When the bold branches bid farewell to rainbow leaves - Welcome wool sweaters. ~ B. Cybrill

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Bonnie's Bountiful Baskets...

If you expected to see fruits and vegetables from the Bountiful Basket program, you will be disappointed.  Instead you are going to witness Bonnie's Basket Debacle.  Some friends of ours own the Dakota Plains Auction house.  Every March they host an antique auction.   If you remember last year we bought a beautiful, swans head, wicker, one horse open sleigh.  

Well, we stuck with the wicker theme this year.  I didn't mean to, mind you.  It just happened that way.  While looking at the things up for auction, I noticed a table filled with baskets.  Lo and behold, there were two picnic baskets in mint condition.  I have been looking forever for a picnic basket.  I told my husband to be ready.  He is a sweet man and bid at my bidding.  I knew there were a lot of baskets, but I couldn't believe they were all in the same lot.  Well, they were.  We got them for a good price.  As we loaded them, I realized why nobody else was bidding.  What exactly does one do with 38 baskets?????  

These two are the temptresses that got me in this mess.  It is a good thing Easter is around the corner.  I have visions of Easter Baskets, Christmas Baskets, and even a Thanksgiving Cornucopia dancing in my head.  Anyone need a basket?

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Bonnie's Bouquet...

I have an amazing brother.  Despite the fact he has been through hell, he still can create something so beautiful and so thoughtful.  Then to call it Bonnie's Bouquet knowing my love of alliteration.  I am blessed.  Love you little brother and thank you!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Is it summer yet?

I put the finishing touches on the picnic table last week.  Some green stain, clear stain, and a few bear paw prints across the top.



When my husband and I make something, we make it to last.  The table weighed a ton.  We did manage to get it to the porch.  I had to move several other things, but there it is.  We grilled steaks for its inauguration.  It was a bit cool, but we enjoyed our outdoor meal immensely.   It will be a wonderful summer indeed.


Projects are so much fun.  Today it was 60 degrees and we sat and visited with our neighbor at the new table.  Life is good.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Picnic Project...

Finally, a nice day.  It almost got to 50 degrees here.  My husband and I couldn't wait to get out and do something.  We were ready for a project.  After doing some internet searches last night, we found these plans for a picnic table.  We went to the store this morning and $120 and four hours later we were done.

Rough material list:

Material
Qty
Purpose
2" x 6" @ 10'
7
Legs, bench, and table top
2" x 4" @ 10'
1
Bench supports (free of knots)
2" x 4" @ 8'
2
Table top support (right and left) and misc.
5/16" x 4" Galvanized Carriage Bolts
12
Bench supports, legs and diagonal support
3" Galvanized Deck Screws &
2 1/2" Galvanized Deck Screws
100+/-
Table top, bench seat, misc. usage

Cut and Assemble the Table Top
  1. Cut 5 2x6s 60" long out of three of the 10' 2x6s.
  2. Cut 2 2x4s 28" long out of one of the 8' 2x4s.
  3. On a flat surface, lay out the 5 2x6s side by side, with the prettiest side facing down.
  4. Position the two 2x4s on each end of the table top 7.5" from each end.
  5. Attach the 2x4 braces to the table top boards using two 2.5" galvanized wood screws on each end of each board.
Cut and Assemble the Legs and Bench Supports
  1. Mark an angle with a speed square 23 degrees on one end of a 2x6 and cut it.
  2. Measure 30" from the long point of the previous cut and mark another 23 degree angle and cut it parallel to the first cut.  
  1. From one of the 8' 2x4s, cut one piece 28" long.
  2. On one edge of the 2x4 (A), make a mark 4" from each end.  This will be the position of the top of the legs.  (see diagram)
  3. Place the legs (B) on the 2x4 (A) as shown in the diagram, and secure them with two 2.5" galvanized wood screws.
  4. From the 10' 2x4, cut two pieces 60" long.  These will be used for the bench supports.
  5. Measure up 14.5" from the other end of each leg and make a mark.  This will be the height of the bench support.
  6. Line up the top of the 60" bench support with the marks made from the previous step.
  7. Center it between the legs so that an equal amount of 2x4 is extending from each side. (see the diagram below).
  8. Secure the bench support (C) to the legs (B) with two 2.5" galvanized wood screws.
  1. Drill a 3/8" hole through both boards where each piece connects, and secure the pieces together with four 3/8" x 4" carriage bolts.  Note that the holes that secure the legs (B) to the upper support (A) should be drilled 2" from the top of the upper support (1.5" from the bottom).  This is so that when you attach the leg assembly to the table top, the carriage bolts won't be in the way.
  2. Repeat the steps above to assemble the remaining leg assembly.
Attach the Leg Sections to the Table Top
  1. Flip the table top upside down and attach the legs to each side of the table top braces.  Use four 2.5" galvanized wood screws to secure each leg section. 
  2. From the remaining 8' 2x4, cut two 24" pieces with a 45 degree bevel on each end.  These will be used as braces.
  3. From the bottom of the table top to the bench support, make a mark at 17" on the middle of the bench support.
  4. Make another mark on the underside of the table from the inside plane of the bench support to the center board on the underside of the table (see diagram).  The 24" brace, when attached, should line up with these two marks.  If they don't, pull the leg assembly over until the marks line up.  This is required so that the legs and table top will be a perfect 90 degrees. 
  5. Secure the braces with 2.5" galvanized wood screws and finally, with carriage bolts.
Finishing Up
With the diagonal braces in place and secured, flip the table upright and add the 60" 2x6 bench seats. (see diagrams)  Using the remaining scrap 2x material, add supports to the middle of the table top and middle of the bench seats to keep the lined up.  (see the Picnic Table Side View)
Cut theses braces so that they are about 1" from either edge of the table top or bench seat.  Secure them with 2.5" galvanized wood screws.

We got the plans at:
http://www.mycarpentry.com/picnic-table-designs.html  
Just know that it forgets to tell you to buy the 2 1/2" galvanized wood screws.  Not something you want to realize after you get home from getting materials.

Yes, we probably could have just purchased a table, but what fun would that be?  All that left is sanding and staining.  Oh, and some summertime.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Update...

My drive to work has become considerably more interesting.  The newly transplanted big horn sheep are licking the salt off of the road.  



I promised that I would keep you updated.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Marching on...

Not much to do these cold winter days, except to plan the garden and go snowshoeing.  I'm lucky to have Ella.  She encourages me to get out and about, despite the cold temps.  We snowshoed two miles today.  I have to admit that then we took a nap.  It was a lot of work.  I thought you would enjoy some photos.
My loving husband packed down a trail for me.  My dog left me in a snowdrift as she raced down the road, happy to be outside.  We headed down the road, around a turn, and up a mountain, down a valley, then back to the cabin.  

If you look closely you can see our cabin across the valley.  Just follow the ridge line.
 Ella was much too busy to look at the views.
 Here is a close up of our cabin.  If you look close you can see my husband waving to us on the upper deck.  
 This is the view from the top of the hill.  Looking to the east you can see Mount Roosevelt.  If you are ever in the hills the Mount Roosevelt Monument is a nice hike with a wonderful view. 

 After going up the big hill, we went down into the valley to an open meadow.
 Open meadows are great for racing around.  After burning off some energy, we climbed back up.  I went 2 miles and in that two miles my elevation changed by 242 feet.  Now that is a workout.  I'm sure my little traveling companion did double that.
What are you doing to stay active during the winter weather?  There seems to be a lot of people that snowshoe like me.  Does anyone cross country ski?  Any other way to get out and break the winter doldrums?

Sunday, February 22, 2015

This could be the beginning of something big...

South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks are trying to introduce big horn sheep the the Deadwood area.  Back in 2002, Deadwood almost burned in the Grizzly Gulch Fire.  Thanks to hardworking firefighters only a few homes were lost.  From the bad comes something good. The good in this scenario is the fire created the perfect habitat for big horn sheep.  We have some herds of big horns in the southern hills, but haven't seen any here in the northern hills.  

My husband was lucky enough to see the 26 sheep released.  They were brought down from Canada in horse trailers.  After 38 hours in a trailer, they were ready to go.  When the gates were opened the sheep took off and never looked back.  It was a good thing he had the camera ready.
























You can tell from the photo above that the burned area has provided plenty of grass.   A few days after being released one got a little confused and ended up in Deadwood.  Maybe she wanted to do some gambling.   Somebody thought it was a pet goat that had escaped.  










Before you know it we will get photos like this one a co-worker took.  They are a common sight at this gas station outside of Hill City.  Thus, the statue.  This big guy wasn't sure if it was real or not.   Pat, the photographer, said the ram looked like he was going to nail the statue with everything, then at the last minute he would just tap it.  They are great photos.  



I love living in the Black Hills.  There is always something to do or see.  I am excited to see if the project is a success.  I will keep you updated.