Thursday, May 28, 2015

A New Camera!

Anyone who follows this blog, or my Drift Away blog, knows that I love photography.  It is something that I enjoy immensely.  While in Savannah traveling aboard Drift Away, I left my point-and-shoot outdoors and it got rained on, and rain and electronics don't get along.  Pamela convinced me to buy a halfway decent camera, and so I bought my basic Nikon D3100 DSLR.

Well, after about 12,000 photos over the past few years, I decided to upgrade to a semi-professional grade Nikon D7100.  And I am loving it!  What a great camera!  I took it to our property yesterday and was just messing about with it, taking photos of nothing in particular to learn how to use the various buttons and its capabilities.

All pics were with the 18-105mm lens.

The goats LOVE beer.  And pretzels.

And man did it rain.

I am very happy with this new camera, and for Pamela who allowed me to spend money extravagantly to buy it.  Yes.  I LOVE it!

Monday, May 25, 2015


Sunday of Memorial Day weekend was typical.  Pam rode Jeremiah, and I doubled the size of the little stone wall in front of the well.

I love Bessie the Tractor.  I have the gravel scoop on her stern and I only had to back up to a gravel pile and toss in rocks, which I then drove over to the wall place and dumped them.   I then only had to stack them up.

Oh, that mess by the hand pump?  That's a pallet sitting on cinder blocks, and on the pallet is a jet pump for the well.  Sitting next to it is a small generator which, once I buy the necessary plumbing on Tuesday, will pump water into the 65 gallon tank sitting on the rocks in the left of the photo.  That will provide water for the garden, and maybe even to the RV, although that is questionable unless I either build a higher frame for the tank or add another pump.

I've often thought of selling stone walls via the internet and mail order, with "some assembly required", but I imagine the shipping costs would be high.

On the home front, I fried an egg with provolone cheese and on the way from the fry pan to the toast, I hit my elbow and dropped it on the carpet in front of the kitchen sink.  Being almost 65, without a second thought, I scooped it up, plopped it on the toast, dashed it with hot sauce and ketchup and ate it.  Life is good.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Time to Mow

The grass is getting high.   Time to get out the lawn mowers.

I also bought a 65 gallon water tank and positioned it at the highest point on our property.

Some things I research to death.  Others, like water pressure, I like to experiment with.  Certainly there will be enough gravity to water the garden, but probably not enough for a shower in the RV.  I may be building a tower to put it on.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

We're Being Watched

We know we have Sasquatches around us, but arriving at the cabin and finding the door to the wood shed unlatched and open was surprising.  So yesterday, Pam decided to reconnoiter around the cabin.  She found where they watch us from, and fetched Bill, a friend who was visiting, and me to show us.

Up on a hill, near the driveway, were plenty of Sasquatch signs.  They can see us from there, but the chances of us seeing them are slim.

The first sign was the most obvious, a tree bend.  It was pinned by a log, and so did not occur naturally.  We find these everywhere and are most likely the most common evidence.

Close by was a pyramid.  It is a tree snapped off about eight or ten feet above the ground, and a second tree pulled over and placed at the break of the first tree.

But the most obvious, of course, are hand prints.   This is Pam's Miata's first.  It is smudged, but clearly a Sasquatch print.  The bent pointed thumb is on just about every print we've found.

Yeah, it is a little disconcerting to think that we're surrounded by Sasquatch, and that they watch us.  Kind of like Jane Goodall watches primates, I guess.

It is Thursday morning and I'm about to gather the dogs and head over to the property to putz around.  I'm waiting on the Amish to call me to let me know my lumber is ready and I can start building the run-in shed, outhouse, and pump house.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Speaking Sasquatch

I'll admit it.  I've lost it.  It is a good thing I'm old because otherwise I would never admit to doing some of  the things I do.

We've had what I suspect is a juvenile Sasquatch coming  around the cabin every night, and sometimes in the day.

Yesterday morning, I went to our property to stake the goats out before running errands off the mountain.  When I came back, I went to the RV to fetch a beer and I noticed that a bar of soap was gone from the pallet for the outdoor shower.  Strange.

I got the beer and went down the hill to check on the goats, and laying there in plain view was a bright blue bungee cord.  It was not there at 10 AM.  I certainly would have seen it.  Did a Sasquatch trade a bar of soap for a bungee cord?  Can I even write that without risk of being committed?

Pam arrived at the property from work early in the afternoon, and late in the day we left for the cabin.  She arrived minutes before me.  As I drove down the driveway, I saw the door to the wood shed was open and Pam was walking about inspecting the ground.

"What are you looking for?" I asked.

"Foot prints."

"Why did you open the wood shed door?"

"I didn't", she said.

Huh.  It must be the juvenile Sasquatch.

I read someplace that Sasquatch like apples, bananas, and other fruit.  Being me, I put a banana on the roof of the car last night.   This morning, I went out to check it first thing.  This is what I found.

We had some rain last night.  The finger prints left yesterday are almost gone, as you can see if you look closely to the left of the wiper.  But if you look just above the wiper, you will see a single finger print.  There is no road dust because of the rain.   It was dusted during the night with pollen.

It is as if the Sasquatch said "OK, I was here and I found that yellow fruit thing.  Exactly what is that and what do I do with it?"

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Sasquatch Antics

let me start off by saying I am not a crazy person.
My wife Pam and I have been renting a cabin in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York for a couple of years while we build a small place on land we own about a mile away. Last year, I was stunned to learn that not only are Sasquatches real, but we have them around our cabin and on our property.
I went to the property this morning to let out our goats. I then ran into town to run errands. When I came back, a bar of soap was missing from our outdoor shower, and a bright blue bungee cord was left near the goats. I check there everyday, including this morning, and the bungee cord wasn't there at 10 AM.
Later, returning to the cabin, Pam got there before me. She was looking at the ground, and the wood shed door was wide open. It was open when she got there.  She was looking for tracks, but the ground is very hard, so nothing.
I'm starting to think that it is a juvenile, based on the hand prints we recently found, and it is messing with us. Kind of like how when we were kids and we'd ring doorbells and run away.

The photo is of yesterday's hand prints. Very small, nowhere near the size of the massive print we found last year of an adult.
Is anyone else here living among Sasquatch? If so, have they been messing with you? Is this normal behavior? I am asking this in all seriousness.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Cheap Chinese Made Junk

My father-in-law, Earl, has it right.  Things you buy today are cheap Chinese made junk.  Total crap.

But first, a couple of cute photos of Ruby and her goats.

Make no mistake, these are Ruby's goats.  She took stewardship of them immediately, and barks Ruby commands to them.... what Ruby wants, no one knows.   But she is getting good at it, and is able to sort of herd them.  Yesterday Amos, the brown one, got loose and up it wandered towards the screen house with Ruby right there barking at it.  Ruby doesn't quite have it down yet as to turn the goat to get it where she wants it to be, but she's getting close.

Meanwhile, Earl came over and brought me a roof for the screen house, mine being ripped from removing it the year before.

"I'm getting tired of being eaten by black flies", he said.

So even though I have a new roof on order, I stuck on Earl's roof and then hooked up the new screens.   This is a Christy gazebo bought two years ago at Home Depot for $199.  I was really disappointed that the whole thing fell apart after two years, especially considering that the canvas spends half of the year in storage and out of UV, but fall apart it did.

Anyway, while waiting for the new roof, I hooked up the new screen.  This is what I got.

This is a Christy netting made for a Christy Gazebo.  Yes.  It is not only six inches too short...

But it is not 10 x 10.  It is about six inches short of that.  I had to use baling twine to stretch the nylon enough to zip it, as pictured.  I do not know what I will do about it being too short.

Seriously, why do we tolerate crappy Chinese made junk?  

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Ruby's Goats

Today was a productive day.  A tired one.  I didn't get to bed until midnight, and then I was up at 3:30 AM.  I logged onto Facebook only to spend the next one and a half hours messaging with my long lost cousin Frank.  Back to bed, up at 7.  And then off to the Amish sawmill in Ephratah to place an order for lumber to build a run-in shed for Jeremiah the Horse, and Amos and Andy the Goats, a pump house, and an outhouse.

This is the sawmill.  Nope, don't know how it is powered.

These are their vehicles.

Saltsman's Hotel in Ephratah celebrating 200 years.  It is a well known local restaurant, at this point.  They'll run an ad in the local newspaper, the Leader-Herald, which will only say "Milkweed's in", meaning that milkweed salad is in season.

Back at our property, I placed rocks where the 8 x 12 run-in shed will be.  I needed to bring in fill to level the site out.  I always have trouble squaring up the foot print.  But at this stage, getting close is all that is necessary.

Bessie the Tractor did a marvelous job scooping up sand and rocks with Skippy the Gravel Scoop... OK... too much.  I apologize.  Scooping up sand and rocks and dumping them where need be,

Pam arrived from fetching hay and all the critters were happy to see Momma.

I never knew goats could be so lovable.

Or such heavy drinkers.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Goats and the City Boy

Well, OK.  I'm not really a city boy.  I'm a suburb boy.  But still, I know little about animals.

I grew up with a cat, and at one point had a hamster.  That's it.  And then AP (After Pamela) we acquired Ruby the Pitbull, then Chevy the Pitbull, then a couple of cats, and then Olivia the German Shorthaired Pointer, and then Jeremiah the Horse, and now Amos and Andy the goats.

Goats are funny.  When we got them a couple of days ago, they were terrified.  Judi (Pam's mom) unloaded them from her car to a dog kennel, and then Pam and I fetched them to our property next door.  Pam had to carry Andy because he would not be led on a leash, and I had to push Amos to get him to move.  Now, they follow Pamela like puppy dogs.  Not only do they follow her,  but if they can't see her, they blatt loudly in protest.

This is Amos...

And this is Andy...

And this is our critters sorting things out.  Jeremiah the Horse doesn't like the goats and went after them.  Ruby, the overly protective momma pitbull, barked and protested loudly. 

Ruby has adopted the young goats as her own, and I feel sorry for anything that threatens Amos or Andy.  Ruby will kick their butt, including a 1,200 pound horse.  These are now Ruby's goats.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Bleecker's Flowers of Spring

Nope, I know little about flowers, so if anyone wants to comment on what they are, I'd appreciate it.

In goat news, they've both adapted well.  Andy follows Pamela around like a puppy dog, going everywhere she goes, and if she's out of sight he blats and calls loudly for her.  Amos is OK, but will take a bit more time.

Chevy got a shock collar on him and was reintroduced today.  He was much better behaved, although he probably wonders how they do that to him.  But he hasn't tried to eat them, which is good for Chevy.

Pam and I also drove around getting prices on rough cut lumber.  It looks like we might be buying from the Amish.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Meet The New Kids On The Block

Today was a good day.  Pam went horseback riding with her friend Kim.  I rototilled the garden again, a bit easier with some of the huge rocks removed.

Chevy got himself happily into mud.  A perfect day for a dog.

I know what you're thinking, but no, the siding in the pic below was not store bought.  I constructed it myself.  It is to shield the thermometer in the clock from the sun.

And yes, I finally decided that these jeans needed to go.  They certainly weren't keeping the dirt off me.  They went into the bonfire pile.

And then came our new kids, Amos and Andy.

Chevy the livestock killing pitbull had to go to our cabin to be locked up. Ruby was concerned, but Olivia the German Shorthaired Pointer was fascinated.  

What are you?  Are you a dog?  Do you want to play?  

We struggled to get the goats led on leash from Earl and Judi's dog kennel to our property.  But they both fell in love with Pam (who wouldn't) and let Pam lead them around on a leash, like dogs.

Regarding Pam's garden, she planted it and it will hopefully do well.

Oh... why the goats?  We have pricker bushes growing where Pam wants a pasture staked out and a run-in stall built for Jeremiah the Horse.  We could do it the hard way with weed whackers, or we could do it the easy way with goats, who will eat anything, including pricker bushes.

The next challenge is keeping Chevy from getting the goats.