02/26/06 to 03/02/06
The fun never stops here at the ranch.  Sunday, 2-26, was the 4th Sunday
luncheon at the Lohn Tabernacle.  (I don't know why it's called a tabernacle, it is
just the community center.)  We had attempted to go last month, but Richard was
the one who was informed of it, and when he was told 4th Sunday, he assumed
that meant the last Sunday, so when we showed up last month with enough pasta
salad to feed an army, we of course had managed to be there on the 5th
Sunday, and it was just us and our pasta salad.  We did better this month and
got to meet more neighbors.  

Monday we went back out to the ranch to work on stuff.  I had bought seeds to
put in a garden, and we worked on getting it laid out and ready for fencing, but
we got tired of that, and decided we needed to be ready for company, so we
started in on the cutest outhouse you've ever seen.  We didn't get finished
because we had to head back early because Richard wanted to go to the
weather watcher training they were having at the VFW.

Tuesday, 2-28, we went out to the ranch to finish up the shitter, uh, I mean the
privy.  We were working away when Richard needed his cordless drill.  He has
been keeping some tools in a gang box up by the electric pole, and we were
working down by the barn, so he sent me up to get it.  I was driving there, and
saw what I thought was a dead snake, half way out of its hole.  I guessed it was a
rattlesnake, but couldn't tell of course, since it's tail was still in the hole.  The foot
or so of it that I could see was upside down and so I thought for sure it was dead.
 I grabbed the first thing I saw, which was a hammer, and jumped out of the truck.
 I was about to nudge it with the hammer to see if it was dead, when I decided
that would be a really stupid move, and I should just make sure it was dead,
rather then test it, so I gave it one good whack on the head.  It didn't move or
anything, so that just confirmed my idea that it had been dead for hours.  So I
grabbed it by the middle, right by the hole, and pulled it the rest of the way out.  
That's when things got exciting.  The part of him/her that had been in the hole
was wriggling like crazy, and that tail was rattling like you wouldn't believe.  I
started whacking him on the head some more.  Now I'm not even good at hitting
nails, and they don't move, and I don't usually have the heebeejeebies when I'm
trying to hit them.  I bet only about half my hits got him/her.  Anyway, the stupid
thing wouldn't quit wiggling, no matter how many times I hit it, and now that I knew
it wasn't hours dead, but only seconds dead, I wasn't as anxious to grab it again
to pick it up.  But I had to brag to Richard so finally, after several attempts with
me jumping away at the last minute, I finally got it picked up--by the neck this
time--and threw it onto the tailgate to take to Richard.  It was about 3 or 3.5 feet
long, with 6.5 or 7 rattles (the last two rattles are fused together, so I don't know if
they count as 1 or 2.)  Now here is the part where you won't believe me.  I didn't
have the camera!!  I wanted to hang the snake in the barn and hope the
raccoons didn't get creative enough to get him overnight so I could take a picture
in the morning, but Richard was too excited and just had to skin it.  He swore he
could just take the skin off like a sock, and whined that if he didn't do it right
away, it may be harder to do the next day after I took my picture.  So I believed
him, and here is what he ended up with.  It isn't nearly as impressive as it was,
but maybe you get the idea.
(This picture is two days later, Richard put salt on the skin to make it dry up.)
At least he was able to save the rattle for me.
That night we went to another meeting at the Lohn Tabernacle.  This was for
the Lohn Valley Improvement Association.  They voted on siding for the
Tabernacle, and then adjourned.  We met more neighbors and I was
bragging to our neighbors to the north about killing a rattlesnake and so I
asked why it would have been sleeping upside down.  I was told that this is
when they come out of hibernation, and they are usually still groggy.  They
come up to get warm and sometimes just lay there while they try to regain
their strength.  They also told me I was crazy to have killed a rattlesnake with
a hammer, and they all recommended that either Richard put a 6 foot handle
on the hammer, or I start using a hoe or shovel instead.  And of course, they
told me to never grab a snake, no matter how dead I think it is, by the middle.  
I guess I will take their advice.

Even through all the snake excitement, we did have time to mostly finish the
crapper.  All we have to do is hang the door and put up the t.p. holder.  Pretty
nice, huh?
We figure we've got a bathroom, now we're ready for company, so come on down.

Tuesday was also a big day because our neighbor to the East  gave us a cotton
wagon.  We have been shopping around for a trailer to haul water, which is the only
thing stopping us from actually living out at the ranch.  Of course, shopping for a
trailer with no money, we hadn't been finding anything in our price range.  Cotton
wagons are old technology and so our neighbor was more than happy to get rid of
one of the 10 that he has rusting out on his place.  Being made to haul cotton, they
are 8' wide by 20' long, with 8' sides.  Quite a bit bigger than what we need, and
the sides had to go.  Everything is metal, which isn't a problem since Richard has
the cutting torch needed to take of the sides.  However, there is a state-wide burn
ban in effect, and our brown weeds are way to dry.  Oh yeah, it was 88 degrees
here on Tuesday.  
We thought about cutting the sides off on Wednesday, which was a record
breaking day, in the 90s at least, but I never got the official temperature, but it did
break the record.  We got out to the ranch at about 10:30 cause we're lazy, and the
wind is usually blowing pretty strong about then.  Our neighbor who had given us
the trailer saw us coming, and offered his fresh green wheat field for us to cut in, so
we wouldn't burn his house down in the process, so we decided to put it off another
Thursday we got up early like good little boys and girls should, and got out there in
the cool of the morning and got those sides cut down before the wind got going.  
My job was to spray everything down with the pump up sprayer.  I put out about 5
little fires, well 6 counting the time Richard set himself on fire, but we got her done
without setting the field ablaze.  We're going to use the sides for my garden.  Won't
that make a good fence?  Anyone want to come down and help us move them?
We still have to get new tires (which of course means we have to get the old tires
off, which we haven't managed to do yet) and Richard wants to shorten the whole
thing so the axles are closer together.  I guess that means I'll be back on fire-duty.  
We also have to get the tank that will go on this trailer, then we will be ready to
move out to the ranch.  Our rent is up at the RV park on the 10th.  Any guesses if
we'll be ready by then?