Thursday, February 26, 2015

Out in the Field

Ah, finally, a chance to get out in the field. For the past three days, I have been in "my new tractor" plowing this field. Today, I had company. Jenny was sent out to cross plow what I have plowed. That's her on the other tractor.

When I finished plowing, I joined her in cross plowing.

I really enjoy watching the wildlife as I plow. These Sandhill Cranes are really enjoying feeding in the freshly plowed field, along with Killdeer, meadowlarks, red wings, Brewer's Blackbird, Brown-headed Cowbirds, raptors, rats, mice, cottontails, what fun!!! One year, I had a coyote following me. There has been a lot of hog activity in the field that makes for a rough ride, but the seat in the tractor has springs...this tractor has everything!!!

Came across this snake. I must have run over it. I think it is a rat snake. I feel bad about it. I stopped to check on it. It was not dead. It finally became food for the White-tailed Hawk.

I like snakes and hate to see its demise.

I have been thrilled to be out on that tractor, and it looks like I will be out there again next week. Wallace has been busy working around the shop.

We have both gotten our yearly check ups at Scott and White in Brenham. Neither one of us takes any prescribed medication for which we feel fortunate about that. We have our dentist visit coming up tomorrow, then we will be good for another year.

Until next time...

Friday, February 13, 2015

On My Knees Again

We are still working on the remodeling of the bio lab.  The last two days, we have been laying new tile after a road trip to Houston to buy the tiles that matched the old ones.  That same trip, we stopped in at Home Depot to buy more supplies...more cabinets, trim, etc.
It was a fun trip with lunch included.

I got to do the pasting while Jenny pressed the tiles in place. George got into the act in the last half of the floor.  In the photo, we are wiping up excess glue, while Wallace is finishing up the baseboard under a desk area to the left of the picture.

As you may recall, we tore down three walls, opening up the area.

We now have the walls out, have moved some of the cabinets back in place and put up the folding room divider.

This is where we finished the first day of laying the tile. I should have closed the door to get the full effect, darn it.

We will be adding more lighting in the ceiling and putting up more cabinets when we are through with the floor.

It is all coming together nicely and everyone is ready for it to be finished.

The floor is finished and the guys are putting up trim.

Some of the cabinets have now been installed (boy does that get old, shifting them from one place to the the next)!!!  Now where is that hammer?  Tools got moved around too. 

Now home to my favorite steak, New York strip!!!

Put them on the grill, five minutes each side and boy are they great.

Man, am I sore!!!

Until next time...

Friday, February 6, 2015

Renz Barn

This is known as the Renz Barn that is located on the refuge.

You are looking at it from the inside on my new ride!!!

The ground was WET but we went anyway.

We are clearing out almost all the trees in this area...more prairie!!!
Others have bulldozed and we are to plow.

This is our brand new tractor...I love it.

I was able to plow right through the boggy ground without getting stuck!!!

Looks pretty snazzy don't you think?

I had the big plow behind me...have to really watch as I drive through the cattle guards on our way out...Wallace was behind me in the other tractor.

This tractor has the training seat in it.
Darrell is certified to train in heavy equipment and now he has a seat of his own!!!

It still has that new smell to it. It has a radio and a/c with all the fancy things you can think of.

AND it is still fairly clean!!! However, now it is a little on the muddy side.

Thought you might like to see what it looks like from inside with all the levers we use.

Now on the steering wheel is a control you have to use to go forward and reverse before it ever moves.

The tractor on the left is the one I used last year. They got rid of the one Wallace he gets that one and I get the new one. 

It didn't take us long to do this little patch, but it will need to be done at least one more time after it dries out a tad.

This is the way it looked when we finished. We went all the way to the treeline. 

Those trees will be coming down and this area will be planted later.

There are two huge live oak trees on either side of the road as you enter.

Above our heads was this beautiful sight. The bees have really been busy here.

Until next time...

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Okay, I give UP

I promised this post would be about the benches we helped build.
I wanted to get a picture of the three of us on the bench, but the weather has been rainy, and I am not going to wait for the right photo, so here goes.

Before we paint...the goose is on.

First time using a Dremel...FUN.

All three benches are put together now...then they get sanded down before I use the Dremel.

Sanding is the second step.

The guys hoist up the bench upside down as you can see in the above picture, but it actually made it more comfortable for me.

I do use a dust mask...just not in the above picture.

I trace a pattern on the bench...the white areas are raised giving it a three dimensional look.

We are working in the wood shop. Two of the benches have been painted and we are getting ready to paint the last one.

We paint over the goose with the brown paint.

Now comes the goose. Steady hands.

We "Got our Goose on."  We had to touch up some of the brown paint here.

Jenny lent a helping hand with the brown paint.

The first bench getting placed on the Sycamore Trail...with the help of another volunteer, Butch...Ferris is also helping us out.

This one getting placed under a big live oak tree.  We use concrete to keep them from sinking into the sandy soil.

The third one is placed at Horseshoe Lake Trail. This boardwalk is soon to be replaced with a bigger one.  The view is also looking out on the prairie.

We have been invited to build some benches for another refuge!!!

Have you ever seen clouds like these?  I call them wave clouds!!!

Until next time...