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Thursday, September 23rd, 2010
12:57 pm
Pics and updates
Welp, here are the pics ive been talking about for awhile now :)

Some are of the new cabinet we picked up, and the brick wall I have been working on, and the ceiling, and then of a new bear candle holder my mate got for me :)

I have 2 new projects I have to complete in the next 2 days before it rains. Nomatter what I do I cant stop the kitchen area from leaking, so im going to have to put an awning over the front of the shop to keep all the rain off.
I already have alot of 4x4s here and I ordered some tin yesterday (Cant belive its only 15 bucks for an 8" sheet) and the anchor plates and bolts for the concrete, we picked up a concrete drill ages back, and it just drills those holes like butter. before we had it, it took like a half an hour with e regular drill and a concrete bit to do one hole, with the new drill its more like 30 seconds and poof, its done.
now the other project I have to do is pour a slab out beside the other side of the shop so I can build my outdoor wood oven on, ive been talking about it for years, but now im finally ready to start on it.
Id really been considering doing a clay oven, but with the rain we get , I think ill make it out of fire brick and then coat it with wire and mortar, I got the idea out of GRIT magazine, in the bread makeing addition.

So ill pour a 6x6 slab about 8" thick, and then build a block base for it to set on.
I wasnt sure I could do it before, but with abit of experiance under my belt with laying bricks, I am willing to take it on , and I can always paint the over and base to match the shop colors of green and white.


and finally the pics as promised :)


Current Mood: cheerful
Thursday, May 27th, 2010
7:50 pm
busy days
well its been fairly busy here, but not near as much as id have liked really
for some reason the temp decided to jump into the 90's all of a sudden and bring the garden work to a standstill
not to mention that my mower is in the shop now, as is my weedeater and I gotta drain the gas and replace the feul line on the tiller, so its more equipment repair than in getting much of anything done :/

Whatever had killed the 2 chicks a week back paid us a visit again last night, but this time it killed on of my black male ducks, it must have chased it down and done it after the last time I checked on em before heading to bed at 2 am.

so ill have to use whats left to bait one of the traps I use (Morbid I know, but it works, and in a way its like the duck is getting revenge)
and just see if I cant catch it tonight

Ill have to move some dirt so I can closeup the older side of the coop where the old rooster and the last hen from last season are still stayting in. that just leaves the last 2 male ducks out plus the female who is nesting.

Im considering putting some type of pvc and chickenwire cage over her and the nest, but im concerned she would get spooked and run away, leaving the clutch of eggs to rot.

so for now all I can do is try and trap whatever it is and keep everyone else locked up tight for the nights.

I also moved the hive last night to its permanant location, as my mate
got onto me the other nite and told me that I had a habit of waiting too long to do things that stuff almost dies before I will get it done.
It bothered me abit, but he is right, that I do have that tendancy and its something that only I can fix.

So I suited up late last night and put a piece of screen inside the hive entrance to keep everyone inside, then put a strap over it and made it good and tight, then caried it all over and once and then just relsead the screen. a few of em came at me buzzing and mad, but thats understandable as they were scared of what I was doing aswell
but since I was all safe in my suit, I didnt get a single sting last nite.

now there look to be about 50 or so of them out and around the old spot now, so ill have to avoid it for a few days till they find home, or dieoff.

Ive really got to find a way to get purpose in life and lite a fire under my butt, as im not getting nearly anything done now for some reason

so now i gotta get up and take care of the chickens and see if I can salvage at least part of the day.

Take care all.

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010
8:05 pm
Chicks everywhere
I figured that would get your attention, but its not as it seems.
Im talking the featherd kind, not the bakini clad type :P

I finally got in the last of the chick I had ordered, so now I have to start working on their new homes.
As ive gotten so many this spring I will have to build a seperate enclosure for them and divide the flock in half, so I can get better production, and cause itll give them a better life as they will have alot more room to run around in :)

If everything goes good, and I can keep the coons and possums away this year, I should be able to get about 5 dozen eggs a day to sell, at about 3-7 bucks a dozen (Duck eggs are a rare treat) that adds up pretty fast.

hopefully itll pay for all the stuff ive had to pickup for it though :P
Supplies arent cheap, and they are getting more expensive as the days go by.
The way prices are you are lucky to even break even, you can pretty much forget about a profit.

Finally back up to 3 hives aswell since the swarm I caught a few weeks back has settled in and cleaned out the old hive, so I can tell they have setup housekeeping in it, and accepted it.

We had something visit 2 night ago and it killed 2 of my chicks/pullets, so im pissed off about that.
I had to stay up really late last night and put a temporary roof on the nursery to keep whatever it was from just going over the top and having a buffet all night long. so after I put the roof on I had to round everyone up and get em inside, after a few tries to get the ducks inside, I got tired and just sat down on a brick for abit to relax. one of the small hens came over and strting clucking low, so I picked her up and sat her on my leg, and so she settled down and just chipred a few times and started to go to sleep when a white one came over and hopped up on my other leg and started putting her head under my arm and rooting about, till I just gently laid it on her back, covering it more like a wing and she went right to sleep. of course there was one more that had to hop up so she could get the same treatment, so there I was with 3 chikens sitting on me sleeping. I felt like a cross between a mamma hen and a statue :P

The ducks were quacking and playing in the water when they all got quiet and I could hear deep brething coming from the tall grass, they started to waddle closer to me as I could hear the breathing more and more, till I got pissed and yelled at it to go away. I stood up, and held the birds close as I walked toward the noise, and whatever it was ran away. I put them on the new roost I made and finished rounding up everyone to keep em safe.

If you want to experiance futility, try to get a duck to mind :P
and then multiply that times 8, and you get what I had last night
But everyone went in just fine, and I got up at 6:30 this morning to let em out,and still sore from moveing lumber and concrete from yesterday aswell.

Im just taking it easy right now, and getting caughtup on some e-mails and makeing a few toys for a friday shipment, other than that not much to report as its been so wet and rainy outside the past 3-4 days.

I got ticked off at the deliveryguy though. I had made a deal with them to pickup my riding mower to have it fixed when they dropped off the lumber, but they said they didnt have anything written down about a pickup, so they left without taking it. I got so pissed I put in the back of the truck myself, think thats why my back is all screwed up today :P

welp, time to get back to work.
Take care all.
Saturday, May 8th, 2010
11:01 am
Busy day
Hello again all.

Phew its just 10:30 and ive already had one heck of a busy day today here on the homestead.

I was doing some cleanup last nigh around my shop, and getting part of the garden ready to plant some onions. well that took me most of the afternnon to get most of it finished, when I was watching a honey buzz around and then land in a pine tree about 4 feet away, so I looked to see what she was upto, and saw a huge clump of bees in the crotch of hte tree about 3-4 feet off the ground.
I couldnt belive I was had just been weedeating about five feet away and never noticed them.

I stayed up late lastnight watching a tape about hiving a swarm of bees to brushup as id never tried anything like this before.
So I made some sugar water and let it cool overnight, and about 8 am this morning I got all my equipment together and put it near the tree, I then put on my bee suit and gloves.

I put a large foldable table under the swarm and then setup an empty hive body. I bent the tree over (its about 6' tall right now) and gave it a good shake. The bees flew all over the place, and a large mass flopped in the box in the corner of it.

I poured some of the sugar water on the frames and slid em in one ata time, so it would give them something to work with, and encourage them to stay, there was also some pollen left in the frames, so they have the basic building blocks to start the hive.

I watched the open haive for a few and saw some of the workers start to fan, so I knew the queen was in the box, so I slid the rest of the frames in and closed it up nice and snug.
I put some of the sugarwater in a feeder and put it in the front of the hive.
So far it all looks like its going good.
I can see alot of activity at the front of the hive, so Ill just have to see if they decide to stay, or try to swarm again.

So far so good, and its right outside my office window, so Im watching it right now :)

I also had to redo the fence around the nursery cause one of the male ducks got in and tried to mount one of the young ducks and hurt its foot.
I was pissed to sat the least and seriously considered having a duck dinner tonight, but I know he is only doing what hes supposed to be doing, so I just let him go again and put a taller fence around em.

Its kinda sad, but the younger ones are even larger already than the adult ducks.

I still have about 8 small chicks that need to go outside with the rest, but its gonna get down to a possible freeze the next 2 nights, so im keeping them inside till it warms up, then out they go with the rest.

I got a nice door built for the nursery, wow all I havta do is make the roof for it, and hoist it into place, so thatll be a job soon for me over the next few days.

well its time for me to get up and moving again :)

Ill keep an eye on the bees, I see alot of activity starting up at the front, so if they are bringing in pollen, its all good, or it could also be a nearby hive who discovered the sugar water and are trying to rob this one out :/

Ill let ya know how it goes.


Current Mood: anxious
Saturday, May 1st, 2010
10:09 pm
Wow, it has been a long time since I posted anything here hasnt it.

Alot has happened here on the homestead since last I posted here
we have a ton more chicks that are coming along nicely, the garden needs a ton of work before planting, had a fire in my shop that nearly destroyed it.

so alot has been going on here.

Ill flesh these out alot more in the coming days, just wanted to drop a line and start things going here again :)

I will also be adding some prep tips and tricks aswell as just the homestead aspects of life.

Take care all :)


Current Mood: awake
Friday, February 26th, 2010
4:00 pm
Hello again

Just wanted to keep things going here, and see how well everyone has been doing this winter.

we got abit of damage this year from all the wind/snow/rain
had the roofing shingles taken off our big shed, and will have to get that replaced as soon as we get a break in the weather, had a big branch break off of a pine tree near the house, but I was going to trim it anyway to make room for a beech tree I moved from the woods several years back.

got alot to do this coming spring to get things back in shape here and to get the garden actually put in this year.

I just wasted so much time last year sitting on my tail that by the time i got the gardening bug it was far too late to do anything at all.

Ive ordered a few grapevines in the mail as well as a few apple trees, so thatll be fun to play with.

For some reason about the only fruit I can get to grow here are apples and pears, the peaches get eaten up by honey and bumble bees, and the cherriesand plums rot before they are even ripe :/
which is a pain as ive put in about 50 cheery trees.

welp, ill yap more in a few days :)

Be well all.

Current Mood: tired
Thursday, February 25th, 2010
1:10 pm
Spring is coming
Welp, I thought I would post here and see if anyone is still around here :)

it looks like winter is slowly loosing its icey grip on the world around us, and it seems as if there might be hope that spring will actually arrive sometime this year.
I have to say this is the harshest winter ive ever seen in my life.
It seems like as soon as one storm finishes and just starts to melt off, another comes along and drops another 4 inches to a foot on top of it.
we have been stuck at home for weeks at a time without being able to get out of the driveway, then we get a warm day and are able to put it in 4 low and slip and slide up the hill to make a shipment anf then get some groceries, then snowed in again.

but at least I can belive winter is coming to a close soon.
its about 2 weeks away from seed starting time, so that is giving me hope :)

so if your still here, at least say hello :P


Current Mood: cold
Thursday, December 31st, 2009
11:49 am
Winter draws on...
well its still just as cold as can be here, and white aswell since we just had another good snow.

seems like forever since there was green outside, and it always seems so cold anymore, and we still have lovely febuary to go, which is like living in a deep freeze here.

Ive got some strawberry seeds I am considering starting soon, plus itll be time to trim the grapevines in about 2 weeks, so I can start some cuttings to give away.
out here in WV i can sell things like tomatoe plants as well as any other vegetable without a license, but nothing that will live year to year, as I would need a nursery permit for that, so I will jusr raise a ton of then and find a charity to donate them to :)

also about time to start my sweet taters as it takes them forever to emerge and start to grow, and I am sure spring will be here before we know it.

hope there will be enough time to get eggs in to incubate before the economy emplodes :P
I cannot see what is even holding it together anymore, the economy is totally shot, we dont make squat anymore in this country, and other governments are dropping the dollar like its udes toilet paper.

and it seems as if the gubberment is now doing what it has done in the past to get us out of depression, which is to start a war.
I know I tend to rant at times, but this stuff effects us all, and I am tired of walking on egg shells afraid of offending folks.

for anyone who wants it, i have copies of Endgame, Obama Deception, camp fema, and several others you might want to see.
I wont ask for any money, I will make the copies (all legal) and mail them to you at my own expense.

It is not my intent to offend anyone here, but to try and share truth with others.


Current Mood: anxious
Saturday, December 12th, 2009
11:25 am
I ordered some banana trees for my christmas present, and they arrived on the day when it was in the low 20's plus about 30 mile an hour wind, so when I finally checked and saw they had been delivered, they had been out in that for almost 2 hours.

I got the package and brought it in right away and openined it up, and sure enough they were both frozen solid :/

I called the comapny, and they agreed to send me 2 new ones as replacement come march, so we will have to wait and see if the economy is around at that time.

I havnt tossed em out yet as I want to se if they might try and regrow from the base, as I have heard some will do, but so far they are just turning black, and the shop smells
like cut green beans, from the bananas bleeding, but this is the only chace they might get.

I do see a few of the leaves trying to stay green, but most have gone black and shriveled up, i would guess that within a week I will be able to tell if they will make it.

Has anyone else noticed how uptight folks are as of late?
I have wished several folks a Merry Christmas, and all I get is an uh-huh

well, I hope you al are well, and happy this holiday season :)

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009
11:08 am
Well I finally took abit of time yesterday since it was so nice and warm to put together a compost pile.

what I ended up putting together was 3 wire cages, about 3' in diameter and about 5' tall and filled em.

first was a lay3er of bark in the bottom that i got from under the old wood pile, i thought that as it had already been rotting it would add alot of micro organizms into the pile, plus add airation from the bottom to help speed things along.
then a layer of leaves (pear tree and maple) and then a layer of partailly rotted straw, then another layer of leaves and straw, then a bag of manure.

I did this till they were all the way filled to the top.

I will get some pics of it later today to post, so you can see what i am talking about.

I have tried a frew times in the past to make some compost, but this is the furst real attempt at it seriously.

It has just been so warm here that the gardening bug bit me again and I had to do something outside :)

The lemon tree I have in my office at work is now blooming, so it smells like pez candy all through the shop now.
Monday, November 9th, 2009
12:16 pm
Pictures again
Well as promised I took pictures of a few things to share here :)

I took a few pics of a lemon tree and of a few oranges :)
yes, these are WV citrus :)

looks like the oranges are just about ripe now.

Also took a pic of the bricks I picked up a few days ago, thers 150 of em in that stack belive it or not.
and then a few pictures of the wood pile, and then one of the pallet of wod we split for the cook stove.
The fire box is so small it has to be split down into slivers to use in it.



Current Mood: accomplished
Sunday, November 8th, 2009
12:54 pm
some helpful tips
hey i was rumaging through some wiki how.com articles and thought some might come in handy since a few of us are using wood to heat this winter...
i know ive been doing all of these this past 2 weeks, got a lot of wood left to cut and split though. just need to get a new chainsaw blade
splitting wood/seasoning:
fire starting:

oh and it comes in handy when the previous land owners just threw scrap metal over the hills, lots of money to be had if you have the tools to pry it free.

Current Mood: accomplished
Friday, November 6th, 2009
10:20 am
fired up
welp last night we finally fired up the wood stove with the wood that i had split, and it was sooo nice to feel the warmth from it.

I know for most folks, its nothing, but its the furst time i ever split wood was over the past week, and the furst time i ever used a wood stove.

All in all I am happy with the results, but i hadnt realized that it would take so much wood to creat that amount of heat.
So it looks like we have to find a way to haul more wood out of the forest so i can split alot more to add to the pile.
we are kind of on a flat area, and the woods slope down hill all around us, so we cant get a truck down there to load, and we dont have a 4 wheeler to use.

we are considering makeing a sled to put down in the woods, and then fill with cut logs, then drag it to the flat area where we can unload and split it, but we have to get a chain furst, so that might be later today.
we used something like this years back when we furst moved here, by screwing a plastic tote to a piece of plywood and dragging rocks out of the woods with it, and it worked quite well, so we will probably be doing it this way, unless I can find a dead tree that needs to be cut right at the edge of the woods.
will have to poke around and pick out a few today when it warms up abit more.

I also found the place to get bricks, and they said the price is about 50 cents each for clay bricks which is what i am after.

I need to get em put down and finished so we can hookup the cookstove before it gets too cold to work this winter.
luckily there are several days coming up that will be in the 60s here, and we can really get some stuff done.

ill get some pics of the wwodpile thus far.
its about 4' high, 12' long, and about 3' deep, plus i have a pallet of wood that we spent time splitting really small cause the firebox on the cook stove is so small compared to the stove that i posted pics of earlier.

welp, take care all, and I am off to get some bricks :)


Current Mood: anxious
Friday, October 30th, 2009
12:38 pm
wood pile
welp, i finally broke down and decided to go through the woodpile we have had laying here for years.
so far about half the wood is so rotted it cant be udes for anything, and alot of the rest of it is too wet.
so ive divided it down in two piles, one to burn off to get rid of it, as its too bd to use, and the other is going into a seperate pile to be split and stacked to dry out.

i took the old chain saw down to ACE to have it fixed and went ahead and got a husqvarna one to replace it, so well be able to cut our own wood now, and ive got the trailer fixed for my rideing mower (both tires had rotted away) and so now i just need a battery to get the mower running and ill be able to move it to where we can split it.

its annoying that every piece of equipment i need is broken now:/
but its what i get for not maintaining it better.
Some lessons can only be learned the hard way.

gonna try an experiment this winter. i am buying big bags of taters and onions so am gonna try and store them and use em over the winter to see how well they keep and learn abit about how to use/operate a root cellar.

i cant belive how hard it is to get real bricks out here!
I have checked all over the place and noone carries them, nor knows where to get any.
I really need to get some to go under the cook stove, as well as some for the clay oven im gonna make in the spring time.

welp, thats all fur now :)


Current Mood: busy
Wednesday, October 28th, 2009
11:44 pm
recent events of the fall
well lets see so far this fall its been interesting. since my last post we have put the under panneling on the trailer, hauled off a bunch of scrap for a few hundred bucks, and even had to move a few lights around to get things brighter. so lots been going on and its all thanks to the upcoming cold weather.

today i woke up and had to chop some wood, using 2 different weight mauls to do the work though it is back breaking at times. break the wood, then stack it or put it in a wheel barrol and cart it to the wood stove and stack it there. our wood stove is more like a 44 gallon metal barrol with a door and a vent put on it :P but it works and heats the place up nicely.

we cleaned up one room of the block building where the stove is and then it all got pushed into the other room... now to try to find places for it all to go heh. but i do have my workstation set up now to where i can sew right next to my desk.

The next task this weekend is to try to put some foam out and seal my shop better so that its not so fridged in there this winter. thinking about using some 1/4" ridgid foam board for that one.

other than that not too much going on just work at my place of work is starting to pick up for the 4th quarter and its hard to find the time to do much, esp when im now incharge of the anti plague and also the front portion of the store when it comes to getting people out the door with their purchases... let the fun begin :P
be safe and warm,
Saturday, October 24th, 2009
11:26 am
well i just wanted to post here this morning anbout a dream I had, that might help out others here.

it was a disturbing dream where my mate and i were talking about lord knows what, but we were discussing some about how dark it had gotten outside, and it must be a really bad storm comeing, we started jokeing about and he went to the kitchen to get something from the fridge, and there was a blinding light from outside.
before I could get over there to him, something came shooting through the windown and hit him in the head, knocking him cold.

i ran over as fast as i could and saw it was part of a tree branch, and he was indeed knocked out and bleeding.

i picked him up and laid him on the couch, and ran around like crazy trying to find what i needed to tend his wound and to patch the window as it looked like snow, but obviously wasnt, that was now beginning to fall in the window.

there was sooo much i needed to do at that moment, and it came to me, that i had what i needed, but it was put away in about 50 different places, and was useless to me now.

i needed to tend his wounds, fix the window, put the dogs inside, carry in what vegies i could from the garden, as well as plants in containers, chase the chickens and ducks in the coop, etc...

so this morning i will be makeing a disaster kit while im working.

I think it should contain:
radio - (batteries out for a nuke EMP)
wool blankets
med kit
plastic sheeting - duct tape - razor knife
geiger counter - if you have one
couple bottles of water
flash light with extra new batteries
dust mask/gas mask
disposable gloves

what do you all think would be helpful additions to this kit?

it was just a wakeup call to me, and i wanted to pass it along, as it never hurts to be ready for the unexpected :)


Current Mood: awake
Sunday, October 18th, 2009
10:30 am
Ive been blabbing on about the homestead and have posted next to no pics, so I took some to share.

They are of the rooster and ducks, and of the woodstove we just got done putting in.


so now that the furst snow has fallen here, we are eager to get the wood split and get everything ready to use it.
Im going to be installing the wood cookstove in the new kitchen area if there is time. I havta get some mortar and red bricks to put under it and behind it to protect the wall and floor, and itll also absorb alot of the heat and release it over time, so it serves several functions.

Ive decided to get a few goats soon, the time will depend on how the economy looks, if it gets worse I will get them while I can, if it holds, then we will in the spring time.

ive ordered several books and have been reading all I currently have in my library on goats, and cheese/butter makeing.

so much to do, and so little time left to get it done.

be well all, and try to stay warm

Current Mood: cold
Wednesday, October 14th, 2009
9:12 am
welp we finally finished putting in our boxwood stove yesterday and fired it up last night.
we just put in some old news paper and some untreated 2x4 scraps to see if it would smoke or leak, but it worked fine and dandy :)
and it really warmed htat part of the shop up, was a nice feeling to know we could now provide our own heat without the grid.
the worst part of it was having to go up a ladder and screw the brackets into the side of the shop.
I hate height and I had to put the ladder on a platform to get it up high enough.
My mate was holding the ladder and was trying to tell me something, and I had to tell him to be quiet, I didnt want to think about what I was doing, (or else I would come to my sences and not do it at all)

but we got it done and it works well :)
The stove smoked abit, but that was due to the pain on it finally cooking, and some oil burnng off, and it was sooo nice and toasty :)

I still need to get a load of bricks when we are out today so I can make a place for the cookstove to sit on, and to have some for the clay oven in the spring.
I just hope they carry regular red bricks.

Current Mood: busy
Monday, October 12th, 2009
10:39 am
Ok, ive had a few requests for seeds, so ill list them here and folks can pick what they want :)

Watermelon -

Moon and stars (smaller and red fleshed)
Orange tendersweet - (Ornge flesh and large)
Yellow Tendersweet - (Yellow flesh and Large)
Gerogia RattleSnake - Red and very large fruit (just a few seeds of that)

Pumpkin -

Connecticut Field pumpkin - good all around for use such as pies and jackolanterns

Corn -

Old fashioned field corn for grinding into corn meal
Bloody butcher corn - Redkernales and can be eaten when younger as a sweet rorn or allowed to dry for grinding
Golden Bantham - Good for regular sweet corn

I got an order of seeds from this place, so id be willing to share abit with other folks.
So if you see any on that site you want, lemme know and I will share what I have.

Please realise it cant be too many of any one item as these are coming from my own supply,
but I am willing to share them to help other folks out.

Good luck to all :)
and just let me know what you would like.


Current Mood: happy
Saturday, October 10th, 2009
10:56 am
well I finally got a chance to get down into the woods and see what there was on the pawpaw trees, but it looks like I missed the big haul by about a week :/
From what ive read they are ready the last week of september.

But i was able to salaveg about 4 good sized fruit from the trees.

The best way ive found of harbvesting them is to lust grab the thrunk of the tree and give it a good shake.
Just becareful when ya do as ive had branches fall on me, as well as a big fruit smack me ontop of the head :P

Ill have some seeds left if anyone wants em.
i dont bother with the seeds, as we have alot of different stands of the trees all over the property, infact when i went to check this particulat stand, I found 2 more stands that i hadnt noticed before.
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