Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Bachelor For A Day

Starting tomorrow and then for the next couple of days I will be a bachelor again. So much to do, so little time.

The Wife and the youngest girl "Wee" is moving the Oldest girl and all her stuff back to college. Her house move in date is tomorrow plus she needs to get a few more loose ends tied up before classes start at the end of August. She will be back, but only for three more weeks then it will be quiet again and not as much fun. I only have two more years of here being so far away.
The wife also has to stop by an pick up a nice stainless steel counter top and sink from some folks we visited the last time we were down that way. I had all intentions to go, but there is no way I can leave work this time. My helper/friend here at work was killed a couple of weeks ago in a motorcycle accident and I have had a hard time getting someone to take his place. Plus, someone has to stay and keep everything alive here at the Mini Farm.

So what do I have planned you ask? I will be free to do anything I want, the choices are endless.
Being I have been putting in twelve hour days at work, I'm probably just going to come home and take care of the animals, shower and get to bed early, exciting hu?
I don't know, I may put on CMT and play the air guitar a little.


Monday, July 29, 2013

I'm Bored

All my kids know to never tell me they are bored.They, including the wife, know we have way to much to do to be bored. The main problem is, the stuff that needs to be done usually isn't what anyone want's to do.

Do I want to, no. Do I need to, yes. Did it all get done, not a chance.

The oldest girl comes to me this weekend and asked, "Lets go do something, I'm b......." She knew not to say it and stopped herself before the word actually came out. Even at twenty years old she knows she is not immune to rules. It was close enough to the word for me so I gave her a list. Clean the barn, Mow the yard and weed eat, Dig out and set pave stones,  Chop wood, Weed the gardens, Move some animals around and so on and so on. I'm not saying they would have got done, but I gave her the list anyway.
I personally didn't want to do most of it either. I had some nagging things I needed to get done in the house. I hate to waste a good weekend on doing house work, but some of it just needs to be done. So, I cleaned out the freezers and reorganized them. Faced and reorganized the food room. Took inventory and reorganized the shelves of canning jars. Reorganized and inventoried the ammo and so on.
It was a weekend of stuff you never really want to do and put it off until you get bored enough to do it. Truth be told I was just as bored as everyone else, but this stuff still needed to be done.
We did get a lot of regular maintenance things accomplished outside as well, but it's all included in the day to day operations of the Mini Farm.
We hardly even touched the huge and ever growing "To Do" list this weekend and for some reason nobody had any "want to" to even give it a good effort, including myself.

At one point late yesterday evening we were all outside on the back porch just sitting. The wife reading, the girl playing on her phone and me just sitting watching the animals. The girl grabbed the BB Gun and I
hung up a can in the tree.We sat there, not saying much, just trading shots for the next couple of hours. There were no need for words, we all knew we were bored and finally having some fun.   
Truth be told it's not about what we got done, just sitting on that back porch shooting a beer can with two of the most important people in my life was being more productive than I have been in a long time. Boredom well spent.

That's it for now,

Friday, July 26, 2013

It's The Heat

My "want to" is broke. It's got to be the heat.

I have a project list a mile long and as just as many chores on top of that, but I just don't want to do any of them.

The triple digit heat has made everything hard to do. Last night I waited till 8:30 to pick the gardens, I'm usually in bed by then but it had to be done. I work in it all day and the last thing I want to do is be in it when I get home. 41 years of Texas summers and they ain't getting any easier, but in a couple of more months and it will start cooling off again, I hope

As far as the weekend plans, I don't have any. Yea, no kidding.
I bet by the time it is all said and done I will be busy.
I sure don't want to hang around in the house. The wife has a "honey do" list just as long as mine. I think I would rather sweat.

Stay cool this weekend and I will talk to ya on Monday.


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Say Man......Do You Vape?

"What?" I asked a coworker.

"I asked, do you vape man?" He said pointing to my pocket.

I looked down and saw what he was pointing at and it was my new electronic cigarette.
 "Ohhhh, ha, yup, just started." I said back in a matter of fact tone.

"Coooool Maaaan", He nodded and walked right by me.

What year is this? I thought I was back in high school for a minute.

This is day thirteen of no snuff. I have dipped Copenhagen for many years. I quit it several times cold turkey for up to three months, but always came back to it. There is nothing more refreshing than filling your lip full of a big dip of snuff. 

The wife got me this electronic cigarette thing and a new juice that's called Red Man. It is a vapor that tastes just like my snuff. This here still has the nicotine in it, but it does not have all the other chemicals and my lip won't rot off. Plus the strength of the nicotine is variable. I am on a high strength right now because I just started. The next bottle of juice I get I will lower it. This will continue until I am using this thing without any nicotine in it at all.

At first I was against it because I didn't want to look like one of those fruity metrosexual guys you see getting there nails done and carries a purse.
If you don't know what a metrosexual guy is, it is a guy who clams to be straight, but likes to be pampered like a girl. To each there own I guess, but I didn't want to be even close to that.

So anyway, I guess it's more common than I thought. There are more guys on the job site that use them than I first figured.

Just in eight days my lip feels better and  I have found a whole new culture out there. Did you know they have Vape Bars? Yea, no kidding me neither. You go in, belly up to the bar and Vape. I never would have thought such a place existed. I am not saying I would darken the door at any of those places but hey, If a guy can carry a purse and were nail polish, then I can sit at a bar and Vape.  

That's all folks,
MDR (a Vapor and proud of it)


Homemade Sweet Relish

Here is the wife's sweet relish. She made a bunch more yesterday and it reminded me some of y'all wanted her recipe.
Now keep in mind we do ours in large volumes so we had to break it down. The measurements are close enough.

12 - Cucumbers chopped to the size you like
6 - Cups of chopped onions
3 - Cups of chopped green bell peppers
3 - Cups of chopped red bell peppers
3/4 - Cup salt
10 1/2 - Cups of sugar, (yep, that's 10.5 cups of sugar)
3 - Tablespoons of celery seed
3 - Tablespoons of mustard seed
6 - Cups of cider vinegar

Combine cucumbers, onions and peppers in a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt and cover with cold water. Let stand for 2 hours.
Drain, rinse and drain again.
Combine sugar, spices and vinegar in a large pot, bring to a boil. Add drained vegetables and simmer for 10 minutes.
Pack hot relish into canning jars leaving 1/4" head space and remove bubbles.
Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

This makes about 18 to 20 pint jars. 

We don't hand chop all that. We use a food processor and pulse the bigger chunks to the size we like. You can also use a food grinder at it's largest setting to make it even easier. 

And that's it. It is one of the easiest ones we do. She also make hot sweet, dill, hot dill and pickles of all kinds. We also dehydrate the cucumbers with a little seasoning salt for a late night snack and to use in dishes later on.

Today the wife is canning her own Taco Sauce so I could bet this will be Taco Tuesday.

Talk to you tomorrow,

Monday, July 22, 2013

Waiting For Instructions

"What are you doing?" I asked my oldest girl.
"I'm waiting for instructions" she said back with a scared look in her eyes.

Last night the power went out. Just like I always do when this happens I stepped out on the front porch and
looked around to see how many was out this time. I can see for miles out here and I can even see the nearest town five miles away. Most of the time a glow is on the horizon from all the street lights and the businesses, but this time it was dark.

"The whole town is out of power" I announced to whoever was listening. One daughter was stuck at work and the oldest, along with the wife was at home with me.
I was really dreading this. The hot summer night was just on the other side of the windows and I figured we had just a couple hours before it was in the house. With the whole town out something big must have happen and the wife and I were already in prepper mode.
Without saying a word, we did our assigned tasks then waited.

"This is it isn't it!!!" the girl asked.

"This is what?" I asked back

"The end, it's started"

The wife quickly turned on the police scanner and we sat listening to the hectic rambling coming over the airwaves.
Major power outages and fires all along the highway. Reckless drivers were already out and people were out of their houses and on the move. Police were being dispatched for possible looting and to secure certain areas.

"This is it, OMG" The daughter kept saying.

I looked over at her and she was just standing in the middle of the living room. The flickering glow from the emergency candles lit up only half her face. Even in the dim room I could see she was scared.

With a slight chuckle I asked, "What are you doing?"

"Waiting for instructions!" she said back in almost a military like manner.

I don't know if she was wanting me sound the "Call to arms" signal or what, but all I said was, "Don't open the refrigerator." I think she was a little disappointed.

The power outage only lasted an hour. The fires were put out long before they reached anything important. In just one hour without modern conveniences the town went crazy. I can only imagine what would happen if this was "IT".        

Thursday, July 18, 2013

More Small Projects

With the technical issues hopefully behind me now, I can continue.
The little tablet I got a couple of days ago was not doing it for me so I ended up trading it for the wife's laptop. I couldn't get the thing to upload pictures right. Plus, it was just too small and it is an android base and not windows so I couldn't so my spreadsheets right. She was wanting one of those anyway and I was needing a new laptop so everyone is happy, happy, happy.

The wife finished another one of her little projects the other day. She took some of the free granite we have been getting and used the little sample squares by attaching them to our kitchen island making a mosaic look.
It added color to the kitchen and I really like it. She did a great job. 

I finally got the birthing boxes done for the rabbits in the rabbit tractor. I plan to breed three at a time and I'm hoping they will use these side by side boxes to birth in. This is the first time I have colony raised rabbits so we will see.
All the other times we had isolation pens for them to have their babies in and then raised them like that. Some say this will work and others say it won't, I guess we will find out.
I won't put these boxes in the tractor until about a week before they are due. Any sooner they will use it as a toilet and it will get nasty.

Other than that, I have another outdoor country wedding to put on this Sunday. This might turn into another small income stream. Hu, go figure, I never really thought about it that way.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

technical issues

I'm having some major technical issues with my computer I don't know how long is going to be before I can post pictures. My laptop took its last breath a couple days ago and I had to unexpectedly purchase a new device  so now I am a new owner of a galaxy tablet and I don't know how to use it.
so until I can figure this out y'all have a good one.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Quick Projects

Even though I said this weekend was going to be hot and boring I was only half right, It was hot.
I don't know who I was kidding thinking it was going to be boring. The only thing I did that was not productive was watch a Hillbilly Blood marathon Saturday during the heat of the day. Sadly, I will never get that part of my life back.

I got the clothes line moved. That was my biggest project of the weekend because it consisted of hand digging holes, a little concrete, some welding and building a complete new system that is bigger and better than the one before. I now have over 80 feet of clothes line to use.
Don't try this at home. Welding in shorts and tennis shoes should not be done, just saying. Nothing happen and I didn't get burnt but I could have.

The wife decorated the new solar clothes dryer a little by putting a nice little cabinet to hold the laundry basket and whatever else. This little cabinet was my grandmothers and we had it for a while and then it went to someone else who gave it to another person. Twenty two years later it found it's way back to us somehow and it was in bad shape. The wife refurbished it by painting and water sealing then she finished it off with a nice piece of granite for the top.
I think it turned out great and it looks good right where it's at.

 The oldest girl jumped in and did a project of her own.
I found this old, broke down bench a couple of years ago and I don't know why I kept it. Being the girl has her first house this year when she goes back to college she has been refurbishing and reusing junk laying around here. She has made some really nice furniture pieces out of this stuff.
She took a piece of junk and made a really nice Texas A&M garden bench for her new house.
I think she did a wonderful job.

The wife and the youngest girl will be busy all day making Sweet Relish. We have tubs and tubs of cucumbers that need to put by and being it is a rainy kind of day, it couldn't be a better time.

It started raining early Sunday morning and is still at it, we sure needed it.
Until the next time,

Friday, July 12, 2013

Hot And Boring

My weekend will be just that, hot and boring, lacking luster.
It will be too hot to do much during the day so everything will have to get done early in the morning and late in the evening. This is my forty first Texas summer and they seem to be getting worse and worse every year.

Some of the weekend plans are;
I need to build some nesting boxes for the rabbit tractor. I have decided to breed three does at a time. That way they will birth at once and I will have somewhere between 15 to 30 babies. That will start a cycle so I will be in a fresh supply of rabbits monthly for most of the year. I have already started marketing them and getting the word out.

I also have to move the solar clothes dryer from it's current location that is too shaded in the evenings to a more sunny spot. I have never liked it where I put it anyway. That means I need to dig more holes and mix more concrete.

I have to go back to get another load of granite sometime this weekend. A place up the road has piles and piles of huge slabs of granite and smaller broke pieces they said I can have. Last weekend I stopped by and grabbed some of the ones we could get in the back of the truck.
I use most of the small pieces for walkways and such and the bigger ones will be cabinet tops in my outdoor kitchen. While I was there the guy gave me those lockers you see in the picture and a few more little things that I really don't need. 

Other than that it's just going to a normal stay at home weekend trying to keep everything alive in this heat.
I hope y'all have a good one.
See ya on the flip side,

Thursday, July 11, 2013

There's Something About The Game

What is it about putting a little ball in a little hole 400 yards away that makes this game so frustrating and fun all at the same time?

When I was in school playing football, we always poked fun at the golf team. We would say they were not "real" athletes and downed the game pretty hard.
After all that was over and later on when someone would talk about golf I just laughed. I actually thought the game was gay and everyone who played it was to. Give me a football, bowling ball or baseball any day but golf, no way.
Then one day I was challenged. I was told I couldn't even hit the ball off the tee. Me, never backing down from a challenge I said, "lets do it."
My friend and I, along with several others, walked to his back yard. He teed up a ball then handed me the driver. "Here you go big boy" he said in his best gay tone, only because I said the game was gay.
Being mister macho man I grabbed the club like a baseball bat and walked right up to the ball and stared swinging.
He was right, the first swing I missed the ball by a mile swinging so hard I spun myself around in a circle. "Your suppose to hit the ball, not dance with it" someone mocked.
 The second shook my whole body because I hit full club right into the dirt. I took a step back, listened to the sarcasm coming from the group, I didn't think was all that funny. I hit the ball on my third swing, but it was a little dribble that whent about ten feet. Laughter erupted and I was shamed.
The smallest guy in the group walked up, set the ball on the tee, and spanked that thing so hard I lost it in the clouds. "That's how it's done my giant friend" he said as more laughter was echoing through my ears.

Well that did it for me, I couldn't let something I thought was so simple beat me like that. A week or so later I went and bought a set of clubs and a bunch of balls. For the next year I practiced two to three times a week by hitting balls out into the pasture then chipping them back up the hill. I put flags out and almost had my own course of sorts, but nothing real fancy. I thought I was getting good then I started going to a real golf course and found out real quick I sucked worse than most. The first set of clubs I bought are still at the bottom of a pond at the TWU course in Denton. 
I kept my focus, quit throwing the clubs and improved a whole bunch. Before long I was invited to play in some tournaments at some really nice courses around Texas. Then, I just stopped playing.

Three weeks ago was the first time I stepped foot on a golf course in eight years. I can tell you it's not like riding a bike. All my old habits came back and by the 12th hole I could remember why I hated and loved the game so much.
Last weekend I was up in Oklahoma with the wife as my caddy playing a wonderful course for the first time. We had a great time just being out and together.  I was paired up with an older couple who put me to shame, but they were polite about it.
I plan on playing at least once a month. I still suck just as bad as I always have, but it's those one or two great shots that keep me coming back for more.

So there you go, My name is MDR and I am a redneck golfer.

I'm Out,

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Stuffed Zucchini

As promised I am posting my stuffed Zucchini recipe.

I usually don't do food posts, but I was asked to post a couple on Zucchini. The next one will be Zucchini Spaghetti.
I never have any measurements of ingredients or cooking times. It's always just about that long and use about that much. This one is easy so you don't need all that formal and fancy stuff anyway.

Cut the thing in half and scrape out the innards. I guess you could peal it if you want to, but I don't.
Then put the halves in the oven and cook until they are soft, but still hold its shape.
Meanwhile, cook up some hamburger meat, sausage and whatever else kind of meat you like. You can even put taco seasoning in the meat or just leave it plane.
Drain and stir in some Mozzarella cheese until melted.  
Fill the Zucchini boats with the meat mixture and sprinkle more cheese on top, then put back in the oven to melt it all together.
After you are satisfied it's done to your liking take it out and top with heated spaghetti sauce and Parmesan cheese then serve. You can figure out how to eat it. I cut some of mine up in small bites until I get tired of playing with it and just pick it up and eat it like a taco.
I guess you could call this Zucchini Pizza and even Zucchini meat loaf. It doesn't really matter what you call it, it's still good.  
Enjoy, I know I did.

Before I go I wanted to say howdy and thank you to Crystal and Leigh for joining the Modern Day
Redneck family.
If y'all need anything please let me know.


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Reusing Our History

When we moved from the farm to up here on this place we left a home full of memories. Everything the wife and I created, even the kids growth chart was still marked on the wall. Almost every detail that took a half a lifetime to build was left. Not by choice, but just because we couldn't take it all.

Last year I started making trips back there and tearing down the old house and I have been able to save a lot of good stuff I can use again, even my old front door.

In it's hay day, the old place was a gem. We built an old west town and park behind our house with a working blacksmith shop, saloon, general store, outdoor kitchen, eating pavilion, park and was starting on a church to hold weddings in. We had pony rides and catered parties when we could. Even the house was going to get remodeled to look like a hotel. But, plans change and life goes on. Sometimes when I look back I wonder why I am not still there and why I am up here. Life was a lot more simpler back on the farm.

My front door came off a horse stable. I cut it down to fit the doorway and the thing was so heavy I had to rebuild my door frame to hold it. I kept the old time locking and latching mechanisms and even the hinges to keep it authentic.
The wife said she wanted to reuse it at our place somehow and after bringing it up, it sat for several months.

I also brought up an old picnic table frame we had in the park area behind the house. This thing is about twenty years old, in bad shape and all the wood has long been rotted off. I was just going scrap it out and use the metal for something or another.

This weekend I added some bracing, new hardware and new wood to sit on for the benches. Then added the door for the top.
After staining the door I reinstalled all the old hinges and handle to keep it looking like a door. I think it turned out good and we will have many more years if use out of it.

It's just a door right, but this old door kept us safe by holding back the wind, the rain and even a critter or two for so many years, it's the least I could do.  

It was the wife's idea all along to use it as a table. I just needed to get tired of looking at it sitting there to make it happen.

Before I go I wanted to say howdy to a couple of new Modern Day Redneck Family members.
Here's a Redneck welcome to PinkyDiva and Ginger In Progress. Thank y'all for being a part of the group. If you need anything just let me know.

That's all I got for now,

Monday, July 8, 2013

Do You, And Do you

I am relieved that my first wedding to officiate is over. It took a week to get the words just right and I am
sure the kids and the wife got tired of standing in front of me while I practiced. 

 I tell ya, I was more nervous I think than the bride and groom were. The wedding went off without a hitch. Everything fell right in place and I think I only stumbled my words once because of the wind kept blowing my notes. Everyone told me I did a fantastic job and I guess I did because now I have two more weddings booked.

I was on the way to the house to change into my shorts when I heard, "Hey, get over here and take a picture with me, we don't get dressed up very often."
Yup it was the wife and I had to endure another few minutes of that tie. When it was all said and done, I would do it again. 

After the wedding we spent the rest of the day eating, playing dominoes and having a good time with friends and family until dark where all the fireworks came out. It may be a record that only one person got hurt and no fights broke out, usually it's a lot more than that.

It was a full four day weekend with stop and I have a lot to share with you. I can't wait to show you what I did with a little piece of history.  
I hope everyone had a great 4th

I'm Out,

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Four Day Weekend

Tomorrow starts my four day weekend and I still have not yet planned out every detail but I think I am going to try and squeeze in a round of golf if I get the chance. 

First off I want to show a picture of a couple of the new babies. I took pictures of several of the hens and chicks but they were moving so much they are a big blur. This was the only one I could use. Plus, a lot of pictures of the same thing, like baby chicks, does get boring. 
We still have more in the house hatching out plus some turkey eggs.

 I also wanted to show a picture of the Hydroponics Tomatoes. This is a little over a month of growth. You can scroll back to the old post I did and see the tiny little plants I started in this. I never would have thought they would be this big so fast.
Two problems I came across, one being they are too close together. All four plants have grown into one giant bush. The next time I will space them out a little better and secure them to grow more upright.
Second, they are using about five gallons of water a day. Yes I do have a drip or two here and there but the plants themselves are using a huge amount of water and my water tank could have been a little bigger. Every other night I add ten gallons of nutrient filled water to the tank.
These are grown outside instead of in a greenhouse and the water temp is a little higher than it should be. To help that next year I will either insulated the tank or bury it.

I was surfing around on line and came across a great website full of information on hydroponics if you are interested in learning about this way of growing. Next year I plan to do more tomatoes and some peppers plus build a horizontal teared system for the strawberries.
If you are interested in learning more about this check them out.

Guide to hydroponic gardening

Other than that, have a great 4th,

Monday, July 1, 2013

In Constant Motion

I don't think the truck ever cools completely off before we are jumping in again and heading somewhere else. If we are not on the go then we are out back working. There is never really any down time for us because if we had the time to sit then we just wasted that moment to do something productive or fun. Sitting ain't fun for me.
Between birthday parties, night fishing, working and running around, I think we got our monies worth this weekend and no sleep. 

The Mini Farm is alive with babies everywhere, I will post some pics later. Almost every hen has several little chicks chasing after them. When a hen hatches out, I see free money. I didn't have to do anything for that profit. The ones in the incubator have some overhead attached to them so I won't make as much.
The pigeons are even setting. They are fun to watch because the male takes the day shift and the female takes the night shift by sitting on the eggs.
The rabbit tractor is doing great. I need more rabbits though. I am not having to move it but every four days with only three does in it. I need five more to have the breeding stock I want. I am almost ready to start breeding, but I don't know if I want to breed them all at once or stage them out.

This weekend we harvested the rest of the corn and the carrots. We now have enough of each to last us awhile. I am planning on planting some more in the fall gardens to have enough for the rest of the year. I will also be planting many more things to provide for us through the winter.
This weekend I was at my mom's and she fed me Zucchini spaghetti. It was the first time I have had it that way and I think that is the way I am going to eat it for now on. Goodbye pasta and hello squash.

Sunday we did a wedding rehearsal for my cousin and her soon to be. The wedding is planned for the 4th so I bet it will go off with a "bang". This will be the first wedding I have officiated so I am busy writing notes and figuring out what I want to say. They both wanted it Rednecked up a little so I am wondering if they got the right guy to do it because I don't know if I can do that.
(That was funny right there and if you didn't think it was you need to quit reading this. LOL)
The setting will be at my Dad's farm, on an island out in the pond. I'll show some pictures when we get it done. Yup, I will be wearing a suit.       
All the women folk will be over at my house the night before to have a girls night. I don't know what I am going to do, but you can bet I won't be anywhere near the house. I may sleep in the bathhouse or something. Oh, by the way, the bathhouse is up and running again. The water is better than ever. 

Other than that, I will be having a four day weekend coming up and there is no telling what I am going to get myself into.

I will get those baby chick pictures done tonight,
See ya tomorrow.