Monday, July 30, 2012

Summer projects

I've been meaning to share some pictures of what I have been working on here lately.  This weather is so miserable hot.  97-98-95-97-98 day after day after day.  I think I have finally experienced a little of the 1930s and 1950s droughts my Great and Grandparents went through. Here is what the crop of haygrazer looks like.  Big waste of time:

The farm I bought just down the road from us has CRP grass on it that the contract is expiring this year.  I did not try to re-enroll it because I want to farm it instead of farming the government program.  With the drought, I have to wonder if it was the right decision.  It is a 10 year contract so you have to be sure you want to do it.  Surely it will rain before 2023?  Anyway I saved 5 acres of grass for a small "grass trap" pasture for cattle.  If we want to keep a few calves over there for the kids or if I have some sick ones I am watching, they will do better having a little room to run around.  I fenced in the 5 acres of grass with barbed wire.  Hot work.  It is all done except I need to staple the wire to the cedar posts.  I try to work on stuff like that in the morning when it is cool.  I also have to hang a couple gates.  Also a cool morning project.

And lastly here the past day I have been building a new clothesline for us.  When the weather is nice, we dry a lot of our clothes out on the line.  It seems such a shame to me to heat air with electricity just to blow it all outside!  Our old line was just a mess I put up when I first moved out here between a couple old electric poles.  One pole is about rotted out and falling over.  Sometimes we send the kids out to take the laundry down and I was getting concerned they might pull on the line hard enough it would finish pulling it over.

I welded up some heavy pipe and put it DEEP in the ground.  Hopefully it will survive a nuclear blast, or at least our west TX winds.  Now to wait for the concrete to set up and I will string some new wires.

 Have I mentioned how glad I am to have a NEW WELDER? It was so handy when I was working on the barb wire fence.  I had to trim some trees and I just fire up the welder, plug in my granddad's electric chain saw.  No hard to start, stinky, noisy, hot, heavy two stroke piece of junk chain saws!  I do not even want a gas chainsaw on the place now.  Also I had to cut some pipe with the cut off saw and did the same thing.

Next week we are going to the mountains with the Crum Outfitters and Guided Packing Trip Co. Inc. LLC.  I will be so ready to be where it is cool!  Poor Fenton and Amanda will miss out this year.  He is such a pill to travel with she thought it would be better to stay home.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Don't get a cheap camera

When we were on our honeymoon all those eons ago, I dropped Amanda's good camera in the Atlantic.  It died an instant painless death.  When we got home we shopped around and bought a little Fuji point and shoot that was on clearance.  Now looking back I know why they were discontinuing this particular model.  Well believe it or not we have stuck with it for all these eons of time.  My biggest gripe is I cannot get a good picture inside.  Outside it does great.  I don't have to mess with settings or anything.  But inside it just cannot take a good picture.  I always get stuff like this:

They are always blurry.  I have changed settings until I am blue in the face.  If I turn on the flash, the blurriness goes away, but then everything looks washed out.  Mikali just woke up from a nap.....

("I am so cute and I know it.")
I hate washed out over "flashed" pictures.  They look so, blech. Oh well, I wanted to share this picture of Daniel, he really likes these tall robot socks.  At four years old he doesn't understand why we can't let him go in public like this:
Well it looks like my little intermittent highlighter is back.  I don't know what causes that. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

New to me tractor

I'm not sure who all knows but I found a replacement for the Green Lemon.  I started shopping around a little when the clutch went out last spring, and started shopping a little harder when the rear-end breakdown happened.  About a month ago made a deal on this newer (1992 year) tractor.  Much, much, much, much nicer than the old green one.  Smoother, quieter, easier to drive, better a/c, better hydraulics, more efficient, not nearly as worn out.  When I say more efficient, I mean it will burn 30% less fuel doing the same work.  With diesel over $3 a gallon I figure that is $4-5,000 saved per year in fuel!  Now what to do with the old one???  I have spent so much on it, I can't sell it for what it would bring, yet I don't really need it sitting around depreciating.  I'm thinking about selling tickets and taking it up to the Caprock Escarpment, putting it in gear and jumping out.  Surely I could sell 10,000 tickets for like $2?  Wouldn't you want to watch something like that?  Bwahh ha ha ha ha!  If I could sell it for $20,000 I would be happy!

Fenton has started a new thing the past few days.  He will start out making an "Ahhhhhhhhhhh" sound then will either use his hands or open and shut his mouth to say, "Ahhhhhhhhh bahhhh bahhhh bahhhh bahhhh"  It is funny when he is mad because it sounds very much like he is chewing us out for being such rotten parents.