Monday, February 23, 2009

The next week

The chicks will come in at the end of the week. We almost have the brooder boxes ready. I'm going to spend today and tonight figuring out exactly what its going to take to keep the boxes warm enough for the chicks.

The Strawberry plants are doing pretty well. I remembered somewhere in the back of my mind, my fathers oldest sister going out to uncover my grandparents strawberry plants. To be honest until that point in my life, I didn't know they had strawberry plants and I don't think anyone ever picked any strawberries off of them. But, every spring they would have to be uncovered from the layer of pine needles and leaves. I thought maybe the leaves and pine needles were as much to protect the plants from frost as anything, so I covered mine with leaves before this last big frost and they are doing pretty well.

The lettuce and peas took longer to start germinating than I expected them too, but this cold snap seems to have brought out the best in them and I'm beginning to see little shoots coming out of the ground.

Friday, i have to plant the Broccoli, Dill and and cabbage in the house, so they are ready for transplant when its time to plant outside.

The dogs still aren't getting along with each other. I don't know what I'm going to do there. The trainer I contacted still hasn't returned my email. So who knows.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


We got a new puppy. He is a beautiful furry ball of energy that doesn't bark. Hes a cross between a Chow-Husky mix and a German Shepard. We named him Bear like my husband because his paws look like baby bear paws.

Picture of Bear

The problem is our other dog Buddy. Now the reason we got the puppy was, since the one cat we had that was willing to play with Buddy died, Buddy has seemed so sad and lonely. I thought a puppy would help matters because dogs are pack animals.

The problem is that I didn't realize exactly how aggressive a dog Buddy really is until we brought Bear home. Now that I stop to think about it, I can see it but I always saw his aggression as trying to protect us. That's before I found out hes killing the Possums that live around here.

We realized he was actually killing the possums and not just dragging them up instead of just finding road kill to play with the same night we brought Bear home. Hubby pulled up in the drive with the puppy, handed the puppy to me and grabbed Buddy's collar. He then looked at the possum and saw that it was breathing. So we have proof that hes killing them.

In that light I have to look back over the last week. He attacked the neighbors dogs that came up the driveway. He nipped at Tristain bad enough his side was red for a few minutes but not bad enough to break the skin or bruise. He killed the Possum. And he tried to bite the puppy twice the night we brought it home.

That was Monday. Since then He has bit my oldest daughter twice, attacked the puppy again twice. Neither of them are bad enough to really hurt but with the puppy it could have been. He has regressed to jumping up on everyone again and barks entirely to much. He keeps jumping the fence around the compost pile. If I can't trust him to not attack the puppy how do I know he won't attack the chickens once they are old enough to go in the coop.

With the way his back leg is hurt (It got hurt before he showed up here) I can't put him in a carrier and he won't get into the van to go to the trainer so if I can't find a trainer to come to him I don't know what we are going to do. I'm not going to make Bear stay in the house because Buddy is mean. But, I can't leave Buddy on the chain all the time either. If we took him to the pound they would end up putting him down due to his aggression. I don't know how to fix it.

I do know that Bear is a few weeks away from being able to leave around Buddy unsupervised anyway but, at this rate, I'm not going to be able to do it until Bear is 6 months old and then he will be big enough and strong enough to fight with buddy for pack position and perhaps run him off, but I don't want that to happen. The idea was that Buddy would be the pack leader but maybe he doesn't have pack leader in him.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Ready for tomorrow

Well all the wholes for planting the trees have been dug. Bear is stopping by Home Depot to pick up agricultural lime on his way home. Ive decided instead of growing potatoes in the garden I'm going to use a different trick. You cut up your seed potatoes coat them lightly in agricultural lime then "plant" them in a trash bag of leaves. You don't fill it up all the way you just put in enough leaves to cover the pieces and roll the bag down. Then as the sprouts come up you unroll the bag and cover the sprouts with more leaves until they flower. Then you can either pick the new potato's then or you can wait till the flowers die off and then pick the full developed potato's.

Its going to save a lot of room in the garden and its something I can pretty much do all year round. I also have to plant the onion bulbs tomorrow. Should be a lot of fun.

Interestingly enough along with all this planting, I'm going to have to make a trip into our tax ladies office tomorrow to pick up another check. We already got all the money we knew was coming to us from the government but apparently they didn't pay us enough with last years stimulus or something so we are getting more money. Kinda Strange but I'm not going to turn my nose up at money. I don't know how much it is. Just that we need to come pick it up.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Rain Rain and more rain

Woke up this morning with the thunder shaking the windows. Apparently the storms got pretty bad in Oklahoma I don't think we had any damage here but I won't know until I can get back into the woods to check for downed trees. My garden may or may not have been destroyed I think Ive lost at least one strawberry plant. But we will have to wait for everything to dry out to find out.

My house has gone to pot again. I went to do the dishes yesterday and the pipe under the sink was disconnected. Bear had to fix it when he got home. The kids woke up at 5:30 with the thunderstorm so I'm running on next to no sleep and my house is still a mess. On top of it my joints are all stiff and swollen again. I would call Dr. Himmler for an appointment but he wouldn't run any tests he would just say yeah you probably do have arthritis want some pain killers. Ive seen what pain killers did to other members of my family. I'll kill my heart and liver on Ibuprofen before I do that to myself. So there really isn't much point.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Busy Weekend

This week was almost overwhelming. I'm so tired I can hardly see straight. The bad weather that the dark clouds were predicting along with the Harris Almanac held off and I was able to put in the strawberry plants as well as planting three different types of peas and two different types of lettuce. I also managed to get started inside the sweet onions.

On top of that we spent most of this morning pruning the rose bush and getting it on a new Tressel. It was the wrong time for pruning if we want it to grow quickly but as fast as this thing grew without pruning it probably could do with a bit of a slow down.

Tomorrow, I start digging the rest of the holes for the fruit trees, if the rain holds off some more. I'm so tired I can hardly see straight but at least its progress. To bad I'm not making as much progress on my knitting project.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Not enough hours in the day

I did nothing yesterday but answer emails and make phone calls and visit with the estemator from the Auditors office. No we don't need to have a building permit to build the chicken coop. No we don't live in a flood plane but yes we do live in a flash flood plane. Like being surounded by wet weather creeks at the bottom of a 65% grade incline hill didn't tell me that to begin with. Yes the man with the Auditors office was nice and yes his new measurements will probably lower our taxes. (The house was measured wrong in his paperwork) But, I didn't need to spend a half hour talking to him. Yes my sister can take the girls to take their written driving test.

Ill admit nothing else got done yesterday because it was cold. It was very cold. But, at 9:30 its almost 50 degrees today and the sun is shining brightly so today is looking like it will be good for the kids playing outside and my getting more of the tilling done.

I seem to be having problems getting things done without a list and I am constantly losing my list so Im going to put what I need to do today here and we will see how well it goes.

1. Clean my kitchen,
2. Bake Brownies
3. Homeschooling
a. Work on reading and math with younger three
b. Get older three working on their math and a research paper.
4. Till up the garden some more
5. Go jogging with Alex
6. clean my bathroom
7. Laundry
8 Work on the book
9 get the printer working again so I can print off Alex's race forms for the Little Rockers Marathon and some graph paper so I can plan out the garden.
10 plan out the garden.

I probably have another 40 things that need to be done today but Im not going to get to more than this so realisticly Im going to leave it at this.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Chickens the Chickens always the chickens

I got a call this morning from Welp hatcheries. I didn't order enough chickens. Apparently their minimum order for Bantam Chickens is 30. So now we are going to have to have two brooders because its easier to find space for two than it is to build a 6 foot by 5 foot brooder.

My next project of any interest is going to be fixing the pipe under the sink so it doesn't run out into my garden and learning how to make our own sodas. Yeah I know it won't have the caffeine but it will have the bubbles and flavor on half the sugar so the kids should still be happy. I just have to find Champagne Yeast.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Happy Brigid's day

Normally, I would have spent today cleaning house as that is what Brigid's day is usually for. Taking the day to do your spring cleaning and we could certainly use it around here. But, instead I spent the day constantly on the go.

I started out ordering the chickens. I ultimately ended up ordering from The Welp Hatchery The lady I talked to there seemed very nice. Then I called and ordered the trees from TyTyGa only we ended up getting not just the 6 apple trees but also two peach trees. They should be here by the start of next week.

Then Bear came home early and we went and paid the taxes on the land. Then we took Brit to get the stitches out and take Mel home. Overall it was a pretty good weekend.

I'm still working on the proper layout for the garden. Its harder than you think considering I only have about 520 square feet to work with in the front yard.

Bear and I are actually talking about building two chicken coops. The one in the front yard close enough to the garden that we can open the run up so they can graze where the lettuce and spinach was growing and another one in the back yard to graze off the yard out there. The grass grows extremely thick, their are all kinds of grasses and weeds as well as bugs all over our back yard. One would be for unfertilized eggs to eat and the other group would be for fertilized eggs and our broody hen(s). That is probably going to have to wait though.

While we were paying the taxes we stopped by and paid the electric bill. Our Coop is trying to raise money to build a fourth hydroelectric plant. They want people to buy blocks of electricity on top of what they are already paying to help build the plant. My personal opinion is that they should send out a voting slip in the bill asking that everyone vote on whether or not to put profits over the next two years back into the new plant. I would vote to let our share go back to that, but instead they want to pay everyone their share and then have us give it back and then some. It would be nice to be less dependant on coal burning and I'm glad they are doing it, but I still would rather put my money into the solar panels than give it to them for their hydro plant.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Garden

I spent part of the afternoon with my new tiller and burning off the area were going to put the garden. I like my tiller. I don't think I can do the first run over breaking up the top soil and pulling up the rocks but I can do the rest of the passes after that. Until we get the top soil broke up, the rocks out of the way and the red clay fertilized enough it can actually produce something worth eating, we are going to have to make several passes.

The rest of my time was spent reading the Harris Almanac because I couldn't find poor Richards but that worked out well as that it had an article on the three sisters and a chart showing plant compatibility. So I measured my garden plot. If we go all the way back to the metal storage building it will be 26 feet x 40 feet or about 1040 Square Feet. Not a huge garden by any means but if I plan the layout right I may be able to get plenty of produce from the area.

Right now all I know for sure is that I can plant pole beans and corn with Pumpkin, Squash, Gourds, Cucumbers, and melons.

I also found out the person who told me to plant my peppers with my tomatoes just didn't want me to have tomatoes. It explains so much. Yes the Tomato Worms stayed away from my tomato plants but each plant only actually produced about three tomatoes each.

So I need to figure out how much space each type of plant takes, how I'm suppose to plant them and what will go well in the five feet spaces between the Three Sisters Mounds. Its going to be a tight garden, and we may try to move some of it like the potatoes and onions to the backyard to expand but, I'm Leary about digging back there as that is where we burn trash and the septic tank runoff is located.

Ill let everyone know when I have figured out what I'm planting and where.