Wednesday, November 30, 2011

New Mini Additions To The Mini Farm

Here are the two newest additions to the Mini Farm.

The one closest is a Jack and his name is Popeye and the other one is a jenny and her name of course is Olive Oyl.
They are Mini Donkeys, it's just fittin.

I did some trading for them. The o'l boy wanted a couple of mini goats and a couple of mini chickens so I said I really didn't think so.
He then talked to the wife without me knowing it and here you go.
He might have gotten the better deal because his feed bill just went down and mine went up. Oh well, you can't win them all.    

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

What Happen To All Those Days Off

Seven days ago I was so excited to be off work for the next six days. On the drive home I was piratically as giddy as a school girl thinking of all the things I can get done. 
Today was the first day back and I do not feel rested, relaxed, rejuvenation or anything.

I did have a great time and had some really fun days spending them with the family, cooking and building. During those times I did fell stress free. I woke up rested and ready for the day, I went to bed tired because I was tired and I did not need sleep meds to put me out.
Stress free is an addicting drug my friends.

This morning when the alarm went off it was like all those relaxing days never happened. Instantly I felt tired, stressed, tense, depressed and not wanting to get up. Maybe that is what we call being a adult. Whatever you call it I don't like it, but I am thankful I have a job.

I wish there was a way to bottle the utopia of the drive home knowing you have the next week off work. Maybe they already do, I think it's called speed.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Check Yourself

I don't know if anyone as done this yet so if they have I do apologize for doing it as well. I have not had a chance to catch up on all my blog reading.

With Christmas around the corner and traveling at it's most high, I thought I would share the link to check yourself to see if you can even get on a plane.
You can go to and see if you have made the list.

I am in the clear. There is not anyone with the last name Redneck on there.

Friday, November 25, 2011

I Said I Wouldn't Do It But I Did IT

 Yup I did it. I went into town on Black Friday but I only got plumbing parts. To heck with the masses, those people were crazy.

The black pipe I used was a little more expensive than I remembered and what made it worse, I had to pay full price for the stuff.
I was afraid to use PVC inside the box because the plastic pipe is only rated for 180 degrees.
When the sun was out the other day the inside of the box was already at 180 degrees and the glass was not even sealed yet.

As you can see in this picture I used PVC pipe and fittings I already had once I got outside the Heating chamber.

All the black pipe is plumbed in now and I was able to pressurize the tank for the first time and check for leaks.
After no leaks were found, I sealed it up by putting a foam window sealer around the opening and then gently clamping the glass in place. I also put in a thermometer so I can see just how hot it gets.

The rain is suppose to set in tomorrow so I will have to wait till Monday for any sun. I figure while it's raining I will work on the inside plumbing and see how far I get with what I have on hand.

What made the day even better was the oldest girl came out to help dear old dad.

I caught her playing with my camera and a optic lens I had laying around.    

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Life Is Good Today

Nothing else comes to mind that could make life any better than right now.
All the work is done. The turkey is in the brine, operation clean up was a success and all the food is prepped for tomorrow.
What makes it even better is that I have all my girls under one roof again. Last night I slept like a baby just for that reason alone. The bickering and arguing I once discouraged was a welcoming sound this morning. Oh how I miss it. I had one more day to be my kids dad.

It has been so long since I was able to sit out back, relax by the fire and just look at my piece of ground and the beauty I am surrounded by.
I have a faithful little white dog that does not leave my side, a cold beer in my hand while watching the animals wonder around scratching and pecking the still wet dirt. When the soft breeze blows my stomach growls because I get a whiff of chicken and dumplings the wife is cooking on the stove.  Today is a good day my friends and I am thankful to be in it.

I hope each of you are experiencing a day like today. I wish y'all a very happy Thanksgiving tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Just In Time

Operation clean up was finally a success and just in time to. A huge storm blew in last night and it came a frog strangler.
We really needed the rain but now everything is wet and muddy and there will be a little over twenty folks here Thursday with no place to park and nothing to do outside.
I was hoping to show off the Solar bathhouse to the ones that have not seen it yet but if it is still muddy that will be out. Maybe the sun will be out tomorrow and it will dry up enough where everyone will not be fighting the mud.

The turkeys are gone now. I was wondering if they would ever sell or not.
Tonight I had a guy come all the way from Oklahoma with a horse trailer to get one.
I asked him, "How big do you think this turkey is my friend?"
He said it was all he had to carry the bird in. Overkill, yea just a little.

The wife has really done a great job on the house. The first thing I did tonight was mess it right back up again. I had to make sure I had all the spices and cooking utensils to start cooking tomorrow. It was a good idea at the time, not so much of one now I don't guess.

Who's ready for Black Friday? Not me, I'm not going anywhere.      

Monday, November 21, 2011


I want to say Howdy and Welcome to KittyJo and We The People, the two newest members of the Modern Day Redneck Family.
Like I have said before, your comments are always welcome and will be replied to as soon as I can.

If y'all haven't already, please go and check out WeThePeople's blog. Great read.

Thank y'all again and welcome to the family.

BTW - If you get the chance, run by the Bathroom wall page and check out the newest names on the list. You might just know them. 

The Bill Dookie

Thanks to everyone who participated in the little "Name it" game about the shovel.

This is what we have:

This shovel is from the Spade family and the universal name is the Sharpshooter. This is my go-to name when the guys do not know what a Bill Dookie is.

The name Bill Dookie was used for this shovel by plumbers for the obvious reason, to dig Dookie ditches.
It is what my Dad always called it and it is what my kids call it.

Through your responses I have now learned other names for it as well. Here is a list of the different names,
  • Sharpshooter
  • Trenching Shovel
  • Trenching Spade
  • Drain Spade
  • Bill Dookie (Dukie)
  • Gardening Spade
  • Thor's Tomahawk
  • Post Hole Shovel
  • Tile Spade
  • Cam Digger
  • Skinny Shovel
  • Hot Shot
  • Peat Spade
  • Spade
  • Clam Gun
  • Number 2 Pointed Shovel
  • Manhole Opening Shovel
  • Spud Spade
18 names in total for one shovel and I bet there many more out there.
I can understand the confusion. I also call a Spade an Sharp Point and a Square shovel a Flat Point.

The idea for this post started when I told a guy to get me a monkey wrench and he came back with the wrong type of wrench.
Even my kids know to bring back at least four different types of anything I ask them to get because I guess it all depends on the day is what it will be called.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

What Do You Call It?

For years I have worked with this type of shovel. I have also been around people from all corners of the earth who have done the same.
I have heard this shovel called many names, but there is only one I use.

When I tell someone to "Go get the ______ out of the truck", I always get a funny look and then I think, they must not be from around here so I will use another name for it.

What do you call this shovel?

I want to see how many people call it the same as I do.    

Saturday, November 19, 2011



 Sunday, December 20 2009 at 7:21 AM, I had an idea to start a blog about me, a close to forty year old Redneck and the life I live and how I live it.
I never could have imagined that MDR would have as many family members as it does and close to 500 visitors a day.

I want to let y'all know, you people are some of the best folks I have ever known. Y'all have seen me at my best and sadly, also at my worst but yet you keep coming back for more.

Those who have been with me from the beginning has seen many changes in my life, in my family and in me. I could not have gotten through some of it without your kind words, prayers and support.

Even though we may be miles apart, the friendships I have made through MDR are priceless.   

My deepest Thank You to each and every one of you who make up the Modern Day Redneck Family.

Congratulations, we made 50,000    

Solar Water Heater Build

Operation "Clean Up" has taken a back seat at the moment.

This morning started off with my Pops bringing over a load of compost and I had all intentions to finish filling the gardens with this, but I got side tracked again.
At least it's here and I can do it at my leisure   

With the newly obtained sheet of OSB, I was able to finish the housing for the water heater and get it mounted on the Bathhouse wall.

I made sure and calked every seem to keep the heat in. (That's the white stuff)
 After the chalking had dried, I started to fit the reflective back insulation board.
My buddy Dave had three badly beaten up sheets of this stuff that he was going to throw away and I told him I wanted them. I was able to piece all the good pieces together and it looks new.

I did not use any other insulation in the box because the only reason you would do that is if you planned on taking your showers in the morning. I would also have had to build a insulated cover for that.

I plan to use the shower in the evenings and being in Texas, the water will be plenty hot.

I fitted the glass just to see if it would fit and it fit great.
If I did not tell you, I picked up this piece of glass at a Lowe's sidewalk sell a couple of weeks back. It was priced $68.00
This is how the conversation went,

Me: "I am not paying that for a piece of glass".

Sells guy: "Then make me an offer".
Me: "I will give you a five dollar bill for it"

Sells guy: "No way! 10% off is all I can do"

Me: "Why not? You know if you don't sell it you will have to cart it back in and restock it tonight, plus you know nobody is going to pay that much for a piece of glass"

Sells Guy after much thought: "Give me $10.00 for it".

Me: "Meet me in the middle at $7.50"

Sells guy: Deal


Here is a big Welcome and a Howdy to Sarah Shepherd K and Kris  for being the newest members in the Modern Day Redneck family.
Thank y'all for hitting the join button and be assured, if you leave a comment I will reply as soon as I can. My email is on the right if you need anything.

Shepherd K and Kris have real nice blogs and I encourage you to check them out.
Kris has also secured her place on the Bathroom Wall.

Again, Thank you both and welcome.

Also a big Thank You to mmasse. He has added his name to the Bathroom Wall as well.
To see the list of sponsors, click the Bathroom Wall tab at the top of the blog and please drop by their blogs to show your support.

Citizenship Test

I don't know if this has been done on here before by others or not, but I was listening to AFR talk radio the other day and they were talking about how we as American Citizens have been dumb down when it comes to the knowledge of our country. Through our education system or just plain not caring, they said most US Citizens could not even score a passing grade on a Citizenship Test.

I thought not me so I went right over and took the test. This is a practice test and you can even pick how many questions you want, I picked 50. I challenge you to take it. I was really surprised how many I missed. Take it and let me know your score and then I will tell you mine.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday's Top 10 Modern Day Redneck Thoughts Of The Week

This is a list of the top 10 actual thoughts, sayings and questions that have gone through my mind during the week.
Dumb, yes. Stupid, maybe.

10. How cool would it be to have glow in the dark body warsh?
9. If I was rich, I could buy bigger tires for the o'l lady's pickup.
8. Why do geese have to crap so much?
7. Driving in traffic the other morning I kept mumbling to myself, "Stupid, stupid people".
6. Would it be easier to burn the feathers off a turkey with a blow torch than to pluck them?
5. I want to arm wrestle Big Foot.
4. If I had a bigger hammer, I bet I could make it fit.
3. For anything other than English, Press "End" now. 
2. "If I had a chance to do it all over again, I would only screw it up even quicker."
1. I'd be the talk of the town if I had a John Deer Limo.

Cut And Paste

I came across this story at I know it is a cut and paste but this makes only twice I have ever done it so I think I am still in the good. I thought is was some story and just wanted to share it with y'all.

Heidemarie Schwermer, a 69-year-old woman from Germany, gave up using money 15 years ago and says she’s been much happier ever since.
Heidemarie’s incredible story began 22 years ago, when she, a middle-aged secondary school teacher emerging from a difficult marriage, took her two children and moved to the city of Dortmund, in Germany’s Ruhr area. One of the first things she noticed was the large number of homeless people, and this shocked her so much that she decided to actually do something about it. She had always believed the homeless didn’t need actual money to be accepted back into society, only a chance to empower themselves by making themselves useful, so she opened a Tauschring (swap shop), called “Gib und Nimm” (Give and Take).
Her small venture was a place where anyone could trade stuff and skills for other things and skills they needed, without a single coin or banknote changing hands. Old clothes could be traded in return for kitchen appliances, and car service rendered in return for plumbing services, and so on. The idea didn’t really attract many of Dortmund’s homeless, because, as some of them told her to her face, they didn’t feel an educated middle-class woman could relate to their situation. Instead, her small shop was assaulted by many of the city’s unemployed and retired folk eager to trade their skills and old stuff for something they needed. Heidemarie Schwermer’s Tauschring eventually became somewhat of a phenomenon in Dortmund and even prompted its creator to ask herself some questions about the life she was living.

She started to realize she was living with a lot of stuff she didn’t really need and initially decided not to buy anything else without giving something away. Then she realized how unhappy she was with her work and made the connection between this feeling and the physical symptoms (backache and constant illness) she was feeling, so she decided to take up other jobs. She began washing dishes for 10 Deutchmarks an hour, and despite many were telling her things like “You went to university, you studied to do this?”, she felt good about herself, and didn’t feel like she should be valued more because of her studies than someone working in a kitchen. By 1995, the Tauschring had changed her life so much that she was spending virtually nothing, as everything she needed seemed to find its way into her life.

So in 1996. she took the biggest decision of her life: to live without money. Her children had moved out so she sold the apartment in Dortmund and decided to live nomadically, trading things and services for everything she needed. It was supposed to be a 12-month experiment, but found herself loving it so much that she just couldn’t give it up. 15 years later, she still lives according to the principles of Gib und Nimm, doing various chores for accommodation in the houses of various members of the Tauschring, and loving every minute of it. Schwermer has written two books about her experience of living without money and asked her publisher to give the money to charity so it can make many people happy instead of just one. She’s just happy being healthier and better off than ever before.

All of her belongings fit into a single-back suitcase and a rucksack, she has emergency savings of €200 and any other money she comes across, she gives away. Heidemarie doesn’t even have health insurance as she didn’t want to be accused of stealing from the state, and says she relies on the power of self-healing whenever she gets a little sick.


The two newest members to the Modern Day Redneck Family are HermitJim and Jessiemac. They both have wonderful blogs of their own and if you have the time, please run over and say old MDR sent ya.

Thank y'all very much for hitting the follow button and be assured if you leave a comment I will reply.
Again, Welcome to the family.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Lamb is the newest member of the Modern Day Redneck family and I want to say Thank you, Howdy and welcome home.

If you need anything Lamb just drop me a comment or email and I will be sure to respond.
Again thank you.

Lamb has a nice blog with good information and I look forward in adding it to my daily read. If you feel inclined to do the same, then I thank you.  

Free wood, I think......

I ended up finding a free piece of OSB from a guy who I guess did not need it and said it was mine.
The piece is in perfect condition, all I did was ask. I don't know if it was my size or my cool mannerism that got me the board, but it is in the truck and will be put on the water heater box tonight.

I saw the sheet of wood laying on the ground and I walked right up to the closest guy, pointed at him and asked "Hey, are you going to use that sheet of OSB?"

He put his hands up shaking his head back and forth and said, "No man it, it, it's yours just take it".

I grinned, thanked him and loaded it up.
I hope the poor guy did not think I was mugging him for the board. I would never have done that.    

If you were wondering, you can click over to the Bathroom Wall page at the top of this blog and see a list of all who has donated to the cause and wants their names to forever be remembered. If you do not follow any of them then I recommend you give them a look.  

Howdy, Back to Back

Here is another big HOWDY and a welcome to Andrea and Bob for being the two newest members of the Modern Day Redneck family. Thank both of y'all for hitting the follow button. Be assured any comment left will be answered, so feel free to let them fly.
Andrea also has a great blog about sustainable and frugal living. Please go and check her out. She does a awesome link exchange.
Thanks again and Welcome to the family. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


I would like to take a minute and say Howdy and Welcome to the newest members of the Modern Day Redneck family. Lila and Phelan thank y'all for hitting the little follow button and please make yourselves at home.
After checking out their followers, it looks like most already follow both their blogs. If not then I encourage y'all to click on over and check them out.
Thanks again and welcome.

Hump Day and Rambles

I don't even know why they call it that.

Last night was funny. After work the past two days I have gone home to make a dint in Operation Project Clean Up. The wife was watching me walk back and forth picking up this, carrying that, moving items from one place to another.
She told me "Honey, you might need to slow down a little."

Of course I did not stop to wonder why or take the time to converse in a conversation with her so the next time I passed her I asked why.

"Because if you don't, then you won't have anything for this weekend" she said back.  

I just smiled and told her to grab a shovel.

On another note, the new chicks are ready to go out to the brooder house tonight. I am excited for these young chickens because they are the new rebuilding blocks of the Mini Farm.
Last summer was a killer for us and everything we worked for to build the business was taken away because of just dumb luck. My biggest mistake was not saving any of the money made from all those animals. Instead, I thought it would be better to reinvest and grow bigger.
This new beginning will be a little different.

We have made a deal on a Miniature Donkey. A friend from Church said he was looking for some Mini Goats and would be willing to trade. We already went to his place and picked out the donkey and he has already came over to pick out the goats. All that is left is the trade. This little Donkey is the neatest thing at only 26" tall. He will make a great addition to the petting zoo.

I also added a new page on the blog. You can find it at the top. It is the "Bathroom Wall" page and it shows who has chosen to have their name in lights and be remembered forever. It is not to late to get yours on there as well. I will be making the signs next month.

Y'all have a good day.     

Monday, November 14, 2011

Operation Cleanup

Those of you who have read Modern Day Redneck for a while now know that I eat, breath and sleep projects. When the weather is bad I sit by the window like a kid in a candy store just waiting for the first ray of sunshine and then I'm out the door.
The down side with multitasking between projects and all the time allocated to them, is the mess I make. There is nothing half way, it's all out and when I am done it looks like a bomb went off.

Next Thursday I will have anywhere between 16 and 25 people here for Thanksgiving and the last thing I want is an all around mess. I take pride in what I have and feel embarrassed when things are out of place (OCD) when people come over. Take this last weekend for instance, I had a customer come by kinda unannounced to look at some goats and I spent most of the time explaining my mess even though I did not need too.

So to remedy all that extra stress I have started Operation Cleanup for this week into next weekend.
Here are a few pics of what I am talking about.

Scrap wood pile from the Solar Bath House.
 Extra old 2X4s that I still might need for braces on the water heater. I brought a large pile up to build the Bath House and this is all I have left.
 Extra shingles that I did not want to put in storage just yet in case I needed some for one reason or another.
 Extra old wood left over from the Wood Shed build still sitting around because I started the Bath House before final clean up.
 At least I finally have the trash cans cleaned out of all the cans I was saving. The wife said she would take them this week to cash them in for some Christmas money.

The back yard is just killing me every time I look at it. Goose feathers everywhere. This weekend I plan to spend some quality time with the leaf rake and Mr. Manuel Labor.

Maybe by the time everyone gets here next Thursday I will be able sit outside with ease, relax and have a proper Thanksgiving day without stressing over the little things.


Here is a big Welcome to Terry Stites for being the newest member of the Modern Day Redneck family. Thank you for hitting the little button, I am honored. I encourage you to leave as many comments as you like and be assured they will will always be replied to.
Thanks again and welcome aboard.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

You Just Think Your Ready...

If you think you are ready for the coming future, then I encourage you to read One Second After
Inside the pages of this little book you will find out real quick, you are dead wrong. 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Just A Little More On The Solar Bath House

I had all intentions of getting the plumbing roughed in on the Bath House this weekend, but after looking in every nook and cranny I came up short on the parts to get it done.

So I changed direction a little and started on the Batch Water Heater Housing. It took every bit of cull lumber I had left, but at least it is framed up.

The tank is positioned at an angle so in the winter I will be able to drain it. Plus during use the hot water will stay at the top of the tank and when the cold water flows in at the bottom through the old drain hole, it does not mix with the hot making the whole operation more efficient.

The top of course will be glass and the inside will be insulated with foil back foam board. I have all that on hand through savaging here and there, but I am lacking one more piece of OSB to box in the sides.
New, the OSB is only $6.95 for a 4X8 sheet, but I bet I can find one damaged and about half off somewhere.      

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

More On The Solar Bathroom

 I built a little sitting bench near the bathtub. This will come in handy when I am trying to put my socks back on.

And got the composting toilet finished. The bucket to the right holds saw dust to scoop over the stuff that is left in the bucket. All it needs now is a toilet paper roll holder.

I changed up the sink design. Instead of using the big fiberglass sink I showed in earlier posts, I am going to use a steel bowl.
I punched out the drain hole today and I am in the process of building the cabinet it will sit on.
I figured if those big fancy houses have those high dollar glass bowls as sinks, then my Bath House will be just as fancy with a metal one.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Here is a big Howdy to mmasse and Casey for joining the Modern Day Redneck Family.
Thank y'all for hitting the little button and keep in mind your comments are always welcome.
If you need anything or have any questions, my email is in the right side bar.

Thanks again and welcome to MDR.

Monday, November 7, 2011

I Found It On The Bathroom Wall

It's back to work today just like every Monday and while I was doing my very important work (pulling the weekend splinters from my hands) A thought hit me.

On a recent post of mine, Kymber commented about starting a new Occupy Movement in my 3/4 built Solar Bath House. At the time I thought it was funny and gave the thought a nice chuckle. A while later I was in deep concentration on my work (the splinter was really deep) and thought why not. Why not have an Occupy The Bath House Movement.

I called up my good friend and fellow blogger Stephen to bounce the idea off him and to see what he thought. With all his stored up wisdom he responded with "Why not". That was good enough for me.

So here it is, Occupy The Bath House Wall Movement has begun.
For a small $10.00 donation to help with the completion of the Bath House, you can have your name on the bathroom wall.
What better way to promote your blog than to have your blogs name on the outside of a Bath House that has already had thousands of hits and for only $10.00
Of course space is limited and three have already said they wanted their names to go down in history. All you have to do is hit the little yellow Donate button in the right sidebar of this blog and when you order your name, put what you want it to say.

Note: The ten dollar donation will get you a 2" tall name. For every ten more dollars your name will grow an inch.

How fun is this? If you don't like it you can always blame Kymber.


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Are You Talking To Me?

Don't you just hate those days at Church when the preacher is talking directly to you?

For the first part of the morning service it seamed the preacher was talking to the wife and I was elbowing her, snickering and saying "This is for you dear". Then all the sudden the tables tuned and then he started hitting on what I needed to hear. I felt her elbow in my side and heard the same thing back to me "Now this is for you".
The room was filled with about 60 people and the preacher was talking right to me. It would not have been so bad but he was pointing right at me. Weird huh, but it was just what I needed to hear.

Today was a slow day and all I got done on the the Solar Bath House was the little flower box in front of the window and......

 I Plumbed in the bath tub and got it set in place. Remember, this is an old horse trough so cutting in a drain took some thought and careful planning. One slip and the whole tank was ruined.
 I also plumbed in the drain pipes for the bathtub and sink. Being this is gray water I have it going over to some little trees I have in the garden area.

The evening ended with some family members coming over and sitting outside for a night cap. It was nice to sit down for a while and just be again.

Oh, check this out! Last night was the first time I had ever been in a Earthquake. It was awesome once I knew what it was, but at first I was scared. I thought someone was trying to get in the house and when all the kids came running I knew the end was near. I grabbed the pistol and headed outside. I am really glad nobody was standing on my front porch because at that time, I didn't know what was going on. After it all settled down I felt silly carrying around a firearm, but at least I was ready.   

Anyway, I enjoyed the thrill and stayed up waiting for the aftershocks, but ended up falling asleep. On the other hand, the wife said can do without them.

Now I can check and earthquake off my list.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Head Down And Focused

This Solar Bath House is eating me up. Every spare minute I have is going to it. It is not like I am in a hurry or anything, I just have a hard time leaving something unfinished.

Usually a project does not take me more than a couple of weeks once I start to build, but this one here seems like it has been going on for months now. I think it's because I am getting older. I don't move as fast as I once did and my focus has changed a little from "Got to git it done now" to "What's the hurry".

In my twenties I was able to cut free hand just by eye balling. Now I take the time to use squares, chalk lines and marks to guide my way.
I also find myself studying on a problem a little longer than before. Instead of, like in my youth, I would build it as I went now I work out every little detail before proceeding.

I do think the quality of the end product is much better now that some wisdom and knowledge has finally come into my life. As a matter of fact the wife mentioned it just today. She told me that if would have known what I know now back when I built our house on the old farm when I was just 18 years old, it would have been a palace. That made me grin.
I guess that was her way of saying she loved what I built for her back then and she also loves the way I am doing it now, maybe even a little more.

I door is made from an old fence panel beefed up some around the edges.
Oh, if you are wondering why there is no trim under the window it is because I am going to build a flower box there and if you look real close you can see I used some old fence gate hardware for the door handle and latching system.
Yes I still need to find a pane of glass for the window.

Tomorrow they are calling for rain. Now that I have a dry place to work I think I might start on the bathtub.       

Friday, November 4, 2011

Spoke To Soon

All that talk about my amazing fall gardens has now turned around and bit me in the butt.

It was only suppose to get into the mid thirties last night so I was not that concerned with the plants. The wife watered them in real good before dark and that was that.
It ended up getting down to 27 degrees. A freeze in Texas this early is rare and it took me off guard. The rest of the weekend it will be in the 70's. Go figure!
I doubt the plants will make it and if they do I don't think there is enough time left for them to produce.      
What a bummer.

On a good note, the first hatch of the season came in. We did not have that many eggs to set being we sold most of the breeders last summer, but this is a start to rebuilding the flock.
These little girls will laying by the end of March so we should have a couple of hatches from them before we have to shut it back down for the summer.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

It's Coming Together

I feel a little inadequate because I am not posting about politics, dooms day or the occupy movement. I have not posted about Israel and the Palestine problems nor have I posted about the candidates running for the Republican nomination. I have not posted about the control the Jews have over our money or the fact the rich keep getting richer.
I had an email today from a reader who asked why I have not given my Redneck point of view on any of these subjects.
It is not that I don't keep up with it all or I don't have an opinion. It is not because you can find the information plus other opinions on just about every other blog.
I just don't really care to listen to and read about it all day and then write about it. I have my own opinions on every subject listed plus some and plan to keep them to myself unless asked face to face over a cold beer.
That's all I got to say on that.

Now on with the post:
I guess the weather felt sorry for me yesterday by making me jump through hoops so it kindly cooperated with me today. After work the first thing I did was look to the sky. No clouds, so I knew I would be able to get something done on the Solar Bath House.

Per popular demand, I redesigned one of the walls and framed in a window. I did not want a window, but many of y'all did.
I found four of these windows at a junk sale a while back. They were leaning against the back wall of the building and I asked how much and he said $20 each. Of course I did not pay that much for them and as a matter of fact, the o'l boy finally gave in and just gave them to me.
I played dirty on this one. He had to move this huge dresser and could not do it by himself. He asked if I could help and then I asked how much for the windows again. I got the free windows and he got his dresser moved. (Don't judge, I would have helped him anyway)

For the siding I used 6" fence pickets. Yes they are new, but I did not buy them at retail. I got them at a little over half off by going to a wholesale outlet. I think they ended up being about $0.60 each.

I plan to finish the building completely before I install all the solar stuff and the furnishing. Plus I need to run the plumbing before I can finish the inside walls.
I should be able to get all the trim and the door done this weekend.

This little project is taking way too long. I should already be showering in it by now.                       

Twiddling My Thumbs

Last night I was gypped out of some work time.
As soon as I got home from work I wasted no time and got out my tools to do a couple of hours of work on the bath house.
On cue, the sky darkened and a front moved in bringing high winds, rain and dropping the temperatures into the 40's. Quicker than I unloaded, I packed up the tools to protect them from the weather and went in the house. I stared out the back door for a few minutes hoping it would pass quickly, but finally gave up. 

Thinking nothing could be done, I kicked off my shoes, grabbed a book, propped my feet up and settled in under the soft glow of the lamp.
Thirty minutes later it stopped raining. I booked marked my page and got my shoes back on. Standing at the back door again just like I had been thirty minutes ago, I wondered if it was really worth getting everything back out.
I finally convinced myself  it was too late to get restarted so I sat, twiddling my thumbs.
Another day lost.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Good Topic, Must Read

My oldest girl over at wishonshootingstars has brought up a very good topic.
Head on over and show your support.

Project Planning

When I'm at my normal job I sometimes have the time to think about, design and research my next project.
Any idle time during the day you can find me getting out my little note pad and doing a rough sketch. Then scribbling down some notes at the bottom of the page making a semi materials list.

This leads to doing research and looking up pictures of similar projects to get ideas on what I want it to look like. On my piece of paper I add in any features and notes I find that I liked.
This point will determine if I want to proceed with the project or file it away for a later time.

If the project makes it this far, the next step is to draw different symmetrical views from every advantage point adding in as much and as many details as possible including the dimensions and a full detailed material list.
At this time I am almost ready to begin building.

A quick run to the barn to go over my inventory makes it where I can scratch off from the list what materials I have on hand leaving only what needs to be found, bought or bartered for. The goal for each project is to keep the cost below a hundred dollars. 

For the first week after everything is in place I will study the spot where the project will be built. I watch for the sun's path, shadows, shade, views, wind and drainage. I then paint an outline in red paint where the project will be placed. For another week every time I am outside I will pay close attention to where the red paint is to see if it will be in the correct location without causing conflict.
If anything is not spot on, I will go back to the drawing board and make the corrections.

The Solar Bath House is started and is about half way done. To apply all the principles above to this project, I started building it in my head and on paper over six months ago. Sometimes I have to wait and collect all the materials on the list causing it to string out much longer than expected.
Take the outdoor kitchen for instance. Everything is ready to go except the materials. I almost refuse to buy at retail cost so some items are harder to find on sale or discounted enough to make it worth the while. 

My little note book is filled with projects just waiting to come to life.  Right now I am working on a tool shed/work room and there are so many other projects just waiting.

The wife says I have a bad case of  Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. She calls it OCD, but I call it CDO.
I have to keep telling myself, "One at a time".                  

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

It's Hard To Get Away

Not being able to go anywhere or do anything is primarily self inflicted.
We did it to ourselves. Just to leave for a day takes careful planning at least two weeks ahead of time. By the time we finally leave, we are already wanting to come back.

It's nobody's fault we decided to have a high maintenance place. It would be easier to do as all the others and not have the things that need constant care. Some call that freedom. One guy I talked to this weekend said they up and leave twice a month. He said it was their down time. I pictured them as apartment dwellers and just leaving the complex is an adventure. 

For us dropping everything and leave has been non existent for the past twenty years.
I guess I can call it maturity, growing up, responsible adult, life or whatever words you want to put into it, but I miss the days where all the wife and I had to do was say lets go and off we went.

  We were looking for a place to go swimming once years ago and every place we went was crowded. We needed more room. We were looking for our own private little area, but every place in North Texas was packed so much you could not see the water from all the people.
By night fall we were eight and a half hours away at the Gulf Of Mexico with nothing more than the clothes on our backs. We finally found a spot big enough to swim in.  Those were some good times.

Last weekend our 40 hour camping trip took two weeks to plan. Before we left we were already exhausted.  All we were taking were the bags already packed, but it still took that long to plan every detail and to educate the neighbors on what, when and how to be feed, water, let out and put up.
Then there was the home security issue. It took three days to burglar proof the house and after all that work my efforts would still only keep the honest people out.

Other than a quick run into town, the days of jumping in the truck and disappearing for the weekend are long gone for us. Maybe one day after the kids are all gone and the animal phase has run it's course, all we will own in a motor home and not be tied down to anything.