Thursday, July 31, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Notice you can see clear through the other side of the barn, this is NOT GOOD!! Usually this time of year there isn't room to even hardly climb around up there, and we're scrambling for places to put hay. We're filling up the bottom of the barn, and starting to pile hay on skids outside, to be covered up with a tarp and fed first. But not this year. It's not gonna be good!
And these bales are not the best either, they are scraggly (as a result of waiting this long to get baled) and weedy.
But our field is done, and here is The Mouth and Hubby showing how nice it is to be done with this particular field, one of our hardest.
This is the last time we will hay this field, we'll plow it under and plant corn for a few years, then plow it under again and plant a quality pasture mix. We never get a 2nd cutting out of this field, it's gotten that sparse and weedy, so it's time to rotate it out.
It rained hard last night, thunder, lightening and lost power for about 3 hours, but that's ok, I rise with the sun anyway so it's not like I depend on an alarm clock.
So tonight, there will be no haying (thanks to the miracles of modern technology we know ahead of time when to expect rain), but there will be some serious house cleaning, something that gets sorely neglected during haying season.
I'll also try to get out into the garden again, I've been on a mission to rid the world of zucchini, one plant at a time, but it is a veritable enemy. Well, not really an enemy, but last year I got enough to feed everyone in the county nothing but zucchini for 3-5 years, I don't need any more this year, I'd rather have the stuff it is trying to drown out (corn, beans, watermelon...), so I will get more of that done tonight, unless it rains again. (no, I didn't plant zucchini this year, but apparantly, left some out in the garden last year and it reseeded itself). And, since I had to hunt for a towel this morning to take a shower, I might consider doing some laundry, again, unless it rains....
Out here in the "old world" as my brothers like to call it, we depend an awful lot on the weather, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I love this life (even if I hurt really bad right now).
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
Well, in this picture you can only see one, but there were 8 (I think), with all the scurrying around, it was hard to get an accurate count. I had purposely left this hen alone, because it was just easier, she seemed to be a bit moody, when actually, she was broody ;-)
When I decided it was time to move her into the chicken pen with the rest of them, she growled at me! Then I found out why!
Now, I'll let her have free run of the barn and yard until her babies get a bit bigger, then I'll shoo them all into the pen.
I LOVE baby chickens!
I got quite a bit done in the "reclaiming the garden from the weeds" project and started, in earnest, ridding the world (or at least my world) of zucchini, one plant at a time. I didn't even plant this stuff! I planted a few seeds last year and got enough zucchini to feed the entire county for 10 years, I certainly didn't need to plant more this year, but it seems to be quite capable of rejuvenating itself. And while I was watching the beautiful Caribbean sunsets, and not my garden, it took over. And yes, it's taken me this long to get back to it. We also waged war on the burdock this weekend, they have a habit of taking over also.
Started haying for real Saturday. We had a straight shot of 4 good dry days, so we'll get as much done as possible. Last night it was still too wet to bale, (we did bale about 20 just to see) so we raked it, and I'm sure tonight, it will find it's way into the barn. I seem to have lost an incredible amount of muscle mass this past year, couldn't believe how heavy those bales that we did finish last night were, ugh, gonna be a long night.
But it's gotta get done, and during January, when it's 1000 degrees below zero, and the critters need extra hay to keep them warm, these days will be a nice memory.
Talked to hubby about our addition (no more critters, this is a small addition onto our house). He wants to enclose the fish tank, but yet keep it outside so if (when) it leaks again, the mess will be outside, so we're going to put an addition on that side of the house, and part of it will be for my greenhouse! Can you say vine ripened tomatoes all winter long????? yum! Rabbit food! And, since it will be off the corner of the house where the woodstove is, we can open a few windows and let the woodstove heat it also. We've already got one nice window (huge Anderson windows about 10x8 foot) scrounged for just this purpose. We have the logs for the outside, and we have extra lumber sawed out for the framing.
Another thing off the scrounge list? Hubby managed to procure enough tin to finish the roof! This was left over from another job one of his construction buddies did and he got it for pennies on the dollar. Not the right color, but the price was right, so as soon as we're done with this round of hay, guess what? Yup! Back up on the roof, that will be NICE to have that little job done!
Still looking for leftover eaves and downspouts at auctions... (hey, baby brother, you just put new siding on your house, got any leftovers? You can ship them to me with the fishies!). I want to collect rain and snowmelt off the roof of the barn, chicken coop and house for watering the critters and gardens, it seems a shame to let all of that water just soak into the ground, when we could be storing it for when we need it.
Lots of projects and where in the heck did July go???
Friday, July 25, 2008
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Like the time I got new hardwood floors because his 225 gallon aquarium decided to gush all over the carpets and linoleum.
You gotta look on the bright side here, I probably would never have gotten my hardwood floors had this not happened and the insurance company written me a nice little check for the damage.
So, back to the aquariums.....
This is the latest, it's just your standard 20 gal or so aquarium, filled with the usual sand, shells, rocks, shotgun shells.... you know, an aquarium, oh yeah, it has fish in it too.
Recently it sprung a leak. Imagine that! Didn't see that coming!
And if you'll notice the towel hanging off of the left side, you can imagine that it's wet. Always.
And getting wetter. Faster.
Soooooo... here's the plan.....
I refer you to the aquarium at the bottom. Another of
Tonight I will take out the one fish in the big aquarium (aprox 150 gals) that will eat littler fish and put him in the pond. He's a bullhead, I don't think he'll care.
I will transfer the contents of smaller leaky aquarium into bigger less leaky aquarium, and all of this will take
How hard can it be?
In the chicken pen.....
Most of them are in!! I put a top on it last night, just as a trial, to see where they needed to be, and all that got put in are still in, so tonight, after my fun aquarium switching out, I'll make that a little nicer to look at.
I mean, snow fence in N. Mich is a given, but bright orange, on top of a chicken pen? Now that's just ridiculous!!
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Sunday, July 13, 2008
It hot. Really hot. Hotter than hot, actually, it's pretty far off of the hot scale. And humid. Never saw that coming! Go figure, a place that is hotter than hot and has a constant trade wind blowing, and happens to be close to a hole lotta water would be humid!
But the water is great, and surf is waaay fun. We've been out past the breakwater in kayaks, because they told us it was too dangerous. Had to do that one 4 or 5 times, just because.
The breakwater is part of the 2nd longest reef system in the world, home to lots and lots of pretty fishies!
We had an authentic Mayan dinner, prepared by real Mayan Indians. It was pretty good, nothing special, although that's nothing against the delightful people that prepared this meal.
We've been snorkeling all throughout the bay almost non-stop, and hubby found a spot to go fishing.
Later this week, we're going diving, diving on these reefs, in the Caribbean is awesome. you can see forever, the colors of the corals and fish are amazing, and the water is warm. Last time we went diving down here we saw dolphins, maybe this time we'll be as lucky.
I'm sure, at home, the Bu-Dawgh is having some separation anxiety issues, but he'll survive another week, I hope.
At any rate, here is a picture of where I intend to be later this week:
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Oh, they had pictures of our "insubordination" hanging on the walls. Lots of them, from every angle. Hubby stood his ground, and even went so far as to offer to ride around the county and make notes of "violations" of their ordinances, so they wouldn't have to take precious tax dollars to do it themselves. He offered to put up the old mailboxes, in all of their disrepair along with a handwritten sign - something to the effect of "this is your tax dollars at work". And, he offered to take them all out, one by one and show them why some of their own mailboxes didn't meet their own ordinances. Every bit of nonsense they offered was met by a counteroffer, he's so good, he should be a politician! I'd vote for him! He even went so far as to ask why we were being singled out. When told that they weren't singling us out, he wondered why he was the only one there complaining, and our mailboxes were the only ones that had pictures hanging on the wall. They couldn't really disagree with that!
They also couldn't disagree with the fact that everything that stated on their ordinance website we were in compliance with.
About 45 mins into this nonsense, the commissioner decided that this wasn't really "a can of worms we want to open" and declared the issue "tabled". This could mean one of two things, either it's "not a can of worms we want to open" (at all), or they need time to figure out a different way to make us comply.
See, one person can make a difference, all you have to do is be willing to stand your ground!
Tomorrow, we leave on vacation, I have so much to do. Ugh, at least the farm will be covered, and I've learned from previous experience that my job will not fall apart if I leave it for a week.
Poor Bu-Dawgh, though. He will have to go to the kennel. For a whole week. He will be devastated. Will probably have to start him on Prozac when he gets home! But tonight, he needs a bath. That's always fun, at least it's warm out and I can do this via the hose, rather than in the bathtub.
Got to get to work, later gator, or as they say in Mexico..... well, I don't really know what they say in Mexico, but I'm gonna find out!
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Are ya ready?
Let me set the scene. We live at the end of a private road, zoned residential. A few years ago, well maybe like 10 or so, our zoning board decided to "enforce" a few of their ordinances like number of animals per acre, unlisenced vehicles, number of storage sheds, stuff like that. Again, we're at the end of a private road, like 3/4 mile back in the woods where in order to "see" all of the treasures that we hoard in order to live a more self sufficient lifestyle, you'd actually have to drive back there and look!! It would have to be intentional, such as someone who is looking for a reason to create a problem. (Don't ya love people who just look for reasons to be unhappy?).
So, here we are with our farm, on our 26 acres (6 owned, and 20 adjacent leased) minding our own business in a residential zone.
Someone decides that they don't have anything better to do than cause problems, so we end up in a zoning dispute. No problem, we are bordered by farms, and agricultural zoned property, and we meet the criteria, so after a few raindances and jumping through of hoops, we have our property rezoned to be agricultural. Hmmm, amazingly, a lot of the problems went away.
Now, the latest......
Seeing as how we live technically in a subdivision, while at the same time we are a farm, we all have our mailboxes at the end of our private drive. They used to be all different heights, different lengths, a mixed up cluster of, well, mailboxes. I'm sure you've seen it. No problem, not the prettiest, but who in the h^&*&**I#$%$ cares? It's in the country, everyone's mailbox looks like that!
Well, one of our neighbors takes it apon himself to "pretty things up", bought 4x4's, and built a very nice, stable, even pretty mailbox post for all of our boxes. Planted flowers between the boxes, stabilized it, made it look very nice. Take a look:
I mean seriously, who could not see this as a vast improvement over the cluster of mailboxes usually found all over the country?
Well, apparantly our Road Commision is who! First they told us the side posts were too high, a safety violation, ok, we'll cut them off, no problem.
Then it was the metal plant hangers on the ends, ok then, I guess we can eliminate them, and the latest, there are only to be 2 mailboxes per post along with the paper boxes, it's an ordinance, a law, and for heaven's sake, we can't go against the Road Commission's "ordinances".
Well, I've never been real good at math, but if you count real close you can count 6 mailboxes, and if you count real close again, you can count 3 posts. Hmmmmm. Never mind.
Another shot at this gross violation of our ordinances (picture taken from behind, obviously, as I drove out of our drive onto the main road):
Just awful, I've never seen anything worse. Maybe it's the combination of the pink and yellow flowers. That must be it.
Stay tuned... hubby will be at the Road Commission meeting this morning, and at this point, he's the one looking for a fight!
PS: Don't ya have a pot hole to fill somewhere???
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
From left to right:
Monday, July 7, 2008
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Along the front of the pen, I transplanted my chives seedlings, the area gets full sun and they should do well there. I also planted some lemon basil seeds.
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
I've written about my sequences before. For some reason the steps that it takes to accomplish the simplest task sometimes takes a whole lot longer than what it should.
Let me set the stage.
1. I can either walk to work, ride my bike, or drive my car. Let's review the process here:
A. The Bu-Dawgh will be alone all day and we're haying tonight so I can either
1. Drive my car or 2. Walk with Bu-Dawgh (an adventure in itself!).
B. I have plants to take to my Dad so based on this and the above I decide to drive my car.
Ok, that decision is made, and wow! It only took about 10 minutes of reasoning to get there, a personal record I do believe!
So, we're driving to work, the decision has been made.
Here's the steps (sequences to get to work)
1. Load up the car with Bu-Dawgh, all the plants plus a load of garbage for the dumpster.
2. Get in car.
3. Remember that I forgot to remember all my "stuff"
4. Go back to get the rest of my stuff.
5. Get in car.
6. Car won't start.
7. Try to find jumper cables, which weren't put back last time they were used, hmmmm, imagine that!
8. Find another set in hubby's truck.
9. Hook up jumper cables to my car.
10. Get hubby's truck parked next to my car.
11. Hubby's hood won't open.
12. Put hubby's truck back out of the way and go to get my truck.
13. My truck's hood won't open.
14. Sigh, back to the house for another cup of coffee, and seriously consider working from home.
15. Get back in my truck and drive my truck up and down the road over the bumps at a higher than recommended rate of speed until the hood latch pops.
16. Drive back to my car (realizing by now that I have used in gas, what I would have used anyway just driving to work with my truck, but no matter, it's not a simple thing, we have to make it harder than it is!)
17. Open hood of truck and proceed to jump car.
18. Car starts.
19. Put truck back out of the way.
20. Get in car.
21. Shut door.
22. Try to put on seat belt.
23. Open door to release seat belt.
24. Close door and proceed to drive to work, making a mental note to drop Webster a line about all the new cuss words I've invented this morning.
25. Get to work to discover I'm the first one there and am locked out.
26. Reconsider driving back home and going back to bed, but realize that there is indeed someone there, they just forgot to unlock the door.
And we are now at work.
So, to recap, I actually made it to work, which in itself, seemed to be a major accomplishment, I suppose the rest of the day will be a crap shoot!
Sunday we finally offed the rooster. This was a not-nice rooster. He attacks, and not just to protect his hens, but just because he is (was) one of those psycho manic animals we seem to attract. So last night, the "roo-stew" over homemade biscuits was just yummy! And it was very satisfying to finally put an end to that little drama. However, the actual "doing of the deed" as it were would have made for a very good 1/2 hour sitcom, it's a shame that NBC wasn't there to videotape that little production! Because as it is in my life, nothing is as it should be, but it's all real interesting!
Yesterday I took the day off to work on my chicken pen. I got a lot done, LOTS. I would have finished it except for that my life is not just about chicken pens, and other stuff had to happen, so I suppose that all in all, having a super productive day yesterday just paved the road to having a 1 step sideways and 4 steps backwards day today! A day in the life and all that....... Murphy's Law prevailed!
Tonight we're haying. I'm probably not going to go near any of the tractors, I just don't want that on my conscience, so I'll ride the wagon and stack hay hoping that the wheels don't fall off or the axles break or something (all of which has actually happened - I'm waiting for the day that they fire me, except for that they're my horses, so it's assumed that I will at least try to help). It's all good! As long as we don't push our limits.
I'm sure the rest of my day will be as eventful as the beginning, I'll be sure to take notes, noone would believe me if I didn't!