>> Saturday, January 30, 2010

We awoke this morning to 5-1/2” of snow on the ground.  I know that isn’t much to some of you but it is the most we have seen since moving here in the Spring of 2004.  Some winters we haven’t had that much total.  The grandkids have been enjoying it and it is pretty as I look out the window.  I did have to walk through it  going to the barn to feed the goats and chickens but I didn’t spend any more time than absolutely necessary.  I stepped out onto the porch and snapped a picture or two and also took a few through the windows.  Here are a few.
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Jan 30 004 Jan 30 007


A Little Kentucky Humor

>> Friday, January 29, 2010

Recently one of the blogs I read had a post entitled “Texas Humor.”

I thought you might enjoy a bit of Kentucky humor (with a bit of Texas humor as well.)

It seems that a fellow from Kentucky struck up a conversation with a guy from Texas. After a bit of the usual weather and sports items the Texan asked the Kentucky fellow if he had any land. “Oh, yeah! I’ve got 50 acres, with 25 in terbaccy and some good oak timber,” replied the Kentuckian. The Texan asked, “You call that land?” He continued, “Where I live I can get in my old pick-up of a morning and drive all day and still not reach the other side of my land!” The Kentuckian nodded his head knowingly and replied, “Yes sir, yes sir, I know what you mean. I used to have a pick-up just like that.”


The Excitement Builds For Our “Big Adventure”

>> Monday, January 25, 2010

Although it is still several weeks away we are becoming more and more excited about our planned trip to Oregon via Amtrak’s Empire Builder.  We have been doing a number of searches on the internet for information and pictures of the area we will be travelling across.

BlobServerThe above diagram is from Amtrak’s literature.  Our trip will be to Spokane and down to Portland.  From what I have discovered we will be seeing some mighty beautiful part of this country.  It appears that Montana is gorgeous.  Below are a few photos I “borrowed” from various sites on the internet.


I’m not real thrilled about the numerous trestles and bridges we have to cross but they are being crossed daily without incident.

9155_1257347812_tb  The above picture shows a bit of fog while crossing on this trestle near the Marias Pass.

MPass-19-page-top-photo Trestles and bridges not withstanding the scenery is awesome.  We will also be going through several tunnels.  The Flathead Tunnel, 42 miles west of Whitefish, MT,  is 7.01 miles long! 

flathead tunnel The photo above shows a train exiting the Flathead Tunnel.  You will note that this is not an Amtrak train but it is the same tunnel that is used by Amtrak.  From the information I have read the East portal has a door that can be closed and fans to ventilate the tunnel.  Trains travel at or near 50 MPH going through this tunnel.  Looking at the schedule it appears we will go through the tunnel somewhere around 10:00 PM going and about 5 or 6 AM returning.  We may never know when we go through this tunnel although one individual commented that he was awakened by a change in air pressure.  I guess we will wait and see.


Our Upcoming “Big Adventure”

>> Saturday, January 23, 2010

We have been planning for some time now to go to Oregon and visit our son and his family.  I’ve never seen my last two granddaughters and we hardly know Amber.  Our debate has been how to make the trip.  We just DO NOT wish to fly.  Flying wasn’t so much of a big deal before all of the “security” hassle but with all of this nonsense we do not wish to go through it all.  We like to drive and see the scenery and stop when we want and come and go as we feel like it.  But, a trip of 2400 miles or so, one way, is a bit costly with gasoline at $2.75 or so a gallon and motel bills, food, etc.  We thought about taking the bus (take the bus and leave the driving to us) and also going by train.

So with all of these various options in mind we finally arrived at a decision.  We are going to take the bus, uhh, I mean the train.  Actually we are going to take both the bus and the train.  For our trip the nearest Amtrak station is in Louisville, a little over 100 miles away.  But, we can’t get a train there.  We would have to be bussed to Indianapolis.  So, we are going to catch a bus at Bowling Green and take it to Indianapolis.  We will take the train to Chicago where we will transfer to the Empire Builder which will take us all the way to Portland, OR. 

The Empire Builder takes the northern route across the country and will take us across several states that neither one of us has travelled through.  Danny told us yesterday that this will be a “big adventure” for us.  I know we will be tired when we get there but probably not as tired as we would be from driving.  I will take less time than driving and will be less costly. 

It has been years since either one of us has travelled by train and we are really looking forward to the trip as well as looking forward to seeing our granddaughters and their parents. 


A House Built Upon A Rock

>> Wednesday, January 20, 2010

In modern home construction one generally pours a concrete footer upon which concrete blocks are laid creating a foundation upon which the entire house is built.  Many years ago when many of our ancestors built their log cabins or houses they did not and probably could not construct such a foundation.  I found that the old house that I’m in the process of tearing down was built without a “modern foundation.”

It was built, as one person termed it, the “old timey” way.  Large stones with flat tops were laid down at the corners and every few feet  between corners.  Upon these rocks were laid timber sills.  These sills were logs hewn basically square.  They are approximately 8” X 8”.  They were leveled by adjusting the rocks.  Into these sills mortises were cut about every two feet to receive a notched 2” X 8” floor joist.  The entire structure of the house was then built upon these rocks and log sills.

Many of the log sills have some deterioration and probably won’t be worth salvaging however, the rocks are in good shape!  I plan to haul all of them home to be use to created borders and terraces for flower beds, etc.  I hauled home the first load yesterday afternoon.  In the photo below you can see some of the rocks that have held up the old house for many, many years.

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Organic Chicken Feed

>> Saturday, January 16, 2010

I have often thought that since we aren’t able at this time to grow all of our own grain for livestock feed that feeding what is commercially available was our only choice. I never occurred to me to even ask if organic feed was even available. A friend of ours recently talked to one of her friends who works at a feed store (of the same company that owns and operates the store where I purchase my feed) and asked if they could supply organic feed. He told her that they could, that in fact they normally stocked some but were temporarily out. He said they could get it brought in.

I went in and talked to one of the fellows in the store here locally on Wednesday. He at first told me that they made organic cattle feed but in bulk only, meaning that one would have to buy 3 tons at a time. He didn’t know about organic chicken feed but was willing to check. He called and found that the company did in fact make and bag organic chicken feed but were down to only one bag in stock. He ordered it in for me and I picked it up yesterday. My question was whether they would continue to make and bag this item. He said he was told that they plan to run more next week and he seemed quite willing to keep a few bags in stock for me, and for Danny who wishes to feed it as well.

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My thanks to Karla who thought to ask a question that I had never thought to ask. Her question came up after having watched a video on the dangers of genetically modified foods. You can watch it here.


This, That and The Other

>> Thursday, January 7, 2010

I’ve not been posting much the last several weeks.  It seems I just have not been able to focus on any one thing that I felt motivated to post about.  I thought perhaps what I needed to do was just cover numerous things that I have been doing, that have been happening here, all in one post.  So here goes.

I did cover our trip to Texas in October.  I covered beginning to tear down an old house for the building materials to use to build a woodworking shop and I posted about obtaining a Craftsman Router Crafter.

I continue to work at salvaging lumber from the old house.  I try to get up one or two days a week, weather permitting, and do a bit more.  Hopefully, by Spring I’ll have that done and can begin the actual construction.  I mentioned that the old house had no windows or doors.  I have a door and Darryl has a couple that he won’t be using in his new house that he said I could use.  Doors do not present a problem but I do want several windows.  Watching Craig’s List I found an ad for used windows from a mobile home.  As it turned out the fellow was tearing down an old mobile home and didn’t even have the windows all removed when I went to look at them.  He got them all removed while I waited and I purchased all of them—11 in all.  Six of them are 40” wide and 60” tall.  I most likely will turn them sideways when I install them.  The other five are 30” wide and 27” tall.  I was able to buy them for less than $4.00 a window.

Shortly after returning home from our Texas visit the “modern firearm” deer hunting season opened.  Darryl, Danny and I were out almost every day.  I was the only one to see any deer but I did not manage to shoot any.  We were given two that we dressed out and shared.  Darryl has a steer that we plan to butcher soon and he plans to share the meat so we won’t be suffering from not having meat.

I usually try to get my goats bred fairly early in the season but this year I didn’t get that done.  The lady whose buck I normally borrow had reduced her herd, including her buck, and did not plan to breed any of her goats this year.  I kept looking elsewhere for a buck.  She had told me that she had a young buck she was raising for a replacement for the buck she sold.  I finally asked her if she thought he was big enough to service my goats and she thought he was.  I brought him over and kept him for about six weeks.  It appears he was able to take care of things, so we should have kids about April.

We are down to about 12 hens and 1 rooster.  All of the hens but 2 are older.  At least one is about five years old.  As the Summer was coming to an end the hens slowed way down on their production.  By October and November I was only getting about 2 eggs a day.  By the end of November that went down to zero.  Finally late in December I started getting an egg every day, then two eggs and even three eggs one day.  Today I found five eggs when I did the evening chores.  So, we can have eggs more often that once a week if we care to.

Early last week our daughter, son-in-law and grandson from Wisconsin spent a couple of days visiting.  They had been in Northern Kentucky for a family activity and came on down.  We enjoyed having them, only wished it could have been a bit longer visit.

Early last year Darryl, Danny and I cut and hauled in several loads of firewood from a neighbor’s property.  We threw it all onto a large pile down below where Darryl is building his house.  As we have emptied out part of our wood storage areas we have been hauling some of this wood up and restocking.  The wood has been uncovered and has been wet and doesn’t burn well until it has dried.  Darryl was running out of dry wood so this week we all went back and cut more wood.  It is from tree tops that have been down for some period of time and are pretty dry.  Danny and I each got a truckload and Darryl got two.  All of this has been stored under roof so will be available as it is needed.  And, with the weather we have been having and is forecast for this weekend it is needed!

Pictured below is my little truck loaded up with wood from the big pile down “the hill.”  Over the truck you can see the roof of Darryl’s house that is being built.  In the second photo you can see the wood being stacked in my woodshed.

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Dementia Test

>> Saturday, January 2, 2010

My daughter posted a “yearly dementia test” on her blog.  I thought she and the rest of my readers might enjoy another.

Dementia Test

Test for Dementia below are four (4) questions. You have to answer them instantly. You can't take your time, answer all of them immediately. OK? Let's find out just how clever you really are.

First Question:
You are participating in a race. You overtake the second person. What position are you in?

Answer: If you answered that you are first, then you are absolutely wrong! If you overtake the second person and you take his place, you are second! To answer the second question, don't take as much time as you took for the first question.

Second Question:
If you overtake the last person, then you are...?

Answer: If you answered that you are second to last, then you are wrong again. Tell me, how can you overtake the LAST Person?

Third Question:
Very tricky math! Note: This must be done in your head only. Do NOT use paper and pencil or a calculator. Try it. Take 1000 and add 40 to it. Now add another 1000. Now add 30. Add another 1000. Now add 20. Now add another 1000 Now add 10. What is the total? Scroll down for answer.

Did you get 5000? The correct answer is actually 4100. Don't believe it? Check with your calculator!

Fourth Question:
Mary's father has five daughters: 1. Nana, 2. Nene, 3. Nini, 4. Nono. What is the name of the fifth daughter?

Answer: Nunu?
NO! Of course not. Her name is Mary. Read the question again...

How did you do?  Any dementia?


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