June 2018

To Do:

  • Plant hydrangea rootings
  • Apply 303 to TT

Old List

Call Bert about cows and ditch

Seal split in grain bin roof near ladder.

Burn pile in Driskell field

Paint rust on gate

Seal tire to rim on JD mower

Search for cypress log to support oak tree

Find 4 lug wheels for disc

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May 2018 – Retirement Begins

Retirement Begins At The Farm

This was a great trip as we stayed 2 weeks–the first weeks of my retirement. Work on the house was transitioning from demo to rough in. We selected light fixtures, ceilinbg fans, granite slab for the kitchen counters, molding, doors, even toilets. We sprayed many weeds, trimmed 2 feet off the azaleas behind the house, and had to water the flower beds as it was dry at the start and did not rain for the entire 2 weeks. This was also the first time we stayed in the new travel trailer…many memories and good times. Continue reading

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April 2018 Renovation Begins

March 30th, Signed the contract and sent with keys to Robbie Mullins of Robert Mullins Builders, Inc.

4/6&7/2017 – Demo began and made a lot of progress. Photos compliments of Peggy Knippenberg of Blue Moon Farms.


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March 11, 2018 Taking Angel & Prep’ing for Updating

Sunday, March 12, 2018 – The truck and camper (later named Angel) were loaded, the running lights worked but then went out. The brakes and turns worked and the running lights on the truck worked so it must be a wire came loose in the new 6-pin connector. The sun was almost up so we left Houston at 7:30 AM on the maiden voyage to the farm in Mobile, AL.

About Beaumont the drizzle to easy rains began and continued almost to Lafayette. In one place two car-haulers running close past us and I was too close the dashed white between us. They started Angel to swaying just a little and she would not stop but the magnitude was small–like she was being restrained. Gently applied the brakes and she tracked straight. No other sway incidents and I stayed on the far side of my lane when an 18-wheeler past us.

The truck did well without any fluctuation in the engine or trans temps. In OD it is slow to gain speed and any incline prevents speeding up as well as 1-2 MPH loss kicked it out of OD. Learned to judge the incline that would cause speed to drop when going over a bridge and then turn off the cruise control letting the speed drop but stay in OD. Then, on the downhill side get back to the set speed and reset the cruise control.

Target speed was 62-63 MPH when the road was wet. In east LA and across MS it is very flat with fewer overpasses and was dry so 65 MPH was easy to maintain.

Arrived at the farm and she squeezed through the driveway gate at 5:00 PM. We had three re-filling stops as I heeded the advice to begin looking for a station when at 1/2 tank so the fillups were usually about 15 gallons. We also stopped for about 30 minutes total at Atchafalaya Welcome Center to eat the sandwiches we had bought at Kroger yesterday. Total trip time including the stops was 9.5 hours.

Monday – Tried to charge the JD battery but problem with electrical supply. Went to Home Depot bought more boxes and paper to pack stuff. Met with Robbie and walked house to finalize scope. He will have final quote Thursday. Ted cut the grass until his mower would not start. Wildflower seed in the front bed is not blooming but there are strange looking plants plus known weeds so maybe it will bloom. Scattered crimson clover blooms on back of ditch.

Tuesday – Packed boxes for the Open Door charity and to store during the renovation. Assembled the LAN shelves in the grain bin to the right of the entry. Moved boxes out there as well as hung inside the bin wreathes and the angel on wires from Houston in black plastic bags. Pulled grass from the wildflower bed between the white crepes. Removed more of the magnolia Frascati to thin it out and remove rubs.

Wednesday -Meetings Day as met with Robin, Open Door hauled away furniture, Century LInk installed new modem, and lastly Blossman Gas added 75 gallons to the tank and showed me that the plastic gauge we have should have the zero facing south. Ted and Dennis got his mower to run and then helped me load the big tube TV to haul to Best Buy for recycling.

Thursday – Leased a 10×5′ climate-controlled room at the new Airport Storage; Unit 454. Took a load of art and stuff to the unit in the afternoon. Took the big tube TV to Best Buy. Bought at Sessions Vegetable Market an Owari Satsuma tree (grown by Turner Farms) and a Blood Orange tree (grown by Star Nursery). Planted them along the west side of the driveway opposite the purple Crepe Myrtles.

Friday – Packed and loaded art, telescope and more and took to storage. Met with Robin and worked on the kitchen and utility room cabinets. Moved chrome shelves into carport storage and loaded more stuff as well as moved more to the grain bin. Took down curtains. Began loading kitchen stuff and more into TT; aka Angel.

Saturday – Continued packing and moving into the grain bin, storage closet off carport and into the rented storage unit. By the end of the day, we were exhausted but Mary had to weed the bed east of the front door. Decided there is no way to be done by early tomorrow AM.

Sunday – Finished packing and storing. Leveled Angel (the TT) and made ready for future use.

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Vanity for Master Bathroom

2/8/2018 from Houzz
Order 1591-8370-0249-2831 Delivered by February 15 – February 25
Shipping Method: Curbside

Price  $1,899.00

Deborah 80″ Double Vanity, White, White Carrera Marble, Undermount

Sold by: Modern Bathroom HMS Stores LLC
Deborah 80" Double Vanity, White, White Carrera Marble, Undermount
Shop bathroom vanities on Houzz – Click image to see other views and detail below.
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Animal Trapping Ideas

How to Make a Garbage Can and Ramp Trap

What you’ll need:
30 gallon (113.6 L) metal garbage can
A long, sturdy piece of wood (preferably a 2×4)

1. Just before dark, place the garbage can upright where you want to trap the skunk. Have it against something strong, such as a wall, so that the skunk cannot tip it over. Bait it with cat food, peanut butter, canned sardines, cat food, or other strong-smelling foods. Set it near the skunk’s den or its route of access to your property.

2. Get a long, sturdy piece of wood (it must be thick and heavy enough to hold a skunk, maybe a 2 x 4). Use it as a ramp to allow the skunk to get from the ground to inside the garbage can.

3. The skunk will not be able to get out of the garbage can. If handled carefully, it will hopefully not spray.

4. After the skunk is inside, put the lid on the garbage can. Put it in your truck and carry the skunk away to a wooded area. Release by tying (or clamping) a twenty foot or longer cord to the lid handle. This will allow you to take off the lid and letting the skunk make its own way back into nature without danger of getting sprayed.

Extracted from https://survivallife.com/deter-skunks/


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January Hard Freezes to Kickoff 2018

After a cold wet week between Christmas 2017 and New Year’s Eve, New Year’s day began with 10-20 MPH winds whistling through the pecan trees and frozen pipes and no heat in the house. The pond had a thin ice layer when we left at 9 AM.

January 2, 2018, saw a low temp that morning of 21 and a high temperature during the day of 40.

3rd – In the morning it only got down to 31. Blossman Gas checked the tank, found it empty even though the gauge said 50%. Added 50 gallons, checked for leaks and found none but he and Peg could not get it to light. Peg went back after Mandy picked up TS and adjusted the thermostat to 60 from 50–it came on.

4th – At 5:30 AM temp is 25 degrees. At 1:30 pm it is 45° for the day’s high.

5th, Friday – At 6:30 Am the temp is 27°. The high was 50°.

Sunday morning, 1/14/18, began the next cold spell when the morning temps fell into the mid 20s today, Monday and Tuesday. The full arctic cold front rolled in on Wednesday, 1/17/18, and the temps fell to 18° at sunrise. This was the storm that dropped a solid layer of sleet on Houston during our last winter there with freeways closed throughout the city.

Thursday morning- Temps fell to 19°. Houston was in the low 20s.

Friday morning – 25°. Houston 39, like is forecast for Mobile tomorrow morning.

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Christmas 2017

December 24, 2017 – So, the week begins.

Christmas Day – Sorted through old boxes of stuff in the front guest room. Setup two sets of “LAN” shelves in the grain bin and moved a lot of stuff from the carport storage room there.

26th – Took old bed frame, bedclothes, lamp and nightstand to GoodWill.

Exchanged Fergie’s Battery for one that fits. Took mattress and other junk to landfill. Spread 40 lb sack fo granulated gypsum on old barn site where the ground is very hard. Dusted rat droppings off shelves in the storage room and Mary organized it. Moved a lot of things to the new shelves in the bin.

Dec. 29, 2017

27th, Wednesday – Rainy, cold morning. in afternoon went to Coast Design Kitchen & Bath talked to them about appliances and kitchen design. She called in Robert Mullen of Robert Mullen Builders to talk about interior construction.

28th – Another cold drizzly morning.

29th – Walked to Mary’s Springs and crossed the creek to the east side.  Walked to the southeast corner post and little ways north but not to the Beaver Pond.

30th – Planted Bay Laurel in the NE corner of the front yard and divided two Day Lilies and put half of each either side of the Bay. Rearranged other Day Lilies outside Guest Room windows. Sod saved from the Bay planting was planted in spots in the old barn site. Trimmed out rubbing branches in the Magnolia Frescati as they were also the ones that were not leafing out. and had a lot of lichens. Planted the Texas Laurels from Houston along the road fence south of the old barn site. Burned up the last of Dad’s tax returns and Peg took home a box of old 33 RPM records.

31st, Sunday – Cold, breezy and drizzled all morning. Went to Home Depot and bought containers to pack things for during renovation. Sorted out kitchen pots and filled three boxes.


  1. Ford Battery – Need 36″ cables, no. 2 gauge
  2. Replace pole in Barn – email Ted to see if he is available during Christmas
  3. Call Southern Dozer Wayne? down the road about the pond
  4. Ask Peggy who the gas company is
  5. Call the appliance people to find out about delivery options.

To Do There

  1. Till Meyer Lemon Spots
  2. Set corners with Frank
  3. Replace pole in Barn
  4. Rebuild switch box at the barn & Re-establish power to the grain bin.
  5. Maybe – demo closet in the utility room if we make room in the storage room for all the “stuff” that is in it.
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TNT Construction finished punch list for new gables and eves

11/24/2017 – Timothy himself did the cleanup, touchup and straighten up work with a helper. Mary said when we drove up, and later so did Frank, that the new trim “makes the house look like a new house”.

With Aluminum and Vinyl Siding. Pre-Nov. 2017

The columns on the porch are great and we installed a new porch light fixture Mary bought on Houzz.com.

The gable-vent hurricane covers are numbered 1-4 starting at the carport and going CCW.

The labels from the paint colors are below.

Darker Grey Trim

Gables and soffits

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Fireplace Maintenance

11/22/2017 – ARC Chimney Services inspected and repaired the chimney. Work was proposed Labor Day by Brandon Maxwell at 888-998-2258.

The work was done by Michael Murphy (850-602-0129 and Chase. Michael referred us to Jamie Gonzales (850-450-8856) with Dream Built Solutions to place tile.


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