Monday, July 27, 2009

Playground Equipment

A Sea of Saws… see saws below.

Many of the saws we also handed down and used by my Dad for MANY years. Some are ebay finds (one all the way from Japan) and some are VERY recent arrivals.

Starting with the big saws these are both new production saws that just arrived in the last week. Both are 36” however you’ll notice that they have two different patterns. The first saw is a lace pattern and was designed specifically for green soft woods… Seems to make sense given the 4 cutting teeth to each raker.

Next up is a 36” tuttle pattern which is designed for hard and seasoned woods. This saw only has two cutters for each raker so it’s less aggressive than the first. Both saws have a helper handle on the end for well… A helper :) The handle is easy to remove and so far its far more comfortable to cut (one man) with the handle off, At some point, I’d like to replace both of these with wooden handles vs these plastic one. Plastic on a tool like this just does not belong.

Another noteworthy item was the edge, or lack of edge on the saws when they arrived. Here is a closeup of the lace and tuttle with the lace pattern being “as is” and the tuttle with a more complete edge that I put on by hand with a sharpening file (more on that during the sharpening post). There was an improvement in its performance with a better edge and took about 45 minutes to complete. Had I seen these saws in person first vs purchasing them on-line, I may have hesitated a bit based on the cost and the out of the box condition. I’m not totally disappointed it just means that some extra effort is going to be required on the edges as well as the rather blocky feel of the wood handles (and the previously mentioned plastic helper handles. All of which can be customized to my personal preference, just a little more customization that I’d like to see in a saw in this price range.

Lace pattern (not sharp)

Tuttle pattern (hand sharpened)

Various saws: Few of these are ebay finds but most were handed down. The only “metal” cutting saw in the bunch is this hack saw purchased on ebay for .99 cents. A new production tajima pull saw with multiple blades, coping saw (which BTW is probably the very first saw I EVER used, 33+ years ago)…This one really has special meaning. Next up is a 1940’s era Japanese pull saw that is marked with presumably the owners name. It was purchased/shipped from Japan via ebay for I believe $30.00ish…. Still a razor after 50 years. Two very fine tool saws and a tiny saw for very precise dovetail type work.

A collection of Hand saws which I am looking forward to bringing back to original condition.

Lastly the least expensive saw in the bunch that everyone who spends time in the woods should have. Inexpensive, functions well and you can purchase multiple spare blades at minimal cost.

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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Here Comes The Sunshine!

Sometimes I just start writing without knowing where it goes. Others I compose the whole entire blog entry in my head in the middle of the night and upon waking I rush to the computer to document it before I forget what I wanted to tell you guys. Then there are those times that I know I want to communicate with the world but I just don't know what to say so I just say "hey world, this is what we did today"

SO guess what kind of blog-day today is?

Today Harry and I decided to skip being responsible, stop worrying and do what we want to do. So we woke up whenever we wanted, which incidentally turned out to be whenever Django wanted the king size bed, we fed the critters and headed out with our fishing poles! Lately sunny days are few and far between so we were quite eager to enjoy this one to its fullest! Since I am the worm fisherwoman champion of the world, I caught 4 fish with NONE of them being keepers. Harry was not screwing around with the little guys and targeting the big bass... so he didnt get anything this time. What we did get, was slightly harassed by deer flies, alot of sunshine, good conversation, a nice short walk in the wilderness and I got to see a GORGEOUS heron.
It was a great day!!

I did not have my good lens, I actually left it at Swood (sigh) but I got some pictures of my Harry, isn't he the greatest? and the view of the pond we fished.

Also, you know, we are learning about this chicken thing as we go along right? well we have 3 laying hens right now, 2 of them have been laying a bit so their eggs are a bit larger than the 3rd who just started but all are delicious. I had heard about the "fart egg" that happens from time to time. A "fart egg" is a tiny little egg that a hen will lay. What i had never heard of are the oh-my-goodness-it-is-an-ostrich-egg-that-had-to-hurt-make-sure-she-didn't-blow-an-o-ring eggs. Nobody mentions those.
except us, we actually take pictures of them.

Check out our otherwise normal medium-large eggs, next to the above mentioned h-my-goodness-it-is-an-ostrich-egg-that-had-to-hurt-make-sure-she-didn't-blow-an-o-ring egg.

We have to store it in a Tupperware container in the refrigerator because it doesn't fit in the egg carton. IT DOESN'T FIT IN THE EGG CARTON!
I will let you know what i find inside! Maybe 2 yolks, maybe more!

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Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Boss (not springsteen)

Third installment of “Woodworking with Harry” Saws of various types.

Examples of two old double buck saws, one from Oregon via Ebay and the other via the second chance shop at the local transfer station $15.00. If nothing else they will be fun to restore and give them a try on some logs up at camp. The other items pictured include an MS290 STIHL Farm Boss and some safety gear.

During our first year, when we had just the small 10x20 cabin and super tiny wood stove, We were able to get by with a “consumer” grade Poulan with I believe a 14” bar. Don’t get me wrong, there is NOTHING wrong with a small saw and I still have it for lighter work (more on that later) but the point is… that although the small saw functions fine, for hard core work in a situation where you are off-grid/doing much of the log cutting yourself, chances are good you are going to need something bigger. I thought about this during that first winter and decided that the very next spring I would look into getting more of a “Pro/Commercial” saw. Although Husky’s are commonly known as good saws and are available at Lowes/HD I spoke with a few folks who knew more about the subject than I did and everyone pointed to STIHL as the top maker of what they described as an every-day saw. Meaning those who use a saw every day for a living, tend to go with STIHL… That was enough for me so I trusted their opinion and went to visit a local shop. First thing you’ll notice (and I’ll be making comparisons between what I know, the MS290 and a Poulan 14”) is the cost. A factory refurbished Poulan will run you about $99.00 bucks and can be found in catalogs like Northern Tool or at HD/Lowes, whereas a STIHL will be more in the 300-400 range, with the cost going up as the size of the saw goes up. This is not unexpected and in fact if you look on the side of a chain bar for the Consumer saws you will likely see a stamp like mine had that says “for occasional use only”…. STIHL’s have no such stamp and are built accordingly as a true every day working saw. Third up is the size… Knowing that my original saw was only 14” and that I was going to be doing some heavier work I had to make the call to go UP on the bar size…. This is where you have to trust your own skills or gain those skills by working with someone. You would be surprised how different a saw feels in your hand when you go from what you are use to at 14” to an 18”…. First thing that runs through your mind is this thing is a 10 foot monster. Obviously any chain saw can be dangerous you just tend to really notice it more I guess. Side note: One of the reasons I liked the MS290 was because there were options on the bar size. This motor has enough power to go up to a 20” bar if necessary OR you can back off the bar to a 16” if you are not comfortable with such a long bar. As it turns out I was able to use it with the supplied 18” bar. Speaking of POWER… there was immediately a HUGE difference that I noticed. When you fire up the Farm Boss you know that you have a saw in your hand and that is not just because the weight is quite a bit more but with that added weight comes an engine that could power a minibike. It will take some time but you will eventually get use to the rather big difference in weight. Hold the throttle down on this and you will know it. That is a double edge sword though in some cases… having a lot of power will let you cut some wood however it will also allow you to get into trouble very quickly as well. That brings us to some of the safety items. Still working with the saw, it has all the expected safety features that you’d expect but there was another that I didn’t know existed. With this saw you have the option of two chain types.. a low kick (less aggressive) model and a grip it and rip it type chain that is much more aggressive with the wood. I’ve run both and you can tell the difference, but if you are starting out, give yourself all the chances of staying safe and go with the low kick chain first. Next, you will see the hard hat/mesh mask and the chaps. Both are cheap.. I think the chaps were < 50 bucks at Lowes and if you are ever unfortunate enough to touch them with the saw they may save your leg and life. I am not a professional logger or lumberjack and I do not plan on becoming one (even the pro’s have accidents) but since I do not work with chainsaws every day I will do as much as I can to keep from being hurt by one. I don’t think there is a band aid level accident with a chainsaw, so keep yourself safe. Also worth mentioning that the mesh on the helmet and the hearing protection will definitely come in handy with such a large saw. Mesh does not fog up either.

Now, onto the accessories…. Whatever saw you pick for your homestead/Cabin/Ranch/Farm there are a few other accessories that you will want to have with you that may not be obvious. Since most of us are not professional loggers or lumberjacks the chances of getting a saw pinched into a tree or log is pretty high. Spend the extra money and buy an extra bar that matches the chain size you are using as well as a few extra chains. Not if, but when it happens and you end up getting the saw stuck, do not force it and get hurt… shut the saw down and unbolt the bar. Use your extra/spare bar and the extra chain you have to continue or to rescue the one that is stuck. Never a bad idea to have spares. There are a few options for a “Greener” bar/chain oil out there and you will want a couple spark plugs, air filter, pre-mix oil and chain files to go with your saw. Keep a rag, a good set of gloves, extra oil and the pre-mix for gas in a box to travel with you. If you are going to be cutting for an extended period of time, swapping out a chain for a sharp spare is quicker than sharpening the one on the saw, but either can be done during a break.

The only other advice that I could give you other than learn from someone who is a pro. Stop using the saw when it is not cutting properly due to a dull chain. I have seen WAY to many home improvement or just general TV shows that had someone forcing a chainsaw to cut by applying a TON of pressure to the bar or aggressively rocking the saw back and forth.. If nothing else please remember, a properly sharpened chain saw requires almost NO downward force on the bar to cut and if you are forcing a dull chain saw to cut you are dangerously close to a bad accident. As with all other tools a sharp tool is a safer tool and a dull tool is the most dangerous one you have.

So, If you are looking for a saw that will perform when asked and you have the resources I would recommend STIHL… There is nothing wrong with smaller saws and it’s not a contest to see who has the bigger bar, it’s about picking the right tool for the right job, besides if you do outgrow an entry level type saw, you can always keep them like I did for light limbing work when you do not want to lug around the BEAST.

Next Episode is all about Hand saws. New Production Timber Frame Saws, Carpenters saws, Japanese pull saws and specialty saws

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Friday, July 24, 2009

Whatcha Doin' Harry

Funny, nobody commented and asked "why do you call your husband, whose name is clearly Dave, Harry..." I don't actually have an answer. Its just one of those things... I just thought I would mention it.

Today's Installment of “Woodworking with Harry” ;-) involves hand planes and draw knives. Below are several prized hand planes, all of which have been handed down.

From left to right… No 6, K5, Unmarked, No 78, No 65. Small Draw Knife. I do have a much larger draw knife as well as another block plane similar to the 65 but they are in the shop being refurbished at the moment. What is not pictured is an assortment of Hock blades. Have to say that although not cheap, the Hock blades are some of the best I have EVER seen… they are thick and will hold and edge like a scalpel. As part of the next few projects it’s likely that I will rely heavily on the No 6 for the mass of the plane in order to finish off some rough lumber that will be ripped by hand. Speaking of Ripping and Crosscutting…..Next episode will cover several styles of saws. Bonus segment on what I would consider the best all around chain saw.

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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Say it again!

On Friday my husband said magic words to me after he got back from the town dump... Ok well he said words other than "you don't have to go to the dump this week honey", which are magical as well, but not what I am trying to talk about here.

The magical words that I speak of are in fact "I saw Gus". Gus is a local genius who drives around towns and calls people from Craigs list and gets items that would otherwise be thrown into landfills and either refurbishes them and sells them for a mint, or sells them as is. Whenever Dave says the words "I saw Gus" that is as good as him telling me Christmas is 6 times a year because inevitably I am getting something really good out of the deal. So when I heard those magic words I quickly asked "WHAT WHAT WHAT"... (That is a falsity, I actually squealed first and then asked What but I was trying to make you think I was so cool calm and collected). It seems that while wandering around Gus's store, Dave stumbled upon a mint rocking chair and a gorgeous (and antique) spinning wheel!!! He got them both for 1/15th of what they were worth AND he is keeping them out of landfills. We are proudly displaying them now at Swood for all to enjoy along with all our other "recycled" items.

Here they are:

For the record, they are not staying out on the front porch arranged in that manner, that was just for the picture ;)

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I Axed Dave to Post! :)

I have been bugging Dave (the husband, aka Harry) to help come up with some ideas for this blog. Finally he has provided me a MARVELOUS piece! He has also promised me that he will be contributing to the blog in the future!!! So look for his posts!! Thanks!

It’s not very often that I post, however once in a while I get the bug :) when something grabs my attention or if its possibly something that others may be interested in. Several weeks ago my Wife got two amazing documentaries… One I recall seeing MANY years ago but the overall concept had not stuck… this time however it was as if I were in a trance… I'm referring to the “One Man’s Wilderness” story about Richard Proenneke. What an Amazing story and equally amazing accomplishments with such a tiny compliment of basic hand tools. I was fascinated and look forward to watching it again. Highly recommend it, just wish there was more. Seeing this documentary sparked the creative juices again as well as the interest in hand tools… As you can see from some of the other posts I grew up with woodworking and tools and have many prized tools from my Dads collection which I still use today. The collection of power tools is HUGE and fills a two bay garage at home and I’ve used them over the years to complete cabinets, furniture, vanity’s etc… that could be a post all its own, however what we are focusing on here is the human powered.

Last year though I started to gain a much greater appreciation and fondness for the hand tools that my Dad passed down to me as well as the ones that I’ve been collecting since that time. Starting with the more basic (Similar to what Mr Proenneke had in his video) I’ll try to give some detail on each and then move on to some of the more task specific tools as we go. If you want any specifics, just drop a comment and I’ll get back to you.

Lets kick off the “Woodworking with Harry” Miniseries with an assortment which includes (Axe, Broad Axe, Double bit, Hatchets. Adz)

Some of these were handed down by my Dad, More recently, I purchased the double bit axe from ebay in Oregon for about 12 bucks and slapped a new handle on it. Didn’t take very long to put a nice razor edge on it. The Broad axe is probably to pitted to work with or restore but I’ll give it a shot and keep an eye out for a broad-axe that is in good shape. Other notables here are the $9.00 bowl adz that just arrived…. Ebay has proven to be quite a good resource for vintage tools. Some of these were previously painted and are in various stages of being brought back to original condition.

Stay tuned for the next installment which covers assorted Planes
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Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A political departure

A cow [15/365]Image by publicenergy via Flickr

I am not really an outspokenly political person. I have my opinions and I express them to Dave and that is pretty much it. I don’t like to debate politics out loud. Its just the way I am. Very rarely do I get worked up enough to mention something to anyone other than my immediate family. That being said, I think you will understand the level of frustration I felt when this was discovered.
Dave and I headed out with Tarynn to the local (to S-wood) farmers market to see if we could get some local veggies for our week’s meals. While out, I picked up a local paper and we headed back with our goods. I then went out to the front porch to set in my rocking chair. While enjoying the sunshine and fresh air I began to peruse this newspaper. I found an article about a woman in Vermont (swood is close to Vermont) who with her 1 cow, began to sell some wares at the local market such as soap, cheese and yogurt. Shortly after she began to sell her yogurt, the local community really caught on to it and she began to sell in excess of 300 cups per weekend. At I think $1.50 per cup, she was making a significant portion of her annual salary just making her yogurt, and was relying on this money to sustain her family. Then… the government catches word of what she is doing and they decide to demand she cease production until she gets the appropriate license to sell this yogurt. In order for her to do this, she needs to pasteurize the milk in a way that the government deems necessary and the equipment to do this is in excess of $10,000. Unfortunately this woman and her ONE COW cannot make pay this amount of money so she shuts down.

Now…that really burns my behind. How is this one lady and her one cow causing such a stir that the government has to get involved??? So she is shut down, has significantly less money for her family and now is struggling to make ends meet.

The story goes on. I guess someone near to her suggested she contact a Vermont college economics department. It’s their job every year to solve a “real world problem”. The class apparently built her a pasteurizing machine for her and put her BACK into business with the appropriate licenses. I shudder to think of what would have happened if they had not?

I am very passionate about making your own living and trying to keep your life sustainable but is that going to be possible if we have to get through all the red tape just to eat our own eggs or drink our own cow’s milk? If the person is selling the yogurt to the local community and they know they are buying unpasteurized yogurt, isn’t it up to them to decide if they want to buy it or not?
What do you think?

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Monday, July 20, 2009

George Washington

Only its not a Cherry Tree, it is a Pine Tree and it wasn't alive, it was dead but it is almost like George Washington... What it really is though is an insight on a future post to be made my my one and only husband. I will give you a hint to go with the preview.... he is making something by hand, with hand tools. Then he will post about it (yay).

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Beauty in the untamed


One of the reasons I love to go to s-wood so much is because of the lack of people and industry. I dont mean that we hate people but the crowds and industry take away from nature. I grew up near Boston so I am not used to seeing wild flowers just popping up randomly on the side of the road or in my driveway. S-wood is in a rural area and each home has its own character and story to tell. Just like the people in the homes.

here are some of the wild natural beauty that was spotted this weekend...

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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Apparently I am a professional mushroom photographer!

Dave and I have really been trying to focus on getting to know our surroundings. In order to do this, we are taking regular trips into the woods together and we are trying to stay within the confines of our land only. Each week we go to S-wood we are challenging ourselves to come back with 1 item that we would like to identify.

Last week we brought back 2 leaves and a picture of a blob of goop that I had found in the woods that turned out to be beech tree leaves, striped Maple leaves, and brain slime. I was so excited to learn we had a beech tree that this week when we were searching, we went back to the beech tree and found beech nuts!! This week I chose two items, one that turned out to be wild strawberries (yay me) and one turned out to be POSSIBLY a chanterelle Mushrom (any mushroom guru's please speak up) .

We also took some pictures while on our travels (of course)

It all sounds so romantic and glamorous doesn't it? The couple in love trying to better themselves and become more in sync and aware of their surroundings. I could leave it at that. I could totally let you all think we skip and frolic through the woods. Because I am the author of this blog, I get to leave out the part that the ENTIRE time we were in the woods I had about 7 deer flies that were apparently in LOVE with my shampoo and therefore buzzing constantly in my ears. I tried everything including using my baseball cap to swat at them. I was so freaked by the end of the walk I was overheated, sweaty and a little crazy!

Here are the pictures from our walk.

So check it out, we have our very own moose! I want to name him George. This picture was taken in the "ravine" which is not too far from the back of our house. A fresh moose print!

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

the big harvest

In our 'sustainability' experiment, we didn't much figure for the onslaught of slugs and natural disasters. Unfortunately that means that our yield is very low. I am talking extremely low. ON the plus side, we are making notes and learning exactly what it is that we messed up on, we are learning about the hazards we can control, and those that we cannot control, like 3 solid weeks of rain. I have so many notes on better placement of vegetables and marigolds... notes on marigolds! I have slug remedies, and natural bug remedies...Dave and I have also gained an ENORMOUS amount of respect for organic gardeners/farmers as it has seemed we would rid our garden of 1 type of pest and be riddled with another.
I have learned how to hand polinate cucumbers due to bad rains and lack of bee help! So even though our grand harvest (pictured below) may seem small... the knowledge gained has been priceless!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Phyllis Diller Tour 2009

I wanted to keep you all updated on the situation that I referred to Here In case you were curious about what ever came of the drunken chicken that I got at the chicken swap. I have excellent news. We treated her 2 more times for mites with Sevin and continued to feed her poly vi sol and a healthy feed and a VERY nice family (who also have great danes!) adopted her as an INDOOR chicken!! She is doing well and the family have named her ... sarah.

Model Spotlight: Pearl

Not long ago Dave and I decided we wanted to get a jump on egg production so we purchased 2 started pullets from MM. They came to us via this story (dude in my life, there is always a story). About a week after they came to live with us, they began to lay their cute tiny little eggs! Well now a month has passed and their eggs are larger. They are actually egg machines these two as they are laying pretty much daily. We were so excited about them and they came to us so healthy and vibrant, we actually got 2 more started pullets from MM who just started to lay yesterday.

One of the started black star sex link pullets from our first batch actually doesnt look like the other 3. I OFTEN wonder if she is an australorp who has lost her way and ended up in the black star pen. They all have black and gold feathers and she is all black and rather opalescent. I really like her, she came into the flock and just immediately started ruling the roost. Within 24 hours she was roosting in the best spot (next to uncle ted) and determining the order that the other chickens can enter the coop at night. Pretty hysterical! In the 6 weeks or so that she has been with us, her comb has grown quite a bit and then kind of flopped over.

(She has a comb over and she is very sensitive about it so try not to stare)

So without further blathering, I will now introduce you to our one and only Pearl (aka Lucy-you-have-alot-of-splaining-to-do)

(doesnt she look like an australorp rather than a black star?)
comb over

Also, since I KNOW you have been dying to see a picture of Pearl's house, like the paparazzi I hid in the bushes and snuck a picture of where she lives:

And here is Ninja chicken and the other black star sex link (who looks nothing like Pearl) named Margie.

And lastly, our best farm helper Django who is very busy in this picture holding down the couch to make sure it does not get away. What a good helper!

That's it for us today. :)

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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Green eggs and ham

A few weeks ago, D and I were driving down the road and I noticed a sign that said "free pallets". "Free Pallets? You love Pallets!" I exclaimed.
And so he does, and so we stopped and we took a couple pallets (read: as much as we could fit into the truck) and we were on our way. Fast forward to today. THE SUN CAME OUT!!! And off we went like little worker bees into the yard to do some long forgotten chores.

I gave up on the lettuce and the radishes(old) and pulled the wilted and eaten remains out, turned the soil and plopped in MORE lettuce, some more Tom Thumb peas and green beans. I hope that since it rained all spring that maybe this second half of the summer will give me some warm fuzzies and let me grow SOMETHING. I am going to be on diligent slug patrol which makes the chickens happy as they just so happen to be 15 feet from the garden and when I find one, I normally chuck it over the fence into their pen. You can hear their feet running to whatever mommy just tossed us. Its hysterical!

Dave ran off to the back part of our lot to create what we have been dreaming of!! Ok so some girls want diamonds, others want cars, I want a compost pile! My husband is CAPTAIN ROMANCE so he wanted to please me by creating this masterpiece. Backstory: last year I wanted a compost bin SO BAD that I ordered one from ebay, the kind you put stuff into and spin and it makes compost in 3 months. Well it didnt get here for 3 months!!! Showed up at the end of november which is useless. We did however put all of our kitchen scraps and some yard scraps into it every week sine we got it. Now its full!! Since we got it so late, it wasnt ready for the garden when we started it and now that its full, we need a place to put it! So my darling husband is making me a pile that we can continue to create this beautiful fertile yum for our plants. NEXT year I am going to add large quantities of this black gold into my garden and NEXT year its going to be sunny and we are going to have a lush flourishing garden and we will harvest it and then move to teh NEXT stage of our learning which will be Canning!

Once again I have gone off on a tangent and forgotten my own point!

This compost area is 100% made with recycled materials and materials left over from other projects (chicken coop)!!
<img src="Photobucket" alt="" />

Isnt it lovely?

Also, today i got my first egg from one of my other chickens. Yes folks, thats 3 eggs a day now!! we are moving on up!!! Hopefully soon my younger hens, who are now all 17 weeks, will start laying too and I will find myself inundated with eggs.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


I realize it seems that we are constantly floundering and failing at what we are attempting right now. Its okay though, we would rather fail right now than when it counts and so this is our whole point. We are trying to learn stuff that we dont know. We are struggling to become more self sufficient and less reliant on other people for our own survival. We are trying to shrink our footprint on the planet and do things the "right way". There is alot of good that comes out of this, and it is alot of fun too. There are also parts of it that are not fun. Growing and raising your own food (like my dying garden and my mensa chickens) is alot of fun but its not enough. Our garden is totally failing because of the rain. I think we had something like 23 days of rain out of 30 and to be honest I think that is stretching the stats. I think we had like 2 days of sun and the rest of the days rained. Slugs have completely denuded our potato plants and the radishes failed for the same reason. I actually replanted the radishes though and I am hopeful it will work.

In an effort to learn about the less fun part of self sufficiency and in effort to shrink that giant footprint, we will be considering ways to provide our own meat as well. We are talking about raising meat birds and we are talking about different critters that are indigenous to our little corner of the world. As much as I hate to think about it, a really big problem in this world is the current mistreatment of animals and the methane those animals create. Raising my own animals I would know they were humanely treated and I would know they lived a good life. Also.... I have ALWAYS wanted to know what wanders around in our woods at night (or in the day) so I got a trail camera. We set it up last weekend and Dave picked it up today to see what we got.

Something set off the camera but as you can see, it was fast like lightening. Either that or... its bigfoot... It could be bigfoot... or we have alot to learn! Chances are good whatever set the camera off crossed the path and therefore was history by the time the camera woke up and took the shot. We left it up there for another week. If I get another weeks worth of blank shots, then the camera needs to be moved. Perhaps the train goes across ways or maybe there is no trail lol. We shall see!!!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Mensa Chickens

I have thought that my chickens are exceptional really the whole time we have had them. When they spill their water, or when they fill their feeder with litter, I am always defending them. No matter what Dave says I am all "no our chickens are geniuses, you don't need to do that". Between you and I though? I am really starting to wonder. Dave created these great roosts that fold up. They are specifically made for 6 chickens, 3 on the top, 3 on the bottom. Then on the other side of the coop there are other roosts for the other 5 chickens. Its not hard to figure out. It became obvious to me fairly early in the whole roost game that things were not going to go the way *I* had planned them. Now what am I going to do? See, it all started when I realized that the chickens actually vie for the top roost next to our man Ted who has quickly become the most important member of the flock. Every night I would sneak out there and watch very quietly as they hopped on and off their roosts, very interesting to see how they decide who gets to stay where.

Ever notice how I tend to get off topic alot? My point of this entire update is that over the last few months, that ONE roost on the top has become THE MOST important place on the planet for them. So important in fact that tonight when I snuck out there to see them sleeping (with my camera) I found this:

Do you see the one in the middle that has her wing kinda up in so she can fit? That's 5 chickens in the same space that was made for only 3! My extremely smart and terribly over thinking husband designed this so that 3 Hens belong on the top and 3 full sized hens belong on the bottom on the bottom... Instead we have 5 on top and 1 on the bottom? The other 5 are indeed BRILLIANT as they are behind me spread evenly on the one level perch comfortably sleeping.... My chickens are NOT exceptional.