Need a hole dug?

Get married. No, seriously. Married = contracted hole digger.

Spent the day out in the yard, digging up weeds in the garden beds, adding dirt, planting veggies and shit. And plying AtH to dig holes for me and rip shit out of the ground.

It didn’t take a lot of persuading to get him to rip the ancient rose (read= old and diseased) out of the ground with the Bronco and a tow chain. The holes….let’s just say that took a little simpering and a lot of babysitting (short attention span theater)

E and J came over and brought me a barn cat. Well, more like a spoiled house cat with an attitude. Funny, the minute that type of kitty gets ’released’ up here, the attitude dissolves, if only for a short time while they go through “what the holy fuck???!?!!, what do you mean no sofa??? I have to sleep OUTSIDE??!?”

Anyway, E helped me plant stuff and till the dirt.

Sake helped too, sorta. There’s a reason you don’t see a lot of Japanese Chins as working farm dogs. First, they can’t even SPELL the word work. Second, they’re far too stupid to get out of the way of anything (bigger dogs, water from the hose, the hose itself, clods of flying dirt, livestock, things that bite and sting, etc.) Mostly Sake watched, and absorbed sunshine.

The big dogs spent time in the run, where they couldn’t ’help’, a good plan. Mostly they slept.

The Husbands watched us plant and talked about, um, guy stuff I guess.

Who really knows what they talked about, we were busy digging and talking about worms. And avoiding errant piles of cat crap. I told you, the garden beds (giant litterbox) were in desperate need of tending. We tended.

Until it got too cold. J put his hood up, to no avail.

Somewhere around 6pm the temperature took a dive, like, hard. E and J gave up, took their eggs (everyone who visits goes home with eggs, the chickens are pumping out over a dozen a day, christ) and headed back to Oakland.

I made the promised rack of babyback ribs for AtH tonight (hole for ribs trade, seemed fair). But damn, it is motherfucking cold out there right now. 35 degrees says the thermometer. Geez. Glad we didn’t put out the seedlings I’ve been growing for the past 2 months. Would kill em for sure tonight. This may be the last frost, fingers crossed.

Happy Easter

We had great spring weather today for Easter. Started the day with a yummy frittata that Lisa made, sitting out on the back deck watching/listening to the various birds coming to the feeders out back. After breakfast, we set into a long list of spring cleaning tasks outside. The chickens were psyched that I cleaned out their hutch whilest they were enjoying a day outside, pecking at weeds & bugs. In the spirit of Easter, I found a bunch of hidden eggs in their hutch. Not knowing how old they were, I discretely disposed of ’em so the chickens wouldn’t think I wasn’t grateful for their efforts. Lisa and I spent much of the rest of the day working on the garden beds in the front of the house, cleaning out the old dirt (and copious quantities of cat crap), laying in new stuff and adding a bunch of new plants that Lisa picked up at the nursery over the past week or so. Its shaping up to be another bad rodent season (as seen by the many gopher mounds around the yard/pastures already. We’re taking no chances with the new garden beds and are putting in wire mesh to keep the little buggers at bay (and prevent the cat’s from shitting it up too badly, again).

For dinner, Lisa made a kick-ass rack of lamb and mashed taters. Yum.

Speaking of lamb, we still have all three lambs. They’re growing quick (due in no doubt to the daily feedings of alfalfa and wet cobb). They’re still playful and fun to watch as they practice jumping and leaping around the pasture.

After such a long day I could really use a good soak in the hot tub, but emptying/refilling it was on the list of chores today, so its still cold tonite 🙁

Thank you, Cal Fire

Coming home Friday nite turning onto Welch Creek, there was a crowd of cars and a couple fire engines?!?! I pulled up and asked one of the many fireman what was up. Apparently, a bunch of kids thought it would be a cool idea to get a stack of oak pallets and bring them out to the edge of the park and have a bonfire. I have no idea how these kids thought this might be at all a good idea, much less even vaguely legal. Fortunately, someone reported it before they got too much stuff ablaze and the fire dept came running with two large tankers and about ten men. I think the kids got off with just a very stern warning (didn’t see any police on site). Its this sorta thing that makes me paranoid any time I see kids (or anyone) for that matter along the park road at nite who doesn’t appear to belong there. Saturday nite, we saw a couple cars and a small group of teens halfway up the road around 10pm. I have become the consummate cranky old man and I called 911 to report ’em. Maybe they were just doing a nite hike, maybe they were up there to drink, dunno. Either way, they got to explain it to the county sheriff. The park closes at dusk, so they aren’t supposed to still be in the park at that hour anyway.

And yes, I got my ‘cranky old main’ rockingchair for sitting on the porch. And I got the old man glasses now too.

Securing the border

Ok, we have tried to be good neighbors over the past few years here and have tolerated (that might be stretching it) our neighbors not keeping their dogs in their yard. We even didn’t flip out when a couple times their dogs growled and threatened us … however, this year, we’re securing the border. No more illegal dogs strolling into the yard.
Whilest Lisa was occupied at her office today putting the place back together after some flooring/painting work was done, I spent the afternoon gathering up some sheep fencing, barbed wire and tools and hauled it up the easement to the edge of our properties where there is a flimsy old barbed wire fence that was mostly designed to keep cows out, however the dogs slip right thru it. I strung some more barb at ground level (to keep ’em from digging under the border) and then ran 40+ ft of sheep fence to the edge of a downed tree which already blocks their passage. Done. No more. Over the coming spring, I will be getting more sheep fencing and extend it all the way along the border and then they won’t be coming thru any more.

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Now to deal with my hands and arms which look like I was juggling porcupines all afternoon – 4-barb barbed wire is nasty stuff when it it starts snagging your clothes and flesh.

Catching up…

Busy last couple weeks – sorry for the lack of posts. We’ve both been swamped.

In between the March rains we actually had some nice days and poof – spring showed up. Temps up around 70 a week ago and now everything is green. Including all the weeds. Ah well – another year of chasing down all the weeds and mowing constantly until the rains stop.

Here’s the new lambs – they are all doing fine (no visits from the kitties or coyotes):

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sheep3.jpg

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After the cougar incident, the remaining sheep have a zero tolerance policy toward any felines 🙂

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When we’re home, we’ve started letting the chickens out to roam. They seem pretty good about getting back to their hutch when the sun is setting and don’t seem to have a problem with any of the cats. Now, the dogs are another matter. Dretti grabbed one and started removing its tail feathers. He got a serious time-out for that one. When we first moved in, he grabbed a chicken and raced around the yard at 30mph with it in his mouth – didn’t hurt it, just took it for a ‘tour’. That particular chicken never left the hutch ever again. The chickens are better than using the rototiller, I swear:

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In a couple more weekends, they’ll have this patch totally cleared. It will be interesting to see if there is any difference in the taste of the eggs now that they are eating more ‘open range’ food.

I walked out angry

Angry that they would so COMPLETELY lay to waste a perfectly good movie idea.
Jumper.
Do NOT go see it.
I had no idea (and might have if I had watch even ONE trailer, like I usually do) that this movie was geared to the 15 – 24 year old age range. They took a fairly decent premise for a movie, and turned it into “How cool would it be to go here and here and here, like, by teleporting???? And if you want the remote for the tv, and it’s over there, you wouldn’t even have to get up to go get it! How cool is that? And you would never have to work, because you could just teleport into the bank vaults and take what you wanted and leave cute IOU notes and nobody would ever figure it out! Awesome, huh?”

This movie was beyond stupid. And what’s worse? They left it open for a sequel. Fucking fantastic. A sequel that will go directly to dvd, if the world is lucky.

I’m not that kind of girl….

My garden is beautiful, and a work in progress. It utilizes mostly California native plants (there’s a lot to choose from).
But this, oh, this just does not fit anywhere, but I must have one.

This thing is to my garden what a sequined spandex mini-dress and acrylic stripper shoes are to Sunday morning Mass.

I gotta have one. I’ll name it Jezibel and plant it near the hot tub.