Sunday, December 8, 2013

Fairly Lazy Sunday


Enjoyed a rather lazy Sunday today after a rather productive and satisfying Saturday at work.  I'm a part-time librarian for a very small county library.  On Saturday's I work at the really tiny branch just a few miles from home.  There was an event at the other branch so extra staff was there and I got to work alone.  It never reached 25 degrees and was a bit windy so, as I expected, not a single person came in the entire 5 hours I worked.  I had one phone call and that was from the other branch looking for a movie.  It was really nice, aside from the online radio station crashing and freezing up the computer.  After the third time, I chose my best swear words and told the computer that it had won.  I pulled a book-on-cd off the shelves and listened to it instead.  We have an OK selection of VHS tape movies at both branches but over the years they weren't always entered into the computer correctly and they never had the cover art attached to the entry.  Our online catalog shows the cover art if we attach it to the entry. This means finding the cover art online, saving it to the hard drive then attaching it. Fun!!  I'm not sure how many movies I got done but a lot.  I did all the R, PG-13, PG and NR movies on VHS.There were at least two movies that didn't have cover art available.  The other branch has a scanner so I could take them down there, scan it and attach it that way.   I enjoy working alone and seem to get a lot done even when the library has patrons.

After work I decided I deserved a candy bar and, since I needed to pick up a small container of milk for some baking projects, I not only got a Hershey bar but I got a Twinkie too.  Haven't had one of those in ages!  And those became lunch/dinner.  I can't remember if I ate anything else.  It was a bit after 2 AM before I got to bed after spending way too long on the computer.  The longer I'm sitting at the computer, at home or at work, the more pain I'm in when I am in bed.  I have a muscle that is pinching my sciatic nerve and it only hurts when I lay down.  It's worse on my left side and laying on my left side too long makes it so painful, tears occur and a cane is required for up to 10 minutes to get around.

Pretty Girl will be 10 months old on the 17th and she still sleeps with me if she's not sleeping outside.  She gets into stuff and tears it up when I'm not in the room and she's bored.  Generally speaking, if I'm not in the room and she's awake, she's whining.  It's a bit annoying.  She's mostly yellow lab and is as big as my 12 year old Aussie Shepherd/Dobie mix dog.  I don't know if she's going to get taller or longer or if she's just going to fill out more.  She sleeps in the bed with me and I only have a full size bed.  Makes it a bit hard to get comfortable sometimes.  If she sleeps along side me, it's fine but when she sleeps across, I get turned into a pretzel.

Sweetheart on the coffee table; Pretty Girl in front of her (she's afraid of the blue yoga ball on the left)


Pretty Girl on the futon with Tank (smaller dog) and Honey
Given her choice, she prefers to sleep in a very unlady like position.
So unlady like - just flashing her bits to the world

She's not fixed yet but the other dogs are and she never runs loose so I'm not that worried about it.  It will run me up to $100 to get her fixed because of her size.  Dogs in heat are annoying but not as much as cats and I have a female cat to get fixed too (plus a stray male cat). I try not to let Itsy go outside and not just because of the male cat, Kit Kat.  Itsy has something going on with her hind legs and/or back.  When she runs, her hind legs swing over to the left side and sometimes even arrive before the rest of her, if they don't go out from under her.  Whatever the problem is also makes it hard for her to jump up to places she should be able to get to.  This all means that she can't always get out of the way or get away, therefore she's going to be an inside cat even if it kills us both.
Itsy Bitsy Ilsje (just called Itsy), all black with one long white whisker

The outside cats aren't really liking this cold blast we have going on.  Some won't come inside and two in particular aren't allowed inside (one sprays everything and the other has explosive poop issues) but they have several places to go to get out of the cold.  I would prefer that they go into the pump house, garage or one of the crates I've set out but I know several go under the house.
Mei Mei in one of the three cat crates with several towels inside and several blankets outside.
Sugar (orange kitty) and Ditch on old electric blanket curled up together to keep warm
                               

The bunny is doing fine. He was neutered this past Friday and I think he's forgiven me already. I'm not sure.  He's getting bigger and bigger. I'm not sure how big he'll actually get. He's 3/4 Flemish Giant and they can be very large. He's finally eaten his shoe box completely.
Hippty Hop (aka Dumb Bunny) and, yes, I think he's pull up that bit of tile plus a few other places that were already broken

Itsy and Pee Wee still go into his room to visit and he's starting to leave them alone a bit.  I need to visit the local charity shop and get a couple dishes for him. I can't use tin foil or plastic, he chews it up but I don't want to use my dishes anymore - he broke one!  I'm still hoping to get another rabbit as a companion for him. He gets bored in his room but I can't let him out all the time. He can't be out when the dogs are inside and I have to keep an eye on him when he is out. I discovered that he chewed up an extension cord and the cord to my bedroom phone. I'm surprised he didn't get electrocuted!  Right now I need to find something to use on him to get rid of fleas.  

All the dogs and inside cats plus the carpets, curtains, furniture, my bed and clothes got sprayed for fleas but he hasn't been treated.  I'll have to retreat everything again in a week or so. Pretty Girl completely freaked out and was afraid to get near me afterwards for a couple hours. Sunny went nuts too and I gave up when the blood (my blood) got too bad.  

I signed up for a program for low income people/family that helps winterize homes.  I signed up and was approved in November 2012 but they ran out of money and said it would be 2014 before they could do anything. They sent paperwork last month to confirm that nothing had changed in terms of my income so I'm hoping that means that they will be out next month to do an energy audit and maybe start doing some of the work.  I live in a 1974 single wide trailer that has a 12x30 living room attached (improperly). The living room has a total of 8 windows (three floor to ceiling and rest closer to normal) plus a french door. The windows are all double pane but there's no insulation in the floor, walls or ceiling. And the floor is tile.  It gets a bit cold in here. There are three floor registers but not enough heat makes its way into here. Mom got me an EdenPure heater a couple years ago but it can't keep up with this prolonged cold.  I'm having to wear several layers and a winter hat to keep warm. The propane furnace is having issues too - mostly because the majority of the ductwork isn't insulated either. Too much of my heat is going to heating the underneath of the house, hence the reason the cats go under there.  My $500 of propane isn't going to get me through the winter, that's for sure and I keep the temperature at 66 degrees in the trailer - it's the coldest I can stand. The living room is a good 5 to 10 degrees cooler depending on the outside temperature.  All I know is that my EdenPure heater runs non-stop and it's still too cold in here for me.

Well, my movie ended and I'm sleepy - I've been fighting to stay awake since about 3 PM!!!  Have a good night everyone!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Chicken coop - FINALLY!!!



It has finally been delivered. Well, okay. It was actually delivered last Saturday but I'm just now getting around to posting it.  I spent about 5-6 months paying for this little darlin' and I love it!

Thank you so much for building it for me, Bryan!
http://www.westphaliatradingco.com/


I told him I was only getting 3 bantam (very small) hens and have some back issues. I wanted a small coop that I could easily move by hand since I don't have an ATV or good mower to move a portable coop around with and I wanted a portable coop.  He built me a "miniature" of a design he builds a lot and even put little wheels on it.  It's a little hard for me to move on the run end but I can pull it fine by the coop end.

I'm not getting my hens until spring because I have never had any chickens before and don't want my first introduction to raising them be trying to get them through winter.  I'd like to have a bit of experience with them first.

A friend from work has been raising and showing chickens her whole life (all 18 years) and has offered me three of her hens.  I also don't want to start out with chicks - that's just a hassle I can do without.  I'd like to have three young ladies just getting ready to lay.  They will be for eggs only, not for meat and not for chicks.  I'll also use their droppings as fertilizer along with the rabbit's poo.

I was so excited to get the coop that I just had to give Bryan a hug.  :-)

The bunny has apparently entered puberty and has become a Randy Rabbit.  He keeps trying to molest my cats.  The cats do not like this and I don't like the screaming and hissing they make.  So Randy Rabbit (aka Bastard Bunny; Dumb Bunny; Hippity Hop) is getting neutered Tuesday morning.  This will cost me at least $57.  For a $10 bunny.  Sigh.  But if it settles him down and stops him from humping the cats, so be it.  Eventually I'd like to get him a friend but I don't want any baby bunnies.  There is a rabbit rescue up in the city but their adoption fees start at $75 and they require a home visit. Well, yeah.  I'm like 90 minutes or more away.  I don't see them doing a home visit that far away and I don't see paying $75 for a bunny.  Maybe the farmer I got him from will have a new litter sometime next year and I can get one then.  Hopefully the kitties will start to visit and play with him again once he's fixed.  I can't let him run through the house all the time because he eats my books and magazines and, while he'll use his litter box in his room, he won't use the cat's litter boxes. But the cats will use his litter box if given the chance and that ruins it in terms of me using the rabbit poo in the garden.  You CAN NOT use cat or dog poo in gardens - in food gardens.  Hell, I wouldn't use cat poo in any garden because of the various diseases it carries and dog poo smells too bad (and isn't safe in food gardens).

Speaking of the bunny, he is already about the size of the average cat and he's only 6-7 months old.  He's gonna be a big boy and he loves his fresh veggies.  So, this winter when I finally plan out my garden, I'm going to do another garden that will be just for him.  He likes things I don't like and I like things he can't have.

Here are a few more pictures of my chicken coop.  Enjoy!!!

cute little red wheels; tin roof should last forever

back side with large door and vent

back door open; nesting box up top; feed holder on the right

lid to run open; lower door for the chickens to get inside; upper door lets me get the eggs out with the run lid closed; vent up at the top to let air flow


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Almost One Year......

This Saturday will be bitter sweet for me. That day will mark one year since Daddy died.  His health problems started while I was in 6th or 7th grade.  He would develop pneumonia and/or bronchitis every winter those last few years in Ohio.  So we moved to Florida. Didn't really help. He eventually developed COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) and Congestive Heart Failure. Other health issues followed - triple bypass, emphysema (another form of COPD), diabetes, high blood pressure and I don't even know what all.

Daddy's Obit


Obit Guestbook

video

A video I made with a song that I love and makes me think of him (and cry). I hope Blogger keeps the song with it.

Thinking sad thoughts this night....

Another horrible tornado hit the Mid-West this month. Washington, Illinois and surrounding towns were devastated but, luckily, most people were spared.  Joplin, Missouri was slammed by an F5 in 2011 and killed around 160 people.  I think the death toll for this latest tornado is 30 or less, so far.  Even one death is bad.

I am glad to see several facebook pages for lost and found pets in the tornado-hit areas.  I know that many pets who survived Hurricane Sandy in 2012 are still not claimed and homeless.  I guess it's just how I'm wired but my heart breaks more for the pet survivors than the people survivors. Perhaps it's because they can't tell rescuers where they live, who their owners are and where it hurts.  I've always been more of an animal lover than a people lover.

Animals love unconditionally. Animals don't care what you look like, how much you eat, what you wear, if you are pretty or ugly, if you are rich or poor, what car you drive, how big your TV is and whether or not you have the latest smartphone.  Feed them, love them, provide them with shelter and attention and they love you. Period. They are loyal, faithful, loving and honest.

Scrolling through my facebook home page, I found a link about a male and female dog and their puppies in a town less than an hour from me.  The owner can no longer afford them (no longer wants them) and has said that they will either dump them off in the country somewhere or take them out back and shoot them.  I am flabbergasted. What the hell kind of human being does either of these things???

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=674268799273162&set=a.190144121018968.45730.100000701454066&type=1&theater


These are the dogs in question.  I can barely afford to feed the five dogs I have now, not to mention the cats I have plus a bunny.  Come spring, I'll have 3 chickens too.  I also don't have enough kennel/fenced off yard space for more dogs. And I doubt my dogs would really welcome more dogs.  But how can I just sit here and do nothing but share the posting on facebook when I am so very close to them? Five healthy dogs threatened with abandonment and/or murder....

What to do, what to do....

The county I live in lacks a decent shelter. A local vet runs a "shelter" in his office but his kill rate is probably upwards of 75%.  We need a good no-kill shelter that takes all types of animals including livestock.  The University of Missouri in Columbia has a top-notch Vet School. I have recurring dreams of a large animals shelter (think hundreds of acres with many structures - a set up like Best Friends in Utah) that helps provide experience for advanced vet students as well as a "home" for stray and unwanted animals.

In my dreams, I've won a sweepstakes or lottery and have purchased around 1,000  acres or so of farm land here in Missouri.  I build a small cabin and section off a couple acres for my personal use.  Then I have a full-service, highly advanced vet clinic built that can treat pretty much everything and all kinds of animals. Then acreage is sectioned off for various animals and structures are built to house those animals. Cats, dogs, horses, chickens, birds, cows - even wildlife - coyotes, bobcats, possums, foxes, etc.

These animals were here before we were. We stole their habitats (homes) to create our own homes and then strip malls were created. Fast food joints, Wal-Marts, Mall of America. We just keep nibbling away at natural places. We aren't that far from paving all land.  We are supposed to be stewards of this world and her creatures. Instead we have become land barons and slave owners. Heartless, ruthless, fat, spoiled, ignorant.

So, tonight we I go to sleep, I'm sure I'm going to dream about these five dogs and ways I might be able to save them. Maybe by saving them, I can save myself. Maybe I can be an inspiration to others to save animals, to save themselves.  I know I can't save the world but I'd like to save my little part of it. But how?

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Widgets added!

Added several "widgets" to the blog that I hope will allow people to sign in, follow and contact me.  If any of them aren't working, let me know.  If there's one you've seen on other blogger blogs and want me to add it, let me know.  Thanks!!!1

Monday, November 11, 2013

Just Various Stuff (can't think of a title....)

Second cleaning done at my friends house.  I thought she said she was leaving at 10 AM for her job but it was 1 PM.  Naturally I was surprised to see her when I got there but we had a chance to visit and talk about what she wanted me to work on.  I carried some stuff to her garage for her and then carried the 40 lb bag of dog food from the garage to the house. I was fine until I had to go up the steps. Only 4 of them but it wasn't fun.  A bit painful to the old back - I had the bag thrown over my left shoulder. It's the only way I can carry bags that heavy.  Before I know it I won't be able to carry them at all. Sigh.  Old age is a bitch and she knows it!

The first time I did a pretty deep cleaning. I didn't empty out kitchen cabinets and dust/clean there but it was close!  I wasn't able to do the one bedroom and the other one had already been cleaned.  I moved most of the furniture to vacuum and I mopped the kitchen and bathroom.

This time I didn't need to move the furniture or mop but I was able to get into both bedrooms.  The one bedroom has a full/queen size bed for her daughter and son-in-law and lots of blankets and a sleeping bag for their two youngest boys to sleep on the floor.  They were down this past weekend so I had a bunch of blankets to fold up and stack in the closet.  I was able to dust everything - including the light fixture - and vacuum.  Found toys and games under the bed and one lone kid's cowboy boot in the closet.  Not sure where the other boot is.  Also dug out my friend's winter boots and put them where she could get them.  The kitchen just needed dishes washed, surfaces cleaned and floor swept.  All that was needed in her bedroom was light dusting and vacuuming.

I started cleaning when she left just before 1 PM and I left around 3:30 PM so 2.5 hours of cleaning.  She called tonight to say it looked really good and that her daughter won't recognize the back bedroom next time she comes down.  Felt nice, being thanked for my work.  I don't hear it very often.

The $20 for my work will go for a bag of dog food as I don't have enough to get me to payday (Friday).  Not surprising. I never have enough pet food to last payday to payday.  Especially in winter.  Everyone is eating more now that it's getting colder.  I'll have to get more bags of food on payday and whenever I have extra money.

I'll have to go out to the yard tomorrow after I wake up and find more dandelions for Hippity Hop, the bunny.  He really really likes dandelion leaves. When I got him he had been on a diet of nothing but rabbit pellets. Now he gets romaine lettuce, collard greens, dried catnip and dandelions.  He gets carrots but not much (too high in fiber).  I'm slowly introducing new food to him.  He has decided that he likes his water bowl better than the bottle but still drinks out of the bottle.  He's almost eaten the entire lid to his shoebox!  The piece that's left is tiny!!!!  Not sure why he liked that lid so much.....

Going off to dream land soon. Have lots to do tomorrow before a long day at work.  Let's hope it's not a cold day at work.  High of only 38 to 40 degrees not including wind chill.  Brrrrrrr

Monday, November 4, 2013

First day at new "job"

A friend of mine offered me a "job" in addition to taking care of her two dogs and six cats when she's out of town. She's retired and a widow (her husband died suddenly two years ago) but has taken a part-time job as a home health aide.  She has found that she's too tired to keep up with the housework. She lives in a park with dirt/gravel roads and her house gets very dirty from the traffic.  She offered me $20 a week to come in once a week and clean her house. I don't need to make her bed, do her laundry or dishes.  She just wants me to dust, sweep, mop and vacuum for her.

Today was the first day I went over to work for her. She was in the city which is perfect cause if she were there, we'd end up spending the entire time visiting instead of working.  Her dogs helped, of course.

James

Jesse



The dogs will be will be 5 years old this month (doesn't seem that long ago that they were itty bitty puppies), they are brothers and are Bernese Mountain Dog mixes.  They eventually went outside - the vacuum is scary.

I scrubbed her kitchen including the walls and appliances.  She only had a few dirty dishes so I went ahead and washed them.  I cleaned the ceiling fan and light fixture. I swept then steam mopped.  I cleaned her bathroom (the toilet was yucky but she has two grandsons, age 5 and 3 so......) and mopped it too.  I dusted and vacuumed the living room including moving the furniture.

Including two short breaks, I worked for just over 3 hours.  I didn't do either bedroom this first time. Her bedroom was just cleaned - she got a new bed and had to empty out the room to get the old bed out. She cleaned her room really well at that time.  The other bedroom is sorta "trashed" right now - piles of blankets from the kids, boxes of toys and who knows what. You can just get into the room to get to the pet food and vacuum.  Hopefully she'll straighten up that room so I can get in there to dust and vacuum next time - before her daughter and grandkids come to visit again.

I think I more than earned that $20 today.

Really in the dog house today!

Not only am I in the dog house but I've been removed from all Christmas lists and I think a call was made to PETA.  Now, what I want to know is who the hell taught my cats how to dial a phone???!!!!

I started this day with a can of "No Hunting" purple spray paint and five "Posted No Trespassing, etc" signs.  I planned on walking the perimeter of my property, spray painting and hanging signs.  Youth hunting season started yesterday and adult hunting season starts in a week or two.  I would walk only if my cats didn't follow me because a good part of my property borders a busy highway.  Sure enough, Izzy and Piglet followed me.  I turned around and walked to the car then drove off.  Didn't matter.  I was working on the second tree when Izzy showed up.




She "helped" until I ran out of spray paint and signs. It was time to walk back to my car, parked off the highway but we had to walk across the highway (two lane) to get to it.  As we got closer, I ran across and put my stuff in the trunk then ran back and picked her up (no traffic but why risk it). She was fine until we got closer to my car, she tried to get away. We got in and she immediately tried to get out but the windows were all up.  We only had to drive like 1/8 or less of a mile to get back home but the noise!  After I parked and turned the car off, I left the driver side front door open but she jumped in back. So I opened the back door but she jumped in front. Eye roll. I left both doors open and she ran out, talking the whole time.  She called me so many names!!!!  She didn't shut up for ages!!!!

Then it was time to collect more walnuts and she flat out refused to supervise. For a while.  Eventually she and Ditch showed up and supervised.



Only, instead of supervising me, Ditch complained about the lack of caviar and fresh Alaskan Salmon in his bowl and Izzy ignored me.  I informed them that they were both fired and I'm pretty sure they didn't care.

It was dinner time by now so every one was fed (no caviar or fresh Alaskan Salmon). First the bunny's used litter box was taken outside and the unused one was prepared. Tailess wanted in and, when I opened the door, I discovered Ditch curled up in the used litter box. Ewww!  So I went ahead and took it out into the yard where I'm sorta starting a compost pile, emptied the box then rinsed it out with water from the garden hose.  Back inside to prepare fresh lettuce and celery for the bunny.

Mom got me some diatomaceous earth for flea control, some to mix into the pet food and some to put on the pets and carpets.  I started with Bunny. He wouldn't let me get his belly but otherwise he did OK.  He did nibble on me three times after that but I decided it wasn't anything personal.  I really need to get him fixed then get another rabbit for him to play with and keep him company.

Time to "powder" the kitties.  Yeah. That went well.  Putting some of the diatomaceous earth on them then try to mix it into their fur so it gets to the skin.  Yeah, right.  It took forever and made a terrible mess but the inside cats are done plus Tailess and Sunny, who are both indoor/outdoor cats.  I put some on their dry food but only in two dishes to see if they would eat it. Nope, won't eat it.

Time to "powder" the doggies.  Sigh. Even harder to do than the cats because with the cats I can scruff them and hold them down.  Doesn't work with the dogs. The only one who really let me get a good coverage was Honey.




Honey, age 13, is actually allergic to fleas so I wonder if she somehow knew the powder would help. Diatomaceous earth essentially eats through the fleas and kills them.  Digested diatomaceous earth will get rid of worms so I put some on their dry food as well. They won't eat it. Damn.

I have an email in to the company to see if I can use diatomaceous earth in home-made pet treats.  Let's hope!!!!  I know the cats have worms from their fleas so I bet the dogs do too.

After torturing the critters (thus ensuring my life in the dog house), I vacuumed the carpets then used the powder on that as well.  Sorta over did it in the bedroom.  Way too much.  It's a really really really fine powder and I have commercial grade carpeting - basically no pile, no padding at all and light/mid-dirt brown in color. After "sprinkling" the powder, I had to use a broom to mix it in and that sent the powder floating around the room even worse. I had to set up two fans to get the cloud out of the room and I'm going to have to spend the better part of a day to dust the room big time.  There's a nice layer of diatomaceous earth all over my black furniture.

Relaxing in the living room now watching TV. Don't get any channels (too expensive) so I have a nice collection of DVDs and VHS tapes.  That's what I'm watching now. VHS tapes.  Just finished "Murder by Number" and now watching "Paleo-World". an old series from The Learning Channel.  Yeah, I'm that kind of nerd.

Apparently my baked potato just finished in the microwave but Sunny is preparing for a nap on me.



I'll let him stay for a little bit but seeing as it's after midnight, I really should eat my dinner soon.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Chicken Coop

I've paid for the coop and am making payments towards the delivery charge. Should have it paid off next month and then the coop will be here!!! I'm not getting my chickens until spring because I've never had chickens before and would like to get some experience with them before I have them over a winter.  I'll probably put the coop in the garage until spring to keep it safe and pretty.

(image from Wesphalia Trading Company facebook page)
It's from Westphalia Trading Company in Westphalia, MO (about 2 hours or so away). He made it especially for me. Since I'm going to have just three banty hens, he made it smaller than usual.  He was able to put wheels on it and the yellow rope is to pull it around the yard.  Usually the ones he makes are larger and don't have wheels as people move them around with ATV's or tractors. I don't have either and have some sloping in my yard so I needed something I could move on my own.


(image from cacklehatchery.com)
This is what my hens will look like, basically. I'm getting them from a friend who has been raising and showing chickens for years.

(image from extension.org)
The chicken on the left is a regular sized chicken and the one on the right is a bantam breed.


(I forgot to write down where I got this picture from, sorry!  Trying to find it again but it's really hard - almost impossible - to find one lone picture again)
Bantam hens are smaller than the usual hen people know so they lay much smaller eggs.  I like this as I shouldn't have as much trouble using up the eggs on my own.  I think it take at least two bantam eggs to equal a regular egg when it comes to cooking and baking.  I'm sure I can find people to take/buy extra eggs.  I'm not planning on rooster anytime soon so I won't have any chicks.

The plan is to have the hens live in the portable coop and move the coop around the yard about once a week.  This will allow them to dig up and eat bugs plus fertilize the ground they are on.  When it's time to prep the garden, they will be enclosed in there to root around for bugs and things.

(image from backyardchickens.com)
My set up won't look like this but it will give you an idea. In fall, when the garden is spent and everything is harvested, the chickens will dig it up looking for bugs and will fertilize it. Then the winter crop of clover (or whatever is needed) will be planted. In spring, when that has died back, the chickens will dig it up (working it back into the soil) and will fertilize again.

My garden will have to be fenced off to keep the cats out of it - they would use it as a litter box - not to mention deer and rabbits and whatever.  In all likelihood, I will end up getting 10' high kennel panels as the fencing because the ground is so damn rocky here.  For example, I planted a single mum and in order to make the hole big enough around and deep enough, I dug up just over 28 lbs of rock. Yeah, 28 lbs of rock.  Most of it was one rock in particular.

My garden will likely be a combination of tilled earth with good dirt and compost/manure added to it.  And it will be at the bottom of a slight slope so inside the fence, I will have to have some kind of border that will keep water from washing everything away.

I'm checking out craigslist as often as I can, hoping I will find good deals on kennel panels and good dirt, etc etc.  Right now I'm finding lots of listings for livestock of all kind - peacocks and alpacas, horses and pigs, goats and chickens.  Farmers are culling/thinning their herds so they have fewer to feed over winter.  And I'm wanting some of the livestock but don't have any shelter or fencing for them.  So frustrating. The prices are good right now but will go up come spring......  so very very frustrating.

Oh well.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Bunny pictures and update on my day.....

On the right computer tonight so I'll try to include some picture.

 Bunny the day he was brought home.
 He's a big boy already at 5 months!!
 Hmmm... A box....
 Yeah, a box.
But I can't get in the box....
 Cause my play buddy, Itsy the cat is in the box!!
Another box!  Love this box!!

The bunny, now officially named Bugsy but more often called Bunny or Hippity-Hoppity, is 1/2 Flemish Giant and will be a big boy.  He started on a diet of pellets and hay but we are introducing veggies into his diet.  Tonight he had a nice plate of romaine lettuce and dried cat nip.  Yum!!!  He does get baby carrots once in a while but it's actually too high in fiber to be a usual food item.

I mentioned before that I have several black walnut trees.  They have started dropping their walnuts and I have started collecting them.  I started off using a large outside plastic garbage can on my old dolly but it got too heavy to lift and dump the walnuts into the rubbermaid containers.  Now I just take containers with me and leave them when they are full. I then drive around the yard and put them into the back of the car one by one.
"Nut Wizard"
I use a nut wizard to pick them up. I usually fill the "basket" completely then dump it into the container.  Today I drove down to the farm that buys them and sold what I had already collected. The containers took up the entire back of the car.  The weight is after it's hulled from the outer seed - I turned in 204 pounds of walnuts and walked away with a check for just over $26. Doesn't sound like a lot but it was enough to get a bag of dog food and get enough gas to last me until payday and that's all that matters.  I started collecting again when I got back home and even used my extension pole to knock down walnuts still up in the one tree.  I filled four containers.  Since it's supposed to rain Monday through Wednesday, I'll try to collect more tomorrow but won't sell any until later in the week - after the rain is over.  I won't have nearly as much but I need to get the nuts out of the yard so I can mow one last time (they can damage the mower blade) and any amount of money will help.

I get paid on the 15th and 30th of the month and only work part time.  I'm lucky to clear $500 a month. With this walnut money, I didn't have to ask Mom to MoneyGram me gas and dog food money.  They are buying walnuts until November 4th so it's not an income I can count on for long.

A friend has offered me $20 a week to clean her house and I've agreed to do that.  I pet sit for her already and get some money for that as well but it's only once every couple of months. The next pet sitting isn't until Thanksgiving.  Her house is much smaller than mine and she only has the two dogs (indoor/outdoor) so cleaning her house isn't quite the chore that cleaning mine is!!!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Here We Go - Finally!

Welcome to The Almost-Homestead!!

I'm working towards having a homestead and, when I think it's ready, I'll have to think up of a better name.  Maybe y'all can help when it's time!!

So far the almost-homestead has 2.84 acres (not all usable), 10 black walnut trees, one 1/2 Flemish Giant rabbit and a paid-for but not received yet portable chicken coop.

I will have a garden next year large enough (at least) to feed myself and my bunny but I'd eventually like to have a garden large enough to sell produce then donate the rest to a food bank.

There's also several cats and dogs not directly associated with the homestead, per se, but they are a huge part of my life (they are my kids).

So, about me. I'm 42 years old, never married, no kids except the 4 legged kind. Born in Ohio, grew up in Ohio and Florida. Moved to Missouri to attend the University of Missouri - Columbia; earned BA in Anthropology. Then attended Columbia College, also in Columbia, Missouri and earned a BS with honors in Forensic Science.  Eight years ago I found myself living 4 miles from a "town" with a population of 641 and 42 miles round-trip from the nearest Wal-Mart.  I currently work part-time as a librarian.  A friend just offered me a job that I accepted - cleaning her house once a week. The extra money will help.  I'm in the process of collecting walnuts to sell for $13 per 100 lbs (it takes a LOT of walnuts to get 100 lbs).  I've been thinking of getting certified as a private tax preparer. It depends on the cost of the classes and the certification.

And I just remembered that I have to be up extra early (for me) to work tomorrow so I need to get my butt to bed.