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When life bites you…

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… bite back.

Sorry for not updating in a while, things have been crazy around here. Silver spent a week in the hospital due to his toe getting infected (after 2 years of a wound not healing isn’t being diabetic fun?). Then we have spent every Tuesday heading back up there to see the foot doc there. Silver’s a vet so he has to go to the VA hospital and it’s a 3 hour drive one way. so any trip up there is a waste of a day.

Our pig caused us some major problems since that day and a person who attends church with my girls came by to put up a hot wire to keep her in her pen. So it makes her learn how to climb out of the pen. After this occurred we could not keep her in her pen at all and all kinds of fun started happening.

She:

invaded the neighbors yard

ate most of my garden

ate 6 chickens (broke into their pen)

started swimming through the septic pond

So, unfortunately when we discovered her eating chickens we had to put her down and with her swimming choices we could not use the meat. We’re hoping the pot bellies don’t have as many issues, the “church guy” has been pig sitting in exchange for 2 of the castrated males.

My peach tree has given up sometime after we got flooded last month. The apple trees seem happy however though. I am digging up whatever the potatoes have produced, I am not expecting much as they all died off during the rain too.

After all the rain we lost a goat, one of our females once all the deluge stopped looked like she was ill (I think she had a cold from all the water). It was a pity as we had hoped for babies from her as it was our milker. On a good note however Momma gave birth on Saturday to a healthy young buck. This morning I spotted him starting to play, so we’re glad he’s doing good. I need to retarp the goat house today however as we’re due rain tonight and tomorrow.

We picked up a injured kitten from an abandoned house a couple days ago, he has a bad leg. We also discovered he had a screw worm in his cheek, we pulled that out Saturday once we found our tweezers. I have to spend the next few weeks trying to take my garden back, as once strawberry started going after it I let it go wild hoping to salvage it. My cucumbers are ok and my sunchokes though she pushed the stalks all down they are still alive.

Hope things have gone well for you.

Be Well, Be safe, and Blessed Be…

Life and Garden Update!

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So sorry for not posting in a while.  Life is hectic, strawberry is still getting out of her pen so she now has a date with the freezer.  Won’t be till close to Thanksgiving but still.  The “last straw” is when she got all the way to the front of our property and to get her back Silver made a chain leash to go behind her front legs so we could at worst drag her back.  Well.. she dragged him.  Not good for a 56 year old with RA and diabetes. *sigh*   Also doctors put Silver on insulin, odd thing about that.  Last few mornings with his shot the night before his blood sugar has run high.  Last night he forgot to take his shot and is was much lower, go figure.   Sadly however, his toe is no better and might  actually be a lot worse.  So bad it might have to be amputated.  We’re waiting on the VA  to contact the podiatrist so he can go back to seeing him.  The VA drives me nuts sometimes.

Another downside, for those of you who know.  While I am trying to get us “food sustainable” here , right now we are not.  Also because of living on disability we get Food Stamps.  We just went up for re certification, was told a worker would call for an interview here back on Friday at 9am my time.  Ok, no problem.  ..yeah, I sat in the house all day waiting for that call.  At about 10 am I tried to “talk to a person” via their various phone numbers.  Yeah, nope sorry.  Seems you can’t talk to a person, but I did wind up leaving 2 messages on their  “person call worker” interview option.   So it’s possible we’ll lose our food money.  Plus side is it’ll be when our garden is producing and we have eggs so I’m not terribly concerned.  However it irks me.

As for the garden…

I have PICS!

This is my acorn squash, we are hoping to have a lot of these for this winter, I have put some marigold seeds in the center to both attract pollinators and to make the insects that don’t like them to run away.  Funny thing is I planted these about the same time as my zucchini and look…

Definite difference in size there.  The zucchini  is smaller right now.  Though I know it will catch up eventually.  We’re planning on drying over have of what we produce of these for animal feed this winter.

Here is one of my bunches of snow peas (I got my first pod off them this morning!), they are loaded with flowers though not many pods just yet.  I’m hoping they finish before the Cherokee purples and the lemon cucumbers get too big or the peas will be coming out.

Speaking of the tomatoes…

If you can see, just past that pea is one of my tomatoes.  They are starting to flower already!  We’re definitely waiting on these to produce fruit.

This is one of the bell peppers, it’s also looking like it’ll flower soon even though it’s not very tall yet.  I am debating pinching the first flowers off to let it grow more.

My pole beans have sprouted, we’re hoping for a lot from these for chili making this winter.  Also this is one of two varieties of dry bean we are growing.  I planted tiger’s eye as well.  They grow as a bush however and can also be eaten as a green bean.  I don’t have pics of those as they only just started coming up.

Here are the cucumbers I planted for pickling.  If we have an over abundance of the lemons don’t do well we’ll be eating these too.  They were planted next too the pole beans.  I am thinking of growing some kale for the rabbits and the chickens for winter on the other side of these.

Now, this “mess” is my spinach patch.  It’s really taking off after the rains we got this weekend.  Seems to be very happy.

These, would be the sunchokes.  They seem to be a prolific as I have heard and seem to be growing just fine.  That is a two foot stake in the foreground, so you have some prospective.  I have discovered that I have a few surprises in my sunchoke bed however.

Apparently, there were some tomato seeds in the chicken manure I added to this bed.  I staked two of the tomatoes this morning.  However, it seems there are five plants growing in my sunchoke bed and they seem very happy.  So I will let them grow where they are.  Also I have no earthly idea what kind they are as I  grew three different kinds last year.  So I will wait and see what they produce, here’s to hoping they are edible at least.

I thought I’d share this.  It’s one of the wild roses from around here.  Seems all the blooms came out white on the roses this year.  It’s wonderful to walk past this and take a deep breath in.  I do wish I knew why they all are white though.  Last year they were all pink, so maybe it’s yearly change?

Oh one of the rabbit moms had her littler and it seems she had between 6-8 babies, they have a date with the freezer in 2 months.  (yes i eat my rabbits and if one bit you they wouldn’t be cute anymore)

Well I need to head back out and weed some more, happy gardening!

BE Well, Be Safe, and Blessed Be…

Sunday Morning Chit Chat

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Good Sunday morning (for those of you in my neck of the woods). We’ve had a fun weekend so far, my girls were both gone yesterday morning. One went turkey hunting (didn’t see anything of course), her first time hunting too. The younger one was on a choir competition trip for school after which they went to 6 Flags. We have moved my birthday present (3 tractor tires) out to the garden and have started filling them with soil.

Friday I think it was I planted some bush green beans, in another week I’ll plant more. I am planning on putting cantaloupe’s into one of the large tires. The tomato bucket Silver set up, the tomato is starting to curl up and you can tell it’s growing. Still have lots of hope for that plant. WE were suppose to have a week of rain and it didn’t happen most of the rain had missed us so I had to water my fruit trees for the first time since planting them.

We set up a sprinkler we bought a month ago this morning. We had bought two of them but we discovered one of them didn’t work. So right now as I write this I have a sprinkler watering my garden. I do know that technically watering passively near the base of the plants is suppose to be better, however Nature waters the Earth from the sky so I personally feel as long as I make sure I water early in the morning (like before 10 am) and the sun light isn’t strong the plants should be just fine with overhead watering.

We have almost used up the truck load of top soil and all the composted sawdust we have on hand. I am hoping we can go tomorrow and get more sawdust, however we are suppose to help out a neighbor get his log splitter back from the mechanic so I don’t know if we’ll have the gas to do both before Friday. Helping the neighbor when we promised too is more important in my mind anyway.

I should be starting to pull lettuce out of my garden today as well as some spinach, The spinach isn’t doing as well as I thought it would but it might just be the amount of water it has had so we’ll see. I’m waiting on my transplanted tomatoes to put on some new growth, I am glad they haven’t wilted as they were very leggy. My peppers seem to be happy even though we had some cold nights. Thankfully none of the nights was below or at freezing, however we did brush near those temperatures.

Getting some greens out of the garden now is going to be a good thing as Silver had his yearly check up and the Doctor at the VA wants to put his on insulin because he’s not keeping his blood sugar down. Well since we had to tighten our belts when it comes to buying food lately we’ve haven’t been eating good for a diabetic of late so food from the garden means it’ll lower the blood sugar amounts. I have discovered watching his testing that is the heavy carbs are cut out (rice,pasta,potatoes) and only have nice healthy veggies (mostly greens) and a nice piece of protein his blood sugars run almost normal. I just have to be diligent with it and make sure he doesn’t cheat any.

Still waiting on our goats to give birth, and since I’m not sure when Oreo got them pregnant I am going to be surprised. I have ducklings coming soon and in a couple weeks Strawberry will have a new pen. We still need to find her a boy friend though. Why is it people always are selling what you need when you can’t afford it?

Well hope everyone has a good Sunday.

Be Well, Be Safe, and Blessed Be…

Ah Freebies!

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I really like the people my girls go to church with because they can be so helpful.  We were asked to drive over on Saturday, to pick up a few things.

We got two of these tractor tires, Silver cut the side walls out and we’re going to put acorn squash in one (for now) and carrots int he other.  Our regular soil here isn’t good enough for carrots but having something that big will give me the chance to fill with enough soil to do carrots.

Then these two barrels, there are at least 6 more waiting for us when we can get them.

See how it’s sitting?  These are  going to be a bake oven for my outdoor kitchen.  We just need one more barrel but it has to be a food grade one.  The bottom one will have a rocket like fire chamber but permit larger wood pieces.  That top one will be split in half to be used as the way to let the heat travel around the baking chamber.  We’re going to use parts from a barrel stove kit to make this.

This wonderful person who gave us these items also has more regular tires, manure and garden soil they’re giving to us for free!  We picked up[ a load of the garden soil yesterday.. three “bucket” loads which only gave that poor 1/2 ton pickup 6 inch clearance on the road on the way home.  Silver said that it wasn’t “bottomed out” yet though.  However I don’t think i want that much in there again.  It looked like we had half a low rider when we got home and we scraped on our dirt road coming in because of it.

Oh as to the garden…  This is a sun choke sprout:

Eh ok a couple of sprouts, as when I tried for one it was too blurry to be seen.  However the sun chokes do have a war going on with a native plant that I’m not sure I want to kill as I’m like to harvest some when they are ripe.

Those are Mayapples… not a good idea to eat unless you pick when ripe and only eat the fruit.   Around here it’s common to make jam with them.  I’ve been wanting to make some for years, but they don’t like direct sun so I’m not sure why they haven’t died yet.  They are trying to give my sun chokes a run for their money however.

I have elected as it’s been so nice that I’m going to “test” plant a few things that have to wait till after last frost.  As technically normal last frost is about April 15th, however last year we had frosts till mid May.  So I am going to take a partial chance at some plantings and wait on the rest till after mid May to plant.  I am hoping for no more frosts.

Hope your garden is going well!

Be Well, BE Safe, and Blessed Be…

Winter Fun

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You know the fun thing about living in an area where you get to fully experience winter in all it’s glory? We’ll if you don’t let me tell you how much fun it can be.

This morning it was a balmy 12F outside at 4:30am this morning. …and why did I know this? Well, I woke at about hat time wide awake ,checked the time realized I needed to wake in 30 minutes anyway to get moving so I could have some tea in me and have fed at least some of the beasties before I wake my girls for school. I figured with that much time till I was to get up anyway and I was wide awake I might as well get up. Granted… the ice cold eye balls kinda told me I had to get up because we just experienced the. “Oh my Gods the wood burner went out and the house cooled”. Now over half of our overnight piece of wood was still in the burner. Seems it didn’t like the wood enough to keep burning, go figure right?

It is always fun to have those mornings where you see the icicles hanging off your eyes and nose because at some point the wood burner went out and your head is the only part of you outside of the warm blankets. So you need to do the mad dash from bed to the wood burner to get it re-lit. Hoping the wood, and burner agree with your decision to make them work again. You know how inanimate objects get when cold.. they never like to work right.

It’s almost scary when the outside temps though colder than your home feel warmer to you (me heading out to feed the dogs who as soon as they saw me decided to wake up and make noise till they got fed). While feeding the dogs I poke my head in my goat house, I see my two ladies doing fine, but don’t see the buckling. Then he decides to say hello so because he didn’t get up I figured it was safe enough for me to not feed them till the sun decided to wake up .

..have I mentioned yet how much fun it is to get 2 teen-aged girls to collect firewood when they don’t feel the need to? I can’t even get them to look at the fire when they are near it. I am hoping some day they’ll learn. Fun parts about winter though are the soups/stews/chili/hot chocolate that gets made all the way through it.

-________________________________________

Side note here, I have not been posting on here due to the fact that we’ve been having some issues here with Silver’s health. Over a year ago Silver wound up getting a unhealing wound on one of his toes (he diabetic). The VA doctor sent him to a specialist who spent the better part of 5 months trying to get it healed. During this process he was given an antibiotic that caused him heart problems… Enough “problems” that we wound up going to the ER numerous times. Thankfully 2 months after the prescription the doctors figured it might be a good idea to not use the drug on him anymore and the heart problems slowed. However I do have to keep an eye on him in regards to that. His toe did finally heal after over a year of being open.

Hope your year has had higher points…

Be Well, Be Safe, Blessed Be…

Silly Things in Life.

There are some really silly words/phrases in the English language and sometimes other ideas are strange as well. Example… “They shot him dead.” So can someone shoot someone alive? Really, come on folks think about it. The phrase is just downright silly.

We even have silly things in gardening, Everytime I look up how to grow something different, everything says “sandy loam” is the perfect soil to grow “X” item. So what doesn’t like sandy loam if you are going to grow it? Think on it how many things tell you that what you want to grow wants hard pan, or heavy clay soil?

On the concept of silly things in existence, P.E. class at my kids’ school. Now, this school always has the money at the end of the school year to buy all the seniors a gift because they are graduating. However, they don’t wish to keep up the gym floor constantly so all of the children are required to have brand new gym shoes that have never been worn outside for the kids to wear for gym class. Otherwise they are required to do P.E. in just socks, which personally I have an issue with.

Now anyone who regularly reads my blog knows that I am a Pagan, and I let the kids go to a local baptist church as it’s what they want. I discovered something that is done there that I have an issue with. They bribe the kids with candy to learn their bible verses, and to get them to keep coming back. That isn’t right because it shows kids that you only want what someone is willing to pay you to do something. Also I find it wrong that kids are gaining belief in something because someone is paying them to believe in it. What happened to following with your heart?

As for a homestead update, tomorrow barring rain we pick up rabbits and we just got the rabbittry built yesterday. It has temporary sides on it at the moment (tarps) but it is weather proof, as Harriet and Snowball have shown us as they did not get wet with all the rain we had last night and this morning. We have constructed a new sawdust toilet for the building my and Silver are in for this winter, it still needs a seat on it, but shrugs we’ll get there. Granted it would have been great to have had it done this morning with the downpour and all the lightning we had. The garden is still producing tomatoes, cucumbers,peppers, and squashes. Seems we did have one pumpkin on the vine, however once it started turning orange it started rotting away. The chickens loved it.

Be Well, Be Safe, and Blessed Be…

Goodbye Crookie

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Well for those of you who have followed the Blogger Blog since the beginning you may have heard of Crookie (aka Crookshanks) our kitty with a neurological issue.

Well a few days ago we buried him, the big guy had gotten an infection in his cheek about 3 months ago and it never healed right and he was slowly going.  So we’ve been making him comfy for all that time.

He was our big bad ass Tom cat who fathered many a kitten and would let any kitten do anything to him.  He was even teaching his look alike from the last year’s kittens on what he was doing.  We don’t know if he finished this amazing education, but I do know young Devil is very much like Crookie if Crookie never had his stroke.

Now for those of you who don’t know anything about Crookie, back when he was 3 months old he had a stroke.

He could not lift his head for some time (a week or more) after the effects of the stroke went away.  It gave him a permanent crook in his neck and he had to relearn to do many things.

An fyi, what we did after his stroke and he was able to see and speak.  I make that statement because right after his stroke we went fully stiff for about 2 days and we had to work his muscles to get them to release.  We started him on slightly watered down condensed milk, just watered enough to make it easy for  him to swallow.  then when he could move aside from not being able to hold his head up (points to pic of Silver holding Crookie up) we gave him bits of cooked pork fat to get him to try to eat.  We fed him like this for a week before he could stand unaided for a few minutes.  We had to show him cat food was food to eat after that, then Bandit the super mom took over and taught him everything else.

Then he grew up into our big beautiful orange cat.  We had a few hiccups with him as he lived.  He learned that “mommie” didn’t like him spraying in the house (quick kick to his backside taught him that).  He then learned that “mommie” didn’t like him asserting himself to the other males in the house, seems when he does “mommie” steps in and picks you up by the tail and has a few words with you.  That aside he was a very good cat and as I said would let the babies crawl all over him chewing their way along.  One even tried to find a working nipple on him.

Well my pretty boy I hope you enjoy your spot in my flower garden overlooking the pond.  We will miss you sleeping with us this winter and I will miss how you followed me all over the property as I did my work for the day.  The kids will miss how you’d turn your head a meow when I’d say your name.

There is a few lines from  Watership Down that I think have a moment here:

My heart is filled with sadness,

                                           For my friend stopped running today.



Goodbye Crookie we miss you!

Be well, Be Safe, and Blessed Be…

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