Monday, January 10, 2011

Hodgepodge Post

This was a great weekend and 2011 is turning out to be great.  I've put a lot of intention into it and so far, so good.  First off, Sherman the Boxer graduated!  He is officially a "ranch dog", ha ha.  Being that he is over 9 years old and chases EVERYTHING in sight, I didn't think there was any way he could be around my chickens without killing them.  But, I guess after seeing them through the fence every day for over 2 months, he has figured out they belong here!  Yesterday, I took him out on leash while they were out free ranging and I couldn't believe he just acted as if he cared less.  More interested in playing with sticks than chasing chickens.  I was out there all afternoon and he was perfect with them and I feel confident that another dog or coyote will not get to them while he is out there while they are free ranging.  Yay!  It was great to see.

Above, Sherman is not so sure about Jack puffing up on him.  Trying to ignore him, I think and pretending he doesn't see him!

Above, Sherman more interested in playing with the little stick he found and this time, Jack is not so sure about Sherman.

Below, I put Sherman in the coop run with the chickens - "let me out, mom!"

We also started to take the roof off that the "hired help" started.  Boy, they made a mess of it.  We are going to roof and finish the whole shop ourselves.  Got the walls trued up, and the roof removed.  It was a good start.

Below, is my omen for a great garden this year.  It will be my 4th year trying and growing a garden in the desert is very hard, but I think I have the recipe!  The chicken manure will really help.  I had to dig a 2 foot trench all the way around the garden area where I will put hardware cloth to prevent the rodents from digging under and in.  While I was just finishing up the trench, I saw this lone lady bug just sitting on the desert soil where I piled it up. It's my good luck lady bug!

No pictures, but I also got the RV ready for a trip we're taking in about a week and a half.  We're going for 4 days to Quartszite, AZ.  We dry camp (we have solar and are self contained) out on BLM land and it's really nice.  They have the biggest swap meet in the country every year.  It's a lot of fun and we're looking forward to it!


  1. It is so interesting to read about the challenges someone faces trying to grow things in the desert. I take our fertile soil and climate for granted sometimes - I will think about that next time I want to complain about the mud!

    Kudos to Sherman! He is a good boy to overcome all of those pesky instincts and leave his mom's chickens alone...

  2. that first pic looks like an illistration out of TO KILL A MOCKING BIRD DOESNT IT?

  3. Congrats to Sherman, what a good boy! Our border collie had similar issues with the chcikens, mostly because he wants to work or herd everything, LOL!!! Now he simply ignores them, it's the cows I have to keep on him about*sigh* I think it's because he thinks they might hurt us.

    Good luck ladybug is a great thing! Wishing you the best of gardening this year.

    Enjoy your trip, it sounds like fun. I love swap meets, sadly not to many around here though. Maybe as times get tougher they'll turn up more( hopefully wishing anyway*wink*)Hope you find some good deals and most of all you need to enjoy your time away.

  4. Nice to have you back. when you are attuned to the land one pays attention to the little signs that nature sends our way. The ladybug is a good omen that good thingd are headed your way!

    My friend Lisa could have used Sheldon the other day. She lost one of her chickens to a fox.
    Enjoy your sure to post pictures. I love to travel by proxy.

  5. So happy to hear that Sherman is a farm dog now! I think your garden will be great this year. I noticed right off once I started letting the chicken poo "mature" then adding it to the garden the plants just started to thrive! Quartzite is FUN! We went one year when we were in western Phoenix for a while. It was crazy how many people were there in the middle of the desert off I-10!

  6. Sylvia,
    I was reading your posts and came across the one titled, "need some feedback". I understand your dilemma. I too am a veggie, have been for years. I have two cats and a dog. I did lots of research in how pet food is made in this country and can certainly see why you wouldn't by commercial food. I don't either. However, I did find an Award winning Canadian company whose pet food I purchase here in Minnesota. It's a company out of Alberta, Canada. They make only grain free, biologically appropriate pet food with regional/wild caught and free range animals. They have their own food processing plant so no road kill or euthanized animals from cattle processing plants or veterinarian clinics, which lots of dog food contains. There are two names the pet food comes under, one is Orijen, very high in protein, vitamins, herbs and minerals, and the other name is Acana. Acana has less protein but still all the excellent quality nutrients your fury friends require. I was feeding my pets a raw diet but that was incredibly time consuming, and then I fed them cooked chicken with herbs, vitamins and minerals but this too was time consuming. That's when someone recommended this food company. My four legged companions love this food and I can feel good about my kids getting good wholesome "clean" food. They have a website, just google Orijen and Acana. Hope this helps

  7. bridgemore - thank you so much. i will definitely look at their sites! i appreciate your feedback. take care!

  8. Sherman is just too cute. I love boxers. They are not known for quiet however. LOL So good that he's figured out the chicken are not fair game for him.

  9. I love the photos of Sherman interacting with Jack. And the ladybug. Even here in the higher desert, I've seen insects in January. Hope you had a nice trip.--Inger

  10. WOW Sherman! You are a good doggy!

    I'm so impressed with Sherman's new found attitude towards chickens! You did a great job in slowly introducing them...

    The shop is looking amazing... I knew you would take matters into your own hands. You are going to do a fantastic job on the construction - take your time. No rush, right?

    Your garden plans sound amazing. I think you are 100% correct on establishing protection for your garden (before planting!). We have an awful gopher problem here, so all my garden beds have deep layers of chicken wire. I've never had a problem since.

    Garden worms can offer so much... I researched them (I had NONE) for a couple months, reading everything I could get my hands on. Yes, you are correct in your assumption. Over a year ago, I started composting. All my beds have a bottom layer of 'used straw' and compost. The worms just came... I keep feeding the beds with new compost and never never till deeply. It's working for me. The worms have built up a beautiful soil... My plants grow to gi-normous sizes!

    Good luck! I can't wait to read all about your new garden. It's going to be fabulous!



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