Saturday, December 13, 2008


I'm learning the basics about fencing. Started learing to drive posts. It's really not that hard, as you're only driving them about 6" into the ground. That is, unless you hit rock, which happened a couple of times. This is a temporary gate I put up on the new driveway. See that post on the left that doesn't have a job? I couldn't get a post in directly across from it 'cause I hit rock, so I had to move the gate down the driveway. I couldn't get the post out, so it just looks stupid out there by itself. I'll get it out with the tractor when it's back from the shop. As you can see from the longer posts, my finger has healed up just fine. For the last several weeks typing has just been a royal pain in the finger.

One stage finished

It took another 3 hours to get the concrete block wall done. Something to remember: when estimating job time, be sure to include set up and clean up.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Beer Can Labels

Labels can be so confusing. "Chelada" sounds like a good exoic drink. Beer with salt and lime, yum. But then there's the "Clamato." Wonder what that's all about, I think? Then I buy it. It sucks. It's clam juice and tomato dummy. Yuck. At the bottom of the can it reads "Bud Light Beer with Natural Flavor and Certified Color." "Certified" color????

My aching back

Thought I could lay the concrete block in a day. Wrong, it get's dark and cold too early. Got a little over half done in 5 hours. My back started aching after block number two.


No, these aren't the footings for our small house. They are the footings for a "wash house" addition to our pump house. I'm tired of boiling water on the grill and standing nakey behind the barn to take a bath.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Getting "tutored"

Today is Sammy's big day, if you know what I mean.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Huntsville Health Care

I had the distinct pleasure of meeting a few of the fine health care professionals in Huntsville. Stuck my finger in a pin hole in my tractor. I knew better ... just a stupid brain fart moment in life. The 500 lb bucket shifted and took with it the tip of my left index finger. Doctor says it should heal fine, albeit it a tad shorter. No more Witter fun until it heals. My ego hurts worse than my finger. Idiot ....

leaves gone

I never realized how fast the leaves fell after the best fall colors. I was away for less than 2 weeks, and the leaves are gone!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Got to Put a Girl (Therese) In It

I realize that this place won't be complete without Therese. She's been involved in the design, and as soon as I get the shower house done she'll be spending more time in Witter. Brooks and Dunn must have written the first part of this song for me ...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Location Location Location

We chose this house site primarily for this view down the valley. The picture doesn't do justice to the fall colors.

Hummingbirds fly to Mexico and House flies come to Witter

I found this gaggle of flies on the back of a board I pulled out to use. It was about 50 that day, and they didn't move much. Creepy.


We cut the driveway entrance and spread gravel. It's a dandy drive, if I do say so myself.

Etch a Sketch camera screen

I was carrying some rebar when we were working on the footings. Had a few pieces in each hand. I tried to step over a small line that was about 12 inches above the ground. Didn't make it. Fell like a tree cut down in the woods. My camera was in my pocket, and it (any my thigh under the pocket) took the brunt of the blow. The screen of my camera looked like a broken etch a sketch. Got to get a new camera, and pay for damage protection....


The footings were formed and poured. Here's a good picture of Clancy's folks (only one spoke english) building the forms. The concrete was poured the next day, but I didn't get any pictures because I broke my camera a few minutes after I took this picture.

Mo Tractor

Here's the backhoe that finished digging the house hole, the ditch for the water line, and the septic tank. He wasn't able to dig the house hole much deeper than I did with my tractor. Yep that's a 1.5 inch pipe at the bottom of the the 18" x 18" ditch. That's the way they do it in Witter.

Sammy looking clean

This was taken just before he wallowed in some garbage at the lake that turned him on. His nose is different than mine. He smelled like rotten spoiled catfish stink bait. Had to give him a bath before I'd let him in the house.

RAMS e y

Remember when you were a kid and you were trying to write your name real big, like on the top of a picture you were about to turn in? Remember how you wrote the first letters real big, just knowing that all the letters that size would just fit. Then you got down to the last couple of letters, and they didn't fit, so you had to droop them down the right side of the paper. I must still live in that world. Took me 4 signs to get "Ramsey" written on the plywood so the 911 assignor could drive by to assign us an address. Now we got one -- 1921 Madison 3300!

Sunday, September 28, 2008


Walked out to the truck, which was parked behind the barn, one morning and was shocked to see black marks all over the side. It looked like someone who hadn't learned to write wanted to say "wash me." Walked around mad for a few minutes, trying to think who coulda done it. Then it hit me -- the cows. First they poo where I park so I step in it, now they're lickin' my truck.

Need more Tractor

Johnny found me two dandy tires for the tractor, so we're back in business. But, after digging some more I gave it up to the rock. My tractor just isn't big enough to break up the rocks. He're my big rockpile -- about 20 ft long and 6 ft high. Wish I could have done it all. I finalized my plan with Michael, and plan to order my timbers next week.

Workin' Like a Dog

Where in the heck did that saying come from? Not from watching our dogs. When I was diggin' with the tractor, Jack and Sam watched. Sam found the one shady place with a view of what was goin' on. Jack didn't fit. Back at the barn, Sam plunked himself down in front of the fan. Today it seems like it should be "relaxin' like a dog."

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Friday 9/12/08

Went to town to get the flat fixed. Talked to Johnny about getting me a new tire. There was an old man in overalls getting a new tire, who professed to "having too much time on his hands and spending it watching tv." He was railing about Lehman's going broke, and how everyone just spent too much money. Said one day there would be one "world government." We talked about the federal deficit for a while. Politics a tad, but he knew where to draw the conversation line in unknown company. Actually enjoyed talking to him. Guess I'm lonely for company . . ..

Had a short stack at Grandmas. Great place for breakfast, can't believe I didn't get biscuits and gravy.

Went to the County Judge's office to see if I needed any permits to build a house in Witter. They sent me to the Health Department. Before then I stopped by Madison County Telephone to see about getting a phone in the barn while we're building the house. Woman asked for my address, and of course I didn't know it. That threw her for a loop. "Well, if you want us to get you a phone, I've got to have an address." After explaining the situation, she told me that I had to have my address approved by the 911 Assignor.

So I went to the Health Department. It's over by Butterball, next to the LIBRARY. Huntsville's got a library? Can't wait. Benny is the Health Department guy. He bird hunts. Told him I liked to bird hunt, but didn't have a bird dog and it's hard to hunt birds without one, isn't it. He suggested I go to the "bird reserve" up the road beyond Governor's Hill (Named after Governor Faubus, who, in 1957, gained national attention when he called out the Arkansas National Guard to prevent the integration of Central High School in Little Rock.)

Anyway, Bennie gave me the paperwork to complete to exempt me from the need for a septic tank permit. Everything in the system must be at least 200 feet from the road and any property lines. Got to complete the form, have it notarized, and send it back to him.

Went next door to the LIBRARY. Its' the size of a small house, but it's got wireless internet. Very cool. Asked the nice lady what I needed to do to get a library card. Arkansas Divers license. Don't have one. Piece of mail with your name and Arkansas address on it. Don't have one as I don't get mail in Witter. Threw her for a loop. What about a copy of your electric bill from the Coop? It's mailed to my address in Kansas. Hmmm. What about a copy of something from the 911 Assignor showing your address? I haven't seen her yet. She seems to hold the key.

So off I go to see the 911 Assignor. She was out, but her assistant was there. She told me that I would get assigned a new address for the house, if it's going to have a different driveway. The barn will continue to have have it's own address. I need to hang up a sign with "Ramsey" painted on it, and call the office. They will drive out within a week, and assign us an address for the new house. Dandy. Then I can get a phone, and a library card. Whoopee.

Spent 6 hours digging on the house hole. Mostly digging rocks and cleaning up in the deepest part. I'm about 4 ft down there. Had another flat. Same damn left front tire. And 80% chance of rain tomorrow, so I packed up, took my tire to Johnny and told him to order a new one, and headed for home.

Thursday 9/11/08

Spent 11 hours on the tractor digging the house hole. A lot of rock. I'm not going to be able to dig a 6ft deep hole with my tractor. But I did make 4 real big piles of dirt. Ended the day with another flat.

Wednesday 9/10/08

Dug the house hole for 7 hours today. Tired. Hit rock about 2 ft down. Had a flat on the tractor, so I had to go into town. Stopped at the White Elephant, an old grain store that is now a tractor repair shop. Stopped there about 3:00, and nobody was there. Yelled "hello" about 3 times. Walked outside to look for someone, and I saw three guys hustling across the highway carrying fishing poles. They said it was slow, so they went fishing in the pond across the street. Gotta love it. Good for them. I introduced myself to Brett, who owns the shop. Told me to bring the tractor in and he'd check it over. Any time, remember things are slow. He recommended I take my tire to Johnny Walkers, on Hwy 74 past the EMS station.

Johnny fixed my tire while I watched a tape of last week's Huntsville vs. Harrison football game. Harrison killed them. Talked to Johnny for a few minutes. He and I connected when we agreed that Huston Nutt wasn't that bad a coach (sorry Ken). Called Michael, and he told me to come to Fayetteville to meet Clancy. Talked to Clancy about helping me with the foundation and basement. He'll come to Witter to look things over when I get back next week. Told him I was a "do it yourselfer," but know that some things I can't do myself.

Tuesday 9/9/08

Drove down last night and stayed in the cabin. Bought a small printer so I can print out plans from Arkansas and the laptop. Cheap at Walmart. It takes two ink cartridges, one color and one black and white. This printer was so cheap that it didn't come with the black and white cartridge. Did the instructions with the printer say so? Of course not. So I chatted with "Patrick" online at Lexmark. He was sooooo polite. Too damn polite. He "sounded" (typed?) like he was really "Rasheed." My suspicion was confirmed when I tried to joke with him at the end -- I said "All good dude, over and out." Went right over his head, or maybe this was a senior citizen without a sense of humor. Took 15 minutes of my time to figure it out. Printer cost $35, the b&w cartridge I had to buy cost $17. Shit.

Bought a middle buster (think small plow) on the way down. On sale for $119, regularly $179. Spent from 6 until 8:30 (after dark) digging rows at the house site then scooping up the dirt to move it. I'd estimate that I moved about a foot of dirt from a strip about 6 ft wide. Got a lot to go, as one side has to be dug 9' and the other 6', and it's about 40' wide….. Looked up at 8:30 through the headlights, and I saw 20 eyes staring at me. Scared the bejesus out of me. For some reason it's scarier when you're by yourself. Well, the cows had come to see what was going on. Drove right by them on the way back to the barn after I finished my beer.

Unloading the truck I must have stepped in the same damn cow paddy at least 6 times. Got to be more on my shoes than remains on the ground. Got two books at the used book store in Fayetteville, and got the satellite raddio set up, so I think I'm set for evening entertainment.
After going to bed, had to go back out to the truck to look for something. Stepped in the patty again. Shit. (I was wearing my clogs.)

Listen to the words of songs a lot more down here. "I kissed a girl and I liked it." She's a girl kissing a girl, right? Think I caught on after hearing it for about a million times.

There are so many fonts. Wonder how I get one named after me? What a claim to fame. Some day I'll be able to say Ramdiddy is named after me. A goal for life . . ..

About Me

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Witter, AR, United States
We are building a timber frame home in a small rural community in Northwest Arkansas. We created this Blog so our family and friends could follow our progress.