Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Camper/RV Upkeep, and Our New Baby

We showed up late this past Saturday as we attended a trade show.  When we arrived at The Compound the boys had already taken care of the chickens and pigs for us!  What a great surprise, and considering how tired we both were, it was sure appreciated!

Since we all have a camper or RV of some sort at The Compound, we dedicated this past weekend to cleaning and maintenance.  Every few years or so, you need to coat the roof tops.  But first, they had to be cleaned, mold removed, rinsed and let to dry overnight. 

We gave this camper to the boys, after we bought our new RV.

Then on Sunday they applied two coats of epoxy to each of four campers.  It was no small task even though they had 3 of them working on them together.  The sun was brutal, and it took every last bit of energy they had.  But it's done, and was needed.

Here's our new baby;

Excuse the mess inside, still trying to get things organized.  It sure opens up nice inside with two slides in the main living area.  It has a washer/dryer! The Moose and I area looking forward to taking a road trip or two. 

Tiffin Allegro Bus, 37', 3 slides  55K miles, Diesel, year 2000

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

And The Winner is Chicken Poo!

It didn't start out as an experiment, it just happened.  A couple times a year the chicken run/coop is scraped up and wheeled into the garden.  This past year, it was placed on the north side of our main gardening area.  If you look at the pictures, you can tell exactly where the dividing line is.  The upper part of the photo, nearest the coop has had the compost added.  Clearly you can see how it progresses to some sad looking plants.  I fertilize them almost weekly with an organic fertilizer for gardens, they are watered regularly.  The only difference was the addition of the chicken poo.

Garden 4/19/14
Garden 4/26/14


There's plenty more where that came from, along with some pig poo.  Can't hardly wait until the next gardening season to see how things turn out.  The tomato plants have doubled in size in a week, and are covered in blossoms and young green tomatoes! Now if I could ever get a handle on the weeds!


Random watermelon plant, that decided to grow by my rose bushes


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Week in Photos 4/20/14

OK, don't make fun of all my weeds!  I cleaned most of them up after I took the photos!  Just so you don't go thinking I don't do anything at The Compound.  I'm in charge of the garden and the chickens, chicken coop, and on occasion I'm the extra pair of hands that is needed to hold something in place.  Oh, and of course I'm the snack lady for all the animals!  I get all the fun projects.

OK, I didn't clean the weeds up from around this. What is now a giant celery plant! It started growing on it's own, and I've left it alone to see what will happen.  Celery tastes fine, and growing, at least better than my weeds.

Tomatoes, cherry and big boy varieties.  Lots of blossoms and the start of some tomatoes.

We have three tomatoes of pretty good size on a tomato plant I did not plan for.  It grew up on it's own, so I left it.

No, little piggies.  That's a camera in my hand, not a PB and J!

Now serving number?  There are more than enough places to lay an egg, but yet they still want to lay them in the same place.

Miss Connie hatched out two chicks again this year.  What are the odds it was two chicks again, by Miss Connie and one is black the other yellow.  Same as last year!  She's a very good momma.

Here are my two favorites. The Queen (LH) and the boar from her litter.  Both lay down so I can scratch them.  They actually close their eyes and fall asleep.  He even snores.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Saturday Part 3 - This Little Piggy...

This little piggy came we, we, we, all the way home to The Compound!  Along with two litter mates or sisters, who knows.  We'd guess he's around 40-50lbs, and is about the same size as our group of 7.  He's all black, and yes he's a boy.

It was too late in the day to get the girls wrangled up and in their fenced in area.

I'll tell you what, BJ and Donnie live for this stuff!  Wrangling hogs is second nature to these guys.  This boar was not very happy, and even though the fence was electrified he kept charging it.  I've never been around anything like this before, so it was all new to me!  He looked like a bull in the ring facing a matador!  All the snorting and pawing at the ground included.

He caused quite the uproar, all the dogs were barking, the chickens were in a panic and the other herd of hogs were pretty upset.  Oh, the horror of having a stranger in their midst.

We blocked off a section of their enclosure for him and his sisters, and allow both groups to get to know one another over time.  This will also keep the new ones quarantined to make sure they are healthy.

This is BJ, this is how dirty you get wrangling hogs!  I had a picture of the back of him, worse than the front, but it didn't turn out.  With all the rain we had this past week, almost anything and everything around here is mud.

We're happy with the new breeding stock, and the extra pork chops and sausage that will be on our table this year.  Oh, how we enjoy life at The Compound!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Saturday Part 2, Container Update; Dirt, Dirt and more Dirt

On to part two from Saturday!  As if part one wasn't enough work.  But we are thankful the weather was partly cloudy for most the day, and in the upper 70's to lower 80's with a good breeze.

The Moose, BJ and Donnie spent a better part of Saturday filling in the container.  They're about halfway up on one side, and a third of the way on the other.  Just what they all wanted to do;  more digging!

The black material was leftover from a garden project we had sometime back to help kill nematodes.  It's just another barrier between the container (which already has a rubberized coating and paint) and dirt.  We have a lot more planned for this container, and it seems we're on a pretty good trajectory to get some of the more important details taken care of.  So stay tuned!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Saturday Part 1 - Friend or Foe?

Well, to say we've been busy would be an understatement.  We are crazy busy, with no immediate end in site.  But we need to make hay while the sun shines.

I'm breaking down the events from this past Saturday into a few different posts.  I hate having a post that is too long and loses your interest.

The guys decided Saturday was just as good as any other Saturday to clean out the pond filters, set up a new fountain, and remove any large debris that lay lurking at the bottom of the pond.  All of a sudden I get a call, "Laura, grab your camera!". 

I was instructed to take a photo of this strange worm like thing that was all over the pond filters, so we could look them up back home and figure out if we have a problem with the pond.  These very tiny, bright red worm like, creepy crawlies, were all over!  We were a bit worried.  Are they a parasite?

As it turns out, it's a friend!  These tiny red creatures are actually blood worms.  A sign of a healthy pond.  People actually buy them to put in their ponds to help, and also provide a very high source of protein (52%) to fish. 

They get stuck in pond filters, due to their size and as a means of protection from fish.  They're too big to go through the filter, but the action of the filter;  drawing in water which includes the algae, etc. is the perfect breeding and brooding ground for these little things.  If you'll notice in the photo the longer, green pieces are  actually mini-tubes they use for protection.

So the pond is healthy!  The new pump is up and running and per BJ who traversed the pond in hip boots, there's a lot of fish in this pond!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

What She Does Best

Miss Izzy is somewhere between 14 and 15 years old.  Not exactly sure as we adopted her from an animal shelter.  She's been a perfect fit for our family. Frustrating at times, but she's ours.

She's having trouble jumping up on the sofa, doesn't even try to get up on the bed by herself.  She's going deaf, and has some sight issues as well.  Like the best of us, she's showing her age.  Until you throw a rat at The Compound in the mix.  Then she'll offer life and limb.

Miss Izzy worked so hard on Saturday when she found a nest in the chicken coop, under the actual house.  It's not an easy area to get to.    Here's a small video of her in action.

She spent a couple of hours in the heat, working to clear them out.  The Moose actually dug out a trench she could fit in, and she was under the chicken house for what seemed like forever, cleaning out the nest.  We are once again rat free!

Now her age really showed later in the afternoon.   She actually moaned when she got up or down.  Reminded us of how we all feel on Sunday morning after working at The Compound.  She was rewarded with the thing she hates the most;  a bath!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Can't Take Less than $75

Since things at The Compound keep growing, we placed our composter on Craigslist to sell.  At first it was an ideal size, but now with all the animals we will be composing on a much larger scale.   The crazy things go for around $180 on Amazon.  Our ad is asking $100 o.b.o.  It's only a couple of years old.

Craigslist is a great resource for selling those odds and ends.  But I do have to say, you sure get enough crackpots to sort through.  Those that call wanting the item, never to show up, those wanting to send you a check with an extra $50 for all the trouble if you'll just take their check, cash it and then pay them the difference, in a check from your bank when they come over.  Or one of my favorites;  I'm on disability with a low income and can not drive.  Will you deliver it to me and I'm only 2 hours away?!  I had this one asked of me for a dozen fertilized eggs. (even if this was true, how could he possibly afford to care for the chicks once hatched?)  Why would I spend $50 on gas for $5.00 worth of eggs?

The most recent one has the Moose and I laughing this morning.  We had an offer for $60 for the composter.  We came back with "we'd take $75".   We'd like to get at least that.  Her reply:  "Due to fixed income and gas cost, can you take $65?"

Here's our response:  "Due to the cost of raising children and putting them through college, I can't take less than $75".

We may just keep the composter and raise red worms in it.