Tag Archives: dogs

Another day at the ranch

Morning thus far: retrieved the trash can and two days’ worth of mail, made another batch of syrup for the bees, checked the transplanted tomatoes (a few knocked out by the storm yesterday, but overall, not bad), checked the cuke progress (flowering!), watched a super league rugby playoff match from Sunday, fed and watered the dogs, and sliced a bunch of chicken into thin strips to make jerky. For the dogs – because I keep reading bad stories about chicken jerky treats from China, and the jerky at Costco? From China. We’ve not noticed any ill effects on our dogs from that, but making our own is easy enough (plus we know exactly what’s in it: chicken, no glycerin). Now eating and waiting for two new servers to show up so I can build those out and hustle them to the NOC. The day is young!


Short of hiring a bunch of people to come out and get the property releveled and sloped appropriately to make up for my jerk of a neighbor raising the base of his property at my expense by trucking in huge amounts of dirt (and instead of my jerk of a neighbor doing the right thing and sloping everything to the pond he has at the back of his property), for now, every time we get dumped on, we have to deal with the flooding. We also have to deal with the animals – both chickens and dogs – getting into and drinking the water. All of the animals are happy enough to get ass deep in the water and drink from the lakes that form wherever they happen to have access, neither of which is pretty. Well, I take that back: it’s pretty disgusting, especially if it’s an area that has been shat upon by said animals. But when I look at the big picture and realize I can’t really do anything about it at this point except try to keep them out of those places until things dry out, life is much less stressful.

A scan a day keeps the doctor away

Maybe not every day. That could get tedious very quickly. This morning, two CT scans, with contrast – the contrast courtesy of iodine they shoot through an IV into you, which rapidly spreads and makes you feel like you’re about to piss yourself. While that’s coursing through you, they slide you back into the CT for more pictures. Lucky me, I got toe do the contrast twice: once for the chest, and once for the head and neck. Fun stuff. Even more fun is that they didn’t put the IV into the crook of my arm, but slightly below it. I now have quite the knot there, it’s already started to bruise, and it hurts. A lot. The price of going through tests to make sure no growths are lurking about anyway, I suppose.

Today was spasm day, thanks to the combination of bouncing around on the tractor yesterday, and the raising of my arms above my head while lying on the table for the CT scans. As soon as I pulled my left arm up above my head, I could feel them starting, and they haven’t let up. That, as they say, is what the drugs are for, and I gave in and took some to calm this down so I could move. No workout today, alas.

My sister arrived from Illinois in a sneak attack visit with her dogs. She’ll be staying with my other sister, so there won’t be as much worry about Einstein and his distaste for other dogs invading my space, although I have to say he was better behaved this time, and didn’t actually attack either of the visiting dogs when my sister got to the house. Maybe he’s realized that those two dogs both outweigh him by a lot and that they’re much larger than he is. Or maybe he just didn’t fee as threatened by them this time. Whatever the reason, things were just fine. I made lime and cilantro chicken for dinner, and we had fresh corn on the cob and squash baked with parm-reg. Not a bad little summer meal. Next up: seafood feast, since my sister now lives in the middle of nowhere and doesn’t get seafood as much as she would like up there.

Random note to the people who made the ourtime.com commercials that appear from time to time on my tv while I’m watching rugby or shows about stupid people (“World’s Dumbest…”): if you’re going to have people giving testimonials about meeting people through your service, it would be best if they didn’t sound like they were standing and talking in a gigantic cavern. The sound on those needs a ton of work.


I’ve been working on Mt. Mulch in the rear garden. Mt. Mulch is the truck full of mulch that we had someone deposit on the grounds in order to mulch in the paths in the various gardens and around the trees. The first load, which was up front, I had some help to finish off from family. This time, it’s only me hacking away at it. It’s good exercise, really, but it takes a toll on your traps, from squeezing together armfuls of it to toss into the wheelbarrow. Why pick it up by hand? Have you ever tried using a shovel on a big pile of mulch? That’s a one way ticket to exhaustion and sore everything (and lots of cursing). It’s faster to do it by hand. The only downside is that while the top of the pile is dry, it’s wet under that layer, making it a chore to carve out a chunk to move to the barrow.

Goal: six barrows a day loaded, dumped, and spread, in order to get the back garden finished. That’s about the limit my morning shake gives me in terms of calories/energy, but it works out well since I can generally get one eight foot long section mulched at about an inch per barrow load- which in turn gives me one full row done on the long side of the garden. It’s a lot of mulch, but I only have four rows left, plus the large non-row area where there is currently nothing but which I’m considering for containers. I should be able to finish the mulching of the back area this week and then move on to the berries on the easterly fenceline to get those done.

After the daily loads, it was dog shaving time, something I did in bare feet on the front porch instead of getting dog hair in my boots and socks. They’re so cute with their cuts, but I suspect they were pooped after the excitement/stress of it all.

Tomorrow: more mulching. More flats to go under the lights. More something else. There’s always something else.

The air up here

Bad blogger, bad! No posting on a regular basis, what is wrong with you?

Nothing wrong, just incredibly busy around here. Our season has lasted well into the winter, and we’re still harvesting peppers. The tomatoes that showed some promise going into fall succumbed to massive worm damage, so once again this year, like last, no tomatoes (although for wildly different reasons, given that last year it was a cancer of a different sort).

There’s a monarch butterfly chrysalis attached to the upended cooler by my garage, which is right near the butterfly bush I planted for the other monarch caterpillars that graced us with their presence before moving on to whatever secret place they chose to attach themselves. I’m hoping to capture it as it emerges, whenever that happens to be, and I have the plant cam set up on it.

My dreams have been invaded by images of paintings I’ve never seen hanging in galleries I’ve never visited (or heard of). My subconscious is probably trying to tell me something.

My puppy had to have the top part of one of his (non weight-bearing) toes amputated because he tore the nailbed right away from the bone on a ball-fetching excursion. It’s sad to me that he was in pain, but good that he’ll heal just fine and he’ll be right back to his duties.

The bees have been ordered, and should ship to us in May. We’ll be able to put these things to good use.

Most of this will be gone from the new barn when spring arrives, as they’ll be set up as homes for the three packages of bees (and queens) we’ll be receiving. Everyone is pretty excited about this, including me, and I’m looking forward to spring even more than usual.

Seeds for the new year were ordered and have arrived (mostly), and the next two weeks will be seed starting time in the small barn, under the lights – which I need to rerig for the pulley system I came up with to make things easier to wrangle under them. As with years past, we’ll be attempting a good variety of tomatoes to see what we like, or is we can just get any to maturity and get a harvest. This year will be better planned than previous years, to be sure.

The garlic went into the frames in late October, and is doing wonderfully thus far. By my estimate, I planted out over 2000 individual cloves this year, which will give us plenty to use and some to save as seed for next year’s planting season, I expect. I’m hoping that we’ll be able to sell some as well, since this is not the usual garlic found in grocery stores.

Here’s hoping the new year will be better than the previous years. Be sage, be happy.