Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Long Day At The Office

I decided to take the evening off, but first I wanted to welcome Kalkaline as the newest member of the Modern Day Redneck family. If you need anything just shoot me an email and I will do the best I can to help ya out.

Monday, August 30, 2010

On Papaw and Mamaw's Farm

When I went over to Mom and Dad's Saturday evening to weld up the stand for the solar cooker. While I was there I took some time to take some picture and see some of the new projects they have been working on.

This is his solar dehydrator he just started making. Instead of still air cooking like the solar oven, the dehydrator draws the air in from the bottom into the collector (pictured leaning on the wall). The collector will be attached to the bottom of the box (where the holes are) with glass on top of it to heat the air as it draws it through. I small vent stack will be installed in the top of the box to help the air flow.
This will be one of my projects in the future so I am letting him be the Ginni Pig for this one.

Dad built this little chicken plucker about a month ago. It runs off a variable speed drill motor and is easily strapped to the table. The little black fingers are bungee cords. He has a prep station set up with a kill cone (made from an old traffic cone), a hot water bath, the plucker and a cleaning and washing table. I am going to make me one of these too one of these days.

This is his chicken tractor he built last winter. He puts his broody hens in here and the newly hatched chicks stay in this until they can be put out in the young pullet pen.

The apple does not fall far from the tree does it?

The Speckled Sussex chicken was recognized as a distinct breed in 1914. I love the color of these birds.

It was getting dark and I needed to get home but there are a ton more things that would make for good pictures and for reading. Like the home made grain cart, the outdoor kitchen and BBQ pit areas, their chick brooder set up, all the restored antique tractors, all of the foods and techniques that mom puts by and much much more. So if I start running thin on things to talk about, you know where I will be headed.

I can't help but laugh every time I look at this picture.
No matter what mood you are in, just look at this goat and you will start laughing. Am I wrong?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Muffins Anyone?

Well, here is the rough draft of the finished solar oven.
I took the melted foam off and redid the back door this morning and it showed. The highest I was able to get the heat up to was 200 to 225 degrees. That was even with the mirror installed. WomanWhoRunsWithHorses gave me the idea to put oven insulation on the back, so this week I plan to find some and find a way to attach it to the backdoor. All that is left to finish it now is the painting and putting on the two side mirrors.

Being that this is my first solar oven and I made a promise I was going to be cooking muffins on it this weekend, I took advantage of the clear sky and 98 degree weather to cook my first solar food. Sure it was only three muffins and it took four hours to cook them, but I have to start somewhere. I can tell you this, those were the best muffins I have ever had.

So far the total out of pocket cost on this project is $6.00

Enough about the oven. I need to get you updated on a few ongoing things.

First, the horse shelter made from trampoline frames.
The last time I spoke about this was when I had to throw a temper tantrum because the bars were just not cooperating with me. I let the mess sit for a few days and on occasion would stand there and stare at the pile of twisted metal trying to figure out how to make it all come together. I am happy to say it has. Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture to show you, but I plan to get it all welded up this week and then I will post some.

Second is the Multicultural salad bed.
It has been somewhere around 13 days since I planted all the different kinds of lettuce, carrots and what ever else went in it and there is still no signs of life. I will give it another week or so before I do a replant to make sure it all gets in on time.

Third is the Worms.
It has been a while since I posted about the worms. With the summer heat the worms have been mostly inactive. They still composted and reproduced but at a lot slower pace. Being they are trapped with no escape, I tried to keep the soil temperature down so they did not get over heated and die.
The ways I did this was keeping them out of the sun, keeping a vented lid over the bed, keeping the bed moist daily with cold water and I think it also helped they are in a porcelain bathtub sitting on the ground. I also cut back on the amount of food I fed at a time. I stored smaller portions in the freezer and fed the frozen food every three days, burring it in the soil.
They are still alive so maybe it was one or all of the things I did to keep them that way. The problem I have now is the ants. They are not eating the worms but they are in the soil. It is the only cool moist place around so I guess it makes a good ant bed. I have put over a pound of chili powder in there and the ants go away for a day or two but always return. I want to try Maltomeal but I don't know what it will do to the worms.
I also have ants in the cricket farm as well. The only difference is they are eating the crickets and the cricket eggs. I need to find a better system for cricket farming.

Have a good week.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Nothing But The Oven

I am consumed with this solar oven at the moment. Apparently nothing else exists right now but this oven. I ended up working on it for most of the day and got a great deal accomplished. The flip side is every new thing has it's bugs so most of the time was spent re-engineering.

I started off leaving the inside unpainted. I used some 24" flashing I had laying around that was used for a portable round chick brooder at one time. I figured the reflection would help with heating. Plus I chalked all the seams to give it that air tight oven affect.
At this stage I was able to to get the oven up to 225 degrees. I am looking for 350 if I can get it so I had to change some things. The first thing I thought of was the windows are probably e-rated and made to not let much heat through. I drilled a small hole between the two glasses to let the gasses out and let it function as just two pieces of glass. That only made a 10 degree difference and brought it up to 235.

Next I painted the the inside black to maybe absorb the heat instead of reflect it. This also only brought it up 10 more degrees totaling about 245.
I think that is the max I will be able to get out of it without any mirrors to enhance and direct more sunlight in the oven.

Reaching almost 250 degrees caused a new problem I did not think of. The back door is 3/4" plywood with 4" of foam and the flashing is layered on that. Even though this foam is high density, it did not hold up to that kind of heat and started melting. It sagged down and melted itself to the walls and bottom of the oven making a mess and a nightmare to open. Tomorrow I plan to fix this by taking the foam off the back all together and doubling up on the plywood with flashing layered on top of that. I hope that will be enough insulation to keep the heat in.

After supper me and the girls went over to my dad's and he and I spent the evening working on the stand for the oven. In the beginning I was going first class and it was going to automatically track with the sun but now with the cheaper and more basic model, it will be moved manually.
Luckily he is set up for metal works and always has scrap pieces laying around. We sure Rednecked this stand up but I bet you will never know it.
While I was over there I snapped some shots of his DIY chicken plucker and new fancy solar dehydrator he is making. I will posting them later this week.

When I got home it was dark but I had to set the receiver hub for the oven stand in concrete so It would set up enough to mount the oven on it tomorrow.
I just wonder what the neighbors think is going on over here, saws running at 6:00 A.M. in the morning and then digging holes at 10:00 P.M. at night. Have you ever watched Bewitched when the neighbor lady Mrs. Cravits (I think) is always looking out her window trying to see what is going on over at Samantha's house. Yep, I caught them looking out over the fence a couple of times.

I promise, I am only going to spend one more day on this thing. Tomorrow I am going to mount the fold in mirrors, redo the back door and then mount it on the stand. Later on I might have to mount more mirrors to increase the temp if needed.

Oh, I have some updates I need to catch yall up on tomorrow as well so check back in.

Friday, August 27, 2010

What's that Sound?

The oldest daughter came to me last night and said that something was wrong with her truck. It seams when she puts on her brakes it makes a loud grinding noise.
What a shame, that little extra money was going to go to the solar oven tomorrow but now it is going to buy a new set of breaks. The thing is, that set is not even a year old! Teenagers and breaks just do not go together.

After the break job tomorrow, I plan to finish the oven anyway. I found some plywood laying around work today to finish the sides and now with a slight modification in design due to the money issue, It should be cooking muffins by tomorrow evening.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Weekend Bachelor

Today is mine and the wife's twentieth year anniversary and what a way to spend it.
She said last year that she wanted to go someplace for this once in a lifetime special occasion and she did. This morning she left with her aunt to Mississippi and won't be back till Sunday. So that makes me a bachelor this weekend.

I spent my first evening of freedom just like anyone married for twenty years would, taking care
of the animals, cooking dinner and doing a little more work on the solar cooker.
I put the bottom and sides on with plywood and 4" thick high density foam for the insulation. I went to the barn and rounded up the glass, mirrors, metal flashing and a few more odds and ends to try and get this thing cooking this weekend. I am a little shy on plywood but maybe I can find a scrap piece laying around the job site tomorrow if I'm lucky.
So far everything I have used is scrap I dug out of trash piles at work. Just today I brought home a pickup load of landscape timbers, 2x4's and 4x4's ranging from two feet to six feet long.
Like I said, they are all scrap and I would not use them for fine furniture but it works great for the stuff I build and the price is right.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

More Than Expected

With the temperature drop today, the high was a lovely 89 degrees. Just two days ago it was the hottest day of the year topping out at 109 with the heat index of 117. That's Texas weather for you.

The cool weather was welcomed with all the animals running in circles, rolling in the grass and hollering this morning. They needed this just as much as I did.
After work I figured I would just sit outback and enjoy the nice Northern breeze and relax. That lasted for a few minutes when just like the animals, I got the bug to start moving.
Like I said yesterday, I have been working on a new design for the solar oven and was wanting to get started on it this weekend but patience not being on my side I wanted to at least get the frame done today so I could see if it would be functional and if it was anything like I had pictured. My Dad came by to lend a helping hand and even got the bug himself and is in the process of making a solar dehydrator. That reminds me, I need to get a picture of his new DIY chicken plucker that runs off a drill motor.

With this weather I got my "Want to" back so you never know what will happen next.

"Size Matters"

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Is It Over Already?

Is summer coming to an end already? I was just getting used to it.........
Today they said was the last of the 100 degree days for this year. For the next week or so it will only be in the upper 90's and then start it's gradual decrease from there.
A small front moved in this afternoon I almost smelt fall. Ok, maybe it was just in my mind be it sure smelt good.
I took some time today to redesign my solar cooker. The old design was just to bulky and not as functional as I wanted. This new design will accommodate up to four dutch ovens at a time compared to only two with the other one. If the weather is good this weekend I might try and start on it.

Some out of town friends are stopping by for a tour of the mini farm. They have not been here in a while and are excited to meet all the animals.
I have put all the animals on their best behavior, but you know how children are.

Monday, August 23, 2010

It Bothers Me When......

I was sent an email from one of the blog readers this weekend who read the Modern Day Redneck web page. The reader was very short and to the point with his/her comment of, "You are screwed on your idea of living without credit or credit cards, it cannot be done in this day and age."

This is the text on the web page the reader is referring to.

Top 5 Going Redneck Tips

  1. Stop keeping up with the Jones. Let them live in credit card dept, you do not have to. It is not the American way. Reduce you impulse buying habits and pay with good ole American cash.
Well reader, I have not had a credit card for over ten years now and the only difference is, I have to wait a little longer to buy something and I do not have to make payments.
As far as financing my housing and transportation, that is a choice not a have to.
No I did not have the money or the time to save it like some people and pay cash for my truck and house but I could have rented a home and drove a $1000.00 truck if I wanted to and be debt free. I chose not to.

What I was mainly talking about was, stop trying to impress the people that do not matter. Why in the world would you want to have $1500 a month or more in car payments, $2000 a month or more in a house payment and then have to charge your groceries on your card and pay interest on the food you have already eaten a month ago because you want to be in the yard of the month club.
Why would you want to be a part of the "in crowd" if the only way to get into it is if the wife is driving a $50,000 sport utility vehicle with $800 a month payment and you have to put your kids $40 yearbook on a credit card.

I am not saying I have it all figured out. Just the other day I was told I was throwing money down a rats hole because I live in a mobile home. But here's the difference, I did not run out because someone I truly care about told me that and get a $200,000 FHA loan for a house I cannot afford just to invite them over, stick out my chest and say "Look at me" and then go in and heat up my three day old beans because I could not afford real food.

To tie this all in and end this little soap box I am on I will say one last thing. I feed, clothe and support my children, my wife, myself and all these animals with hard earned American cash from me, not the government, not on credit, and not on loans. Why is it then people like me are criticized, scrutinized and belittled for doing so? That's what bothers me.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Nothing Really

Even though I was fired up and ready this morning, nothing really happen today. I just could not get fired up to get out in the heat and doing anything. As a matter of fact, I even stayed home from my niece's birthday party because I just did not want to get out in it. Call me a wimp or what ever, but superman even has his weakness, mine just happens to be 100+ degree heat.

The wife and I did get a chance to run over to some friends of ours house from church and pick out our new pygmy goat buck. The lady last month gave us four bucks and five nannies and even though the bucks were good, we did not know who was who's son and who was who's daddy. We ended up getting rid of the bucks to start a new blood line so nothing would be left to chance. Just as they were given to us, we gave them to some good friends who needed new blood in their herd. I think you can breed them back one or twice but I think the ones we got from her were on three or four.
Of all the things I did not bring my camera with me so I did not get any pics of him. The nannies I have now are due in a couple of months and I do not know who they were bred back with so it is like rolling the dice this round. This new buck should be ready by spring.

Round and Round

The youngest daughter was up and out early to finish off the staining of the fence. I think more got on her than the fence though.
I need a few more 2x4's to finish the fence completley and now another gallon of stain. We had just enough to stain just what could be seen from the house so the backside is still raw wood.

Me and this trampoline horse shelter idea is going round and round. I cannot get or figure the right combination to make this work the way I want it. I want to make this portable but yet it has to be sturdy and not blow away this winter.

It will all come together just after I throw a big enough fit.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Just A Couple Of Things

The weekend has really not been planned out yet so there is just a couple of things on the books to get done before it gets to hot tomorrow.

I found some stain I did not know I had so the first thing to do is for me and the youngest to get the unstained sections of the fence stained before we loose them to the weather. They are already starting to warp up some and if we wait to much longer they will have to be replaced.
Tonight we opened the gallon can to see how much was in it and stained one board to make sure it was the right color we used before on the other sections. One of the horses came up from behind unnoticed and kicked the can over and we lost all that was in it. That was the last little bit we had.
Just so happens the neighbor was over and saw what happen and offered a can of the same color. That makes them alright in my book. The husband of the neighbor is even planning a worm bed. He says I am rubbing off on him.

Another major to do is fixing the gate where the big dog decided he wanted out. I did not build these pens for big dogs and it shows. It was all built for mini animals.

I also plan to figure and lay out for the temporary horse shelter. The main structure will be built out of an old trampoline frame to create the arch and then just tarped for the time being.

Garden note;
What is left of the cantaloupes after the horses took their turn are just about ready. These were the last thing the mother-in-law planted so we plan to save the seeds for next years planting. We also have seeds from my mother's cantaloupes and the plan is to plant both every year and save the seeds so when the kids start there own gardens they can have seeds from Nana's and Mamaw's gardens to start with.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

It's In

The wife and I planted the Mulit Cultural Salad Fall Garden today hoping for better luck with this round of planting than with the last.
Besides "The Three Sisters" experiment a month ago, this is first time I have ever multi culture planted. I read all about this and square foot gardening and think this is the best way I can make the most of the limited space I have.
We prepped the raised bed about two weeks ago by adding layers of rabbit manure, mulch, compost and shredded paper to improve the soil, so if this does not go well I can blame the prep work.
It is still hot here and I am a little afraid to plant right now because I do not want the tinder seedlings to sprout and then get burnt up, but being impatient I cannot wait any longer and went ahead and got the seeds in the ground. If they do burn up then hopefully I will have time to replant.
This is what I planted:
Butter Crunch Lettuce, Ruby Red Lettuce, Little Finger Carrots, Romaine Lettuce, Golden Acre Cabbage, Spinach and just to see if it would grow, Parsley.
After fluffing the dirt up, I broadcast seeded each one over the entire bed (4X8). Then lightly covered and watered it in.
I will start the Swiss Chard in a separate bed in about two weeks and transplant into the salad bed when holes develop due to harvesting. Two weeks after planting the Swiss Chard is when I will start the Kale in another bed and do the same with it. The Kale should last up till late winter.

The idea is to have fresh salad every night straight from the garden to the table.
If this all goes well, next year I plan to incorporate eatable flowers into the diet.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Same Old Song

I have never heard of heat colic before but the vet lady said that's what the mini mare had. She said it was iffy for the mare to even make it through the night last night it was so bad. The wife and kids took turns bathing her, force watering her and walking her in circles. I have always heard you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink, well now I know that is not true if you have a turkey baster and shove it down their throat.
All the signs of labor were there. The restlessness, the rolling, the up and down, the loose stools, it fooled me. The tell tell sign was the absent of a bag, even though she had milk, she did not have a bag and the other was the white gums. Even though it was there and fresh, she did not drink enough so was badly dehydrated.
With force watering all night and today, her gums are back pink again and she is up moving around just like before. She is allowed two hand fulls of hay and very little feed a day for a week.
The wife has stepped up the cooling and watering process for all the animals to every hour now until the heat is gone.

On a lighter note, we had a cool front just blow through and the rain split to the East and the West but the 75 MPH wind hit and tore some of the siding off the back of the house.
Ya know, it would have been easier and cheaper to just get an apartment.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Still Alive, but.........

The good news is that no deaths to report today but the bad news is we have a horse down.
The mini mare is down and all signs point to labor but it is to early for that. I guess the lady we got her from had the dates wrong. I hope that is all it is. She has milk but her water has not broke yet.

This is going to be a long night of stable watch, wish us luck.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

No Relief

The cool front, temperature drop and rain the weather men have been promising for the past two weeks stalled out at the Red River and never made here. It was raining just ten miles to the North. The forecast for next week is nothing but 100 degree every day.
Saying all that, the only thing that got done today was early morning mowing and the taking care of the animals.
We take care of everyone three times a day because of the heat by spraying cool water in the shaded areas for the goats and chickens, taking ice out to the rabbits who has fans on them and refilling their water twice a day.
Today was hotter than usual though, the heat index was 110 with absolutely no breeze. The wife went out for the 3:00 watering and found four of the heavy breed chickens and the buck rabbit dead.
For the past couple of days we have been watching the rabbits because they are not drinking or eating as much as they should but we thought it was just the heat that was making them lazy. That is why we upped the ice blocks to gallon size and kept the fans running 24/7. The buck was just at breeding age with a great bloodline. I was really looking forward in seeing his offspring.

The chickens are the three year old heavy breed cochins that were some of our breeding stock. We do have some younger chicks from this rooster so maybe we can keep his look.

It was a bad day here at the mini farm with no relief in site.
One step Forward, Three steps Back.

In Memory of Stud Muffin.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

It Was A Doozy Today

I thought I was going to get a head start on today but when I went out to feed and water all the animals, it took me a good hour or so and I ended up starting the day off behind schedule. Everyone is such picky eaters. They have to have their own food put in their bowl in their own space and all the water has to be refreshed and topped off, heck I don't even spoil my children like this.

We ended up picking up our friends D&R and running over to a little public auction this one town has every two weeks. There are some pretty good deals if you know how to work it. I did learn something today, you can throw the whole BFF thing out the window when you get two women in a auction wanting the same thing.
We came home with some old wash tubs the wife told me later she is going to use for the animals feed and water.
I thought she got them because she wanted to help save money and was going to start doing laundry the old way. I was so proud when she was bidding on them.

The trip to the old farm was uneventful. By the time we got there it was already so hot we really did not want anything. I did get the old trampoline frame for the temporary horse shade and some landscape timbers I had stashed to make some more raised beds.

Tomorrow is mowing. Even with no rain the weeds are still growing. This should be the last time till fall.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Hee Haw!

I decided not to take a couple of days off from work this week because it is so hot all I would do at home is sit in the house and complain about it being to hot and in the mean time getting nothing done anyway. So at least I am doing something.

Saying that, the plan for the weekend is to make that trip down to the old farm and pick up a load or two of things I never thought I would need but really do need now. Five years later and I am still moving stuff, go figure.
I can bet you I will say the same thing I have said the last few times I have made the trip and that is, this is the last trip I am making. Oh, I can't say that either because we are having a wood cutting party there in October. Ok, then that will be the last trip. Well then there is.........

The wife did not want me to put this picture on here but it is to funny not to.

All he is doing is yawning but the picture makes it look like a very bad thing is fixen to happen.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

"Ewwww That Smell"

Can't you smell that smell? (or how ever that song goes)
It is starting to smell like a farm around here a little bit and it sure don't smell mini. I don't know about you but if I wanted a nice smelling rose garden I would have stayed in the City and had all those pretty flower beds with the golf course front yard to show everyone.
So I guess stopping and smelling the roses takes on a whole new meaning now when when you add in goat, horse, chicken and rabbit manure. Man I love it! It has been almost five years since we moved off the old farm and so now I'm finally bringing sexy back home. (That's funny right there)

Ok, look at this. The wife took it on her own to lend me a hand and start building some more raised garden beds. She used some wood that was off my old awning at the city house that was warping up and needed to be used. I think this fantastic, I love it. She even used the skill saw to cut the ends and still has all her fingers. I am very lucky to have a wife that is not afraid to get her nails dirty.
I tell you this, if it was not for her help on a day to day basis, then most of this stuff would not get done. So I wonder if she is going to haul the dirt and fill it for me?

Monday, August 9, 2010

I Done Some Figuring...

We just finished eating breakfast for dinner and it was good. That always seams funny to me for some reason. It never tastes the same as it does on Sunday mornings though.

Just in case you were wondering, they named the goose, Duck. For real, Duck! Now when they go outside they yell "Here Ducky Ducky" and the goose comes a running and a honking. That's funny right there!

Being able to check two projects off the always growing to do list had me really excited that forward progress was being made. That same feeling faded fast when I started to plan for the next phase of the fence.
The horses have just about eaten all they can in the back yard and the one thing I did not want to happen is fixen to happen, buying hay. If I could get the next section of fence done, there is enough grass to at least keep them to winter.
Here is the project breakdown if you are interested:
  • 2 - rolls of non-climb horse wire = $485.00
  • 41 - T-posts = $205.00
  • 15 - 6" wood posts = $180.00
  • 8 - 3" wood posts = $72.00
  • 1 - 4' gate = $89.00
  • 1 - 12' gate = $140.00
  • 15 - bags of concrete = $55.00
  • 1 - roll of slick wire = $0.00 (on hand)
  • miscellaneous = $50.00
Total project cost = $1276.00

It is to the point where I am out of material on hand so now most everything will have to be purchased. If I had the time I could probably wheel and deal or scavenge some of the material but time is not on my side right now.
The good news is I plan to make another run down to the old farm Thursday because my brother found some usable stuff laying around I could use. I also plan to get the kids old trampoline frame so I can make a makeshift horse shade that will later be tuned into a hoop house to be placed over one of the gardens this winter to extend the growing season.

Side Note:
The wife wanted me to tell yall she has now moved up to gallon sized ice blocks for the rabbits. She was using 1 liter bottles for a while but they did not stay frozen very long so now she freezes milk jugs and they stay cold for most of the day. The rabbits love them.

katmom16 is the newest member of the Modern Day Redneck family. Howdy and welcome to the group. If you need a Redneck point of view on anything just let me know. Thanks for joining the blog and the Face Book group.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

It's Still A Work Day

Even tho it is Sunday I figure it this way, I can take off on rain days.
It is over 100 degrees, the humidity is low and a nice breeze is out of the South so it only feels like 99. I was not going to let this cool front pass by without doing some work. (That's funny right there)

With the major, need to get it done mini fence, project out of the way the door was open to get some other little things done that were needing attention.
I spent the morning hanging and rigging up the gutter for the mini barn's rain water system and even tho it is not as pretty as I would like it to be, it was all free, plus it is behind the barn so nobody can see it. The wife sprayed some water on the roof to see if it would even drain and guess what, it does and it has no leaks.
I scavenged some hose and fittings from the old house so I can run the water through the barn but have yet to finish that. At least now when it rains, I have a place for it to go.
I hope to get the main house system done this week or maybe the next.

The girls got a good start on the fall garden bed today. This is where I am going to try my hand at multi-planting several kinds of salad fixings. This bed yielded nothing this summer so we had to improve the soil for some better luck, maybe. We put down a light layer of rabbit manure, then a layer of shredded paper and lastly a topping of good rich garden soil. For what I have read, the rabbit manure is not to hot for the plants to go directly on them as long as it's light and in moderation. I feed it directly to the worms and they love it, I hope the plants do too.

While the wife and I were in town this morning, we stopped off at a little store to pick up a few things and noticed a pile of pallets around back. When we asked the manager about them she told us to help ourselves to as many as we wanted so I called the oldest girl to bring her pickup by and we loaded her up.
We used them for instant shade for the goats and no it's not pretty but it will work until I can make a more permanent structure. The mini barn faces West and in the evenings the sun is below the awning and beats down on the goats so for right now, instant pallet shade is the answer.

I want to give a Thanks and a Howdy to Small Farm Girl, the newest member of the Modern Day Redneck family.
Welcome and if you have not done so already, check out the official Modern Day Redneck website. Just click on the link at the top of the page. If you need anything just email me. Thanks again for joining.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Blood, Sweat And Tears

I labeled this post Blood, Sweat and Tears because today we all sweated, one of us bled and the middle daughter cried.
But in the end the little split rail fence was completed. The only thing left to do is stain it along with the other wood rail fence I have yet to finish.

Notice the huge crack in the yard due to no rain.

We did end up having to buy one landscape timber. I thought I had enough but came up one shy. So here's the project breakdown:
12 Landscape timbers - $4.30 (11 on hand and reused from other projects) $51.60 Retail
4 Bags of concrete - $4.00 ($1.00 each for broken bags at the hardware store) $19.40 Retail
4' Gate - $0.00 (Home made and from other project) $59.00 Retail
Screws - $2.00
Total project cost = $10.30 verses retail at $132.00
Savings = $121.70 (It pays to be a pack rat and reuse)

Friday, August 6, 2010

On The Level

Another cool front moved in just in time for us to scramble to get the concrete in the holes before the rain hit. The wife went up to the local hardware store today and asked if they had any broken concrete bags. Sure enough they did and they only charged $1.00 for each one. Not bad considering they are regular $3.85 for a 80# bag.
So after all that hurried work, the rain went to the East of us. Well, at least it got done.
Tomorrow I plan to do some Southern Engineering on the gate and then rip the landscape timbers for the rails so I can finish the fence.
Don't worry, it will look good.

Other plans include #1. Getting measurements, a material list and a cost estimate for fencing off the middle section so the mini horses will have more pasture. I am just about out of material so I'm afraid it's going to be costly. #2. Bring up some compost to ready the beds for fall planting.

"Who said that?"

Thursday, August 5, 2010


The heat wave broke just a little at around 5:00 PM today just as I was getting off work. The sky clouded up, the wind started to blow and a few drops of rain even fell on my windshield. The temp dropped I bet 10 degrees to a manageable 95. That was all it took, as soon as I got home we hit the backyard running.

And talk about ASAP, just yesterday I was talking about putting up this fence as quick as I could. I rummaged around the wood pile and came up with enough lumber to do the split rail fence. Some of this lumber was going to be used for more raised beds but this fence is needed a little more right now. This fence will section off the gardens from the horses so I can still put in the fall salad bed at the end of the month without fear of it being eaten. The wife is picking up some concrete tomorrow and I plan to set the posts after work then finish the fence on Saturday. The fence is only three feet tall for two reasons. #1, The horses arn' t but 3 feet tall. #2, I did not want to block the view into the chicken and goat yard. And one other thing, the girls do not do all the work while I just sit around drink beer and take pictures, but they are the biggest help and I could not get as much done as I do without them.
The wife and the girls worked all day out back organizing and cleaning. The yard looks great, so a big thanks to them, one less thing I have to do this weekend.

"What's that you got there, can I eat it?"

I wanted to give a big howdy to some new readers.
Welcome to the Modern Day Redneck family and I hope you either learn what not to do or at least get a big laugh while reading our day to day adventures. If you need anything or have any questions you can email me at jerry@moderndayredneck.com Thanks again for hanging around and please feel free to leave comments, I try to respond to every one of them.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Motivation is hard to come by when it's 114 degrees in the shade. All this week after work I have not gone back outside to do any work till 7:00 or 7:30 PM. The way it looks on the weather map, the whole South is being hit with this heat. Just think, in two more months I will be complaining about the rain again.

Even tho the garden did not produce one thing this year worth putting by, it still looked good.
As far as the square foot gardening experiment "The Three Sisters" I look forward in trying them out on a larger scale next year. This is the end result of the corn, squash and beans. It is clear that corn and mini horses do not go well with each other. Like I said before, I really was not set up for the horses so I had to put them in where they could get to the gardens and they did. The split rail fence that separates them has no doubt moved up to the ASAP category.

The one thing I did get done tonight that was badly needed was the rabbit pens. Last weekend I had this plan to build a nice big doe pen. Well that did not happen. Instead, my buddy Dave found this black wire cage on the side of the road and brought it home, fixed it up and gave it to me. Now it is the buck pen and that solves the problem of the overcrowding as of now. This set up might not be as pretty as I would like it but so far everything is reused materials so the cost is zero. Keep in mind this is not the final setup. I plan to redo this into a more efficient system in the future. I also still need to add a rabbit manure collection system and two birthing pens. I wounder where I can get those at?

Mad mini horse disease!!!!!!!