Friday, July 24, 2009

Making Mama Happy

Fifteen years ago this month I started building our current home, one and a half years later I finally finished it. The home is an Appalachian Dovetail log home, the logs and the setting of the logs was provided by Old Virginia Hand Hewn out of Pennington Gap Virginia. I had to have the foundation and subfloor completed prior to Old Virginia setting the logs, afterwards I then had to complete the house. After the logs were set and I had the house dried in I put stain on the house, I have not stained the house since that time because I like the weather look, however mama doesn't. After three years of being reminded that she didn't like it, I finally decided with all the other irons I had in the fire, I was not going to have time to strip and restain. So I hired a company out of Tennessee to do the job for me. Yesterday they showed up and started on the house, so over the next several days I will be blogging about the process. They arrived yesterday around 1 pm and worked until 7:30, a lot of the time yesterday was spent on setting up their equipment. After the everything was set up they started on the back side of the house.

This is the back side of the house before they got started.

These pictures are the mirror image after the cleaning.

The cleaning is the first part of a four part process, next the buff the wood due to the grain being raised when the clean then they put on a brightener which always returns the PH to the proper level, then they apply the stain.

Well this was the end of day one, until next time...


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

This and That

Friday we headed for Kentucky Speedway for the Camping World Truck race, we have season passes and backstretch camping. We generally go to one Nascar Sprint race each year at a different location when we are camping. Since Kentucky Speedway is close we go to all the races there as well.

We had a cold front come through and it felt like a fall day, the high was only 68 degrees, this is the coldest day I can ever remember for the middle of July (so much for global warming). The sky was beautiful but you can't hardly tell it from these photos.

After race fireworks, I can never get too many fireworks...

About four weeks ago we were at the Nationwide Series race, during a red flag stop the cars all stopped in front of our camping spot so we took a few pictures of doodlebugs holding up her Kyle Busch flag, that's Kyle in the 18 car behind doodlebugs.

The eventual winner was Joey Logano her in the 20 car...

The last two nights I've been putting chicken wire up in the barn where the coons got in last week, since the hawk attack about a month ago I've not been letting the chickens free range except in the enclosed pen behind the barn. Since we were at the barn working we let them out and did they have a ball on the fresh grass and bugs.

Until next time...


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Coons 1 Me 0 well almost 0

Last Thursday night when we got home from the farm I went to put up the chickens, I counted to make sure they were all in, I kept coming up 1 short. My wife and son had been letting them out in the mornings and putting them up at night, I thought maybe they had left the door open or something because I was sure a nothing could not get in the pen.

Well last night I was proven wrong, I went down to put the chickens up later then normal, I opened the barn, turned on the lights and what to my surprise, a mama coon and four little ones all started climbing up the post heading for the loft. Since the loft does not have any lights I went back to the house for a flashlight and "shootin iron"(pistol for you city folk). Up the ladder I went, I started shining the light around and saw mama but no little ones, I went ahead and dispatched of mama since she was not thrilled I was there. After shinning the light around I found the little ones in the rafters, I didn't really want to dispatch of them (too cute), plus I didn't really want any holes in my roof. I went back to the house to get a fishing net so I could capture the little critters. I grab a pole and knocked them into the net one at a time, the first three were no problem but the forth one did not want to cooperate. After catching each one I would climb down the ladder and put them in a rabbit cage. The forth one decided to run for his life, he would climb down into the chicken pen and when I would go down there he would climb back up into the loft, after about three tries he vanished.

This morning I got up and went down to the barn to take pictures, the little varmints had chewed through the wire and escaped, tonight I get to work on the chicken pen some more.

Until next time...


Monday, July 13, 2009

Museum of Appalachia

Every year on the kids fall break we always spend the week camping in the Smoky Mountains. On the way there or the way back we generally stop at the Museum of Appalachia and spend a day, in the fall they have a homecoming every year and a couple of years ago we spent the day at homecoming. If you ever get a chance it is a great way to step back in time by touring their grounds, it has indoor museums but also a farm area with log cabin homes, church, school etc.. During the homecoming they have a lot of booths, exhibitions of making soap, split rail fence, sorghum etc. They also have bluegrass music all weekend long on several stages with some well known artist.

You can check them out at

Removing the syrup from the sugar cane to be cooked down into Sorghum Molasses

Cooking down the syrup

Making Purses out of tree bark

Making cedar canes with a replicator lathe power by tractor

Doodlebugs and Friend

Making cedar split rail fence rails using cedar mauls and dogwood wedges

Hit and miss engine 5 horsepower

Bubby and Doodlebugs at the sheep paddock

Here is a interesting video of the area

Until next time....


Friday, July 10, 2009

Barn doors and such

Me and Doodlebugs spent the last few days down on the farm while the guys put up the doors on the barn. Now I have all my equipment dry and locked which is a good thing. A lot of farms are experiencing theft right now due to the economy, I know they can still break in if they want to but at least they will have to work at it now.

While they were installing the doors Doodlebugs went fishing and caught a snapping turtle. I didn't have time to mess with it or we would have had fried turtle for supper.

I spent my time cutting new ditches down the drive way, mowing the pastures and removing tree stumps.

After we returned from lunch one day one of the guys installing the doors came up an said "I killed a snake that was coming put from under your bulldozer". I went over and pulled the snake out from under the dozer and wasn't very happy that he had killed a big black snake. We have a lot of field mice so I would rather have the snake then mice, but he said "the snake had to go or he was going". Anyway as usual Doodlebugs wanted to pose with the snake.

I didn't get any pictures of the garden but we are now getting plenty of ripe tomatoes, yellow squash, zucchini and corn. The coons got 21 ears of corn the night before last though, now it's time to relocate the little varmints.

Until next time...