Live Through Us at The Burrow


April 2010

Odds and Ends

Mya was all excited trying to show me something.  She caught a rat.  We praised her and gave her a treat.  I picked it up with a grocery bag to throw in the burn barrel, and she nicely chomped it’s dangling head to inform me she wanted it.  I let it go.  If she throws it up later on my carpet, neither of us will be a happy camper.  I wear a size 8 or so btw.  And no, it’s not a opossum.

Project strawberry patch is doing well.  The weeding was a success.  I didn’t know dandelions could get that big.  The hard part was separating the plants as many grew together.  A few strawberries lost their lives in sacrifice…sigh.  Some of the strawberry leaves are quite huge too!


Merlin is getting his feathers in.  He’s pitiful.  We let them take a bath one day.  Cute.  He has also pooped blood off and on, and we link it to the fact that his brain is so small he doesn’t know what to eat when we let him out for his daily exercise and therefore ate a lint ball or something else stupid.  He acts healthy otherwise, and we watch them far more closely now when they are out and cover a few things we think might be dangerous for them.  Good grief they stink!!!!!  On another note, we are letting the new hen go broody now.  We’ll build the chamber tomorrow (plan to anyway) and let you know how that pans out.  We want to now rather than later because of her frequency of laying.  Any undesirable chicks just won’t be allowed to reproduce.  (this pic was a few days ago.  He has more feathers now)

Volunteers in the Flowers

Firstly, we have berries!



Let’s hope the birds don’t get them!

My flox…

  I know some people want it for covering ditches, but I don’t know when to transplant.  If you’re interested, look it up and I’ll try to get you some, but I do like it as it pretty much covers the whole yard!


I also found volunteer seedlings in the flower bed that the previous owners planted.  It looks like an old garden plant nearby, but I can’ t tell what it is.  Maybe these are from unharvested fruit?  I’m getting my hopes up that they’re cucumber.


We got our banana tree today.  It’s another potted variety like the orange tree.

This is a banana tree?!?!?!

  Here is the orange tree from today.  It’s doing well!

  On another note, all of the insulation is now in and dry wall is going up.  The wires are completely pulled and awaiting connection to the source.  We will soon have lights and maybe even separate rooms!


OK, so Merlin wouldn’t shut up, so we got him a friend.

As you can see, they’re quite happy together.  In fact, Merlin is MUCH quieter and doesn’t even try to get out any more.  He’s happier with the new one more than us now pretty much.  And that’s good.

As cute and wonderful as they are, I will NEVER do this again!  They are the nastiest, messiest things I have ever had and that includes Marcus as a baby!  They play with their water until their bedding is swimming in it.  They are now in Mya’s kennel with a chick feeder and waterer.  We were using those with the new chicken.

Doesn’t she look mean???  As you can see, she rules the roost!  No egg today, but we did get a second one yesterday.  They are almost blue, so I may be wrong about the blood lines.  In fact, I discovered that Americanas are made via RIR and Auracana mix.  So my idea of mixing RIR with Americana is pretty stupid.  Oh well, life goes on.  I guess we’ll just add new breeds as we need to in order to help the flock, like bigger ones or if I see a really pretty one or something.  We’ll wait a month, and then let the noobie go broody because from my understanding, rooster torpedoes last 14-21 days within the hen.  So we want to make sure whatever rooster last visited the new hen is completely flushed before we hatch any.  We date the eggs with a sharpie so we know which ones to eat first, and I think that will come off with acetone if we ever want to blow the eggs or something.

Other exciting news, we have potato, carrot, and beet sprouts-yippie!  The potato spuds from earlier weren’t the serious ones, just left over rotten ones from the kitchen.  These are the good ones we bought.  Red Pontiac, which I just learned is from 1983, but you have to start somewhere.  Hopefully, we can do an heirloom next year.  We have two rows here and the other eight rows in the lower field where the field corn will be.  Hopefully, those will all be extra and we can sell them.

beet-the ones with red stems-which look almost identical to one of the weeds.  And I can’t weed the carrot and beet beds well because of damaging the good plants…hopefully the good ones will be established well enough soon that I can.

Our trees are doing great, another raspberry has bloomed, the grape finally bloomed, the strawberries are doing WONDERFULLY, and all the trees, save the pecan, are very happy.  The blackberries are recovering, and other than still having no clue as to where we will sell our stuff save the flea market, we are doing marvelously.  Oh, and I have to finish the weeding, and I don’t like that, especially since I didn’t know it was a strawberry field, so it got run over.


I had a phone call where I haven’t let people know the latest….(smiles).  Here is the finished roof.  Halfway done from underneath.

Where it ties into the existing shingled roof that will be left intact.



From the top:


Our first queen carpenter ant…that’s a big ant:



They don’t have the poison that I want in any stores.  We are going to try cornstarch for a few days, and then order the stuff online.  They seem to be going outside to a nest, so I’m hoping there’s no indoor nest.  I’ve tapped all the walls and haven’t heard anything.  Dad said he used baby powder for his sugar ants, which we have too.  His baby powder is the cornstarch kind, so we just put that down.  I’ll put more down when I clean the bathrooms tomorrow and see what happens.  The population has decreased, but that may be coincidental.  Well, my tendinitis is hurting after helping Arlis with the dry wall, weeding, and tilling some more, so I’m off to going to bed on time for the first time this week

Ants and Chickens

Arlis got half the roof done today, well, half of the addition.  There’s still the existing that we have to cover.  I must say, it is far easier than shingles.  Considering it was just he and I, I’m curious as to how they get away with charging more to install a metal roof as a shingled one.  This is far easier and cheaper and last at least twice as long.  More dangerous on the hands…


That being said, if ANYONE has encountered carpenter ants, and has had a SUCCESSFUL extermination, let me know what to do.  We had TWO queens today, and I finally managed to note the node that distinguishes carpenters from other ants.  I followed one after baiting it with syrup, and I lost it under the stove.  We’ve had the stove out b4 and noticed nothing odd.  We may have to spray, and I don’t like that.  We also have a wasp problem, but I’m working on it.  The bug season is starting.  Arlis was scratching his back in bed and said it felt like something crawling on him.  Somehow, our bed gets crumbs in it, and we don’t eat in bed.  In fact, I rarely eat a bowl of cereal at the PC and that’s IT.  Finally, he raised up and I caught a tick crawling up his back-eww!  Got one on my leg a little while ago.  Do they make Frontline for humans?


Joy of the day, let the chickens out into their run for their maiden voyage.  Mya was inside the house, of course, and only let out when they were put up late afternoon.  They didn’t want out, and, naturally, I missed the hysterical pic of three necks craning out of their coop.  I also missed the gorgeous pic of George in the sun with his purple and green and orange reflecting beautifully.  sigh.  But I got this one for you



I put some video on youtube, boring, but fun for those who miss chickens or like them as you get to hear all the cooing and purring sounds.  They never ventured more than the shaded area, and really enjoyed catching worms.  I would’ve been happier if it were millipedes and grubs, but what can you do?  Notice the front pullet has bent inside toes.  We’re culling her-we’ll eat her eggs, but hatch the others.  If she goes broody, well, I guess we’ll just have to do the ole switcheroo.  Cute pic of duck



And would someone explain the following?  They dug this hole, about 3 inches deep, and just hunkered down as though expecting nuclear warfare.

The strawberries are doing nicely (the ones we planted).  Two are flowering.

We even have potato sprouts from when Arlis planted some that my cupboard let rot (don’t even think for a minute I would do such a thing-ha ha ).  Yes, it needs weeding, note I said ARLIS’s experiment, not mine.  Looks like I’ll be weeding it anyway…sigh.  The sprout is the middle left bush from the hill/row of dirt.



I also got a cool pic of a tulip.  I’ve never seen a tulip with curly leaves b4-cool.  The surprise flower garden also contains some flower Dawn told me, but I forgot, hyacinth, purple irises (yay!) that aren’t blooming yet, and mint.  I pulled the mint when I weeded before I realized what it was-oops, but there’s some left.

Roofing and Other Such Nonsense

Well, Arlis finally got some roofing done.  With the metal and insulation here, we were able to put up enough lath to get ready to put up roofing tomorrow.



(We don’t use the stove anymore until the new one gets installed.)  In the meantime, I discovered a strawberry field.  It’s close to a quarter of an acre, and hopefully harvestable.


Notice the dried grass around?  After close to an hour (although probably only half an hour) I was able to rake up this area…


into this pile:


Arlis enjoyed pulling the trailer with his toy tractor while I pitched hay onto it (and no, I was not singing “Green acres”).  This pic was taken after I used some for the coop floor as it has gotten trodden down quite a bit, and cleaned out the duck pen and filled it with new.  We finally had to put a jar upside down in the bowl b/c the little booger kept taking baths and flooding his pen.  We got him one week ago today, so we’re putting him at one week old…



He has grown and changed shape a bit I must say!  It was nice to save fodder money.  We must have saved at least $20.  And for less than an hour, that’s not bad!


Now for some funnies:


Our dandelion farm:

Our mutant clovers (some are QUITE large!)

And these little clover spots that just pop up out of nowhere

I hope cows eat dandelions….

New Buds and Spring Chicks

Peggy, Arlis’s little sister, bought the kids a duckling.  Arlis wanted a duck, he didn’t know it was a duckLING.  I must find a way to repay Peggy for this kindness (note the evil sarcasm)


It wasn’t long as we had to come up with something more that 12-18 inches tall because this little booger is already able to jump out.  The new one also has a lid.  This duck is already spoiled rotten and would rather be with us than the chickens as Arlis put it in the coop and it ran to him tweeting away…more than once.


Below is our budding almond tree:



Blueberry buds:



The garden is all planted save the corn and feed corn.  Mya is EXTREMELY dangerous for the chickens and hunts them down.  We have to keep her outside or locked up in our bedroom right now to keep the duckling safe.  The cat’s fine.  In fact, the duck bit her on the nose and it was quite amusing.  It was a “hey, who or what are you” nibble, but scared Priscilla nonetheless.  I have more, but will leave you with this.  Good night!


I have no idea where I left off…

I have no idea where I left off exactly.  Arlis was gone all last week to dad’s to fix the tractor.  We got the garden plowed, disced, and tilled.  We bought some herbs and cabbages yesterday and planted them.


I’ve strategically placed the herbs b/c I hear they help ward off insects.  I’m planting around them.  Still getting some oregano and basil, but we bought rosemary (wow did it smell good!), cilantro (never get to use because you have to use fresh and it costs too much), and parsley (a bitter herb).


We spent this week preparing for Pesach (Passover).  It started at sundown Tue night.  Arlis’s funeral was scheduled for soon after as he decided to start the sink project that day as I was out trying to buy lamb which doesn’t exist in a 100 mile radius.  Food Lion did have leg of lamb on sale 2 days later, but they had none then and we’re not allowed to have any b/c they are a “low volume” store.  So, with a good cut of beef, creecy greens on top, green onions and unleavened bread, we ate a very non-traditional Passover.  Unfortunately, Marcus now tries to wear his shoes and stand for every meal…


This picture was taken when he finally finished, FOUR trips to the hardware store later.  The sink is now big enough to hold a pan or pot and is deeper than 4 inches.


I’m planting potatoes today, and can’t believe it’s Thursday.

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