Friday, July 27, 2012

24 Hours Late is Better Than Never

My spouse took a glance at my bending table yesterday and said that it would be a lot easier to work on if some of the monster Chinese elm branches were trimmed away from it. So that's what he and I did today with the help of the Banshees. Chinese elms are river trees as best as I can tell and if there's a water source nearby they will grow quick and they will grow big. The one we partially trimmed today was one we tried to cut down four or five years ago. Not that you'd be able to tell. It takes a lot to kill these trees and this one thumbed its nose at us and grew back. I used to despair at the thought of ever being able to get rid of these trees for once and for all, since both poison and nitroglycerin are out as potential tree-removers. However, I did find through trial and error a method that will probably work for us. It goes a little like: A. Remove as much of the tree as possible, B. Move a flock of ducks and geese into the area for a year or two. Our flock loves to eat Chinese elm leaves and so far I have seen no evidence that the tree can go without leaves for very long without giving up the ghost. It takes patience but I'm just happy I've found a method I can live with.

I haven't gotten to bracing the hoop jig quite yet. I'm still puttering about cutting up whippy long branches so we can stuff them into the trash cans without a shade of remorse. However, that should be done in about an hour and the jig table won't take too much trouble. Yayy! By this evening or tomorrow morning I can start bending hoops again and driving stakes and setting up for the next big push at the Goose. Or rather, the next two major projects; poultry pens and the first phase of the enclosed garden. We have a massive population of ground squirrels in the back yard, so rather than deal with them using poison, traps, or pellet guns, I've opted to remove their food source. They're fat and sassy and here because it's so easy for them to access the ducks' food and water. I'm going to make that access less easy (I'm hoping for something closer to impossible) and hopefully they'll move on. Even if they don't I will no longer be spending money to feed the extra maws. So that's good.

A friend who got into ducks at the same time I did (but who actually kept her head about it) is down to the last duck of the original trio. Since her life is moving widdershins to keeping ducks, I have offered to adopt her duck and she has graciously agreed. Now you know why, although I have needed to get the hoops up and running for the last eternity or so, suddenly it has gotten sort of urgent. The extra duck is being provided with an extra drake I happen to have but they're going to need their own place. Hey presto, I happen to have the means to so provide, but it means getting up off of my duff and actually getting some of the plans I've been twitching with done.

So I guess I know what I'm doing tomorrow!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Plans for the Day

Finish bracing the hoop jig table.

Bend hoops.

Soak ground so I can drive the hoop house's rebar anchors without feeling like I'm trying to hammer a fence post into a solid block of concrete.

Possibly settle a couple of hoops and their bracing into place.

Manage Banshees without losing what's left of my sanity.

Remember that #5 is pretty much a lost cause.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Goose Starts Planning Again

Once again I find myself among the non-paycheck-earning population. It's a long, bad news/good news sort of story and I've told it far too often lately for it to be of much interest anymore. The stories I'm actually looking forward to ruminating on as follows:

Bad news: I didn't earn enough to get us out of debt, much less get seed money for my manifold projects.

Good news: I'm home with renewed enthusiasm for the sweat-equity portion of those manifold projects.

I didn't get to play with my newly-acquired soil blockers before I was spirited away to my tower realm, so there's something to look forward to. I lost all of my potatoes and all but two of my tomatoes (and those survivors aren't looking too happy right now) but there's autumn planning and planting to look forward to. I still have to weed, but look at all of the ground I can now put to use.

I'm down one duck. There is no upside to that one: She was my most favorite quacker and I'm going to miss her horrendously. R.I.P. Sir Edmund, my blue-eyed, white-feathered, web-toed, small quacking siren.

No good word on the Trout hatching eggs; the one source I could find this year reports spotting laying and even spottier fertility. Importing from England is beginning to look very good, if not at all logical or feasible.

My friend and local source for Buckeyes has a trio of pullets waiting for me. I just have to go get them some time in the next week or two.

The next few posts are probably going to be stream-of-consciousness ruminations on what I'm thinking about doing, what I should be doing, and why it's really important to get off of the computer long enough to get it done.