This Texan walks into a bar …

Vickers Ranch Workamping RV SiteI overheard this Texan tell an Aggie joke about a couple guys framing up a building.

One reaches into his bag, looks at the nail he pulled out and throws it over his shoulder. He pulls out the next nail, looks at it and pounds it into the wall. He continues to do this until the other guy asks, “Why you throwin’ out half the nails?”

First guy replies; “They’re pointing in the wrong direction!”

“Dummy,” he says, “Save ’em for the other side of the house!”

It got me thinking to the workamping I’ve been doing this summer.

Jim Workamping Vickers Internationa TractorOne thing is for certain about my time here at Vickers Horse River Ranch. It has been an incredibly educational experience.

At least so far:

  • Broke up concrete porch with jackhammer and rebuilt with wooden platform.
  • Demolished large wooden elevated deck.
  • Constructed larger elevated deck.
  • Removed truss system and roof from mobile home.
  • Cleaned up “Boneyard” of recycled building material and ranch implements.
  • Produced hanging wood sign from milled timber and horseshoes.
  • Produced black walnut street signs and planted ten posts using backhoe and shovel.
  • Bucked hay onto truck and stacked bails at lower pasture.
  • Tightened and painted dozens of 8′ picnic tables.
  • Split a few cords of firewood.
  • Scooped loads of gravel from shale quarry to repair dirt roads.
  • Drove dump truck and filled low spots in road along pond bank.
  • Demolished RV space covered porch and salvaged lumber and roof for re-use.
  • Replaced wax ring under toilet.
  • Painted wooden porches.
  • Prepped and installed new metal roof on one cabin.
  • Applied ice and water shield underlayment to another cabin roof.
  • Cut glass panes, installed new panes and and re-glazed windows.
  • Assembled refurbished metal porch chairs.
  • Cut, gathered and stacked fire wood at three different ranch event sites
  • Installed tongue and groove pine slat flooring, walls and ceiling.
  • Removed wall framing for, and installed new bay window.
  • Changed oil in Dodge Ram pickup.
  • Repaired pasture hitching fence.
  • Collected and hauled trash to dump.
  • Used oxy-acetylene torch to modify and install new backhoe bucket tooth
  • Installed stop-waste valve with street shutoff extension in buried pipe.
  • Plumbed and leveled foundation for well house.
  • Built and decked 8′ x 10′ well house foundation.

I do have to admit, though. I did have some help. And a lot of supervision. Perhaps to much, considering only some of it was welcomed and/or appreciated. And summer is only about half over.

But the best thing about the variety of projects I’m working on, is the vast array of talents I get to learn, test and affirm. The whole experience makes me more confident we could, can and should do it. Build our own little piece of paradise, that is. If we can find that place. And if we can afford it.

5 thoughts on “This Texan walks into a bar …”

  1. YAHOOO, good buddy … all that and you haven’t lost any fingers or sunburnt your neck?

    Truth is I couldn’t do half of that list and not end up in the hospital for stitches or a blood transfusion. Well done.

  2. Hey, I have a “elevated deck” that needs Constructing. Maybe when you are all done playing Cowboy you can come work-camp at my place.

    We also have a “Wax Ring” job but that is part of the bigger master bath project…


  3. Jim; your experiences are gold. It truly demonstrates what made this country great.
    Hard work, innovation and creativity…….maybe it is time to take a break and enjoy a cold beer


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