Friday, August 31, 2012

Any Day Now

I just finished several 12 hour work days.  Now I get to have some time off thankfully to get back to work around the house.  I finished setting up the chicken nest boxes today in the coop and put some soft pine bedding inside.  Now I wait for that first egg over easy or maybe an omelet.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012


This has to be the best tool ever invented by God and I can't believe I never owned one until recently.  This is a DeWALT 20V Lithium Impact Driver and it came as a set with a drill.  I bought this impact driver after a friend showed me the merits of using one earlier this year.  I have used this thing to build the chicken run and a thousand other things around here.  When you drive a screw with a drill and screwdriver bit you frequently spin the bit out of the head of the screw and strip the slots in the screw head.  Not with this baby.  It has high torque, low rpm and it hammers the bit as it turns.  I have never had it spin out or strip a screw even after thousands of screws and it has so much power it will drive the screw completely through the board you are screwing into if you don't stop.   It is loud and it sounds like a impact wrench at an auto garage when they put on your wheel lug nuts but I think it's cool.  It also has 'headlights' which I thought was a gimmick at first but now love.   It is definitely my most used power tool followed closely by my Dremel 3" hand held rotary saw.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Another Spider of the Day

This spider has a face that only a spider's mother could love. Click on the pic a few times and you get a bigger view.  I find these spiders to be fascinating.  To watch something with a teeny brain act in such a sophisticated way is amazing.  I never kill them, just occasionally knock down a web that is in the way or use a broom in the garage to get all the webs down from the corners.  Once it starts to cool down they all pretty much disappear.  With all the spiders that we have some years and all the webs that I have walked through I have never been bitten.  This spider has a body a little over an inch long, over 2 inches in diameter overall, so it's pretty big. 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Spider of the Day

Caught this spider today extruding silk.  Probably fixing the web that my face went through last night.

Saturday, August 25, 2012


The spiders are everywhere this year.  Some years are worse than others for whatever reason.  After dark the webs pop up everywhere between objects so you have to take a lot of care walking around or ,'SURPRISE', your face is in a web.  These things all seem to be about face level for some reason.  When walking around after dark you definitely need a flashlight or a stick to hold in front of you as you walk.  This spider is about 2 inches in diameter from tiptoe to tiptoe.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Monday, August 20, 2012


Photographic evidence that I might be going just a tad bit gray/grey.  I have been calling it 'sandy' for a few years now but I think I may have to buckle and admit to a predominance of gray up there.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Power Wash

It's been almost a year since I power washed the concrete so today was the day.  The dirt and mildew gets down deep in the concrete so it's more than a quick rinse to get it off.  You have to hold it down close and do about a two inch strip at a time.  Bottom line is that it took all afternoon to do the front drive.  The back is great since I put the concrete coating down a few months ago.  It only takes a quick rinse to get it clean.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Painting and Sanding

Today I spent most of the day painting my living room although I am still not finished.  While painting I noticed spots of water on the laminate flooring.  On further investigation I discovered multiple places where water was seeping up through the seams in the flooring.  Oh oh, not good.  I pulled some of the stuff up and discovered water on top of the concrete.  Now I get to figure out where it is coming from.  During some of the torrential rains we have had recently water has been coming down the bricks of the fireplace so I am thinking that is where it is coming from.  Time to call a roofer as my roofing ability is what I would call 'rudimentary'.  I did get some sanding time in today on a couple of gun stocks.  Both guns are from my early teen years and both were in need of a 'rebuild'.  One is a double barrel 20 gauge shotgun and the other is from a Remington .22 bolt action.  I am going to refinish the wood and I have been tearing down, cleaning and lubricating the working metal parts. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Ready for Eggs

We had storms and rain all day today.  At one point we were under a tornado warning although I was not able to see any rotation anywhere.  I ended up doing some more painting inside and I also used some scrap wood to make a three bay chicken nesting box.  The chickens should start laying any time now so I had to get something in the coop for them to lay in.  The sloped top keeps chickens from sitting on top and the three inch lip across the front will keep the wood shavings and eggs in and will give the chickens something to hop up on to before going into the box.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Clark Kensington

Spent the day painting indoors.  I need to paint the garage and chicken coop but our daily rains have put that project on hold.  I recently started using Clark Kensington paint and it is the finest paint I have ever used.  One coat coverage and it passes that test with flying colors.  It is about 5 dollars a gallon more than the cheaper stuff but well worth it since you end up using less paint.  Not having to go back and apply a second coat is wonderful to me.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Tracy Says Hi!

This is one of my favorite pictures of my wife.  I took it one year ago while taking a road trip through the mountains of West Virginia.  She hates it saying "my hair is a mess and I'm wearing an old t-shirt for God's sake plus my smile is lopsided".

Sunday, August 12, 2012


This is a quaint waterfront cottage in Beaufort, NC.  Beaufort is a main jumping off point for sailors making transatlantic voyages and it is the town I came to while vacationing from Texas 20 years ago.  That visit convinced me that I wanted to live out here.  There is a Beaufort, NC (pronounced 'bowfort') and a Beaufort, SC (pronounced 'bewfort'). 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


Here are two ultrasounds of my Granddaughter, Elizabeth Ann Carson, who is due in October!  Now this is cool photography.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Here is one of the area grain mills which is now closed.  It amazes me to see all of the businesses which were up and running 15 years ago which are now closed.  Retail, construction, manufacturing, fishing, restaurants, you name it, most are gone.  The middle class in this country is on terminal life support.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Going in the Freezer

Another round of vegetables getting ready to go into the deep freeze.  I am in the middle of a three 12 hour day work stretch so nothing much going on in the picture taking world.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

More Veggies

This is what I harvested today.  The absolute last of the onions from the front planters,  various peppers which are coming in faster than I can pick them and some Roma and Cherry tomatoes.  The tomato plants are quickly becoming damaged from spider mites.  I was shooting for pesticide free and was thinking that the damage would be minimal but the plants are quickly wilting.  I will have to come up with something soon.  The pepper plants of all types just keep going and going with no pest problems.  The second picture shows half of my planters.  Cherry tomatoes on the left against the house followed by three planters of bell, anaheim, banana and jalapeno peppers.  The 2 planters on the right are the almost dead green beans.  If I had rolled them to the north side of the house before the heat hit they would be okay. There are also several smaller pots of Caribbean Red Hot peppers which are doing great.  This is all giving me lots of good ideas for next years planting.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Tapering Harvest

This is one of my recent harvests.  My vegetable planters have suffered terribly during our hot weather and I have lost most of my green beans and all of my squash.  All of my pepper plants are doing great and the herbs are also doing fine.  Tomatoes are suffering also as I have had trouble giving them the water they need when it has been real hot.  They really need to be watered twice a day when the heat is high but I have not been able to do that on days that I work.  This bowl has some of the last of my onions, banana peppers, bell peppers, anaheim peppers, jalapeno peppers, string beans, cherry tomatoes and some herbs.  This has all been an experiment to see how well vegetables will grow in the Earth Box planters.  The planters work great but next year I will implement two things that will make a huge difference.  The first is to have plenty of heavy duty supports for the veggies.  A few strings or a stick or two just doesn't cut it.  The second thing I will rig up is an automatic watering system.  Vegetables in planters soak up a tremendous amount of water when it is hot.