MAY 2014

JULY 2014

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Mowing day. I picked up trash along the road and mowed the roadsides, then the lawns. Got most of it done. There were a lot of weeds, but if we get enough rain and I keep up the mowing, the grass will crowd them out.

Monday, June 2, 2014

House cleaning. I vacuumed upstairs and made up a bed for my brother who will be here next weekend. Then cleaned the bathroom, and then vacuumed and mopped the kitchen. That was my day. More house cleaning tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

And so it continued. Today I finished up the kitchen,  cleaning the stove top, shelves, counters, furniture, etc. I got a good start on the back porch. Tomorrow I'll finish the back porch, do the west porch, and tackle the living room. That's the biggie. Lots to put away and lots to clean.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

I worked on the back and west porches, but I took time out from that to take care of a plumbing chore. The bathroom my grandfather built in the twenties has the original stone-lined storm cellar from the 1870's under it. On top of the cellar are Osage orange logs and the concrete bathroom floor was poured over those. Osage orange is devilishly tough stuff. A few years ago when I installed a new bathroom sink I tried to drill holes for new water lines. It was easy enough drilling through the concrete, but I burned up three bits trying to get through the logs. That last burned-up bit is still stuck in a log. I ended up using flexible water lines to go between and around the logs instead of through them. This winter we had an unusually long spell of Arctic entertainment that froze one of the lines and broke it, so today I installed a replacement. That seems simple enough, but it took me a couple of hours.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

As predicted the living room clean-up was the  biggest job. I spent all day on it and there's more to do, so I'll finish up in the morning.

Friday, June 6, 2014

I finished up the living room, boxed up the pile of firewood I made from scrap lumber on the front porch, swept the porch, and went grocery shopping.  This evening our annual family reunion kicked off with  the customary cookout.  Under the threat of rain the barbecue was under a tarp awning and we ate on the front porch. No need to tempt fate by dining out in the yard.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

The reunion continued, with addition of some folks who weren't able to be here yesterday. It was a very pleasant day with some clouds but no rain, and a high in the seventies. Ages ranged from almost four months to almost ninety-four.

A visit to the farm has to include a tour of the cellar for the kids. This time they got their picture taken. 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Today I drove around part of the route for our October Model T tour to get the exact distance of each leg. This looks like a good tour, with lots of country driving. The folks who live in high-traffic places should enjoy the change.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Not much got done today. I wasted a lot of time trying to use some user-hostile software, and finally gave up. Maybe I'll figure it out later. I did get up on the living room roof and start preparing for the new roofing. The part I did today was dismantling the scaffold I used when I rebuilt the upper roof. That project is done, so the scaffold can go. When we get a long spell of dry weather in the forecast, I want this roof ready for me to go to work on it.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Due to this week's reunion I departed from my habitual Saturday wash day, a holdover from pre-retirement days, and did laundry this morning. In the afternoon I mowed. With the recent rain, the grass has taken off. I'm not complaining. The drought had a lot of the plants looking mighty parched. It's nice to see things green again.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

This morning I conducted my first Johnson grass assassination of the season. I hope I'm spraying it early enough to kill it off so I won't have to spray so often this year. There was so much to do that I used up the morning and a big chunk of the afternoon. I finished up the day with mowing, but I skipped all the areas with Johnson grass. I want to give the poison plenty of time to move from the leaves down into the roots.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

I haven't been to the Petit Jean swap meet since 2004, so this morning I cleaned out the Camry's trunk and headed for Arkansas.  I was delayed by construction north of Wynona and roads closed for construction in Tulsa, so it took almost seven hours to get to Russellville. I'll stay here tonight and head up to the meet in the morning.

Friday, June 13, 2014, and Saturday, June 14, 2014

I got rid of the
HP Windows machine that was nothing but trouble, and bought a Mac laptop to take on trips. As yesterday's entry shows, it works. But that only helps when there's internet available. Up on Petit Jean Mountain there's no Wi-Fi, so I couldn't post anything from there. When I got home I put a Petit Jean report on the MTFCA Forum.

Sunday, June 15,  2014

Overnight there was another nice rainstorm, 1.16".  If this keeps up we may recover from the drought. I never went off the place today, spending most of the day at the computer.  In addition to the Petit Jean report, I scanned some pictures, did a little Model T research,  and posted some Facebook stuff. Tomorrow I'll get back to work on something. I'll  figure out what that is when the time comes.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Got  a little outside work done today. One job was pulling weeds. I want to get the most annoying ones out before they go to seed. I cleared one area of those, and will go back for the easier ones later. My other outside chore was replacing one of the redbud seedlings I planted early last month. Two of them are dead sticks, and one is in mighty poor condition, so I'm transplanting replacements. I have lots of redbuds coming up in unfortunate locations, but finding the right size takes some searching. If they're too big, getting them out of the ground can wreck them so they don't survive the transplanting.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Today I borrowed a wheel/hub puller to use on my pickup. I got the hub off, but will need another puller to get the axle shaft out of the housing. I doubt that anybody I know has this one, so I'll have to make it. That's tomorrow's project.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The best-laid plans...
The cool of the morning was so pleasant that I got out and pulled more weeds. This afternoon I transplanted another redbud. I was glad to see that the spraying I did last week has killed off most of the Johnson grass. I missed a few places, but I'll have to wait until the breezes calm down a bit before I spray those. The bindweed is another story. Too much of it still looks healthy. Maybe I have to mix a stronger concentration of weed poison to kill it.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

After a three-mile jog, shower, and breakfast I was going to pull more weeds, but then the rain started. So I went back to work on the October Model T tour, making up the itinerary for the third day of the tour. In the afternoon I drove around the route for distances and times.  Next will be making up the maps, which is not a job I enjoy. The software is user-hostile and infuriating, partly through bad design and partly because I use it so seldom I have to relearn it every time. Driving near Rainbow Bend this afternoon, I saw a coyote run across the road in front of me. That's only the second one I've actually seen around here. I hear them singing at night often, usually in the winter, but they like to keep out of sight.

Friday, June 20, 2014

In the cool of the morning I pulled more weeds. I got a lot done, but there seems to be an inexhaustible supply. In the afternoon I mowed. I got over half of it done, and should finish the rest this weekend. The recent rains have got the grass really going, but after the drought we've had I'm not complaining about the rain.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

After doing laundry I went to check out three auctions. None had enough to keep me there, so I came home and got some work done. I finished most of the mowing I started yesterday. I still need to use the push mower on the banks along the road, but I'm leaving that for the cool of the morning. I also did some trimming where trees and branches were getting in the way. I need to get the pick-up fixed so I can use it to haul away all the trimmings that are piling up in the yard.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Happy news is that I saw about a dozen lightning bugs this evening. Until the past two nights there's been a sad lack of them, but I saw a few last night and more tonight. Maybe the recent rain is helping them make a comeback.  The other happy news is the good soaking rain that started a little after ten this evening and went on for over an hour. I suppose I brought it on by doing some watering today. The morning began with weed pulling. I finished the weeding in what's supposed to be a flower patch but needs more flowers.  There are a few hollyhocks, and some morning glories, but not much else. I need to plant some others. I used the Suburban and a chain to remove an old dead redbud that didn't want to come out, and hauled a lot of pulled weeds and other yard trash to the dump pile. The forecast said the least wind would be around noon, so that's when I got out the sprayer and attacked more Johnson grass. I hope there was enough time between the spraying and the rain for the herbicide to work. In the afternoon I worked on the axle shaft puller I'm making for the pickup, and I should be ready to try it out tomorrow. Even with time out for an afternoon siesta, I got a lot done today.

Monday, June 23, 2014

A little after ten last night the rain began, and by morning there was 1.33" in the gauge. I spent a large part of the morning online,  researching antique vehicle insurance. I'm paying too much, and need to make some changes. In the afternoon I went to town for groceries and dog & cat food.  When I got home I worked on my axle puller some more. It doesn't quite fit, so it will take some more work tomorrow. This evening I took advantage of the soft ground and spent an hour pulling weeds. I'll do more of that in the cool of the morning.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

After a morning run I was out pulling weeds in the cool before breakfast. I made a good pile of pulled weeds, but there are plenty more to pull. Later I finished up my axle puller and tried it out. It worked as intended, and when I got the axle shaft out I found that my suspicion was correct. The end of the shaft is broken off in the housing. Now I know at least one part I have to find.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Last night's 1.1" of rain, on top of 1.33" the night before, made things a bit too soggy for a lot of weed pulling this morning, so I took advantage of the soft ground to pound in some fertilizer spikes. I've been trying to get some American sweet gum trees going for at least ten years, because I like their fall colors, but my luck with them has been bad.  The longest any of them has survived was a couple of years. Some died during dry weather from lack of moisture, and some had moisture but died anyway. Currently I have a couple of them that are green but not thriving, so I'll see if some food helps.
While I was driving spikes I also cut some small trees that were crowding around a red maple so it can get some sun, and poisoned the stumps. By evening things had dried out enough for some weed pulling, so I spent an hour doing that and made a pretty good dent in the weed patch west of the barn. One more pulling session will finish that area.

Thrsday, June 26, 2014

With another early start in the morning cool I finished pulling all the giant ragweed west of the barn and all the large patch of poison hemlock southeast of the barn. Fortunately both are easy to pull, especially from soft, wet ground. Especially important was getting rid of the hemlock (conium maculatum)  before it could go to seed and produce even more of the stuff than there is this year. Its dried seeds have a most annoying habit of sticking all over your clothes.

Conium maculatum flowers becoming seeds

Poison hemlock leaves

Poison hemlock (foreground) with giant ragweed behind it
A little before two I headed to town to send some mail and hadn't gone a quarter mile before I drove into a downpour. It was a real gully washer, and I suddenly remembered some windows I had left open. I quickly drove around the block and got home ahead of the storm, just as the rain was startng to arrive, so the windows were safely closed when most of the storm arrived. All this recent rain has the plants growing great, and I'm enjoying the lush green summer.

Friday, June 27, 2014

I'm going to need some great big tarps for the living room roof when I take off the old roofing. The ones I priced in town were about $50 each. This morning I went to an estate sale and bought two for $10. I also bought a pair of fifty foot air hoses, never opened, for $20 each, and a shop vac for $5. That's the kind of shopping I like.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Still on the sunny side of the grass. Started birthday 73 with a three mile run in 31:20. Celebrated in the best way possible with an afternoon nap, fajitas & frijoles refritos at La Fiesta, and Eastwood's Jersey Boys. Capped it off with a phone visit with a dear old friend. There was no Carrie Jacobs Bond music, but it was a perfect day.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

On a lazy Sunday morning I got up late and played online more than I should
. In the afternoon I opened the big door and listened to the replay of last night's PHC while I pulled weeds in front of the shop. The plants are really thriving after all the recent rain.

Monday, June 30, 2014

The thriving plants include grass, of course, so today I mowed the bank on the south side of the road. It got to be a pretty toasty day, so I left the north bank for tomorrow. This was one of those evenings when I take my first snooze on the front porch swing, then go upstairs later when it's cooler. But we're not into the real heat yet. Most nights I still end up with a sheet over me.



MAY 2014

JULY 2014