Friday, November 30, 2012

back in focus...for now

Cleaned up my camera least on the outside.  Still lots of dust inside on the sensor and in the lens elements, but at least it almost focuses again.  To give you an idea of how bad it is - here is an unretouched image from two mornings ago with the moon setting.

Unfortunately, the shot of the day was still not tack sharp.  Got 3 more sheets of siding up...trimmed and painted the final 9.  65,79,39,0,B,0

Thursday, November 29, 2012

dust death

My poor ol' Panasonic point and shoot is dying a slow filled with dust now it is having trouble with the auto focus.  Every shot I did today was not quite there.  I hope Santa brings me a new camera for Christmas.  Got 6 sheets of siding up today on the northside with reinforcements.
Congratulations to Marfa Maid Dairy for reaching their Kickstarter goal this afternoon - and thank you to friends of TFL that helped make this happen.  More good cheese for everyone is a good thing.  58,77,42,0,C,0

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Little Dairy on the Prairie

More about cheese.  Heard an interview on KRTS today with my friends at Marfa Maid Dairy. 

I've known about these folks for awhile now and I'm planning on taking one of their cheese making classes next spring.  (Ben might end up with some goat buddies next year because I love goat cheese.)  Malinda Beeman and Allan McClane have a kickstarter campaign that is just about over to raise funds for an industrial pasteurizer and a milking machine.  They are just over a thousand bucks shy of their goal with only 48 hours to go.  They make the most excellent cheese I have ever had.  If everyone that reads my blog just gives them $1...they will be over the top.  The power of one.

Meanwhile, back on the two coats of barn red on 9 sheets of siding today.  58,76,36,0,B,0

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

solanum elaeagnifolium

Spliced all the butts on the purlin lengths today.  360 screws.  Got to digging for info about a plant Bonnie Cain told me about last week (silverleaf nightshade)...I have a few growing out here.  She said the berries can be used as rennet to make cheese.  I have found lots of references to it but not a definitive recipe.  Anybody out there ever tried making asadero cheese using this otherwise toxic plant?  54,68,41,0,B,0

Monday, November 26, 2012


Trimmed the south end of the rafters and added the last purlin.  This is the gutter side of the barn roof...destined to capture 346 gallons per inch of rain.  Finished off all the purlin screws - 312 total.  Been watering but otherwise neglecting my future food source.  All my attention lately has gone to raising beef that will never be eaten.  Greenhouse salad for dinner tonight - mexico midget tomatoes, malabar spinach, swiss chard, holy basil.  60,76,49,0,B, .84

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Faith Hall of Fame

Hebrews 11
1.  Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
6.  But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
-Read the rest of chapter 11 to learn about the heros of faith

Just as there is the phrase blinded by faith, the overwhelming senses of the physical world cause far too many to blinded from faith.  The substance is there...the evidence is all around us but not seen.  Faith does not just a plant in the desert - it must be nurtured in order to grow.  Just takes a little practice and an open heart.  58,78,38,0,B,0

Saturday, November 24, 2012

273 ft.


Friday, November 23, 2012

rafters ho

Super foggy yesterday morning.  Went outside with my flashlight before the sun came up and was amazed by all the moisture in the air.  Got all but one rafter up yesterday.  Alpine run this morning for critter feed, the last rafter, and a big load of 2x4's for purlins.  Unloaded the load and put up the last rafter this afternoon.  52,65,54,0,W,0

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

I am thankful for the chance to have crossed paths with an old longhorn.  Dick Cain recently found this picture of her.  Benita with her first calf when she was only 2 1/2 yrs old - Fall of 1990 in Brenham, TX.  That year I was living in Manhattan and was just starting a set and prop building business in a loft in Brooklyn.  64,77,48, .16",B,0 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

a Jpop day...

Burned up half a day messing around with my IP cam.  By the time I finished playing with technology, some storm clouds rolled in.  Policed the grounds, packed up tools and hardware, and covered stuff that really doesn't need to get wet.  I seem to be drawn to Jiffy Pop when there is a chance of rain.  I think I might have gotten two drops.  So it wasn't a total loss - got the first rafter in place after the skies cleared late this afternoon.  Don't bother mentioning hurricane clips - I got 'em.  63,74,64,0,B,.23  

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

super screws...

Forgot I had about 40 more lag screws to put in before the rafters.  Took all day to drive 'em in.  Just for fun, I topped off each connection with a 4" super screw...coated stainless steel.   Each spot had a standard 4" course thread drywall screw (to hold things in place), two 3/8 x 5" galvanized hex screws, and then one super screw.  Each hex screw required 3 different drill bits.  My drill and ratchet have had a workout...and my shoulder is a little sore.  Managed to at least mark where the rafters will go the north and south side.

Ben was happy to spend his first full day out in the new acre while I worked on his pole barn.  Not sure if it was the bale of hay he snuggled up to or the fact that he was near me all day.  66,78,46,0,B,0

Monday, November 19, 2012

lopped and ready...

Had to break out the trusty sawzall...first time since I left NY.  Finished lopping off all the utility pole tops with a 12" blade.  All set to start installing the rafters.  Mr. Floppy and Ben are becoming fence buddies.   63,79,46,0,C,0

Sunday, November 18, 2012

the Christian's armor...

My long path here is obvious to me now.  Can you see your path?  You are only in control if you can see the big picture and distinguish between good and evil.  Open the eyes of your heart...

Ephesians (NLT)6:10.  A final word: Be strong with the Lord's mighty power. 11 Put on all of God's armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies and tricks of the Devil. 12 For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against those mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms. 13 Use every piece of God's armor to resist the enemy in the time of evil, so that after the battle you will still be standing firm. 14 Stand your ground, putting on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

first tip to tip...

Ben had his first tip to tip measurement today (it wasn't easy - 8.5").  He is inspired by this massive 5 year old steer at Dick Cain's.  60,70,49,0,B,0

Friday, November 16, 2012

cow art

In Alpine today for ArtWalk...met Teresa Elliot. It was great to get a chance to talk to her about how much I love her work.  Bought a giclee reproduction on canvas of one of her paintings that looks a lot like Ben (when he was 2 months old).  Having some issues with my main computer tonight so I'm posting from my limited capacity netbook.  Will post an image of my framed beauty tomorrow.  This image is from her website.  53,66,48,0,B,0

Thursday, November 15, 2012

solaris filmproduktion

Spent the whole day with Swedish filmmakers Jesper Wachtmeister and Kenneth Svedlund.  They are working on a documentary on off gridders.  Ben is gonna be a star in Sweden.  61,74,42,0,B,0

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

say goodbye...

to the last honorable man in government.  Instead of watching your favorite TV show tonight - invest our future in this 49 minutes.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

more parts...

A buddy called this morning and needed a ride to Alpine.  Just so happened I needed more parts for the barn so it gave me an excuse to zip north.  I was going to use T1-11 plywood for the siding but decided to try a composite product.   $20 for a 4x8 and looks just like T1-11...and it comes already primed.  T1-11 is $36 per un-primed sheet.  I'm gambling on technology... 49,69,46,0,B,0

Monday, November 12, 2012

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Models for Christ?

John 15:26,27

As I pursue the path to Christ, I think back about how I got to this point in time.  I moved to NYC when I was 23 years old ready to take on the glamorous fashion world.  I studied photography for 7 months at a trade school of sorts called The Center for the Media Arts.  My first job was as an assistant to professional photographer Flo Fox.  She has been legally blind most of her life and has MS since 1980.  (not exactly the best option but I was hungry for work - any work)  She hired me as a freelancer to help out in her apartment/studio because of a letter and resume I sent to her.  She said that from what she could see - my handwriting looked just like hers.  I worked for her for about 6 months mostly doing odd jobs since she wasn't very busy at the time.  Working for her was quite an introduction into the dark side of NYC.

Next - one of my photography teachers called me about an assistant job opening at a catalog studio where he had been hired to do fashion photography.   I jumped on the opportunity for a full time gig with benefits - my first real job.  I worked full time for Media Graphics for 3 1/2 years, going from assistant to shooting still life, to shooting fashion.  Today I thought about a path I crossed over 25 years ago.  There was a model that would come in occasionally that was booked for menswear.  His name is Jeff Calenberg.  He founded a not for profit ministry that initates outreach and provides support for those in the fashion industry called Models for Christ in the mid 80's.  Thinking back now, I remember us all being very aware of them.  At the time it struck me as very odd and out of place in that world of glamor.

I didn't remember his name at first so I searched the web.  It didn't take me long to track him down.
Two things about this link struck me today.  A quote from model Brandon Davidson, "What might look like the most dangerous place a Christian can be is the safest place if that's where the Lord has called you,"  And the other thing that struck me deep down is the reporter's final (media fueled/ condescending words) in the video.  The female reporter says "great for them"...
64,74,46,0,W, .24

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Friday, November 9, 2012

Moringa oleifera

Got a visit this morning from my new best friends Greg and Laura from California.  Contact them if you are in the market for a classic gas stove...   They said they would have brought me one but it was too heavy for their carry on luggage. 

Planned out the next supply run for Ben's barn.  Swung by the mailboxes today and got a package from India.  Someone told me about the Moringa tree and decided I should track down some seeds.  This sounds like an amazing plant that just might do well out here.  I got 200 seeds and you can't beat this price -   Got them 10 days after I placed the order.  70,84,52,0,B,0

Thursday, November 8, 2012

It's All About Ben

Today's task was to get more 2 x 6's in place and secure the area so Ben can hang out while the rest of the pole barn gets constructed. Late today he was introduced to (and quite happy with) the new romper room and even marked his new acre. 67,83,46,0,C,0

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

third fence run

Stretched the last run of fencing today.  Got some girts up on the pole barn too.  Took a break and had an ice cold Mexican Coke.  For those of you who don't know about these...they are made with real sugar - not HFCS.  Stopped by the mailboxes this morning and noticed something new.  I wonder who is counting cars going down the ranch road?  Just so you know - there is plenty of room to drive around it as I did today and will continue to do if I need to go that direction.  64,83,43,0,C,0

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

my reality...

Donkeys and sunshine...may it always be this simple.  67,81,42,0,B,0

Monday, November 5, 2012

red neck clothesline

Did laundry today...found another use for my truck rack.  Here is a Proboscidea parviflora in its dried state.

Ben tried his first yucca flower today...and only one - must be an acquired taste, like me and brussels sprouts.  I hated them as a kid but now I love 'em.  Hopefully Ben won't turn out like me and my lifelong distaste for lima beans.  Prepped for the last fence stretch.  70,80,45,0,B,0