Thursday, September 30, 2010

Strangers to the Desert

Clouds.  Thunder that woke me up earlier than normal.  Lightening that pierced the otherwise black sky and made me squint as I lazily stared from my bed out the eastern window.  We rarely get these things here.  I get excited when "weather" comes to the California High Desert as most days are blue skies.  This morning was beautiful as the sunrise got a shot of adrenaline courtesy of clouds.  Mornings have always been my favorite.  Most people are asleep, the animals are stirring, my energy is at its highest and it's very, very quiet.  I'm struggling what to write on this blog in light of what is happening in life these days.  Direction isn't as cut and dry.  I'm happy and I'm hopeful.  This is true.  I'm also sad and worried due to my partner's cancer.  Confusion can be at an all time high and deception may be hard at work when a person looks and feels so good but the doctors convey a different reality.  I really don't know if it's interesting for others, or even appropriate to write about such things on a blog.  At times I think of this blog as a journal, but then I have to remind myself there are others reading it.  Oh, yea!  Whoops, forgot!  Some days I think I should keep it full of my exciting mind and body tinkering like our plans to move to the Ozarks in Arkansas and building my chicken coop and the fact I'll soon be rushing home new chicken family members.  Then, I contemplate being a bit more real and talking about the possibility of plans being altered or even halted due to that crappy thing called cancer.  I don't know - what do you think?  Going out on a limb here.  Caught me at a weak moment - or is it a strong one?  Don't get me wrong - I'm smiling.  I'm grateful for every day I get to see the sun rise, have a job and live on my own piece of dirt.  I'm even happier when there's clouds, thunder and lightening.  Now, rain would just put me over the top!  That might be too much to ask for.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

More Progress & Trouble



Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Better Than Alpo

I wrote an earlier post on the dangers of commercial dog food and how I'm convinced I unknowingly gave my former pug Carlisle liver cancer.  I won't go into all that again, but if you are interested and haven't read that entry, you can look in the archives at 6/13. 

Above is a picture of what Sherman the Boxer and CJ the new Pug get to eat!  Included is free range lamb from a neighbor who raises them - no antibiotics or hormones and they were raised on good, open space.  The veggies are all organic and we get a lot of them when we go to the farmer's market and ask vendors if we can have their "slightly used" produce they can't sell and they are going to throw away.  You'd be surprised how much you can get!  They look at you a little strange, but who cares, huh?  The look of gratitude and excitement in the dogs' eyes quickly makes up for that!  ha ha.  Also, they get organic brown rice added and in the morning they get two eggs. (soon to be from my own chickens!). 

Yes, it costs a bit more than Purina or Alpo, but it's not that expensive and it doesn't really take that much time.  We just cook up a few days worth of meat and rice and the veggies we now give raw. 

I'm convinced even further of its health benefits now that I've seen how my Boxer Sherman has responded these last 6 months or so.  He had to be taken into the vet a couple years ago because he was wincing and having trouble getting around - especially in the morning.  You couldn't even give his hind end the slightest touch in the morning without him wincing.  The vet gave him pain reliever and said to put him on Glucosamine as x rays showed he had arthritis in his lower spine.  I tried taking him off  Glucosamine a couple times but the pain came back rather quickly.  Well, after feeding him homemade organic for several months and pulling him off commercial food, I stopped the Glucosamine and he has been 100%!  I can touch him all over in the morning and he runs and jumps and plays like he's a pup again!  All the poor ingredients and additives in the commercial food causes inflammation and inflammation causes arthritis.  Plus, I have a friend who has a Pug and they were struggling with a skin condition and the vet had prescribed steroids and other medications, but nothing was helping very much.  She put her Pug on a homemade, natural diet and his skin is all cleared!  I'm not saying it's a miracle cure for everything, but I really think it's the foundation for our pet's health just as what we eat is the foundation for ours.  AND... they are SOOO much happier eating it!  Sherman was rescued and for more than 6 years was just not food motivated and didn't like to eat.  He was emaciated when we rescued him and it's a been a fight to keep weight on him.  He would just pick at his food no matter what brand I got him.  Now, he LOVES to eat and clears his bowl every morning.  Lucky dogs...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Unexpected Progress!

Today I managed to make a lot of progress!  I got all the fencing up around the coop and also the "top secret coyote deterrent" buried.  For the coyote deterrent, I bought 8 foot by 2 1/2 foot sheets of metal lathe from Home Depot.  They, or your hardware store, will carry it where they keep the stucco materials.  I cut the sheets into 12 inch wide strips so now there were pieces of 8 foot by 1 foot pieces of the lathe.  I dug trenches along the fence line before the fencing was put up about 6 or so inches deep and about a foot wide and layed the lathe in.  What happens is that if a coyote tries to dig under the fence, the lathe will cut the coyote's paws.  It won't harm the coyote, but will smart him enough where he'll/she'll stop and probably won't try it again!  Make sure the lathe is positioned so that when they dig away from the fence , the lathe is turned so that it will cut.  You can easily figure this out by gently running your hand across the lathe both ways and you'll quickly know which is the right way.  Be careful!

Next, when looking for poultry fencing and you need a larger amount, by "stucco netting".  It IS poultry fencing, the same gauge wire, same size, but half the price.  Instead of buying 50 feet of 3 foot high "poultry fencing" for $30, I got 150 feet of 3 foot high "stucco netting" for $45.  Just make sure you get the one that is not backed with paper.

So, it's really coming together.  Now, I just have to cover the top with poultry fencing and put some shade in and make the nesting boxes and roosts inside the coop.  Oh, don't forget a little grass!  Not bad for one weekend. 

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Go Away Cancer.

I haven't been as active on my blog as I would normally be.  Life has the power to take some tremendous turns with our without your consent.  My partner has had a couple melanoma spots removed over the past 4 years, but one month ago discovered the melanoma had invaded the lymph nodes on the neck's right side.  Surgery was performed Monday - a modified neck dissection - and six lymph nodes came back positive out of the 21 that were taken.  the full pathology report and recommendations won't come for about another week.  Suddenly, you look at life differently - you see it's fragility, one's mortality and priorities take a shift. 

I'm not sure of the point of this post expect to give a reason why I've been less active on my blog and to give reason why thing may change on the blog.  We are not in the position to buy a home right now in Arkansas until things stabilize.  But, that will happen.  Most likely, my partner will refuse any treatment such as chemotherapy and radiation but instead is going to pursue alternative treatment, most notably, the Gerson diet.  But, we will get to Arkansas and I am working hard to get this chicken coop finished!  I'm gonna get chickens in there soon come what may.  And, we're gonna live life for a bit I think the way we want to instead of the way we think we're supposed to.  House is gonna go up for sale, and we might just get in the RV and take about 6 months and travel and end up in Arkansas.  But, health first.  And, I'm gonna try hard to blog more.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Great Blog w/ a Great Giveaway!

The following link is to a blog I love to read and keep up with.  The blog writer's husband, "Farm Man", makes all sorts of thing and among them are nesting boxes for hens (Hen Pals Nest Boxes).  This week they are having a 3 hen nesting box giveaway, so I thought I'd share the link!!  Enjoy.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Fence Posts Are In!! Run, run, chicken run!

Today I had a great time sinking the corner posts for the chicken run.  Wow, I'm starting to envision it now!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Door to Nowhere (as of now)

Well, the two posts are sunk and gate into the chicken run is up.  Now, 4x4 posts are next and chicken wire with some "secret weapon coyote deterrent" buried underneath.  Then... CHICKENS!!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010