it slow and easy. Here is where I am going to whine a little.
The thing has eight sides. I went around it six times putting on boards. That is forty eight boards. To install each board I have to climb the ladder five times. That is 240 times my big butt went up and down the ladder. That is why my knees hurt.  
When I couldn't reach anymore I told the youngest girl, Wee, to get up there and I would stay on the ground and be the cut man. I call this girl "Super Chick" because she can do everything from out fishing her daddy to building her momma's bird house all in one weekend.
I am close to being done with it. A couple of more hours and it should be ready for birds.     

And that's how my weekend went. Nothing special, nothing mind bending, just enjoying the outdoors, family and living.

Y'all have a good week,

Friday, April 12, 2013


I have this one goose that has tried to set her eggs for a couple of years. The end result has always ended in disappointment for us and her because they have not been fertile. After the allotted time to hatch we would gather the eggs, candle them, then discard. This time when we went out to gather her eggs we found five new surprises.     

The now four year old pair has taken to parenthood like they were made for it. We cannot get within 30 feet of them before we are attacked.
I am happy because in a few months that in about $150 beautiful little yellow dollars that I did not have to do anything to make.     

This week has been good minus the rain. We had a great visit from some family all the way from Tennessee Wednesday, I sold a truck and got rid of a load of junk I was keeping for some reason or another. I had a friend come over last night and I started loading him up with stuff I probably should have kept, but I am tired of looking at it. I am sure his wife won't like me any better now.

This weekend consists of fishing, fishing and maybe some more fishing. Sometime in there I will try and do some more work on the giant bird hotel, but that all depends on how good the fishing is.

I will talk to y'all on Monday,

Monday, April 8, 2013

Good Country Living

Wow, what a weekend. Just an easy going, doing what I wanted weekend. No deadlines, no pressure, no stress.

Saturday morning I woke to the smell of pancakes and sausage. That in it's self is a good enough reason to have a great day.
Daylight broke and we were all down at the creek. The water levels are way down and we had to go a little out of the way to find deep enough water to fish in, but we found some. 
The sand bass were running in about two feet of water and we took advantage of it. The middle girl caught the fist fish of the day and gave it a good luck kiss, hoping for more of the same. The oldest girl came up from A&M bringing her boyfriend along with her and he caught the biggest fish of the day.

The season has started, from now until it gets too hot we will be down at the creek every weekend. The crappie will be running in a week or two, then the catfish.
At the end of the season we will hold a huge fish fry for all the friends and family like we do every year. That is some good living right there. We have been waiting all winter to get back to creek and now it's time.

  I didn't get much accomplished on the roof of the big bird hotel. Being it's eight sided it takes a while just to go around it once. The boards may be getting shorter, but it's still a pain in the butt. I did have some help though, the oldest girl and her boyfriend (I guess I'm starting to like the boy, but I will never admit it) hung around after fishing so I put them to work until I ran out of planks, I guess you could say I under estimated a little, so it's just going to have to wait till next weekend after fishing.
We have more rains coming in mid week so I am not even going to try it.

The back yard was dry enough to mow late yesterday afternoon, but the front is still holding water in spots. It's going to get away from me if I don't get a chance to mow it. I need to adopt a bunch of kids I guess. Mine all are gone or have jobs and don't have the time to help old dad out much anymore. Lets see, I need one for the lawn care, one that can build, one to weed the gardens and one to care for the animals. So I need to foster about four kids. No wait, that would be called a sweet shop then. LOL 

I do have to brag about this though. I have been looking for a generator for a long time and every time I get the money I just can't make myself buy one. I look at it as money just sitting.
I ran across this 8500 watt generator Saturday evening. Brand new, only been ran a total of ten minutes, $1200.00 if you bought it new from the store. The guy told me he bought it for his shop, but did not need it and it was going to sit for another three years until a time where he might. I picked it up, put gas in it and the thing started on the first pull. We negotiated the price and I ended up giving him a hundred dollar bill for it. I almost feel guilty about it, almost.

I got more to tell, but I don't want to bore you any more this time.
See ya on the flip side,

Friday, April 5, 2013

Fixen To Get My Weekend On

In just a few hours I will be be free, for two days that is, but I will still be free.
This morning I woke up to the sound of my alarm and could not figure out why I set the alarm for Saturday. Then, slowly I realized it was only Friday and I had to get up and get to work.

The weekend schedule is set. The oldest girl is coming up today just to go fishing with me and that makes me excited. Maybe I am doing something right. The other two and the wife will be with me as well. "Making memories" is what the girls say. I plan to make a dent in the sand bass population both Saturday and Sunday. If we can catch enough, I will have me a  little cook out Sunday evening. Plus, I think the middle girl is bringing along a new suitor. We will see how that works out.  After the last ordeal and the court saying I cannot come within 500 foot of a certain person, maybe this one will be a little different.

After the fish stop biting I plan to finally get some work done on the Big Bird Hotel I am building the wife. The weather is suppose to be in the high 70's all weekend so I have to take advantage of it when I can.

If you are wondering, two days ago I had a follow up visit with the doctor and she says my ticker is ticking the way it should and my blood pressure is right where it needs to be. That in it's self is a huge stress reliever.

Sometime Saturday I promised the youngest I would take her to practice parallel parking so she can get her license next week. So much for the blood pressure and stress being under control, right? I taught the other two without too much trouble, we will see how this one will go.

I had to show this picture the wife took last night. This is how rednecks travel. Just to make it clear, the pink ones are the wife's carry on. Mine is the smallest in the front and the other two big ones are all hers. Why you ask, because I don't require the whole house when I go somewhere. This is the first set of luggage I have ever bought. Normally I use trash bags to haul around my clothes, but being we will be going some place a little higher class than camping, I told the wife we needed something nice and this is what she brought home. Man, did I get lucky or what? I think I will keep her.
We leave at the end of the month. 


That's all I got for now. I hope my next post will be full of fun, fish and food.
See ya on the flip side,

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

I really tried to get some, but.....

I really wanted to show some pictures of the gardens after I got all the tomatoes out this weekend, but every time I thought about it my hands were covered in mud and dirt. The weekend rains did hinder production a bit, but boredom prevailed.

Saturday was spent with the family at the BBQ and everything turned out great. My onion crusted plantains did not go over so good, but it was at least something different. Afterwards a whole bunch of us spent the rest of the evening until midnight throwing a ball down at the bowling ally.

Sunday I was ankle deep in water while planting the garden and cleaning up after the storms. I had to replant the corn because it got bit from the last freeze (my fault), plus I finally got the tomatoes out. I have been trying for two weeks to get those in the ground and now it's done. I put milk jugs over them to protect from the wind and hard rains coming back in today and tomorrow.
As far the Aviary, nothing was accomplished. This coming weekend might be a little different though. If the rains hold off and it dries out a little then I might get something done.

I am gathering the parts necessary for the hydroponics system. I jumped it ahead of the rabbit tractor so I will be starting it soon. After over a year of study, I have made the decision to go with the Dutch Bucket System. It is a slightly lower maintenance system and can yield just as much. 

Other than that, Saturday morning is looking like a great time to head to the creek. Those fishes have been a missing me down there.