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Ice Bucket Method for Cooling

Here is a simple but useful idea for cooling if you do not have air conditioning. Place a bag of ice inside a metal bucket as shown. Cover the bucket with a small towel to cover just the top of the bucket. Place a fan behind the bucket and turn it on high. The bucket will begin to get cold and give off cooling air to the room.

This maybe a redneck air conditioning idea but it does help. Change out the ice Continue Reading →


A Thumping Grouse

Are you hearing a repeating thumping noise in or around your home and not sure what is causing it? Are you having a plumbing problem or just what is causing that thumping sound? For those who may not live in the woods or where wildlife like grouse inhabit, let me tell you about this unique thumping sound a ruffed grouse makes.

Male grouse make a drumming sound to attract mates which starts with a rapid, wing-beating display that creates a low frequency sound, starting slow and speeding up (thump…thump…thump…thump-thump-thump-thump). Even in thick woods the drumming sound can be heard for a quarter mile if not further. Grouse also drum to announce and establish their territory to all.

Grouse like to find an old log to make their drumming sound. The beating of their wings resonates through the log making the thumping sounds carry quite a distance. Grouse are known to thump repeatedly every few minutes and can continue for hours.

Here is a photo of a grouse in a mid-thumping action. It was difficult to get a photo of the grouse in action so this is the best picture I was able to capture.
Thumping Grouse

Here is one more photo Continue Reading →


Merriam Turkeys

Merriam turkeys are very plentiful in our area. Wild turkeys are everywhere in the Northwest mountains this time of year. While I have seen many tom turkeys all puffed up, I had never seen one so close as this guy who was just outside my window. I was able to snap a few pictures of this very handsome tom showing off to the nearby hens.

Here are a few of the hens that the big tom is trying to court. Continue Reading →


History of Ruff WA

I have been doing research on the town of Ruff, Washington. My family’s farm was just northeast of this once thriving little town that is located in Grant County, Washington. My father’s birth certificate actually lists Ruff as his birthplace and I wanted to research what I could find about the community.

Many of the early settlers including my grandparents were Bessarabia Germans as they came to America from Bessarabia, Russia which is known as Moldova today. My great grandparents on my father’s side came to American in 1891 when my grandfather was 5 years old. It was interesting to find that my grandmother was also from Bessarabia and came to America later and married my grandfather in Washington state. They eventually homesteaded near Ruff Washington and were dry land wheat farmers.

I believe the town of Ruff was established around 1900 and had several businesses and at least one church the Ruff Evangelical Church. Here are a few photos that I found in my father’s old photo album.

Continue Reading →


Homemade Windshield Washer Fluid

I needed to refill my windshield washer fluid recently and decided to make my own. After doing some research on-line, I came up with my own version of homemade windshield washer fluid. I just wanted to try out a small amount of my washer fluid so I made mine in a 2 cup glass measuring cup. I used this glass measuring cup as it was easy to mix the ingredients and provided an easy pour method into my washer reservoir in my vehicle.

I wanted to make sure I made my washer fluid freeze-resist and I used ingredients I had on hand. Here is my recipe for my homemade washer fluid.

1/3 Cup of Isopropyl rubbing alcohol 70% or higher
1/2 Tsp. liquid dish washing soap
1/2 Tsp. Epsom Salt
Tap water

Put all your ingredients into the glass measuring cup except the water. Continue Reading →


Flip Flop Quick Repair

Here is a quick repair for your blown out flip flop. My niece recently shared this useful idea with me. I just had to post her photos and pass along her quick fix for a broken flip flop.

All you need is a plastic bread bag closure. Just recycle a plastic bread bag tab to repair your broken flip flop.

Place the plastic bread bag tab over the blown out hole and here is your repaired flip flop. Continue Reading →