Monday, April 29, 2024

Rest In Peace, Mister Larry Mittens

 Dr. Bouland, our veterinarian at Mt. Vernon gave us Mr. Larry Mittens. He was a young Tom who strayed in there, so the good doctor fixed him up and sent him home with us. Mr. Mittens was about fifteen years old, and developed a large mammary tumor in recent months. He began having difficulties yesterday, and today we had our current vet assess him. We knew going in what was going to happen. We've been through this before. Mittens was a good little pal, and an easy keeper, never causing any trouble in the household.

1917 Ford Model T and 1926 Fordson Snow Machine

 Great Pick, Merle! Many Thanks!

Sunday, April 28, 2024

Under The Utility Vehicle

 Our Kubota RTV has been mostly trouble free since we bought it twelve years ago. Last week I noticed a wet spot under it and investigated. There is a heat exchanger under the transmission filter, with two heater hoses hooked to it. This device has rotated counter-clockwise, kinking the hoses in the process, and nearly pulling one off. I called the parts guy at the dealership and he had never seen this happen, but he told me there is one nut in the middle of this thing to tighten after I remove the filter.  Good information! I have the filter and trans fluid, plus new 5/8" heater hose, so this week I will forge ahead and put everything back in order.

Back To The Old Grind!

Saturday, April 27, 2024

Planting In The Dark

During planting and harvest it is common to see farmers working into the night to finish their work. We had rain forecast for the next day, so this farmer finished the field before he quit on this field.

Weekend Steam: Gaar Scott

 Merle sent a suggestion for showing Gaar Scotts, so here we go. Thank You, Merle!

Thursday, April 25, 2024

Susan's Garden Report, April 25, 2024

 We ran the raw video through the process again this morning and it seems to work correctly now, so here is Susan's Garden Tour/Report!

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Corcoran Field Boot Maintenance

Here's my quick and dirty guide to caring for your leather work boots. My boots don't go on long hikes nowadays, but they do go with me in the woods frequently. Work boots are my daily footwear. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Four New Goslings!

We are up to eight, if the varmints don't get them. Pretty little things!

Monday, April 22, 2024

Tuesday Torque: 45 and 30-60 Mogul Tractors

 We will look first at some old video that was shot in black and white. Thank You, Merle!

Next we will look at newer videos, in living color.

Another Earth Day,

Another load of wood.


Sunday, April 21, 2024

Never Been On A Stone!...

 ...Is a common expression among guys who trade knives. Knife traders are good guys to stay away from. They are good at skinning you out of a good pocket knife, and you end up with  junky old plug. Something I have never heard is, "It's never had a blade on it!" We have that. We picked it up at a little sale years ago when returning to the farm from Old Threshers. 

It is a little shop worn from sitting in various places over the years, but that stone has never sharpened tools.

Back To The Old Grind!

First Poppy!


Saturday, April 20, 2024

Big Bird News!

 The past day has been an exciting bird day for us. Last night one of the baby barred owls stuck its head up out of the den in the hollow hickory tree! We quickly set up an emergency fence across the dog yard just in case the little bird gets on the ground. We sure don't want a dog to get it.

One of our nesting pairs of geese now have four goslings that they are walking around the yard and taking out in the pond. The pair under our sycamore tree is still sitting on eggs.

One of our hunting friends came over this morning and nailed a Jake turkey. He called once and waited 1/2 hour before the turkey showed itself. 

Weekend Steam: Strasburg Railroad #89

 Summer travel opportunities will soon be here, and Merle reminded us that Strasburg Railroad is a must for steam enthusiasts. Click the photo of Number 89 to watch Strasburg's video on YouTube.

Click Here for Strasburg's website.

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Early Arbor Day

 Hamilton County IL Soil and Water Conservation District organized another tree planting project for the third graders this year, and we had perfect weather mid-day to show the kids how to plant trees. Good times! The kids all know how to plant a potted tree properly now, and will probably remember it for the rest of their lives.

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Prowlers Again

 The bums you will always have with you. We recently noticed that fuel had been stolen from our utility vehicle, and found strange footprints in the barn. The perps also pulled the wires off the ignition switch on the log splitter. Bad pennies they are.

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

A Good Tree In The Wrong Place

 Here's a typical weekend job for Susan and me. This black walnut is a volunteer, and a pretty nice tree, but it is too close to this cottage, so it will go into the barn as firewood. The crown was going to reach over the roof this year, and that is far enough. We use the open face and bore cut method to take the tree down.

Monday, April 15, 2024

Tuesday Torque: De La Vergne Oil Engine

 Merle ran across a Facebook Reel of the BIG De La Vergne engine at Rollag, Minnesota. Hey, I have  a video of that engine, so I am going to post mine! It is really big. 26 " bore and 38" stroke, 20,175 cubic inches! Built in New York in 1903. Thanks, Merle!

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Weekend Steam II: Another Quick Look At The Mt. Washington Cog Railway,

 ...Thanks to Merle for spotting! ClickThisLink

Even The Dogs Gotta Grind!


                                       Back To The Old Grind!

Bore Cut Challenge

 This is easy if you have practiced, but those who are new to bore cutting often blow out their hinge or back strap. When the cut is through, let off your throttle and let the chain stop before pulling the saw out. A successful cut can be ruined by pulling back with the chain running. 

Follow the same rules we use for big trees when you cut the little ones. Look for safety hazards. Measure your diameter, height, and space to drop the tree. Design your front and back cuts, your trigger, and know your escape route. Small trees can be challenging because there is not much room to work in the stem with your saw, so plan accordingly. Thank You for visiting and watching!

Friday, April 12, 2024

Weekend Steam: Valley Railroad Company, Essex, Connecticut

 Merle spotted another railroad that we had never heard of, and I found  a video of more than an hour, shot last fall. Grab a cup of coffee! Thank You, Merle!

Spring Turkey Season Is In

Last weekend was youth season, and I could hear a novice calling just west of us. Continuous calling. He scratched that hen call solid for half an hour. It was hilarious. The gobblers did not fly down to him. This morning is one of the regular seasons, and at sunrise there was one shotgun blast near us, so someone got a gobbler. On a related note, our barred owls were nowhere to be seen or heard yesterday or today, so they have taken off with their fledglings. It has been fun watching them. 


Wednesday, April 10, 2024

John Prine....

 ....passed four years ago today. He wrote this song after visiting his grandfather's grave. The line about the sailors always gets me. John was a good guy.

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

April 8 Eclipse Cook Out

 Several friends gathered with us for an eclipse party, and we were blessed with a nearly cloud-free sky, light breezes, and perfect temperature to enjoy being outdoors. Y'all should been here!

Tuesday Torque: 1903 Humber Tricycle

 Many Thanks, Merle! I could sure enjoy one of these.

Sunday, April 7, 2024

Barn Groundhog

We are letting him stay, in case of hard times. This big boy could grease your skillet!

Hoping For A Sunny Day April 8

 We are all set for a good time tomorrow. Friends have come from far away, the brush pile is ready to light in the morning, and we have lots of meat to cook outdoors. Then four minutes of glory at two o'clock!

No Grinding, Just Good Times!

Friday, April 5, 2024

Weekend Steam: Firing A Best Traction Engine

 Merle sent the link to this channel back in December, and we are just getting around to posting it. There are a lot of good channels on YouTube, and MrShoptaw is one of them. Click his video over to YouTube and hit his subscribe button! Thank You, Merle!

The Barred Owl Keeps An Eye On Us!

 We got lucky this morning and the owl perched nearby, and waited while I retrieved the camera. With no time to spare, I cracked the door open and got a quick vid.

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

What Happens When Your Saw Goes Dull?

 This video was going along swimmingly until I was in the final cut, then the right side of the chain stopped cutting well and the bar began curving to the left. Being so close to finishing, I fought it through, and you can see how difficult that is. This went from a pruning lesson to a malfunction demonstration! Stay Sharp!

Tuesday Torque: Crosby, North Dakota

 Merle sent a link to a video from Crosby, North Dakota and it looks like a great show.  Crosby is only five miles from the Canadian border in NW North Dakota, so check your oil and kick your tires before you head out! Thank You, Merle!