Monday, January 30, 2012


Unfortunately Martha, Janice's mom, had some health issues and Janice along with my oldest son went down to Lodi to be with her and help care for Emil (her dad). The last word I got were that things are looking up for Martha, thank the Lord. Anyway this puts me back into bachelor mode.
I got out the Guitar and lesson plan and have been trying to pick up on this instrument again. The last time I worked on the guitar, I was doing better when Janice went to Washington, but that time I ended up breaking my hand, which by the way, I wouldn't advise. I have the animals here to care for which helps, and is the reason I didn't go down with her. But I can sure tell the animals miss her being around, probably almost as much as I do. Dancer is off her feed a little, the goats are bleating in protest, and Janice's cat, Taffy, has been just mopping around. When I was younger or when Janice is around now, I don't have a problem finding things I want to do, though this becomes tougher when you start to age. Things just aren't quite as pleasant when someone you've spent so many years with is away, even when I know it's just temporary. I have lots of stuff I could do , mind you, but the motivation just isn't there. I have practiced my guitar (I suck at it), and I did go out in the shop and whip together a boot jack, yesterday.
  That was self survival, I couldn't get my mucks off any other way. I was determined I was not going to spend the night in my mucks!
Kim, Dancer's last owner asked to come up today, and of course she is welcome. I think Dancer will still retain the bond they had, and it would be good for her.
 Well Kim and her friend Samantha have come and gone. Dancer remembered Kim but was certainly missing Janice.
Dancer came over to me for some loves, maybe the meeting might have been a little confusing for Dancer. Kim bailed off when Dancer headed out of her stall.
I have tried to spread my animal loven around, but it is still not the same.

 I suppose this is just to say I dislike bachelor mode after being married to Janice going on 42 years.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


I just finished a project I purchased months ago.

To see the whole thing you can go to our hobbies site and check it out. What a fun pass time for cold winter days. Great for kids old enough to use a needle. Will really help the time pass.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Scroll Saw Basket

I finally finished the scroll saw basket that I have been working on for a while. I am pleased with the way it turned out.

This project has been a challenge for me but I really have enjoyed doing it. I have other projects in mind to do now but not sure which one I want to work on next. If you go to our hobbies site, you can see the pieces as I was working on them.

Don and I are going to try to get the cabinets in the basement done so we can both work down there. I would like to start working on my tole painting again as well. 

Saturday, January 21, 2012


Wow, I really made good progress with Flash today. He even wanted to groom me in return, needless to say I was ecstatic. He would have stood all day letting me just curry and scratch him. This was a really great bonding day. That was this morning, and tonight when we did the chores he was all over wanting loves and petting, I was scratching him under and to the rear of his left front leg and I honestly felt like he wanted to roll over like a puppy for more scratches. So very cool!

Hurricane weather

That was quite the storm that blew through last week or so. Winds up to 110/114 miles per hour. We are so fortunate to be tucked in beside the mountain, most of it blew past us. Although our poor greenhouse was not quite so lucky. It blew several of the panels out and damaged 3 or 4 of the vents. Literally blew them apart. We are going to have a lot of repair to do before we can start using the greenhouse this spring. Hope the weather permits. I guess that is what we get for not finishing the caulking in the panels and tying down the vents with some sort of latches  when we had the chance.
It is suppose to rain and storm off and on all week. I wonder of it will clear up enough to allow us to fix the greenhouse before the planting season is upon us. I will need to start my tomato seed and other plants soon. Next month if possible. I really enjoyed my veges last year. Hope this season is as blessed as last year. Lots of planning to do for the gardens.
I will try to keep up with my posts as I progress in my gardens this year. We have lots of plans for some new garden beds, now if the weather will cooperate Don can do the digging that needs to be done. Then we can get started the building the new beds.
Stay tuned

Monday, January 16, 2012


We got snow yesterday, but look what I woke up to this morning.

It must have really come down during the night. The weather channel said to expect lots of snow, but we usually don't get this much the first couple of snow.

We must have gotten 4 inches of snow last night. This should really help out with the water supply on the mountain. I was starting to get a little worried because we weren't getting the rain we usually have this time of year.

Below you can almost see the icycles on the barn roof. I am so glad we have shelters for our animals. They would not have liked being out in this last night. The horses have a 3 sided stall, but Dancer doesn't like being in an enclosed area. Appariently something happened to her with a previous owner that soured her to enclosed stalls. At least they have the stall.

It really is beautiful to look at. I am sure glad that it doesn't last very long and I don't have to shovel it. Had enough of the shoveling when we lived in Idaho.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Snow Day

Today is the first snow day. It is January 15, 2012 and a very clear, crisp day

It really is beautiful here,

We are very fortunate to have such a lovely place to live.

I must say that the Lord has truly blessed us with life.

We really enjoy being here, even if it does get really cold at times. The summer's aren't as hot as most places.

Our blessing go out to all of our friends and family.

Saturday, January 14, 2012


Gardening is enjoyable way of relaxing and unwinding from a busy, hectic or stressful day. When you pull weeds one can imaging the weed the stress in ones life and when you pull it out it removes the stress from you. At least that is what I have found. I really enjoy working in the dirt, digging and planting. I can't even go outside in my nice clothes and stay clean. If I see a weed, I pull it. Gardening doesn't have to stop in the winter time.


We finally pulled our last tomato plant up that was in the greenhouse, yes I said tomato plant. This was a plant that had been planted last spring and has continued producing Tomatoes all summer, fall, and into the winter. The plant was an "Early Girl", and a truly prolific plant.
Our Tomatoes were wonderful this year, we had enough to can seventeen quarts of vegetable juice cocktail. We just got the last of the 2011 fruit on January 14, 2012. Oh there were seven, but I couldn't resist and had to eat one. Currently Janice has carrots, lettuce, and radishes, and sugar peas planted in the greenhouse. The carrots and peas have broken ground, but the mice are starting to eat the tops off of the peas. 


The problem was how do I move my trailer around without having to hook up to my pickup all the time. I need a trailer ball attached in some way to my tractor, this makes the likeliest choice.. After looking around I found parts for an old bolt on trailer hitch, which will do nicely for holding the ball, already has the correct size hole in one end.
I have decided to make the trailer moving easier by mounting the ball to the loader buck on the front of the tractor, thus I will be able to see where the trailer is going all the time. OK, I have the ball attached to a steel flat bar about a foot and a half long by about five eights inch thick, by about two inches wide, how am I going to attach this to my tractor's loader bucket? What ever I come up with is going to have to be strong enough to handle at least a small load.
The flat bar will lay flat in the bottom of the bucket, OK, I need some measurements. The front cutting edge of my bucket is set about one eighth inch low for about 4 inches, along the front edge of the bucket, that shouldn't be a major problem. The underside of the bucket has the cutting edge lower than the main body of the bucket by about the same one eighth inch. If I can put three pieces of steel bar together in a sandwich, leaving about one half inch between the top bar holding the trailer ball, and the bottom bar, OK this means that if I place a piece of flat bar between the top and bottom with enough meat to hold the two when connected, thus being the meat in the sandwich.
The bottom bar does not need to be as long as the top or it will be in the way of the  ball installation. So the top bar is about eighteen inches, the bottom bar should be roughly one foot, with the half inch by four inch middle piece in between. The picture below is some of the raw scrap metal I used for the bottom and middle peices.
 Now how do I connect all of this together with the strength I need to attach it to the bucket of the tractor. I could drill and bolt them together. I really don't like that method as there will be too many bolt heads sticking out. I think I should weld these pieces.
OK, I will grind the edges of all the pieces and weld beads two to each side of the three pieces, will this be enough? I think to ensure the strength I will drill two holes in the top bar and two in the bottom bar and weld these to the middle piece, that should work,
Now, how is this unit going to be held in place? It's already decided to have a flat bar on top and a flat bar on bottom of the bottom edge of the loader bucket with another piece used as a spacer  to hold the needed distance, so how should this be fastened in place? Two set screws, majorly large set screws, yep that should work. OK two more holes. Looking at the top bar, there are already a few holes in this bar. So more will need to be drilled, the location of one hole is right for one of the set screws, except that the hole is already too big. OK I'll just weld a nut over that hole and tap out the other hole for the set screws.

OK I think this is going to work, now all I have to do is drill, tap, weld etc, we'll see how this comes out.
Well this looks as thought it will work so far, just to finish taping the last hole and getting set bolts (5/8) in both holes, and maybe a little paint. Then the big test.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

New Calf Pen

We got the walls up on the calf pen today. Most of it is done, all we have to do is put the rolled roofing on and paint when the weather permits. This little pen started out to be the pheasant pen but when the raccoon got the pheasant it stopped the work.

Now that we are getting a calf on Monday we needed to get it finished. This has been a project in process for a while and am glad that it is about done. Seems that there is always something that needs building or repairing and can't seem to always find the time to do the necessities.

This winter has been so mild that we have been able to finish up projects that we got started last summer. I am really enjoying the weather but hope it will rain and turn winter soon as I am afraid the fruit trees will start growing before their time. We also need the water. Living up here on the mountain, we depend on the water in the crags and cracks of the rocks from the rain. Our pond is full right now but drains quickly down the hill.

Will post some pictures of the new pen and calf when it gets here. Not looking forward to the extra work but enjoy the animals and they are so cute when so small.

Until next time. Hope all have a great evening.


Just to let folks know what is going on here lately, we just finished putting a new roof on the woodshed. During the process we extended it two feet on either side. This should add an area where we can stack wood in the rounds to start drying. 
 I will try to get some pictures up of the completed woodshed roof. Reminder to self take progress pictures. The wood shed is completed except for paint, and flashing on the corners.
It is truly amazing how satisfying completing another project is, especially when this means more DRY firewood. Trying to burn wet wood all the time is really a pain in the tush.

The picture below is how the roof looked before we got the new roof on. Kinda ugly huh.

Now all we have to do is get the cornor flashings on and paint. Can't wait to see what it looks like then. Keep tuned for more pic's.

Saturday, January 7, 2012


Well what to say, Flash is starting to adjust to our place and getting easier to catch. Just before Christmas a friend and her sister came up and rode Dancer and Flash for two hours and raved how good they were, and how much they enjoyed the ride. Dancer was said to have a smoother gait than Flash but both were stated to be very good horses.

While Jon was here over Christmas he made it very clear he would like to go for a ride. We chose the synthetic saddle that we got with Flash and proceeded to saddle Flash and Dancer. Janice mounted Dancer and Jon mounted Flash and all went well as they walked down the road.

This lasted about 1/2 mile when Flash decided, for some reason, to buck Jon off. According to Jon he was not ready for Flash to buck or he wouldn't have been bucked off. in other words the buck was not big or exaggerated. Jon remounted and they continued about another hundred yards, and Flash again bucked Jon off.

This time Jon said Flash went into rodeo mode full on, and bucked and kicked like, well he was in a rodeo. After ridding himself of Jon, Flash ran up to where Janice and Dancer were and Janice was able to catch Flash's lead rope. Jon like a true horsemen remounted Flash, who started getting ready to buck again when Jon calmed Flash down and Jon decided to dismount and lead Flash home on foot.

I felt really badly about Jon being bucked off but also proud of Jon for remounting those times. After Jon had gone home, I decided to start cleaning the saddles. During this procedure I removed all the straps, cinch, etc, and learned that who ever had put the front and rear cinch on this saddle cared more for looks than safety of rider or comfort of the horse had installed the cinch straps with knots inside toward the horses side, thus it couldn't help but irritate the horses sides. It also appeared that the saddle may have been pinching Flash full length on both sides of the saddle about half way between the center line and the bottom of the saddle skirt.

I suppose the moral of this post would be to be aware of anything on a saddle that may irritate your horse, otherwise it could ruin your ride,  as well as possible injury to your body.

We just bought another saddle for Flash, cheaply built, but looks nice, and I think it will be comfortable for Flash and the rider.