Thursday, April 21, 2016

Took some time off for spring break, and some other stuff around the homestead part two

    Picking up where I left off from the last post. Saturday, I had the boys break out their Hennessy Hammocks to let them air out and also to give them some more time to hone their skills in setting them up. I am really proud of them both wanting to learn stuff and I am very confident on where they are at with their knowledge at 9 and 10 years old, hell it's more that some grown men. Once the cool mornings are over, we may all, including JUGM and yes she has one too, camp out in our woods and make our own tent city. I haven't taught them the tricks to 4 season camping in these hammock tents yet.

NW hooking to the tree

NW testing his set-up

NW and ND all set-up and relaxing

    Earlier that day and we had made our way to town and found some of these. I love these peppers and since I have so much room left, why not buy a four pack. They will go good with the other peppers when I pickle Okra.


     Sunday, we slept in and had a day to ourselves before we go our separate ways on Monday. Later that day, we decided to do some burgers and I wanted to make me a Mushroom and Swiss burger. For some reason the thought popped in my head, "you know, why not cook the mushrooms on the rocket stove". It's been over 2 years since I have used it and I have a enormous supply of fuel for it with all the trees on the property.

My $38.70 Rocket Stove that I made, not bought off Amazon.com
Here is the link to my post building it.

Sticks loaded up

Pine Cones ready to light and drop in

getting started

video

nice fast flame coming out before all the smoke died off


video




     After dinner we sat around the porch and wait for the Space Station to fly over at 2121 this past Sunday. Prior to the viewing, caught a great shot of the moon and Jupiter to the left.


    Well that's enough for tonight. I plan do do a post on my daily driver, my 1997 Jeep Cherokee Sport with 213508 miles on it. It makes a daily trip of 142 miles 5 days a week. More to follow. 

    Senior

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Took some time off for spring break, and some other stuff around the homestead part one.......

     Since I have built up some leave at work, I decided to take some time off from work and spend with the family. It started the Friday before their last baseball game as I had a Dermatology appointment to go to, good news, follow up in 1 year. Well Sunday, we proceeded down to the sunshine state for some R&R. It was around 1300 when we got down there so we payed a visit to the grandparents then went to the west side and saw some close friends, pretty much family and had a nice visit with them. Then we went to Seafood Express off Main street by the airport and had ate some awesome food. The wife and I had Fried shrimp and Gator tail, while the kids had a fish sandwich and baby shrimp.






     As we retired to our room for the night, the thought of sugar glazed bliss filled our minds all night. So for all you in Jacksonville, I think you know where we were going for breakfast. Come'on Stephen, Duke, and DFW, chime in and give your reviews. Krispy Kreme, Dunking Donuts, you have nothing on a little donut shop that has been locally owned for over 60 years.


       JUGM, her dad, and sister had an appointment to go to,so the boys and I went and did a few things. Stopped by Stephen's business and he was closed so I guess I will see him another time, didn't want to bother him at home. We payed a visit to Buchanan Sign and Flag and Alternative Pest Control, we proceeded over to pick up their mom and have a final visit with Grand-paw and their Aunt before hitting the road to come back to SC.

     Later that Monday, we got back and tended to things around the house. We still have items to plant in the garden and took to it as a family. I continued to till up the garden to keep things loose as we plant stuff. Can't do this with a garden weasel in "raised garden" beds.

video

    On Tuesday, my neighbor stopped by and asked me if I wanted some more fill dirt for my range. Of course I said yes. Well NW and I rode over with him and took a look at the pile. I told him I will get a hold of mutual neighbor who did some work for him and have it hauled over in his dump truck.


    Wednesday, after switching attachments out on the tractor, we had some Blue lake bush green beans and some Ford hooks Lima beans to put in the ground. Notice the price of the seeds, .50 cents. Folks, go find a local farm and feed store and quit paying those high prices for the crap you get in Walmart with the Burpee and other brands of seeds. You are just wasting your money. Those 50 cents worth planted a row of green beans 80' long and 6" separation with seeds still left in the bag for the fall garden. The Lima's ended up planted the entire row.




    On Thursday, went to the farm and feed store and looked to see what they got it stock and JUGM got a 8 pack of bush cucumber plants, and some Crooked Squash plants  to put in the garden.
    

    
       Friday, I went back to work for a day and after calling JUGM letting her know I was on the way, she cooked up a favorite that both of us have enjoyed back to the days that we were dating and myself standing watch on the quarter deck. If many Navy people would know, the Navy Exchange would have a mobile canteen in Mayport driving the piers selling food during all hours of the day and night. Well that item that we love are chicken gizzards. Well let's just say she sent me a text after I called her letting me know what was for dinner, I was a happy husband.What? you have a problem with a white guy eating gizzards? Get over it!!!!!


     Saturday, we all did some more work around the house but around 1400, we called it a day and I strung my Eagles Next Outfitters double nest hammock between a couple of trees. I woke up several times, once with a bird landing on the edge, which was taught from the position I was laying in the hammock. The mocking bird landed and actually shook the hammock and if I had my phone out and could have taken a pic, I would have. I lift my hand and he flew away. I don't make anything up like others do. When you say you go on a camping trip, post a picture of what you did instead of a links to Amazon.com steering people to buy stuff so you can line your pockets. BTW, the other wake-ups were from me snoring.

These are my real legs and shoes. No file photo from Amazon.com. I also didn't go to Wendy's either for dinner during a group camping trip.........
     JUGM did a post this morning about "Jack", our crazy cat. Yes, he is part Siamese and mutt-cat and a complete laughing trip. This cat is literally crazy. She had mentioned that he thought the garden hose was a black snake, well after we laughed so hard with him jumping so high in the air after we moved the hose in the garden, I pulled the phone out to get him to do it again, although what I caught was nowhere near as high as he jumped when we started laughing.


video


    It seems that Blogger is slow tonight about loading stuff up, so I will do part two in a day or so. I do have to get up in the morning and go to work, I do have to pay for the deadbeat democrats that don't want to work. Until then, keep you sights on target.

Senior



    



Saturday, April 9, 2016

Been a long day

    I had plans to do a decent post today, but I started my day in a sunny cold wind as the boys had a game this morning bright and early with getting them there at 0815 this morning.






    The game was over at 1030 and the guys won 10-6 with both reaching base on hits.



After being in the wind all day, I piddled around with some reloads and prepping some of that good ole Lake City 5.56 brass. I think you all know what it feels like to hang out in a 20-30 mph winds in the cold and get wind burn. I hate it. I think I may start a 2 part review tomorrow on the holsters I use. Enjoy your evening folks.

Senior

Monday, April 4, 2016

Corn, Corn, and more corn, Spring garden has been started. I feel like I want to go on a rant.

As the title says. Last spring we planted 15 rows of sweet corn in the garden and had pretty good success with it, even dealing with "Drought like conditions here in SC". We ended up harvesting over 300 ears of corn that we are still eating off of. We took the majority of it and blanched it and stuck it in the freezer. Last year, we planted it farther apart than we did this year. I found a good document from Clemson University to go off of and this year and now we have the same, 15 rows, but the seeds are spaced < 6 inches apart. So figure this, 15 rows of Silver King corn seed planted per row with a row length of 80 feet. Do the math, yes I will be in corn up to my ears, literally.


     Since I am following Clemson's advice, I have about 10 days til I can start planting other goodies in the garden. If you saw on JUGM's blog, last Saturday she went to the Future Farmers of America sale at the local county farmers market and bought a bunch of stuff for around $10.00. Now, I like fresh JalapeƱo pepper's when we cook Mexican dishes, so I will try it this year, along with some hot peppers for my pickled Okra I plan to do. The rest of the garden I have been prepping in anticipation of us planting. I have been using the 5 foot PTO tiller on the tractor and have been turning the dirt over with fertilizer and lime to get it ready.

 
Corn in the back, 2 rows of sweet onions in the front.



      As I was tilling up the middle section, I found two interesting things. First is:

So what tracks do we have here?

        While I was tilling, notice the edge of the tractor tire in the picture, I planted the corn on March 25th, and on April 3rd, we have this, less than 10 days and it's coming up. I guess my chicken crap/sand plan worked well.

Corn stalk coming up
      Tonight, I left early from the boy's baseball practice to get home, turn the dirt over some more with the tiller and also turned the sprinklers on the corn.





      This weekend will be a busy weekend with getting seed as we are getting all the seed in hand for us to plant this weekend.

    Now for my Rant.........

    It was brought to my attention from a close friend in Florida that I have struck a nerve with a former group member here in SC with his comments on his 4th or 5th website in as many years, Yes 4th or 5th website in as many years.  It's pretty obvious that if you start and stop this many websites that you have no clue of what you are featuring on these sites, almost like Hillary Clinton re-launching her campaigns.
    Seem's he doesn't like all the "Pop Shots" I have taken at him lately, I don't give a fuck what him or anyone associated with him think. He posted this on one of his postings and I quote:
"While I’m at it I’ve also been told that that I am no “survival expert”. Sure – I would agree with that. I’ve never professed to be one. I know a little about a lot and am very confident in my ability to figure things out even though I have never been show." Unquote....

   Yeah you are right, you are a expert at nothing, and you proved that in the year I wasted around you. Yes, you know "a little about a lot and am very confident in my ability to figure things out even though I have never been show" Geez, let's ask the other person who drives one of your vehicles of how they were riding down the road with only 1 lug nut left on the rear tire after you tired to change the brakes?

Senior 
  





Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Sorry for my absence, it's that time of the year as most of you know.

Sorry for the lack of posts, trust me I have been trying but the days have been late. This is the time of year when my "Boys of summer" continue to play harder and better as Baseball has started back. Current record is 5-0 with a 8-6 win over our rival community team. NW is better than his all-star appearance and state tournment team as catcher last year.  ND is fielding and hitting a lot better and don't see why he wouldn't make it this year on either team, didn't make it last year because he was 8 playing on a 9-10 yr old team.  Bear with me, I shall return as I relive my youth as a father of two outstanding young men.




Monday, March 7, 2016

Still getting things in order and in place, close to cranking up the presses.

    We are still moving stuff around and unpacking our things in the house and also in the storage buildings. It is amazing how much stuff you can accumulate over the years. The good thing is that all the large items are now in the house, including the safe and piano. We have made two runs to the county dump to get rid of some of my dad's things and stuff we have had. I have started the task of unpacking all my reloading stuff and setting up my presses again to get some production going. As we prepare to move the clocks next weekend, I will start using the extra hour or so to get some things done around the property instead of doing it on the weekends. Speaking of weekends, me and the boys had some work to do in the garden, but before that, we cooked up some breakfast outside with biscuits in the oven.

Sausage from our local meat store



    After breakfast, we headed down to the garden and managed to get two rows of sweet onions in the ground. I used one of the handy attachments I used in my drill when I would change out the numerous flower beds in Florida when I had my business.  It is also great for mixing chicken crap and sand together in a 5 gallon bucket before putting it on the onions.

flower bed auger

Sunday, we did a bit more work til around 1300, the we made a command decision to take the rest of the day off. First stop was to Captain Steve's Seafood restaurant in Fort Mill, SC.


File photo
    We had tried to take JUGM there for her birthday dinner but that happened to be at the time there was some ice and snow in the area. We showed up there but they remained closed for the safety of their employees. I can respect. Word to the wise, better get there early. They open at 1500, by 1600 the parking lot is almost full and there is a waiting list to get inside. They have by-far the best seafood, IMHO, in this area. I have even seen a Safe Harbor Seafood truck delivering shrimp there, Safe Harbor is located in Mayport FL and that's where I bought all my shrimp and the own the docks where the shrimp boats moor. Look at it this way, from the boat, to the counter, to your hands, that fresh.

    After Steve's, we had to go walk off our dinner so we swung over to Cabelas. Of course, the same ole stuff at a fairly decent price. Since I am close to resuming my reloading operations, they have .300 Blackout Brass. Yes, I don't have to make my own from 5.56, which is very time consuming to make. They had 250 count bags and 1000 round jugs.

Came out to .20 cents a case with military discount
     I take numerous routes home from work. I do it for several reasons. First, it breaks up the boredom. Secondly, it makes it less predictable on which route I will take home encase someone wants to follow me for some crazy reason. Finally, depending if I need to stop somewhere or pick up something on the way home I can. I found this Pre-Fab'd portable storage building that someone has made into a home/hunting cabin along the side of the road I travel from time-to-time and is surrounded by pine trees.





    I like the way it is setup; however, I find it a tad bit to close to the road so IMHO it cant be a bug-out location, but I am in SC and anything is possible. It does have a mailbox too, just wasn't able to snap it in the photo. Hey, I give them credit, they grew a set and made it happen. Back to what I said about it close to the road. If I was to buy property to make a bug-out location, I sure as hell would not be within 4 miles of a major interstate. Take for example, I-77, there are service roads that parallel it. What do you think would happen if there was a SHTF situation and a mass exodus people between the major cities they connect? What about a mass mobilization of troops or UN Blue targets? Some would stay on the interstate, some would get off and go the back roads using the interstate as a navigational tool. Anything is possible in a desperate life and death situation. I am proud to say that the nearest interstates to me are 45, 44, 50, and 75 miles. I think I am good.

     Hope everyone has a great week, so far day one went well and is over. Stay safe

Senior
   





    

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Moving in, Sun Tzu is poetic gibberish, Baseball starting for the boys, and getting the garden ready for the spring

     As we continue to finish our move, I realize that I do not want to move anymore. As you get older, your body starts to feel every box, Fridge, Couch, etc, etc, etc. At the present moment, I don't plan to move anymore. I took 2 days off from work, and those two days included 3 more with the Presidents Day weekend, so it added up to 5 total which helped me save some days for the future. It is amazing that you live without most of your stuff for 18 months and you think, "Why don't I throw all this stuff away or donate it", but as you all know and have experienced in the past, you sooner or later will need that stuff. So what do you do? I know, I am throwing my hands in the air too.....

     During our unpacking, we come across our numerous boxes of books and uncover this one.





   Now, I was told by a former fellow group member here in SC, and I EXPRESS FORMER, the kind of guy who thinks he is a "Survival Expert" one who cant even tie knots or understand that you have to put wax on your bow string" that his writings are "Poetic Gibberish". Really, are you serious? Now I know that this book has been required reading for both the Naval Academy and Westpoint in the past, and I am sure it is still is, including operators in the Special warfare community but it is gibberish. You know, this is what happens when arm-chair "Survival-experts" who think by reading fiction survival magazines and daydreaming of being a soldier/sailor/marine/airman wake up to reality and find out that you are not a soldier/sailor/marine or airman and just a lonely minion in the real world. I dealt with something similar in Florida early back in 2000 learning survivalism and prepping with Stephen. There was a former group member who was a  marine and who served as a disbursing clerk, only serving one tour at a embassy thinking he had fought in Infantry. We both found that out who he was when he was shooting flare's into the night and bouncing off the ground as he went prone. You had to be there, trust me on this one.

     As I continue, it is that time of the year again when the "Boys of Summer" start practicing and getting ready for opening day. Yes, the boys have started and we had practice Saturday and Sunday. The kids having been practicing during the winter and I personally think they have a leg up on the other players. Both boys are starting their second year in their league and they are both considered veterans as the played in the same division last year. First practice went well with fielding and both tried out as a pitcher, and I have to report they did pretty good on their first look. NW looked like he didn't miss anything during the off season as catcher, except now he has an adult-sized catcher's glove. He took all his Christmas money and put it all toward it. Today they did some fielding, but as we had to leave early because JUGM's uncle came over for dinner, they went on to batting practice. OMG, NW was smacking the crap out of the ball, at 10 yrs old he was hitting the ball over half-way in the air to the outfield. ND being a lefty actually listened to me in the off season and was hitting the ball to third base side, giving him more time to get to first making it a longer and harder throw for the 3rd baseman and shortstop to get him out. If you could see me, I had a big smile on my face today, very proud of them.

     Saturday, I started getting the garden going for the spring garden. We recently did a big clean-out of the chicken coops and moved all the "Poo" down to the garden.

  
    With chicken "Poo" being so potent, I plan to dilute it with some sand. As you can see the disc harrow off in the distance the garden has bee broken up. Today, I hooked the 5' tiller up to the tractor and started tilling one side of the garden up. Current plan is to put yellow onions and cabbage out by March 1st.


  
    Then I took the cultivator and configured it with plows to make some rows. The 1948 IH Farm-all Cub is currently CAT 3 Casrep'd with a fuel bowl leak and just haven't had the time to fix her to properly make some nice looking rows.


    It's after 2300 and I need to go. The morning arrives early. Stay safe everyone and if you ever dream of having your own retreat, grow some balls and put your foot down with your wife and sell you house and move. Pretty easy for most men.......


Senior