Saturday, July 21, 2018

Stoontn' Today

The temps continue to climb and when I awoke this morning, my phone notifications had heat advisories all over.  It's going to be hot, but we're shooting today.

Luckily, Belle and I have planned for just this scenario.  As soon as I finish my coffee, I'm going out to the shop and turn on the A /C units, get the fans going, and when the time comes for the Peacemakers to assemble, we'll have a comfortable range to shoot in.

Younger son is coming by later for a visit.  He's bringing grandson Elyas, who will spend the week with us for a late July visit before he heads back to school in early August.  Today's going to be busy, most of it spent in the shop, so I'd best put on my shoes and get started.

Happy Saturday, y'all1

Friday, July 20, 2018

Happy Hour

It's Friday afternoon at PawPaw's House and we're having happy hour.  A nice red moscato  for Belle, and I'm enjoying a distilled beverage rather than a fermented one.  Regular readers know my affection for bourbon and my respect for those who produce it. 

The car keys are hung on their respective pegs, and PawPaw does not intend to communicate with his on-duty brethren tonight. I ain't going nowhere.

One must careful of internet quotes, but I came upon this photo recently, and thank the good people of Kentucky.


I'll leave you with that factoid.  Y'all have a happy weekend.

Hot!

It's hot in Louisiana in mid-to-late July, and this one is no exception.  We're in the dog days of summer, where the rain is sparse and the vegetation (and animals) sag in the heat.


100 degrees, with a wind chill of 110.  It's not as bad as north Texas, where Denton set a record yesterday with an official recorded temperature of 108, but it's still damned hot out there.

PawPaw intends to stay indoors as much as possible.  Thankfully, I had the foresight to insulate and air condition the shop.  The club will be shooting out there tomorrow ad the temps promise to be as brutal tomorrow as they are today.

Y'all stay cool.

Is It Worth It? Good Question!

Jonathan asks, in comments:
How much do you do precision shooting versus just plinking? I'm finding that cheap stuff for plinking is about the cost of reloading, even before I put the time into it, so I at this point I don't reload much. Have the higher prices for components, particularly bullets, changed how or when you reload?
I don't do much "precision shooting" any more.  I assume that you mean long-range  shooting form a bench.  Two years ago, I was diagnosed with macular degeneration and that has affected my ability to see anything with precision, including a scope reticle.   But, I see your point, so lets look at what a box of regular store-bought ammo would cost if we loaded it at home.

We'll use Midway USA as our resource, and look at some prices.
Sierra Matchking bullets cost $34.03 per hundred, or 34 cents apiece
Winchester large rifle primers cost $34.99 per thousand, or 3.5 cents apiece.
Reloder 15 powder costs $26.99 per pound.  My load is 43.0 grains.  That equals 162 shots pound (700043), which means 16.6 cents per shot.
If my math is correct, the component cost for one round of very good ammo is 54.1 cents per shot.  A box of 20 costs me $10.82.  That same box of ammo, at the same store, costs $23.39.

How much is your time worth?  That's a valid question, and everyone has to answer it in his own way.  How much minutiae are you willing to invest on uniforming primer pockets, turning necks, etc?   Some handloaders get very particular with their preparations and spend a lot of time prepping cases.  Sorting primers by weight, sorting bullets by weight, and marking cases so that they are always oriented in the chamber the same way.

But, if you start casting your own bullets, the component cost drops almost to zero.  As you amortize the initial cost of a smelter and molds over 100,000 bullets, the cost of equipment drops toward zero on a per-shot basis, but you're going down a wormhole that many shooters don't want to go down.  I once figured that the cost of my ammo for .38 special, or .45 ACP, (or .30-30 Winchester) was less than 5 cents per shot.

C.E. Harris,in this article, describes how The Load is safely assembled.   This load features 13.0 grains of Red Dot in military cases and is very accurate.  Mr. Harris did some fantastic precision rifle shooting with this load.  Mr. Harris is also the guy who invented Ed's Red, a bore cleaner that you can assemble at home.

But, each shooter has to answer the question; How much is my time worth?  In my case, and in the context of the posting you asked about, I used that time to introduce my grandson to handloading ammo.

Grandson, Brett, introduced to handloading.
With ammo I've assembled, I also get to spend time with my family over the shooting bench.

2nd son, stretching out the Ruger 77 in .25-06
Is it worth it?  For me the answer is a definite yes!  I get great ammo, spend time with family, pass along information, save money, and have the satisfaction of using ammunition that I have assembled on my bench, or inn my kitchen.  I'm sill using equipment that I purchased over 30 years ago, and I'm still having fun with family ad friends.  Oh and over the years, it's put a lot of meat on the table.

I hope that I've answered your question.  For more information on cast bullet shooting, go to the Frugal Outdoorsma and read some of the articles that Junior and I wrote at the turn of the century.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Compasses and Cowboys

I was raised using a compass.  My first was a Silva with a Boy Scout logo on it, and it became my standard for may years.  At some point I upgraded to a a nicer Silva, simply because the lexan backing on the original was all scratched up.

Got in the Army, and used a lensatic compass.  That was the standard for young navigators, but honestly, I always kept the Silva close at hand. 

There is a spot on the driveway where I live now.  Polaris (true north, the start)  sits directly over a pine tree in my neighbors yard.  Current declination where I live in Louisiana is -0-.  That is, a properly calibrated compass in central Louisiana should point directly at the north star.

I downloaded a couple of digital compasses this morning on the new cell phone.  Neither of them points North.  Oh, they're fairly close, one is out of alignment 12 degrees east, the other is out only four (4) degrees.

I understand that the engine in the car might be skewing the magnetic field, but a compass in a device that has a high degree of reliance on Google maps should be able to point to Polaris.  If I could find that old Silva, I'd digit out and see what it says.  But,  in this day and age, I shouldn't need a binnacle with iron spheres to correct for North.

Update and Umgrade

Back during my college days, I worked for the phone company, back when there was only one phone company.  Like everyone else in my generation, there was the Bell System, or nothing.  Phones sat on desks or hanged on walls.

I existed like that for many decades, resisting the cellular revolution until I met Belle.  She insisted that I get a cell phone, and one day even went so far as to go to her provider (Century-Tel) and add a line to her account so that she might have me more firmly on a leash.  As time went on, and as things progressed and we got married, we kept a landline phone with the Bell System, until the charges got so exorbitant that it was simply extravagant.

We still have what passes for a landline these days, but it comes through our cable TV account.  We do enjoy the landline, mainly because through mergers and acquisitions, our cell provider was Verizon.  When we moved from in-town out to the suburbs in 2004, we noticed that our cell service was "spotty".  When I put on the metal roof in early 2007 that we had big problems with cell service inside.  No problem, we could just step out on the patio, or use the landline

But, when we built the shop, (another huge metal building), cell service completely disappeared.  Nothing, nada.  I had built a complete dead-zone.  (Which may be either a bug or a feature.).  We decided that it was more of a problem than a feature, mainly because we spend time out there, and if we're entertaining, it's helpful if guests can call while we're prepping if someone needs directions.

We also noticed that guests with AT&T service had good reception while inside the building.  So, yesterday, Belle and I went over to the AT&T store and switched providers.  Bought new phones.  Added a line for Zach, because a high-school kid needs to be able to call PawPaw when he wants us to pick him up after a game or concert. 

We still have the landline, and intend to keep it because Belle is an RN and is sometimes on call.  The landline rings in the bedroom, and it is next to her pillow.  But, we now have good cell service, and upgraded capabilities.  I still refuse to give Steve Jobs a penny, so we didn't buy his phone,

And, I doubt I'll ever use all the features on the new phone.  In a lot o ways, I'm an analog guy in a digital world.  I do have Zach to help me if there is a problem in this new, digital era.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Reflections on Powder

Flugelman says in comments: 
I had some good results with IMR3031 and Sierra Matchking 168 grain
You're not the first person to report that, but I've always considered 3031 to be a bit fast for the .308.  I've always considered 3031 to be perfect for the .30-30 WIn, and for years, the chant-mantra for reloading was "30 grains of 3031 in the .30-30."  But, even this load will get you in trouble nowadays because about the turn of the century, 3031 changed.  It got a little aster.   We learned that we had to back down to 29 grains for a standard .30-30 load (here, I'm talking about the lever gun load with the 170 grain RN jacketed bullet.)  Of course, the .30-30 shines as a cast bullet cartridge, but we're opening a whole 'nuter wroms when we talk about cast bullets.

I cam to the .308 Win late in my career, simply because I shot so much o it when I worked for Uncle Sam.  It was a commodity, not worth study or reloading.  I simply shot what my Uncle gave me.  But, about 2004 and after finding my pet load, never looked back.  It simply works.  Every rifle I've tried it in gives MOA accuracy as long as the shooter does their part.  Everyone loves those little bug-hole groups, and the .308 will deliver them, time after time.

But, as my interests change over time, I've come to realize that bug-hole groups, while interesting are not the end-all.  Many of the shooters that I know are perfectly capable of shooting tiny groups on the bench, but when you take them away from the bench, simply can't shoot the rifle.  Groups on the nature of 4"-6" are more common.  There is a difference between bench accuracy and field accuracy, and most shooters don't spend enough time away from the bench.  But I digress.  Where was I?

Powder.  We were talking about powder.  3031 is a great, old-time powder, but we have to be careful when we're exploring the limits.  When we're working with a powder as fast as 3031, one grain might get us in trouble.  I like to stay on really conservative ground.

My go-to hunting rifle is an old Savage 110 in .30-06 and when I began reloading for it, I used IMR 4895 exclusively.  4895 is a fine old powder, and very versatile.  I could dig out my old loads, and my readers probably can too.  But, several years go, I decided to simplify and stumbled upon a load for the .30-06 using Reloader 22.  Many hand loaders consider 22 to be too slow for the .30-06, but I've found that if I load it to the base of the neck , then seat a good 168 grain bullet,   I've found that 60.0 grains o RL22 will fill any .30-06 case to the neck, and gives about 2700 fps when it pushes a 165/168 bullet with very good accuracy, better than most of us can use in the field. 

My Savage 110 in .30-06
Roloder 22 is very versatile in a rifle cartridge.  It gives great results in the .243 Win, and is my got-to powder for that cartridge. (100 grain Hornady, 45.5 gr RL22 and WLR primer for over 3100 fps) It's also good in the .25-06, pushing a 115 grain bullet over the 3000 fps mark.  My son uses it in the 7mm Rem Mag, and my brother-in-law uses it in the 270 Winchester.  It's a little slow for the .30-06, but still gives great results with low pressure and great accuracy. 

Which is all to say, I'm done experimenting.  I have my loads, and while other folks may want to push the limits, and make ground-breaking discoveries, I'm past all that.  I have my loads.

My pet loads are here.  They reflect a decade or more of experimenting, and I'm satisfied with the results.  This is not to take anything away from anyone else's favorite loads, and I know that there are a lot of good powders that I don't talk about. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Back to Basics

I started reloading back in 1976, and quickly became hooked.  With three boys and one daughter that likes to shoot, we lived in the country, and my ammo bill was .. interesting.  So, I started reloading for shotgun, then pistol, and finally for rifle.  For a time, back at the turn of the century, I was the managing editor of a webzine called The Frugal Outdoorsman.  In 2003, I penned an article about reloading on the kitchen table.

Today, I recalled a conversation with my daughter.  It seems that the hunting season is approaching and she was inquiring if I happened to have any spare .308 Win cartridges laying around.  the kids have been scamming ammo from me for years, and I make batter ammo than most of what is on the shelves at the stores, for a whole lot less money.

So, I was digging through my scrounging stocks, and found a bag of once-fired brass, .308 Federal Gold Medal Match, that I found at the local Sheriff's office range.  So, I found my hand press, brought tem inside and decapped them.  Then took them out to the tumbler and gave it a two-hour spin in walnut media.  Shook it all out, inspected it, then dug out the priming tool and went back in the house.

The  garage is currently 96F with 80% humidity.  The house is 70F.  It's much more pleasant inside than it is in the garage.  The priming tool doesn't know the difference, but I do.  It's a lo cooler indoors.


Tomorrow morning, I'll get the scales, powder, funnel, trickler, etc and set up on the kitchen tale.  I'll charge the cases then set up the hand press to set bullets.

For the record, our preferred hunting load for the .308 Win is good brass, seated with WLR primers.  43.0 grains o Alliant Reloder 15 and a decent 168 grain bullet.  Tomorrow, it will be Sierra's good Game King bullets, some I bought several years ago and still have in stock.  But, it could just have easily been Hornady or Nosler.  I've used all three at varying times, and the smallish whitetail deer we have in these parts can't really tell the difference.

I haven't really reloaded any ammo in the past three years.  I've been playing the CFDA game and that reloading is very easy.  It elt good to use my tools on the bench again. 

Monday, July 16, 2018

Burgers

Zach and I have been experimenting with burgers on the new griddle    We've eaten (different) burgers for both lunch and dinner.  Excellent both times.

Tomorrow, Quesadillas.  We'll have another grandkid over here, and I don't know anyone who doesn't like quesadillas.

Next week, we'll have yet another grandkid who likes veggies and seafood.  I can't want to try something like Brussels sprouts (for example), and maybe cook a nice piece of salmon.

I can see that this griddle and I are going to become very good friends

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Truer Words

Truer Words Were Never Spoken


That's been my experience.  When Belle says, "Oh, Hell No", I've already gone too far.

I try to avoid that.

Blackstone Grilll

On Friday, I cooked a few steaks on the new flat-top gill,  as kind of a road-test.  Yesterday, we were busy entertaining, and the grill didn't even get hot, but today, I went to the grocer and bought hamburger stuff.

I cooked a dozen good burgers on the grill, then rolled them into a crock-pot with beef broth.  This is a trick I learned at the church, running the concession stand at the rodeo.  (Yeah, our church has rodeos/).  If you're not sure when the customers will show up at the window, you don't want your burgers getting dried out, so one trick to keep them moist is to put them in a crock pot with beef broth.

Then, I put some sliced mushrooms and sliced onions on the grill to saute.


About the time they finished getting a good caramel color, the kids showed up.


Mushroom, Swiss, suteed onions, on a burger grilled, then soaked in beef broth.    With leftover baked beans and 'tater salad.

Not a bad way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

UPDATE**.  Thanks, MIelissa for catching the error.  The "bee" both is beef broth and it's been corrected.  This keyboard is getting twitchy and I didn't catch the omission.

Oh, The Horror!

It seems that while I was entertaining family this weekend, our President was on a state visit designed particularly to insult the reigning monarch of Great Britain.   He inadvertently stepped in front of her while they were inspecting the Guard (an ancient and elite unit).  And, apparently, he failed to bow to her upon meeting her.
It was over in less than 20 seconds, but even some casual followers of the monarchy were aghast at the uncomfortable interaction. Yes, it is a royal no-no to walk ahead of the queen.
Did Donald Trump forget to bow to the Queen?

As to the walking-ahead incident, from everything I've read about the Queen, she is a gracious and gentle hostess.  I'm sure that the lapse was momentary (from all reports, under 20 seconds), and I'm quite sure that Her Majesty didn't give it a second thought.  Tradition and courtesy go both ways, and I'm sure that they include giving visitors the benefit of the doubt.

As to the failure to bow before the Queen, our President was quite right.  Americans don't bow to anyone.  We put an end to that nonsense in 1776, and again in 1814.  Unlike the Lightworker's embarrassing compunction to bow to everyone with a title,   Americans bow to no one but God.  The Queen should know that.  Everyone knows that.

The entire outrage from the media is quite amusing. 

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Memaw's Party

Today, we celebrated the birthday of Belle's mother, Memaw, on the occasion of her 97th birthday.  She still keeps her own house, and is sharp as a tack.  We hosted them in our shop.

Memaw herself with her cake.
We had about 30 people in attendance, all family, from all over the state.   The menu was eclectic, with everyone bringing something.  From pizza to pulled pork, to shrimp salads, we had more food than anyone could possibly eat.

The tables are laden with food
Everyone thought that the shop was a resounding success.  It did get a little warm inside during the heat of the afternoon, but the A/C units were pumping as hard as they could. 


Of course, for those unable to walk on broken ground, we were opening the bay doors so that they could enter the festivities on solid concrete.  It's hard to fault the A/C when the bay door is open.


We had a great time, visiting with family, hugging necks and talking with each other.


Oh, we had a heck of a time, and even the dawg got in on the fun.  I think that he ate as much pulled pork as I did.

All-in-all, the day was a great and resounding success.  The shop project performed as palnned, and everyone left here safely. 

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go take a nap.

Friday, July 13, 2018

The Flat Top

I mentioned in an earlier post that I had purchased a flat top grill today.  I was walking through my favorite lumber yard today and saw one that I liked, the Blackstone 36" grill  I had looked at them on Amazon, and other places, and the local store had it for about what I expected.  And, it was ready to load into the truck.

We loaded it, then when I got home, Zach helped me assemble it.  No problem at all, about 30 minutes.  I was showing it to Belle and she mentioned that she had some little filets in the freezer.  In just a few minutes, we had them thawed and seasoned.


That's one way to season a grill, by using it.  Everyone knows that I love to cook and this thing is ust too handy.  I have to go to the store tomorrow morning, early, to get some last minute supplies for the party.  I suspect that a pound of good bacon and a dozen eggs will find their way on to the buggy.  Maybe some link sausage.

Prepping

The project is almost complete.  We still have some decorating that Belle wants to do, but we can function with what we have now.  My drop-dead, must-be-finished suspense date is today, and we started prepping for Miss Reba's birthday party.

Miss Reba is Belle's momma, born on July 16, 1921.  Tomorrow, we're gathering to celebrate her 97th birthday.  Miss Reba still keeps her own house, she loves to dance, and is known to take a shot of whiskey on an afternoon.  We love her, we do.

Belle has been decorating, out in the shop, and I bought a flat-top grill today, only because I wanted one, and the lumber yard had it on sale.



I have a small list to accomplish tomorrow morning, and we have some pork butts to put into crock pots tonight before bedtime, but I think we're ready for the family to descend on us tomorrow.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Yellow Jackets

Yellow Jackets are little buzzing, stinging insects.  We had a couple of nests several years ago in the back yard, and I set traps or them.  WHY traps, just like these at Amazon.  This stuff murders t hem.  In a short while, my yellow jacket problem was solved.  It's a pheromone trap that lures them in, then drowns them.  Works great.

This morning, mowing the front yard, I got wrapped up in yellow jackets.  They hit me twice, once on the shoulder, once in the middle of my back.    the one in my back feels like he hit me with an ice-pick.  I was considerable pissed.

After mowing, I had to run to Lowe's, so I picked up another of those WHY traps.  I'm getting ready to show them a little trick, and they ain't gonna like it.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

The Coca-Cola Clock

In every shop, barn, or garage I've ever owned there has been a Coca-cola clock.  My grandfather worked for the Coca- Cola bottling company for as may years as I knew him, and he always had a Coca-Cola clock in his shop..  Because of all the things I learned from him, watching and helping at his elbow, I've always thought that a shop needed a Coca-Cola clock.


This one is a repo, not the original advertising that Coke gave away log years ago.  Still, I feel like it needs to be there, to pay homage to the old man, and to remind myself of his shop, where I spent so many pleasant and educational hours.

My mom bought the clock at a local auction and brought it to me today on her way to an appointment.  Thanks, Mom!

Universal??

Universal Basic Income is one of the pipe-dreams of the socialists.  Everybody gets enough money to live on, to drag them kicking and screaming out of poverty.  Where this income is supposed to originate has always been a mystery to me, because it must come from the government, and government has no money except what it extorts through taxation, yet this pipe dream continues to rear its ugly head.

The latest example is Stocton, CA, who wants to give its residents a whopping $500 per month so that they won't be poverty stricken.
Now, Stockton, California, a city nestled in the shadow of Silicon Valley, is experimenting with a UBI project. The city will give 100 residents a stipend of $500 a month for 18 months with no strings attached. The goal behind this $900,000 gamble is to see if free money will lift people out of poverty.
Wait...what??  100 residents?  Stockton has something over 300,000 residents.  Picking 100 at random isn't universal.  100 residents is a minuscule  portion of the population.  And who is going to pick the 100 residents?

This scheme seems like a perfect opportunity for graft, which is what Democrats excel at.  But, lets not kid ourselves.  This is not a noble experiment, this is not universal  It makes a mockery our of basic welfare.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

My Day

Yeah, this is the way my day has gone so far.  A fifteen minute job turned into three hours, with two trips to the small engine guy.



I lose it when he rips the mailbox out of the curb.

I'm gonna drink a Diet Coke, take a shower and start over.   Hopefully, the afternoon will go more smoothly.

Monday, July 09, 2018

Unexpectedly

From Bearing Arms:
I opened my glove compartment, took out my Glock 17, and flipped off the safety
What?  The one between your ears?  Because that's the only safety on a Glock. (Yeah, I know about the trigger dingus...  that doesn't count).

I'm us' sayin'.  If you're going to write about guns, please try to let it not be total bullshit.

Old West Saloon

Over at Wirecuter's we find an intriguing photo from the Old West, which turns out to be a saloon in Randsburg, CA, circa 1900.


You can click on it to make it bigger, but it's fairly intriguing.  We notice the mill marks on the overhead joists, and the place actually has a wood floor.  Yeah, the place is a tent, but they brought the bar in from God-knows-where, and the rest of the furniture is cobbled together locally.  The fellow in front-center is sitting on a box.

It always amazes me when I see a movie and the set looks old.  These places weren't old, they were brand new.  Erected in a hurry, to take advantage of an opportunity.  Sometimes they lasted, but more often they didn't.  They were abandoned just as quickly as the opportunity faded.

It's a great photo.

Functionally Complete

The interior of the shop project is now functionally complete.    The door is on the bathroom, all drains and sewers are installed, the electrical installation is complete, and Belle has painted the place.


Zach and I installed the door this morning, finishing at about noon.  I spent some time straightening ad putting away tools, and feel good about this phase of the proect


I also found time to build a small counter-height table with lumber that was left over from the carpentry.  Belle says she can work with it, but she will probably cover it with a table cloth  I wanted to give my amused readers another chance to see those pink pre-cut studs which seem so odd to y'all, but are perfectly normal to those of us who grew up with such things.

This portion of the project had a hard-stop, drop-dead completion date of 0001, 14 July.  As this is noon, on July 9, I have beat the deadline by four days.

I suspect that some decorating will commence shortly, but that is beyond my scope o expertise.  I will leave such things to the distaff side.

Door Swing

When you're planning a room, or doing a remodel, it is important to consider door size and swing.  Doors come in a variety of sizes.  Most of the standard residential doors in the US these days are 80 inches tall, but widths vary from 24 to 36 inches. in standard sizes. 

One thing the handyman should consider is door swing.  When you get to the store, you'll encounter the choice between left-hand and right-hand doors, so it is important to consider.  The easiest way to explain door swing is to look at thus:  Put your spine against the hinge side of the door.  Whatever hand is convenient to the doorknob will decide whether the door is left-hand or right-hand.

Consider the photo of the lady.


Her spine is toward the hinges and the door knob is in her left hand.  Thus, we have a left-hand door.

I'm glad I could clear that up for you.

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Sunday Music



I hope everyone is having a blessed Sunday.

Saturday, July 07, 2018

Trip Pics

Belle and I met in 2001, both of us having lived lives before we decided to form a partnership.  One of the things we agreed on early, is that there would be no step or half children.  Whatever the circumstances that a child finds themselves in, it is't their fault.  A kid is a kid and deserves to be loved, so her grandchildren are mine and my grandchildren are hers.  It doesn't matter.  A kid is a kid and we'll love whoever they bring us.

Belle's first husband was in the service (I don't know the branch), but when he was in  Vietnam, Belle lived with his parents in Knobknoster, MO.  Her father-in-law was stationed at Whiteman AFB near there, and Belle (as a military dependent) spent time on the base  She wanted to go there  to use the Exchange and to see how it's changed in the past 45 years.  So, we drove out to Whiteman.  It's changed a bunch, according to her.

Belle and Zach, in front of the BX at whiteman AFB, MO.
After checking out the commissary and BX, we went to pick up a great-granddaughter who wanted to spend time with Belle.  We had visited the night before, ad she wanted more time with great-grandma, so we picked her up for lunch.

Belle and Brooklyn chatting while we wait for our order.
The barbecue was excellent, even if it was Kansas City style.  I believe that the pit-master may have studied in Texas for a while.  The brisket was excellent.  Zach found two bottles of BBQ sauce o the table, one labeled MILD, the other labeled HOT.  We tried the HOT one and found the label amusing.  When we go to Missouri, Belle always cooks an etoufee for the gathering.  She tones it down quite a bit, using almost no spice at all, but the more fragile palates find it challenging.  Missouri palates seem to be fairly delicate.

Belle and Lori, in Lori's kitchen
Lori is Belle's daughter (legally, step-daughter, but we don't care).  She was our hostess for this trip, providing everything we needed while we were in town.  I miss her already, and look forward to seeing her, and the rest of the family soon.

Home

We're home, safely, after five days of travel.  PawPaw will be getting back into his routine.

It was great, seeing the Missouri family.

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Emma, Missoui

About an hour east of Kansas City, likes the sleepy little tow of Emma, MO.  We're visiting some of Belle's family (and by extension, my family) who we haven't seen in a year or so.

Situated in the rolling farmland of the Missouri plains,  this quaint little town reminds me of towns and villages all over the US that are being passed by the bigger,  more bustling cities that seem to dominate the country.  Emma is small, just off of Interstate 70, and is very quiet.  On a Tuesday morning at 10:00 we wee the only vehicle on Main street.. 

Belle had come up last year for a funeral, and knew of one little treasure in town, so she wanted to visit it again.   Emma's Guns and Antiques.  I forgot to bring a camera this morning, not even my cell phone.  This place is exactly what you might expect to find in a little town where the economy is struggling.  Inside the proprietor has antiques and collectibles,   Plus a pretty good selection of modern firearms of every variety.  And ammo. 

As Belle browsed through the antiques, I gravitated toward the gun counter, where the owner and I talked guns and politics.  The folks in small-town Missouri share many of the same views as the folks in small-town Louisiana.  He and I talked about everything under the sun, and I even noticed that he had a small portion of his enterprise set aside for package liquor.  Antiques, collectibles, guns, ammo, liquor and beer, all under the same roof.

Right across the street is the town pool hall, bar, and lunch cafe.  I may have to make it into that establishment before this trip is over.

Monday, July 02, 2018

Plumbing Compete

After church yesterday, we ate lunch and the boys and I went out to the destruction zone to try tom make the final push on the plumbing.  It was just a matter or working the plan.  We went out into the sun first, to finish the drains and sewer, then went inside the shop to tie it all together.  I was very pleased with the results.


The toilet and vanity are installed in the bathroom.  We had to mount the toilet on a small pedestal so that the discharge, which goes out through the wall, would clear a structural purlin.  That extra two inches raises the standard basin to handicapped height.  The basin is lagged to both the wall and anchored to the floor with lag bolts.  It's rock-solid and Belle is pleased with the finished result.  I still need to add a door to the bathroom, but didn't want to do that until the fixtures were installed.  The opening is cut for a standard ADA complaint 36X80 door.


The kitchen is complete.  We tested everything, found some drips and make the tweaks necessary for leak-free operation.  While the boys and I played with plumbing, Belle was doing some touch-up painting.  After we were satisfied with the plumbing, we turned on the little mini water heater and got it going.  In just a few minutes we had bot water in both the sink and the bathroom vanity..

This project is 95% complete.  We still need outlet covers and that door for the bathroom, but we're putting a pause on the construction.  I have to take the trencher back  to the rental company this morning, and as soon as I return, we're hitting the road to visit with family in Missouri.  Belle's been itching to go up there, and I need a change of scenery.  So, we'll go hang out with people we love in Missouri.

It's going to be fun, and we have a house-sitter arranged.