Saturday, February 23, 2008

Unwanted Visitor

The other day as I was searching away on the net I heard some low growling and grumbling. I turned to look and saw this. OK, first of all, why is that puppy using my cute little night stand with inlaid marble (that my mother gave me for my birthday three years ago) as a platform to look outside? Second of all, usually there is a cup of coffee or some such thing on there and now I know who is knocking them on the floor.

And on the subject of coffee. Usually Kevin's first cup of coffee is not finished and as he rushes off to work he leaves it on said nightstand where Puppy promptly...I was going to say drinks it but she doesn't really drink as much as laps it, all up. Consequently, that puppy, all charged up with way too much caffeine for her little body, proceeds to tear up anything and everything she can find. And it is all done on our bed .

Yesterday it was a pencil, the day before it was most of the toilet paper and tissues from the bathroom trash can. We never know as we walk into the bedroom after work what it will be but it almost always is something. Now, she does not always drink the coffee cause I try to remember to put it up in the morning before we leave but she still tears up stuff, it is just with way more gusto when powered with caffeine. (twice it has been our cell phones, we had no antennas on either of our phones forever)

This monster is what they were growling at. Our neighbors got this Rottweiler as a puppy a while ago and he has started to get closer and closer to our house (and chickens) all winter. If he sees us he will run but it's a little scary to have him roaming our property not knowing his temperament.

From what we have seen of our neighbor's behavior he is a jerk and who knows how he is training or not training his dog. Our neighbor's dogs from the other side of us used to visit all the time and it was great until the fateful massacre day and it all went to hell. They don't talk to us anymore..hmmm, don't even wave. Enough said about that subject!

I took these pictures of this dog to eventually send to our neighbor with a polite warning of the consequences of his dog coming into contact with our livestock or humanstock in any way, shape or form. In the past he has not come past the woods line on the property between us and them but this is just 50 feet from our house...WAY too close for comfort.

On another note, does anybody think their family has too many toys? I do! As you can see below, last summer one of our toys broke. A little 9 year old was barreling down the trail at full speed and all of a sudden her tire flew off. She ran up to the house and it was so funny seeing her face and listening to her explaination. She had her seat belt on so she was safe and it doesn't really go that fast, it just seems like it when you are her passenger over the bumps. Her granny sits in the passenger seat for hours riding with her, usually with a nice padded seat cushion under her.

We came to the rescue but spent an hour looking for the thing that holds the tire on but gave up and Kevin had to go to the farm store and get one.

Here is the toy I prefer below. Very comfortable and it carries heavy things for me in the cart. And Kevin sometimes lets me drive when we ride around!

I am begging for a finish mower for it to make the lawn mowing fun. They are about a thousand dollars so I am not getting very far in my begging. We just have a crappy rider that breaks down all the time, and we have a LOT of lawn to mow. It would be great to mow the lawn on this, it even has a cup holder!

This is Kevins toy, even when he has to clean out a messy ditch in the muddy spring. He love his 8N!

Here is the one toy we are finally getting rid of. It is the coolest thing but so impracticle for us. We only have 5 acres and this baby need more. It is a Rail buggy, the kind they ride on sand dunes and mountian trails. We were going to make it street legal and ride it around in the summer for fun but when you farm there is no time to ride around for fun. Only on the aformentioned tractor or maybe the lawn mower (and it will be fun when I get my finish mower, please let me know if anyone knows where to get a finish mower cheap).

OH MY! I just thought of something. We should find someone who would trade us.....hmmmmm I wonder if it that is possible although the rail buggy cost a lot more than a thousand dollars. Maybe when we sell it we could get one. Kevin will probably say we should use the money to roof the house, blah, who cares about roofing the house. I don't mind a coffee cup over the hole in the roof. Especially when I could get an awesome finish mower.

Anyway, here she is, isn't she a beauty. I wish I could keep her.

Have a fun day everyone, I have to clean the house cause I am having visitors today!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Dogs, Dogs, Dogs and Vacation

Is it me or does anyone else have this problem? No matter where I go or what I am doing I am always tripping over my dogs! A few minutes ago as I was going onto the bathroom (and I was calling my dogs to go in the bathroom with me) I realized, this is nuts! If I don't take them with me they will whine, pace and pretty much make the two minutes I spend in there stressful. The funny thing is, as soon as they hear the toilet flush they jump to their feet cause they know it's time to go out.

Did I train them to do this? In some way is this my fault?

Also while I am b**tching, does anybody else EVER hear the dogs whining to go outside? Why does the sound of them whining grate on my ears like nails on a chalkboard? How does it not bother anyone else. As I am typing here in my bathrobe and it is 9:42 on a Sunday morning, my sheltie is lying on the bed behind me, very softly whining. What does she want. OMGosh! Outside, of course. There are three people in the family room right next to the door to which I will have to get up and walk clear over to, in order to let them out. She could bark as loud as possible right next to Kevin and the kids and they would not hear her and it wouldn't even bother them.

The culprit.

My sister tells a funny story about walking into their living room while her husband was playing video games and she sees her Jack Russell literally ripping the stuffing out of her new couch right next to him. He did not even notice the commotion. Amazing!

I just turned to look at Puppy (my shelties name. I know, not very original) and she gave me the hopeful tail wag and alertful look that says pleeeeeeease let me out. She is still being very polite but soon it will turn into the quit yip and after that it will be the full out BARK pause BARK pause BARK pause and still no one will hear her. Here is what I saw when I just turned around.

It took me three trys to get the "look" cause she hates her picture taken, the first few looked like this:

(She just started the BARK sequence so I am off to take them to the door!) BLAH! It's raining out so now I have to dry them off when they come in cause they go straight for my bed. When it's warm and muddy out I usually have muddy footprints on my comforter. Last week I was so excited cause I found a really pretty new quilt to buy for our bed but Kevin vetoed it on account of the color. He says I can only buy a new quilt if it is the color of mud. As you can see in the picture, the comforter we have now is pretty much the color of mud and that's why I want something new. (Kevin is reading over my shoulder and just said that I am their pack leader and that is why they are always following me)

I am actually afraid to go on vacation because I don't like to leave my dogs with anyone else.This year it will be different! We are so excited cause we have found an AWESOME cabin in the Hocking Hills area of southern Ohio. There are 50 acres that we can ride our 4 wheelers on and I CAN TAKE MY DOGS! Check out the pictures and the description.

Log Cabin View is a reconstructed log cabin originally built in late 1880's. It was very carefully moved from its original site to a heavily wooded private setting in the Hocking Hills.
This new setting features plenty of room to roam. Over 50 acres of flowing grassy meadows, wooded trails, beautiful landscaped gardens, walkways, and woodlands.

The lane to the cabin.

The front porch.

The front path.

The back porch with the hot tub behind it.

My two sisters and their husband and Kevin and I are going in June. Absolutely can't wait! I am worried about our chickens and turkeys but I am sure Kevins mom will take good care of them. She is always ready to help but I hate to put anymore work on her. She takes care of newborns at the hospital and works 12 hour shifts. Kinda stressful to say the least.

OK, time to get some stuff done today. Have fun today everyone


(Oh no, I've left them out too long and now they will be soaked. The whole time I am trying to dry off the big dog the little dog bites the towel and tries to play tug of war. She never plays any other time, only the drying off time. Weird!)

Friday, February 8, 2008

Chicken House Details

This creature is one of the reasons for our hard work and inpeneterable fence. His mama pulled one of our Guineas thru a 1" crack in our stall in the barn. She also tried to get another but it got away and had a very broken up foot for awhile but recovered eventually.
We caught three little whippersnappers and promptly took them far, far away to West Branch State Park. Well, only about 2 miles but to a racoon it was far, far away.

You can see the scraps of plywood that I had to use to make the wall. That is why it is not so pretty.

I split the chicken house at about the nine foot mark. They got nine feet I got seven feet. We thought the turkeys would spend a lot more time in there but once we put up the lean-to they all seem to stay outside if the weather is bad. And by bad I mean 30 mile an hour winds and the temp somewhere at five degree wind chill.

The tom turkeys have not spent one night in the chicken house. Even when we had temps of 20' and winds gusting to 50 miles an hour they hung on for dear life up in the tree. Their heads hanging down low with rain dripping off of them. You can see in my videos how they spend the night.

As soon as we put down the straw Cleo moved right in. It was so cute, she just layed right down and didn't want to leave.
Mr. Turkey, also known as "my buddy" (he is the one in the video that pecks me!) hopped right up on the new perches, he is so nosy. Always in the middle of everything. We made the perches out of some small trees that we had cut down. You can also see the two heat lamps, one for daytime and another with a red colored bulb for at night.

We covered the windows with heavy cardboard to stop drafts. I can't wait til spring and I can take it off and see them looking through the windows. There is a thermometer hanging there too so we can watch the temps inside the coop.

Above and below you can see how we spray foamed all the cracks. Next time we will spray between the timbers during construction instead of after.

The sun comes streaming nicely through the roof. We hated to put the chickens in there cause it was so beautiful, the 12 yr. old said he would like to move in!

We bought some fence boards that were really cheap and made our door. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE our door. I just wanted straight boards across, not the slanty ones like a horse barn door has. I understand that the slanty ones hold everything in place but the straight ones look more like an old-fashioned cottage.
A close-up of the door. Kevin is the best at this stuff. I describe what I want and he starts cutting lumber and poof, it appears. Perfectly.
Here we are the day we moved the chickens in! My sister, Amy and the girls and I moved them from the barn to the chicken house after her husband helped Kevin put the fence up. (We don't put pictures of the kids in but one of them took this picture of us.) All went well until the last batch and Amy tripped going into the doorway. She was carring a large wire cage with a fie or six chickens and I had one under each arm. She saved the chickens instead of herself and hurt her leg really bad. Below is a picture of the damage.

Surprisingly, the swelling went down really quickly. It looked REALLY bad at first. Kinda scary.

After the rough looking picture of us I thought I'd better include this one of us all cleaned up and looking a little better. The first couple is my sister Diane and her husband Norm who hosted our Thanksgiving dinner. The middle is me and Kevin and at the right is Amy and Tom. In most cases we look like the picture by the chicken house. I am going out later and take pictures of my fence and the little door that Kevin cut for the chickens to go in and out of their house.

Have fun today everyone!