Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Looks like a duck, acts like a duck, doesn't quack like a duck.

Black Bellied Whistling Duck.  Closer in relation to geese than a duck.  They waddle a bit, heads are definitely duck like, but they do not quack.  We had a flock join us on Saturday, and as they flew in, it was a showdown at The Compound!  Just look at these characters.  I think the ducks would win. The Cotton Club is a bunch of chicken, chickens!


I hope you can hear the sound the ducks make, it’s really strange.  They spent around an half hour or so, digging in the wet areas of The Compound.

Monday, October 29, 2012

This is Why We Prep

Need I say more?!


Sandy's Wake at The Compound

I'm sure you've heard or read about a little storm that passed by Florida late last week, named Sandy.  I know the Northeast is bracing for the effects, but we spent the better part of Saturday cleaning up the mess she left behind.  We've never seen this much debris laying around! 

Water everywhere!  We were already saturated, and Sandy didn't help.  Needless to say, our pile of ash from the burn is several wheelbarrows full.  Overall Saturday was nice, breezy and cool.  The Cotton Club had an absolute blast outside.   They even ventured further from the norm, which was nice to see they are growing in confidence.   I don't think they stopped but once or twice for a quick nap.  Just too many bugs to be found!

The Moose made a pork butt roast in the outdoor oven, that turned out really well.  It really hit the spot.  

Of course, cleaning up the mess, and after the chickens is never enough for us!  We had to move the three large piles of mulch and wood too!  This:

Became this:

Spud, the Moose and I shoveled, moved and raked this new drive area, as well as the entrance to the chicken run.  The Compound has some low lying areas, and the drive in is one of them.  There was always a path coming in, but it stopped at the end of a row of oak trees, then you had to drive across the lawn to a parking area.  When it rains it gets very soft, and since there was no clear path, we just drove willy-nilly.  In time this will compact down, and it makes a very clear distinction on where we should be driving.  Yeah, no more mud and deep tracks!  Other than labor, it was totally free!

I've got some other posts in the works for later this week.  I hope you'll continue to follow along.  For those of you that continue to read and comment, thanks for making a crazy old bag happy!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Pit Viper Bite Poisoning in Dogs | petMD

Pit Viper Bite Poisoning in Dogs | petMD

Thought I'd share this link, since we've lived it first hand the past couple of days. 

Miss Izzy had a rough Thursday.  She was so excited to get out of the Vet hospital, and cried most of the way home.  It was her excited cry, the "I'm so glad to be going somewhere", or "I know there's a lizard in there" or "let me at that squirrel" kind of cry.  Not of pain, since she just had her pain med before we picked her up.

Her afternoon was miserable.  She was in pain.  For this I was sorry.  It's part of nature for an animal that is in pain to not cry out.  It's a sign of weakness, and makes them a target.  So if your dog is actually crying or whining in pain, please don't ignore it. It's serious!

Izzy's swelling continued to go down, but her puffed up face made her normal sassy self almost unrecognizable.  She ate chicken, her favorite food, and drank a LOT of water.  She did a considerable amount of sleeping too.  I'm sure she didn't get much in at the hospital.  Her nightly walk was just an amble down the sidewalk.  She actually turned around to come home.  She was not herself.

But after a good nights sleep, in our bed which under normal circumstances is not allowed, she and the Moose went around the lake this morning and she led the way.  Not as fast as normal, but she is getting her strength back.  We gave her the antibiotic medicine and I'm guessing she's not feeling well as a result.  She seemed to get an upset stomach right after and just wants to sleep.  We can't blame her.  The company mascot is resting up in our office on the futon, snoring of all things. 

She's already spoiled, but getting even more attention now.  All well deserved.  Thank you everyone for your kind words and prayers.  How many dogs do you know that have people from all over the U.S. praying for them?  She is blessed, and so am I.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Pigmy Rattlesnake Bit Miss Izzy - UPDATE


Miss Izzy is home, but still has some swelling and obvious pain, even with meds.  She was very happy to come home, and is now sleeping at my feet under my desk.  Thank you for your prayers, she's one of the luckiest dogs!

I am sitting in the waiting room of an emergency vet, while they treat Miss Izzy for what appears to be a pit viper bite from a Pygmy rattlesnake.  Her face has continued to swell these past 2 hours or so, and she's in some pain. 

Our options were to ride it out and see, or start an anti-venom treatment.  We had a baseline set of tests run, and so far it has not affected her internal organs.  The only option to treat pain and swelling is anti-venom.  We started that about 30 minutes ago.  She'll spend the night in the hospital on IV.  If all goes well, she'll come home tomorrow.  If not, it's another dose of the anti-venom and another night in the hospital.

After waiting about an hour, and getting the results from the tests, it was definitely NOT a dry bite.  If we did not treat, she would risk dying flesh around the bite area, and organ shut down. 

I've watched too much TV.  It doesn't happen in a 60 minute program.  It can take days, and we are not willing to risk her health or wellbeing by waiting and seeing how her little body may or may not react to the venom.  The vet also explained that it is not likely that a dog of her size would do that well long term without the anti-venom. 

There is also a risk of infection, as snakes mouths are not the cleanest around.  She's getting a broad spectrum antibiotic in her IV.

So, please say a prayer for Miss Izzy, and me.  I'm worried sick..

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Calling All Bee Keepers! I need your help!

OK, I think we have swarming bees, but not 100% sure.  We stopped out at The Compound last night to feed/water the Cotton Club and Hooligans and came across tens of thousands of bees flying in random direction and order, over the entire property.  They were more concentrated around one oak tree and a pair of robellini's.  No ball of bees to be found.  As soon as the sun went down, poof, they were all gone.  No idea where too, just gone!

We decided to get going first thing this morning and see if they by chance formed a ball or not.  What we found (after Miss Izzy went to the animal hospital for a pygmy rattlesnake bite), was the same thing.  No order or reason, and no ball of bees.  Any ideas?

I cleaned out the old hive I had, and placed a dish with some honey inside, hoping that it might entice them to visit and stay awhile.  They quickly found the honey, but so far, have done nothing but bee be a bunch of freeloaders.

I also saw this activity by my hive, it looks like fighting.  Not something you'd see from a well established hive of working order. If you can help answer my question or know someone that might, will you please let me know? 

If this is the scene a few months back when we lost our original hive, I can see how they were taken over.  There are just so many bees!  They didn't stand a chance.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Now Appearing in Random Order..

Saturday's Happenings....

Rooster Cogburn
 OK, I posted his picture just because.  Not much to say other than, ain't he cute!

Remember earlier this season we used water troughs to plant lettuce, up off the ground.  Well, I have to say, I don't think they are doing all that great, compared to lettuce I've previously grown in the ground.  While working and not having to bend over is REALLY nice, the growth of the lettuce is much slower.  It's even planted in great from the bag soil!  I haven't yet been able to even take a cutting for the dinner table.  I don't have a picture of the spinach, but they came up and stopped growing altogether.  So far, thumbs down!

We had some new friends over, including the Dragon Lady who worked all day, and they wanted to cook dinner in our outdoor pizza oven.  I should have taken a photo of the marinated venison and veggies.  It was awesome!  Slow cooked for several hours.  The oven performed magically.  Now, we're just waiting on some cooler and drier weather to stick around, so we can finally finish/decorate the outside.

Our new friends have access to mulch and wood.  These three piles are all oak.  It's from the cuttings by a local power company, and they drop it off at The Compound for us.  Did I mention FOR FREE!  First of all, yeah, we no longer have to run to the local landfill.  Second, it's actually chopped up much finer than the product at the landfill and third, we don't get oak logs for the fire pit or stone oven from the landfill.  This is definitely a win win.  Now it just needs to be hauled to the garden.  I'm not complaining.  The Moose and Spud figured out a way to make our lives easier.  They made a larger door opening on the side of the garden.  Now we load up, and drive a trailer load into the garden.  Nice..

Berta and Miss Corrie
I mentioned last week that these two are now best buddies.  Rarely do you see one and not the other close by.  We stuck around until late Saturday, and spied on the Cotton Club and Hooligans with a flashlight before we left.  These two girls even sleep next to each other at night!  I mean, right next to each other, and no one else is on either side of these two.  We're still trying to figure out how Pennie of the Hooligan's got up on top of the roof of their shelter.  It's up at least 6' high!

It was an easier weekend for us, more socializing than anything.  I think we all needed the break.  Besides the weather was wonderful, cool breeze, low humidity.  We're finally heading in to the really nice time of year to live in Florida.  Now, if I could just find a way to get some apples from Sista's tree..

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

25th Anniversary

We celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary today.  A milestone for sure.  We spent part of yesterday and today in Savannah, GA.  Ate dinner a The Olde Pink House, circa 1771.  It was fantastic.   Here are a few photos from our trip.

The Moose is one lucky guy, getting hooked with the likes of me! 

I'm actually the lucky one!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Life at The Compound

Some times pictures speak volumes, here are some from this past Saturday.  With help from Spud, we got the mulch off loaded.

Here are the Hooligan's, all snuggled up taking a break from all their shenanigans!

I do believe Miss Corrie is Lucy's daughter.  What do you think? 

Corrie's comb flops over like Lucy's, and she's equally calm and easy to pick up.  She's just got her Daddy's coloring. 
Here are just some other random photos.

Have a good week everyone!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A Load of...

Hah, shame on you.  What did you think my title meant?!

Part of Saturday's project list...  more mulch for the garden.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Old Hen Berta

Here's our old bag Berta!  She was and still is the only White Orpington laying eggs.  She was really banged up when we got her, and the saddle is still in place as she hasn't grown her feathers back in yet.  Strange?  Maybe the damage done to her is beyond repair?  She's also always dirty looking.  The others are bright white, not her.  She's dingy.  But to her advantage, she's Queen of the roost! 
At first she wouldn't have anything to do with Miss Corrie, now they seem to be chums.  Maybe it's because they lay eggs together now.  They can understand each others pain, or they've come to an agreement of sorts.
Thought I'd share this video.  She seems lost in her own world, but does notice me taking the video, and then decides she'll continue to enjoy herself.  I just love chickens!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

One Giant Leap

It's official, we finally have water at The Compound.  What's that you say?!  But you have a man made pond, a canal, besides you live in Florida, what do you mean you finally have water?

Yes, we do have a man made pond.  This;

Became this:

A pond holding Blue Tilapia, and an occasional turtle.

The canal which started as this:

Will remain this.  Although it looks nice, it is not clean, full of iron and other run off.  It could be drinkable, but with a lot of work and expense.

As to rain, yes we have lots of that, and more than our share this year, over 30".  Our dry season can be devastating when trying to garden in the fall/winter months.

But with a bit of labor from the Moose and Spud, and a small expense (around $200 total for the pump and PVC fittings) we have this:

 And THIS!

This water is coming from our 35' shallow well, that came with the property when we bought it.  The previous owner had it drilled, but that was it.  Now, we just need it tested to determine it's overall quality, and what we may or may not need to insure it's drinkable.  This could mean no more hauling of water for the chickens!  Better quality water for the garden and cleaning. 

We will be getting a hand pump, in the event we do not have the ability to run the generator.  The Compound is off the grid and we need to plan for all contingencies.

We are another huge step closer to self sufficiency at The Compound!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Playing Hookie, Literally

The Moose and I decided to play hookie yesterday, literally.   Deep sea fishing has been on my bucket list for some time.  What luck!  Living Social ran a special deal for a deep sea fishing company in Cape Canaveral, the Miss Cape Canaveral.  I purchased the tickets back in July and we decided to wait as long as possible, going in to the late hurricane season.  We had a great day.

Seas were 2-4' as we headed out to the reef.  The reef is about 14 miles out from the coast of Cape Canaveral, and once anchored the waves were down to 1-3 feet.  Although the sun was hot, I now look like a raccoon, it was a great day, and no rain.

The weather was great, but the fishing was terrible.  We made our first of three anchors, and the only thing coming up were sharks.  They make a mess of every ones lines and we spent the better part of the morning untangling our gear.  The only other thing we were catching at this point was an occasional sea bass.

But, the sea bass had to be thrown back in, they were no longer in season.  I asked one of the crew if they had luck with sea bass when they were in season, his reply; "nope, could hardly catch one, and if you did it had to be a min. of 13" long in order to keep it".  Do the fish know when they are being hunted, or does the government know, and some tree hugger somewhere makes the decision based on data to keep us from realizing fresh caught supper on the table?  Something seems fishy!

We pulled up anchor, headed to another fishing hole, and it seemed the sharks followed our boat, although one or two did catch a red snapper, but they had to go back in.  There is a ban on bringing those home.

Our final hole resulted in very little, a couple of trigger and lizard fish, otherwise nothing until the end, when those pesky shark found us again!  Fishing seemed pointless.  By the end of the day, I had enough of other peoples kids running back and forth.

For me it was more for the experience of it all.  We got away from the emails and phones.  Although I should mention, that here at our house we do not get a cell phone signal, but 14 miles off the coast we sure did.  The phones kept ringing, go figure. 

For the Moose, he wanted to see "where the fish are" for future reference.  It basically seemed like there were no fish to be had, and traveling 14 miles off the coast is not possible unless you have a very large boat, which we don't.  He also noticed that there were not any other boats in the area.  What does that tell you;  either they don't have the time to fish, or the fish are not there to be had. 

Along with the great weather, we did get to see dolphins, a giant sea turtle and a giant sting ray leaping out of the water!  Another item checked off the bucket list.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Like Minded Friends - Walls Being Built

Part of “prepping” or preparing for what we believe to be coming is to surround yourself with people of like mind.  Those who are willing to work together to achieve the basic fundamentals; food, shelter and security.  This is not an easy step, it is even more difficult when those closest around you believe you are a “whack job”, or lunatic for the beliefs you hold.  They either don’t believe you, or don’t want to believe you.  
We’ve been struggling at The Compound trying to get ready for what we believe to be inevitable, a major financial crisis in our country.  We are working to provide food (garden, chickens, and fish) shelter (camper, bug out location) and security (weapons and location of our property).  What we were really missing was physical and mental help. Trust me when I say, you cannot just turn over the soil and expect a garden to grow.  Chickens don’t feed and water themselves, and if you’re not careful and cover the pond the birds will beat you to the fish.  We have struggled, but we have learned even more.  How will those doubters deal with a crisis?
The Moose and I basically have Saturdays to get our work accomplished.  Projects we feel lead us to self-sufficiency, and everything that goes with that.  Just read some of the past posts and you’ll get the gist of what we are working towards.  But it’s just the two of us.  We are physically limited by the amount of work we can get done, and are feeling some pressure to get more done, quicker. 
We also only have 2 sets of eyes.  How we see what we’ve done, and what needs to be done can be short sighted.  Another perspective is always helpful.  We think we’ve found that in our new prepping friends; Dragon Lady and Spud
Spud has followed my blog, not long after I started it.  Turned out they live a short drive from The Compound, are like minded and they both bring a set of skills that neither the Moose nor I possess.  They are an asset.  They feel the same about us.
The Moose and I realized some time ago we needed help; we were not sure where we would get that help.  But after meeting Spud and Dragon Lady a few months back, and our continued communication, we both felt it was the right time to reach out.  Spud made a visit to The Compound this past Saturday.
He left us with some new projects and ideas for the future, that we will work on together that will lead us to our ultimate goal of self-sufficiency.  He also took some time to help the Moose build the wall and shelter for the Hooligans, while I mowed the overgrown property.

It was nice to have another perspective, and to move forward knowing that if you are a “whack job” or lunatic, you are not alone…
By the way;  The Hooligans are really happy with their new space!