The "New Place" - Beginnings of a MO Homestead

Discussion in 'Homesteading' started by Dadio, May 6, 2016.

  1. Dadio

    Dadio Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Momio and I started working on the floor joists in the south side of the machine shed where it will be converted to a workshop. It is a 30x40 pole barn on a poured concrete foundation, and we are taking 15' out of the southern end for the project. The rest will stay available for machinery and storage.

    We started by emptying out that part of the shed and then raked it out until we had clean dirt, if that makes sense. There is a part of the foundation at ground level at the opening of the bay that had been covered up with an inch or two or dirt, and I spent some time pulling the dirt away from that till it was exposed again. I have some concrete anchors and will be attaching an old pressure treated 6x8 that I've been saving for years to act as a sill, then framing in Windows and a door where the bay opening is now.

    My buddy and I had poured a footing back in October so we drilled the sills and bolted them down, then added some piers to support the middle of the span. Took very little fiddling around to get the piers level with the footing we poured, which was the plan. Nice when it works out.

    My son, daughter in law and future son in law showed up and helped some in the machine shed but then moved down to work on the campsite by the creek. It is starting to take shape, and the small trees I'm taking out of the fence line and clearing out from near buildings contribute lots of building materials.

    Photos to come.
     
  2. Dadio

    Dadio Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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  3. Dadio

    Dadio Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Well, it was a good weekend, even if I didn't get quite as much done as I wanted with a lot of stops and starts and re-do's. We attached some end joists to the wall of the machine shop but basically was just able to tack them in to the wooden sills rather than using the concrete anchors I had intended. My standard drills were just no match for the concrete, which means I'm doing some pawn store shopping for a hammer drill. It was good enough to hold everything in place but isn't a long term solution until I can get some more substantial support on those boards.

    I also ran into a problem with adding the additional floor joists. Momio and I worked most of Saturday morning cutting the joists to length and, again, tacking them up to the end joists only to discover at the end of the morning that I was way off from square. Totally my fault. I don't know exactly when, but at some point I must have whacked it a good 3" out of square. Well, I had other obligations for Saturday afternoon and was a little frustrated, and my rule is that when I'm tired or angry I stop. So we did.

    Momio offered to help fix it after church, so we headed out, took out the joists we installed yesterday, did the 3-4-5 trick and got everything lined out. Then we reinstalled the joists and called it a weekend.

    Next weekend I'll install joist hangers and put the anchors into the concrete foundation.

    We also walked around to figure out where to site the house. You'd think with all the acreage that there would be lots of options, but the one we settled on is going to require removing the silo and maybe the barn. It will look out over the creek and the creek bottom. Still haven't settled on the house plan or found a contractor, and we've got to get some finances worked out before we start, but with some luck we will break ground this summer or fall.

    So, it doesn't look a lot different than last week, but every step is a step closer to the product we want. You can see all the holes in the tin that come from being recycled. I've got an idea to take care of those.......
    [​IMG]
     
  4. TX-1948

    TX-1948 Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    In my experience, quitting when you are tired or angry is a good practice. Thanks for sharing, I am enjoying watching your progress....
     
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  5. hunter63

    hunter63 In Memorium

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    I have to do that now myself.....used to stop have a smoke a re-group.
    Can't do that anymore, as I quit smoking.....to old to throw the hammer very far....so now just go and take a nap.
     
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  6. Dadio

    Dadio Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    More work on the floor joists. I know it seems like this is taking forever but really, it's only been about 20 man hours so far. We added a 6X8 pressure treated sill plate to the concrete at the entrance. That lumber was part of a swingset I made for our children nearly 20 years ago when PT lumber was, in my opinion, better (and more toxic, which is why it is better). I am happy to finally find a use for it!

    The hammer drill I found in a pawn shop worked great, and for less than the cost of a new Chinese made piece of plastic I have a Tennessee made heavy duty metal drill that, I'm sure, will come in handy for years to come. It drilled the holes in the concrete and drove in the anchors pretty well. Adding joist hangers really helped with my peace of mind about the structure. They are cheap insurance for this kind of project. And everything is installed with screws for extra strength.

    Ran out of lumber and time, but will be back next weekend to finish the last few joists and install the subfloor, Good Lord willin'.

    A few more photos: (really, it';s different than last time!)
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    [​IMG]

    The roof looks pretty good. I'll have to get a ladder in there and get rid of some fairly random crap up there from yesteryear:
    [​IMG]
     
  7. jim.bell

    jim.bell Tracker

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    May I ask what the iron rosettes are ?
     
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  8. Dadio

    Dadio Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    What a beautiful weekend! I my son spent some time down at the campsite with his wife and a friend on Friday evening and met me up at the machine shed to unload the building materials I picked up over lunch. Saturday morning we packed some grub for breakfast, headed out to the place and enjoyed the morning down at the campsite by the creek. I was anxious to get going with the workshop build, but it's important to pay attention to what drives him as well as what drives me, and I have to admit it was a lot of fun.

    We finally got to a point where we could put down some 23/32 OSB subfloor. Those panels go in pretty fast but can be a little fiddly to get just right. We staggered the joints for strength and put them in with screws. Not sure what I'll do for the floor. I may just leave it as is, or seal it with some poly, paint it with porch paint, or get some cheap laminated wood flooring, or even just use linoleum. Well, probably not he linoleum, but the rest is on the table. Main thing is to be easy to sweep out. Right now, I'm just happy to have a floor. As usual, Momio was super good help. I really like that we can work together now, that we've learned how to communicate. Trust me, it wasn't this easy early on! (And most of that was me changing my expectations and how I go about giving instructions.)

    It's amazing how long I can put up with a problem. I bought a power miter saw several years ago, and I flat out love that thing for it's convenience and how it can speed up a project, but the cheap stand that came with it has given me problems for a long time. The bolts get loose and it racks and I've tightened bolts and replaced bolts just to have it start to fall apart a couple months later. Well, I finally got fed up and went to the local farm supply store for some new bolts, washers, lock washers and those nuts with the nylon inserts, plus some materials to make some diagonal bracing. After church today I ran out and spent some time getting it level and square, replacing bolts, adding lock washers and cutting and installing the bracing. It makes a world of difference for a few dollars of parts and some time. This will come in real handy for the next part of the project - putting up the walls.

    My son has a job interview tomorrow, and I have the day off, so we will meet up and finish the subfloor.
    [​IMG]

    Fuzzy photo of Zac lashing together a little table frame for the campsite.
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  9. Dadio

    Dadio Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    And the miter saw, for whatever that's worth. I need to get wiser about taking care of these annoyances......
    [​IMG]
     
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  10. teotwaki

    teotwaki Scout

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    I'm enjoying the thread very much! Keep the pictures coming! Some day it would be interesting to ask someone to fly a drone over the property and load the video on YouTube.
     
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  11. jim.bell

    jim.bell Tracker

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    Looking forward to the walls!
     
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  12. Dadio

    Dadio Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    I bet you are! Seems like I've been showing photos of floor joists forever! Walls should be pretty quick. Now, if our accountant comes back with a big tax bill, everything comes to a screeching halt for a while. If not, well ... there's a tractor to buy.....
     
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  13. J

    J Bushwhacker Bushclass I

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    You've been busy. Now that the weather has turned a bit we need to get that meet up happening.
     
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  14. Dadio

    Dadio Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Finished the floor over the weekend and put up a field-expedient (meaning crappy but effective) wall of tarp and scrap wood over the bay entrance to keep rain off the OSB. The floor looks good for a psychologist playing at carpentry.

    But the flu hit me hard Monday night and has been kicking my butt ever since. Don't know if I'll do much if anything this weekend. At least the coughing and general body aches keep me from being bored!

    I've got a phone pic or two i can load up later.

    Also, my son came over at noon to help finish putting in the subfloor after a job interview in the morning. By two they called and offered him the job. He had already turned down two previous job offers and was holding out for the right one, which shows a lot more confidence and guts that I would have had in the same circumstance. Glad that stress is over for him.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2017
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  15. Dadio

    Dadio Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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  16. TJC44

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    Dadio,
    Just joined the forum recently, and read through the 3 pages and 7 months of work you've put into it. The posts and pictures are an inspiration, keep it up. I hope you feel better soon. Spring will be here soon, although winter doesn't appear to have slowed you down any.
    Good luck!
     
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  17. Dadio

    Dadio Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Zac ame out to help me put up the long partition wall. Didn't get it totally done but got most of it knocked out.
     
  18. Dadio

    Dadio Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Not a whole lot to report this week. I'm still recovering from the dang flu, mainly just coughing and lack of stamina, so working out there in the morning when the temp was in the 20's and there was a stiff breeze didn't seem smart. I did meet Sonio at the campsite Saturday afternoon to get it in a little better shape. There is a nearby honey locust that had been blown down a few years back and had some fairly large sprouts growing along the length of the main trunk and I harvested those with the chainsaw. Once stripped of all the thorns and branches the larger of those was used for a cross piece between two trees. We secured it with tarred bankline, and I think it will work fine as the support for a lean-to shelter.

    The old Marbles machete bolo that @mainewoods gave me years ago has been getting a workout. I love nice knives, but there's something to be said for a big blade that you don't mind chopping into the ground or otherwise abusing. Every now and then I just touch it up on the bench sander. Anyway, I use the heck out of it down at the campsite.

    We've not had much rain at all for several weeks, and no snow to speak of in months. Despite that, there's still water in the creek. We fed a small fire with the cut off thorns and branches from the honey locust. That tree burns well even when green, especially the thorns which seem to have some sort of flammable something in them. Maybe it's the same stuff that makes it so painful when you get stuck with one.

    So, no advancement on the workshop project but still moved a little ahead and had a fun time with my son.

    The best thing to do with these:
    [​IMG]

    Is this:
    [​IMG]
     
  19. TX-1948

    TX-1948 Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Watching your progress is indeed enjoyable. Glad you are on the mend from the flu. Avoiding the 20 degree weather and wind was a good choice.
    Seeing the Honey Locust thorns brought back a memory from almost 60 years ago. I had done something that I shouldn't have. My Dad had talked to me and told me I was going to get a spanking. He had me ride with him when he went to talk to a man about some business. The mans shop had a large Honey Locust tree next to it. Dad cut a switch from the tree, complete with thorns, and laid it on the seat while he went into the shop to visit. By the time he returned some 15 minutes later, I had broken the tips off all the thorns. I did not get the spanking, Dan thought those 15 minutes thinking about the thorns was punishment enough.
     
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  20. Dadio

    Dadio Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Jim: Sorry I missed your question! I don't know, really. I'm assuming they are parts from some piece of farm machinery, gears of some sort. In my imagination they are part of a haying contraption, but that's pure speculation. I just ran across them in the ground near the machine shed.
     
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  21. Dadio

    Dadio Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    My grandmother and your father would have gotten along, I think. She once had me go cut a switch to punish me and kept rejecting the ones I brought to her. I probably spent a half hour running around trying to get her branches. I did finally get a swat across my calfs but the real result at the end was I was worn out and her temper had cooled.
     
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  22. Dadio

    Dadio Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Made some progress. Took out the temporary scrap lumber and tarp entrance, put a temporary brace in and then cut out the existing header (which wasn't really installed correctly, anyway).
    [​IMG]

    Built a new header, added the stud supports and installed the north most panel and window. You can see the drop from right to left to get it back to level. I'm getting tired of working on these old out of plumb and square buildings, but it's par for the course. Added bonus: a nice disco effect from the holes in the reclaimed tin walls! The framing around the window isn't load bearing but even so I can tell I was getting tired because I get sloppy. I'll add some more structure next time. The center and right had panel are just tacked in place. The center will be made into a door or maybe two doors and the right panel will hold another window.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    It took me nearly 8 hours to do all this, and six hours were just by myself but I'm eager to keep going because I'm finally at the point were it's more construction than destruction, if that makes sense. I also spent some time walking the raw earth where we took down the buildings looking for stones and metal that would mess up my mower. I'm collecting a pretty nice pile of stone for some future project.

    Sunday we took my wife's foreign exchange "sister" (who stayed with her family when Momio was in high school) out to see the place. We toured the homestead and then had a little cookout down at the base camp. I wandered off a bit and found a cool area that I hadn't seen before. There was a natural clearing and a small branch off the creek that looks like a great spot to hunt turkeys. Set up a game cam along an obvious trail and am looking forward to seeing what we find. Fun to keep finding new areas! Some random photos to follow.
     
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  23. Dadio

    Dadio Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Successful stalk of the elusive hot dog
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    Sycamore roots? Petrified octopus? We may never know.
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    Happy that the creek is still running even though we've had very little precipitation for the last few months. The little spring is also still running, but is low.
    [​IMG]
     
  24. TX-1948

    TX-1948 Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Another great day at "The Place". Thanks for sharing, sometimes it's more fun watching someone else as they progress through their projects. That way, I see the progress and don't feel the frustration of working with an out of square, level, and plumb building.;)
    Good job and a beautiful place....glad you have it and are making progress....
     
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  25. Dadio

    Dadio Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    More progress. Momio and I went out yesterday morning to see if we can get the new exterior wall completed. We started by taking down the panels I had tacked up for weather protection earlier, then added framing and cut out the openings for the other window and the door. We went with fairly wide trim for the windows. I had been shopping for cedar for the exterior trim but saw solid polymer trim boards and went with them instead. Not totally sure that was the correct decision but one of the things we decided when we bought this property was to try to keep maintenance down whenever we could, and this means no painting, rot or splitting and I went with it.

    Anyway, we got the door up and the windows in and most of the trim done, packed up and headed home. I posted a photo of the days progress on Instagram, fell asleep in the recliner and the checked the comments. One guy pointed out one minor flaw (and it's not the missing trim on the left window)......

    [​IMG]
    Yes. We put the door in upside down. Arrgh!

    Versus:
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    So, it really was an easy fix. I let Momio keep napping and drove out to the property. It's less than 20 minutes away and a nice drive so I really didn't mind. Anyway, I backed out the screws holding the frame to the studs, did the same for the long screws on the striker plate, pulled the door out and flipped it right side up then reversed the process. I also went ahead and installed the missing trim and scraped the stickers off the windows.

    My son and a buddy of his since the 2nd grade came out to camp and to meet another friend who had a drone with a video camera. Hopefully they will get me a copy of the flyover and, if so, I'll post it. Later they stumbled across something fairly interesting:


    [​IMG]

    To my eye it shares genetics to the buck I took out there last November. It was laying near the creek only a stone's throw from my stand (and apparently stunk pretty bad :) ).

    So, a door and another window, a lesson in humility and humor, and the earthly remains of a fine deer. All in all, a pretty good weekend.

    Thanks once again for reading!
     
  26. Dadio

    Dadio Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Found this in the dirt of the machine shed. Any ideas what it might be?
    [​IMG]
     
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  27. TX-1948

    TX-1948 Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Looks like the tooth off of a harrow....used to level and break up big clods of dirt....or it may be something else....lol...
     
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  28. Dadio

    Dadio Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Sorry about the orientation, but thought you might enjoy the audio anyway. If you listen carefully there are some gobblers cle to the beginning.
     
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  29. Dadio

    Dadio Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Lots of progress this week.

    Wednesday I talked to the heavy equipment guy and made arrangements to finish the grading of the old site. Rain was forecasted for the weekend and most of the following week, and I decided to take off Thursday and Friday to finish prepping and seeding the area. It was a good decision. The grading uncovered lots of rocks of all sizes, including several that must have been foundation stones for outbuildings in years past. I ended up making piles and then went around with the truck and picked them up as well as random pieces of wood, metal and a little plastic that needed to go. There were ALOT of stones. 150 lbs of fescue goes faster than you would think, but on Friday Momio was able to help me get it down. I had planned on covering with straw but just ran out of time before the rains hit on Friday. It is pretty level and the rain has been gentle so far so I may end up getting away with it.

    Also, a good friend came up to help with the workshop on Saturday and Sunday. We got a lot done, including some very tricky framing around a diagonal support that we incorporated into a wall, making and hanging a door between the workshop and the rest of the machine shed, starting a French cleat storage system ala Wranglerstar's new workshop build (which is worth a watch if you can get past the admittedly clickbait titles) and installing an "inlet" so I can essentially plug in a dedicated circuit in the shop. Oh. and we put up the first portion of the wall between the shop area and a small bedroom/living area in the back where we can stay overnight or whatever until the house is built.

    The inlet was something I had thought of back in the original "the place" cabin but didn't really get going till now. Basically I run a heavy duty extension cord from the outlet I had installed at the power pole and then plug the female end into a weatherproof inlet on the side of the building. That runs to two outlets through a length of romex that was left over from an electrical job I had done at my home years ago. This allows me to get power in the building without running a cord through a window or door and lets me have a way to power the shop through a generator safely (a dedicated circuit means now backloading) in case of a power outage.

    [​IMG]

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    Cool old wooden spoked wheel we ran across
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    The rain finally made it safe to burn some brush and scrap
    [​IMG]
     
  30. Dadio

    Dadio Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Weekly update:

    Compared to last weekend, this was quite a bit more low key, which my body appreciated! Saturday, Momio and I went to a local greenhouse and picked out some garden plants. It's a bit early and we didn't plant them but the week will allow us to slowly harden off the plants instead of sticking them straight from the ground. We didn't pick up all that we will plant but grabbed a few varieties of tomato, several herbs, lettuce greens, onion and potato sets, and two varieties of thornless blackberry. Only the blackberry got planted today. It will be joined by some more starts donated by our "city" neighbor who also has several acres not too from our farm. Neighbors are good! (in small doses). We made a mental inventory of several cattle panels that we will use to trellis the berries, cucumbers, squashes, tomatoes etc.

    One of the sheets of metal roofing was misaligned, and so part of the day on Saturday was spent backing out the screws and getting that fixed. It's been a rainy few weeks and I've been parking the wheelbarrow strategically to catch the drips. It's good to get that fixed for sure.

    While we were out there one of the "county neighbors" dropped by to chat. He volunteered to come by and disk up the area we will be using for a garden which should be a big help. His wife mentioned that two of the family who had this farm for over 150 years are still living and they are "thrilled" that we bought the place and are getting it back in shape as a homestead. That was very gratifying, as you never know how well you will be accepted by the natives.. Not that you couldn't do it without acceptance, but it does make some things less stressful.

    We also dropped by Momio's father's home to accept a tiller that had been her mother's. As some of you know, 2016 was a difficult year with Momio's mother failing in health, but not in spirit over 11 months after breaking a hip and then suffering a stroke. No one else in the family has a particular interest or is in a place to pick up the mother's gardening legacy and we are honored to be thought of in that regard. We also were gifted her mother's seed collection, including some heirloom seeds and handwritten labels and notes. We will be trying to grow some of those this year and will save some more for next year to even out the odds, even with lowered germination rates.

    I'll have to do some work on the tiller. It hadn't been started in two years and, even though in good overall shape, they didn't drain the gas so the carb is likely gummed up. I'll take off the sediment bowl and blow some air and carb cleaner through the chambers and see if I can't clean it up. If that's successful, I see no reason it shouldn't fire right up.

    Just a couple photos.
    This turned out to be the top of a cast iron pig or chicken waterer. I'll dig the rest out and hope it's in good shape! I like the look anyway.
    [​IMG]

    This isn't a photo of the farm, but I bet I've answered this question a dozen times the last week or so. The purple is hensbit, a cool little plant with square stems. Some fields are absolutely covered with this plant this time of year. It's much more vibrant than this picture illustrates.
    [​IMG]

    So, once again, thanks for reading. I appreciate very much your continued interest in this little saga! Next week another buddy will be visiting and we'll see what we can get done. Stay tuned!
     
  31. Dadio

    Dadio Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Took a walk in the woods on Sunday afternoon to replace the card in the game camera and see what wild edibles I could spot. A few photos, with apologies to my Instagram follower who will see some repeats.
    Violets
    [​IMG]

    Hensbit. Not really edibles so far as I know but pretty.
    [​IMG]
    One of my favorites, Spring Beauty. He whole plant is edible and it tastes a bit like a peppery watercress. I'll show the corm which is the underground bulb. Tatstes the same but has the texture of water chestnut.
    [​IMG]

    I've scraped off the thin skin of the corm to show you what it is like
    [​IMG]

    Creek is up with the recent rains
    [​IMG]
     
  32. Dadio

    Dadio Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Dug up the old waterer. There is a float under the center section that operates a simple rubber stopper in the intake pipe. Simple and ingenious.
    [​IMG]
     
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  33. Dadio

    Dadio Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Last couple weekends have been good ones. My buddy @royd came up from KY and helped me throw some fibered roof paint on the machine shed/workshop in an effort to improve the water proofedness (is that a word) of the old tin. I really need to just replace the roof but with my daughter's wedding and Uncle Sam deciding I need to be in a higher tax bracket, I'm unwilling to spend the cabbage at this time. Another buddy from work stopped by last Sunday to look for morels and, though we didn't find any, we spent almost three hours walking the land, and that's reward enough.

    This week a very generous neighbor ran his disk over our garden area. This is the same guy who brush hogged the west pasture, and he won't take any money for it. I'm going to have to figure out some way of repaying the favor anyway. Maybe some wood carving or something. I'll have to think a bit about it.

    Momio and I went out this morning and planted the first part of the garden. The disk did a great job of loosening up the soil down about six inches, and I decided to make long somewhat raised beds by pulling that loose earth from what will be foot paths. We got in red and Yukon Gold potatoes and red, yellow and white onions. In a week or two we'll add other plants to the garden in similar beds. We'll also call the local well guy to hook up the well pump to a frost free faucet so we can have some running water out there. I think right now we'll just have a direct connection with no pressure tank until we build the house. I don't want to have to worry about keeping a tank from freezing this fall if we aren't able to build as quickly as we would like to.

    Tomorrow is Easter, so it's church, family and then some tree planting in the afternoon. We've got a hundred loblolly/pitch pine hybrids to get in the ground, plus river birch and willow as part of the reclamation of the creek. And I've made a deal to have the east and west pastures hayed this year.

    So, some photos from the last couple weeks. Momio in the garden and the "hobbit oak" in the background. By the way, there are tons of volunteer rubarb plants all over what used to be the barnyard. Not my cup of tea, but my mother loves it, so we'll keep an eye out and harvest all she can handle.
    [​IMG]

    West Pasture
    [​IMG]

    The barn roof, which is better if not good. You can see the "saddle" I built to straddle the ridge where I could keep the bucket of paint. I only managed to paint one half of the roof. I also found out twice, and painfully, that Teflon has nothing on wet paint on a steel roof . I've got the bruises and scrapes to prove it.
    [​IMG]

    "Bacon fungus". Okay, that's not the official name but it should be.
    [​IMG]

    "Bloody Butcher" or, the PG version "Prairie Trillium"
    [​IMG]

    Wood sorrel. Beautiful and lemony.
    [​IMG]

    Don't know this one, but it's pretty as well.
    [​IMG]
     
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  34. TX-1948

    TX-1948 Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Thanks for sharing, I always enjoy watching your progress.
    Your "roof adventure" may result in admonishment I have received a couple of times: "Dad, what are you doing on the roof?"......and...."Dad, get down from there!" I am a bit more cautious these days, as I slowly come to accepting the fact that I just don't bounce as well as I use to....lol...
     
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  35. Dadio

    Dadio Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Workbench

    Although I toyed with the idea of going all out ala Wranglerstar's recent series of workbench build, I decided to go with something simpler and cheaper in time and money. I used the height of my table saw as the measurement for the height. Materials were 2X6's and 2X4's that were originally intended for the partition walls. I'll replace them later.

    First up was a ledger board. Since I was working by myself I put up a couple pieces of scrap to hold it in place while I attached it with pairs of 3" deck screws at each stud.
    [​IMG]
    I attached a smaller ledger against the wall to the left in the same manner, then fabricated two legs from built up 2X4's. I made the top from four 2x6's 8' long, choosing the straightest of my options. I had one small gap, and used a ratchet strap to squeeze them together as much as I could while screwing a series of 1X4's on the underside to hold them in place.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The top overhangs the frame in the front and at one side to allow room to attach clamps when needed. And one thing I did take from Wranglerstar was to cut an angle on the corner so I won't bump into it as often.
    [​IMG]

    I also added another French cleat shelf on the left side for some extra storage. I really like that system over peg boards. It's fun coming up with how to build something to hold a particular tool. I even made something to hang the clamp light on. I might cover the top with quarter or half inch plywood and then a few coats of poly just to make it a bot more uniform. I didn't run the 2X6's through the table saw to cut off the quarter round edges. I tried with a scrap of 2X4 and couldn't get it cut as straight or clean as I wanted so I didn't try to do it with the few good 2X6's I had available. I'm thinking of adding some angle gut pieces of scrap plywood to the legs and frame to cut down on side to side movement, even though it seems pretty solid at present.

    Later, I'll add another, lower workbench at a 90 degree angle to this one and against the left wall to house a drill press, router table and bench sander.

    Also, we only got a fraction of the trees planted last weekend that we planned on. It just took too long with the shovels we have, so we stepped up and purchased a "dibbler" made specifically for planting bare root evergreens. With some luck, we'll get the rest planted tomorrow afternoon.

    As always, thanks for reading!
     
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  36. jim.bell

    jim.bell Tracker

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    I look forward to your updates!
     
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  37. Falstaff

    Falstaff Scout

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    Those rosettes look like what you see a lot on old buildings. They look to be the decorative masonry washers used on the outside of the structure to shore up the building and strengthen it to withstand tremors and earthquakes. Also are used to attach interior features to the outside walls. They came is all different shapes and my guess may have been used on the barn. That's just a guess but having seen a lot of older structures in cities in my time, that's what it looks like to me. Here's a pic.

    3065_masonry-star-andirons-18th-century1-470x260.jpg


    Then again, I may be wrong here. I just relooked and noticed the grub screws, which leads me to believe that they went on some sort of machinery.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2017
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  38. Dadio

    Dadio Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Picked up Some random crap for the workshop the last couple days. Found an old sugar contact mold at a junk shop that has pretty hardwood and should work well for pencils etc.. Then at lunch I ran by Harbor Freight and grabbed a bench brush, some small paint brushes, four clamps, a stick of buffing compound, a brass and a steel brush and a cheap pair of scissors. And a roll of brown paper. Just odds and ends. And I doodled some ideas for the French cleat system while waiting for a meeting to start. Having lots of fun with this shop.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2017
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  39. Dadio

    Dadio Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Worked on the other part of the workbench while it absolutely poured rain yesterday. Pics are self explanatory.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Covered both sections with a layer of plywood.
    [​IMG]

    Needed a place for shop towels and craft paper
    [​IMG]

    Bought some more plants and vines but have to wait till it gets a bit drier. More for me than the plants.

    Thanks for reading!
     
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  40. Dadio

    Dadio Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    This weekend has been about getting insulation in the workshop and some gardening.

    I picked up a load of rigid insulation and some odds and ends from the home improvement place, then Saturday AM I headed out to the farm and started cutting them to size. They fit in the bays between the studs and are sealed up/held in place by a line of spray foam around the perimeter. I used this same technique for the cabin on "The Place" and I really like it. Ideally I'd save up and have it all professionally spray foamed but I'm thinking I'll eventually replace the tin on the sides and spray foam would just make it harder. Plus I'd have to do it again.
    [​IMG]


    I had grabbed a truckload of shredded cedar mulch and put it down in the path between the garden paths. Smells good and should last a good long time as well. We planned of repurposing some fencing that the previous owner had left, so I went around and gathered them up.

    Momio came out after a morning with the girls and a nap. We planted two seedless grape varieties, a raspberry, and a bunch of stuff for the garden. Cucumbers, golden squash, peppers, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, and some companion flowers. We also drove in t-posts and zip tied some cattle panels to support the grapes, berries and cucumbers. I had to cut a damaged section off one of the cattle panels with a sawzall (which is all I could think of that I had on hand) and then rounded the cut edges with a grinding stone on a Dremel. Those Dremels are sure handy little tools!

    Some funny things: When I dropped off the insulation on Friday I noticed something in the upstairs window of the little cabin. First I thought it was some sort of hawk, then realized it was a groundhog. As a friend put it, he must have been surveying his kingdom. I knew he had a burrow nearby but obviously has a way inside. Fixing that cabin up with be a huge undertaking, but I'm looking forward to it. Sorry about the odd photo, I must have had some setting turned on in my cell phone.
    [​IMG]


    This little guy flew down and kept me company while emptying the mulch! Too young to know to be afraid.
    [​IMG]


    Also, and no photo to illustrate it, I was amazed how quickly the birds of the area adapted to using the fencing I put up around the berries. It seemed like within just a minute or so after I drive it in the ground there was a bird sitting on the post. I'll bring a good camera and see if I can get a clear shot. I'm headed out again this afternoon and take some more photos. As always, thanks for reading!
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2017
  41. Dadio

    Dadio Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    [​IMG]
    A shot of the progress on the garden. Lots of mulch for now, but give it a couple weeks...
     
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  42. Dadio

    Dadio Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    I have the day off so I spent the morning out at the farm. It is so peaceful there, even with dodging the red wasps that have a nest somewhere in my machine shed. I don't live in a large town - far from it - but compared with the farm it might as well be NYC. The barking dogs, car noise, neighbors talking and sometimes yelling, sirens etc. just are so alien to how Momio and I want to live.

    In any case, I loaded up the lawn tractor in the back of the truck along with the weedeater and some miscellaneous gear and headed out. I like keeping at least one mowers width cut back from the lane so it doesn't seem quite so wild there. I think taking care of stuff like that also keeps the nosy out - they can tell someone is there pretty frequently and cares about it. And it just looks good to me. On the drive in I stopped the truck on the gravel road and watched some blackbirds flitting about in a neighbor's field. I don't know if he's letting it be fallow this year or (more likely) just hasn't got around to planting it, but the "weeds" are making a furious comeback and the wildlife is taking advantage. This neighbor no tills, which I like for the soil conservation part of it and hate for the drowning everything in round-up part of it, but it's not my land and he can do as he pleases. The other neighbor farms conventionally, plowing and disking and turning the dark earth over each fall and spring.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    I brought the Nikon and the 300 mm lens out just to capture some bird photos. Like I said, the barn swallows wasted no time in claiming the cattle panel fencing as their own. I enjoy watching their aerial acrobatics across the fields. If we lived there I'd probably have more problems with them living in that machine shed but there's nothing in there that a little bird crap really harms, and I suspect they eat a whole bunch of insects that I like even less. If only they would eat the wasps...
    [​IMG]


    The wasps have been more annoyance than anything. They've got a nest somewhere near my workshop but I've looked and can't find it, which may mean they are under my floor or somewhere in the eaves. I've probably killed fifty of them with wasp spray, carb cleaner, squashing them in the windows and stomping them when they land on the grass but I'm not making a dent. They haven't been particularly aggressive, and I've not yet been stung, but I have been dive bombed on my head more than once, a quick "pop" on my hat or head, and I think that is their way of saying you're too close. I looked for wasp traps online and made one from a two-liter bottle, using the same cut-off the top and invert it back into the body technique of all those traps, and I baited it with some orange juice that had gone off along with some sugar and vinegar. If I had beer I'd of used it. And I also set out a meat baited trap with some crushed diazanon hoping that they would take that back to the nest and share. We'll see if any of that is effective or if I can make it to first frost without being stung. It's been years, maybe decades, since I have had a wasp sting and I'm not anxious to relive that. If I get stung then it will be an all out middle of the night war.

    I also planted a hazelnut tree that a friend of my mother's gave me. I put it at the edge of the area where the natural gas line easement begins as a marker for where my plantings on that part of the property should end. They have a 30' easement on either side of the actual pipe where they can at will dig up anything, so I'll just keep my trees and vines out of there. It's not too much of an annoyance. I want the hazel as much for the pruning as I do for the nuts. Actually, I can take or leave the nuts, but I am enthralled by the British country crafts like hurdle making and that sort of thing and hazel seems to be the wood of choice. Hazels grow wild he in Missouri although I've no memory of seeing any. That doesn't really mean anything as there are lots of plants and trees and even animals that I don't see or recognize when in the woods.

    Took some garden photos while I was there. It's coming along. The plants seem to have come out of the shock of planting them except for the golden squash and the pumpkins. Those two kinds of plants were pretty stressed when we put them in and while not dead yet are not looking a spry as the sweet potatoes. The onions that we planted look particularly good.
    [​IMG]

    Snapped a lucky shot of a couple passing geese.
    [​IMG]

    Thanks for reading.
     
  43. dub

    dub Supporter Supporter

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    Thanks for the updates. Love checking this thread.
     
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  44. Dadio

    Dadio Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    This week was mostly about gardening, although I did get a few coats of poly on the workbench and a wood vice (mostly) installed

    I dropped by on my way home from work three times this week to add another coat of poly to the workbench top. Another thing I did in the interest of protecting the surface was to screw a foot long piece of 2X10 to the top. That gives me a place to pound or drill without permanently damaging the top. I also drilled a one inch hole in that board so that when you need to drift a pin out or something there is good support and yet a void to let the pin come out. I added the wood vice and made the wood jaws by cutting down a piece of scrap walnut lumber. That was an adventure for my underpowered table saw but it managed to get done and a vice is a handy thing to have in a shop. I need a big machinist vice when I can afford a decent one.

    We've jumped into this gardening thing with both feet. We planted a few more plants - squash and more sweet potatoes and some replacement tomatoes. We added some cattle panels for the tomato supports. A tunnel of chicken wire to cover the bean plants from the random deer. A garlic and red pepper concoction was sprayed on everything else - I think they may have nibbled on a sweet potato plant or two already. The mammoth sunflowers and beans are coming up, the potatoes are getting bigger by the day, and all else looks pretty good. We planted garlic. I don't know if we mentioned this but we also planted asparagus.

    So, more photos:
    There are several dozen (no exaggeration) rhubarb plants in what was the barnyard. I'm not a fan, but we picked some to try anyway.
    [​IMG]

    Lots of wildlife in addition to the pesky woodchuck. This is a meadowlark - there are several on the fields:
    [​IMG]

    Tree sparrow (I think)
    [​IMG]

    Potato plants are rocking along
    [​IMG]

    And, for fun yesterday I carved this. Maybe he will be the mascot of the homestead....
    [​IMG]
     
  45. Robert Highhawk

    Robert Highhawk Scout

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    Looks like a great place to live!!
     
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  46. hunter63

    hunter63 In Memorium

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    Your shop is too neat....you need more "stuff".....LOL
    Just when thru "The rights of spring".....
    Open up cabin ...wintered well, no break-ibs or broken pipes....just dead beetles.
    Start equipment......Tractor...cranked right up, old 4 wheeler started with some TL and new battery, newer 4 wheeler, bad starter....gonna get it back this week.

    Having a people with tire weather checking.....boat trailer, flat (replaced and mounted spare)
    Dump trailer tires starting the check....Think I going to sell it...haven't used it in a while....

    Grass needed mowing weed whacking complete.
    Dead tree out of trails....love the bucket on the tractor....
    Had to rebuild one stair case.......

    I didn't get a turkey but my partner got one....

    Was a great 3 weeks...temps from 70 to snow for a day........some looked funny on crab apple trees.
    [​IMG]
    Yes was good to be back....at Our Place.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2017
  47. Dadio

    Dadio Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    @hunter63 More stuff is on the menu. I took next week (not this week) off and will be trying to move my current garage based shop to the new workshop. So a drill press and scroll saw will get mounted, and random hand tools and other equipment moved. Looking forward to getting my garage back.

    I'm jealous of that tractor. My tractor dreams keep getting put off. Part of me wants to just go down to the local dealer and sign a few years away.
     
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  48. hunter63

    hunter63 In Memorium

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    I did the "sign a few years away" trip...2005.
    Fooled around looking for a deal on a old tractor...most all I found were more to play with than do any actual work.
    Finally just said...I getting older..I want a tractor...was paid for in 3 years.
    The older you get...the faster the time goes...

    After about burning down a 4 wheeler w/ pull behind mower, trailer....and loading by hand......enough.
    My little roads were muddy again... on the hills this...so was able to get around.

    Best move I ever made.
     
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  49. Dadio

    Dadio Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    This is my first stay at home vacation and, while it wasn't really relaxing it was good getting some stuff done. I moved my drill press to the workshop and replaced my bench sander (a truly useful piece of equipment), finished the partition wall between the workshop and the rest of the machine shed, and framed out the rest of the interior wall separating the workshop proper from another room we will use as a home base or deer camp until we are able to build the house. [​IMG]

    House building is on hold till we sell another property we own. While I'm anxious to get started just the fact that this property is close to home takes a lot of the pressure off us. We've got lots of other stuff going on now - my daughter is getting married in a few weeks and our parents take some of our time and attention, plus our jobs, etc. so we're plenty busy as is.

    There were lots of large stones scattered around after taking down some buildings, and I've always loved the look of stone walls so I took some time playing mason near the garden.
    [​IMG]

    And this is why I used a hoe to turn over the stones. Not so much ring snakes like that but for copper heads and black widows.
    [​IMG]
    Put some trim around the exterior workshop wall. Makes a big difference. I will trim out the top when I have some help on hand. I'll need to snap a chalk line to get a clean and level cut on the metal at the top. The plan is to put a porch out front so there will eventually be a ledger board up there.
    [​IMG]
    What else? knocked down some old, rotting fence and burned it along with some other odds and ends of lumber. Some of the lumber around the place is hardwood and I'm able to salvage that for other projects. I used some to make wood jaws for the little wood working vice. I also put together a rack to hold lumber and larger scraps - it's always useful to have a few 2X4's, plywood, etc. around the place.
    [​IMG]

    I used leftover OSB subflooring to mount the drill press and sander so that if I need that part of the workbench I can just lift them off. I figure if that isn't stable enough during use I can always use a clamp for some extra stability. Also added some more French cleats and various tool holders. Love that organization system.
    [​IMG]

    The garden is going great. The onions and potatoes are doing particularly well, but everything that survived the planting and didn't get eaten by wildlife looks great. I've been spraying the more vulnerable plants with a garlic and red pepper spray to make it less likely to be on the menu. Also using Garrett Juice and some kelp spray as a foliar feed. Picked a few potato beetles off the potatoes. Ate a raspberry - it was supposed to be a golden raspberry but the fruit is definitely red. Tastes great anyway. Pruned the grapes back to the two healthiest branches, which was hard to do but apparently will be a help long term.

    Momio and I went around and picked rocks and chunks of wood from the area we planted in grass seed, and we used a sawzall to cut stumps and a few random pieces of metal rods that were unearthed during the demolition. I figure I'll still have a few pulse raising events the first time I mow it for good but hopefully nothing that will break a spindle or bend a shaft of the mower.

    Doesn't sound like much, but I feel I made some good progress. Thanks for reading!
     
  50. Dadio

    Dadio Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    It's been a few weeks since I made an update. We've been working on my daughter's wedding and am happy to say she got hitched yesterday! Until you go through that process it's hard to have a good idea for the logistics and stress that are associated with it, but they are now on their honeymoon and we are close to being done with the aftermath.

    In any case, I've only made some minor improvements to the farm. Momio wanted a picnic table and so I got some plans on the Net and grabbed some lumber over my lunch break and then put it together on my way back from work that evening. the plans had the seat a bit low and I didn't like the diagonal bracing they used but that was easily remedied. I also made it a couple feet longer than in the plans because someone had come in a wiped the lumber yard out of useable 8' long boards when I got there, so I used 10' boards instead. That made the seats pretty bouncy in the middle so I used vertical 2X6's snug against the bottom of the seats. It both took the bounce out and stiffened up the whole table from lateral movement. It's amazing the difference that picnic table is to just the look and utility of the place. Not sure how to describe it but it gave us another step towards really being "ours."

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    My son came out to help us one weekend and he followed us in the lawn tractor while Momio and I walked methodically up and down the area we had seeded for one last shot at getting rid of rocks and roots that would mess up the mowing. I've replaced enough spindles on mower decks and, while it's not a hard or even really expensive job it does put your mower out of commission until you fix it and is just a serious pain. So, no issues and a nice looking lawn.

    I got the top piece of trim installed on the front of the workshop area. I had to hand cut the tin with a pair of shears, and I backed the truck up right to the building so I could stand in the bed instead of trying to do it on a ladder. Another pain in the butt step but it's done and the front both looks better and is that much more weather tight.

    Speaking of weather, it's been fairly brutal lately with both heat and humidity, so I try to do as much as I can early or late in the day. The garden is going well and we're keeping the weeds at bay with a lot of straw and pulling weeds. Ate our first squashes the other night when we had some friends over who were helping out on the wedding. Nothing is much better than fresh, home grown produce. We've got several small cukes and tomatoes and more squash on the way, and some of the bean plants are beginning to flower. We hilled the potatoes with thick straw and hope that works. The potatoes are more of an experiment than something we will rely on and we're learning as we go.
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    TJC44, Guy, TX-1948 and 2 others like this.

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