Sunday, July 21, 2019

Who to you serve?

John 8:34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. 35 And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. 36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. 

Saturday, July 20, 2019

YouTube Rerun...

In honor of the 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11 landing on the moon.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Thursday, July 18, 2019

rain delay...

Due to a little storm last night, the roofing delivery won't be coming till next Tuesday.  Started shuttling the siding materials over to the job site.  88,95,70,0,B

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

furring strips

Broke out the old table saw and put a new blade on it.  Been over 10 years since it had new teeth.  I wanted long length 1x4 furring strips which McCoys doesn't have.  They only sell 1x2 and 2x2 in 8' lengths.  Ripping 2x4s was my best option and cheaper than buying their standard 1x4s.  76,99,76, .23",B

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

New Nest

Some house finches have taken over (and refined) and old dove nest under the SW corner of the greenhouse.  There are 3 eggs in the nest.  I am monitoring it with my webcam and you can view it on my nightly live stream on YouTube from 7:15 to 8:15 PM CST.  91,99,74,0,B

Monday, July 15, 2019

Sunday, July 14, 2019

the greater...

1 John 4: 1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: 3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. 4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

that tire tumbleweed...

The story behind the tire tumbleweed:  
Tires for Sisyphus is a performance video utilizing a spherical tire clad sculpture. Angel Fernandez pushes the object on a 42 acre property in Terlingua Ranch, near Big Bend, Texas. Winter Rusiloski is assistant director, Persephone Battle is drone camera operator, and Christian deLeon is responsible for editing and sound. The video was included in exhibitions at KSpace Contemporary in Corpus Christi, TX and the CICA Museum in South Korea.  
The work is a performance video utilizing a spherical tire covered sculpture. The device creates a drawing on the sandy 40-acre surface on our property in Terlingua Ranch. I document the process and finished marking via drone photography as well as on the ground footage. While traveling from South Padre Island to the Big Bend along the U.S. and Mexico border, I encountered chained tires that the Border Patrol uses on the American side. Their white Suburbans drag tires to clear tracks on the dirt paths. This clearing or erasing of tracks allows them to monitor fresh foot traffic. Native Americans used this method to track and hunt various animals. This technique sustained their livelihood, which at times was unpredictable. Tires are symbols of progress, movement and date back to Sumerian culture’s invention of the wheel, one of the most revolutionary inventions of civilization.
I intend to use the tires differently from the subtracting and destroying quality. In Tires for Sisyphus, they are a creative and mark making tool. The tires and my shoes leave impressions on the earth the same way that immigrants leave evidence of their passage. This drawing is a record of the journey. The process of pushing this object on the desolate landscape suggests a perpetual struggle, one filled with tension, pain and hard work. Our existence leaves a mark on the land, good and bad. This same existence also makes impressions on our collective identity, shaping the psyche of this country.
Tires for Sisyphus is a reminder of the great cliché that great things come from hard work, risk and adventure. Immigrants make up the greatest part of our American identity and they embody the entrepreneurial American spirit that helped individuals traverse the Atlantic Ocean on their most perilous journey to this amazing land of opportunity. Presently, people come to this country and risk everything, including their lives. People are caged, turned away, and mistreated. Many will come back and try to find a different way to enter this country. This process is part of the unending cycle, a Sisyphean task, and the pursuit of a better tomorrow that may never come.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Thursday, July 11, 2019

don't want no leaks...

Taped all the sheathing seams and installed some peal and stick leak barrier on the ridge and at the roofing transition.  83,97,75,0,B

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

a side job...

Got a little repair job coming up for a friend as soon as the insurance claim is finalized.  His house got pounded on the north side by some pretty large hail.  89,98,68,0,B  

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

man on top...

First time I've been on top.  Finished all the roof fascia and some final sheathing nails.  Prepped for underlayment now.  Tin arrives next week.  In other news: didn't find any hornworms on my tomato plants - just a couple of grasshoppers doing a little leaf chewing.  81,99,73,T,B

Monday, July 8, 2019

Sunday, July 7, 2019

give me liberty

Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Hornworm Season

A couple of days ago, I noticed the first evidence of tomato hornworms on my plants.  Haven't been able to spot them yet.  Did a quick internet search today and discovered they are easy to find after dark if you use a blacklight - they glow bright green.  Dug through one of my old boxes of electronics and found a black light that I probably bought over 10 years ago...and it still works!  Going hornworm hunting tonight. 75,94,70, .08",B

Thursday, July 4, 2019

the fourth...

Today's holiday task - figuring out the gable fascia.
90,100,72, .13",B

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Going to Europe...

The rattlesnake skin is finished and shipping out Monday to its new home in Estonia.  My friend Herbert Murd is going to put it on display in his Texas themed restaurant.  90,100,74, .05",B

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

shade again...

A few more repairs in the morning and I will be back
 to pre-storm damage progress...

Monday, July 1, 2019

Sunday, June 30, 2019

with God all things are possible...

Mark 10:23 And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! 24 And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. 26 And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved? 27 And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

the ties that bind...

Finished preplacing all the hurricane ties I had installed with larger ones over the past couple of days.  80 ties - 800 hand driven nails.  Still have some L-angle to install to reinforce the post/beam connections.  69,93,84,0,B

Friday, June 28, 2019

Thursday, June 27, 2019

personal shade...

Finished getting all the rafters back in place and trimmed the ends this morning.  Ended up having to cut 11 new ones.  My friend Joe Blumentritt bought me a big hat to keep me out of the sun until I get all the shade put back together.  86,95,70,0,B

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Tomato plants

The tomato plants are hanging in through the heat.  
Just picked tomatoes 17 - 21.  

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Yearly kill....

In 11 years at TFL, I have averaged one rattlesnake kill per year.  Was last night's the only one for 2019?  And FYI - if you tell me I shouldn't kill them because they keep down the rodent population - you have no idea what you are talking about.  69,96,71,0,B

Monday, June 24, 2019

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Saturday, June 22, 2019


Had a visit from a new deputy yesterday.  Officer Christian Montoya has been on the job out here just two weeks and stopped by while he was out exploring the ranch roads.  Always a good idea to develop a personal relationship with local law enforcement...and for them to know exactly where you are located.  Ben approved the visit too... 89,98,68,0,B

Friday, June 21, 2019

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

started the repairs...

That must have been quite a wind...found roof parts 100 yards from the site.  Two 4x6 porch beams ( 8' and 9' long) were 60 yards away.  I figure the catastrophic failure happened because I had yet to finish fully securing the porch beams to the porch posts.  Fortunately, I can reuse the beams and most of the rafters and sheathing.  Collected all the parts and reinstalled the east and middle gables and the bathroom beam this morning.  Didn't find any other damage.  The plan is to get all the repairs (and extra securing) done by the end of the weekend.  90,99,75,0,B

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Storm Damage...

The severe thunderstorms have been relentless this week but I have dodged most of them.  Lots of people on the ranch have had a lot of damage.  Had another cell pass this afternoon that wasn't in the forecast that had very high winds.  The Casita lost the south half of the roof in this one.  It could have been a whole lot worse... 87,91.73,0,B

Monday, June 17, 2019

Sunday, June 16, 2019

The cross I bear this year...

Matthew 10:38  And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

last night's storm...

This cell missed me by about 5 miles...but I ended up getting three tenths of an inch out of another cell that I just caught the edge of.  I like lighting...when it is far away.  This photo is pretty grainy because it is a still from some video I was shooting during the storm.  86,95,74,0,B

Friday, June 14, 2019

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Got Shade?

video tomarrow...

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

roof sheathing

Had a couple of rain days off.  Got the roof sheathing up over the living area today...porches tomorrow. 84,91,66,0,C

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

The Field Lab Rain Gauge

Are you a true off-gridder? Here is a test. My "rain gauge" has 150 gallons of rainwater in it after the last 24 hours. This was caught off a roof surface that is 352 square feet. How much rain actually fell? 80,86,63,?,B

Monday, June 10, 2019

Sunday, June 9, 2019

The will of God

1 Thessalonians 5:14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. 15 See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men. 16 Rejoice evermore. 17 Pray without ceasing. 18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Saturday, June 8, 2019


The Field Lab version of the classic BLT:  bacon, cole slaw, field lab tomato, melted muenster cheese, course ground pepper, on pita bread. 91,103,73,0,C

Friday, June 7, 2019

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Down Time

I made good use of construction down time waiting for storms to pass by clearing the front of the greenhouse.  The inside is a whole other matter I am just beginning to attend to (again).  In other news - the doves have left the nest.  89,98,63,0,B

Wednesday, June 5, 2019


Started sheathing the casita now that the threat of severe afternoon thunderstorms has passed... 64,98,87,0,B

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

State Of The Water Supply

Well it looks like the dry season is finally over.  Got an inch of rain over the past two nights.  Up until last week, TFL got only a half inch of rain over the past 6 months.  My total storage capacity is 20,000 gallons and I was down to 9,225 gallons as of Saturday.  All my catchment surfaces combined yield 2,000 gallons per inch of rain - and if the arroyo runs, I can pump an additional 3,000 gallons after a good rain event.  Sunday night I got 1/2" of rain and caught 1,000 gallons off my roofs and pumped 2,500 gallons out of the arroyo.  Monday night I got another 1/2" of rain - so another 1,000 gallons off my roofs...but it was too late to pump the arroyo again.  As of today, I now have 13,725 gallons on tap.  Chance of more rain tonight so this might get updated.  83,91,66,0,B

Monday, June 3, 2019

Sunday, June 2, 2019


James 1:12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. 13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: 14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

new doves update...

All feathered out now...ready to leave the nest in about a week.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Aaron update...

From Aaron's mother on Facebook:  Aaron was released from Cho Ray Hospital last Friday in Vietnam where he has spent over 8 weeks.  We just finished up our exit arrangements...taking care of visa and passport issues and are flying back to the states via Manila.  Aaron is heading to a nice beach town in Florida where he is going to continue his recovery.  People here have NO idea how lucky we are to have the type of healthcare we have in the states.  72,97,89,0,B

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Finally some rain?

A little rain prep. Took awhile, but I finally got the ol' water pump started in case I get a rain event that allows me to pump extra water out of the arroyo. I have two 3,000 gallon tanks waiting for a refill. It has been 2 years since I had enough sudden rain to do this.  A fast half inch will cause the arroyo to run for about an hour which is enough time to fill a 3,000 gallon tank with this pump.  89,99,65,0,B

Monday, May 27, 2019

Sunday, May 26, 2019

but we shall all be changed...

1 Corinthians 15: 47 The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven. 48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. 49  And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. 50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

new doves update...

The hatchlings are sprouting feathers...

Friday, May 24, 2019

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Pepino News

Years ago when I first built Pepino (my 12VDC swamp cooler), I bought a bunch of greenhouse evaporative cooler pads for it. After a lot of trial and error, I found this type of pad works best for my application.  Been noticing that last years pad just isn't cooling like it should so I used the last new chunk I had on hand to replace it. That made a 10° cooling difference.  Ordered a new slab that should cover me for the next three years. Each replacement requires a 12" piece.  76,105,93,0,B  

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Monday, May 20, 2019

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Bought and paid for...

1 Corinthians 6: 19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. 

Saturday, May 18, 2019

BLT time soon...

22 tomatoes in various stages of development on my plants.  The first one I spotted is finally starting to turn red.  65,90,83,0,W

Friday, May 17, 2019

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Ben waiting for breakfast...

Ben just stares at the house until I come out to feed him in the morning.  I think he uses his horns to send me telepathic messages.  The only time he moos is when I am late giving him his range cubes for dessert in the evening.  72,99,89,0,C

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

2 down...

...2 to go.  11 bags for these two posts.  Video Friday.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Field Lab Followers...

Hand a great visit yesterday with Sam, Derrick, and Dennis.  They seem to have all been carefully following the blog for years and very well might be able to win a Field Lab Blog Trivia Contest if I ever get around to posting one...  84,93,54,0,C

Monday, May 13, 2019

Sunday, May 12, 2019

let no man despise thee...

Titus 2: 11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. 15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee. 

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Friday, May 10, 2019

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Ever Changing Focus

Today I came across a YouTube channel that came in very handy.  I decided to do a search on how to repair airstream windows and came across Miller Garage.  They had a great series on all the steps involved.  Last time I did a search for that (about 6 years ago), I found very limited information.  Checking out some more of their content, I found they were shifting direction in their lives - but seemed to be concerned about their shift and how it may affect their channel and social media.  This blog has shifted direction over the years and often people complain that I am no longer true to my "original vision".  One thing I like to point out is that my online life is a diary - not a dialog.  I found their Facebook page and offered the following:  Thanks for that series on rebuilding Airstream windows. Something I have been wanting to do for a long time with my old Airstream. As for your channel and lives changing focus - don't give it a second thought and don't worry about losing followers (I am a new subscriber and I don't subscribe to very many channels). I have lived off the grid for 11 years near Terlingua, TX and at first I was all gung ho on all aspects of off grid and "sustainable living". I have been doing a daily blog for 10 years since moving to the desert and I am no longer focused solely on all things off grid. We all change and (hopefully) evolve and when someone who follows you feels "betrayed" if things change - they seriously need to get a life. I have had a YouTube channel for 13 years, but just started concentrating on it at the beginning of 2018 - posting 2 videos a week. I do it for myself...not for my "viewers". I don't try to appear as if I am friends with them to develop some kind of false personal relationship - contrary to what YouTube says you need to do in order to have a successful channel. If people like my content...great! If they don't...they are free to watch whatever they want. I don't concentrate on producing content consistent with one particular view or lifestyle because I have a lot of different interests and they are always changing. For me - living a life worth talking about is much more satisfying than sitting around watching what others do - and trying to entertain a group of people who are watchers instead of doers is a losing game.  83,91,53,0,W

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

new eggs

The dove nest that was vacated a week ago has two new occupants waiting to hatch...