Thursday, April 26, 2012

Compost Bin Is Done...And So Is Our Tom

Rick finished up the compost bin on Friday afternoon. The area is now nice and clear,and the tractor can get in and out. We have three sections: soil on the left,and the breaking down areas in the middle and to the right:

Rick didn't want to put side walls up on the ends,because he wanted to be able to access the piles from either angle with the tractor to dump and turn compost,or to retrieve soil for the garden. Good plan. He just used old pallets,held them together with rope,and used some lumber to support the back.Finally! That area is cleaned up and all our composting and composted materials are where they should be!

Sunday evening it finally started to rain.I left the bedroom window open a bit,and it was fabulous to wake up during the night and hear the rain outside. Monday it rain all day,and though we desperately needed it,it would've been more beneficial to have a a few days of good,slow,leisurely rain than one day of downpours.At this point,however,we will take whatever we can get!!! The grass did start greening up,and we have seen more leaves on the trees.

Yesterday we had to take care of our Tom.One of the females (we had 2) died,because the Tom wouldn't let her eat,apparently.He was also getting very aggressive when anyone went near the cage,and jumped up towards the door of the cage with his talons front and center. Not good. It was long overdue,anyway. So Zach did the deed,and after Tom was dead we weighed him-he was 50 lbs! We had to cut him up to get the meat into the fridge,and we still didn't almost have enough space. He was a big'un!!!

Tuesday we went down to North Hampton to visit Rick's Dad Dick,and Brother Spencer. Dick was kind enought dig out the old Shaw family bible so I could double check some dates:

The bible was given to Rick's great x 3 grandmother for Christmas in 1873.It has beautiful illustrations in it that still have tissue paper over them. Marriages,births,and deaths all have their proper pages,in lovely handwritten script.(My dates were right,by the way)

Yesterday I brought Zach down to my Mom's for an overnight visit,and I stayed for lunch and chatted. She had just returned the previous day from VA. My great nephew had his christening,and Mom went down with my sister and her husband (they are the grandparents). Zach always likes visiting his Nana. She is going to bring him back today. We had an early morning as we had to be down in Manchester for an 8:00 AM eye appt for Rick. His double vision is starting to go away,which is good. This was just an annual checkup.

Today I am going to start my cukes and pumpkins.

Friday, April 20, 2012


As I mentioned yesterday, I finally finished the shawl I was crocheting...a year after I began it. :)

I had a lovely model........

A close up of some of the stitches. It was mostly single crochet,double crochet,chains,and fans...

On to the next project!! Have a fabulous day!!!!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Plugging Away

The weather here had continued to be gorgeous,and very dry. Monday and Tuesday we were in the upper 80's! We have had a passing shower here and there,but that was it. This weekend rain is in the forecast,which I am very happy about. We really need it. 

This past week,Rick has continued working on the tree line,and has taken some time to go fishing each day. He goes fishing early,then works for a few hours outside. I have FINALLY(!) finished my shawl. I will post a photo of it tomorrow. Yesterday I made some more laundry soap and the other day I cleaned out my garden beds. I had to restart my oregano,as it never took off,and I only got half of the tomato plants. Broccoli is coming along well,and the basil hasn't sprouted yet. This coming Sunday I am going to start my cukes and pumpkins. The rest of the garden will be sowed outside,but I don' t dare do so yet. The weather is so abnormal for us-we could still get a heavy frost into May. The way things look,it is highly unlikely,but I am not taking any chances. The leaves are already out on the trees,forsythia is in bloom...this whole Spring is way ahead of schedule.

The tree line is coming along nicely. We decided to move where the compost was going to go-we are going to put it by the turkey cage instead. It will be a bit more out of view,and a straight shot to the garden. Plus,our pool gets put right in front of where we were originally going to put the compost. We are going to put some grass down,maybe make a little seating area with some flowers or such.

Remember where the big compost pile started? Look how clean it is now! The sand in the foreground is where we put our pool:

Another view:

Rick has been clearing out some saplings.This will help with getting more sunlight in the area,as well as getting the area clear. There are some nubbins from the saplings that he has to cut down to the quick or yank out so we can put the compost bins in and be able to get the tractor in and out:
You can see the what is the back wall of the compost bins. We used the pallets that are still good. We are going to put some supports in the back just in case,and will build walls so we will have three bins.

I can't wait for this to be finished. I have put off raking because I didn't think it made sense to rake all leaves,put them in the pile,just to have to move them all over again. I wanted to wait until the bins were finished,which they should be today.
We have finally set the wheel in motion again on the kitchen. We have picked out our counter top,and Tuesday we had a local gentleman come in to see if he could rework out cabinet to fit the apron sink,otherwise,we would have buy a new cabinet. He says he can rework it,but we will need smaller doors. That's no problem,I can always used curtains if need be.He will attach our new cabinet,and install the sink. We are getting a quartz counter top from our local Middleton Lumber,and they will come in and install the counter top. Then we can finish the kitchen,I can't wait!!!

Have a fabulous day on this fabulous planet,where ever you live!!!!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Busy Bees

I am feeling much,much better now. Thanks to all for bearing with me on Friday :) Note to self: when news stories hit that are very emotional and close to home,do not go on the Internet and read comments on these stories because I will get very angry and work myself up into a tizzy and that does nobody,especially myself,any good.

Zach has been a busy bee this past week. Monday,we had our Scout meeting.Wednesday,was Patrol Leader Conference ( the boy leaders of the troop meet and plan future meetings),Thursday was the Order Of the Arrow meeting ( basically honor society for Boy Scouts),Saturday he helped run a Girl Scout Pinewood Derby,and Sunday we all worked at our Model Train Show fundraiser. It was small,as we only had one group train owners come,but this is our first year.Hopefully next year we will have more set ups,and more vendors. We also had a silent auction with lots of great donations. I took some photos while we were setting up and I picked out a couple.

This went around in one big rectangle,with many different sections and set ups-tunnels,etc.

The boys checking out how it's set up and run. You can see Rick on the left with his sunglasses on.He has to wear them in certain lighting because the light hurts his eyes. Fluorescent and bright sunlight are the worst!

Rick and Zach this past weekend also did a bit more work outside in the treeline,taking down saplings and clearing out the area. We decided to put the compost bins next to the turkey cage. This way,they are across from the garden,and more hidden from view. Our Tom is getting mighty protective of his two females. He went after Rick a couple of times. Time to make some ground turkey out of him,I think! 

Yesterday Brother Dale came up for a visit,and The Menfolk all went out to the shooting pit down the road. Zach apparently was on a streak,because he nailed not only a Copenhagen can at 50 yards with a 22 at first shot,he also hit an old potato off the top of a bottle with a .45,and drove two bullets through a tin can with a .45. A chip off the old block! Rick said,"My boy did me proud."

I cleaned out my garden beds and let The Girls wander around the yard. I love to watch them scratch at the leaves,but I wasn't happy when the leaves went back in to my cleaned beds! When they started to wander too far,I called them back-and they actually came back in my direction. Then,when it was time to go back into the pen,I walked behind them,waving my arms,saying,"Come on,ladies,time to go back home,"and they all went back to the pen and walked back in. I thought that was really cool...and it will probably never happen again! LOL!!! Usually they give me a run for my money!

Today the weather is going to be in the upper 80's-crazy for this time of year. Gorgeous day,though!! Our drought does,unfortunately, continue. It makes me very glad that we no longer depend on our dug well. We would be in trouble if we had to use it,I think.

Hope you have a fabulous day on this fabulous planet!!!!

Friday, April 13, 2012

NH Is Shaken To It's Core

Last night, I was crocheting and watching something on TV,when Brother B came in the house and told me that one of our policemen friends had informed him that there was a shooting down in Greenland. At least one policeman,possibly three, were shot. I immediately turned the channel to Channel 9,WMUR,our NH station out of Manchester.

We stayed up until the wee hours watching and gathering info as it trickled in.At first,they revealed that one of the officers shot was the Greenland police chief Michael Maloney,who was due to retire on April 20th. Brother B,who used to be a cop with the University of NH police dept,knew him. Later, they also revealed that not three,but five policemen had been shot.

 The officers went to the home of 29 year old Cullen Mutrie,with a search warrant regarding drugs about 6:00 PM last night. Mutrie had a history of breaking the law- fighting at a bar,domestic violence against a girlfriend,and,when police went to his house to confiscate his weapons because of that charge,found illegal steroids in 2010 or 2011. Neighbors last night stated that there was suspected "drug activity" going on at the house and the local authorities were investigating it. When the officers entered the home,Mutrie fired at them,killing Police Chef Michael Maloney,and wounding four others-detectives from Newmarket,UNH,Dover,and Rochester. Two were treated and released,two others are stable but have undergone surgery from gunshot wounds to the chest.

I have been reading various posts about his from various news sources,and I am quite disgusted and appalled by some of the comments,mostly by anti government and anti police folks.I can't wrap my head around their thought process.I'm sorry,but the police were doing their job. Anyone who says this pinhead had every right to defend himself is wrong. He shouldn't have even had weapons,since he was no longer allowed the right to have them. Some points:

#1- He had the right to defend himself since this is a Right to Defend state- WRONG. He was a criminal who was breaking the law. And they had a warrant. Enough said.

#2-They got  hurt because they weren't wearing bullet proof vests so they deserved it- WHAT? Just because someone wears a bullet proof vest doesn't mean they can't get hurt.Vests do not cover the whole torso,and it is not hard for a bullet to find the right spot. Also,if a bullet is stopped by the vest at close range,then internal injuries are not uncommon. Also,heads are not protected,are they?

#3-The police were sneaking up to the house in a "nighttime raid"-WRONG. It was 6:00 PM,and still light outside.

Needless to say,the area was swarmed by State Police,and many local police depts. They kept trying to get Mutrie to come out to no avail. After their last contact with him they heard shots. They sent a robot in and discovered the bodies of Mutrie and a female.Whether it be double suicide or murder suicide is unclear,but my guess is the latter.

Things like this don't happen here in NH. We have homicides,yes,but nothing like this,ever. Not on this scale. Greenland is on the Seacoast,next to Rye and North Hampton.It has about 3,000 people,a small town where folks "know" each other.

I know, I am not sounding like my normal self,but I am very angry that this happened...and that people who refer to themselves as "patriots"( who to me sound bat shit crazy) are being idiots about it. Brother B,my father in law,and many members of their family have been in law enforcement. It hits a bit close to home. 

Bless the policemen,their families,and their law enforcement families.Our state is mighty sad and shaken today.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

What's Still On My Needles

Back in late fall or early winter, I posted "What's On My Needles." It was a Friendship Shawl that I was attempting to crochet.However,I still had the second sock out of the pair for Brother B that I had to knit,so I abandoned the shawl and knitted his sock. I finally finished it about two weeks ago.Brother B was mighty happy that he had an actual pair of socks a year after the first one was done :)

Now I am determined to not let anything side track me for finishing the shawl. I really want to start making an afghan,but I will not start until this project is finished.

Being new to crocheting,I made mistakes. Sometimes reading the instructions was like reading a foreign language. This is what the shawl looked like on that first posting:

See how heavy and wavy the edging looks? Imagine it about four more inches long.Not only was it getting very heavy,it was taking me over an hour just to do one row! Well, I finally figured out why. The description for making shells was a 5 DC in a 3 chain space.I thought that meant 5 DC's in EACH chain space,making 15 DC's in a small space of three chains. 

When I sat back down last week to finally finish this shawl,I reread the instructions,looked at the picture of what it's suppose to look like,and unraveled the edging. A light bulb went off in my head. Of course!! The shell is 5 DC in a 3 chain space...meaning,one shell in the 3 chain space. I split it up as 2 DC's in the first chain,1 DC in the second,and 2 in the third chain. It looked much better and I could zip through the rows much faster. I finally finished the first half:

Looks more like a shawl,doesn't it? And it actually looks like the photo! Amazing how sometimes we get stuck in the wrong pattern,but then the right pattern just clicks! Much like life :)

If you knit or crochet,what's on your needles? 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Working On The Compost Area and Treeline

Good morning,friends! 

Yesterday,Rick and I got outside for a few hours and continued working on the compost/treeline area. Our goal is to clean it all up,regain some property,and organize our compost area by building bins. Since we bought the house in 2003,we have never done anything with this area,for the most part. Pallets,used lumber,etc found their way into this part of our yard and it looked awful. It's been a sore point with me for quite awhile. I mentioned to Rick last month that I wanted to build bins for our compost using whatever pallets and wood were still good in that mess. Whatever was bad,we could burn or chip.

As you saw in a couple posts back,we started working first on the compost area. There were quite a few sticks and saplings in the pile that we had to separate from the pile:

98% of this pile was taken from the compost area. Any big sticks from the treeline got put in this pile was well. It would be great to have bonfire,but right now things are so dry here that we have had red flag warnings for almost a week now,and no fire permits are being issued.

This is what the compost area looked like the last time I posted about it,remember?

Still had quite a pile to sort through.Put the soil in one pile,the leaves,etc in another. This is what it looked like as of yesterday:

After we got the pile situated,Rick back dragged the area and I did a bit of raking further back towards the trees. (You can see the neighbors property that I was discussing yesterday.In the summer,the leaves hide a good deal of this view). It's in this spot that we are going to build our compost bins.

Now that we have our piles separated,we had to pull out the pallets and the wood from their areas. Rick worked on that some this week.Once the pallets were pulled out,he once again back-dragged the area,and I raked it out,putting sticks in the stick pile,and putting any trash in the trash bag. Apparently at some point,someone used this area as a dumping ground,because we have found paper trash,an Elmo,and an old metal coil box-spring that had a small tree growing around it-all this was under the dirt. Rick even found an old fire ring,still intact! All kinds of "fun" treats.

Rick getting the tractor going.You can see the soil pile to the right and the leaf,etc pile to the left:

I didn't get a photo of the area before the pallets were cleaned out,but this where they were. More back dragging and raking ensued. We then called it a day.

Here are the pallets that Rick pulled out. Any good ones we will use to build the compost bins. The broken ones we will burn,whenever we can burn again:

There are some saplings that we are going to cut,but we are going to make sure we maintain a privacy line.

Have fabulous day on this fabulous planet!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Being Neighborly

We are fairly close to our neighbors in proximity here. We can see their homes,and one of them we could hit with a rock if we threw it hard enough. Personally,I would love to have a home where we saw no one,but that's OK.

We have had neighbors come and go. We had one young couple and their little girl leave and we all breathed a sigh of relief. He would drink,she would pop pills,and the cops were there many times.Both were arrested for domestic violence at one point or another. We always felt so bad for their little girl. He would work on cars in his garage until four in the morning and we could hear her screaming at him. She also,for whatever reason,wound up hating us. It made for a very uncomfortable situation,but they lost their house and moved. Good riddance. 

Right now,all our neighbors are good people. The Evil Couple had their house bought by a gentleman who wound up putting in our kitchen floor. He rented out the house to a guy we know from Cub Scouts! Then,our neighbor across the dirt road moved,and the new owner rented out his house-to a lady we also knew from Scouting. Small world!! Our good friends,Kelly and Darlene,still live behind us,thankfully.At the end of the dirt road still live Ron and Jean,an older couple whom we are also friends with. Across from them is a single gentleman who is rarely home because of his job,and we have a typical neighbor relationship-small talk,a smile and wave in passing-your basic cordial interaction.

We always try to help our neighbors if they need it,and if we have the capability to do so. More so Kelly and Darlene,and Ron and Jean. If we need something for a recipe,some coffee,or whatnot,they are there,and vise versa. Need help with a vehicle? Brother B,who was a mechanic in the National Guard,is your man. Truck stuck in the snow? Rick can pull you out with his 4 wheel drive truck. It works both ways. We have had neighbors help with landscaping,working on the driveway,give us wood chips,etc. We have borrowed tools and had tools borrowed. Our neighbors are very responsible folks.

Then we have our other neighbors,who live next door to us.Our properties are side by side.Now,they are nice folks,don't get me wrong,but they don't help themselves and truthfully,seem to lack basic common sense. The father does have health issues (bad heart). But there are many able bodied people living there.(His girlfriend,his son,and his son's ex girlfriend who is the mother of his baby and the daughter of the father's girlfriend-got all that? There is also a young man who lives there).Their yard is a junkyard,trash is all over the front yard from garbage bags getting ripped open, get the jist. Now, my yard is not perfect-our tree line has old lumber,pallets,etc in it that we are in the process of cleaning up-but theirs is a bit much. Every once in a while,they will get out there and putter around. The problem is they ruin every tool they have,or misuse them so they don't work properly. They had a  brand new riding lawn mower that they were cutting the grass with last year.Bear in mind the grass was at least three feet high. Instead of weed wacking it down to a reasonable height so they could see what was hiding the grass,they went ahead with the mower-and proceeded to ruin the blades.They got stuck on a rock and tried to get off it instead of shutting the mower down. We were outside and just shook our heads.The mower sat there for months before they fixed the blades.

The other day,we were outside and the Neighbor Son came over wondering if he could borrow our wheelbarrow. He broke the handle on theirs. Rick,knowing how careless they are,asked what he needed it for. "I just need to move a few small rocks," he replied. I could tell that Rick really wanted to say no,but he also wanted to be a good neighbor. "How long do you need it for?" Rick inquired. "Just a little while,we'll bring it right back," Neighbor Son assured him."Well,alright,but don't overload it," Rick told him. "Are you sure you want to lend him anything? That wheelbarrow wasn't cheap. If he breaks it,I will be pissed," I said to  Rick as I watched Neighbor Son push the wheelbarrow into their yard."I"m going to sit right here and watch him,"Rick assured me."If he overloads it I'm going over there and getting it back." I'm not sure what they were doing,but it involved,like Neighbor Son said,moving rocks. And,apparently,concrete. And not small rocks and concrete. Rick saw the other boy who lives there trying in vain to push the wheelbarrow. It was filled to the brim,and was so heavy he couldn't even move it!!! So that's how they broke their handle. Rick was over there in a split second. He came back with the wheel barrow shaking his head. "I told them not overload it! They had huge pieces of concrete in it. Damn kid couldn't even move it!" Total time they had the wheelbarrow:10 minutes.

Have a fabulous day on this fabulous planet!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

A Bit of This,A Bit of That

Friday Rick had  a hearing test at the VA.The constant ringing in his ears has gotten louder,and the Dr said that was due to him losing some of his higher frequency hearing since his last ear appt (which was six years ago).His overall hearing is good,but of course,the tinnitus is a big old pain in the butt. This explains why he likes background noise -it helps mask the ringing in his ears.

Yesterday Rick and Zach went fishing (NH Fish and Game have begun stocking lakes,etc) and Zach got a nice brown trout,and a big sucker (he threw the sucker back-kept the trout).After they got home,Rick worked more on the compost pile. I haven't taken a new photo of it,but it's almost done.

Last night at midnight,we got a phone call-apparently another deer got hit.So Rick woke up Brother B and they went to pick it up. It's a small female,but still has some meat that we can use.

This morning is pretty,and I am loving hearing all the birds singing. It's a chorus of hundreds!! Or,at least it sounds that way. That is one of my most favorite things about Spring-my bird friends come back and serenade me :) Rick and Brother B are out fishing for a while ( or,as they refer to it as,"drowning a worm")and later we have to go to the shoe store. Rick needs new work boots,his old steel toed ones are worn out,and Zach has outgrown his hiking boots. I should get myself some new sneakers that actually have some arch support. When we get home Rick wants to continue working outside.It's a good day for it.

Tonight is the season premiere of "Game of Thrones"-I can't wait!!!

Have fabulous day where ever you are on this fabulous planet!!