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Monthly Archives: August 2012

Knowledge Trip

..the dawgs are ready to go on a mini-vacation to the country..as I was packing up they impatiently wait in the car..
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..and one of the reasons we came down here..to go to my uncles working farm. Beef cattle, meat birds, laying hens, sheep, guard dogs, beautiful views and a wood-fired water heater. My uncle made this wood-fired hot water heater himself using 2 propane tanks..it is all mechanical and uses a mechanical lever to open and close the air-draft to maintain an optimal waterheat..neat setup!

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Posted by on August 29, 2012 in Construction

 

Wavy Way

Laid down 2 rounds of gravel in the new path..starting to shape up. We have also grown tired of muddy feet and have put up the old temporary coop area webbing to keep the dogs off the fresh spread area which will be seeded…once we get the topsoil spread..

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The old gravel pile is starting to grow small now too..which is good because we. Are running low on needing any more gravel…for fresh projects anyway.

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We are beginning to put the bum-rush on the rest of the topsoil spreading (as you can see around the edge of the walkway) in preparation of the cooler fall grass growing season..

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..and guess whoooooo!

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Posted by on August 24, 2012 in Construction

 

Choosing Perennials for Chickens

You you have free-range chickens and want to feed your chickens perennials then I would have to say that hostas are a good way to go:

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..the friggin chickens love them..much to my chagrin. Personally I would prefer that they stay the hell away from the hostas and all the other plants but without penning them up there is not any other viable solution..I guess it could be worse since we have 20 hostas or so and they only ate 2 of them..the other ones are at the beginning of the driveway which the chickens don’t really know about..so don’t tell them.

Out the other day for a hike on the loop and we are hoping we stumbled onto some coyote poop..we hope coyote but we fear it is bear poop..and berry bear poop at that:

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..and the chickens and chicks are all playing nice now..they usually hang out in the same vicinities all day long..with ‘hoder’ being the exception..hoder is about 1/3 the size of the other chicks and has a slightly deformed head from when Ma hen stepped on him..plus he seems to have vision loss in one eye…hoder always is about 10 ft away from the others but seems happy and normal.

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Gonzo:

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Gonzo’s chick:

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Chickie ( who has benefitted the most since Hoppy left..no more hiding from Hoppy means full foraging:

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..and 2 of the 3 chicks..the naked-neck ( or partial naked-neck) was blackbeard ( I was mistaken last month when I thought it was blackbeard who was eaten)..but blackbeard does not appear to be appropriate since the Rhode Island Red parent red color is showing in the ‘beard’…and we think the other is ‘Chickie’s offspring..

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..and hoder:

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Posted by on August 21, 2012 in Construction

 

Decesions That Weigh Heavy

Sometimes choices are easy..we took apart the old deck but when it came time ta the old 2inch thick floorboards the wood began to give way instead of the nails coming out and I was worried about ruining the wood..but it weighed too heavy move (it must weigh 500 pounds)…
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So we put it in the place next years deck (or year after). The structure was still very solid..propped it up with railway ties..

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We will get to reuse the stairs…

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Put a new walkway edge in…

Backfilled between some railway ties so no gaps are present to allow critters under our place…

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Extended a flowerbed over to the deck..

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Now…what to do with the old front part of the deck…we were thinking of using it to create a front section of the shed…we will see.

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Posted by on August 18, 2012 in Construction

 

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Saving the World…

..one toad at a time…

‘Hey there lil fella..looks like you have some mud on ya’
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WhAT!….or not.

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He hopped away after a brief rest period…usually we let nature be but the toad was waving for help so we felt obligated to help..after throwing the life preserver and it doing nothing we gently shook the snake by the tail and it slithered away hungry..and fast with Loki tormenting it from 3 feet away.

 
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Posted by on August 15, 2012 in Animals

 

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Less Doozie Steps

..well we needed a soultion to our entryway issue..iit has been driving me crazy carrying ChunJae in and out of the house…and A* is away and loves suprises ( she is on a flight home as I publish this)..so I thought I would throw up a deck..not vomit it up so much as construct a deck..mini-deck. It will be 1/4 of the size of our other deck..

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square up the outside..put in the joists..then slide the structure over into place to get an idea of how it will look…

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..looks good..go inside for a drink and when I open the door to start work again:

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..little stunt dog…ChunJae is amazed..she is standing in her ‘I want to come in’ spot…not long now ChunJae!

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..the doorway entry seems too high..On my second time in I caught my foot and stumbled in..I can imagine what would happen with drunk men..and build another smaller layer..

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Still needs some final work but the base structre is done for this year!

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Posted by on August 12, 2012 in Construction

 

Meteors!

Well it is that time of year again…the annual persied meteor showers. This is only a notification to all of you and not something for me since it is cloudy and rainy…which is a huge disappointment for me because these meteor showers are the best of the year and I will miss their peak… But if it is forecasted for clear skies in your area you should go outside around midnight and take a look, the moon is also not full which should make seeing the meteors even easier than last year when it was a full moon and it made seeing meteors nearly impossible.

 
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Posted by on August 11, 2012 in Construction

 

The first step is a doozie

..well the first step out of our house is a real doozie..and it takes the form of a chair with 2 boards. We are watching ChunJae (our friends dog (if you speak Korean figure the name out)) and she is a little skittish at times..and around our ‘step’ she is VERY skittish…she won’t even come within 20ft of the front door after she has been put out to pee..nothing says fun like carrying a dog inside because they are too scared..

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..and the perennials are doing great..this is the 2nd year for some of the plants like echinacea and it is really starting to fill in the area we designated for it..everything is actually doing very well..except for the hostas as the chickens love to eat it..

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..and we had some extra squash started with no room for it in the garden so I planted it in last years manure pile..and it has responded!…the 2 of them are taking over the area..I swear it grew 5 feet longer in a week.

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Loki and ChunJae seem to be finding their stride again..3 fights in the first half and hour she was here but after 2 days they are playing nice..and much to my chagrin they LOVE to get up on the topsoil pile to wrestle..the last place I want them to play. I chased them off the pile about 15 times today…why can’t they just play in the grassy area!?!..oh yeah, there is no grassy area…carry on.

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..and it looks like I need to put even more water outside..after being outside for an hour we all came inside and the dogs appear to be thirsty..usually they take turns..

 
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Posted by on August 10, 2012 in Construction

 

Vacation Time Ends..

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…away for a trip..and now we are back..which is perfect because we are exhausted.

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Now time to get back to work on the deck..and the kitchen..and the topsoil…and 12 other things.

 
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Posted by on August 7, 2012 in Construction

 

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Deck Throwdown

..I thought we were too far north for cicadas..but it appears not as this little guy showed up while we were working on the deck today.

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..the 1/2 way point for the deck base..

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With all the levelling done throwing down the actual deck takes no time at all…OK, so it DOES take time but it is not overly complicated due to us putting the deck only a foot off the ground. Our place is on blocks right now and in the future we will be putting in a foundation..so we did not want to put the deck on concrete and settled on railway ties dug into the ground and secured..then we put a 2×8 piece of pressure treated wood on top. This way in a year or 2 we can unscrew some screws and haul the deck out of the way when it gets time to do the foundation work ( then the deck will go on concrete!)

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..A* walks on the deck for the first time..the decking is not secured at this point..

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.and parially screwed in. We are only using a rechargable drill..so we get an hour out of it then put it back on the charger..the top decking is around 1/3 done now so 2-3 more recharges tomorrow and we should be all done. Decks..took us 2 days to get the area levelled and we did most of the work in 5 hours today..sure it is only a 16×16 deck and not raised but still!!..but then again I do love completed projects so who am I to complain!

 
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Posted by on August 2, 2012 in Construction