Monday, July 16, 2012

Busy Week

We have been hopping around here this past week with harvesting, canning, freezing, working on installing the HVAC system for the new Fire Dept training building, working a motorcycle poker run and we had a good friend from the Army come and stay with us while they looked for farms in the area.

We decided we wanted a few more blackberries for the freezer so we got up early one morn and went picking. The drought has wiped out the blackberry crop this year in this area but we had a bunch that were doing well in shaded areas and around the big pond. Now last year at this time the pond level was up around where Holly's shoulders are in this picture so its really low but we still have plenty of water. Most farm ponds around here aren't doing so well. 

Even with the drought we got some good berries and ended up with 6 quarts.

We did some work on the hot rod too. This started with no front grill (as in the post a couple back) so I took an old beat up one and painted it gloss black as you can see here...better.
Then the chrome one I ordered over the magic of Internet arrived and I like this one best. I have also been playing with the fuel lines because in this extreme heat I was getting vapor lock due to the fuel lines just laying on the intake manifold and valve cover. The truck is now up in the shop for some suspension work and I will make more permanent changes to the re-routing of the fuel lines and I have some line insulation coming from JEGs. I had a 64 Impala back in the 70s with a 327 and had to make my own "Cool Can" out of a coffee can and screw it to the fender well to stop the vapor lock (remember those? you routed your fuel line in loops in the can then filled it with ice..sheesh what a pain). If push comes to shove I may have to mount an electric fuel pump back at the tank for those extremely hot days.
Ahh the glamorous life of a Fire Fighter. And yes I know Fire Fighters aren't supposed to have beards...I have a positive pressure mask and the beard stays...get over it.
My good friend Duane and his wife Deena flew down from Alaska in a pre retirement search for their own farm and they spend the night with us. Duane and I served in OIF together a few years ago and we always have a blast together....which sometimes spells trouble but I sure hope they find a place close.
We pick 10-15 pounds of tomatoes a day now and have been selling them like crazy, eating them like crazy and of course canning them. First you blanch them and then put them in ice water to loosen the skins.
Then you peel the skins and core and quarter them.
Then process them in either a water bath canner or pressure canner per the instructions for your altitude. These are raw pack water bath canned and they will be nice in a winters stew or soup.
And then today's pickings will have to be sold or processed. We bring them in and let them finish ripening so we have a day or two respite.
And like I said we eat them all different this tomato sandwich.
I do some wrenching on bikes now and again but we sold our three when we moved here so fixing other peoples bikes has to do for now. A local club was having a poker run and I helped manage a station. They have 5 stations in various locations and draw cards at each station to try and make a poker hand to win a prize. I am not a V-Rod fan but this was a nice one with some Vance and Hines pipes I liked.
There are a lot of Victorys in this club and I liked this one for its clean lines. I do not like graphics on a bike and am definitely not a fan of saddle bags and windshields/fairings so this one appealed to me.
And the 250 fatty rear tire didn't hurt its look any either.
There was a real mix of bikes including various Japanese cruisers like this old mostly Yamaha (it had a lot of Suzuki pieces but it all worked well I thought). I also like chrome spoked wheels over mags on a bike but you have to learn how to tune them.
This is another Victory (106 cu Inch) that I liked with the tastefully blacked out pipes and engine. Harley does a blackout version of a lot of their bikes but to me they get carried away and I just as soon do it myself.

This pictures does not do the paint job on this Road King justice but it was beautiful and done by a local part timer. It was a mottled Green with so many clear coats you could drown in it. But a green bike? I'm too superstitious.

And finally for this post, our very first egg was laid this evening by one of the Barred Rocks. A small achievement for some but very satisfying for us.

So as you can see we have been busy. I enjoyed working on the Fire department building because we are doing the work ourselves and we all have ownership of the new building. Will I get another bike? Probably, but mostly I would look to just build a bike or two and sell them. I like the bobber style with as little on it as as legally reflectors, no front fender, no turn signals (or at least very small LEDs), springer front ends are good, mini ape hangers, solid candy color paint and lots of chrome...oh and a nitrous bottle on the down tube looks sick. For now I will have to satisfy myself with the hot rod.

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