Monday, July 29, 2013

Mole Patrol: #3 down

Well, as you all know from the recent posts we've been on mole patrol pretty eagerly.  We've been looking every day for new activity, once we find a mound we attack it with the hose and sometimes the moles just giggle at us as we try so hard.  Other times we catch them.  We caught one in the back yard a few days ago, as I returned home from the grocery store I saw the newly formed hill and walked up to it.  As I did, the dirt was coming up on the top of it!  I was so surprised, it was actually moving!  I went inside and then when hubby got home a few hours later I told him, and we immediately went outside and within 5 minutes the little beast was in the bucket.  That was mole #2.

Tonight we caught mole #3!!  This one has been teasing us for a while now, I saw the new mound this morning.  During the day there was a tiny bit of activity, but when hubby got home he went right for it with the hose.  He seemed to find the sweet spot and maybe 10 minutes later he saw a little nose pop out of the dirt and next thing you know he's yelling to me to bring the bucket.  I love that yell!!  :)  Mole #3 down! Heck yeah!  Several songs came to mind after this one.  Hubby's and my song, "Another One Bites The Dust" by Queen, "I Won't Back Down" by Tom Petty (there is apparently a very good version of that song by Johnny Cash too!), and finally, "One Way Or Another" by Blondie.  "One way, or another, I'm gonna find ya, I'm gonna getcha getcha getcha getcha getcha!!!"  Awesome.

Side note: there was a deer with some pretty good antlers on it right in our back yard last night!  In our ACTUAL back yard!  Not the field!!!  It was crazy!

Other side notes about critters: we have a groundhog living pretty close by; I've seen some ground squirrels, I think; I saw a chocolate brown mouse outside my work window teasing me; the moles of course; and I saw two rabbits this morning!  And the cicadas are doing their noisy thing, which is interesting.  And the fireflies are still pretty cool.  And a cat by the big shed.  We are thinking about getting some outside cats from one of the guys that used to live here to help deal with the mouse situation before it gets bad this fall, but I haven't decided if we are going to do it yet.  The road next to our house is relatively busy and I worry for their safety!  I dunno yet! :)

Anywho, I have pics of my garden that I'm not very proud of at the moment, but its bed time.  I'll try to post that tomorrow! (try)   ...I wonder if my watermelon is ready...

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


Oh. My. Gosh!  We broke 1000 views this morning!  I'm so excited (for some, my life must be really boring!)!!!  Hahaha... :) Thanks everyone!  Why am I awake?  Maybe I should go take a nap!  P.S. Naps are one of the best things ever! :)
Have a good one!
(Yep, that's all that this post was about!)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Mole Patrol!!!

Hubby and I are new to the area and are becoming quite familiar with the local critters.  We had one move into our yard and decide to make a mess of it.
We didn't know what was doing it for so long.  It all started with one little mound in the back yard and then it moved to the front yard and then all heck broke loose.  We eventually realized it was a mole and decided we needed to do something.  We put down some grub stuff  last week in an effort to stop it from doing more damage, but then decided to take matters into our own hands.

See that hose in the picture above?  Yeah....we found the tunnels it was making and, well, you can imagine what happened.  Most of the holes were just filling and filling with water, this one just kept going....and then the dirt moved...
Its almost cute...and I feel kinda bad for it...but...You don't mess with my yard.  Look at how big the claws/shovel hands are!  Crazy!!  But I think we got it taken care of, but we don't know for sure that there was only one.  Looks like they live by themselves most of the time, so there could .. not be any more, but we're not sure.  Crazy little critters!  You don't mess with an E(last name)'s yard!!  :)


Garden harvest today

I went out to the garden and picked a bunch of potatoes and cucumbers!  I didn't want the cucumbers to get too big because if they do get eaten, they are way better small.  :)

I got all of these potatoes from one potato plant hole!!!
5-7 potatoes per plant....ha!  Take that statistics! :) But it would also make sense if the potatoes somehow migrated their way over to the neighbor plant and that is who I dug up. But I dunno!  I'm real happy with that!  

Here's the pile of cucumbers too!  Dang!  Now, what am I going to do with them?  Discussing it with friends, I might do pickles.  But...we'll see!

All of today's harvest drying on a towel!  YAY!
I would take a picture of the garden but it doesn't look good at all!

Note to self:
1.  Only plant cucumbers if you have a plan for them.  Never underestimate how many you will get.
2.  Potatoes are awesome!  But spread them out better.
3.  Weed the garden.


Monday, July 22, 2013

Chicken adventures: week 7?

Well, they are about 7 ish weeks old now, about a month and a half.  I can't believe how big they are!  I'm pretty sure I say that every entry about the chickens, so you got to hear it again, Yay!  Well, sitting here eating cereal while I'm waiting for more work to do and for the time to come that I have to start getting ready to go to the doctor.  BOOOO....p.s. diet and exercise plans are coming my way.  BOOOOOOO AGAIN. Should that be another adventure that we go on?  Well, the problems are that I have really high cholesterol, thyroid problems and an irregular heartbeat.  I wore a Holter (heart) monitor for a day last week (just in case you didn't want more proof that I was becoming an old lady) to see if there is anything else wrong, which I will talk to the doctor about the results of today.  Its probably normal, which it apparently just is for some people, but he wanted to check that before he put me on any cholesterol medicine.  UGH!  Is any of the real people that read this interested?  Let me know, but then you'll hear about my failures and everything....but we can take this as a learning experience together, making it a lifestyle rather than just a diet.  I dunno, but I'm going to have to deal with this my whole life, and I have a lot of things I want to be here for.  We need to figure out real goals and rewards, I know "feeling better about myself" is a great reward, but doesn't give me the drive to succeed that it should.

Anywho.  I thought I would post the pictures of the chickens real quick that I took yesterday.  It has been an exciting weekend!  Our flock has been reduced from 22 to 13.  Don't worry, as far as I know, everyone is alive and safe.  We gave 9 chickens to a lady in my church to take to her sister's farm.  Reasoning: we felt like we had just way too many, and if we want some of our hens to hatch out chicks next year, we have to have room to grow.  We also had 5 to 9 roosters.  Too many boys in the henhouse is not a good thing!  A bunch of them were starting to fight pretty regularly and some of them had more attitude than they should. But we think that it didn't help that they were confined to such a small space, so we figured we would take care of things before it got dangerous.  The chicks are still too small to actually hurt each other, so we figured it was a good time.  As far as I know, they are going to a farm where they can free range over a large area of land with other chickens, and that should be fun.  They will have plenty of space!  And I'm pretty jealous that they can let their chickens range like that.  ....someday!

So, here is the group yesterday.
 A golden laced girl... the golden girls? :) (we still have 2)
 Buff brahma hen... SHE'S SO PRETTY!!!!!
 Mr. Man...the golden laced rooster...(1 rooster of 2 - maybe)
 Blue hen..(we have 2 still-I was thinking of naming them Ella and Billie for my 2 fave jazz singers)
 Little red..(we only have 1 red now)
 The 2 sexy twins (red sex link)...
 Brown leghorn (sorry its blurry)...
 Partridge...(might be a rooster, we're not entirely sure...this is the only partridge left)

So, all in all, we got rid of 1 golden laced cochin, a red pair, 3 partridge, little boy blue, and we threw in a couple of brown leghorn girls for a total of 9.  (probably 6 roosters!!!)

And... I was wandering about the garden yesterday and wth?  ...  A watermelon!  
I found 4 like this!!!!  Its about 5 inches in diameter!!!!  Last thing I knew there were little 1 inch ones, but hey!  I'll take it!  Its pretty exciting!
Well, I better get ready, this took longer than expected!  Also, we're about to hit 1000 views!  YAAAY! Granted a lot of them are from spammer web sites, but it makes me feel cool that I've hit this high! :)

Friday, July 12, 2013

Garden: week 9

Have I really had this garden for over two months now?  My goodness!  Its becoming quite the ride.  We are pretty well into harvest time, I've picked 9 cucumbers in the last 2 days (eating one with my lunch today---YUM!!!!  Waaaaay better than grocery store ones!)

Well, lets get into the pictures of the garden itself, then we'll see what today's harvest was like, and then notes to self.  
Here is looking at the watermelon plants (bottom) and giant tomato plants (still green tomatoes, haven't seen any color yet).  Also, saw a baby watermelon, it was about an inch big.  Awww....

Here are the peas and carrots.  You can see the two spots I stood in among the peas. :)  I did a little bit of weeding on the right of the carrots.
Most of my peas were big and beefy size, I blame the wasps, hornets, gnats and all the other stupid bugs around here.  I am, of course, deterred by the presence of these insects which is why I haven't spent more time in the garden the whole time I've had it.  

On the left side is the cucumber plant then the potato plants and piles of weeds and lettuce.
HOLY CRAP the cucumber plant is huge!  I don't know what I'm going to do with all of them.  Well, I had a nice giant row of lettuce that was doing some funny things, but I decided to be realistic and cut it all down.  In all honesty, I'm not going to eat it, it wasn't very good, not my type of lettuce and it was kind of bugging me.  These are among the piles of weeds you are seeing at the bottom-most part of the garden.  Also, perhaps, you notice the huge hole/piled up dirt in the middle right side of the picture?  I sacrificed a potato plant to see how big the potatoes were and see how hard it was to harvest them.  I didn't go very deep, but I got probably 5 good sized potatoes, I wonder how deep they go!  I need to find a better way of messing up the dirt so it doesn't damage the potatoes.  My dad used to use a pitchfork, so maybe I'll try that.  I really need to find out how deeply they grow so that I pick most of them.

Here are the chicks & hens, and my 2 strawberry plants.

Here are the raspberry of them didn't fair as well as the other.

On to today's harvest!!!  
My potatoes...White Kennebuk potatoes...They are pretty decent size! :) Might have 'em for dinner!
 Here they are washed...


...and carrots...(they still require a bit more time)

The cucumbers I picked this morning!!!

And, the peas and carrots in the sink...resting and rinsing off in cool water.
Yay!!!  Doing pretty good, it feels really neat to provide some of my own food to myself.  It feels really fulfilling!

However, I do still have...
Notes to self:
-Peas grew to be about 3 feet "tall," please trellis them next time.
-Once again, space things out more, things grow super duper well here.  
-Thin the carrots like you should.
-Remember that a mix of vanilla and water makes a good repellent for the stupid beeping gnats.  
-Garden first thing in the morning, the wasps/hornets (and other bugs I suppose) feel less active.  
-Weed properly.  
-Don't plant lettuce, your not going to eat it.  
-Don't plant onions, you probably won't eat them either.  
-Have more plans for the cucumbers or know more people to give them to.  

Good day today!  Finishing my lunch, then off to the outside to brace up my new set of shelves and paint it white.  Don't worry...I'm going to post about it next probably. :)

Monday, July 8, 2013

Chicken coop build: episode 1

Well, we've been working on building the coop for about a month now, I think.  Ever since we moved out of hubby's parent's house we have not been as able as we used to be, and our work ethic has gone down.  When we lived with them, we were doing things all the time, building fences, cleaning up the yard, building shelves and helping finish the basement.  Then, we moved out for a year and a half and didn't do as much as we used to, so we kind of got out of shape when it comes to doing things and ambition.  Plus, its pretty hot and very humid (sometimes) here, which also hinders the process.  Its mostly a lazy problem.  :)

I believe the measurements of the coop and run are thus: the coop part is 6 x 6 feet I believe, and the run is 6 x 10.  I could be wrong, but I think that that is the case.  Granted, we could have made it a lot cheaper and easier than we did, but we wanted it to be really nice and something that will last a long time and be something in the yard to be proud of.  The coop is also going to be portable, so when we decide to move out of the house that we are renting we can take it with us to the next house.  (Maybe...its so darned heavy! - Just kidding, we'll make it happen!) :)

I've had these pictures on hand since the beginning of the build, and since I'm running out of things to talk about, I decided I shouldn't wait until the end.
Here is the base of the frame for the coop:
We used those garden stakes in the corners to keep it square.  And because these are the things that'll be in the dirt and moisture, we used treated wood so that it will withstand the weather.  

These are the uprights that everything will rest on.  They were real, put in!

This is what the corners look like and the brackets we used to put these pieces together.

Here is where we put some of the uprights and the frame pieces.

This is looking into the run.  Notice the framing for the top part, this is where we will attach the chain link or chicken wire for the roof, I'm not sure which one we are planning on using where.

That was exciting, wasn't it?
Thank you to the everyone that stops by and thank you for checking out what we're up to! :) We're having a lot of fun with it! It sucks, but its going to be really great!

Up and coming: roof, trim and paint!  Oh yeah!

Also, I'm planning on building another set of shelves much like the other set except these ones will be 5 feet wide, 16 inches deep and 6 feet tall.  This will be for the mud room so we have more storage.  I think I'll put some hooks and stuff on the side so I can hang things on it, which would be really convenient.

P.S. The peppermint cotton balls lasted for about a week in deterring the mouses, then I noticed more "evidence" the other day.  Ugh!  Also, I don't know how worried I should be about everything...We have a stupid mole too, wrecking up the yard.  I should probably stop by the hardware store and get something for grubs.  Argh...The joys of country life :)  However, we have been dreaming about what we would do to the house if we had the option to buy it (not likely), but its really fun to think about!  The house is awesome, needs some love and affection, but it could be so much more!!!  Anyway.... :)

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Garden: week 8

Wow!  It looks like we're already in week 8 of the garden!  Holy crap!  I, of course, am the best gardener EVER!  (Not, I'm terrible.)  Mother Nature alone is the reason why the garden is turning out as well as it is.  I do have to credit myself for the first week or 2, but I've pretty much ignored it since then, except for a couple of hours of weeding over the last 2 months.  And by "weeding" I mean mostly taking a shovel to the weeds and scraping the top part of the weeds off and putting them in the compost-ish pile.  (Btw, anyone know about making compost?)

This morning while I was waiting for more work to do (I work at home at the moment), I took a jaunt out to the garden to do a little bit of weeding and to check up on it.  Well, let's just say the weeding lasted about 10 minutes and I moved on to snooping around, taking pictures and picking a few things.

Here is a picture of the overall garden from the onion side.  It looks like a huge mess but it kind of makes sense.  Everything is soooo big!!!  Top left going clockwise-ish: giant tomato plants, giant potato plants, (far right) bushy area that is peas and carrots with a couple of bean plants hopefully still alive, iceberg lettuce area that didn't work out-dirt/grass area, bibb lettuce, onions that are about to flower I think, and the giant cucumber plant.  The watermelon plants are in the back, but you obviously can't see them.

I believe this is looking at the tomato plants (it looks sooo messy!), and the watermelon plants kinda.  If you remember, when I put in the sweet little tomato plants I put cages around them.  The tomato plants are so big and stems are so large that it pushed the cages out of the ground and the plants have been doing their own things...Its awesome!

I've got green tomatoes!!!!!   They're gonna be awesome!

Also, a bird's nest....really?  I looked at it a little bit closer later after this pic and it looks like there isn't a bottom to it.  I wonder if they abandoned it or if its still being worked on.  And no, I didn't remove it.  Not sure why.

Here are two pictures of my cucumber plant.  Holy crap its huge!

Here is another view where you can hopefully see how many dang flowers there are!  I'm gonna be buried in cucumbers this year (maybe).  I did find a couple of baby cucumbers, so that is exciting!  I think I might have to try my hand at making some tzaziki (spelling?) later.

Here are the pea plants/bush...(so much for rows, huh?)  You can see that there are peas!  YAY!!!  I love peas!!!!!  I picked a few (a little bit too soon still) and they were soooo good!

Here is one of the watermelon plants (there's a little flower in there too!)!!  Yay!

Here's the other watermelon plant, which I also saw a flower on (maybe).  I feel like this plant is bigger and I haven't weeded it so I wonder if that has anything to do with it.  Probably not, I think more seeds sprouted on this hill than the other hills, so that's probably why.  (...stupid freakin' weeds...)

I did pick a couple of things from the garden today.  I picked two little heads of lettuce for dinner (okay, we might not eat the rest, but I'm not sure--maybe it was too young).  I looked for red tomatoes to add to the salad, but couldn't find any. :)

I also picked a few peas...YUM!
I think that's everything...I should update you on the "berry patch."  The strawberries are doing well, but one of the raspberry plants isn't doing as well as the other.

Note to self for next time: space things out way more (mostly for picking reasons).  I'd also like to think that if it were spaced out better I'd weed more often, but come on, lets be realistic.  I freak out too much about bugs, that's (one big reason) why I haven't weeded.  (I think that there is something really REALLY ACTUALLY wrong with me).  Something funny, we had a couple of fireflies get into my kitchen tonight.  Hubby killed one and some of its firefly goo smeared on the ceiling and it glowed for a few minutes after we removed the bug.  It was pretty awesome!  (poor bug, but kinda cool)  And as one of my friends put it, fireflies are not as cute a bug as they should be.

Something to talk about: mouse traps vs. poison?  and peppermint oil?  I've been using peppermint oil on cotton balls in all of my drawers and cabinets and haven't seen any "evidence" for several days, so I wonder if its working.  Mostly out of laziness.  We haven't put out any murdering devices yet.  I'm imagining they are having a party in the cellar (which we never ever go down into if we can help it), so we might just do poison down there because we know we won't check the traps down there.  I think we will put a few traps up here.  Any opinions?  Keep in mind, we have a rock foundation and the house is 133 years old and its crumbling, there is no possible way to find out how they are getting into the house.  Plus, I don't know how much to freak out about this.  I haven't actually seen any (knock on wood) yet, just "evidence."

Well, its waaay past my bedtime.