Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Wearing Mosquito Bites With Pride

Fall is such a great time of year.  The weather is starting to cool down, and the fields of flowers are spectacular.

And other flowers too.

As a result of our mouse experience, we threw away everything except the drawers.  

And in the end we had to throw them out too.

Note to self:  Never hose off particleboard

Now we just bring more things with us.  
  • Air mattresses  
  • The thingy that blows up the air mattresses
  • Head protection against the mosquitoes

And we make sure there's enough gas to warm up the coffee that's left in the Thermos.

We went to pick up something to eat at a restaurant in town, and met a farmer who likes to take his tractor to breakfast.

He restores one every year, and likes taking them to shows and festivals.  I think he said it was made in 1950.  It started up with one try, and he told us about a tractor museum near Lee we should check out.

I love tractors, and hope to have one some day.  Retro Man says I love tractors that somebody else maintains.  He has a point, as I rely on him to maintain all things with an engine.

After breakfast we went back to Tree Ring and did some bush hogging with the city weed wacker.  It reminded me of the saying "don't bring a knife to a gun fight".  After two hours we had only cleared an area about 10 by 40 feet of trees and brush, and the weed wacker died multiple times until we just stopped trying to use it.

The only negative on this trip were the mosquitoes.  They didn't seem too bad when we got there, but by nightfall it seemed like the word got out.  Of course we remembered to bring the air mattresses, but forgot the bug spray.

Usually the itching after a visit to Tree Ring brings opportunities to explain why I'm itching.  Which leads to discoveries of others who have lived on farms.  They have lots of good advice and funny farm stories.

Unfortunately no one has any advice for what to do about those bites you get through the seat of your chair at the camp fire.  

Or how to stop itching them.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Burnt Toast

I put some bread in the toaster oven and then lost track of time researching how to keep mice out of cabins.  

I suddenly realized it's been a while, and went in the kitchen to see flames a foot high and a room full of thick smoke.  I stood there with a glass of water screaming for Retro Man, who from a dead sleep ran down the stairs, unplugged it, grabbed oven mitts, and took it outside. 

So many lessons:

  • Marry someone smarter than you 
  • Never leave your toaster oven unattended
  • Chinese smoke detectors aren't worth shit, so get a new detector every year not just a new battery 
  • Replace your toaster oven more often than every 15 years
  • Clean the pan in your toaster oven more often than every 6 months
  • Make sure you know where your fire extinguisher is
  • Get one for your kitchen if you don't have one
  • Know how to use it
  • Periodically shake the fire extinguisher, as the contents can cake up rendering it useless if you need it
  • Don't put your toaster oven directly under kitchen cabinets
  • Just laugh when people make fun of your ineptitude in the kitchen 

At least I didn't throw the glass full of water into a plugged-in/stuck-in-the-on-position appliance engulfed in a grease fire.

Just waiting for the smoke to clear.

This blog is worthless without pictures.


On a positive note, i
t only took me one second to realize getting a picture of the flames was out of the question.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

October's Light

We went to Tree Ring on Saturday.  The first cold front had come through, and the weather was supposed to be beautiful!  

As soon as we got there, we opened the camper to air it out and found a surprise.

We'd gotten moused.

Actually many moused.  

The short version:  We went to town to get cleaning supplies, started to clean, decided we better take everything home to clean it more thoroughly, loaded all the sh$t (literally) into the van, and then decided we're just going to throw it all away.

And then it was time to head back.

After closing the camper, we found a little friend.

We surveyed the landscape.  All green and beautiful. We'll have to explore next visit.

Checked out some flowers (and bugs).

The fields were full of daisies.

And moths who love daisies.

 And other flowers.

As we were closing the gate on the way out, we decided to take the long way home through the Preserve.

We found Beautyberry.

Lots of water.

Beautiful scenery.

More flowers.

Some turkeys.

And a quail family I wasn't quick enough to get pictures of.

Most people love October because it's the start of fall, but I love October because of the light.   

As we rounded a corner, the sun was setting on a field of ferns that just seemed to glow.

This is why I love October.

And the reason why this trip was so worth it, despite getting moused.