Sunday, October 31, 2010

Of Cows and Pastures and Things

Well it probably is no secret that we want animals in the worst way but just arent prepared yet with our fencing and other infrastructure. But we have recently gone to a couple of live stock auctions, we have visited a friend who just got a couple of calfs, and our neighbor has been running his cattle in the pasture next to our pasture so we have cows coming right up to our fence and looking at us...sigh.

Just a couple of bottle babies just getting weaned.

The horse raddish patch....cant beat it.

Note the seed heads blown against the fence on our upper pasture. We still need to brush hog this area.

We have tons of rose hips from the wild rose bushes that grow along our poasture fence.

And a white faced Hereford that was on the other side of the fence...

They were congregating down by our wild game patch and the couple acres we have in woods..hope to get a deer here this year.

Nothing to do with pasture or cows but we wenbt to Licking the other day and saw this old mill building, this entire area has old buildings like this and we cant get enough of it.

The Little Blue Ranger

 We ended up buying a 2000 Ford Ranger from youngest son Al when he kind of got stranded trying to get back to Washington State from his Air Force school in Texas. It had some mechanical issues and had been in an accident but we got it pretty much straitened out thanks to a come along, some whacks with a hammer and block of wood, and many new parts. Its a 4x4 with a 3.0 liter V6 and an automatic with 85K on the clock. If you know anything about Ford Rangers the 3.0 is gutless and the automatic transmissions are prone to problems but so far it seems to be running okay. It makes a nice grocery getter for Judy and Holly and it does get better mileage than the big trucks (but not as much as you would think).
The body has no rust and is in pretty good shape except for where it slid into a snow bank on the drivers side.

It has the 4 door option and had new tires and brakes.

The front bumper on the drivers side was pushed in and the turn signal module was broken. I took a come along and tied one end to a tree and bent the bumper out and replaced the turn signal module and it all works now.  

It had slid into a snow bank and guard rail and the front corner was dished in and rubbing against the front tire and the rear clip behind the rear tire was all dished in.

This is about the best its going to get until I replace the front quarter panel. Before we pulled it out this was pushed in about a foot.

Still a ripple and I may try and get it even better but this was really concave before.

The 4 door option is very handy.

The interior is in great shape but I wish iot wasnt an automatic.

This is the DPFE sensor that I replaced that was causing the rough idle, lack of power (well it still lacks power in my opinion) and the check engine light to come on.

And it was boiling over and spraying radiator fluid all over the engine compartment out of the over flow tank so I replaced the thermostat...solved the problem.

And finally, this little bugger is a cheap pot metal fitting to the radiator that had corroded through and had to be replaced which solved the radiator fluid leak. Now if I could just figure out how to get a little more power out of it it would be a good ride.

Judy's Trailer Update

The patio is poured and the covered front proch is finished, next year we re-roof with green steele roofing, replace the rest of the windows and then paint the trailer white with dark green shutters.

We went with concrete because it was cheaper, more durable, and easier. We will put a roof over it when we re-do the trailer roof in the spring.

It adds a lot of outdoor space for Judy and the view of the barn and pasture is very relaxing.

The covered front porch and deck about doubled the old one. Its also designed so that of in the future we need to make some modifications for mobility issues it could easily be done. As we are aging we are more aware of things like this and have taken that into consideration when we do things.

We still have to replace the fron door with one that swings inward and has a bigger window.

At some point we may screen it in....just one of many, many projects yet to be realized.

Planting the Winter Wheat and Bush Hogging

We got the Winter Wheat cover crop planted and have started cutting the hay in the pasture. This next week we will harvest the turnips and beets, spread manure in the fields and garden areas and start putting things to bed for the winter.

Its a very coarse seed and the birds love it but we spread enough for all.

This is the old corn patch that will become castor bean plants and sorghum next spring.

This is the new garden expansion for potatoes and other root crops.

This darn little 43 year old garden tractor has just been a work horse and is one of the most useful things we have.

Brush hogging the lower pasture by the orchard.

I doubt we will use this for pasture next year as we want to expand the orchard and may plant corn or sorghum instead of grass hay.

Its a small tractor with a 3 cylinder engine but it works great for this small farm.

And of course Bandit has to be in the middle of everything.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Pond Project

We have a small pond that is almost completely overgrown with Cedars and it gets very little light and though we have always planned on renovating the just wasnt a top priority when it was hot. We have now started clearing out the site of our future deck/dock and the place where we will build a small shed and erect the windmill that will aerate the pond. Our ultimate goal will be to clear out the inner trees, have a grassy area with a picknic table and grill, have a deck for lounging and a small dock and john boat. Once we get the windmill erected in the spring we will not have as much problem with plant growth in the pond and we will then stock it with fish. We found some nice maples in among the cedars, some foxglove and some wild goose berry as well.

We have already cleared out the north pasture side and as you look at this picture, the inner circle of trees to the left will be cleared out and that will be planted in grass for a picnic area. There is an old field fence past those trees then another grove of trees so we will still have lots of seclusion.

We salvaged the logs for fence posts and the brush was moved up to our brush pile in the pasture for burning this winter.

I am all for equal opportunity and like to see the women folk get a chance to do their fair share of the labor!!

So far, just with what we have cleared we loaded about 5 loads of brush.

I will save you the trouble and just call this picture "Beauty and the Beast"

It already looks better. The shed and windmill will be to the left out of the picture and the deck and dock will be right in the center of this picture.

Brush hauled, logs loaded and done for the day

We will be using these for fence posts. They call them red cedars here but they are actually a type of juniper and are of the cypress family but they are extremely rot resistent. More updates as we progress.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Mom and Dads Ozark Adventure

The folks came down from Wasilla, Alaska for their first visit to the homestead and the Ozarks. In just a week they visited antique stores, old towns, Rosewood Farms, Baker Creek Seed Co, ate gater tail, deep fried dill pickles, BBQ, catfish, farm eggs and things from our garden, saw Amish in buggies, and in the end we sent them back to their snow and cold..I think they enjoyed it:
They liked the horses.

Mom played with the kids at church.

We went on a hayride in the country

They visited the home of Laura Ingalls Wilder

Including he second Rock House

Mom even drove the old Garden Tractor

Dad was not to be outdone

And he rode the ATV

and Kubota

And of course they enjoyed Bandit, Rose the Farm Dog, Boo Boo, and Willow

We put them to work cleaning our sun flower seed harvest which we use for bird food

Tedious but enjoyable

Holly and her baby

Judy, the folks and I at Baker Creek

It isnt the Grand Old Opry but we are poor folks

They saw deer, possum, armadillows, skunks, hawks, turkeys, turkey vultures and lots of birds...right dad?

And visited Wilsons Creek National Battlefield

Where it was still warm and sunny.