Monday, April 30, 2012

My three week old chicks spending some time outside for the first time.  They definitely loved it.

Saturday, April 28, 2012


They are almost done with my boat restoration (I wish).  This is a replica of Ernest Hemingway's 38' fishing boat Pilar which was built in 1938 by Wheeler Shipyard in Brooklyn, NY.  A friend of mine is doing the cabinetry work on the boat which is being prepared for an upcoming movie/documentary about Hemingway's life.  The boat has been just down the road at Moore's Marine in Beaufort, NC, since last year and is getting ready for launch in a few days.

Friday, April 27, 2012

More Fun Today

Another fun day cutting up a tree.  Even though a chain saw is a beastly thing I can't imagine doing something like this with an axe.  Even with a chain saw it wore me out.  Makes me appreciate those settlers who built log cabins with nothing but hand tools. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Cutting Trees

 I spent all morning mowing and trimming (2 acres takes a while).  I spent all evening tackling the long overdue task of cutting up trees that went down in Hurricane Irene last year.  I hate cutting trees as I can't think of a more dangerous thing to be doing outside.  You never quite know where or what a tree is going to do when you cut it and the weights involved can tag you quickly.  Part of the tree below was caught up in the air on another tree.  I warily cut partially through the large limb where it connected to the main tree then used the truck and rope to pull the cut apart.  That big limb then snapped apart and swung out with a vengeance as the upper part slid down that standing tree.  If I had tried cutting all the way through it would have got me.  I have another two foot diameter tree that broke about 6 feet above the ground then fell between a fork in another tree.  The whole downed tree is about 6 feet off the ground (you can see it in the background of the pic).  I'm not sure how I'm going to tackle that one without getting myself killed.  I guess I could stand on top of it and cut through from the side:o)  Maybe I could build a big fire under the middle.  Maybe I should just leave it until it rots and falls apart.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


I made a run to Lowe's today to buy the lumber for a chicken run that I will be building in the next week.  It will be an 8 foot by 16 foot roofed and screened area which will connect to my 10 x 10 foot shed.  The shed will be converted into their coop with a small door opening into the run.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


This is a photo of one of my chickens taken today followed by a pic taken a week ago.  It is amazing how fast these things grow.  They are definitely getting into that 'awkward' phase where their feathers are growing in.  This particular chick is my favorite.  When I walk up to the clear tub they are in she starts running around and as soon as I lower my hand down she runs up and immediately jumps on my hand.  She loves to be taken out and handled. The others are a little more hesitant with varying degrees of wariness.  Interesting creatures that are hypnotizing to watch.  They peck at any speck in their environment and they lock onto any movement with a laser like intensity.  Will be fun to watch them outside when they see a bug.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Water Barrels

These are my two 75 gallon rain barrels.  They work great.  I have a hose connecting the overflow tubes of the two barrels so when the main barrel fills it then overflows into the second barrel.  Just a moderate rain a few days ago filled both barrels.  With as much rain as we have here the barrels should never run dry.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Battleship U.S.S. North Carolina

What a pleasant surprise!  I woke up this morning to find this behind my house.  I found a card on the side from President Obama which said "Dear Tom,  Please accept this as a token of our Government's appreciation for all of your hard work and tax dollars."  I take back all of the unkind things I have been saying.  (not long after that the County Tax Assessor was at my door stating I owed 5 million dollars based on my new property assessment)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Crosby and Nash

Just enjoying a Crosby and Nash Video this evening.  Their harmonizing carries me away.

Monday, April 16, 2012


Well, I did my taxes today and I am now several thousand dollars poorer.  This picture is how much money I have left to my name.  Now I am going to have to go back to work.

Sunday, April 15, 2012


The vegetables are growing really fast, especially the squash in the second photo.  I am sold on the EarthBoxes and will probably be buying some more.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Thursday, April 12, 2012

One More Day

I continued with my solar install today but didn't quite finish because I am waiting on a DC Shunt which allows the use of the Tri-Metric System Monitor (the white box).  It should be here tomorrow so I will have juice flowing by tomorrow night.  I spent the rest of today planting some more vegetables and caring for baby chicks which are loads of fun.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Egg Producers

I got a call this morning from our local Post Office saying "Mr. Hill, you have a box here making a lot of noise".  I opened the box and all 8 chicks were alive and doing well.  Our dog Missy is wondering what in the world these little things are.  There are a total of 8 hens (4 Buff Orpingtons, 2 Easter Eggers and 2 Barred Rocks).

Monday, April 9, 2012


 Well, I thought I would have my solar panels mounted and the electronics mounted inside before the day was over.  I did manage to get the rack for the panels built and the panels installed on the roof but that was it.  Troubleshooting some voltage problems plus not having several connectors and do-dads put the brakes on getting the system up and running.  I will have to wait until Amazon delivers the needed parts on Thursday to complete the installation.  I will also be adding additional panels as money permits.  My plan is to have the 1000 watt sine wave inverter mounted in my 'study', the room which opens out onto the back patio.  This power station will power my desktop electronics including computers, SW radio, scanner, cable and TIVO boxes, printer, stereo and AA battery chargers and lights.
I will also be connecting it to one outlet in the master bedroom and one in the kitchen.  In the event of no grid power we will at least have basic power for lights, fans, electronics and a small microwave.  No air conditioning, heating or electric range on my budget.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Working Outside

It was another beautiful day here.  Spent the whole day doing yardwork and cleaning the garage.  It helped to have a free forced labor helper to do the hard work in clearing the ditch.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Wet Wood

Cleaned out the last of the flood damaged wood today.  The bottom shelf of my workbench was inch thick particle board which totally fell apart after getting wet.  I had to chop it out today with a roofing shovel then shovel it out.  Wasn't too bad a job.

It was one of the most beautiful days I have seen in a long time.  Clearing skies, highs in the upper 60's and a 10mpg dry north wind.  It should be like this for the next week.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Wet and Cold

It rained all night and most of the day today and brought in much cooler weather.  It feels like winter after the unseasonably warm weather we have been having.  It was 84 degrees here a few days ago.  This is just a snap of a flower opening in a vase in our dining room. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Fresh Veggies in a Couple of Days

Let's put some veggies and herbs out front on the south side of the house to get some good sun.  I spent all afternoon planting about 14 planters.  I am glad I don't have to do that every day.  It was more work than I expected.  I also spent part of the day dismantling a Russian Mosin Nagant rifle that had been packed in cosmoline.  There was grease in every single nook and cranny.  Soaking the parts in mineral spirits did the trick on the metal parts.  The wood stock was put outside in the sun all afternoon and 'sweated' the grease out for the most part.  Pics tomorrow.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Almost Planting Time

I picked up some tomatoes, squash, bell peppers, hot peppers, onions, and five different herbs (sage, rosemary, oregano, basil and cilantro) along with potting soil.  Only thing I am missing are some green beans.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Earth Boxes

Getting some EarthBoxes ready to plant.  I will be making a big run to Lowe's tomorrow for potting soil and many other miscellaneous items that are adding up on my list.