Category Archives: Special Touches

Just A Bit of Cleanup

On Jun 6 a year ago, daughter, Jessica took me to a manicurist in Chillicothe because my hands and nails were a disaster and my son was to be married in a couple days.  We walked in and i sat down – the young girl took one look at my hands and commented ‘you must be a farmer.’  no exclamation, no criticism intended — just stated as a matter of fact what she saw.  Nevertheless, she commenced to work magic on my hands and nails in time for a very important day in my life – the marriage of my youngest to a wonderful new daughter.  

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My typical look – farm hands.
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And after a fair bit of scubbing and polishing. (And, yes, i did that by myself!)

Pershing State Park Trails

Ivis and I enjoyed our weekly hike on gentle trails at nearby Pershing State Park – a bit cool and very breezy, but good to spend time together.  Although, the calendar says we are 3 weeks into spring, there is only the tiniest bits of evidence.

 

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Sgian Dubh

Armed with Nathan’s knife making lessons and a trip to Scotland for Nathan’s 18th birthday, Nathan and I attempted to make our own sgian dubhs and a very useful sgian ‘brew.’

The sgian dibh is the small knife tucked inside the sock of a kilt wearing young man.  Known also as a ‘dark’ or ‘hidden’ knife.  We purchased our blades from Rainnea

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Cutting out the basic shape.
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Using tools we have on hand to sculpt the handle.

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This handle is made from osage orange (hedge).

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Sgian ‘brew’ on a Blackwatch tartan which is similar to that attributed to the Falconer sept of the Clan Keith.  This handle is fashioned from an oak log that was buried in the ditch on my farm, Tannachton Farm.

 

Barn to Bookshelves

At long last my feeble attempt at building a much–needed bookshelf out of the boards from our old horse barn that was located at the Lamme Farm is complete.  Most of the delay was due to the super cold and long winter.

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Final portrait before starting tear down of the horse barn at the Lamme Farm. – 2014
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The old barn was past its prime.
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Salvaging side lumber.
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Boards in storage.  I did have a bed made from these boards a few years ago, but hadn’t made anything until this bookshelf i recently completed.
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Lots and lots of sanding to remove layers of old paint.  My husband won’t let me buy a planer – says they are too dangerous.  Hmmm, but he has no problem with me running a table saw, chainsaw, reciprocating saw, circular saw, jig saw, band saw, and working cattle all day long.
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Putting on the final sanding.  Still without a planer, there are gouges which don’t show up until i add stain or other finish.
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I loaded this 6 foot tall unit into and out of my pickup, then into the house and up a set of curved stairs.  Good thing it’s not heavy!  A bit awkward.  The shelves are removable.

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A point of interest is that the Monocoat Pure wood conditioner/stain i used shows the difference between the ‘front’ of the boards (the side that was painted and exposed to outside weather) and the ‘back’ of the boards (shown here and the side without paint and inside the barn).  The back or inside stained darker.  I don’t know why.
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Here is the ‘front’ or outside painted side of the boards – showing a warmer finish than the darker reverse side.
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Not much organization, but it’s gonna hold a lot of books.  i’m encouraged to put another build on my ‘to do’ list once i get all my other ‘to build’ items completed.

Have a great week!

tauna

Horse Barn teardown 5-27-14 (1)
The barn, and later our house, was razed, shingles removed, and the rubble burnt.  Not much left after we salvaged so much from it. (the house was removed in a truck since it is illegal to burn a house – even out here in the boonies)

Antique Farm Machinery

So, i didn’t find any buyers for the old farm machinery i found on one of my farms last fall, so i put it on display!  Crazy, i know, but it’s either that, or they go to scrap iron for 4 cents a pound.

The two smaller pieces were fairly simple to wrangle into place, but the riding one bottom plough required the use of tractor and front end loader to lift into place.  Son, Dallas, took care of that.  He also was the muscle behind getting the shaft on the big wheel rotated so that it would set level.  I applied liberal amounts of rust buster stuff as well as loosened the rust around the opening with maul and punch.  Thankfully, the set screw came loose easily.  Using an old wagon jack, i lifted the low side up, then we started with the big pipe wrench, then as the shaft moved closer into place, i switched to a smaller wrench and a cheater bar.  Like i said, Dallas put all the grunt into the actual move.

There is one more piece i plan to move into my antique garden – maybe i’ll have time next week.

Life on the Farm!

tauna

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My John Deere 267 horse drawn Stag Sulky looking quite lopsided.
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Looking very dapper in its level ride position!
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“John Deere never saw a green tractor
From the time he revolutionized the plow in
1837, John Deere continually looked for ways
to improve equipment to make life easier for
farmers. While steam engine tractors began
to appear in the 1880s, when Deere died in
1886, the world was still using the walking
plow as its main means of turning the soil.”  The Plowshare

 

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Antique cultivator

 

 

Tokaji Aszu

Daughter, Jessica, thoughtfully left me a New Year’s Eve gift since she wasn’t going to be home for it.  However, I have a cold and will wait until i feel better and so it can be shared with my dearest friend, Ivis.

Jessica packed this bottle all the way from her short visit to Budapest in early December to home in north Missouri!  This is a bottle of Sweet Quality Dessert Wine made from grapes infected with a fungus!  Weird.  Tokaji Aszú

Farming in the northeast area of Hungary near the Slovakia border.

Cheers!

tauna

 

It’s ALIVE!

Sometimes life can be really depressing, especially at the end of a long, cold winter and everyone is exhausted, but then just little things can really brighten your day!  Last summer, we razed our old house, but before doing so, we wanted to save the old rose bush that had been sheltered in a southeast facing corner for perhaps 60 years or maybe more!  A long time ago, a visitor suggested that it was called a ‘seven sisters rose‘ so-named because of the way the blossoms cluster in sevens.

So, we moved it.  I had called Mendenhall’s Florists & Nursery in Brookfield, MO for advice and found out that it would be nearly impossible to move it in the middle of the summer and have it survive, but we had no choice.

Christian Finck and Dallas Powell discussing strategy -although it all goes through me.
Christian Finck and Dallas Powell discussing strategy -although it all goes through me. The first steps were to remove the support structure then tie all the canes together. This heritage rose is exceptionally thorny.
We just sort of guessed at how much of the roots we needed balanced with how much we could realistically chop out.
We just sort of guessed at how much of the roots we needed balanced with how much we could realistically chop out. The log chain was looped well below the surface level.
Christian carefully backed the tractor while we kept a close on how the roots were going to fare with such force.
Christian carefully backed the tractor while we kept a close on how the roots were going to fare with such force.
After the bush was loaded, I wrapped the roots in a wet towel and Christian hauled it in the front end loader to our guest house (in which we had recently moved)
After the bush was loaded, I wrapped the roots in a wet towel and Christian hauled it in the front end loader to our guest house (in which we had recently moved)
Dallas packed the entire bush to the hole  we had already started.
Dallas packed the entire bush to the hole we had already started.
Alas, the hole that had been started was far from deep or wide enough, so the boys dug it out more and run into a tree root from the old Mulberry tree we had removed from the front yard.  So that had to be taken out before the hole could be enlarged any further.
Alas, the hole that had been started was far from deep or wide enough, so the boys dug it out more and run into a tree root from the old Mulberry tree we had removed from the front yard. So that had to be taken out before the hole could be enlarged any further.
Well, a bit droopy, but there it is!  I kept it well watered all during the dry heat of summer and fall.
Well, a bit droopy, but there it is! I kept it well watered all during the dry heat of summer and fall. Later, I cut the canes back very short to encourage root growth.
TODAY - 22 Mar 2015!  These signs of life indicate this hardy rose made it through a rough transplant in the wrong time of the year followed by an extremely long and bitterly cold winter.  Hooray!
TODAY – 22 Mar 2015! These signs of life indicate this hardy rose made it through a rough transplant in the wrong time of the year followed by an extremely long and bitterly cold winter. Hooray!