Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Things That Bug Me

Yesterday morning, below freezing. This morning somewhat warm. Ahh yes, finally back to a normal spring.
I was getting worried after two weeks of very warm weather after our sorry excuse for a winter that this summer would be a very buggy summer. It still might be if we don't get a few more good really warm days followed by well below freezing nights.

I've noticed in the past when we get well above freezing and it stays that way, that we have more bugs during the summer. But when it gets real warm and then we get overnight freezes, the bugs hatch and then are frozen. That seems to get the population of the pesky little biting, buzzing, drive me crazy swatting at them creatures that think my food is their perch, down to smaller more tolerable levels.

Just a few days ago there were flies hanging out on the south side of my house so heavy that the wall looked like it was crawling. As you would walk by it sounded like a bees nest! That freeze yesterday morning seems to have gotten rid of them.

I just know those pests were just waiting for me to open a window so they could infiltrate my house...

Another pest I have are starlings. While I appreciate birds hanging out and singing me their sweet tunes, I do NOT like starlings. I walked out a few morning ago to find a robins egg laying on my porch broken. I looked up to a nest some robins had built a few days or so before and saw it was ripped to shreds.

In the past I have actually wasted the time to observe what some starlings were doing near a bird house I had built a long time ago. The starlings pecked at the small hole until they got it big enough to get their heads through. They then ripped the nesting material out and tossed the eggs to the ground.
It infuriated me!

The tiny wrens that had built those nests did nothing to the starlings. All they wanted was to eat bugs and sing me their songs while they raised their young. But the big bad nasty starlings want to be nasty dictators and run everyone else off.

Back in the early 80's there was a small crack in the soffit under the eave on the south side of the house. Starlings ripped and tore at that crack until they enlarged it big enough to get in and they started building their nest. They were none to happy when I repaired the hole and threw them out.

Just like in our species, there are good and there are bad. It's a constant struggle to keep fighting against the bad so we can have a peaceful life that we can enjoy.

So before I go entirely buggy I'll say so long for today and get out and about on my chores before the rain the weather guy says is coming gets here.
Have a great day and keep wearing that smile!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Blues and Clues

My sweet little girl Beagle Aggie passed away over the weekend. We were out working and I had to make a run for some hardware. I brought her in the house and when I came home I found her in an eternal sleep.

For the years she was with me she was a joy to be around and always gave me smiles. She was born and raised a city girl but adapted to being a country girl without a hitch. She loved to run the fields and woods. I could hear her in the woods when she would pick up a scent and begin a chase. Though she was never a hunter she sure had the instinct.

Now she lies beside four other dogs who were hunters, loving pets and one who needed a home and gave me laughs and love in return for one. Someday when it's my time to go, my ashes will be spread on the same hilltop and they will all be there waiting on me. Once again we will be together laughing playing and hunting in the spirit form.

Friday I had to make a run to town for some parts. I came home with six cute chicks. (wonder how many guys can say that)
Ahh, but my chicks are baby chickens. They're in the brooder and Lakai the Pitt Bull is watching them and standing guard. He can spend an hour just standing and watching them...

Rowdy couldn't care less. He just bounces around wanting to run and play. He's wearing out my voice with saying NO BITE. He wants to chew everything except what I get him to chew on. But I WILL win this battle.

These two guys love to run. But because of their breed people are afraid of them and they are good at scaring horses that people ride up and down the road. I can yell and they somewhat listen, but not quick enough. So I'm fencing in almost the entire back yard. There they will have the room to run at will and yet not have the ability to chase after and frighten other critters and people.

They hopefully will protect my chickens from the coyote, raccoons and other wild critters that killed my chickens last fall. When I get some more young calves, the dogs will be able to see almost the entire small pasture I first turn the calves out in and will alert me to any of the coyote who come in after them.

It's really getting bad and the amount of young hunters seems to be dwindling. As the hunting dwindles the wild nasty critters are growing in numbers. As they grow in numbers, they become braver at coming around houses and even people. It's only a matter of time until once again I begin hearing of them facing down adults and chasing after kids.

Also as they grow in numbers, the diseases they get and carry will grow. Some of those diseases like rabies, make them lose their minds and attack people.

As the coyote population has grown over the past several years I've already noticed the fox population has all but disappeared. I'm not seeing the usual rabbit population either.

Only thing that is somewhat good is that the number of cats people drop off has dwindled too. People drop them off, they meet other cats and breed, their population grows. Many starve but many become meals for wild animals. Well the coyotes seem to like them and so their numbers are going down.

Maybe some who read this should consider that before dropping Tabby off in the countryside... Your tame cat may have inborn natural instinct, but that instinct without practice doesn't keep them alive.

Well enough of my whining and lecturing for today. I'm off to pick up a few hundred more feet of fence, listen to the local gossip err news and get on with my day.

Have a great one and remember to smile and share that smile!

Friday, March 23, 2012


Was talking to an old friend the other day and retirement came up.
Though he's been self employed and has grown his business to huge proportions, he says he'll not retire. Says he can't afford to retire.

Now I'm sure if he sold his business or sold off all his equipment, he could easily retire. This guy gets up around four AM every day then works until late in the evening. Then has dinner and goes out and does some farming.

That is the kind of schedule you have to keep to run a really successful business though. Like I've said before, it's more of a life style.
Your vacations become mixed in with business. When you go out of town to a place you want to visit, you spend a few days or a week and visit. All the while business is running through your head.

But as we were talking we came to the conclusion, there is no point in retiring. What does a person do when they retire but wait to die...
Maybe for some having nothing to do and all day to do it seems good. For me, when I gave up the business, I turned my full time and attention to my hobby. Farming.

Will I ever truly retire in the sense most people look at retirement?
Probably not!
Waking up each and every day and having something that needs done gives life meaning.

I can take a few days off if I want after the busy seasons are over. When I manage to get ahead I can take a day or week to make a fishing trip. I can leave others take care of things while I'm away.

Somewhere over the years I learned that work is adult play. My work has always been my playground. I didn't feel like work was some dreaded thing I had to force myself to get out of bed for. I actually looked forward to the new challenges of each day.

The important thing is, you have to find what you enjoy doing and do that for your work. Yes, you may have to take a job your not crazy about at times. Yet there is nothing cementing you to that job forever.

If you learn to live within your means, you can always find time to start something new. It's the people who live deep in debt that are forced to stay in a job they despise. They owe so much they can't afford to take a chance. The have all the doodads, all the trinkets, all the bells and whistles. But they are trapped by what they owe money for.

I'm lucky that I learned that very early in this life. It hasn't been a problem I've had to face since my twenties. If I couldn't afford it, I didn't need it.

Yes, I carry a few credit cards. But they are for emergencies. I do my darnedest to pay them in full every month. I do use them to keep my credit rating up. Yet I also try not to pay interest.

So I am not a slave to owing someone. If you are, then maybe you need to quit buying stuff and pay off your debt. Then you too can work because you want to work and not because you have to.

That alone makes smiling every day a whole lot easier.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Rowdy Update

He chases and chases. Round and round then yap. He's caught his tail and maybe bit down a little hard. Does he learn? NO! He goes right back to chasing and doing it again. Yup, Rowdy has discovered his tail and it has become his favorite plaything.

While outside he also found a dead baby mouse and brought it to me as a gift.
Gee, thanks Rowdy...
He's not springing leaks much on the floor any longer. Getting real good about going to the door when he feels the need. I may soon be able to remove the plastic tarp from the floor.

He, just like Lakai, does seem to enjoy a nice game of tug o war. Nice thing is I don't have to play so much. Rowdy will get one end of the rope and Lakai will take the other. Rowdy doesn't really stand much of a chance, but Lakai actually will inch forward and make like Rowdy is winning!

I've never seen an animal do something like that before and have grown a little more respect for Lakai. But when he wants to win, Rowdy goes flying into the walls. Can't hardly wait until Rowdy grows bigger and the playing becomes a bit more equal.

Usually though when I go to the kitchen and return to the living room later there is one heck of a mess to pick up. Yup, when daddy's away the puppies will play. And do they play hard... Something like two teenage boys!
Hmm, they eat like it too.

My old girl Aggie just growls and crawls under a sofa. If the boys get to close while they are playing she growls a little louder. They both have learned to leave her alone. Wonder if that would work for me when Rowdy crowds me in the bed...

It's not at all cold, but the little guy cuddles up so tightly he feels like a second skin. Then at times he likes to come up by my head and lay with his nose about an inch from mine. Yet when I try petting his silky head he turns it away. When I persist he will move just out of reach of my hand. Then shortly after I give up he's right back. Not sure if he's playing mind games or is fed up with having his head petted so much.

He sat here on the living room floor one rainy day, mesmerized by the fish in the aquarium. He sat there staring at the fish for about a half hour. It's interesting to watch him as he discovers new things. Even when he discovered my sons work boots.

I tell the boy not to leave his boots in the middle of the floor. Like many young guys, he has selective hearing. So I watched as Rowdy moved his boots and even as he unlaced them.

When the son finally looked for his boots he started to scold the pup. I chimed in and scolded the son. Told him I had warned him enough and now Rowdy was joining in on my side to train him to put his boots out of sight. Hmm, what I've been trying to do for years, Rowdy seems to have accomplished in only a short time. The boots no longer are left where they shouldn't be. Wonder if Rowdy could teach the son to do dishes... Or put my tools away where they belong!

Well, as I go about my day and dream of how I can add a sliding board beside my stairway, you have a really great day and share that smile!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Taxes, Pigs N Turkeys

Are your income taxes finished yet?
Just a little over three weeks to do it...
Mine are done, but I have yet to file them. Guess I should though. Just make out that check for what I have to pay and do it.
Have I said lately, I despise income taxes? Maybe not here on the blog, but everyone else hears it.

If I believed my government really gave a rats behind about me I might like those taxes a little more. But when I see the huge way the government wastes money I just despise contributing. Ahh, but it's the law, guess I'll just have to bite the bullet and pay.

Had a great weekend! Got what I wanted to get planted in the garden, got the wild flowers and some other flower beds finished. Got about a hundred feet of hedge trimmed. Finished cleaning up this park sized lawn. Even got into the fields and got some work done.

Did have to help a neighbor out a little. One of his pigs got loose and we spent quite a bit of time trying to catch it. Well, we didn't quite catch it. He asked if I knew someone who butchered that he could get hold of quick. I said yes. So... Lets just say, he will soon be on the table. But when your animals start doing damage to the neighbors property, the sense of humor takes a back seat.

Saw a flock of wild turkeys recently. There were fourteen huge birds there in total. I tried to get some pic's to share here.

It was overcast and a bit foggy, but you can see how healthy they are. Looked to me like many of them would dress out to right around twenty pounds. Guess the mild winter made food pretty easy for them to find.

When I do try to get pictures of something wild like them, they never want to stay around to pose. These were no different. They left rather quickly. Hmm, maybe to the I looked hungry...

Another neighbor had two turkeys and wouldn't ya know it. They got loose and now the neighbor is hunting to catch them. He's gotten withing an arms reach, but can't quite seem to quite catch them. I'm figuring that if he soon don't, they may join that with that wild flock.

The joys of owning animals. Sometimes they would rather be out on their own. Kinda like teen kids. They just fail to see the dangers of wondering aimlessly out into the world. They don't recognize the coyotes and other wild animals out there waiting to eat them up.

It's a bit rainy here this morning. I probably would be sad about that because of the amount of work I'd still like to be out doing, but after the push the past week and over the weekend I'm a bit sore and very tired. So I'm thinking of just laying around like an old hibernating bear this morning.
Now I know someone or something will mess those plans up...

Well, have a great day and remember to smile and share those smiles!

Friday, March 16, 2012


Don't some people ever think, what would I feel like if someone did that to me...

Like the lies and rumors they start and spread. Like the nasty hateful words they like to call others.

Like stealing something. Would you like it if someone steals from you...

How would I like it if someone threw trash in my lawn...

This entire farm is my lawn. If your going to throw something out of your car or truck window, throw cash or something I can sell to pay for my time picking up your stuff.

Why do some men think nothing of calling their women words they would beat the tar out of someone who called their mother over...

Why do some women stay with guys that do...

Would those words make your mother proud of you...

Why has the food I feed the dogs been cut to forty pounds yet the price has stayed the same as the fifty pound bag...

Why does another mandrel on the mower break every time my son uses the mower... When is he going to pay for the new part to replace the one he broke!

Wonder what would happen if I'm walking across the road when some come flying over the crest of the hill...

Wonder why they feel the need to fly on a road that is only as wide as some peoples driveway...

These are just a few of the thoughts that have wondered their way through my silly mind over the past few days.
This weekend it's time to plant some corn, plant some wild flowers, plant some onions and finish tilling the garden. Then it's going to be busy driving in some posts and putting up the new fence around the yard so the dogs can run freely without being chained.

So once again I'm off to do the grocery shopping today and pick up some supplies.
Sure wish I could find someone who like to do that!

Have a great weekend full of happiness and smiles!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Working In The Garden

So when are the politicians going to get to the important matters?
Making it more possible for young people to start a business that can last for years. Giving them a better tax break to help in their endeavor. Offering them easier to get low interest loans for the needed equipment to get their business going.
Allowing old businesses who have quit caring about the customers to pass away to where they belong.
After all when a business quits caring about it's customers and cares more for it's earnings, does it deserve to survive and receive government money (our money) to keep robbing the public...

Not forcing medical insurance on the public, but reeling in the outrageous costs of health care. Putting a stop to the insane financial judgments in court when a doctor makes a mistake. Putting a halt to the hospitals charging over a dollar for one cotton ball. Bringing down the cost to use their beds and all the other wild prices they get away with charging us when we are most in need.

Ending the overpriced prescription drugs. I understand the drug companies have to do a lot of research to make a drug, but to then pick our pockets when they finally make them...

I hear those of the medical practice complain about insurance companies controlling them when they are trying to help a patient. But are all those expensive tests and drugs necessary...

Yes, they have years of expensive education. But is it right they be allowed to charge more than we can earn...

These are just a few of the things that danced through my mind as I was out in the sunshine tilling the gardens in preparation of planting in another week or so. Among those thoughts is also the price of the gas to run the tiller. And why is my tiller jumping out of gear. But that was an easy one to answer. The drive belt is lose and slapping around. It needs replaced...

After working in the garden for about four hours I decided it was time to take a ride on the four wheeler. Darned thing wouldn't start. I turned the key and the dash lights wouldn't even light up. Jumped some wires, pushed the starter button and it started.

Then I pulled the switch out and tore it apart. The electrical contacts were so corroded they couldn't make contact. So cleaned them off and plugged the switch back in. Sure enough, it started. Reassembled everything and put the tools away and was off.

After spending all that time in the garden though I realized with the first hard bump that my back would have no parts with a ride through the fields and woods. So I just rode to my daughter and son in laws house for a visit.

After leaving there I once again headed for a path that would take me for an enjoyable ride. Yup, first good bump and I heard my back say, go home and rest. And of course the back always wins that argument.

All said though it turned out to be a productive and enjoyable weekend.
Hope yours was too and that you had a good time doing whatever it is that puts a smile on your face!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Tis The Season To Get Busy

The sun was shining and the lawn was finally drying enough to do some clean up. So I grabbed the rake and began the nasty task of raking. Now my lawn is not a small lawn, but I did manage to get about a third of it raked before noon.

Came into the house for a cup of coffee and a bite to eat and darned if it didn't start raining. According to the forecast we're to get about three quarters of an inch of rain and it's supposed to be dropping to the low 20's. So I'm hoping it will dry off quickly and warm up a bit so I can finish that task this weekend.

I do not like not being able to finish what I start. Every darned time I do, I get sidetracked and it takes forever to get back to whatever I'm doing and finish.

This morning the sun is shining again and the wind is blowing so I figure the ground surface will dry fast. So my plans for the weekend are to finish getting the lawn ready for another summer of mowing.

With any luck at all the garden area will dry enough to get into it with the tiller. Then will come getting the flower beds ready for the season. Possibly then withing a week or two it will be time to get into the fields.

As long as it's not raining, too windy or cold, I will be out enjoying the sunshine and fresh air. Who knows I may even venture out for another walk through the fields and woods. When the winter weather is over I can't wait to break out of this jail called a house...

My solitary confinement is broken by the songs of the birds and seeing all the little wildlife scampering about preparing for summer theirselves. There are nests to be built and dens to be repaired. And unfortunately for me, gardens to be scouted out for newly planted seed... They really like that I hide corn and bean seed for them to steal.

Best thing I have found to deter the birds from stealing the seed is to string old CD's on a cord and hang it over the garden. The slightest breeze makes the CD's flutter and flash. That seem to be the one thing the birds have not yet figured out, so they're still afraid of them.

One things for sure. I will not have time to feel lonely or bored. There is just to much to do.
No matter what your circumstances are, you should be able to find many things to do. Even if you live in a crowded city you can get out and go for a hike.

I'm wondering just how much these high gas prices are going to affect loneliness. People are so accustomed to driving long distances to do things and see friends. Now with so much of their cash going just for gas to get to work and do the necessary things, are they going to have the money to travel...

Even I am looking at walking to the mountain just to take a hike. The only real travel I plan to be doing is for fishing. I have my favorite spots and there is just no way I plan to walk all the way to them. Heck the closest would take a full day of walking just to get there.

So after all the preparing and planting are done I will be wasting about three tanks of gas for that. I'm looking at about $200.00 in fuel alone for that. The fish sure aren't worth that cost, but the relaxation sure is.

Well, while the lawn is still drying off I'm gonna get outta here and do my weekly grocery run and pick up the other needed things. Yah, my favorite chore... Shopping. Shopping is a fate worse than death.

But I'll go and I'll keep on smiling! Have a great weekend and share the smiles!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Mud Slides And Wet Fields

The sun is shining, the last of the snow (I hope) is melting.
Went for a walk yesterday afternoon to see what shape the fields were in and because I just couldn't sit here anymore. I'm so darned bored!

Our winter snows started back in October and although the weather has been up and down all winter, there has been either snow or mud. It's been cold and warm and you never know which is coming until it gets here. Then the winds! Blow me away type winds!

I'm ready for a week or two of good weather so I can get out and do something productive. I'm ready to open the windows and let some fresh air infiltrate my house. I'm ready for the sun to bake my tired ole bones. I want my lungs full of fresh air.

So while on the walk yesterday I took a slip in some mud as I was walking down a steep hill. Yup, took a ride all the way to the bottom. Finished the walk/hike in muddy pants that were soaked. Honest mom, I didn't do it on purpose.

Gee how she used to get angry with me when I would do that on purpose as a boy...
I don't do that now on purpose because of the pain that follows. Danged older body, ruins all the fun. But I did get a great laugh and I'm still smiling about it.

There are so many really wet spots in the fields that working them would only cause lots of problems. Same as working a garden when it's to wet but on a much larger scale. The ground clumps into big mud balls and the roots of plants can't take hold and grow well. Best to practice patience. Though mine is growing very thin...

It's warming up nicely outside this morning and I'm really hoping I can open the windows later today to air the house out. Even if I have to shut the furnace down to do it. Training Rowdy is making my home smell a bit like a kennel.

My son who can smell nothing bad doesn't notice it, but I darned sure do.
Bet the kid smells the garlic bread I'm making... I should really make two loaves so I can get some for myself. Make and extra and hide that! Hmm, sounds like a plan. Yah, he'd probably sniff that out too...

I figured out years ago that adding garlic powder to the bread ingredients makes the best tasting garlic bread. I've never had one complaint and actually get a lot of requests. Now with the bread machine I got about a year ago, I make it even more often, but still give people who ask the recipe.

You would think they would make an extra loaf for me, but they don't. Oh well...
Hope your having a great day and you have lots of smiles!
Just watch out for that mud that likes to sneak under your feet.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Come On Spring

Was thinking of how to make a self cleaning stove top. That is the one thing that most needs to be self cleaning in my house. Spattered grease, drippings from stirring spoons, spilled globs of cooked on goo. And a son who thinks there is no such thing as a spoon rest that is easier to clean than a stove top...

My mind wondered off into a totally self cleaning kitchen. Again much like a car wash. High pressure soap and water jets. Brushes that would drop from the ceiling and scrub everything. High pressure rinse and then the high pressure air to dry everything off. All while I sleep in my comfy bed!

Picked up a few lengths of gutter this weekend and mounted them under the top railing on my porch to use as rail length planters. They actually look kinda nice there. Not near as bad as I was afraid they would. I opted for the vinyl gutters for they're scratch hiding abilities.

Instead of making dropout holes like regular gutters, I drilled a few holes in the bottom near the front edges to let the excess water run out. I managed to get them hung in place before the snow and cold winds returned. Even had time to dump a gallon of water in them to see how well they would drain. Worked great and they channel the water to the flower gardens below.

While I was out to get the gutters I even picked up a few herb plants to put in them when the weather gets right. I'm hoping to plant some flowers between the herbs. Maybe something that will spill over and hang down.

I'm sure once again any neighbors that have driven by are totally sure I'm nuts. But like many other times I'll bet some copy the idea when they see the end results.

This morning there is about four inches of snow laying on everything. That's natures way of telling me to quit getting so excited about spring and be patient. Nature has a strange sense of humor.

Many of my thoughts this morning are with those who were attacked by the tornadoes over the past several days. It does my heart good though to see so many people going to their rescue with offers to help.

Wish my old body and it's health were better so I could take all my construction experience and help them rebuild their homes...

Well, I'm off to get another cup of coffee and then see what kind of trouble I can get into today. Have a great day full of smiles and fun! And keep thinking spring. Maybe if we all wish hard enough it will come early : )