Friday, September 30, 2011

Haunted Mill Spooktacular

Here is the banner for our haunted house in the old mill here in Summersville. We are kicking things off at the Pumpkin Festival on Saturday. The following October Fridays and Saturdays starting on the 14th begin our haunted house until Halloween. This is my first time helping set up a haunted house inside an old mill. So much fun in the fall!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

On Cotton, On Fleece, On Knit...

We went back to the sewing factory that was going out of business to buy racks. These are pallet racks made for storing heavy things. And we also bought several yards of nylon, poly and knit to use as draping for the Haunted Mill in our town for Halloween. You can see how handy it is to have a heavy duty farm truck for tasks like these. We got it all home in safe without losing the any part of the load.

Ruby Red

Here is a 1935 Ford 3 window antique car a friend purchased to restore. The car is in good shape and looks pretty, just needs some proper restoration work done. The paint has bubbles and the radio is missing. All things my friend will take the time to fix. I think the front windshield that opens for air conditioning is neat.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

New Machine, Sad Story

This past Saturday we went to a going out of business sale at the local sewing factory. It was a bittersweet purchase we made. We found out the sewing factory had 180 American jobs for the small town of Mountain View. This factory was open since 1991 and doing a booming business. Then manufacturers decided clothing contracts from China and South America were too cheap to pass up. And all the clothing contracts went outside the USA. This means Missouri families lost income, security, health care, their futures; all out the window in less than two weeks time.
The owner/friend was very saddened the loss of the jobs for so many in his town. I saw jackets from Bass Pro shop, LL bean, Lands End and more, sitting unfinished on racks. All these clothing companies decided made in USA was not good enough for their bottom line.
So I walked around the warehouse looking at threads, clothes, sewing machines, coffee makers, computers, shelving. I saw workers showing off their industrial machines, sewn items, threads, so proud of a lifetime of work. These industrial sewing machines, buttoners, sergers, embroiderers were all run on special plugs and compress air. Luckily, I have a neighbor who can rewire my machine for home use. I bought a Pfaff, with a walking foot for high speed quilting. The owners father sat with me for an hour showing me how to operate this great machine in the warehouse. He knew how to service all these machines. That knowledge was worth more than the machine. I took notes and photos and even got a well used copy of the manual.
I paid more for my machine that what a liquidator will be paying; .20 cents on the dollar. All these machines will be sold off for a song and end up sold for scrap metal. They are worth more as scrap. At least I saved one machine. Wish I could have saved the jobs instead.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Happy Neighbors

Our new neighbors put up their new greenhouse together. They took the time getting all the parts installed before winter sets in the Ozarks. After a full day of installation we all took a fun trip to the local mills. They got to see how clear the spring water is out here in Missouri. Seeing our clean air and clean water makes you feel great living here.

13 Little Ones

Yesterday at 6am my post office called for me to pick up my duckling shipment. I ordered 12 ducklings mostly females and 4 straight run. Today I realized I forgot the leg bands. They need to be removed ASAP as to not hurt the leg growth. So my husband and I removed the bands from the ducklings. Even at 48 hours old they grow very fast. I also found out I was shipped one extra duckling lucky number thirteen.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Cedar Says

This week Jeff, our contractor is installing a custom cedar and cultured stone firewall in our basement. Jeff is using the cedar trees from our property to frame the firewall and shelving. We like the natural look of the gray cedar bark. Carpenter ants were found in some of the logs and those had to be scrapped. But for the shelves, Jeff will show the bark and red heartwood. Since Jeff is a contractor and an artist we both agree showing the beauty of the tree trunks.
Nothing like the smell of fresh cut cedar logs in the house. This will be a nice place to have our hearth this winter.

Staining the House

Last week we had our house oil stained by our good friend and contractor, Jeff Royer. He also had his son over taping up/masking our house. They both did and excellent job. Now when it rains the water beads up nicely off the house and deck. Just in time too, as it is a rainy week ahead.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

America Lost

I heard about the recent business flight on 9/11 where American fliers were arrested, cavity searched, stripped, the works all because of fear. Here is the truth from one of the flight victims:
Take the time to read what happened and understand this is not the America we all grew up in. This is wrong and our rights are being trampled all over. So thank you apathetic fearful Americans, thank you to our government, thank you to heartless greedy corporations, thank you to all the willing people who participate in hurting our citizens in the name of fear. You are making history repeat itself. It was called WW2, the citizens of Germany also lived in fear while in Nazi occupation.
Apathy and fear lead to the deaths of millions of good people right inside its nation.
And now we are doomed to repeat history because America lives in fear.
I wonder if the Patriot Act will make mandatory mini-x-ray machines for babies at the bus depots soon? I bet they will be so cute with balloons and rainbows painted on them. I wonder if our kids feet will get cold when they remove their shoes and get stripped searched at the airports? No matter, if they complain they will be shot behind the food court. Ah, the future of America is so bright, I have to throw up, thanks.

Stain Away

We are having our house oil stained again this year. This staining will last for 4-5 years before needing another coat. You can see the lighter color of the old stained versus the deep red pecan color of the fresh staining. The fresh stain will soften into the warm pecan as it dries. The staining takes only minutes to apply with a sprayer, it is the house wrapping that takes the time. All the shrubs, decking and windows need to be masked and protected from the sprayers. It takes 2 days of caulking, 1-2 days to mask and half a day to spray the stain. Cleanup also takes about another half a day. It is hard work but at least the weather has been helping our father and sons crew.

Personal Building Inspectors

We are having the wood on our house stained again before winter sets in. The weather has been dry and the wind mild, perfect for oil staining. While our windows were being masking off, our guineas came over to inspect the work. They were not jaded by bribes of crumbs from our crew. The crew passed inspection and work continued into the night and the guineas went home to roost.

Deck 'Em

Here is the latest of my neighbors addition project. Here is the first phase of adding a deck to his house. He learned that Ozark dirt is mostly rock and post holes are hand dug. Even a tractor auger has problems making holes in this stuff. Having dug several post holes for our barn, I understand the work involved. It is all coming together nicely for him.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Mill Tractor Show

This Saturday our Mill had the Cabool Iron Club showing off their tractors and motors for free. The tractors were in working order and running for all to see at the mill. We also had tours of the old mill for everyone. We had over 100 people stop by and see the doings of our mill.

Copper Me Twice

This evening my husband drove his car home from our shop and then ran into the house looking for me. He ran over a snake and needed me to ID good or bad snake. We ran up our gravel driveway and no snake. It moved from the scene of the crime. So we searched around the area and sure enough it was nearby hiding, a large copperhead still very much alive. My husband shot it several times, but it moved away fast up the hill. It struck out at us as we reloaded and finished the deed. This is the 2nd large copperhead we have had to dispatch on our property this week. These are very venomous and large snakes. This time I was wearing my hiking boots to protect my legs.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Wood Stove Mambo

We have been looking to replace our useless Mountaineer wood stove that came with our house. It was not made with dampers nor air flow controls of any kind. It burns too much wood and takes an hour to start a fire. So we found a Jotul dealer not far from us. He sells the cast iron Jotul brand of wood stoves. They are well made and have 2 doors for wood loading. We picked it up in our truck and drove it home. We used our tractor to get it off our truck and onto our porch. We then pushed it into the house. It weighs over 400 lbs!
Now we are in the process of having faux stone and cedar put on the fire wall, removing the old stove and installing the new one before the cold comes. All of this takes time along with the farm chores. But using wood heat beats using central hands down. You burn old wood, the ash goes into the garden, the wood heats the house, everyone benefits. Our chickens roll in the wood ash, the garden thrives on the ash, and the old down trees keep us in fueled and warm all winter long. And we get exercise chopping and hauling the wood.

Ancient Oak Tree

This is an oak tree that is at least 200 + years old. It is perfect for climbing and seeing the surrounding woods. It has survived the loggers, fires, winds, heavy rains and droughts of its life. It grows on my neighbors property now cleared from the overgrowth below it. Its roots are free again to grow for another 100 years. Its huge leaves can shade his restored barn and livestock once again.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Moving Air

Today was a surprise for me. We all piled into my neighbors truck to go to an auction. But the auction was very crowded and had low quality of goods offered. So we drove to the local hardware store to look for tools. We lucked out and found a lot of stuff on sale including air compressors. I have been wanting an air compressor for ages for rust removal and metal restoration. I look forward to using air tools and sandblasting stuff. The one I wanted was large luckily it did fit in my neighbors truck. He tied it down well and we drove the half hour home. Then he unloaded and moved it for us into our shop with his tractor. The last shot is of my neighbors tractor. He just put together an enclosed cab to his tractor. He will be warm and dry this winter. It is great having helpful neighbors out on the farm.

Moving the Wood

Since we mainly heat with a wood burning stove, having seasoned wood on hand is a priority for us in the Ozarks. Having the wood chopped, stacked, dry, mobile and handy is our goal. So this year my husband took wood palettes and made a wood holder to fit our tractor. The holder can hold several pounds of dry chopped wood. Next, the tractor can pick up the entire load and haul it to our house. There the wood remains dry, air can circulate and it is close to where we need it. No more falling wet wood piles around our shop and no more messy wood pile by the house. It is all chopped, stacked and mobile. We'll make a few more of these before winter sets in.

Pelleted Up

Now is the time to get ready for fall and winter in the Ozarks. Our days are in the 70's and the nights now in the 40's. Time for fishing out the sweaters and wool blankets and wood pellets for heating the house. We used about 30 bags last winter so we bought 100 bags this time. We hauled them home then transferred them to a palette onto our tractor to get them inside the garage. It took all day but we beat the rain and the cold front by taking turns unloading. Each bag weights 40 pounds. We got our workout for the day. Now on to the wood chopping.