Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tuesday 10/28

We have been having early mornings in the low 30s to low 40s F degrees for the last few days even though the day highs are 70s - 80s F at times. Makes for some nice sunrises much of the time.This was Wednesday.
This one was Friday.
I finally got the wood off of the truck and stacked some other wood that had fallen. The wall of wood has started to grow slightly and needs about 10 more loads to connect up with the wood from last year that is behind me in this photo.
We have been burning mostly small round logs in the non-electric wood stoves that were installed this year. The furnace hasn't run any so far which saves on electric.
Rebecca picked a peck of pickling peppers (they were pickled when she picked them were they) and Rebecca's peppers went to Sunnybrook Farm. Sounds like I am getting two stories mixed up.
Anyway I decided to lacto ferment them and found a couple people on the internet with directions which included putting grape leaves in the bottom (could have used oak or blackberry) to add tannin so that the pickled peppers would be crisp. I also added some garlic and pickling spices just because it seems to smell good to me.
Added the salt and water then put some plastic lids and a weight to keep the pickles under the brine. They should be ready by the weekend but we will see as it is cool at night.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tuesday 10/21

I have been busy at work getting ready for the festival this Saturday. Had a couple dentist visits last week to get my teeth back in chewing shape again. I was going to cut wood on Saturday but the wind was blasting too hard so I repaired the fence around the big chicken lot and moved the new hens in there after removing a couple roosters from the gene pool. So on Sunday I took the logging wheelbarrow out to cut some wood.
This trip took me through the old barn and out back where I had dropped a number of trees back in the summer. I could have taken the truck out there but wanted to clear stuff out of the way first so that the truck didn't run over something.
I started cutting them into about 15-18 inch lengths and went through what I guessed was a truck load.
Brought the truck over and used the wheelbarrow to get the wood up the hill bank where I could toss it in and then stack it.
Ended up with mostly split and some rounds of cherry and tree of heaven.
Debbie's band played yesterday evening
at the library so I took a few photos. They don't get to practice much but actually sounded better than they used to, mainly because they don't have a drum any more.
Sunny this morning.
Getting a little color here if the sun hits the trees right.
Almost time to Bam Bam Bambi. Bow season is in now and the guy that hunts here has shot a coyote that kept messing up his hunting. He is real selective and would have let this little one go.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Thursday 10/16

Mud here, the sun was out today but we have had a lot of rain over the last few days.
We had fires in the wood stoves many evenings until the tropical air arrived.
It has been nice to have some sun at times today. We have been getting ready for the big festival at work so I have been working full time so no time to do much at home these days.
The weather has been so bad that I just haven't taken many photos lately.
Some of us were able to go to a show at the Harvester in town last night. I took a buddy who is a musician, since Debbie had to go to choir practice and he was amazed at how he would play guitar and harmonica at the same time and dance out the beat. This link shows him playing the harmonica and the bones but he spent most of the time playing guitar in the style of the 20's and 30's. Dom is excellent! Despite what the guy said, the first band sucked. Our boss said that Dom has been to our archives to do research on the original guys who played the bones and that style of music.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Sunday 10/12

Here I am catching up on things again, this was the sky when I went to move Dusty on Friday morning.
Some sun early as I left for work but it soon clouded and we have had rain ever since. More mud and people saying how much we need the rain. The ground has been wet for months here, don't even go there and try to tell me we need rain.
One of my coworkers put up some yard art with their initial mounted on what looks like a 49 Ford. Not the best photo but I had my eyes on the road and was shooting over my left shoulder so I will take it. People in aircraft have probably seen it!
Dusty has burrs on his tail but I have so far managed to keep them off of the rest of him. He is giving me the "It isn't time to go to the stable" look.
This tree needs to be cut into firewood as it is hollow and dangerous. I just don't want to fool with the poison ivy that coats it but will use an ax on it so that it can be sawed and dropped, then the rest of the ivy can be trimmed and pulled out of the way. Nasty stuff to deal with.
So far I have just had fires in the wood stoves and not the furnace as that gets things too hot. Cold and damp at night especially in the section that is a log cabin on the left.
I split about a load of wood over on the hillside in the mud and rain yesterday as I need to get something going now that I am starting to burn wood. It is a big worry this year because of rain and lack of time. What wood that I have cut is damp as it has rained so much this year but I have been able to burn it so far.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Wednesday 10/8

I got this shot while we were at the cannery the other day and forgot about it. On is a young buck and the other is slightly older, maybe a yearling.
Here is the eclipse from this morning, my camera just isn't good in low light situations but the colors are accurate from what I remember.
Got some nice foggy shots later.
Looking toward Boones Mill.
Looking east from behind our house, I had to go back there and fix the fence before going to work.
The new house at work.
The blacksmith working. The old camera does pretty good if I have good light, notice the spider web by his head, this was well over 100 yards away.
Blacksmith shop.
The roof of the damaged smoke house is being reused as the new entrance into the farm. The kitchen of the old house stands behind it and will also be used, it can still function since it was distanced from the house and didn't get bug damaged. Possibly better types of wood in it.
Another view of the barn, the sheep have stalls underneath which protects them from heat and cold since it is a stone foundation back in the bank.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Tuesday 10/7

On Monday morning, a coworker and I went out in the country to a cannery that dated from around 1900 and got a huge metal basket that was still there. The man is loaning it and some other canning tools to our exhibit.
The building was also a place to pack apples most of the last 100 years.
A metal hand packer for apples. A paper insert is placed on the inside and then apples were arranged on the lid, next the tall piece with the paper insert was set on top and filled with apples. A bushel basket was then placed over the outside and the whole thing was flipped upside down which filled the basket with a perfect bushel and protected by the thick paper liner. A wooden top and liner was then clamped on top and the bushel of apples was ready to ship.
Not an apple tree in sight now. The canning basket is in the back of the truck, it should hold a lot of cans in the exhibit.
By the time we got back to work they old log house had been mostly demolished. It was so bug infested that anything that was saved had to be put in a trailer and fumigated overnight. It was partly original and many other log buildings around the area meet the same outcome after 200 years of elements and insects. Luckily they thought far enough ahead to create a duplicate a short distance away. The kitchen of the old house was able to be saved and will be put to use for tours.
Cloudy and wet this morning but I got a strange photo of a 1960s dodge or plymouth police car through the windshield at the fork in the road. Not something that I would expect to see, looked like a young guy driving it.
Not many photos today, too busy and too wet outside when I got home.
I did take one inside as when I made chili for supper, the old mason jar looked kind of neat on the counter. It held tomatoes with a perfect seal for several years.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Sunday 10/5

The supervisor was up late last night but still managed to keep an eye on me as I did a few things this morning.
Went out to the brewery about 10 and helped out until a little after 3. We were making more porter today. Here the grain is being mashed in.
This doesn't smell anything like beer at this point but instead more like a toasty hot breakfast cereal.
It was 34F this morning and some frost at home. No bugs flying around so we didn't have to worry about them until later when some honey bees got the sweet scent as the sugars left the grain.
The wort (not called beer yet) is transferred through tubing to a heating tank. Nice dark color.
Lots of heating to exact temperatures to get the correct reactions to take place. The specific gravity and PH are tested often to make sure things are just right.
Barley after the sugars have been removed. I took some of this home for the chickens. If it is fresh, the horse can have some as well but it sours quickly.
Heat and wait. Eventually it tests out good and it is brought to a boil and the process of adding hops begins on a time scale to get the right flavor.
I left before the liquid was transferred back to the original tank after it was cleaned and washed with a "green" sanitizer so no stray yeast were present. At that point the yeast gets added and it takes about a week to ferment into beer.
The beer smell is present after the hops were added.
It cooled down again Sunday night so I built fires in the wood stoves to take the chill off.