Friday, April 30, 2010

A Beautiful Day

It is a beautiful day in the beautiful state of NH. The temps should be in low 70's in our neck of the woods. We had quite the wind yesterday,with gusts upward of 50 miles an hour,so the day was chilly. However,we made the small cage for the chicks and I rototilled last year's garden area,then smoothed it out. We will be putting our boxes there,and a couple will go in the area between the garage and the house. Those boxes will be my kitchen garden and my strawberry plants. I will probably put my melons there as well.

Today will be a busy one. Rick has an appt at the VA Outpatient Center in Somersworth with Ken,his PTSD counselor. Then it's off to buy vermiculite,peat moss,and some dried cow poo. Hopefully we have enough compost here to mix and fill the boxes with what we buy.We are also going to pick up our chicks. This year we will have Buff Orphingtons,Rhode Island Reds,Silver Lace Wynadottes,and Cornish Game Hens.This will be our first time having Game Hens,so I'm curious to see how they do. Those will be for eating. We have had the others in the past,and were pleased with their egg production. We went with the Rhode Island instead of the NH Reds this year because they do lay more eggs. It's always a fun day when they chicks arrive.

We also need to build our garden boxes,plant our blueberry bushes,strawberry plants,onion sets,and I need to start my Straight Eight and pickling cucumbers.The Paradiso Mix coneflowers arrived,so those need to go in the ground very soon as well.

This should keep us pretty busy over the weekend. Zach will be camping our with his Boy Scout Troop. They help out each year with Fish and Run,which is a Cub Scout event. The cubbies fish in the morning and prizes are given out for the biggest and the smallest. Then there are stations that they can do throughout the day. Some are geared for the younger scouts and some for the older,Webleo scouts. The Webelos are graded and awards are given out on Sunday morning. The Boy Scouts help run the stations,measure the fish,etc. They also run the campfire on Saturday night,where all the units can do skits and songs. It's a good time. We drop Zach off this evening,and the event is only about 15 minutes from our house,so it works out well. He will be pooped out on Sunday,that I am sure of.

We have not started on our chicken coop yet,but the plans have been drawn up. We have some time before the chicks are big enough,anyway.

I must go and start my day.......and what a beautiful day it is!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Girls Day Out

Yesterday we awoke to a light dusting of snow on the roof,deck,and stone wall.We were lucky. Up north they received over a foot in some areas. That makes me think twice about moving up north!

I was up and at em once Zach got on the bus,because I was going to accompany My Dear Friend Michelle on her errands to Concord. She had asked me if I would like to tag along,and even though I wanted to go,I felt guilty about doing so. We have lots to do here. However,Rick told me I should go and enjoy the time with my friend. We couldn't do much outside,since it was cold and rainy,but we had planned to clear out the garage so we could have a space for our chicks. Rick insisted on doing it himself. He does have this thing about the garage. Whenever we clean it out and organize it,he likes to do it without help. It's his thing,I guess. So with that,I agreed to go .

I went to her house for a muffin and a cup of tea first. After that went to Tractor Supply Company,so she could return a post digger that was not made correctly. I looked at the poultry supplies,and bought a feeder and waterer for the baby chicks,a waterer for the turkeys and one for the chickens,and a feeder for the chickens. Rick mentioned he wanted to build a trough for the turkeys,so I didn't bother picking them up a feeder. Michelle made some purchases as well (such as food for her goats) and then we were off to Sam's Club. We had a slice of pizza and some soda,then picked up what she had on her list. When she put a mondo sized bag of chocolate chips in the cart,I laughed,because it was BIG. However, it makes sense because she bakes for the family,and it's more cost efficient than buying the small regular sized bags that I buy. Very smart indeed.

After that,we headed over to Jenness Farm so she could buy immunizations for her goats.( I don't know what kind,since I know nothing about goats. Rick would like to get a couple in the future,though,so I might have to learn!) I have heard of Jenness Farm,because they are not only a goat farm ,make and sell goat milk soap. When I was trying to learn about soapmaking,I kept coming across their website. So I was intrigued.

We pulled up and the first thing we see is (what else) goats. Then we saw some guinea hens come running out,and we heard turkeys.Pretty cool. When we went inside,the first thing that struck me was the smell. It wasn't bad,but for a gal with allergies,it was overwhelming. They had soaps,bug spray,lip balms,cuticle creams, name,they make it. The set up was quite quaint. Michelle wasn't able to get her immunizations,because the co owner who takes care of that was off on a trip. The visit wasn't wasted,however,because Michelle purchased a few things,including gifts for her mom for Mother's Day.

Once I got home,Rick was finishing up in the garage and he was pleased with what I had bought. The day was so raw that he started up the wood stove for the second day in a row.

It was a nice day visiting with my Dear Friend.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Busy Hands,Good News, and Rememberances

Good morning!
The sun is shining right now,but the forecast calls for some clouds and some showers later on in the day. The leaves on the trees are popping out everywhere,and before we know it,all the trees will be full of them. I love looking out my kitchen window and seeing the transformation each day-just a tiny thin mist of green at first,then overnight the whole forest is a sea of green. Gorgeous.

The weekend was beautiful,and we got most of the turkey cage done. Rick,true to form,pushed himself so he could barely walk each night. We could only work a bit before he had to take a break,and we probably put in about an average of 3 hours each day,give or take. It depended on Rick's tolerance. We got the upper cross supports on,and the attached the top row of chicken wire to it. Today we are going to put the wire across the top so the turkeys don't fly out and flying predators can't get in. Then we just need to put one more roost in ( we use cut down decent size saplings and run them between trees) and a shelter for them and it will be done. Our friend,CJ,is selling us turkeys that will be big enough to go right in the pen.Then we have to organize the garage and redo a small cage for the chicks when they come in later this week. Then we need to build the coop,and make our garden beds. All this as soon as we can. Our rush is twofold. First,we need to get them done,because we need to get them done! The second,is Rick is finally getting his knees replaced! His surgery date is June 7. They are going to set him up for both knees at once,but if the anetheseologist says it's too risky,they will do one then the other about a month and a half later.The VA cleared it and he will be getting his surgery done at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center. We are very excited and happy that he will finally get this portion of his life back!!! Pain free. Imagine the concept!

Zach had his Boy Scout Camporee this past weekend,and the troop did well-two first places and a third. He had a great time,and was quite tired. He and I redid our fire ring,and I thought he was going to fall asleep right on the ground. Later in the afternoon we watched "Avatar",and he fell asleep. Poor little guy. He had vacation last week,and was such a big help to Rick and myself outside. We didn't even have to ask! He was more than happy to help his Dad. He's such a great kid.

Yesterday was a sad day for me. It was the one year anniversary death of my dear friend,Alexandra O'Rourke. She passed away from lung cancer. I was going to say something about it to My Dear Friend Michelle while we were picking up the boys at Camporee,but I had a feeling we would both cry,so I didn't say anything. I didn't need to remind her. Alex was her best friend. We both knew,though I did mention it in an email to her later and I posted a remembrance to Alex on Facebook. It was then I started to cry,and went outside to help Rick. He gave me a hug while I wiped my tears. I haven't cried over Alex in a long time,though I think about her alot, and miss her,especially this time of year when she would out in the garden. Rick told me he thought Alex would be proud of me for starting to live this kind of life,and I like to think that she would be. It still feels strange and hurts a bit when I see her sons,especially her oldest boy who is in Zach's troop. He is the spitting image of Alex,and she loved the scouting program so much. A whole year. It has gone by so very fast. It seems like yesterday.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Black Gold

Our first garden was in the Spring of 2004. We didn't have much luck with it all,though we did get some lettuce. Our corn did nothing,nor did anything else we tried. We knew nothing at all about gardening,so we just tilled the soil and planted the seeds,watered,and weeded. So much for that.

That was our last garden until last year,when we had much better luck (see posts from 2009)

We did start a pile of leaves,pine and pine needles from our raking that Spring of our first garden. We figured at some point it would break down and give us some nice compost. Each year since 04 we have added to it. Last year we dug into it,and the soil was great! So we mixed it in with our regular soil,and with the extra help of plant food,our garden did very well,considering the horrible rainy summer we had. We did not get a few things,such as cukes,or peppers. Of course,these were planted from seed directly into the soil.

Going into this year,we were determined to learn more. So we started seeds inside. We looked at our pile of compost from the previous years ( we do have some left). Rick built a small box for the leaves,pine needles,and grass clippings (we now also have a riding mower with a bag attachment),which is full. We knew we needed more than just yard waste. So we decided to start adding kitchen waste to the mix.

We used one of our sap gathering buckets,drilled holes in the top and halfway down the sided for some aeration,and placed it next to the trash bin. Our coffee grounds,egg shells,shredded paper towels,shredded towel and toilet paper rolls,swept up dirt,veggie peelings,etc go into that bucket. It has also created less trash for the dump.

So...we have the bucket. Are we just going to dump it in the already full bin? We would get stuff everywhere.( Our bin really wasn't well thought out,to be honest). So.....we purchased a compost tumbler.

Rick and Zach starting the assembly


Zach putting some of our yard waste in

After we put the kitchen scraps,and the yard waste in so it filled about up to the top of the tumbler,we closed the lid and gave it a few turns. I put a bit of water in it to keep it moist. In 2-3 weeks,we should have some nice compost.

Let the black gold creation begin!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Putting It On Paper

I don't know about you,but one of my resolutions to "improve self and surroundings" was to make sure I knew what I was doing each day-ie: a list. This way,I could keep our projects organized and I could see all that actually needed to be done,rather than trying to rely on my memory,which tends to fog up a bit at times.

I know we have a lot of projects outside that we need to do. I also know that not all of them will get done this year. For instance,painting the house. That will probably be done next year,as we need to get our little farm up and running this year,and that will eat up some money.It still goes on the list,however.

I sat down and wrote this list. It kept growing longer and longer,and when I reached the end of it,I looked at it in dismay.

Outdoor To Do List
1) Build turkey cage
2)Build chicken coop
3)Build raised beds
4)Rake and clean the yard
5)Get rid of all the junk wood
6)Install the dog fence
7)Have septic pumped
8)Install drainage
9)Rebuild porch
10) Rebuild the deck
11)Rebuild the walkway
12)Plant flowers,put in granite slabs around, and install walkway to our flagpole
13)Clean out the garage
14)Repaint and plant flowers around the well
15) Sand and repaint the bulkhead
16)Get rid of the misc concrete blocks
17)Rick make a sign for the house ("The Little Yellow Farm")
18) Replace rotted house boards
19)Paint the house
20) Plant the garden
21) Set up the pool
22) Set up the rainbarrels many hours in the day,and how much money do we have????? Answer: Not that much!!!

It seems very overwhelming when it is written down. I didn't realize how much there was to do until I did so. Now I feel like we are up against alot and will never complete half of what we need to do. So...what does one do when one looks at all this?


Priorities are important. Like I said earlier,we can forgo certain projects,but others (turkey cage,chicken coop,raised beds,planting the garden,etc) are mandatory. These are things that HAVE to get done,if we are to establish the kind of life we want. Next year we won't have to build so many things,so we will have more time. Rick will also be better physically,so the work will get done faster. Do we really need to plant flowers around the well and flagpole? No. That can wait.

When one is starting out on a path to self reliance,the list can be long,because there is more work than just regular maintenance. Starting out is when one feels overwhelmed. You think it's too much.

That's when you look at your list,and you do the essentials first,then the rest will fall into place.
We are on the end tail of our turkey cage now. The one thing we do have to get more of is lumber. There are no cross supports on the top of the cage,so the chicken wire is a bit loose and on the warped side. It is not nice and tight as on the bottom half,because there is a bottom and a middle cross support. Now ,we could get away with it,but Rick wants it to look right.

Your best bet when starting your journey is to make a list,determine what is mandatory,and take it from there. Remember, you are not alone! We are in this together!!!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Achy Achy Body

Zach ( in the green jacket) getting ready to hike

Saturday was our Boy Scout Troop's Hikeathon. We were going to do our own,instead of doing the District's. We were going to in May around the Duncan Lake area in Ossipee. Well,there is logging going on in that area now,so we had to cancel those plans and went with the District.
The trails were on the Branch Hill Farm property in Milton Mills. As you can see,we received a bit of snow,and it was snowing as we started our trek. Before too long,it was a slight mix,then a bit of drizzle took over,but it started and stopped. The weather really wasn't bad at all.
One did have to keep an eye on the trail,since a lot of roots or rocks were covered up by the snow. Some areas had slippery leaves,some had mud holes we went around. The boys had 6 (I believe) stations to stop at along the 12 mile trek .Here they had different activities to complete-how to tell the height of a tree using a stick,making specific knots,and how to use a cross saw.
Our loop was 6 miles,which we had to complete twice. After the first loop,we stopped and had snacks and something to eat. Now....6 miles for me is ALOT. I am no longer used to walking long distance,let alone walking at the pace we were going,and the trail conditions. I didn't think I could do another 6 miles. Happily,for me, the 6 mile trail was getting a bit muddy and slippery,so we opted for the 3 mile loop.
I was sore by the time we reached the car,and by that night my whole body hurt.My neck and shoulders ached from looking down most of the time to watch my footing.My hips,legs,and feet hurt from the walking. In fact,as I write this,I am still a bit sore.
However, it was worth it. The boys get 50% of what they earn,with the other 50% going to district. I did something with my son,and I got 9 miles worth of exercise! Rick says he is going to join us next year.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Best News In the World

When Rick came home for a week in August 2005 after being wounded in Iraq,we didn't know in the next couple of years that his knees would start to give him bad trouble. Just kneeling like in this picture would be extremely painful and difficult,if not impossible.
This is a photo of my hubby after he came back from Iraq and Medical Hold down at Fort Gordon GA. He came home in early April 2006,and this photo was taken a few weeks later. We were trimming back the saplings by the road to open up that part of the yard more. Work like this was very simple,and he could do it for hours. Not anymore. Notice how nice and straight his is standing,with his shoulders back. He can't do that anymore,either. He now walks bent forward. It takes pressure off his knees. He was in great shape. Now,since he can no longer do anything to the extent where he burns calories,he has gained weight,of which he is embarrassed.He can walk,albeit very slowly, without his crutches,but the crutches help takes pressure off his knees.Some days he has no choice but to use the crutches. The amount of pain he is in has aged him a bit.
As I said in my earlier post,"Dartmouth Has the Answers" he went to Dartmouth Hitchcock and got the diagnosis of Post Traumatic Degenerative Arthritis in both knees. The arthritis would keep eating away at joint cartilage in his knees.Half of it is already gone in both.Once we had the diagnosis,Dartmouth sent the report to the VA. So we were waiting for some word on what would be done. Would they try steroid injections? It wouldn't solve the problem,just give minor,temporary relief. Would they approve the surgery?This was in February.
So we waited.....and waited.....and waited.
We were down at the Somersworth VA Outpatient Center for Rick's monthly appt with his PTSD counselor,Ken, in March. We asked if Rick's primary Dr was available to talk to. Dartmouth had sent the report to him,but we hadn't heard anything further.Ken told us that the Dr was gone and wouldn't be back for a couple of weeks,but he looked in Rick's record and indeed,there was a notation that Dartmouth had sent an email to the Dr. OK,we will give it a couple of weeks,then try again.
It's now the beginning of April,and we are in Manchester for Rick's Polytrauma /TBI appt. with Dr Whitlock. We mention what's going on,and he suggests that we contact Lisa Cardullo,who is Rick's TBI case manager. We know Lisa well. She was Rick's first PTSD counselor,until she transferred to the TBI unit. We popped in her office,and she was in a meeting,but we did speak to her intern,Gordon,who took down all our info and said he would speak to Lisa about our situation.
We were on the way home,when Lisa called . She said the Dr had left for the day,but if we wanted to try him ourselves to ask questions,she gave us his extension.She would try again on Monday herself. When Rick called it on Monday morning,he got a secretary who told Rick that the Dr never received anything from Dartmouth. Well, we knew she was mistaken,but that was enough for Rick. He knees were getting worse and worse. Something had to be done,and SOON. So he called Lisa back,and told him what was going on. She said if we could get the report from Dartmouth,and fax it to her,she would give it to the proper people and get this ball rolling. Dartmouth sent us the report,and we faxed it to Lisa. I included a cover letter telling her that Rick was in so much pain,that he was getting very depressed and that he "didn't know how much longer he could take the pain." The morphine barely even touches it. I also explained how not only would he get his quality of life back,but he could now get healthy again,it would help his hypervigilance because he wouldn't feel so vulnerable,etc. Though he will always have issues mentally,if he could at least live his life like he used to be able to physically,it would make all the difference in the world.
Last Friday Rick was on line when his cell phone started to ring (we have dial up). It was a message from Lisa,asking him to call her back. No explanations. He called her back,and I heard him say... " what referral?.......I've already been to Dartmouth.....oh......Surgery?.......for both knees?......I've been approved? Are you serious?!........." As soon as I heard him say it was approved, I started crying. I couldn't believe it. After he got off the phone I threw my arms around him,crying,and kept saying,"I am so happy for you.......I am so happy for you!" I couldn't say anything else. That is what kept popping into my head. We were in shock. We had waited for over two years for just a diagnosis,let alone the surgery! Rick informed me that the VA told him he could go "anywhere he wanted" to have the surgery,but that they figured he would go to Dartmouth. Hell yeah! Dartmouth is one of the best hospitals in the US! We hope he will have Dr Bernini,who gave us the diagnosis. We like him alot.
Fee Basis is sending out his approval paperwork on Monday,but Lisa said Rick should go ahead and schedule his stress test and surgery on Monday. Rick will need a stress test because of his stroke and previous heart surgery. They want to make sure his heart can put up with the stress of undergoing surgery. It shouldn't be a problem.He will also need to stop taking his Plavix for a bit and get a pneumonia shot. Once it set in that they were going to do the surgery,Rick started to cry a bit. I think we are all still a bit on the shocked side. Rick says he can't even imagine being without pain,he has had it for so long. Just walking without pain,let alone being able to do any type of physical activity like he used to! And he can get off the morphine,which will be great. It will make such a difference in all our lives. I can never enjoy going anywhere or doing anything because of the pain I know he is in. I am always worried about it.No more pain! We can go hiking and walking in the woods again! He can wrestle with Zach! He will be able to run! No more handicap parking spaces! No more lugging around crutches that get in the way. My honey is going to at least get his life back!!!
Life is very exciting right now,and Rick is counting down the minutes until he can call Dartmouth and get this going.....we all are!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Shooting Bin Laden in the Head and Heart

My Dear Friend Michelle mentioned to me that she was interested in taking shooting lessons one day.She was considering going to a range in our area. There have been some home invasions in our state over the last year. The worst involved a mother and her daughter in Mont Vernon,who were asleep in their beds when a group of morons(,who picked the house because it was alone on the road,)broke into home,killed the mother,and left the daughter for dead. The daughter was 11 and she survived. Then more recently,there was a home invasion in Somersworth,about 35 minutes from our neck of the woods. Living in the country,Michelle wanted to at least be able to protect her family should the need arise. I mentioned that Rick was a weapons instructor and an armourer back when he was on Homeland Security. If anyone know anything about weapon safety,and using weapons, it is my hubby. While it takes him a bit more to sight in because of his blind spots,once he is sighted,he is very very accurate. I thought it might be more relaxing for Michelle to do this with someone she knows. Rick was more than happy to teach and Michelle was equally happy to learn from him.

Then she asked if I would join her.

Rick has been after me to learn how to shoot since I have been with him. Being up here,it's not just about burglar defense,but bears,etc who wander into the yard who go after the livestock. I have always said sometime,with not much enthusiasm.

I have nothing against guns,though the thought of what someone can do with them makes me nervous.I do think there are alot of idiots out there who shouldn't have them. There are also alot of intelligent,reasonable people who I have no problem with. The power one holds in their hands when they are holding loaded weapon is not something anyone should take in stride. Accidents happen as well.

However, in light of recent events,and since my Dear Friend was doing it,I figured I might as well.

Rick has permission to use someones pit on their private property,so that is where we went. He made a wooden stand for his Osama Bin Laden targets,packed up the pistol and the semi automatic,the rounds and some spray paint,and we were off.

There was an old door already out there that we stapled the target to,so we didn't need his wooden stand. He used spray paint to show the area that we wanted to concentrate on:center mass. He first went through the pros and cons of each weapon. His personal opinion was the revolver would be best,and after loading and shooting both,Michelle and I agreed with him. He then said we don't shoot to kill,or to maim,but we shoot to "stop the immediate threat." He went over all the safety measures. He then showed us how to shoot. We each took a turn,and Michelle did great. She has some really nice groupings ( or as Rick calls them,"groupage") at heart level.She took her target home to show her hubby. I wouldn't want to break into her house! I had some good shots at heart level and one right in the chin! I was still nervous,but I would've stopped a threat. I wouldn't want to have to do it,but I would do what I had to do to protect my family.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Little Yellow Farm

Rick and I were trying to come up with a name for our home. Though small, we figured that with a garden,turkeys,and chickens,we could call our place a farm. We sat down and listed the physical attributes of our property.
1) A stone wall
2) An oak tree in the front that drops TONS of acorns
3) Seasonal view of the Moose Mtns
4) Many birch trees in the back
5)Many maples

So we tried various names based on these factors: Stonewall Farm,Acorn Hill Farm,White Birch Farm,Oak and Maple Farm,and Mountain View Farm. None of them hit their mark. Then I thought of it: The Little Yellow Farm. It' s obvious! " Where do we get the eggs?" " Down the road at the Little Yellow Farm on the left." The house is little,and yellow. No missing it. I like the vibe the name gives off, a nice,small,quaint.cozy place.

Rick is going to make a sign to hang off our tree. We hope to sell some eggs,and some extra produce ( if we have lots of luck with our garden this year!)Extra pocket money never hurt! Our neighbor has already told us she wants to buy eggs from us. Kind to oblige!

Still working on the turkey cage....with Rick's limitations,it takes awhile,and Brother B is now working,so we only have him on the weekends. No problem. Slow and steady wins the race!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

I Finally Get Through!

I have been trying for the past two days to post,but for whatever reason,I was not allowed to go to the sign in page. I am glad to see whatever issues were afoot are now resolved.

We knew it was too good to last. Our stretch of summer like weather has left us and now we are back to typical April showers and temperatures. However, that did not deter us. Thursday Rick and I put up the chicken wire around the bottom of the turkey cage. We also cut down some saplings that were in the way. It took about an hour,and that was all that Rick could do. Then yesterday it rained all day,so there was no outdoor work.

My seedlings are coming along nicely. I just went into the basement to check on them,and I now have three more pepper plants. So now I have 10 in total. Yesterday I planted 20 tomatoes,because I know not all of them will take.I put the cells that did not have their seeds sprout yet in the same tray with the tomatoes,and kept the sprouted ones under the light. I use regular heating pads for the seeds. I have heard that you should not use heating pads,that regular plant pads are the way to go,but so far it's worked fine. I did make one error,however-when I first bought the heating pads,I bought ones with an automatic shut off. After an hour,it would shut off and I would have to manually turn it back on. Not an option. Fortunately, I had an old heating pad and it worked, though it didn't get quite as hot as it used to. I checked at Rite Aid,and they had the heating pads without the automatic shut off,so I bought two for about $30. It sure beats one plant pad for over $50. You do not need expensive items to get your garden going. I have an basic shop light and cool fluorescent bulbs,for which I think I spent no more than $14. Plant lights are not necessary. I do make sure the soil stays moist,as that is very important.

Rick and his brother Brian are off to pick up the supplies for our square foot garden boxes. We are going to have 9 boxes this year. This is our first attempt at square foot gardening, and starting seeds,and while it does seem pretty straight forward,it's like anything else one tries for the first time-we feel a bit overwhelmed at what needs to be done.We can only do our best and learn from any mistakes we make. Hopefully we will have enough to can and maybe sell a bit by the roadside for a bit of pocket money.We didn't want to go too over board our first year.

Today I am going hiking with My Dear Friend Michelle and her two boys. Zach is best friends with her son,Ethan,and he spent the night there last night. We are going over to Strafford to hike Parker Mountain. It has been quite a while since I have done any hiking,but Michelle promised to go slow. The sun is shining,the air is brisk,so it it great hiking weather. Tonight Rick and I are going to the Abnaki District dinner.This is for registered adults in our Boy Scout district,where leaders can receive awards. Rick did not go last year. They had spaghetti for dinner,and Rick did not want to pay $10 just to eat a salad (he can't have regular spaghetti because of the gluten).This year they are having roast beef,so he can eat that and feel like he's getting his money's worth. :)

Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A Night of Sore Muscles

Yesterday was another gorgeous day,which Rick and I took full advantage of. We worked more on the turkey cage. We dug holes,set the posts with quick crete,and made sure they were as level as they could be. One side of the cage is more straight than the other,because we have had to deal with some roots from the trees. It's OK,though,it still works. After the posts we put up the horizontal post supports,that will also serve as places to attach the chicken fencing. In between this, I did three loads of laundry,and raked by the tree line near the turkey cage. The people who lived in this house a long time ago apparently used the tree line to chuck broken pieces of concrete blocks in,because I picked up about 6 of them,which I put in one pile. Here and there are pieces of concrete. What to do with them? We may just dig a hole and bury them. They can't be used for anything.

We didn't even realize that we had worked through lunch until I asked Rick what time it was and he replied that it was 2:35. Jeez! Almost time to get Zach off the bus! Poor Rick was quite the hurting unit,his poor knees were in agony. He is stubborn,however,and will what he can for as long as he can. Most of the time he can't do much for long,maybe an hour or two.

After the laundry was done, I ironed the clothes,including our scout uniforms,because we had Boy Scouts last night .I think by the time I actually sat down it was after 5:00 PM,and let me tell you, I didn't want to get back up. I hurt,especially my back and hips. I have bouts sometimes with my sciatic nerve. I wrenched it a long time ago lifting a TV from the floor to the top of a table by myself ( I should've used my legs!). So sometimes when I move a certain way it bothers me. Last night I was standing during our Troop Committee meeting and OW! It was quite uncomfortable. When I went to bed last night my back and hips hurt so bad I could barely walk. I can only imagine how much Rick hurt. He could hardly walk as it was.

Today is a gray day,warm,but with passing showers. I went grocery shopping this morning,and after a quick lunch of chicken strips and coleslaw,I made oatmeal-walnut-butterscotch cookies. I don't buy store bought cookies anymore. Soon I must go pick up Zach for his dentist appointment. Tonight we are having broiled haddock,baked potatoes and peas. We try to have fish at least once a week,but it doesn't always work out that way. We let Zach pick either haddock or salmon.He likes both. Thankfully,Zach is not a fussy child. There are very few things he does not like.Then again,we all have things we don't care for!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Spring Has Sprung

The weather continues to be gorgeous here in NH. More and more buds are showing on the trees,and our lilac bush is showing leaves. Yesterday we had my Mom up here for Easter dinner,and we were commenting how rare it is to have Easter with such beautiful weather and no snow on the ground. Our Jonathon Apple tree is just starting to show buds. One day we will wake up and all around us will be green. It seems to just happen overnight.

This weekend I cleaned up our screen porch. That poor porch has seen better days. It sorely needs a fresh coat of paint and some new screens. It hasn't been painted since 2005,so I would say it's time. A porch should always look somewhat decent,especially since it's the first thing people see when they come to your house. It's your greeting to friends and family. Right now, that greeting is not very cheerful looking here!

I also took advantage of the weather and did some raking. The boys started putting up the new turkey cage. They seated the lumber posts with some quick-crete,but didn't get as far as they would've liked,because they picked up the free speed boat we were given. So that took a chunk out of the day on Saturday. Then of course, some of the men neighbors had to come down to check it out,which took more time. By the time the boys came back from Home Depot,it was already 3:00 PM. They did work on it some yesterday morning,but of course stopped around noon time since it was Easter. They did get the lights for the seedlings hung,and I had an interesting time trying to figure out the timer...which I finally did,I think !

Today is laundry and ironing day.I will be going outside and helping Rick with the turkey cage and doing some raking in between loads. Tonight is Boy Scouts and we have a Troop Committee meeting,so I not only have to wash and iron Zach's uniform,but ours as well.

It's nice to see Rhonda Jean from Down To Earth posting again. She has a fabulous blog,with great advice. I think she is probably the standard bearer for self reliant blogs. You can't go wrong when you follow Rhonda Jean!

I suppose I should go do what I have to do -start some laundry and hit the great outdoors. I hope you and your families all had a great Easter,and if you don't celebrate it,I hope you all had a great Sunday!!!!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

After the Storm

What is that golden orb shining in the sky? Where is all that water coming out of the sky?'s sunshine and NO RAIN!!!

We live in an area with a high water table,so every spring when the snow melts,or when there is alot of rain we get water in the basement. Our sub pump has been running since Monday. Our basement has puddles here and there and a good portion of the floor is wet. We are very lucky,however. Some people have had their homes flooded. Rhode Island has borne the brunt of this last system. I feel bad for everyone who had major damage. It seems like the Springs are getting wetter and wetter,global warming or not.( My personal belief is that the pollution in the air is making the natural cycle of the planet's temperature move along faster. If we were more careful,we could at least slow it down a tad).

Yesterday we went to Concord,the state capital,and the home to the NH National Guard Headquarters. Rick was finally retired yesterday (or, should I say,he signed his's all official on the 23rd) We all had our retirement ID's taken. Zach was excited because this was his first official ID,since he is now 12.He was funny. He was sitting there with his "Sniper-Don't run,you'll only die tired" Tshirt on,and was worried about if he should smile or not for his ID. I told him to do whatever he felt like. He wound up giving a big grin,no teeth showing. We went to Ruby Tuesday's after for a celebratory lunch. It still has not sunk in that he will be retired. I suppose that will take a while,like anything else one waits for that takes a long time. Once it happens,it doesn't sink in for a bit.

We had a couple of appointments in Manchester today. We saw Rick's TBI Dr,and the sleep clinic read his chip in his sleep apnea machine. We mentioned that we have not heard anything about Rick's knees yet,and the TBI Dr had us go talk to Rick's TBI case worker,Lisa. Lisa was Rick's PTSD social worker for a year until she got promoted and moved into the TBI unit. Lisa was in a meeting,so we chatted with Gordon,an intern. We told him that we really needed to get Rick's knees fixed,because they have gotten worse since our appt to Dartmouth in Feb. He said he would relay the info to Lisa,and she would get in touch with whoever she needed to talk to. On the way home,Gordon called Rick's cell and told him that he had spoken to Lisa,and that it looked like all his paperwork was in order,it just needed to be sent to the right place,and she would make sure that it was. So things are starting to roll right along again.