I’m working from home now, I currently have 3 part-time jobs that I’m working that equal out to about 45 hours a week. I’m working 2 gigs, 20 hours a week for DarkSky.org and Astronomerswithoutborders.org, that latter one I’ve done since December, Dark Sky (IDA) is a new gig. I also took over the treasurer position on top of my secretary position for our irrigation board. At least now we can start making progress again on the ranch. This week, we had a neighbor come out with his tractor and tear up all the weeds that sprung up and died this spring, our mower just couldn’t get it done. It’s nice to come back home to not seeing a million dead weed sprouts all over the yard.
We got a new horse boarder in this week, their horse is called Shy, he’s a HUGE 16 hands high gelding. I asked our new boarder “How in the world are you going to get up on him?” She said “Oh, mounting block for sure.” She might have 1-2 more horses coming soon too for her daughter so we might have almost a full barn. That’s great! She’s a self-boarder, meaning she cleans out the stalls and does turn-out for the horse, we just feed/water each day. Easy peasy for us, cheaper for her. “Shy” is very beautiful, I will have to snap a picture of him and put online.
We have a kitten in the house, it was born under our place but he got out and from the looks his mama abandoned him. I spent a week trying to find a rescue for him, finally did, but then my husband got cuddly with the kitten and so did my cat and dog. So he’s still here and we named him Brannigan (as in Thomas Kincaid Brannigan from Doctor Who). Ray refers to him as Zap Brannigan (from Futurama). I also call him Piggy, cuz he’s totally a little pig.
He’s getting quick on his feet now and slowly getting into play mode. When I first found him, he appeared almost all white but a cream colored patch on his back (see pic) and he has a dark grey striped tail and two little grey marks right by each ear. Over the last week though, that cream patch is turning a very very light shade of grey. He is cute but man, my hands are torn up from his nursing. He gets a little panicky trying to get on the bottle and his little paws (and claws) go nuts trying to get a grip. I’m very much looking forward to him being able to eat/pee on his own. (With baby kittens, you have to wipe their lower extremities to get them to pee/poo, or they don’t and it can be fatal. Mama cats do this manually, so no mama means I have to improvise with a wet cotton ball)
Other than that, it’s pretty much the same old same old.
Not intentionally mind you, but yes, we have a calf in our pasture right now.
Tonight my husband went out to put the steaks on the grill (how funny), and spotted some people that appeared to be up to no good on the back corner of our property. We’ve had livestock theft ring going on out here all over the far east valley so we assumed they were up to no good. People have been out and about stealing calves, foals, baby goats, etc, like crazy out here so we assumed the worst.
There’s nothing like calling the Sheriff’s department and saying “We have people trespassing on our property and my husband is out there holding them on the property… please get out here…. oh, and my husband is armed…”
Well, turns out that they were legit and had lost 3 calves….
After the cops left, I went back outside and I’m not sure what made me go to the fencing but glad I did, because I realized not only had my garden and the fencing been trampled, but a major section of our pole-fencing for the pastures had been compromised and my neighbors fence was pushed 1/2 down. While those people were chasing the cows around, one of them had crashed into the fencing and really did a number on it.
Plus, had my horses decided to take a walk around, they could have gotten out. So I put the poles back up and pulled my neighbors fencing back up, and then called the cops again to let them know we had damage as well.
The sheriff came back out to see what damage was done and as we’re talking we hear some loud mooing.
One of the calves was in my neighbors yard across the street. They called the guy who’s cattle it was to tell him to come back. I only stayed for a bit, but apparently they tried to get the cow but she/he jumped another gate and took off. Later, the Sheriff’s office got a bunch of calls “Cow in the road”…. She’s been chasing cows all night….
Jump forward to 2AM, I just got out of the shower and was getting ready to call it a night when we hear “MOOOOOOOOO” Ray says “Um, Beth?”
I told him I heard it and went out to investigate. I stood on the porch, listening, and heard/saw nothing. Then I moved and something took off in our field. I couldn’t spot her with the flashlight but when I took the jeep and drove down the ditch, I spotted her half-way down in my field. Big white calf right in the middle of one of my fields….
I called the Sheriff’s office… again… and they’re going to call the guy to let him know we’ve got one of his cows. The sheriff was pretty much laughing at this point.
Hopefully she’s trapped there for the night. I just hope she stays the night so I can get a pic of our overnight guest in the morning. I threw her some hay and filled a water bucket for her. Hopefully she’ll take that as a warm welcome.
Yesterday I mucked out stalls and clearing out all that poop got me starting to think about my compost heap and I figured I’d write a little bit on it.
Composting is easy. I hate going out on the internet and seeing all these sites about how to compost and they make it sound so damn difficult! Sure, you can get all the gadgets and this that and the other thing but really just keep an even mix, add water if it’s getting too dry, turn it occasionally and just let it cook. It’ll do it’s own work.
What’s the point of composting? Okay, other than the fact that it’s great for gardens, the other major reason is to stop spending money on “garden soil”, which is pH balanced compost which you can make on your own out of your own grass clippings and left over food waste. (and other things if you have ‘em)
It also keeps stuff out of the land-fill, which you would think “well wouldn’t it just compost there?” Um, not exactly. When it’s in airtight garbage bags, compacted by tons of other garbage bags, with no air or water, all you really get it icky brown fluid in the bottom of a garbage bag….Organic material should make it’s way back into earth, not rot in a bag.
Okay, so what makes up a compost pile? a good mix of “Greens” and “Browns”.
Would you categorize poop as brown or green? It’s actually green.
Typical green materials are:
Fresh (green) Grass clippings
Fresh manure (horse, chicken, rabbit, cow)
Kitchen scraps (fruit, vegetables, coffee grounds, tea bags)
Leftover fruits from the garden
Typical brown materials include:
Brown, dry leaves
Shredded paper– you know those credit-card offers you shred but you’re still afraid to put in the trash? Put it in your compost pile!
Treat your compost as if it was a pile of money; it actually kind of is!
It provides you with valuable soil that would otherwise cost a pretty penny at the store. It’s what makes your veggie garden grow like mad, saving you a fortune in groceries too. And if you have too many vegetables and can’t eat ‘em all, guess what? It goes back into the compost pile.
If you live in the city, you’ll probably want some type of container for composting instead of an open one. (Mine is literally a pile, that’s it). This can be anything from recycled pallets (which you can paint to look better and not so much of an eyesore) or you can purchase one. Home depot has some great tumbler composters (so handy for not having to turn your pile manually like I do), and I’m sure pretty much any major garden center is going to have some awesome composters.
Me, I’m all about the free, so if I had contain mine, I’d go with the pallets which you can get for free all over the place.
What happens when a woman is desperate for a working stove but discovers her new (used) stove isn’t quite ready to plug into the wall? She gets a little creative, that’s what…. Tonight I ventured into some unknown territory and I honestly had a lot of fun. Prepare for a bit of a long blog! (and lots of pics taken with my new camera!)
My current stove, which was a glass-top oven, had a crock-pot dropped through the top of it. Yeah, seriously.
Good-bye glass-top, I never want another one. Reason why? The glass alone would have been 350.00 to repair, and 3 of the burners fried out from the glass breaking (I’m not sure how, but they did), so that would have been who knows how much to replace. So not worth it!!!
So I went on craigslist tonight and found a local person who had a electric burner stove for $50.00 bucks. Looks good, and I figured why not. The first obstacle I encountered was how to get it home. I don’t have a truck. I have a jeep and a station wagon. I spoke with the guy and offered him extra money to bring it to me and he said sure. Then I decided “Let’s just see if it’ll fit in the Focus”, and sure enough, a Ford Focus station wagon can indeed easily fit a stove in it. Bonus!
I got home and Ray headed to bed immediately, and said to wake him up at 8:00…. 9:00 rolled around and he wouldn’t get up… too tired. I decided to leave him be and see what I could do.
I managed to unload the oven myself from the car, get it up the porch steps and into the house. That was the easy part believe it or not….
I pulled the old stove out, scoured the floor under it (it was disgusting!) and then went to move the new stove in place and discovered the plugs didn’t match. WTF?!!! I had no idea there were different plugs.
Well now what the heck am I supposed to do!!!
I put a post out on FB while I was researching information, there’s no “adapter” for moving from one type to another so I was at a loss. I had just come across another site that stated that stoves do not come with plugs and to just hook up whatever one there was, and at the same time my friend Zel posted up on Facebook that the cords are swappable and that she’s watched her husband do it several times, doesn’t look too hard. (And it’s really not by the way!)
So I took her advice and decided to take a closer look at how the cords are connected. On the back of the new stove, there was a wiring diagram right there on how to hook up either cord!!!! Now I was getting somewhere!
So I started tearing everything apart, and here go the pics!
PS!!! If you click on the image, it gives you a description of what it’s looking at. For some reason, using the “gallery” option doesn’t show the captions… bummer!
So there you have it!
My baby girl is 1 month old (and a couple days, I haven’t had time to blog lately). I’m slowly adjusting and starting to get better about resting when she’s down (well, I’ve been up all night and she’s been out since 2am, but I’ll sleep probably on her next run.) Getting better with time-management for getting things done around the house, and in fact, being home, I’m getting more done. I even went OCD on my husbands sock drawer.
Now it’s time to start tackling ranch life again.
I’ve got horses that are in serious need of baths and a good brushing, and some cleanup in the pole-barn for our annual star-party plus we’re throwing a halloween potluck out here with our friends and my new friends from the Mom’s group.
I’m sure my husband would appreciate it as well if I started taking care of feeding the horses and chickens again. He’s been taking care of the chickies for me for the last several months on top of the horses. The chickens are HUGE by the way. My last pictures of them were about 1/2 size, they’re full size now. I’ll try to get out today or tomorrow for pictures.
I would really like to start a vegetable garden but I’m completely clueless when it comes to it. Everything online talks about pH balance and soil testing and adding stuff to the soil…. plus I don’t have a level area, so it’s going to require a lot of manual tilling and I really don’t know if I have that in me.