Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Garden Stuff

Things in the garden are literally exploding. Beef Steak Tomatoes as well as our Romas are picked every day. And Yes I am making my own sauce this year.

Our peppers are looking good too. We are drying out the chilies and habaneros to make crushed red pepper for seasoning. And all the guys like having banana peppers in salads and etc... 

 I got our cantaloupes for free from the high school plant sale. Now with lots of TLC they are overtaking the bottom half of the garden. It seems like  every day we pick off a nice, sweet, juicy one. I really am going to pat myself on the back for this because when the lady gave the plants to me they had been damaged by a cold snap and she did not have much hope for them so its a proud moment for me.

Fall beans went in this week, Senior and I added  fence panels for supporting the runners we also weaved our irrigation line through the bottom rung so that it would be slightly elevated and provide more drip action. In the back ground of the second picture you can see our okra. It is about waist high and Sunday we cut our first batch.

And for your pig viewing pleasure and because it has been a few weeks since I posted a pic. Here is Lisa attacking Kathryn in order to get to the water hose. Playing in the water is a real treat for them. Good Lord they crack me up.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Fouled XJ Fender Flares and finally found a holster for the Ruger SP101

    With the past 4th of July Weekend, I took 5 days off, actually 2 days off to make the 5 day total, we did a fender flare upgrade to the XJ. The stock flares did ok with the 33" tires, but I did get some rubbing when I turn and articulated the front suspension. I went to Summit Racing (not liberal Amazon that amateur prepper's promote on their 4th or 5th website to make a few pennies because they quit college) and found a set of Rugged Ridge Flares at a decent price. I had a VA C&P appointment in Columbia on June 30th and me and the boys started that afternoon after I got home.

     First thing we did was to take the stock flares off. I will put this out there, all the stock hardware that held it on snapped off when using a 10mm ratchet and it all came off without a glitch. We removed the wheel well inserts (save them because you will need to put them back in, if you want too, I did.) You will also have to take off the stock front bumper caps, which was easy as well.

    Following the supplied instructions and laying out our cut lines, we started the cutting.

     I tend to use step drill bits over a normal drill bits and here is the reason why. The drivers side front fender has the windshield washer reservoir tank right behind it and above the wheel well inserts. I didn't want to puncture the tank with a long drill bit. I used the first increment of the bit, a 3/16th. After fitting the front fender up and marking our holes to drill, we started drilling.

      Using the supplied Allen bolts, washers, and rubber spacers we put on both front fenders.

Passenger side

     With the front done, we proceeded to the rear fenders and just like the front stock flares, we had no issue getting them off. This is the part when things got confusing with the supplied instructions. This is the cut line that was explained in the instructions and it matched up with the picture but here is the problem. XJ's are uni-body vehicles and by following this line, I had the possibility of cutting the factory welds for the body and separating it. I would highly suggest doing what I did by taking a Sharpie pen and marking the factory weld points for the Uni-body as I did with a blue marker. What I ended up doing was cutting the metal off along the bottom ridge then cutting vertical slots to bend the metal up into the fender well.

Vertical cuts up to where the two body parts meet

NW and I attaching the 1st part of the rear flare.

     Once they were all on, we got the hell out of the heat and sun for the rest of the day.

    NW's birthday was that Monday and I spent the day with him, just him and I. We made a trip to some local stores (Dicks Sporting Goods and Cabelas) along with a stop for lunch. When we got to Cabelas we walked the whole store just looking and letting him find something that he would like for his birthday. We ended up at the knife section and he said, I would like a new knife. We looked and looked and then he found this one.

    As we continued to walk around, I told him, lets see if they have a holster for my Ruger SP101. While in the holster section, I was unable to find one specific for the SP101 but I found this one.

As you know already, I really like De Santis holsters.

    I told NW, lets take this holster over to the handgun counter and see if they has a SP101 in 2 1/4" barrel and lord behold they had one. I explained to the store employee what I was wanting to do and he took the 101 out of the case and it fit perfect. With my son and I happy with our finds, we went to checkout out. I did find an actual SP101 holster made by De-Santis online and it was $20 more than the one I bought.

    Well time to go. Haven't decided what upgrade to do next for the Fouled XJ, maybe a Roof Rack, Front bumper with winch, rear bumper, who knows. Hope everyone has a good weekend and keep prepping because Amazon wont save your ass when SHTF!!!!


Tuesday, July 4, 2017

4th of July and Gettysburg

JUGM here and on behalf of our family I want to say "Happy Birthday America"!  We Hope you are enjoying the day with family and friends and  celebrating our countries birthday. I was watching the mini series "Sons of Liberty" and thought to myself "Good God, what it must have been like to live back then" .

The following is for our good friend Harry at Self Sufficient Mountain Living. My nephew in law and niece live in Pennsylvania and he is a medic with the Army Reserves. Every year his unit schedules their July weekend drill to coincide with the Gettysburg Reenactment. They volunteer to serve the medical needs of visitors and all the reenactors. This year my niece went along for the fun and sent some great pics to me. She also took some videos but has not got those to me yet, when she does I will do another post because they are pretty awesome.

They let my Nephew in Law fire a mortar

Everyone stayed in tents

The medical staff got to meet Mr. Lincoln

 I did ask about protesters and was told they were about 10 miles away and did not interfere with any of the weekends activities. I was told the issue became comical amongst everyone involved in the reenactment. Kind of like a "We dare them to show up" mentality.

Hope you all enjoyed the pics. God willing and the creeks don't rise I would really love to attend one in the future.  

Have a safe 4th of July!!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Started on a more formal shooting range

     As you might already know we have been busy with the kids and baseball from most of the spring and summer now. As the season has ended with NW in the All star tournament and having a head coach stating to his players after the 33-0 butt whooping, "I expected to loose that game". When I heard that, it was like grabbing the needle off a vinyl record and scratching it to the edge. You don't expect to loose any game, you practice hard, work on fundamentals, and use you head to make the right play each time, but what do I know, my kid had a batting average of 1.000 with all the other coaches kids batting .000 without spending one dime on some baseball academy run by a high school coach. Enough of my rant, we have a two month break until they are back at it in another local league. Yes, it costs more, but that usually weed's out a lot of the kids that don't want to learn the game and are only there because their parents want them to play. My kids love baseball.

     Well moving right along. I have around 60-70 cubic yards of red clay as my back stop. It has been weathered down a bit over the past year and a half. Inside is a core of 3 inch chunks of asphalt from a local road that was removed 3 years ago. Our friend the Farmer has a brother in law that works for the state and he needed a place to dump some dirt, granite embankment rock and chunks of asphalt, well I didn't turn him down. In the first picture here, I put the 3 point post hole digger on the tractor with a 6" auger bit and drilled down in the soil around 25-30" down. I didn't use concrete in them as I pushed the red clay back in and periodically stopped then took a sledge hammer and rammed it into the hole to pack it in. Once the rains come, it will harden up real good. I choose to use landscaping timbers instead of fence post from Tractor Supply or 4 X 4 posts from Home depot and here is the reason why. They cost over half the price as the others, they are pressure treated, and have a flat side to screw boards into.      

The boys and I deciding what we want to hang
Phase 1 complete

      As you can see from the above picture, I added a variety of different targets and also a board to add paper targets for sighting in. I have thought about adding some more steel to it and getting rid of the tanks. With the price of the steel, I will take some time to do that.

     With the addition of this more formal range, JUGM and I wanted to get the boys a nice gun that they could learn with that was an easy gun to use, clean, and fire. I also wanted it so I could add my suppressor to it so we went with a classic reborn: the Ruger Mark IV 22/45

ND taking a turn on it

NW having his turn

     As I am writing this, JUGM is giving me the evil eye about helping her with the corn we picked today. Stay safe out there.



Update on corn from the first picking tonight for "K", picked, packed and heading to the freezer.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Baseball,corn and a new book

Sorry for lack of post, but we have been busy in our garden and baseball. NW ( the oldest) made All-Stars and that meant more practice in preparation for the district tournament. He was thrown on a team with kids from the wealthier side of the tracks, kids whose parents spend an obscene amount of money on private baseball lessons and sending their kids to private baseball academies. Some of the kids also play on  travel teams and is supposed to be pretty good...right?
Well when it came time for the tournament we were hammered the first game 33-0. NW only got to play 1/2 of an inning, as you can figure the coaches had their kids in the whole time even though they could not produce one hit.
The next day was game two. This time they play NW the entire game. and wouldn't you know it, the kid from the country who hits rocks with a stick and plays whiffle ball with his brother in the yard  was the only kid who had two solid base hits. And those kids who get formal lessons? Well, they all ended up hitless. We lost that second game as well 15-1. But its okay, our boy ended up on top and personally had a great game. So now officially our season is over until the fall.

Our corn is about ready, and its looking really good. In another few days we will get to picking and shucking it all.

Fathers Day weekend we went and checked out a new camping/survival store. It was larger inside then we first thought, had lots of fun gadgets but a little on the pricey side. We didn't want our trip to be a bust, so Senior and the boys found a new book:

The writer is a former SEAL and inside is all kind of useful information like :

I know! just what the kids need to be reading about...lol