We have had a couple of really nice days this weekend. Today was overcast, but still very enjoyable. Yesterday my father and his wife came to have lunch and visited long into the afternoon. We were excited because they don't get to come very often even though they only live about an hour and a half away (there is the southerner in me coming out: measuring distance by driving time).
Lindsay had to work last night (she works nights 7p - 7a in the hospital nursery) so I didn't get to do much after the family left. I did manage to clean up the mess surrounding our garbage can area and the back of our garage which knocks a chore off my list.
The two Bartlett Pear trees I planted in early winter are blooming and starting to leaf out a little which is a relief since two of the three trees I planted during landscaping appear to be dead (sugar maples). Our ornamental crab-apple tree that Lindsay's dad brought us last year has survived and started putting out little purplish leaves, so that is exciting. I planted all three of the surviving trees on the south side of the house so that when they get bigger they will (hopefully) provide some shade for the house during the summer. I still need to get some additional cultivars of pears into the ground soon since they "need" them for pollination or whatever.
My dad is supposed to be bringing some fig tree and pecan tree cuttings over from his house in hopes that I can get them to root and plant around here. Interesting fact about pecans: George Washington called them "mississippi nuts." So I guess I'll add those cuttings to the potted orchard on my back porch which houses the 11 trees from the arbor day foundation and is about to get my orange tree back which stayed out there last year but has overwintered in our spare southend bedroom.
Lindsay's mother came over to play with Finn this afternoon which gave me a chance to take advantage of the extra hour. Josh and I headed to the backwoods of his lot, where his future cabin will be, to sort out a huge pile of trees and dirt that a dozer piled up for him a couple years ago. I managed to pull about a half dozen usable trees out of the pile, but we couldn't get the chainsaw working. There were about 4 good cedars, and a couple of other non-rotting trees that I should be able to at least use for borders if not for fence posts. We also spotted a handful of good cedars that need cutting down in the woods back there; when we get the saw working we'll get to them.
Josh is also going to talk to a local trailer and sometimes tractor dealer in town about a possible trade involving his tractor. The dealer has a tractor out front of his place that might have been our grandfather's (it is the same model, and he is the man who bought our grandfather's tractor back in the mid- nineties). It is a Ford 8N or some such, with a 3-point hitch, which would allow us much more versatility and the ability to use way more attachments. I guess a draw back is that it isn't as big, but I don't know if that will matter all the much. We'll see how Josh's "horse trading" skills are sometime this week when he goes by there.
I also sold my cowboy pistol (a stainless .45 single action Rough Rider) this weekend at a new gun store in town. I went in to see how much they would give me for it, and his first offer just happened to be the amount that I wanted to at least get out of it. Josh thought it was a fair deal as well so we went ahead and sold it. I might could've gotten more out of it selling to an individual, but there was some slight mechanical defect with the transfer bar, and I didn't want to pawn that off on someone ill-equipped at fixing it. We did try to get it fixed once by sending it to the manufacturer, but they didn't get it fixed. I was able to get $300 out of it, but I sold it with the intent of using the proceeds to acquire some more versatile simpler guns for the homestead. I already have a couple of shotguns that are teetering on the edge of being sold for something else, but they have served me well so I'm holding onto them for now. I actually bartered for one of the guns (a 410 pump shotgun); I traded a Playstation 2 to my cousin for it a few years ago.
My target guns that I'd like to pick up for the place brought some strange looks for the gun merchants. When they asked what I was looking for and I replied: "A flintlock rifle, a .22 revolver, and a 12 gauge double barrel coachgun with hammers," they thought I was a little crazy. I already do a little black powder shooting/hunting, and there is a game reservation near by that allows hunting only with bows, spears, or flintlocks. It would also be a possible long-term "bug-out gun" as the survivalists and "preppers" call it. The double-barrel is something I've wanted for a while, and it has less parts to mess up than the pumps that I do have, which is a bonus. The .22 pistol is something my granddad used to tote around when in the woods and such, and he jokingly referred to it as his "hogleg," which I'm pretty sure was a joke, since that is slang for a big-ole pistol the size of a hogleg. It would be my only non-black powder pistol since I sold the cowboy gun, and I like the fact that it has some versatility and pretty much the cheapest ammo you can get.
I'll probably go to Larry's Pistol & Pawn in Huntsville to check out their selection of used stuff, since I have seen all three of my desired guns there for sale before. My dad seems to think that I could pick up the pistol for under $100, the flintlock for under $100, but the shotgun would be closer to the $300. So depending on what they have in stock, we'll see what I spend the $300 of gun money on. I also have above said cousin who works at a sporting goods store checking on the Remington Coachgun to see if they can order a new one and how much it would be.
Enough of the Orchardist Militant for now... Time for bed.