In Case You Forgot

Here’s a little reminder…why conservatives hate Obama, and why he is and always will be a laughingstock corrupt politician

http://blondephotos.org/BlondeGator/?p=2332

We need him visible and continuously sticking his feet in his mouth to refresh our memories of why we’re all so glad he’s out of the black house.

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First Day of Fall

Around the ranch, we entered the first day of fall with a downpour that would rival a tropical storm. Flash flood warnings were issued last night, and are in effect until 1:00 this afternoon.

During my 40 years living in hell the RGV, I cared nothing about the first day of autumn as what the hell difference is there when the temps are still in the 90s? Even when I was a wee lad in OK, September brought cooler night time temps.

Here at the ranch, I can already tell as the temp this morning was 69°. It will likely continue to drop overnight into next year…mostly.

Yesterday afternoon, the wife had the audacity to ask me “when are you going to fix the lawn mower? It’s a riding mower, right? We need to mow.” Heavy on that ‘we’ shit.

Now that the temps are cooler, I got no excuse. Today, however I can say “it’s too wet to mow.”

It’s not too wet to repair it, however…unless one considers another variable…

I have noticed that there is a leak in the shed where I park my truck. I would have to move my truck outside to  make room to repair the mower. I have spread leftover carpeting on the shed floor, and am hoping that the heavy rains have not spread to the carpeting. That would make my crawling around the floor most unpleasant.

I knew this day would come. I’ll have to climb up the extension ladder on my own two unsteady legs and put some type of roof repair goop on the bolts that hold the sheet metal down. Might as well do them all while I’m up there. I am thinking I should remove the bolts, apply the goop, and screw the bolts back in. That would probably be the best way for sure to seal it. My cordless drill would be perfect for that. The roof is not to steep, I shan’t worry about sliding off into the prickly pear garden behind the shed. I am deciding whether to use a caulk type sealer with a gun, or a bucket using a putty knife. I am leaning towards the calking gun type as I can just squirt a little sealer into the hole, and screw said bolt back in.

Murphy’s 14th law

Anything you do yourself will take longer and cost more than you thought.

Noted.

Deck removal from the mower is a must. My brother and I suspected a broken spring that attaches between the engaging lever, and the blade idler pulley. One cannot see it from above, so it must be done from below. The deck comes off with a couple of hitch pins and a belt guard must be removed. I usually put the deck on the wheelbarrow for portability and temp storage.

When I do this, I’m sure you all will want detailed pictures, and am happy to comply.

So as I sit here at my laptop drinking coffee with Kahula, I make my plan of attack. The garden is an absolute jungle, being ignored since March. It looks like the same weeds inhabit the aisles as in the gardens themselves.

A breeding ground for every kind of bug one can think of.

I’ll attack with the commercial grade Echo weedeater first, which brings another dilemma; just because I have chopped down the weeds, doesn’t mean they are no longer a threat. The seeds are still viable; that’s what happened earlier this year; they sprouted.

I suppose I’ll have to rake them and burn ’em…the only way to be sure.

It would follow that I do same with weeds from the gardens themselves..who knows? There may be a watermelon that survived.

The wife wanted to go to town and get a couple of new bird feeders today. I poured some seeds onto the feeding platform yesterday, and even after the rain, the birds are enjoying a wet buffet. The bad thing is that the damn squirrels will figure it out eventually, and chase the birds away.

Onward.

Today

After the pest control guy left  Monday, promising to return to treat the outside perimeter of the house, I have since killed three live scorpions. Yeah, I get it that the inside spraying may have gotten to them causing them to go nuts running amok in the house.

I used my fumigators in the kitchen and entry room with two bombs as I closed off the other section of the house.

My wife sleeps a lot, and cannot get her out of the bedroom area long enough to bomb that section…am working on it.

I am wondering  how long, if ever, the pest control folks will delay before honoring the other half of their agreement; after all, they were paid in advance. If not, it would give me the perfect opportunity to dump them next time they “schedule” a treatment.

Still waiting to hear from the electrician…

In other news, the wife is going out of town next week to Ft Worth to see her doctors. Her little sister is driving up from SPI to go along. That part of the family is a totally different soap opera.

I plan to make two batches of beer in her absence; T Square’s Irish Red, and a Holiday Ale.

Both recipes will be highly modified to suit my particular likes. X does not use liquid malt extract, instead I prefer DME (dried malt extract), and it is the same amount of work to make a lower alcohol beer, or a higher alcohol beer. Details upcoming next week.

The wife has announced that she feels her car needs an oil change before her trip. I will have to take care of that Monday. The local shop requires appointments for any and all repairs, and Fridays are bad to expect any service. Monday it is.

X has received his Work Sharp Knife and Tool Sharpener, and am very pleased with the ease of use, and the results. X’s Kershaw pocketknife now has an edge with a consistent bevel, and is as sharp as it has ever been.

X also went through the kitchen knife blocks, and sharpened all of the knives. One knife in particular has a blade with such hard steel, that I was unable to sharpen it with anything; given my level of patience…now it is a fine de-boning knife once again.

The unit comes with three grit types of belts; two each. I ordered two more sets. It also comes with two sets of guides; for kitchen style and outdoor which includes hunting and pocketknives.

By rotating the head, one can sharpen lawn mower blades, machetes, and garden shears.

Update:

Flash flood watch here until tomorrow evening.

I went out to find out what was wrong with the bird feeders, as no one was eating…the past rains had gotten the seeds wet and were all compacted…I never thought birdseed could stink so bad. I had to throw them away as I destroyed them trying to dig out the seeds with a rebar.

More Rain Today…and Tomorrow…

and for the rest of the week, it looks like. We just had a nice shower, and there are more dark clouds on the way.

My wife has taken to eating the frozen home made waffles I had, and the Vermont maple syrup(I prefer grade B amber) had run low in the fridge stash.

Fortunately, I have gallons of that stuff. Even pure Vermont maple syrup will mold once opened. Do not despair. You can scrape off the mold, and heat the syrup in a saucepan, getting it just before boiling, and pour into quart canning jars, and set your lid. They will stay unmolded after that.

Be sure to watch your syrup. It will boil over if unattended. It will clean up nicely with a towel soaked with hot water, and wrung out. Trust me on  this one. If you use gas…better to watch it than have to clean up.

You can store your jars in your pantry until such time as needed. Once you open a jar, you must leave it in fridge to slow down the mold process. The last one I canned, it took over a year to use it all, and no mold appeared.

If your syrup is unopened, it will keep at room temp. This gallon jug I had was several years old. As long as the original seal is not broken, it will not mold…at least that has been my experience.

I have two more half gallons that I just stuck in the freezer. Will keep forever there. I have another half gallon as well that is in the pantry.

A gallon now goes for around $52, but they add a lot of shipping. Some places will jack up the price, and include shipping, and you will pay probably around $80 per gallon; usually the most economical way.

There are many places that sell pure Vermont maple syrup. It has been my experience to only buy from those farms in Vermont.

I am also a fan of Tupelo honey. It boasts  the sweetest honey in he world, and absolutely will not crystallize in the bottle. Even after opening, it will not crystallize. It only grows in one place, and that is the Florida panhandle, where a particular  tree, the nyssa grows on the river. Yep, it is expensive, but consider you will not have it go bad…ever.

The last time I bought some, it was $110 for five pounds. That is a half gallon milk jug full. Previously, I bought  same from same place, and it was $80. I complained about the price difference, and I got a lot of chin music about forecasts, projections and other bullshit. I tried to weasel a little discount for my next purchase, but nothing doing. It’s OK. I have two five pound jugs; plus some 1 pounders in the panty.

Supposedly, honey contains natural healing qualities, and a few teaspoons a day will help in fending off some of those nasty fall and winter ailments that are just around the corner.

It is sold by weight; not volume like the syrup.

I am however, in the market for some Georgia mammoth pecan halves. I understand that the harvest is not until October. I guess I’ll wait.

We have a mature pecan tree here just outside the patio that produces. However, the damn squirrels cannot tell green from ripe, and they have already destroyed the nuts on this tree. I frequently find green pecans on the patio with a bite or two eaten from them.

Pecans are so good for one’s health, and they will literally keep forever in a freezer. A handful a day lowers one’s cholesterol, and  they are chocked full of antioxidants.

I used to take a shot of my “wellness tonic”, chase it with a spoonful of coconut oil, then a spoonful of honey at bedtime.

I was checking on shipping for the Tupelo honey, but they want too much information before they give up the shipping charges.

Raw Honey Varieties For Sale – SmileyHoney

if you are so inclined.

The maple syrup info was $52 a gallon, and $43 shipping…depending on where you live.

This place was free shipping to my house.

This place offered free shipping and the gallon jug was $64.99.

Still Waiting…

for the electrician to call back. I am a little housebound as I do not want to miss his call. I want to get that problem fixed so I can move on to the next one.

The sister in law (on the wife’s side) has invited herself for Thanksgiving, and indicated that she did not want to sleep in the bunkhouse. I told the wife, that she had absolutely no say in the matter…she has yet to confront her.

The last time the sister in law visited, she tried to bring her grandson along. Again, I had to put my foot down. The 13 year old kid is an assault or murder waiting to happen. His mom has been twice divorced since the kid’s birth, I don’t know how  many boyfriends have come and gone…she doesn’t want him either, but for different reasons than the sociopathic ones. The kid is a snooper, and wanders from room to room looking for shit to get into. My brother in law (kid’s grandad) had a room full of firearms that he keeps locked. The kid knows where the key is, and I have seen him in that room. This it the kind of kid who would bring Gramp’s Quigley Sharps rifle to school…yes, he has one.

I wouldn’t put it past them to sneak him without permission. If so, I have my bugout bag packed and truck full of gas, and I will leave all of them here wallowing in their misery; perhaps never to be seen alive again.

Of course, I would have to get plumbing fixed in the bunkhouse before assigning them to the Stalag; hence my anxiousness to get the electric fixed first.

The sun came out here finally yesterday for the first time in fifteen days. The skeeters are starting to multiply.

There is work to be done, and it is not getting done. My first priority is to look at the lawn mower, to see if I can repair the blade engagement mechanism. If the yard guy ever shows up, he will have his work cut out for him as the rains have caused much greenery to pop up in the last week; weeds included.

I have heard from or seen the pest control people either.

I stepped on a live scorpion last night in the closet. That’s the first time I ever saw a scorpion in there; dead or alive. It was a small one, and the little bastards are almost camouflaged against the carpet. No sting for me, but that is second time I have stepped on a live one in stocking feet. Time for a Raid  Fumigator to ease my paranoia.

I ordered a belt sander to sharpen knives with. My brother, who is probably one of the foremost knife sharpeners on the planet, bought one and now his razor sharp knives shame neurosurgeons.

I never did learn to sharpen knives properly, even though I have a nice whetstone, and have had several various sharpening sticks, stones, criss cross blades, carbide this and that types over the years, but the best is a good whetstone. Even so, the angle/bevel is critical to a sharp blade…never learned to do it properly. My brother just says “you gotta just feel it”. Maybe so.

I have two blocks of kitchen knives that are duller than frog’s butts, and am really tired of having to hit them with a steel every time I use them, wondering it I will make them duller. I have used a handheld sharpener for years, that works, but destroys the blade as it wears down the blade except for the butt, and that has to be manually filed down every now and them so as to be able to use the entire length of the blade to cut. If the butt is not filed, protrudes down enough to keep the ass end of the blade from hitting the board; hence incomplete cutting of finer objects like cilantro leaves.

I also bought a Kyocera ceramic knife for chopping. One of the smartest things I ever did. This knife cuts tomatoes so thin my mother in law will never come back.

If it gets chipped, one can send it to Kyocera, and for $5, they will sharpen it. It can break if dropped, and they don’t get dull; they get chipped. I’m sold. They are very, very sharp. If one does not concentrate whilst chopping, one can chop off the tip of one’s finger very easily.