Friday, October 29, 2010

We now resume our regularly scheduled Blog

Crap. Double Crap. Took the tractor apart, re-aligned what looked mis-aligned, put it back together, and...
it only goes backwards. So now it sits until I feel like trying it again, or I buy another transaxle. Or junk it.
On with other stuff.

Since the tractor was broke, I had to move the logs by hand to finish the border for the garden. Didn't come out too bad, and thankfully I had all of the logs I needed already pulled down from the gas well road when the tractor decided it had enough. And of course the kids like playing on it.
So now I'm waiting for some compost. I've got a promise of some well-rotted manure and hay, and there is cardboard available in town. Sure wish I knew someone with a supply of newspaper...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Technical Difficulties - Please stand by.

I guess the flat tire was a sign I was working the tractor too hard. I was getting plenty of traction and the log I was hauling was rather large so the hub spun within the tire, causing the flat. Well, I pumped it back up and proceeded to haul an even bigger log.....
Jeez... Look at all dem pieces! Found one broken gear and a slipped cam follower. Not sure if I can make it live again or not. Sure hope so, that's the only tractor I got.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Kitchen Garden

It's early to be thinking about a garden, but there is a patch of land right behind the trailer that is pretty much worthless right now and needs something done to it. It's rocky, full of clay, and not even grass has managed to take a foothold in it. I told everyone I was putting a garden there and they politely told me (well, not really politely, you don't know my family) "You're nuts!"

That's beside the point. There is a method of gardening that comes by various names, sometimes referred to as sheet gardening, layer gardening, no-till gardening or even lasagna gardening. What it basically means is that you build up a growing matrix on top of your existing soil. That means laying stuff down in layers to perform various functions. As it breaks down, you add more layers and eventually you end up with a nice garden plot. I've never seen it done, but it sounds interesting and the area I want to do is nice and accessible and would make a nice kitchen garden, so I'm gonna give it a shot.
 I'm hauling logs down from the gas well road to line the garden with to keep the hay and compost in place. Got quite a few down when I hit a little snag:
Darn it! Well, it was time to stop for lunch anyway.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Ducks at Home

The ducks are starting to become accustomed to their new home. One design flaw that I discovered was that they didn't have enough traction on the ramp. While it was very amusing to watch them sliding down the ramp like little kids on the slide, I figured that they'd like it better not to have to work so hard getting in and out. My son Tory helped me out by cutting and gluing some old shingles onto the ramp. Plus he fit into the pen much better than I do.
They have traction now! One thing that surprised me was that the female was much more excited about the new house than the male was. She went right in while I have yet to see the male inside at all. Maybe it's the whole nesting thing. Or maybe he just likes camping out!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Wrestlin' with the Monster

In the picture you see what is supposedly a gas furnace. As you can see it needs a little TLC. Well, maybe a lot. Anyway, this thing has come to the top of the Important Things To Do list since it's gettin' purty cold up here on the mountain. At first the fan would just come on at random times, but now that it's in actual use, it's cycling off and on. not the whole furnace, but just the fan. Since this is right next to my bedroom, it's gettin' purty rough to sleep when this thing runs 20 seconds, then shuts off, and does it maybe a dozen times in a row, all night long. It's gotten to the point that i either have to shut it off or just hook the fan up to run all night so I can get some sleep.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Duck Hutch - Coop - House

Spent most of the day yesterday building this little house for the ducks this winter. Started out with an old kitchen cabinet then added some legs, reinforcing for the bottom, panels on the front, then a frame for the wire cloth. Then pen they are in is movable and will come apart so I'll attach the sides of one of the sections to the frame. I also need to add a little ramp so they can climb in. I'll have to add something to the top so that the snow doesn't lay up there, but I think it'll work for right now.

You can see that the leaves are changing nicely and some are starting to fall. I kinda wish they'd hang around a little longer. Seems a shame that all that pretty only lasts for such a short while.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Foggy Morning

A little cool this morning, with a calm, thick layer of fog. Nice hot mug of coffee and I'm ready to start the day. Thats the puppies mom "Kira" in the picture, time to find a home for her and the rest of the puppies.  Gonna build a hutch for the ducks today, have them in a pen with a tarp over it, but they have no real place to get out of the weather. I have an old cabinet that got ripped out of the kitchen that I'm going to convert. That should do until I get the henhouse built. I wonder if there is any problem with keep chickens and ducks together? Google, here I come!

Thursday, October 7, 2010


When I moved in here, the previous tenants took all of their dogs except one, which had just had puppies under one of the trailers. With the help of one of my sons they were brought out and looked over, then tucked into a doghouse. Since it was sunny today, I split the doghouse apart and was drying it out so I thought I'd take some pictures. These are just about weaned and should be ready to find homes in the next week or two. I'm thinkiing about keeping one or two of the brown ones. It's been a long, long time since I had a dog of my own.
Hello, World!

Welcome to my newest Granddaughter, Serenity!

Monday, October 4, 2010


Things never turn out like you plan. All you can do is try to prepare and do your best. Sometimes things turn out ok, sometimes the results are less than optimal. Learn from your mistakes. Don't stop trying. Never, ever stop trying.

In the mountains of West Virginia I am learning what it takes to live here. To be more connected with family, friends, and nature. In a broken down old homestead I am working to find those connections and find the wisdom to bring it all together.

We look for signs to help us plan, to be prepared for what's coming. If the Wooly Bear is correct, It's going to be a long, hard winter....