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Sunday, January 25, 2009

More snow and seed packages ~

We wake up this morning to an inch of snow on the ground but this time around it is a warm snow. And only an inch... I can deal with that.
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And of course my Veggie seed packages came in, for this up and coming growing season. Is hard to wait for spring to arrive!! Feel like a child at Christmas time!


Trying some new varieties of Veggies this time around.

I do however, need to find some place to buy well made but cheap, long 2 tube grow light fixtures. Some of these seeds need to be started early indoors and with our lack of sun, they will need the grow lights.

So if anyone knows of such lights for sale, please let me know.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

This Weekend ~


After that lovely... almost month long winter storm with all that snow damage done to the trees, it is time to clean up the aftermath. DH with our small chain saw.

This is only one of the many trees down around the farm. This whole weekend was spent trying to get as much of this tree cut up and cleared. It will take us at least a couple of weekends to get this one dealt with. Numerous others still clean up.
DS splitting the rounds into usable firewood sized pieces. Is the only tree on the place like it, would say it is a medium hard wood. Very, very nice wood with a straight grain. Normally I know my tree species, almost say it is a Willow cultivar...but I am going to have to look this one up.

The mess of downed limbs.

Trunk area near the root ball. Multi trunk and it is hard to show just how large it is.
Keep hinting to DH that some of this wood is just too nice to make only fire wood out of it. VBG
At least it was a beautiful day out today. Bright skys and it made it to 50*!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Good Books~

The whole family loves reading, so I thought I would put a short entry to books I would recommend for readers.
I tend to save my favorite books to read again.

Anne McCaffery writes a good books and her "Freedom" series and "Pern" series are excellent reads. The words flow easily and her writing is clear and you can just about see her worlds in your head.
I really enjoy the books Anne McCaffery has written on her own. The books she has a co-author with, I have not liked nearly as much.
If you like the "RingWorld" books, then you should take a look at Helix. Very clear and easy to understand.

" Judas Unchained" Is the sequel of Pandora's Star and like PS, Judas unchained is a 1,000+ page book. It is a little more intense read but well written. Honestly think this book is better than the first. However,,, near the end it seems like the Author rushed. Would of rather seen him add another 500 pages, than ending that is in the book. But I still recommend giving this book an look at too.

I am in the process of reading a "Dick Frances" Novel and will do a review as soon as I am done.
Normally I do not like murder mysteries but he writes an outstanding book.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Sad day

Well,,, DH will be jobless in about a weeks time. Because of this, I found a good home for my Alpaca's. Only reason I did , is because DH is being laid off........ tell you it wasn't all easy to watch them go. But I want to make sure they have the best home possible.
Also found a home for all my d'Uccle chickens, they will be picked up this monday.
*
I will however be keeping my horses, have had them a very long time and have a lot of training and heart strings attached to them. They are set up with food, wormers, vaccines are done for a years time, so they are good to go. We will also be keeping our cats.
Is not easy.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Fetch!

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So you most likely think a kitten or cat would never play fetch? Well, here is Mia to show you that it can be done. She will fetch as long as you are willing to throw her toys.

One video is just normal Fetch with her Mouse head. And the other video is the other favorite fetch technique, fetch with some air! She also loves to fetch paper airplanes.

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Sunday, January 4, 2009

How the new Well house came to be~


The snow we had the next day. New Well cover to the right... can see the old one in the back.

I looked at the outside thermometer just now.... a rousing 15.7° F, not including the wind chill.
We have around 3" of crusty ice around the place, and the streets are quite the skating rink. People who live with this every winter would just laugh at how pathetic the drivers are.... 4WD Subarus, with chains, doing 10 MPH on clear dry pavement. Piles of broken chains, frozen to the free way. Other wonder drivers with their chains thrashing the wheel wells of their cars......... We're supposed to get another weather front through the area tomorrow, and the weather is predicted to crawl just above freezing for that event. Lovely. Can you say "Freezing Rain"? I knew you could.
The last two week's projects were to prepare for this blast of cold (which hit on this last weekend). I started out Saturday (6 Dec) by walking out to my pump house to turn on the thermostatically controlled light bulb, and add some bleach to the well at roughly 10 AM. No big deal, pull off the cover, swap out the old bulb for a new one, pull a bolt from the well housing, and pour some bleach through a funnel into the hole. An hour, tops.
Except, when I grabbed the roof of the pump house enclosure, it fell apart in my hands. Particle board. Exposed to rain. Tissue paper. No roof. Not really any walls to mention, either, as the box that had been placed over the well sat on bare earth, and the moisture had dissolved the lower edges of the side walls as well. (This is what happens, when the parties working on stuff have no direct stake in the matter… shoddy workmanship.)
Had to tip the whole thing over, and examine what was left, and what I could do about it before the predicted rains and snow arrived that evening. Fortunately, I discovered the well had in fact been built with a proper cinderblock casing, that goes down into the ground at least four courses.
I found this out by bailing out the opening with a coffee can, laying on my belly….. Someone had crashed into the well housing at some undetermined point in the past, and broken the cinderblock. That allowed the mice to move in, and the gophers. They had been using the well housing as their ‘Fortress of Solitude’, for a very long time. The entire interior of the well casing was filled with finely tilled earth…. This is where the term ‘tilth’ comes from. (I think that translates to rat droppings mixed with dirt. Smelly stuff.) More than 50 lbs of this ‘tilth’ were removed by hand. Tilth may be good for plants…… it’s really filth, by another name.
Once I had the hole excavated and a packed 6” thick gravel floor in place, I could make a wild guess as to what materials were needed to construct a new well housing, and make the mad dash to town to buy supplies and set to work. Of course, this took well over 2 hours to arrive at this point………
I decided I had to patch the cinderblock, then build a structure on that cinderblock so it would not rot in the future. That meant I needed concrete, pressure treated lumber, pressure treated plywood, roofing materials, some cinderblocks, all the various screws and nails, etc……..
Home Depot, here we come. Round trip 10 miles into town, shopping and returning took two more hours…. The light is starting to go, and the rains are still coming……… Next thing you know, I have the van parked with the headlights shining into the hole, and I have the Echo parked at right angles to that, with it’s lights shining in there, too.
5 hours later, I have a watertight, weather proof ½ half box (think right triangle, with the sloped face being the ‘roof’, with shingles. The holes are all sealed, and the next day I got to add 2” thick Styrofoam sheathing for insulation.
The bleach I added to the well? I got a little over zealous with that…….. took almost a week before you could not taste the bleach any more. But no more tilth. R

Glow in the dark minis and ~~


Took this photo early in the morning. You can see the horses have finally packed the snow down in areas making it easier for them to walk.
The new mini horse blankets finally arrived. Due to the bad weather and snow up in the hill roads, UPS could not deliver these for over a week. Poor minis were shivering in this weather, even in their old horse clothes. These new bright blankets make all the difference in the world. Bright colors are great to let hunters know these wee creatures are not deer.

Looking out to the round pen. Still have a bit of snow as you can see.
Down the driveway. You can almost make out the tall hedge to the right of the drive.

Please say I'm not the only one~~~

Ordering garden seeds already!! More snow we get, the more I want to garden. :RollEyes

So far, this is what I hope to grow in my garden this spring. Am trying some long storing onions and carrots this year, along with some new varities.
Blushed Butter Cos Lettuce
Canoe Peas Cheddar Cauliflower - Dakota Peas - Giambo Squash - Green Slam Cucumbers - Honey Bear Squash - Kentucky Wonder Bean - Lil' Loupe Melon - Merida Carrots - Onion Plants-Copra - Onion Plants-Mars - Plant-Beaverlodge 6808 Slicer Tomato - Ships last half of April Plant-Golden Star Pepper - Ships last half of April Plant-Legend Tomato - Ships last half of April Plant-Northstar Pepper - Ships last half of April Plant-Sweet Million Tomato - Ships last half of April Renegade Bean - Roma II Bean - Small Sugar Pumpkin- Spaulding Spinach - Sugar Dots Corn - Waltham Butternut Squash - Yukon Gold Potatoes- Atomic Red carrot - Chinese Red Noodle Bean - Delicata winter squash - Kabocha winter squash

Friday, January 2, 2009

Nari........... must......... have.....

........the Birdie!!

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How to keep a cat out of trouble for hours upon hours? Throw a little bird seed just out side the door and you have "Bird TV" just for cats!

Is there no end?!!

Little over half the snow has melted off, heavy rain all day yesterday which turned to snow late at night. Now we have another 3" of wet sticky snow.
Sigh ~~~~
The roads in the low lands are a solid sheet of ice. DH had to go to work today as we can't afford him taking any more time off.
That last snow storm, I was told by the neighbors, (since they were able to check, when I could not), was 4' deep...not counting the snow drifts! Last time there has been snow like this in this area, was 19 years ago.
No wonder the horses, donkey and alpaca's were not happy and refused to go any where that the snow wasn't packed down.
Of course this kind of weather has made me want to garden, so I have bought the Veggie seeds for the spring already. VBG