Sunday, February 22, 2009

Spring Fever

Booger has reminded me that spring is around the corner. He has been scratching himself something fierce like he has fleas. I haven't seen any fleas, so I thought he had mites like his Mama. She had mites that had her loosing hair. Booger was not loosing hair, just scratching. So I got him to the vet for a blood test so I could buy his heart worm medicine again. The vet stated Booger was allergic to fleas. I have heard this before with Luke's cat, Milo. With the cost of the blood test, office visit, medicine and shampoo I got for Booger, it ran over $160. Wow, just a little bit wrong costs a bunch now. I am suppose to wash him every 3-4 days, but the weather is not cooperating. So far he is doing awesome on the pills I feed him everyday inside portions of wieners. It has been nice enough to wrestle with him. He loves it and really gets excited when someone takes the time to go one on one with him. You just have to have long sleeves and gloves on.

The pond's water level is somewhere over 5 feet now. The increase of water into the pond has slowed to almost zero. We have added some cinder blocks in the shallow end for habitat for the smaller fish. I used the Mahindra's backhoe to level a small area to stack them two blocks high. We were planning on strapping these together and sinking them in the deep end. But pricing the tool to strap them here at home had me change my mind. Instead, I have located an old cess pool tank to sink in the deep end. I hope to pick this tank up next weekend. It is about 3 foot in diameter and about 4 feet deep. It has two holes about 6 inches in diameter in the sides. It should work as fish habitat. It will not snag lines and lures like the big oak stump would

We got the posts for the deck set in concrete in the dam and the frame of the deck in. I have mixed emotions on the placement of the deck. The shore side of it overhangs the bulkhead we built to keep the dam away from the cedar tree and our pet graves. I am not concerned over the deck keeping more rain away from the tree, but just the look of it so far seems off. I mean the bulkhead is half an octagon and the deck overhang is just a straight 2x6. So it looks a little odd to me.

The Rye grass is growing well and soon it will be time for mowing it all. It will be a fun learning to mow the curves around the dam with my zero turn Hustler lawnmower. I have been thinking about buying some St. Augustine grass sod to line the upper end of the pond's shore. Since this area really is my back yard, I am thinking it might be better than Bermuda grass there. I still have not figured out how to plant Bermuda grass on the dam without discing the dam. I am thinking of trying dragging some cyclone feet about 6 feet behind my lawnmower after spreading Bermuda grass seed. If that doesn't work, then I will have to buy a harrow to drag behind the lawnmower. Too bad I don't have a smaller Mahindra with disc for landscaping use. That would work for the Bermuda grass planting on the dam.

The Big RED Beast is coming up on her Second birthday with me. I can not believe I have had her two years. It seems like only yesterday I picked up the keys from Travis! I have racked up 425.5 hours on her now. I look forward to each time I get on her. I am always trying to think up new uses for her.

Speaking of Travis, I was shocked to find out he is leaving Top Flight Equipment. He is leaving with their service manager, two parts counter guys, and their small engine mechanic. They will be opening a lawnmower and chain saw outlet in Conroe. Their new company will be called Outdoor Equipment Outlet. This is all a shock to me. I have been dealing with Top Flight and Travis for over 12 years. Travis has sold me my Stihl chainsaw, my Hustler Fastrac lawnmower and of course the Big RED Beast. I can't fathom going to Top Flight without talking to Travis. I will miss him.

Christina and I made the Saxet Gun Show at the Lone Star Convention Center in Conroe today. I was looking for Ruger Mini 14s and Remington R10s. Christina was checking out all the pistols and revolvers as she wants to get one of her own. We did stumble across a Taurus Judge Ultra Lite. It is really lite and fires a 45 Colt and 2 & 1/2 inch .410 shells. Definitely a home defense revolver. Yesterday at sundown, I sat up a firing lane behind the pond's clay pile. I wanted Christina to see the difference between my .45 and .380. She fired 6 shots through my Ruger LCP and the magazine release button fell out! These six rounds were the first fired in the gun since Ruger returned it to me for a hammer safety recall. I am really at a loss of words over this. I mean, what if my life depended on me firing 2 shots and the magazine fell out after one shot? I sure hope Ruger fixes this for me!

Rebecca will leave her Maw maw's house tomorrow to come pick up her truck. I had it here to get the right side mirror replaced, as Rebecca had backed into a pole and broken it. A portion of the powered mirror mount had broken with the mirror. My local garage tried to repair it and told me a replacement assembly cost around $500. I told them I had priced a heated, powered, mirror assembly from the local Dodge dealer for $189, $204 with tax. Ya gotta remember the tax! I paid the Dodge dealer for it the next morning and delivered it to the garage. They installed it for $86. Along with a state inspection, the bill came to $125 dollars. That is a lot for a broken mirror and an inspection. When I picked up the truck last week, I told the service manager I had priced pairs of mirrors for around $500 and I bet that is the price that was quoted to him. Oh how I am looking forward to seeing Rebecca again. I will be asleep, but the interruption is worth it.
So anyway, I added more photos of work on the pond. You can check them out here. I hope to hear from y'all about what is going on it your lives. Stop back later to check out what Booger, the Big RED Beast, and I are doing.
hugs, Brandi

Friday, February 6, 2009

Spring Is Around The Corner

What is it about the end of winter that gives you cabin fever? While I dug the pond, the weather was cold. If I hadn't been racing a rain deadline, I would have been in the warm house. But now with warmer days and sunshine, I have been looking forward to longer, hotter days. These lead me to more physical exercise, that my winter inactivity has changed into a weight gain. Face it, I gain weight in the winter and lose it in the summer. I just need to extend my weight loss season longer and shorten my weight gain season. Hopefully this would curtail fluctuating between 2 different clothing sizes! This last summer and winter's concerns over my Mother kept me from working outside as much as I usually do. Thus a weight gain that has my normal winter "fat" cloths very tight. So I am anxious for spring and summer to literally work my butt off! So far this spring we have had several beautiful sunsets. I know more will come with all the time we will spent at the pond.

I have been spending all my weekends visiting Rebecca in the hospital in Austin. Over the last four weeks, she has slowly stabilized to the meds enough to be released from the hospital on the 17th of February. Just one day shy of a month. Now, she will go stay with my ex Mother in law up in East Texas. My ex Mother in law lives on a 70 acre lake. Last Saturday, Christina and I drug my gooseneck trailer over to Austin to bring Rebecca's truck back to get her right side mirror replaced and to get the truck inspected. A brake lite was out also, but this afternoon I tinkered with it and got it working. I wanted to be back home before dark, but we wound up getting home around 9 P.M. This included a stop in Giddings at Walmart for some extra large cinder blocks. These cinder blocks measure 16x8x12 inches. We are stacking them 2 blocks high in a 6 block pattern with 3 block holes end to end making a large enough "fish" tunnel of 24 inches long for even 3-4 pound catfish. There are 8 "tunnels" in all and all we need to do is obtain some plastic shipping straps and a banding tool to strap the blocks together. We will then use my 6520s backhoe to sling the blocks into the water and sit on the bottom of the pond's deep end. The blocks measure just 31 inches tall and the water in the deep end is over 5 feet now, so we will have to be precise in our sitting with the backhoe or get wet making sure the blocks settle right. The water is cold and I really don't want to go in the water at this time, but want to place the blocks in soon. I am planning on securing one end of a twenty foot chain to my backhoe's bucket and run the chain through the top two openings. then I will secure the other end to one of the bucket's digging teeth. This way I can use a chain and then release the chain by uncurling the bucket. The chain will then slip off the tooth and the other end will be secure to get my chain back without getting wet..............I hope.

Rebecca and my ex stopped by this afternoon to pick up Rebecca's cat, Sammy. Sammy had come home with me a month ago when Rebecca went into the hospital. Sammy has since won her way into our hearts and is always pawing at me, while I am on the computer, to pay attention to her and pet her. She is a fluffy calico tabby. Rebecca calls her Sammy Sosoft.

Speaking of lakes, Lake Marie now has a water level of over five feet deep. About three and one half feet of water has seeped in while we were way behind in rain. The Rye grass I planted at the end of January is about three inches high now. But I still had some areas around the lake erode and silt the water to a muddy grey/green.

I have been pricing Channel and Blue catfish fingerlings the last two weeks. I almost bought twenty five Channel catfish fingerlings last week, but my supervisor talked me into stocking Blue catfish to keep the muddy water to a minimum. The Channel cats were from an out of state fish farm that delivers to a local feed store. Securing the Blue cats will include an hour and one half drive, down south of Houston to Danbury, Texas, home of Danbury Fish Farms. This will be on the third Saturday of March.

Booger is just beside him self over the water in the pond. When I was digging it, he would not come down into the hole to get petted by me. Normally he is right at the side of the Mahindra waiting for attention. Now he is starting to venture down into the pond at the shallow end for a drink. He seems anxious over the deep end with it's three foot high dam and steeper slopes.He knocked some dirt into the deep end the other day and almost jumped in when it hit the water with a splash. Guess he thought it was a squirrel or a stick I threw for him to fetch. The Winter Rye grass I seeded is coming up nice now. I am starting to take regular breaths again after worrying if the rains would wash the seeds away.

I have uploaded a few more photos that you can see here. Stop back later to hear how I will make a combination pier and deck on Lake Marie.

hugs, Brandi