Lehman’s Hardware in Dalton, Ohio.

About an hours drive South of Cleveland in the small town of Dalton, Ohio is Lehman’s Hardware Store.  Lehman’s is so much more than a “hardware store” it would be better called a super-store for self-sufficient living products.  On the way home from Cleveland today, I stopped for my first visit at Lehman’s.  I only spent an hour in the store but could have easily spent another 2 hours browsing!  Wow what a place!  Everything you can imagine for cooking, canning, cleaning, heating, and more can be found in Lehman’s.  I recommend when you go, spend the entire afternoon and take a list of things you think you might need… after a few mins of shopping you will soon realize your list is incomplete!

  

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Thanksgiving in Cleveland, 2011.

I spent Thanksgiving 2011 in Cleveland at my Mother’s home with my younger brother and his family.  It was an awesome weekend!  Hard to believe it’s almost December, the weather was warm and sunny all weekend, temps reached the mid-60s!  As always, our Thanksgiving meal was fantastic!  Mom hasn’t lost her touch (She’s got skills)!  She makes the best gravy I have ever eaten!  The day after Thanksgiving we went to the Westside Market at the corner of West 25th and Lorain in the Ohio City neighborhood of Cleveland.  It’s a great place to spend a few hours shopping and eating.  Fresh meats, fruits, vegetables and numerous specialty products can be found at the Market.

For more information checkout the website,

www.westsidemarket.org

Above, a picture of the Westside Market in the Ohio City Neighborhood of Cleveland.

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An Afternoon in Lexington, Kentucky

This Fall, temps in central Kentucky have been pretty warm.  So a few days ago I took advantage of a beautiful afternoon and took a long walk around downtown Lexington, Kentucky.  Lexington is a nice medium-sized city with an urban college campus (University of Kentucky).  The downtown area is safe and easy to navigate.  There are numerous cafes and restaurants, many catering to a student’s budget.  I like to just wander, that’s probably why I like Amsterdam (and other European Cities) so much… you can wander for hours.  If you don’t know Lexington, I recommend at least a few hour visit! 
  

Above is the Lexington Carnegie Center for Literacy.  Once the Lexington Public Library now serves the community in another capacity.  Behind the Center is a beautiful tree-lined park.

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Bambi – Summer Sausage

So far this season, 3 deer have been harvested from my 20 acre piece of farmland.  This year in Kentucky, one can harvest as many doe as they want and only one buck.  The Department of Fisheries and Wildlife determines the number of doe or buck that can be taken based on population trends.  As I said, I plan to eat all the meat or share it with family and friends.  Below is a series of pictures of two of the deer shot on my property.  One was taken to a professional processor and made all into summer sausage.  The second deer was processed by a friend of mine and yielded about 55 pounds of venison.  Processing cost for 12 summer sausages, 2 back-straps and the tenderloins was $150.00, not cheap but very tasty.  The cost of self processing was of course free.  I need to get a smoker and make my own summer sausage next year.

Above, a Doe, ready to be processed.
Below, Jake the Cat keeping watch over the processing operation…. keeping all coyotes at bay!

Above, the venison processed at home.
Below, the summer sausage processed professionally.

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Deer Season in Kentucky, 2011

It’s hunting season in Kentucky, for deer that is!  This year I decided to go hunting with my friend Ernie, a life-long hunter.  The opening day was last Saturday and runs for two weeks.  I always have lots of deer pass trough my property but this year it seems like deer are everywhere!  So far Ernie has bagged 2 doe.  I have seen a few deer but have not been able to get a shot off yet.  When I get one, Ernie is going to show me how to field-dress and butcher the deer, and I plan to eat the meat.  So, I have about 10 days to get my deer.

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Honda XR650L Motorcycle on a Versa-Haul Hitch Carrier on Bertha the Truck Camper

Bertha the Bigfoot Camper gets a dingy.  After my trip out West last Summer I wanted a way to park my camper and get further off the beaten path,  to go places my truck and camper can’t go.  It got me thinking about a motorcycle.  After a bit or research I decided to look for a Honda XR650L.  The Honda has a pretty good reputation / track record and the size was right, (I’m not 140 lbs anymore…).  After a little searching, I located a 2003 for sale here in central Kentucky and bought it.  I also bought a “Versa-Haul” hitch mounted motorcycle carrier and mounted it on the back of the F350.  I took it out today for a test ride and the truck handled the bike well.  A friend of mine owns a metal shop and I am going to have him make a metal security arm that will fit into the 2″ hitch at the back of the Versa-Haul.   The arm will help secure the bike on the carrier better.  The ratchet straps work well but my concern is… if they should malfunction…. the bike would fall off the carrier…. Does anyone have similar concerns?  If you know of a good system to secure motorcycles to a hitch carrier please post you ideas / solutions below!

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