June 2009 Archives

Moving sale is over!

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And we did pretty darn well. I don't know what I would have done without Leah and Anna helping to get everything organized. They are good friends!

I was pretty sick of people as a whole by Sunday morning - no, I was sick of people by Saturday morning! They are so rude and annoying at moving sales and garage sales.

One lady kept messing with an antique (a truly antique end table) and knocked it over twice - the second time, I said to Anna - next time someone does that I'm charging them for it! The klutzy lady ruining the antique and her husband stalked off, saying, ' I WAS going to buy it". Yeah, right, she maybe was going to buy it until she added a couple of dings to it!.

I thought it was so funny that people would want something special for their $1 knick knack - like a sack to carry it in or something. ARGGHHH!!!

I'm glad it is over. I still have a lot of nice things I want to try to sell. I think I'll try craigslist first, then ebay for the more expensive items.

Now, of course, I have a ton of things to catch up with here at home. Between all the baby keets ( we are up to 30 keets!), Darling's brood of 10 chicks, the 3 or 4 chicks that Helga has finally hatched and 4 little peachicks running around with their mama, Veronica, I am worn out making sure they get food, water and are properly sheltered - except for the peachicks - Veronica will not let them get any closer than about 20 feet. I just hope she can protect them as well as she did when they were still eggs!

My feet, hands and fingers all marched to the correct drummer today and I was finally able to spin wool into yarn.

On my Ashford Traditional Spinning Wheel, that is. I've been making rough yarn with a spindle, but the wheel is so much nicer, yet not nearly as portable.

I am pleased. And somewhat relieved, because I was beginning to think I would never figure it out!

The CBS affiliate in our area, KCTV5, in Fairway, Kansas, has the most bizzarre rules for covering storms of any station I've ever heard of in my entire life.

And I'm old. I'm fricking old!

Their Meteorologist, Katie Horner, (John calls her "Mother Horner" because of her extremely condescending comments to viewers - for example, this afternoon, she thanks people for taking cover after a tornado warning in Atchison, Kansas), seems to have taken over all of the CBS Prime Time shows if there is a cloud anywhere from Topeka, Kansas to Columbia, Missouri, Des Moines, Iowa, to Springfield, Missouri.

Yes, I know, this is tornado season, and we live in "tornado alley", but all the other television stations can run a crawl about any weather alerts at the bottom of the screen. But not KCTV5 - they have to have live coverage of any and all weather for freaking hours on end.

Honestly, Katie is on the TV with videos of a roof that came off of a building a couple of hours ago in a small town, and she is talking about how hot and humid it must be in that town. Damn, the storm has already hit - at this point, the meteorologist needs to go home to her family, or what's left of them, And not only that, but Katie wears the same damn hot pink jacket every time she is on - KCTV5 - buy that woman some clothes!!!

Anyway, because of Katie's second by second commentary on the aftermath of any storm within about 150 miles of us, I miss the very few prime-time shows that I like to watch.

Gah. KCTV5 - would you PLEASE get with the program and get Katie off the air unless it is between shows or an actual local emergency!!!!!

UPDATE: Thanks to KCSTEVE, I know now that there is an actual website dedicated to getting Katie Horner fired.

I can see I'm not alone in my frustration with Katie Horner. Ha!

Daily Farm Report

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So, I've not been all that "daily" about these posts, but here it is anyway.

  1. Goats are doing well. The kids, Maggie and Boomer, and both fat and sassy. All but Sammy have been sheared. I might have to work on him a little tomorrow, as it is just hot today, and I feel for him with all that fleece.

  2. Wild Black Raspberries. I believe I should have some ripe enough to pick this morning for this afternoon's market. I'm thinking - oh, $6.00 a quart. Still cheaper than the $3.50 for 4 ounces at the grocery, and these are FRESH!

  3. Leaf lettuce. It's good. We had some last night. I have to pick and rinse this morning for the afternoon's market.

  4. Weeding. Oh, gosh. The weeds have gone wild with all the recent rains. Some of them are horrible things with stickers. At this point, I'm just trying to keep an area around each plant free of weeds - and then I mow those which are in a wide enough area that I can just cut them short. Note to self - next year, make beds within the large garden with mowing strips between the beds, should help with weeding, etc.

  5. Sven the kitten is growing and becoming less of a pain in the ass. He has an extraordinarily long tail. I wonder if that is common with 7-toed kitties.

  6. Willy and Petey - they have been in the goat pasture, but I need to move them back into the horse pasture as they are hogging the stalls and eating the goat's feed.

  7. John bought a Korean War era Army Jeep. We need to make a special spot for it in the barn. Probably on the slab next to the back barn door.

  8. I need to get out before the heat becomes unbearable. See ya!

So much has been going on. Did I mention I had a bunch of guinea eggs in the incubator? It has been 27 days, and I was surprised on Friday when the keets (guinea fowl chicks) started emerging from their shells!

So far, we have 9 keets in the brooder, along with two tiny bantam chicks, progeny of Darling, my very sweet and friendly Seabright Bantam hen. Their father is the little Black Japanese Bantam rooster we have. For some reason, I have not named him. Perhaps that is because he is a bit of a shit and has been known to attack my ankles when he wants me to distribute chicken feed. (he is lazy - there are plenty of bugs and lots of grass and weeds he can eat, I normally only put out some feed for them once a day, or all the time in winter). Darling and Nameless's chicks are now about one week old, and they are just barely the same size as the one day old keets. Tomorrow, I hope that many more keets will have their birthdays!

Oh, and I've been going to the old house a lot with Anna and Leah Combs and they have done wonders. I think we will be ready for a garage sale within a couple of weeks - and those of you who know how much stuff we have in that old house, know just how much of an accomplishment that is!

We found, though, that we have had some (children, we think) breaking into the house through the windows in my old office or in Andy's old room. We even found some muddy bare footprints in the dining room - obviously a child's foot. John figured out that they must have figured out the combination to the electronic front door lock, so we changed it last night and checked all possible entries to the house. Today, we checked, and all was well, though we did discover a lot of fingerprints on the windows that are on the ground floor, which kind of indicates that someone was trying to get in.

Now, before you get all upset about the fact that someone has been regularly breaking into our old house, let me tell you that nothing of value has come up missing. In fact, there were several jars full of change that were not touched, which is why John thinks it is most likely children who are doing it because it is "exciting".

At this point, I cannot wait to get Major and his sister and her husband to move in. It will give them all a nice house to live in and we will feel secure that no one will be breaking into it while we get it into shape to sell.

In fact, Major is trying really hard to figure out a way to get financing, he would love to buy it and fix it up and turn it around and sell it, but he is a young guy (22), and it will be hard for him to finance it. However, I think he could easily make some money on that house, and I wish him well with figuring out how to buy it.

Speaking of Major, he and his cousin, Jesse, came over today and finally put in the gates separating the lower garden from the main pasture. For the past nearly two years, the only thing keeping these areas separate has been a bunch of wood pallets tied together across the space. We bought the gates last summer, and I'm thrilled that they are finally installed. Not only that, but Major cut down one of the big evil locust trees that scar our property.

So, it's been busy. I'm starting to feel like maybe someday we will no longer have the old house to be worried about, and I'm absolutely thrilled that having a humongous garage/tag/moving sale is within sight - finally!!!!

I'm going to give Leah a good percentage of what we take in, she has been helping us just because she is a good person and has the time. Oh, and the girl sings like a freaking angel when she is helping me to clean and move furniture, etc. She could easily be a country music star. I was shocked at the range and beauty of her voice. What a great young woman!

Update on gardens

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So, we have an "upper" vegetable garden and a "lower" vegetable garden. The upper garden is close to the house, in the field that is just Southwest of the house. This is the first year for that garden, and the soil is clay. Hard. Rocky. But, it is close enough to easily get water to when needed. I have planted the tomatoes, peppers, herbs, squash, cucumbers and melons in that garden.

The lower garden is too far to get water too, but the soil is incredible. I think it must have been used as a feedlot for the cows that once lived here on our farm.

The soil is rich, dark, crumbly and so easy to weed that I can just brush my hand across it, and the weeds fall out of the soil. This is where I planted my onions, radishes, lettuces and my gourd seeds. There is still plenty of room there to plant more, but I'm not sure how much stamina I have for huge amounts of plants. I cannot get water there easily, however, it is below the level of our big pond, so, we are having a line run from the pond to a new hydrant that will be at the upper end of that garden. It won't have tons of pressure, but I will be able to run a soaker hose when needed using the free pond water!

I got both gardens in very late this year - middle to end of May - but, everything in the lower garden appears to be growing happily. I thinned the onions and radishes last night. Brought a couple of tiny radishes up for John to sample, and he pronounced them "radish-like".

I've been using the thinned onions as I cook, and they are quite "onion-like".

I have a couple of baby tomatoes on the tomato plants, and some baby jalapenos on my pepper plants. But, the upper garden needs a ton of weeding.

My tiller is broken. I can't possible hoe that entire area, so I guess it's time to get the tiller to a repair place in town. Either that, or I'll just mow the weeds with the lawn mower! LOL.

Today, it's back to the old house to work on trimming bushes and trees. I'll bring two of Major's sisters with me, they are wonderful, helping me to organize the stuff inside for a garage sale. I'll take them out to lunch at the Tenpenny down the street, and then come home and probably mow the lawn here.

I better get off my rear and get going!

Been busy

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As many of you are aware, we still have a house in town that we need to sell. For nearly two years, it's been sitting there. It still has a load of furniture and other stuff in it.

Our little farm house is too small for much of what we own.

You might wonder - why is it taking those lazy Donovans two years to get that house on the market!?!

Well, there are reasons. One, a persistent neighbor who would appear mere seconds after pulling up to the door. Just to talk, talk, talk, talk, talk and to likely ask for a favor. That neighbor literally drove us to move in the first place, and up until yesterday, was a major factor in our hesitancy to visit the old house to get all the stuff in it ready for a garage sale. Okay, that is the only reason. Well, that neighbor and his flock of children, who also appeared all the time asking for a drink of water, soda, money, food, whatever.

I like kids, normally, but since that family started bugging us, I've become a real ogre. I'm thrilled that our closest neighbor is 1/4 mile from us out here in the country. I don't have to duck and run every time I open the door in hopes of avoiding a pointless conversation that ends in - I need a ride to XXXXXX, can I borrow your lawn mower, etc..

Anyway, they moved yesterday. They decided that the ARM loan on their mortgage had gone up too far, so they just decided to quit paying the mortgage until they were foreclosed on. They found another house they like better (and that they have not destroyed yet) and moved into it. He told me he didn't like the house they bought from the start.

There are toys strewn about the yard - back and front, that they left. They were mostly broken toys because the kids were never taught to care for their belongings, and unfortunately, the lesson continues.

On the bright side, I can continue with getting the stuff in that house ready for a garage sale and then get rid of it. The mortgage company that owns the next-door house will clean up its yard and not decrease the value of our house so much.

The family that lived there have moved to another nice neighborhood, one with older, but well-kept homes, about a mile away. This is a family who proudly had Obama signs in their front yards last election. I guess that hopey changey thing didn't quite work out for them - or did it? They live in a house as nice or nicer than the one they destroyed, and they face no consequences for having failed to live up to the contract they signed. The ARM loans allowed them to buy a house with no down payment and with monthly payments lower than their rent would be. They never bothered to look into making it a 30 year fixed loan.

I used to think that home ownership would make people take better care of their property, but I have learned that is not true for all people. Some people just want a good deal, and they don't have enough foresight to understand that there are consequences to their actions.

And, some of us try to avoid some people so much, that we spend thousands of dollars a year on paying two mortgages rather than go to the old house to get it ready to sell.

I feel like a great weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I feel sorry for the kids, kinda, because it is not their fault that their parents did not teach them how to behave. And, I'll be spending a lot more time working on the old house now because that family will no longer just bug the hell out of me. (and John)

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This page is an archive of entries from June 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

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