support the little guy!

Today I finished installing the roof of the future coop.  For the rafters I used 2"x6"x12 ft kiln dried wood, not pressure treated; for the purlins I used 2"x4" pressure treated, and for the roofing 2ft x12ft galvanized steel crimp roof panels.  I painted with exterior enamel paint those parts of the rafters which would be exposed to either rain or carpenter bees. I deliberated long on how to transport the 12 ft lengths of wood and roof panels.  My pickup has a 6 ft bed so either Read more [...]

new chicken coop

I am making slow progress with construction of the new chicken coop.  The present coops are well located for summer weather since they are at the bottom of the hill with large trees to the east and west and well screened from the sun, except when it is overhead.  The coops are enclosed by walls on two sides and netting/fencing on two sides, so cold winter winds will easily find the residents.  I considered closing in the remaining sides, but decided an extra coop will be handy in the future and, Read more [...]

cutting a ramp with Takeuchi

Last year I bought a Takeuchi TL26 track loader.  This machine was made in the 90's and because it has tracks rather than wheels is ideal for grading or re-shaping the ground surface.  It has 61hp, which makes it a mid-size loader and just right for my limited needs. In the article on the fading battery I mention some of the repairs I have made to it. Since the temperature tomorrow is expected to be back in the 90's and today we are only in the 80's, I decided to cut a ramp down to the lower Read more [...]

shear bolts

When I first began using my tractor I did not appreciate the importance of shear bolts or patience. I have a Case 585 tractor, which was built in the late eighties and has a 60hp 4 cylinder diesel engine.  I needed to dig a small rain catchment ditch along the gravel driveway to catch rainwater as it streamed down the hill.  Georgia clay in summer is difficult to work, even with a pickaxe.  I decided to facilitate the job with a subsoiler (sometimes also called a chisel plow) attached to Read more [...]

rainwater harvesting – making every drop count

Blockages in the rainwater harvesting system With rainwater harvesting whatever can go wrong does.  After fall I cleared my gutter of leaf debris and left it at that.  Silly me!  I didn't consider that the 2" pipe from the downspout outlet to the storage tank might be clogged with leaves.  It was only when rainwater collection by the one tank was less than expected and when, during a downfall, I saw rainwater cascading over the gutter, that I figured I had a problem. Clearing the blockage Read more [...]

rainwater harvesting from an old deck

I acquired an adjoining piece of land which had an old mobile home and, attached to it, an old deck.  The land was uphill of my property with full sun exposure and well suited for growing and rainwater harvesting.  The timbers of the deck were protected from the rain by the roof of the deck and from the sun by an overtowering maple and were therefore in good condition.  I decided to sell the mobile home and keep the deck, though for what purpose was unclear to me at the time. The purchaser Read more [...]


Highway robbers did holdups – stopped travelers under threat of violence to lighten their possessions. I was heldup for several days and only today was I released and able to continue my blog journey. The ethereal robber slipped through the internet highways and abruptly hijacked my laptop. It was not a baldfaced “stand and deliver” instead a more nuanced demand for protection money – the intruder announced it had identified serious virus threats and upon activation and payment of a ransom Read more [...]

2nd chicken coop done

Arrival of the egg laying chicken My neighbor offered me her 6 chicken and nesting boxes and metal waterer for a reasonable price and, because of the age and size difference between her mature egg laying chicken and my youngsters, I built a second chicken coop to receive them as well as a separate fenced outdoor exercise and grazing area. I refurbished a horse stall into a chicken coop using scrap lumber and wire fence leftovers.  I used screws rather than nails since it is easier to undo Read more [...]

lifting things

Heavy items can be a challenge to lift when you are single handed and no longer in your 20's or 30's. Installing an island oven/range hood I recently had to install an island oven/range hood - this is the hood which fits above an island range in a kitchen. If the range was located against an exterior wall it would be a simpler matter to install a wall vent. However, an island range hood is more complicated because the hood has to be suspended from the ceiling. I cut a hole in the ceiling Read more [...]

making whole wheat bread

A wise man once told me "You are what you eat".  At the time I ate whatever I wished and being in my mid- 20's and healthy, I saw little need to change my eating habits.  Nowadays I eat "healthy" which includes whole wheat bread and, noting the cost of 100% whole wheat bread and wishing to be as self-reliant as possible, I decided to venture down the bread making route. Acquiring a whole wheat bread maker First stop was a bread making machine (I could have tried hand kneading but I like machines) Read more [...]