Monday, February 11, 2008

It's been a while

I know I haven't posted in a little while, and I decided that I should take a break from life and update my blog. Things have been a bit crazy around here the last couple of weeks.

The first thing is that my friend and I decided to go into business together. We've started making diaper cakes, towel cakes, and hair bows. We've already had some interest, and we have a big baby shower to do at the end of this month. We're also doing a craft fair the first weekend in March, so wish us luck!

My seedlings are still doing well, and the pepper seeds have tiny little fuzzy things coming out of them. I'm assuming those are eventually going to be pepper plants. ;o) I should've read the seed package and I would have know that the peppers take longer to germinate than the tomato plants. Naahh...who needs instructions.

The hubby decided to fix the PTO in our tractor that my mom gave me. The PTO has been broken since the 80's. So, my poor tractor has a "split personality". It's literally sitting in 3 huge pieces in our driveway. The back wheels are in one place, and the front is in another, and the middle is in still another. The good news is that it's all fixable. YAY!

We bought some new "peepers", as my girls call them. I bought 12 new baby chicks, but I haven't had much luck with them. 6 of the 12 died. I don't know if it's the breed, as I've had that problem with other breeds before, or if it's because of how early in the season we bought them. I'm thinking the breed, because the ones who've died are all the same breed. We've had unseasonably warm weather since I bought them, but I still have a light on them. The good news is that my other girls started laying again, so I'm finally getting a decent amount of eggs everyday.

Well, those are the major highlights. I'll have to do better at posting more often. But, I better go for now. I have crafts to do.

Friday, February 1, 2008

chicken chores

It never seems to fail. I go for a week and can't think of a single thing to say, then all of the sudden the damn breaks and I'll post 3 or 4 posts in a single day.

I went out this morning to gather the eggs. While I was out there, I decided that the nests needed fresh hay, at least some of them did. So, I put fresh hay out, then I decided that the duck tubs (they're not big enough to be called ponds and the ducks refuse to swim in the kiddie pool) needed cleaned out. So, I did that, but while I was at the faucet I discovered that the horse trough needed filled. After my unfortunate water hose/ tractor incident, the auto waterer is temporarily out of order. So, after I filled the ducks up, I filled the horses' trough up.
While I was standing there waiting on the water, I thought of some frugal homesteading tips.....

  1. Instead of buying ceramic eggs, Granny used to use Carmex jars. She turned the white part up instead of the yellow lid. The snakes seemed to prefer them because they were the ones that disappeared out of the nest first.
  2. If you have ducks, but you or your customers don't like duck eggs, you can boil the the duck eggs, cut them up and feed the eggs, shells and all, back to your chickens and ducks. It increases their protein, but the cooking part doesn't promote egg breaking. I feed ours leftover scrambled eggs too.
  3. Mom uses duck eggs for baking. She says it doesn't affect the flavor. I haven't tried them yet because I can't get past the smell of the egg. YUCK!
  4. A little honey on the bit will get the most stubborn horse to take a bit easier.

That's all I can think of for the moment. I'm also thinking about reprinting some of the tips I've picked up out of some old Organic Gardening magazines that my Mom gave me. The first tip I'm going to try this year is to plant Cosmos flowers with my tomatoes and corn plants. Apparently the ear worm that attacks corn is the same as a tomato worm and neither like the Cosmos flower. I saw that tip a couple of times in that magazine, so I'm going to try it because I lost quite a few ears of corn last year to worms.

This and That

Woo Hoo! The high speed internet was installed and we're finally blazing along at lightning speeds. So, if you see something speeding across your screen, it's just me bouncing from site to site. I keep imagining scenes like Yosemite Sam skidding down a dirt road with his britches on fire, yelling "My buns are burning! My buns are burning!" ;0)

The tomato seedlings are doing fine. My walking garden encyclopedia (A.K.A Mom) told me to keep the light down close to the plant to make sturdier seedlings. If you move the light too far away then they can become spindly. My pepper plants haven't sprouted yet, but I'm keeping them moist, so hopefully they'll come up.

I'm hoping that the sun stays out for a few days to dry up our ground. Right now it's too wet to take the tractor out in the pasture to keep bringing up my "horse fertilizer". I need to get the ground ready for my potatoes, but more rain is forcasted.

I've been thinking about starting a home business, but I'm not sure what actually works. I've thought about making things to sell, but I would like to here from other people to see if they're actually selling enough to make it worth my while. So, if you have any ideas, please let me know.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Going High Tech

Yep, the Lucky G is going high tech. We are actually getting high speed satellite internet. After much begging and pleading by the hubby and the girls, I finally gave in. I must admit though, since I've started doing more and more on the internet I'm really excited about getting it too. We've been using plain old country dial-up which means that we've been "zipping" along at 24.4k. Most webpages won't completely load because the computer gives up and says "It's just not going to happen!"

The installer is coming tomorrow morning. And after the initial panic attack when the hubby told me that he (the installer) has to hook the computer up, which means he has to be able to actually get to the computer, I've been getting more and more excited by the whole thing. So, my task for today is to clean off the desk, clean out from under the desk, and finish cleaning up our room. I'm taking a bit of a break right now because TAH DAH! the desk is clean, except dusting. That's a huge accomplishment. ;o)

The hubby said once that he's going to get me a sign that says "A clean house is a sign of a broken computer." I guess I need to add "...and tractor."

It's all worth it, though. Tomorrow I'll be racing along the internet at the speed of light, or at least at the speed of satellite.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Pepper Seeds

I planted my pepper seeds today. I planted 36 bell peppers and 6 jalapeno peppers. Some of the tomato plants have their second sets of leaves coming in.

The hubby went and got hay today, also. He bought a round bale and 13 square bales, so I helped him put the square bales away in the barn, after he fixed a water pipe that froze a couple of days ago.

Here's a picture of our "chicken tree". Some of our chickens insist on roosting in a tree we have in our yard. It was a funny sight last winter when we had an ice storm and the branches were iced over. The chickens flew up there, but couldn't get any traction on the ice.

Friday, January 25, 2008

the weather

Even the horses think it's a good day to lay around. I did manage to move some of the "horse fertilizer" yesterday during a break in the weather. It's going to make awesome soil for the garden. The chickens are already scratching through it to see if there are any tasty bits in it that they might enjoy. I bought my potatoes to plant, but we're only going to plant russets because the red potatoes were just so expensive. I also bought my sweet potato to try and get slips off of.

Also, I mentioned in a previous post about the online photography course. I found out later that it's not a current course, but the information is still online. I'm still going to post the "assignments" here just to have someplace to chronicle my progress. So, the first assignment was "Assignment 1: Take at least one abstract photo based entirely on some of the compositional rules we talked about. Subjects should not be recognizable."

Ok, in this photo I used the Rule of Thirds and the Golden Mean. I also used the Triangle concept and negative space. The eye is in the center third of the photo, and also centered within the center third. The sky and the bridle create the triangles. The sky is also the negative space.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Little Sprouts

I finally braved the elements to get the camera out of the car. Supposedly it's going to clear off this weekend, but right now it's just nasty outside.

So as promised, here are the pictures of the tomato sprouts.

The spaces in the back are reserved for peppers.

They're about 3 days old here.