Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Eggs and the Garden

I got 6 chicks the month before Easter and have managed to lose only one (my own fault, had a gap between the house and the coop and she fell out and wandered on.  She may still be out there rogue in the chico bushes).  So several months later, I had a come-to-Jesus meeting with them over being moochers.  I was severely tempted to hang up a sign counting down the days until I started eating them, one by one.  I figured that I was going to eat some kind of protein from that coop, one way or another.  Lo and behold, last Thursday, someone laid an egg.  A small brown egg, not in a nesting box, but in the coop nonetheless. 
The chickens pulled a Spartacus on me and refused to announce which one of them is laying the eggs.  So they all get to live... for now.  I have been getting an egg every 24 hours or so.  The next egg was dropped in the run.  Someone wasn’t feeling like they should go in the coop to lay one, so there it was.  The third was laid on top of the metal garbage can that holds their food.  They also seem to like to sleep on top of it at night.  With all of them there, someone else must have stepped on it and crushed it overnight, leaving a yolky mess on the lid.  I put an end to that and moved the can out of the run.  Now they sleep on the ground where the can was.  I don’t understand why.  The coop is elevated, roomy, ventilated, and lined with fresh shavings once a week.  They rather outside where the 60+ mph gusts blow through.  At least they are safe from predators, as my Great Pyrenees Sam does a good job keeping the coyotes away. 

The garden is coming along, kind of.  Sam discovered that he can hide in the tall grasses and make a bed.  He’s gone as far as dug out a bedding area that water collects in for drinking and laying in.  The one strawberry plant in all the tall grass is doing really, really well, with several strawberries on it.  The carrots are getting bigger and hopefully we can harvest a few this year.  The one corn plant that grew is over 5 feet and starting to grow an ear or two.  The big story, though, is all the weeds in the garden.  I created this growing space by using the droppings of the goats and straw from the barn and tilling it into the ground.  This led to all of this grasses, sunflowers, and hybrid corn stalks growing all over the garden.  Like weeds.  I didn’t know what the grasses were until the neighbor came over and noted that I had oats in the garden. 
So evidently I can grow stuff on the homestead.  But instead of just cutting it down and composting it, I noticed that the chickens love it.  I got a sickle to cut some down every now and then to feed it to my girls.  I hope I can get the hang of it so I can cut the winter rye I plan to plant next month. 

Sadly, the tomato plant is about 5 feet tall in the living room by the window, but has yet to produce.  I cannot threaten to eat the plant, so I patiently wait for it to start producing. 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Shopping in Denver.

Took the Beautiful Wife to Denver this weekend.  She earned it.  I promised her a new purse if she helped my put in a fence for the new garden and let me get a nice big greenhouse.  As we drove into the outskirts of town where all these yuppie communities lie, she mentioned that it was pretty and was thinking about moving there.

She could if she wanted to.  Without me.  You couldn't catch me in East California that is Denver for more than 48 hours.

The hillside was beautiful, rolling hills of what was once green.  Now stucco homes fill the hillside.  How can anyone pay half a million for a house with no yard, your neighbors can look out their window into your window, and one could hop from rooftop to rooftop for miles, not to mention that every house looks identical.  It boggles the mind.  Never the less, we made it to our hotel by the mall that we love.  It's so convenient to our visits and it keeps us on the edge of town, away from their God-ugly stadium.

One trip to the mall changed the Beautiful Wife's mind.  The parking lot was filled with high-end, brand new vehicles.  What depression?  These must have been the people Fearless Leader has been saying wasn't paying all the money they have  their fair share.  Once inside, we were glad we live in the middle of nowhere.

It was a competition to be the richest, snootiest, fakest person you can be.  My weekend garb in town is usually sneakers, shorts, and a collared shirt with a 5 day scruffle on my face.  These guys tried their hardest to replicate my look, but to notch it up to the nth degree of douche-iness.  There were 6 year olds in heels with a cell phone up against their heads.  I could have sworn that there was a teenage hooker convention in the mall.  It was saddening to see such a waste of human life.  I did enjoy Pottery Barn.  I do love a store that copies antiques and makes them look really old, then sells it for three times it should be worth to people that want to impress their neighbors.

Dinner was at a nice restaurant (thanks in-laws for the gift card).  Beautiful Wife made my day when she pointed out how shallow these sheeple were that were in the restaurant.  I agreed.  Most of these people looked like they were up to their neck in debt, and the instant the country looked worse and interest rates would go up, they were sunk.  Probably most only had a few days worth of food in their house.  Power loss and water loss would mean they would stand in front of their sink, turning it on and off for hours, hoping that it would come back on.

It was nice for a minute to bask in the knowledge that when SHTF happens, we are much better prepped than most of the sheeple, and it takes more than a tank of gas to get from that urban center to our homestead.

Oh, I have to mention that I saw a teen with a shirt on that read "Friends don't let friends vote Republican".  He looked like he hadn't bathed in a week, his hair was wild and he had a vacant stare.  I just shook my head as such an obvious example on why I don't vote for liberals.  That kind of stupid should be painful.