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!

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