Friday, September 17, 2010

Back up generator - Dave

So, A couple weeks ago I posted something to the survival group about a new less expensive option for hooking up your house to a generator. Although you can still use dedicated transfer switches and circuits, they are not necessary.
Here is the finished product. The top right breaker is now a special dual pole 30 amp which is wired to the outside of the house (next picture). The bracket which fits on the panel is a sort of lock-out which prevents the 200 amp mains from being on, while the generator is feeding the panel. Same principle as the transfer switch only cheaper. Since this backfeeds the panel, every circuit in the house could be used (limited of course by the power you have in the generator).
Outside hookup.
Although this increased the cost, we went with 75 ft of 6 GA wire... This allows us to move the generator well away from the house to an outbuilding and the 6 GA is capable of handling a larger generator up to 50 amps. The spare box, and breaker shown are for when the larger generator is installed, right now we have a smaller 30 amp 7500 watt gen.
Its such a simple solution I'm ./pun SHOCKED! that it wasn't created sooner. Anyone wishing to install even a TINY generator to their house can complete the task on the cheap.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

So sorry!!

Fall is normally my favorite time of the year. I love the weather and the colors that we get in New England.  The weather is perfect for all of those out door activities like walks, hikes, bike riding. Its a great time to fish and have deck parties... It is so sad really. I have spent much of my free head space time these last weeks planning next year's garden!! Trying to assess what I can do differently and what I should repeat. Plan locations of next year's crops and plan which crops to skip. I have been silently wishing this was June and not September. I feel as though I am betraying my beloved fall!!

To cheer fall up, I got a new toy that will help me enjoy the weather!! All it needs is a basket on the front and a big flag on the back and it will be totally ME!!

So Fall, I am very sorry for betraying you as you approach. I still love your colors and pumpkins, I love your blowing leaves and crisp mornings. I love your holidays and I love your beef stew days. I just have had such a great run with Summer it has been hard to say goodbye.

Monday, August 30, 2010

I love Lucy!

I have to admit, I am pretty bummed that the gardening season is winding down. I learned a lot about our garden in the last two years. First and foremost I learned that our garden is very shaded, much more than we thought, and therefore it takes weeks longer for us to get fruit or to ripen than the average NH garden. We are dangerously close to being too late and yet our first beefsteak is ripening on the vine as I speak. That's right, I said FIRST beefsteak. The unripened fruit is plentiful but we just don't have the sunshine to back it up!
Summer Crookneck Squash - 150 Seeds
Powdery mildew, a Biotrophic FungusImage via Wikipedia

Yesterday I cleared out several beds. I pulled the old bean plants as well as the snap peas. I also ended up with a pretty darn good case of powdery mildew that got to my squash and zucchini as well as my pumpkin plant so I pulled them as well. Looking out over the garden and seeing these bare spots really brings home the season's end.  Now poor Harry has to put up with my winter blues and hair brained schemes that keep me (and my brain and eventually him) busy. Think of it a little like an older, more modern I love Lucy episode.

Shmoopywood is good, we have not been working on it. Life has just taken us away from preparing our home in the north. Instead, we have been focusing on preparing our southern home. This is not a negative thing, its a very good thing. We have taken several large steps in getting to where we need to be!! I am sure Dave will be happy to help me with the "milling your own wheat" post I have swirling in my head too! Which is one of the winter ideas. Until then... hasta la bye bye ;)
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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Blue Angels


airshow 259 The family, including our kids, hopped in our truck and headed about 45 minutes east of us to go to the Blue Angels air show.  I had never been to an air show before so I really didn’t know what to expect. I knew the weather would be really nice and I also know that Hubby LOVES the Blue Angels so we packed up our crap and headed out. I made sure I grabbed my camera. We got there around 11:30 and stayed at the actual show until right before the blue angels started, then we headed out to the parking lot with the idea that we would be able to beat some of the traffic. These are the pictures I got from the parking lot!




This picture they were turning and went right over our heads.

airshow 360 We were really lucky that we decided to handle things that way because the news said this morning that some people were sitting 100 feet from their parking space three hours later! I have to say that the show was lovely and the kids flying the planes were incredibly friendly and kind. I also have to say that the planning for this event was VERY poor. They didn’t let people bring coolers and ice (not sure why not but ok) and this prevented most people from bringing their own food. Then they only figured 70,000 people for the entire weekend. Yesterday alone was more than 70,000 people and by about 2pm they had completely run out of water. The food was 1hour wait in line! It was really bad.



I zoomed in on this here at home and you can see the pilots heads :)


Because we left a bit early we were fully able to enjoy the show (90%) and the whole ride home only took 45 minutes. It was incredible! what did you do this weekend?airshow 131












This is an idea of how many people were there.

airshow 384

When we left people were pulled over on the side of highway 95S because the Blue Angels were passing over the road.

airshow dave 200

me and the rug rats

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Ark -

And now, I present to you, my better half and his spy truck!
This post is for the boyz :) 
And Chris

The Ark, You could call this a number of things, the ultimate in recycling, weird, cool, whatever. We’ve named it the ark.

Most common question we get? What is it?

This is a 1973 Steyr-Puch Pinzgauer 710K…. Like that clears anything up. Ok, its an Austrian Military vehicle that was developed back in the 70’s, this one spent some time as a Swiss Radio truck (which makes it the 710K) version. Most notable for this version is the hard top, AC and the three across seating in the back with a table. The table was meant as a platform for Radio/command gear and the AC is to keep of that cool in the summer. The very back has a custom jump seat installed and the interior (although the proper layout for a Radio/command vehicle) is heavily customized as well as being dotted with Civilian creature comforts.

Its an absolute blast to drive and has become a daily driver for me around town. Although capable of 65mph, its more comfortable at 55 so its not really suited for long stretches of highway travel.

You can see by this view… the rather interesting layout of the Dash. Bottom left behind the driver seat is the gas heater (not functional currently due to a missing part) but its meant to run directly off the unleaded fuel tank. No Power steering, vacuum assisted drum brakes, 5 speed with two speed transfer case, the three levers on the center console are hydraulic’s to control the use of 4x4, locking the rear and locking the front axels. To the right of that we have a glove compartment (not exciting) window fluid washer and the passenger seat. Moving up top we’ve got a newly installed radio with MP3 and a CB. The observation/gunners hatch is FULLY functional.

While still in the front of the vehicle, you can see the power plant (with doghouse and front seats removed for maintenance. What you see is a Steyr Engine, Inline 4 cylinder, Air Cooled, Unleaded Gas. 89 Horse power. Yep, even though this was designed in the 70’s they installed gas engine, the diesels didn’t come out until later. Because of the military design and engineering, you’ll notice that everything is accessible very easily so that things can be repaired in the field.


Moving out back, we see the table which was designed for radio gear/maps or whatever the 3 passengers in the back wanted. I’ve installed OEM weapons mounts and have begun the process of installing VHF, CB, Scanning, HDTV, Weather Alert, and Shortwave receive gear.  Everything is powered by a 420 amp hour battery bank made up of deep cycles. Very hush hush, spy stuff 



Anyway… This is our latest addition and should serve us well during any emergency or off-road travels. Should probably also mention the other unique feature of this marvel of engineering…. Portal Axels and some massive interco swampers… In theory this should keep us from getting stuck provided we don’t go over the capabilities of the truck. Other common questions:

Is that A Volkswagen: NO!
Where can I get one: Ebay or Craigslist
How Much: Depends on condition, Average 11K but can be as high as 40K depending on modifications
How do you fix it: Just like any other truck
Is that 4 wheel drive: Yes, And then some!
How about parts: well they are still made and almost identical so there are plenty of parts available
Does it float: Only for a second
Is it top heavy: No actually is got a VERY low center of gravity and can do 45 degrees on a side slope yikes.
Why did you get it: Zombies

Check them out on youtube… they can do some pretty amazing things, just search for pinzgauer. This is one of my favorites….

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

What, its what's for dinner!

Last night we went shopping online for a grain mill and for grain. This is something the husband has wanted to do for a long time and much research was completed to get us to this spot. We got the Country Living one (pictured left) and 45lbs of wheat to start. I guess this is going to be another one of our interesting adventures! Part of what prompted us to do this was the seriously rising costs of wheat. 

I don't know if you are watching it or if you care to go there and that is totally cool but if you are concerned about economy and shortages, you should have a look at what is going on with wheat by just googling it. Maybe you will finish reading it and think that I have finally lost my coconuts or maybe it will stir something within you that makes you want to find out more information. Either way I am cool with it. I have not lost my mind (yet) but I am interested in the whole wheat milling process. I think it would be incredibly neat to mill wheat and then further process that into bread. Also, if you were with me last winter, you should know that bread has been one of my main focuses during the winter months because I would love to be able to create that perfect loaf!

What are you doing today to help make your family more self sustained? What have you done in the last week to help spare our environment? Do you have any long term plans for your family in these ways or do you think people who make these types of plans are cuckoo? lol
It wouldn't suck to hear from you!

p.s. Chris, the zombie spy truck post is coming!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Fall is Coming!

Our garden is winding down, the beans and snap peas are spent, the squash is slowing. Yes, i still have some watermelon ripening as well as my peppers and potatoes. Sadly, I see evidence of the fall creeping up on us. The kids are headed back to school Wednesday, Tarynn to begin her Senior year in high school and Andrew to start his Freshman year. We are taking time to enjoy each other as we all know, our time together will change soon as they fly away from the nest. We are planning our next hatch which will be in the winter, and we are also planning next year’s garden. We have learned that our garden is a bit shadier than others so our garden is slightly behind and slower to ripen. Not sure what the ramifications of this are, I guess we run the risk of losing our tomatoes or harvest to weather. We like our wooded yard though so I am not sure we are willing to change that, but we can plant more creatively to make it work for us.

Yesterday I got to have a play date with my friend’s puppy Nycon. Nycon’s family was going to be away from home all day and since he is just a small puppy (7.5 months old and 100+ pounds) he needed someone to watch him. Originally his family was just wondering if I could come and take him for a walk or something but this morphed into a fun play date for Noah and then into Day of the danes. I will leave you with pictures of our youngest Dane and his best bud having a day together.

Enjoy your last days of warmth.

Trip1 001

Noah and Nycon 3 months ago

daneday 034

Nycon and Noah today


playing puppies.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

And Now for something completely different – Video Blog #1

I have been basically sitting on my hind end all day feeling sorry for myself that my vacation is over. I hate that I have to wait another 6 months or so until I get to do the things that I love to do… you know, sleeping in etc. SO in protest of Monday, I have done nothing all day long. Then I decided that I wanted to blog. I love blogging but sometimes I just have trouble with content.

I headed outside with my camera and hoped for inspiration. Then, suddenly, it came to me! A video blog! Well, I guess I thought that maybe trying something different around here would be kind of fun? I dont know how many people are really reading me anyway so I am not shy or embarrassed about having my voice heard. Its actually what I do for a living! lol  So I thought I would start off with a tour of the chicken area. In this tour you get to meet all the girls (and the rooster) plus you meet Frankenstein and Noah. Django could not be reached for comment (he is napping).

There are 10, but they are 10-20 seconds each. The first video, the one that showed the front of the chicken yard was corrupt so we start off with “this is the rest of the chicken yard” lol sorry.

The New pen

The old pen

Inside the coop






So that our backyard chicken habitat and 2 of 3 Great Danes. Feel free to post comments or whatever if you think that this post sucks or if you loved it :)



Thursday, August 12, 2010

I made squash!

I feel like I have accomplished something when something “unusual” comes out of my garden. Nevermind the fact that everwhere I look it says that Yellow Squash is the easiest to grow. I am happy to have one come out of my garden successfully! I also had to hand pollinate my squashONE lone female pumpkin flower. All the flowers all summer have been male. When the female budded, I just couldn't leave that to chance! Strange because the same thing is happening with my zucchini. All the flowers have been male.

Anyway, behold in all its glory… my squash!


(there is another one coming in to be picked in a few days too!)

In other news, we have been really busy going from amusment to amusement and seeing all the sites. Today we were in Faneuil hall and the New England Aquarium. It was nice!!!

When we got home, it was discovered that Frank pooped on the rug and then walked through it and got it on the couch, the wall, the rug and on the pillows (about 9 of them) so off I went to Target to get new pillows lol. You really do have to have a good sense of humor with Great Danes!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

A little bit of this and that

Every year we take a nice long vacation with our cousin from Florida. She is 14 this year and has been raised the majority of her life in Florida so you can imagine that New Hampshire is definitely a change for her when she gets here. We aren't doing anything special really, just the touristy things that the residents of this area do not usually get the opportunity to attend. Either because when we see the beauty every day we tend to not really “SEE” the beauty any more. We will be taking a trek to VT to see the Ben and Jerry’s factory, maybe go to Boston for a day, climb a mountain, and we will also be headed to the cabin for a day as well. We have a week to accomplish all this and the weather looks really hot too.

Map picture

The garden is doing great, we have started to harvest the cherry tomatoes from the garden as well as cucumbers. I have quite a few yellow squash growing as well. The beans are fairly well spent as well as the sugar snap peas. I will see if I can find a few minutes to snap pictures of the garden. I do have to say on the negative side though, I have had to hand pollinate most of my squash. I cannot for the life of me get the bees into my garden!

The critters in my household have not faired as well. I am not sure if I told you but the little stinky puppy brought home kennel cough. That chain reactioned through the entire house of dogs. One of our guys is an older dude so we were really concerned about him getting it so they all ended up going on Docycycline to prevent the secondary infections which could be deadly to him. Danes are sensitive and sometimes when they get sick, it can cause them to break out with other problems as well. My guys all started with Acne, or Staph. Apparently the Doxy wiped out their ability to fight the staph. Django got it in his eyes as well as his chest and belly. Frank got it between his toes (see picture). So now those two are on more antibiotics to prevent more problems.

cam 007

Django also has other issues. It seems like he is losing his back end. We aren't really sure what the issue is. I could go into the whole sordid detail of what each vet thinks it is but what it all comes down to in the end is the treatments are the same…There is no treatment. So we have started acupuncture and chiro with him. It was really pretty cool! I am not sure today if what I see is really an improvement or if it is just me wanting it to have worked but he seems like he is walking way less stiffly.

So that is us and the state of our little homestead. I feel like this summer is zooming by us without any chance and hope to slow it down.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Dog Post!

Side note: I recently decided in my small little brain that if I were to get a laptop, I then would have more time, magically, to blog. I have had the laptop since Monday. It is now Thursday and I have only just now had a chance to blog. Having the new laptop does not give me something to blog about though so I will have to stick with whats going on around here.

Noah graduated from Puppy Star Kindergarten and because he is such a wonder and a marvel, they have accelerated his learning and he skipped a grade.  I wandered around proudly for a week, and then gathered my pride and a bag full of treats and took the little wonder dog to his first LEVEL TWO obedience class.  We introduced ourselves and the teacher set the stage and we began to run through our tricks. It didnt take long for me to figure out that although Noah is an extremely smart boy (and rather cute I might add), his owner, is just an owner. His owner is not a marvel, wonder owner or any great amazing "natural" obedience trainer. No, sadly, Noah's owner is just a dog owner and at best, mediocre. 

IN case I had not really grasped this, I spent the entire evening sweating, hollering commands and chasing the little IMP around the arena. I think I may have even seen one of the other owners stifle a laugh!  Thankfully though, Noah really is a genius and he was able to guide me and we got through the day.

Oh and our homework is... teach your dog to spin, no direction, no cheating and looking it up but we must teach that dog to spin on command. I don't know about you, but I go to these things because I do not posess the ability to teach a dog to spin on command, without direction. That is the whole point after all.
Thanks lady. Thanks for making me feel confident and secure. I am sure that attitude will rub off on the dog and he will remain well rounded.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

One More Thing?

F├╝rstenau, Winter im Oberdorf (winter in the u...Image via Wikipedia

This summer has really been fantastic. The weather is amazing. I feel like this is well deserved due to the horrible and almost intolerable winter we had. I am not really sure what made last winter so intolerable. Perhaps I was left alone with my own thoughts too long. I lack winter hobbies in a big way. Harry and I started to bowl which was super fun and I got back into needlepoint and puzzling but I think that was not enough to keep my mind away from the garden I was dying to tend and the life I want to lead.

Summer for me is a small glimpse into the life that I wish I had. Tending the animals and weeding the garden allows me to transport myself in my head to a 20 acre farm that I wish I had! The real stinker is that with the economy, I see these gorgeous and affordable farms going up on the market because people cannot afford to support themselves. They are within a price range that Harry and I could afford but we can’t take that leap due to our family situation and the fact that we already have 2 houses. Selling Swood would not only be heart breaking for me, but also, I think, in its current state, near impossible. Buying a third house would spread us too thinly.

My brain brings me here today just because I have been really enjoying the weather and life in general but there is always that “one more thing” that I wish we had. I suppose life is ALWAYS going to be like that. Do you suppose there is anyone that sits and says “wow my life is totally full and I desire nothing else”? Or do you think there is always “one more thing” they wished they had?
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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Hot day!

It is a very hot day at SW south. While my husband is busy working incredibly hard out in the scorching heat, I am busy taking pictures frivolously of all of our accomplishments.  (That is not entirely true, I actually cleaned the heck out of the inside of the house, did laundry and made lunch, but it sounds way more dramatically horrible to think that he was slaving away at the fencing for the new hen enclosure and I was eating bon-bons on the deck right?)

Anyway, I thought I would take some pictures of how the hens were beating the heat. This is Lavinia (formally yellow headed chicken) busy at digging herself a hole.

Here is the unnamed hen sporting her new saddle. She

made it crooked!

Myopic chicken is already well in the hole and AHA! I have been spotted! How Ironic!

here we also have my squash plants mixing with the massive pumpkin plant and watermelon that is taking over the world!

And the camera shy Noah trying his best to hide.

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Newest Member!

I am pleased to introduce the newest member of the shmoopywood clan.

Igor the wonder cat.
also known as Igors, Pepper, and the Mousinator.
We rescued him from a local shelter and he has already ventilated the puppy and made himself quite comfortable!

Monday, July 19, 2010


I was outside this morning emptying the puppy and I saw this. I just had to share it! Even if that meant sharing it with my low budget cell phone camera, I still found it that beautiful. I guess I find it beautiful because its an example of something I did both right, and very wrong (see last post). This photo was taken at 6:30am EST lol.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

I keep making mistakes!

A pumpkinImage via Wikipedia
We have been suffering a very dry summer. Last year we were floating up to our eyeballs in water. I think I read somewhere that the month of June 2009, it rained all but 2 days in my region. This year it has been the exact opposite. There are 2 rainy days committed to my memory and they were this past Saturday, and yesterday. So you can imagine that either way is challenging for the garden. I noticed this morning out of my one open eye when I was emptying the puppy at 6am, that the larger bed I had planted squash, pumpkin and melon in looked like a jungle! Yesterday when I was inspecting, it looked like a garden! The water we received yesterday has made these plants so giant and so beautiful that I am getting ready to write down in my garden journal (yes I keep one of those) how you SHOULDNT plant melon and squash in one bed together!

When I put them in the ground, my thought process went something like this:

me: "hey are you sure you should put pumpkin, watermelon and squash all in the same bed?"
me: "yeah it will be fine, why"
me: "welllll I have never seen them grown before but I am pretty sure you need a huge plant to make a 20lb pumpkin"
me: "bah you dont know what you are talking about, I am doing what I want"

By the time they reach maturity, it will be a tangled mess of leaves and fruit! Pumpkin doesn't mature for MONTHS yet and already it has completely overtaken the bed. When I get home, I will take pictures, either today or tomorrow. The weather was raining again this morning but now its sunny so I can't even imagine how large these plants will be by end of business ;)

At least I can laugh at myself!
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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Dude, What Is That?

If you think about it, its actually pretty funny that I do the things that I do. For example, remember back when I started all my seeds for the garden? Well, I was very careful and meticulous in planting them according to the packet, making sure they had the appropriate light for the appropriate amount of time and finally, I was very careful in MARKING all of my seedlings with those funny little plastic pointy things that you can write on. I made rows and rows. I started 3 different kinds of tomatoes you see, and I was so sure this was going to be my year!!

Shortly after planting, maybe 3 weeks or so, my tomatoes started dying out, whole flats just pooping out. We weren't sure why, maybe over watering, maybe not? not sure! In a panic, I planted the last of my seeds. Do you see where this may be going?

Fast forward to planting them on the deck and in the planters, removing the neat little plastic things, trying to remember which ones were which. Wait, I dont think these are grape tomatoes, they died and I think I replaced them with beefsteak... or was it cherry? or... SHIT!

Thats right.

Even today we aren't sure what is growing on the vines. We have identified ONE tomato plant of 10. This sweet little number which is apparently bestowing many fruit upon us.
Even in my glory I still am somewhat of a garden failure this year. Maybe next year I will get it right?

The peas seem to think so :) And although I know what they are, (sugar snap peas), I am unaware of anything else about them. Including when I planted them lol.

There is alot to learn in gardening!! Thankfully at this current time, I am not trying to grow our main food supply because I am afraid my family would STARVE.

Monday, July 12, 2010

I spoke too soon

Closeup of a green wormImage by via Flickr
Remember how I was JUST saying last week that my garden was doing so much better than last year? Well... Friday I came home from work to realize that my cauliflower looked as though it had been through a grinder. It was all chewed up! When I got closer, I realized that it was little leaf colored wormies having a feast on my garden! I started to pick them off one by one, with the hens standing just on the other side of the fence. (They love it when I have garden troubles because I inevitably end up putting things down their gullets, like little green wormies). There were just too many to pick off! I am a NEW gardener. This is the second garden I have ever had in my entire life so you can imagine my panic!. I grabbed the Sevin that I happen to have around the house because I have chickens, and I doused them.

I know... it was pesticides...

But I had to!

Then I moved on to the rest of my garden for inspection. The potatoes look very bad. In just 1 day they went from looking full and having flowers, to looking like they were dying out. Since I am a new gardener, I am not smart and I did not save the seed bag so I am not sure if i planted "early" potatoes or not and I wasn't sure if they were close to harvest. So I ran back in the house to the internet and read that I could carefully dig to see if there are any mature taters.
Sounded easy...
I dug to china.
Never having successfully grown potatoes, I had no idea really where to look for them.
I eventually found a tiny little potato, and it was (laugh) surprisingly close to the actual plant lol.

I filled the holes back up, did a little "please live a few more weeks" jig, and moved on to my garlic which also looks very sad and dead/dying.
I pulled one

these I know should be ready, they were planted back in October after all.

but alas, smaller than a ping pong ball yet the plants are dying rapidly.

I think the rest of the garden is ok. I have one cherry tomato plant that is so full of green maters that it just may keel over :) (dont worry I do have it in a cage its not going to fall over)

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Thursday, July 8, 2010

You got a saddle for that thing?

There is a new Sheriff in town and that Sheriff is named Mike. We got Mike back when the new chickens were first hatched. We figured if we grabbed a new rooster (this was to be Ted's replacement) when he was little, he would be raised with the new chickens and think he is one of them and to be honest, my theory was spot on! (Apparently I can be right from time to time.) He not only loves his girls, but he also is very good to them.

Now we have to try to get over a more delicate matter. That is the matter of his rather rotund girth. You see, Mike, in all his glory is a Jersey Giant. G-I-A-N-T. With all my bloody research about the perfect breed rooster, and all my searches on the internet, you would think that the word GIANT would ring a bell somewhere right? My hens are not giants. Do you see where I am going with this? Mike is amazing, he is nice, protective of his girls, he lets me carry him around, and his crow is very low key and quiet. These are all great qualities in the king of the yard and for this, we are so thankful. What I can't stand is how he steps on the hens and uh... the bare backs... oh the bare backs...

So I come to you good blog people of the internets... If you had the PERFECT rooster, what could you do to keep him from single handedly removing all of your hens feathers during *uh* a dance.... *cough*...

I wish.

Harvested summer radishes.Image via Wikipedia
I am having a heck of a time acquiring a packet of radish seeds. You see, we already planted, grew and harvested our first round and I thought since it happened so quickly we would be able to go ahead and plant another round. I mean its only the second week of July! I could probably do this again twice before the growing season is over and that would make Hubby oh so very happy. I then started to think how cool it would be to grow different species of radish so I ran off to my local store to grab a packet.



Not a single one.

So now I think to myself "ok, fine... I will go somewhere else and grab a packet"... but no! there are none to be found anywhere! The only place I can find them is on Amazon. I love Amazon but I really hate to order
them online and pay shipping plus to me its a wasteful delivery...

I mean its JULY RIGHT? I SHOULD BE ABLE TO FIND RADISHES AT MY LOCAL STORE RIGHT? I guess I am strange to want to plant radishes multiple times throughout the year and going forward I will remember that I need to plan ahead and buy more than one package of radish.

Sorry for the rant.

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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Everything is inging

Everything is good.
The plants are growing
The chickens are laying
the rooster is crowing
Noah is... Noah is... crap... uh.... Noahing??

Ah well I lost it with the puppy but the truth is everything really is status-quo here at SW South. We have been really excited about the progress of all of our plants considering how utterly craptastic last years garden was. This year we are having quite the opposite in fact, we have not had rain in like 5 weeks or some such craziness and today's temperatures will reach 99 degrees and this is to be sustained through Saturday! The plants love it as long as we remember to water them thoroughly. Yesterday I had to make 3 trips out there to water! Plants started to wither a bit.
Its very exciting to me because with the exception of the squash, all of our plants are started by me and some of them date back to February!!

The chickens are hot but all of them are starting to lay now which is very exciting for me as well because we hatched 3 of these hens ourselves!

Our boy Noah is growing strong and happy. This is a picture our friend (and his breeder) Sterling took of him Saturday while he was running around with his sister.  He is now about 14 weeks but truthfully i keep losing track of his age as mine increases :) He is a lover and if I do say so myself he is extremely handsome! What an incredible mixture of curiosity, love, happiness, and energy he is turning out to be.

SO for now, this is all I have but promise to keep you posted and stuff as things continue progressing :)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Summer FINALLY!!

Summer is here for real! How do I Know this? Well I know it for two reasons because D and I have already started attending farmers markets and we are fishing again! The farmers markets around here are small but I think as more people show interest in local foods they will get bigger. I already can see the difference between last year and this year which is great. We also live in the North East so this means that June farmer’s markets are full of bread, jams, strawberries, strawberries and more strawberries. This is ok of course, I realize things are not quite in season. We should be seeing peas and beans soon enough though and then comes the beautiful tomatoes!

Last week’s trip to the FM yielded us some wonderful jam, homemade fresh spinach delights and some organic dog treats. It also got Noah some new people action. Its important to us to make sure we properly socialize a great dane puppy because of our experience in rescue etc. You do not want an unfriendly 150+ pound dog, trust me. Noah is a delight, he loves everyone and everything. NOTHING scares him and he is genuinely happy all the time. Sadly he is also VERY energetic and I am not lol. He is also a bit of a spaz but that is normal puppy behavior. I love watching him try to make his legs work the way they should lol he is very dorky and clumsy all the time. Dragging him around the FM was priceless and people are always shocked to hear he is not a weim.

Our garden is … eh… well its 80% better than it was last year! That’s for sure! It looks as though we may actually get tomatoes and potatoes this year. We have already harvested our first round of radishes and they were reported to be delish! The slug population is nil because the rain is nil. That has been hard to manage. We aren’t doing so well with the corn though, its only about 6-10” high and its July 1st! I don’t know what is going ot happen with it. I have to also say that my day lilies are also JUST blooming so I think the sunlight and habitat of my yard is prolonging the season. Hopefully the warmth will hold out long enough for them to become something amazing!

The chickens are fantabulous. Ted Junior has moved to his new home (finally!!) and is keeping watch over 10 assorted hens. The family is wonderful and I have no concerns over him at all. Our Mike (Jersey Giant) has started to crow very quietly and low toned. He is a super nice roo, lets hope it stays that way because he is enormous. The hens are great, new kids are already laying their tiny little eggs.

Monday, June 21, 2010

M.D. Creekmore at The Survivalist Blog – a survival blog dedicated to helping others prepare for and survive disaster – with articles on bug out bag contents, survival knife choices and a wealth of other survival information is giving away a 1,000 round case of 9mm – 124 Grain FMJ (a $200 value – donated by LuckyGunner)! To enter, you just have to post about it on your blog. This is my entry. Visit The Survivalist Blog for the details.

ah ah ah ah Staying Alahhhhhhahivee

As the title indicates we are still here, still staying alive still trucking along. I also feel it is important to remind you that we are also still very much reading, and sometimes commenting, on all of your blogs as well.  Puppies, apparently, are exhausting little boogers who do not sleep at all ever. My husband and I are not very good when we are sleep deprived, therefore you have not heard from us since the little bundle of energy has entered our household.  For that we are sorry.

I have been still working on the gardening. Currently in the garden I have the following items growing:
  • Tomatoes (cherry, roma, and beefsteak)
  • Jalepeno Pepper
  • Spinach
  • Peas
  • Green beans
  • Zucchini
  • green peppers
  • potatoes
  • garlic
  • pumpkin
  • watermelon
  • honeydo
  • straight squash
  • cucumbers
  • radishes
  • corn -- in my front yard
My tomatoes are doing MUCH better than last year. Last year we got the blight and total we got 3 cherry tomatoes. But the Green beans will not germinate (planted them 3 times) and I lost a whole bed of cantaloupe and said "forget it" (only in less pleasant wording) and planted the watermelon in that bed.  I dont understand it, there are no slugs (yet), the sun is out, life is good yet not thriving! Very strange and foreign to me.

Dave made a path to the dog's fenced in yard and let the chickens into there, and as you can see, they have completely denuded the entire back yard of any greenery. They accomplished this in 3 weeks only! That yard was full of leaves and weeds and the occasional blade of grass yet they completely emptied it out of these substances. This is good, and bad all in the same breath. I mean eventually we may want a back yard. The chickens are fertilizing it with their poo. I am thinking we should block off portions and plant greenery, clover, etc that they will like and thrive on and then let them have access to it again after it grows in. Rinse and Repeat.

Will keep you posted.

But for now, this is it. I bid you a see ya soon and here are the pictures of our life currently!
completely denuded yard.
Some of our raised beds
The rest of our raised beds and the chickens in their "old" enclosure.

Radishes radishing
Tomatoes growing (and my feet) in the container garden.
We have 2 topsy turvey tomatoes (testing them) and then 3 plants in the beds and 4 in containers to see which do better.