Weekend Project

This is how it started…
5 (almost 6) yards of 3/4″ limestone gravel.
And Daphne.
πŸ˜‰

Midway through…
We were hauling it by 3 gallon pail loads (because 5 gallon loads were too heavy) but it was clear we were gonna run out of energy *fast* if we didn’t get it closer to the end spot.
Thank heavens for the tractor!

It’s just about 8 inches deep at the foundation.
Hubby fixed the rotten boards on the deck, hauled out the gross flax straw bales that were against the house (they’ve been there since we moved in and they were vomit worthy, lemme tell you!), spray foam insulated aaaaaaalllllllll the nooks and crannies, and then we began hauling gravel.
So, 8 inches at the foundation, and it eases out to roughly 2 inches at the end, and then there’s these loads to spread yet.
This will be roughly 1-1 1/2 ” deep.
Just enough to discourage the feathered assholes from dust bathing and cats from pooping under there.

We are very tired from this.
This weekend brings the next task…
Basement lighting and cleaning.
*sigh*
Because it. never. ends.

It’s the Weekend…

Not that that means much here.
Work doesn’t stop just because it’s Friday, know what I mean?

This weekend is gonna be a back breaking one.
Tomorrow, we have 5 cubic yards of 3/4″ limestone being delivered.
Let me tell you why…

It all started with those feathered assholes.
Y’see, when your chickens free range (whether you want them to or not) and do whatever the hell they please, sometimes they create problems.
Like around the foundation of the house.
Because under our deck is dirt with a bit of gravel.
If you know chickens, you know this is exactly where these assholes want to dust bath.
*sigh*
Which means they’ve dug holes beside the house and we have water getting in from the low spots when it rains.
It also makes it easier for rodents to find their way into the house.
And THAT make me very un-fucking-happy.
So, instead of sending every single feathered asshole to Freezer Camp, we’re clearing out the mess under the deck, re-insulating the spots that need it, putting up more metal to protect the insulation and covering everything in gravel that is not attractive at all to chickens to dust bath in.

That means a whole lot of buckets of gravel filled, hauled to the guy under the deck, where he dumps them and rakes it out to the depth we want.
It’s gonna be a lot of work.
And it better keep those jerk birds from doing this again.
Or they become soup.
Not even kidding.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

It’s also gonna be really effing hot while we do this, and I wish we had bought a pool.
I do think we’ll set up the sprinkler a time or two.
Which oughta please Sable to no end…that horse and water…
Of course, there will be copious amounts of alcohol for when the work day is done.
And maybe a bonfire if the wind allows for it.

Ruby says the excessive heat is bullshit…
I says she’s right.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

And on the subject of feathered assholes…
Next week will see chirping in the incubators.
Aside from potentially hatching turkey eggs, this will be our last round for the year.
Otherwise we have to over winter too many birds, while they get to edible size.
We’ll be well over 200 birds hatched out this season, so I’m sure we’ll have plenty of roosters for Freezer Camp.
My first round alone has more than 20, so I think we’ll be okay for chicken for winter.

Anyways, butchering chickens is a task for a much cooler time, a few months from now.
Right now, we have to focus on fixing the damage them stupid birds have done.
Yeehaw.

Stay cool friends, and enjoy your weekend!
πŸ™‚

Tuesday June 23rd

Like my oh so creative title?
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
So I’m a little tired and brain fogged.
It’s all good.
Still working on getting the garden all in.
Thankfully what I’m planting now is root crops so they can go long in the fall without problems.
If carrots and beets catch a hint of frost, it’s no biggie.

So, since my last post…

~ Peas and bean shave popped up in the straw bales.
~ We lost the last 2 turkeys.
~ I got myself on a waiting list for 2 dozen Narragansett turkey eggs. They’re a heritage breed and I figure if’n I can get ’em to hatch,Β  we’ll see about keeping a couple hens and a tom to create a self sustaining flock.
It might work, it might not.
At this point, I’ve only got time, effort and a wee bit of money to lose.
If it works, I’ll have invested less money into the 2 dozen hatching eggs than I lost on the 10 turkey poults who died on me.
~ Tax returns *finally* made it.
~ Hubby got new tires for his truck.
~ I caught up on all the bills.
~ And it looks like this weekend we’re gonna be toting pails of gravel under the deck to stop the asshole chickens from dust bathing right beside the foundation of the house.

😑 😑 😑

Stupid chickens.

~ We also redid the plastic around the garden, with more wood supports to protect it from being shredded by the wind.
~ Finally got hinges to get my gate built and put up too. It’s gonna be a wood gate, painted bright yellow with some silhouettes on it.
~ It’s almost hay time. As in, I just need Hubby to fix the point on the 2nd scythe (it’s longer than the ditch blade I had, but not quite a hay blade…but still, floats through the grass like a dream compared to the ditch blade!) so I can get ‘er done. It’s literally a 2 minute job for him…I just have to remind him. πŸ˜‰
~ I was given an old, well established grape vine to transplant into our food forest.
A friend and her partner wanted to get rid of it, and after some scheduling difficulties, the vine made it here.
So far, so good, it’s putting out shoots *everywhere*…I am hopeful and excited, because it’s apparently been very prolific in it’s previous home.
I’ll give it time to adjust here, then next year I’ll look at doing cutting to make more vines. Grape vines are a grand thing for a wine maker. πŸ™‚
~ Sunday Hubby and I celebrated 23 years of marriage. Together for 27…
~ Yesterday he turned 50.
I think we might be getting a little old. πŸ˜‰
But not so old we can’t do this Farm thing.

So it seems the theme for this summer is going to be the same as the last few dozen…
Winter is coming.
Gotta get the work done.
πŸ˜‰

Here’s a pic of the 3 stooges having a nap in the early morning light:

❀

Have a great day folks, I’m off to get back to work.

Sharing with Word of the Day Challenge for Theme
and
Comedy Plus for Happy Tuesday.

Sunday Morning Musings

Sundays are egg washing day.
It happens other days of the week too, but Sunday always seems to be egg washing day.
It’s a constant in my weekly routine that gives me a chance to reflect on the prior week and think about the week ahead.
I have a lot of eggs to wash on Sunday mornings.
lol

This past week was a tough one, mentally.
We’re half way into June and my garden is still not planted.
It’s been so windy (right now, at this exact moment, the wind is gusting to 57km/hr) that to plant my tomatoes and peppers would be certain death for them. And it’s been too windy to move the tarp by myself to plant the rest of the seeds…
So I’ve been frustrated.
But…
Good friends come along and remind me that all things are possible with some determination, hard work and some humility.
So instead of doing more whining, I used a gift to buy the bones of our hoop house.
I may not have it for this year’s garden, but Hubby and I will build it this Fall so that come spring, it’s ready to go.
Enough whining.
More working.

I needed that mindset for the poultry too.
In just a couple of days, our turkey flock dropped to 2.
Now, I’m not sure why.
They weren’t showing signs of blackhead (a poultry disease that kills turkeys, and gamebirds), but were still dropping dead on me.
Frustrating, because I hate losing animals.
Raising them for meat is one thing, random deaths are nothing I want happening.
They were in with the meat chickens and the meaties are thriving.
Eating, drinking, pecking at bugs…

A ton of reading later, I was still at a loss of why my turkeys were dying.
I figured I might as well move them to their own pen and see what happens.
I grabbed one of our compost bins that we got when a friend moved (these make **excellent** poultry houses when needed!!) and put up a chicken wire yard for them. I gave them fresh water with electrolytes and cayenne pepper in it (cayenne is supposed to help with blackhead *if* that’s what was going on) and I gave them the high protein game bird feed they were started on.
Well damn if the little buggers didn’t start gobbling food and water like crazy!!
Could the meaties have been forcing them out of the food?
Could I have had these poor birds starving right in front of my face???
O.M.G.
Needless to say, I am horrified (and ashamed) at the thought… 😦
The one thing I hate more than random animal deaths is knowing *I* failed them.
Fuck. Me.
So as of this morning, they’re doing pretty darn good…lots of eating and drinking, lots of proper looking poops.
And singing!!
Oh, they’re singing again!

Now I know…once they’re ready to be off the heat and have access to outside, turkeys need their own pen.
Otherwise the cornish will eat them out of house and home and the turkeys will fail to thrive and die.
And that is not fucking okay.
But another pen?
This I can do.

Turkey

Lurkey

So fingers crossed these 2 little dudes (dudettes??) do well in their new-to-them-and-only-them home.
Turkeys were supposed to be our “taking a break from pigs, but need more food in the freezer” animals this year.
Clearly that’s not going according to plan.
But y’all know the saying…

Want to hear God laugh? Tell him your plans.

Today though, there is chirping from the incubator.
I have 24 of our mixed flock coloured eggs in there and 24 Ameraucana/Jersey Giant cross eggs in there.
And chirping has begun.
😍

I’ve begun collecting eggs for my next (and last for this year) round of hatching.
24 in the small incubator, 48 in the big one.
Then all we have to do is feed ’em, and let ’em grow until October/November.

Today I have 3 muscovy duck nests in the coop, with 2 being sat on by very broody want-to-be-Mama ducks while the 3rd grows for the next broody hen.

Today I will water the straw bales that I used last year for gardening and hope the beans I planted in them grow.
The bales were still there, they were well conditioned last year and are breaking down and warm inside this year.
I took a leap of Faith and planted hundreds of beans in them.
Beans we were given to feed to the birds, but I did a test grow out over winter and found they made excellent eating green beans for humans.
So I planted a whole bunch of them.
If nothing happens, I lose nothing.
If they grow and produce, I gain a bunch of food.

Today I will get Hubby to help me move the tarp, and I will prep areas for the rest of my seeds.
I may not be able to get the delicate plants in yet, but I can get seeds in.
It’s time to stop feeling sorry for myself and do the work.
I’ve had my whiney baby moment(s) and now it’s time to dry the tears and get it done.
Because come the Fall, we’re still going ahead with the garden/food forest expansion.
It has to be done.
This world is too unstable to not have a massive amount of food growing.

Oh, and haying starts next week.
So food for the horses is being put up too…

And this is them mooching grain screenings, thinking they need more food, more grain, more fat.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
There was barely a lick’s worth in the bucket when Hubby let them stick their big heads in there…
But it made them feel good to hoover up the feed.

Monday Morning Round Up ~ May 11th, 2020

Things have been fairly busy on the Farm.

We moved the 43 first hatchers from the brooder to their transitional home in the poultry yard.
They are almost ready to move into the bigger meat chicken house.
That will happen this coming weekend.

We hatched out another 40 some odd chicks…lost a few due to my forgetting to plug the 2nd heat lamp back in.
100% fail on my part.
πŸ˜₯
I haven’t made that mistake again.

We brought home 10 turkey poults on the 28th…

Hello turkey!

Almost a week old here, and nearly a full pound in weight already!

With the turkeys we brought home 50 cornish x meat chickens.
We timed the hatching perfectly, so that the meaties and the turkeys are in the brooder with the hatchers.
We find that meaties learn how to “chicken” from the egg layers so that we don’t have eating/pooping machines. πŸ˜‰
It gives everyone a better life that way.
And the turkeys…
Yeesh.
So much attitude, so ugly they’re cute, and doing very well.
Fingers crossed they continue to grow well.
They’re broad breasted whites, so they’re like the meat chickens of the turkey world.
Bred to grow big, fast.
I’m hoping the do just that.
πŸ™‚

And on May 1st, we refilled the incubators with 64 chicken eggs and 3 duck eggs.
After this hatch, we have 3 more we can squeeze in before our hatching season ends for the year.

Hubby went a did a welding job for a friend.
I tagged along to take pictures.
As usual.

Not so easy to take daytime welding pictures.
I’ve asked him to do some night time ones with scraps so that I can capture the full lightshow.
Looking forward to that.

In other Hubby news, he went back to work today.
His work is set to reopen fully on June 1st.
His dept. is part of the crew getting ready for the regular line workers to be able to do their jobs.
So, they started 3 weeks ahead of everyone else.

I am torn on it.
I wanted him to go back to work, because money. lol
We have a lot of mouths to feed here, several very large ones…running on short income gets hard to do.
But I also enjoyed having him home, working here.
And of course, he gets the call just as things are drying up enough here to be able to work on building projects that need doing.
*sigh*
No surprise.
At the same time, I do also have a bit of anxiety about all this.
It’s hard not to.
6 weeks of doom and gloom and terror tactics used by govt and media to instill fear over SchrΓΆdinger’s Virus will do that to the most sound of mind people…let alone those of us who live with anxiety in the first place.
Hubby has been the one doing the bulk of the supply runs and being in contact with the world at large anyways, so how much I actually need to worry?
I don’t know.
But I am tired.
Tired of being told to stay home to protect others, being told that if I go out I could kill people because no one really knows if they have it or not (hence SchrΓΆdinger’s Virus) and I am tired of the hearty helping of fear created by those who have our “best interests” in mind.
When people are afraid to leave their homes because of what the govt and media are saying, that is straight up using terror tactics to control the public.
No matter how you feel about this virus, that is bullshit.
And I am tired of it.

In garden news, my tomatoes are huge.
Ready to plant.
So are my peppers.
I’ve collected all the seeds I want for this year…
Still need a few more plants though.
The greenhouse in town was open last week, so I made a trip through there.
Bought some extra tomatoes and peppers (because I can never grow enough of either πŸ˜‰ ) and some pansies.
I’ll go back as we get things into the garden and get more of each, plus look for some johnny jump ups (violas) just because they’re edible and they draw pollinators.

I’m still planning the expansion for next spring.
Found a source for the berry shrubs/trees I want to add out there.
Now I’m looking for a large piece of black plastic to create the large permabed area come the fall.
We have a few dairies around us that use silage plastic, so we’ll see if we can take away some from them once they’ve used the bales.

And then before the end of April, I took a few early morning pictures of the horses…because I can.

Ruby shaking off the after effects of a nap.

Sable having a lovely nap in the straw pile.
❀

Ponies

Last week…or was it the week before…I don’t know.
Days run together when there’s no schedule other than the chores.
Either way…

Hubby was asked for an estimate on a welding job.
The job just happened to be over at the local horse Rescue for one of the directors.
So when he went to see the job, I went with my camera.

Before anyone says anything…
We’re not under lockdown orders.
We are “allowed” to leave our homes and do things.
We’re all adults and fully capable of physical distancing.
And I’m very good at hiding behind my camera in regular times, never mind when we’re supposed to be extra careful about being to close to other people.

That said, as Hubby discussed the job, I got the go ahead to wander with my camera…truth be told I didn’t even ask.
I just kinda waved and wandered…but we know these folks well, they’re friends, and they trust me to do what I do and not be an asshole. πŸ˜‰

I stopped at one pen to scratch and talk to a few of the horses there…including this lovely mare:

Maggie May

Guys, I’m telling you…this girl is so gorgeous, and has so much potential to be an amazing partner when her person finds her…when she let’s herself find her person…if we were not in the middle of a financial shitstorm, coming off 2 years of drought, poor hay crops and rising hay prices, I’d be putting her in my pasture. ❀

Oh my heart…that face!
❀

Anyways, I was talk to a couple geldings, watching the lovely Maggie May consider coming to see if I had treats (she did, with some quiet coaxing, come over to check my palm for a nummy…I felt awful at the look on her face when I didn’t have one for her! 😭😭😭) and I happen to look over to the pony pen and see this…

Uh, whatcha doing there, little missy?

That little white pony is Crumpet.
And lemme tell ya about attitude!
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
HoooBoy!
Wait, let me show you…

I asked her what she was doing…the look she’s giving me says it all…

“Go ahead.
Just try to stop me…”

“I do what I want when I want”

Big, big attitude, small body…
And ready and willing to follow up on that attitude too!
She just might be my favorite pony mare yet.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Sharing with Comedy Plus for Happy Tuesday.

#@%! Tim Hortons

Back in February, Tim Hortons (huge used to be Canadian, now owned by Brazilians, coffee chain) rolled out almond milk for their coffee.
Choice is good. We should all be able to make choices on what fuels our bodies.
But there were a bunch of us concerned about this.
Y’see tree nuts is a huge allergen for a wide variety of people.
And the reactions can be small or they can be deadly.

For the member of our family, it can be deadly.
Even with an epipen.
So I contacted Tim Hortons, asking if they were going to have a way to (or even just attempt to) stop cross contamination.
After all, their decision to offer this choice could kill someone.

At first I was told to check with each store I wanted to visit, because franchise owners may decide to lessen cross contamination, or they may not.
(This was via their Facebook page)
Oh.
Okay, so no across the board from the parent company about the safety of the decision.
So I emailed head office to ask about it.
Where I got a stock answer:


With this, I figured no one even read my initial email…

So I fired back, asking if they actually read what my concern was, or if stock answer was all they had.

To which I got this…

Which basically says “we ain’t trying to keep anything separate, screw you, go somewhere else…”

And hey, that’s all well and good, if that’s how a company wants to treat their customers.
I mean, I’m fine with going somewhere else.
We no longer buy coffee there, and we no longer purchase their coffee for home use.

But it took 3 messages via FB and 2 emails to get the answer that the nut juice will be at all coffee stations now.
So anyone with a nut allergy can’t even get a *black* coffee because it’s not safe.
Anaphylaxis ain’t a goddamn joke.

Fast forward a month, to mid-March, where we decide to put together a little photoshoot.
πŸ˜‰

Oh, what’s that?
A wild can of Tim Hortons coffee?

Steady now…line up your shot carefully.
You don’t want it to get away…

Oh, I think you winged it…gonna have to put it out of it’s misery!

Ooooooh!!
Great shot!
Might have to go one more though…these wild coffees can be dangerous when injured.

It’ll all be over soon, coffee.

Boom!!
That oughta get the job done!

Now you’re done for, you wild coffee you!

And that’s the end of that wild can of Tim Hortons coffee.
May we never see another ’round here again…
#fuckitImgoingtoMcDonalds

Fuck Tim Hortons.

Ruby the Painted Alien

After the Area51North shoot, I had the bright idea that I could put the “alien” head wear on Ruby.
Handing Voldemort to my Hubby I said “Here, hold my camera and watch this…”
These are the images he captured while hilarity ensued.

“Uh, I don’t think I want to wear that…” says Ruby.

“Well…maybe just the headband part…”

“Whoa!!
What the hell is hitting my ears?!
What’s going on here??!
You’re trying to kill me!”

“I coulda DIED y’kno…wait…are those cookies I see in your pocket?”

Here, my very brave Painted Alien, have a cookie. ❀


And in the end, the final image was worth the snorting, the pulling back, the cajoling and the feeding of many, many cookies to get our Painted Unicorn to, ever so briefly, become The Painted Alien.

Sharing with Comedy Plus for Awww Mondays
and
Word of the Day Challenge for Kick…because I sure got a kick out of these images and coming up with the captions for them.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

This Fool Horse

Back on Saturday, I told you this fool scared the crap out of me, and I promised to explain…

Thursday was a day of wind.
Much, much wind.
And some snow.
Just crappy March weather that went on into the night.

Friday, I go out and feed the nags.
Everyone is good.
A little tired and grumpy, but that’s to be expected when you’ve had shit weather to deal with.
So after a few scratches and back rubs, I left everyone to their hay breakfast.

Couple hours later, I have a look outside.
Must be around noonish.
Ruby is laying down, so is Astrid, and Sable’s dozing on her feet.

I grab Voldemort (my camera…story for another time πŸ˜‰ ) and head out for pictures.
I get cats helping, because cats go everywhere with me…note Max in the background having a drink. πŸ˜‰

I get my shots, I scratch and cuddle with Ruby a bit, then head inside.
2 hours later, I peek out again…
Ruby’s still laying down.
She’d clearly gotten up and moved, but not far.
But Astrid was laying right next to her.
Okay, well, it was a rough night and the sun was shining…

By 3:30, Ruby still hadn’t gotten up.
Now, it’s not unusual for a horse to sleep lying down. Especially when they feel safe in their home.
But, the *length* of time she was down was worrying me.
More info here:
The Dreaded “Down” Horse

Out I went again…she wasn’t in any distress.
Her temp and heart rate were normal.
And she enjoyed the scratches behind her ears I gave her.
It was also getting close to equine dinner time.
At their supper, they get a pail of beet pulp, with alfalfa cubes and ground flax.
So I thought to myself, “Self…if this bitch don’t get up when the dinner pails come out, we’re gonna have to call Dr. Neil”
“Ah, shit” I said to myself “That’s gonna suck if we have to call him…but if we have to, we have to…”

And then…

10 minutes later, Hubby pulls into the drive.
I step out onto the deck, to get him up to speed on said painted moron’s condition and what do I see??
Madam Walking Stomach, on her feet, wandering over to where the dinner pails get hung up.

Halle-freakin’-llujah!!

So yeah.
Like I said Saturday…
She worried the hell out of me, but it all turned out just fine.
The big donkey pants was just enjoying a nice long, warm nap in the sunshine.
Still, I gave her an extra little gift of a few minty Tums, just to be sure.
πŸ˜‰

Sharing with Comedy Plus for Awww Mondays
and
Word of the Day Challenge for Gift.