Sunday, June 29

Chicken egg dilemma update, Chopped corn price

Here it is Sunday morning. Just wanted to update those of you who care about our "chicken egg dilemma". If you remember, I wrote on *June 8 that we had decided to try and keep the chickens in their fenced yard around their coop, hoping to increase the amount of eggs we would get. Well, it didn't make any difference. The most eggs we've got in one day since then is 5, and that's not on a regular basis. We had clipped some (about half of the 28 or so) of the birds' wings, but some of them still got out. Of the ones that did get out, we managed to train them to stay off of the porch. A few days ago we decided that it was a failed effort and started leaving the gate open so they could all resume "free ranging" like before. Now we're in the process of training the newly freed birds to also stay off of the porch, and having fairly good luck. How are we training them you ask? Well, every time we see one or more on the porch we chase it/them off. Seems to be working for the most part, although we still have to hose-off some piles of poo, but not nearly as much as we did when we were letting them be on it whenever. Who said you can't train chickens? Well, they were wrong, at least in our experience. Another change we've made is that we're only feeding them 'chops' (chopped corn) in the evenings now, so they have to fend for themselves more. Hopefully that means they'll eat more bugs and we won't have to worry as much about ticks. The reason for changing to 'once-a-day' feeding? We went to the feed store earlier this week and picked-up one bag of chopped corn and it cost us $8.25! Just last month it was only $6.75 (estimate). Yikes!

Other posts about this topic:

1) Breakfast. Court. Surgery. Plants. Funeral. Visiting. Clipping chickens. Garden. Pump switch and hoses.
2) * Writing, chickens and mowing

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Saturday, June 28

Chicken babies, Swap meet stuff, Important book, Old Carpet

I mentioned on the 25th that I would be taking a picture of the latest hen's babies for y'all to see, and I did that yesterday afternoon. This is the best I could do because every time I got close they moved closer to the weeds growing around the building. Finally I just took a picture and hoped for the best. :-)

Click to enlargeI also mentioned in my last entry that we had some stuff to hopefully sell on this passed Wednesday at the swap-meet but didn't go. Well, these just some of the things that we'll be taking. We also have a couple of boxes of VHS videos. Some are Disney movies, some are others that the kids no longer watch. Our VHS player crashed on Monday, so even if we wanted to we couldn't watch the tapes. Might as well get them in the hands of someone who can. Yeah?

Speaking of videos and books, I was reminded by May Lattanzio about a very important book by Naomi Wolf that everyone should read. It's called "A Letter of Warning to The Young Patriot". There are also a couple of videos on YouTube (Part 1 of 2, Part 2 of 2) featuring an interview between Naomi and Amy Goodman. You can also just watch the interview on Democracy Now.

Click to enlargeSince I'm obviously showing pictures of what I talked about before, I thought I would show you the carpet that used to be in the living room. *smile*

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Wednesday, June 25

Pool, Visit, Change, Cats

It sure is hot here in Long Lane, low 90's (F) according to our right-now shaded thermometer. I am considering taking the plunge in the pool tomorrow. It's supposed to be just as hot at it is today. At the very least I'll put my feet in it from the ladder.

On Monday our friend and her kids came to visit. The boys immediately started the video game, the middle girl watched and then got tired of them not letting her play too. She found stuff to do though. And the littlest one (3 years old) kept us entertained by exploring everywhere she could get to in the house. *smile* They only stayed a couple of hours, but what a GREAT two hours they were! Can hardly wait to see them again!

Since putting the other carpet in the living room, it seems a little more cheerful now. Don't know if it's because of the fancy looking carpet, or that we made a "change". Anyway, I've gotten a few loads of laundry done since then (3 days = 3 loads), finished weed-eating around the pool (took 3 days), cleaned most of the bathroom floor with wipies (on-going), and got a few things ready (yesterday afternoon) to go to the swap-meet this morning. Since Rain didn't sleep very well last night, we decided after everyone was up that we would do it *next* week instead. It's just so freaking hot! If anyone from around Buffalo, Missouri has been wondering what the cost to set-up to the right of Woods parking lot on Wednesdays is... it's FREE!

Our once-broody hen hatched out 4 babies a couple of days ago. I haven't taken pictures yet. Before, we hadn't let her out of their pen and pictures taken through the mesh wire aren't very good (IMO). I did let them out this morning though, and even thought about getting a picture, but never did. Perhaps tomorrow.

Rain called the shelter where we have taken 10 cats, prior to the last couple months because we wanted to be sure homes had been found for them. Today on the phone she was told they all had been, and we're going to take 3 girls in next month. Their names are Spot, Mai-Mai, and Drigger. It's going to be hard to say good-bye to these because there all SO cute, lovable and can't be held enough. But we need to, and will. *pout* Bitter-sweet, for sure.

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Tuesday, June 24

Home made "urine b-gone"

OK, here's the recipe....1 bottle of peroxide (or one scoop of oxiclean)

2 tablespoons of Baking Soda
A few drops of Dawn (or any kind of dish soap)
2 cups of water

It's supposed to de-odorize what you spray it on. Check for color-fastness before you spray, though.


P.S. We're assuming you're making a BIG spray bottle with it. And by "big", just your average size spray bottle I guess.

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Monday, June 23

Rug change, pool maintenance, Rocky the big cat

This is the "before" picture of our living room floor. See all those stains? You could thank all those cats that used to live here (13 now, but 23 then) for peeing on the floor. We knew that they had been urinating in those areas, but we didn't know they had done it THAT much. sigh. We had been constantly (well, almost) putting Borax on the carpet to soak up what we thought was just surface pee... we were wrong, the carpet was literally soaked. We knew that the living room had a slight (to us) odor of cat urine, but since we live here we couldn't smell it very much except when first coming back home after being gone a few hours. Plus when we tried to sell the house a couple of years ago, all who looked in the house complained of the odor. Now we know why :-( The carpet in the video game room has one area (probably more) by the fireplace, to the left of the front door that more than likely has been stained too, but the carpet in there is a little better layed and attached to the floor. But definitely before we try to sell again we'll have to deal with it, and we will. Meanwhile, Rain sprayed home-made urine odor-be-gone on this floor and we've since let it dry and have put a different carpet down over the spots (obviously).

This area rug was upstairs in the kids' old bedroom, so we brought it downstairs and put it in the living room. Looks MUCH better than the ugly, pee-soaked, beige carpet that was there. Not to mention that is doesn't have that lovely (not) smell of "cat". Plus it livens the room up quite a bit. Took us all afternoon (3:30) up until around 8 p.m. to finish, but we finally did. YAY! Had to get the carpet out from underneath a computer desk, entertainment center, and a full-size sofa. What a hassle, but very worth it. Now we're going to be MUCH more attentive and WILL toss any cat that even THINKS about peeing on it, outside... maybe permanently. And because I like the "new" carpet, I took a picture of the middle design. Wanna see? I thought maybe. *smile* Well, as it turns out I didn't take a picture of just the center. Sorry for the tease. *smile* The old carpet is now laying in the driveway, where I did a major hosing-down of it yesterday. Thought it would be drying in the sun today, but as it turns out it's cloudy and threatening rain.

This is Rocky doing what we wish we could've done after everything was put back in place.
Idn't he cute, with is head on the lamp as if it's a pillow?

I strongly considered wading into the pool yesterday and scooping all the leaves and stuff that has sank to the middle. I stuck my arm in the water, up to my elbow, and decided the water was still too cold. Then a while later, when it was 85 degrees Fahrenheit in the sun, I sat on the top of the pool ladder and hung my feet in the water. It wasn't super cold, but I think my body temperature would've dropped considerably if I were to wade around in it for any length of time. Generally takes me about an hour to vacuum the pool, but I was only going to get the leaves out. Ultimately I decided the water WAS too cold and DIDN'T clean it at all (I did get some surface stuff with the skimmer though). The plans today include a friend coming to visit today, but I didn't hear from them last evening, so I'm not totally sure they visit. I've been wrong before though, and I hope they DO come for a while. We shall see!

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Saturday, June 21

Blogs, software, pool table, swimming pool

So here I yam, writing in my blog. Yes, that would be ONE blog. Decided that there's no real reason that I know of to post new entries to LiveJournal since no one ever comments. Granted, Zoundry Raven the blog writing software will post automatically to as many blogs that you enter in the accounts set-up, so it was easy enough to just delete the settings for LJ and leave just this one for Blogspot.

Speaking of deleting things, I've been on a kick the last few days trying to uninstall programs that we rarely if ever used, or those that didn't quite work right. Fortunately we didn't/don't have very many programs that fit those criteria. Yesterday afternoon I went to AVG's website and was looking for a way to contact them. I upgraded to the Free AVG 8.0 last week. Although it seemed/seems to be working okay and all, I like the icon (AVG scanning in progress arrow) that 7.5 has when it's scanning that's on the toolbar by the clock with a little arrow in it so you know it's in the scanning process. 8.0 shows no such icon, and the only ways to know when it's scanning is remembering that you started it, websites load really slow, or you open the "user interface" and click on "computer scanner" and it shows the progress of your scan. I would like if you could choose while it's scanning, for the "advanced settings" tab to give the option of checking a box to restart the computer when it's done. But, the only option right now is to have it shutdown the computer and then you restart it yourself. While I was searching the help forum I saw that someone had an issue with 8.0 changing some incoming emails to plain text. It was suggested by other users to uninstall 8.0 and reinstall 7.5, which I tried to do and for some reason it became a bigger pain in the butt than I wanted to deal with, so I reinstalled 8.0 and will hope when they update it to a newer version they'll pay attention to the forum suggestions to make it less of a 'resource hog' and get it to stop changing the format on some emails. It was also said that version 7.5 didn't slow the computer down nearly as much a they claim 8.0 does, which it's obviously not doing to our 'puter.

The other program I uninstalled, reinstalled, and then uninstalled again a couple of days ago was Ad-Aware 2008. It just wasn't working right (would only finish the "smart scan"). It would hang and stop doing anything but counting the scan time, when it got to "InprocServer32". It was suggested on their forum that you uninstall *everything* that had anything to do with "Lavasoft/Ad-Aware" and do a clean install. I did that, but the freezing during the "full system scan" still happened, so I uninstalled it and downloaded/installed Spybot 1.5. Ad-Aware was rarely finding any "adware" or "spyware", so it's not a biggie to not have it.

The Dodge Intrepid has been taken away by the mechanic I said could have it in lieu of cash for replacing the manifold gasket on the van last year.

Click to enlare. This is before we got it. He also brought that pool table he gave us for free, and stood it up in front of the bookshelves (the legs folded up/in). As we are unsure how long it's going to take our DD to get her new-to-her bedroom set-up, we put the pool table in there and played a game or three. The room is not really big enough to be able to play using a full-size cue stick, we are currently only using half of it. Plus it, the table, really isn't leveled, so the cue ball and other balls tend to roll to the corner on one end. When we move it into the house to the bigger room that's DD's bedroom right now, then we'll get it totally balanced. We did find out on our first racking of the balls, that we're missing ball #15. Once again, no biggie as the people who gave us the table is tentatively scheduled to visit us on this coming Monday.

The swimming pool is basically up. It just needs to have some leaves that sank to the middle during it's off season that need to be scooped and/or vacuumed. I put my entire arm in the water to test the temperature a couple of days ago and determined the water is warm enough to swim in, and therefore warm enough for me to be in it to clean the bottom. Was going to do that yesterday, but didn't get a round tuit. I'm thinking of doing it today, but I need to eat brunch first. I've been up and awake since 9 a.m. and still haven't eaten. (bad, bad Rambleman). Rain had 3 small patties of sausage fried-up and ready for me to eat at 9-ish, but I decided I would wait and eat when we got back from shopping for a few miscellaneous things in Buffalo.

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Thursday, June 19


June 19, 2008

Every Move You Make


Surveillance of private calls and emails. Cameras documenting every move. No habeas corpus. Unimpeded entry into personal financial records. Voting machines changing election outcomes with the flick of a switch. Protest defined as terrorism. Many people hope that the loss of civil rights Americans have endured since the onslaughts mounted by Bush Administration II is a political reality that can be reversed through electoral will.

Established mechanisms of political power are, of course, the immediately available means for attempting change. Notions of citizens' rights, freedom, and democratic participation are compelling paradigms that have consistently stirred the bravery of U.S. citizens - and yet elder political scientist Sheldon Wolin, who taught the philosophy of democracy for five decades, sees the current predicament of corporate-government hegemony as something more endemic. Continued->

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Saturday, June 14

Beautiful day, sleep-over, tall grass perspective

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood, although we are in a "flash flood warning" until 2 p.m. this afternoon. I imagine it's because we've gotten so much rain the last few days & weeks that the ground is saturated with moisture. I mean, gosh, it rained ALL DAY yesterday. Like I said though, today it's sunny, cloudless and warm. I have even turned the pool-pump on so that the water can recirculate and the filter can get all the surface bugs and pollen (may not be a lot of pollen since the rain and that may be keeping the pollen on the trees and grass and whatnot) at a minimum for the pool. Granted, we haven't had enough days of sunshine in a row to heat the water up, so I seriously doubt anyone will be swimming in it today. My DD did throw some soda bottles filled with colored water for easier underwater spotting a couple of days ago. Since the water is cold though, she had a hard time staying in/under it long enough to find the said bottles. Actually, she didn't find them and thinks they're in the middle of the pool where all the dead bugs and other crap has sunk and built-up. I seriously doubt the "stuff" is THAT deep. I just think the water was too cold for her. *grin* But she's a teen, she shouldn't get cold, right? he-he-he :-)

I could take the bathroom and kitchen trashes out and burn them in the burn barrel. I've already cleaned the cats' 6 litter boxes (only one had poopies in it, and once uncovered, stank). Yes, that is a "kid chore" that both kids are supposed to keep-up with during the week, but only one does. Unfortunately for we parents, only one kid (15 year-old) helps, but that's only in the evening *right* before bed (either just before or after the dishes are done *sigh*). I usually do it in the morning because our 12 year old son is asleep a long portion of the morning because he's a night owl and doesn't usually get to sleep until the wee hours of the mornings, and therefore is asleep during the 'chore hours' (pre noon) most days. Although the last couple of days he has been asleep when I've gotten up at 7 a.m. and NOT sleeping until after noon, which means (I hope) that he wasn't up all night. Due to the yet unscheduled pending sleep-over of my DD's friend, he doesn't want to sleep all day while she's here. Although the friend that's going to be staying here is my DD's friend, my DS is 12 and has started showing interest in girls, he would like to be awake at least some of the time she's here. *grin*

You need to enlarge this (by clicking on it) to see the perspective on how tall the grass was before I mowed it. Click here to see the 'before' picture.

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Friday, June 13

Internet connection, mowing, bowling and bedroom painting

What I wrote on Tuesday, June 9th:

Just wanted to let you all know what the latest is. On Monday ( the 9th) afternoon around 3 p.m. we had a dial tone on the phone and the DSL was working fine. I headed for the shower because I needed one. *grin* On my way in I heard the phone 'chirp' like it was about to ring, but it didn't. A little while later our DSL connection got flaky but we did have a dial tone, and then the computer no longer got a DSL Internet connection. Since we did have a dial-tone we were able to get a dial-up connection. Later Rain called the phone company to tell them and they scheduled a maintenance visit by the repairman for WEDNESDAY, which was the best day because we were planning on being home (and we told them that!). Well, as we said, we had some errands to run Tues. and didn't get home until around 4:30 p.m. There was a placard from the maintenance man hanging on the door that said, "Sorry we missed you". *sigh* He did say that everything was fine up to the phone-box/stand thingy by the road in front of the property. Unfortunately when we came into the house we had neither a DSL connection OR a dial-tone on the phone - we then had NOTHING. I went to the neighbors and used their phone to call Centurytel and another maintenance ticket was made for a visit by them on Wednesday - the original repair day. After I got back from the neighbors I doubled checked everything I could think of and we had/have no dial-tone at the NID (Network Interface Device). The main box on the outside of the original house before the previous owner added an extra room) and there was/is no dial tone there. A little while later though, we saw that the modem showed we had DSL AND an Internet Connection. YAY! Unfortunately, it was only a connection speed of about 80+ KBPS (nowhere near the 1.5 MBps that we had). Still have no dial-tone on the phone though, but at least we ARE connected, even if it's not as fast as it should be. So hopefully the repair man we get here soon and fix the connection speed and get our phone service back!

As of Today, Friday June 13, 2008:

Another Centurytel repairman was here on Wednesday and spent approx. 5 hrs. trying to figure-out why we didn't have a dial-tone or DSL. He first checked the NID where all the house's phone connections are, and there was no dial-tone there. He then checked the phone jack, only to find that there was a 'short' somewhere in the line, which he determined was a problem with the cord extender I had between the jack and the phone connecting two cords. So he went to his truck and got a longer phone cord and installed it. Unfortunately there was still another problem somewhere. So he installed a new double phone-jack (1 jack for phone and another for DSL). Plus he replaced the NID with another one from his truck and wired it so that there is a direct line for the DSL (to the jack inside the house) and we got rid of all the line-filters for additional phone because he said each on adds the equivalent of a thousand feet to the line. But we WERE getting 1.5 MBps even with 3 of them one each phone (2 in the living room and 1 in the bedroom). That's a moot point now though. Anyway, eventually he went to the main phone center for our area and found that we had a bad "load coil?". He replaced that and we then had our phone service AND DSL back. Gee, he could've saved 5 hours of work if he had checked there first. In his defense though, he and two other maintenance guys are it for DALLAS county and he only gets 5-6 hours of sleep a night and has been working LOTS of overtime, so he was exhausted and burned-out. He also said that we aren't the only ones that are having slow DSL speeds and that Centurytel assures him (like they have for the last couple of months) that the speed "fix" should take effect on June 16. We shall see!

In other news: We went bowling yesterday (Thurs.) and I barely made it over 50 points :-( I just could not find a ball light enough. Rain however has her own ball and scored only 3 points shy of 100. Neither kid did very well either, because they couldn't find a light enough bowling ball for themselves. DD swears she WILL be stronger the next time we bowl, which will be the 2nd Thursday in July.

And last but not least, I got a bunch of mowing done yesterday. Still a small area behind our DD's outbuilding being turned into her new bedroom/hangout. Obviously not going to do that today because it's been raining since early this morning and is still going. Speaking of her new bedroom/hangout, we have the purple wall-paint she wanted. As soon as she gets the loose paper off of the walls she'll be able to put a primer coat on and then her new purple. When it's all said and done she'll have deep purple walls with bright orange trim. She'll have help from a friend who'll be staying for a week in hopefully the not to distant future.

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Sunday, June 8

Writing, chickens and mowing

To be honest with you, as I always am, I am just having a *really* hard time thinking of anything "interesting" to post. Still of the mind "who the hell gives a crap about my opinions or life?!". I mean, seriously, very little *ever* really changes around the homestead. That makes it really difficult coming-up with thing to update 'the world of blog readers', ya know? If you're thinking, "Wow, you sound depressed", I'm not really, just not seeing a real reason to continue blogging slash writing. Seriously, what difference does it make whether I do or don't write? 'course you may say to that, "Then why do you?" To which my reply would be, " Because I can". For the most part, except for articles and videos people point me to, I've been avoiding the "news" because although there are many things that irk me, I can't see stressing over things I cannot change. You know, like The Serenity Prayer which says, "give us grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, courage to change the things that should be changed, and the wisdom to distinguish the one from the other." In short I don't feel there is much I CAN change.

One thing I can update you on is our attempts to get more eggs from the chicken hens. Since we've put down 2 roosters and a hen that constantly got out, you'd think we would get more. But nOoooo, they are still apparently crossing their legs, or they're hiding them *somewhere* in their fenced yard, which we haven't really scoured looking for eggs because a lot of the grass is shoulder high and we don't wish to get any more tick bites then we absolutely have to. We are hoping that with fewer roosters that the hens will be less stressed and in time lay more eggs. Except for a hand-full of chickens that have been consistently getting out by flying over the fence every day (even with clipped wings), for the last couple of weeks the majority of them have stayed in their yard. Yet we've still not managed to get more than 2 eggs per day out of close to 30 hens. Perhaps we've just got old hens who're passed their prime egg laying age? Who knows. We've got 3 roosters as of yesterday (we butchered one last evening), so we have 2 more to butcher. Hopefully once we're down to only 1 the girls will give us more eggs. I can hope, can't I? *grin*

We *finally* were able to afford to get 5 gallons of gas for the riding mower, which cost us $18.80. I spent about 3-3.5 hours mowing yesterday afternoon. Got a large portion of the back yard mown, concentrating under/around the clothes line/badminton net and swimming pool. Unless we get a lot of grass/hay raked-up or the wind continues and blows a lot of the grass around making it so there are fewer piles, it won't look as good as it can. Nonetheless it does look better not having 4 foot tall grass everywhere. I also mowed the front yard close to the house and driveway. I even moved the non-running car that's been sitting in the same spot for a couple or few years and cleaned-up the weeds that'd grown around it. Also mowed the driveway, so now you can see the mailbox from the front porch. WOO! Still have a LOT of mowing to do though, which I'll do this afternoon after I eat brunch and my wife and daughter are awake after their morning naps. Meanwhile I can bring the clothes from the clothes line in and hang out the next load.

Take care!

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Tuesday, June 3

Need to mow. Chicken butchering. Last Saturday. Grocery shopping.

This is the view from our front porch looking towards the road and the mail box. As you can see, you can't see either. *sigh* We are waiting for the stimulus package money before we spend enough to get at least 5 gallons of gas for the riding-mower. I thought there was more gas in it than there was, a week ago, unfortunately there was *just* enough for it to run long enough to get it out of the shed... then it shut-off due to it being out of gas. *sigh* So I pushed it back into the shed and that's where it has sat. You can't tell from this picture, but if you're walking in the tallest grass, it's up to you chest or shoulders (depending on your tallness). The next picture is from last year, but it's how it would look if it was mown (mowed?) today. I think we still have most of those chickens, but I won't swear to that.

We did butcher one yesterday that kept getting out of the fenced chicken-yard, and she's now in the fridge. If we decide not to eat her right away, we'll put her in the freezer until we're ready. Tonight we'll catch the one rooster who's not only out all the time, but alone most of the time, and put him in 'the killer cage' (also used as a broody cage for hens that're sitting on eggs). The other roosters, of which we have too many, don't like him and pick on him or chase him as soon as they see him. So we're gunna put him out of his misery tomorrow.

Last Saturday we went to a nice funeral service in Branson. From there we stopped in Springfield and visited two of our closest friends, and their kids of course. Our DD and Ameryeth's DD went swimming in their apartment's outdoor pool. Didn't stay long because it was cold, but they swam nonetheless. Then we went to our other friends who live further inside of Springfield. We talked and I played with the girls who were jump-roping. I spun the rope from one side while someone else was on the other end, and yet someone else was jumping in the middle. It was a long rope. After that, Whimsperation made some pizzas and we walked them over to The Raddish... a meeting spot for activists. That was fun, but we were getting tired because we had been up since 7 a.m. that morning. So around 5:30 or so we walked back to the house where the pizzas were made, gave everyone hugs, and we drove the 45 minutes to home. It was *great* seeing and meeting everyone and their friends.

Today we went to A&W/KFC and had lunch, and then went grocery shopping for this month's food and stuff. Came home, brought said groceries in, unpacked them and put them away, then I went and turned the pool pump on so it could filter the bugs and such out of the water. Maybe tomorrow I'll add some vinegar. The next day I'll add some bleach. That's all I've got. See ya!

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