Thursday, January 23, 2014

Feeling Exhausted...

Before you scroll down, go make yourself a big cup of tea and prepare yourself for the longest post you'll (hopefully) ever read on my blog! Go on now...I'm waiting...



Got yourself a warm beverage? Excellent! You may continue: 

Feeling Exhausted...

The past three days have been both tiresome and productive. 

Monday, was warm, sunny and the garden just seemed to be screaming at me to come work in it. So I did. All. Day. Long. 

Carolina and Stockton both helped me. Between the three of us we manged to hoe out five raised beds, plant broccoli, two kinds of cabbage, and rake and haul all the dead dried grass to the bunny hutch (we had some very happy bunbuns). 

While Stockton and I were hoeing some of the raised beds, I happened to dig up a big 'ole earth worm..and then the next thing I knew the ground beneath my feet was wiggling and moving!! HELP! Apparently, the soil must have improved since last year. Last season, we had terrible trouble with Rolly Pollie bugs eating up the roots of our plants. This year, there are none to be seen, that is at least, not yet
 We had a good day out in the sun, hoein' good 'ole soil, running around barefooted (okay, so maybe I was the only one running around barefooted...) and just having ourselves a jolly good time! OK, maybe what we really did was break our backs working out under the hot sun, sweating, and getting our hands dirty. Nobody ever said life out here was easy, 'cause it ain't. ;)
But thankfully, I at least like getting my hands and feet dirty.

I spent Tuesday afternoon building fence. My ears are still ringing from the T-post driver, and my hands are down right sore as well, but I got the fence built. 
Breeding season for the geese is right around the corner. I'm already seeing a personality change in my ganders, who are normally as sweet as can be. But now, when ever I come in their pen, several of them will hiss at me. They've never charged me or tried to nip (they know better), but they do hiss at me. I've been noticing some breeding behavior too. The geese have been looking for nests, so I know eggs can't be far behind. Anyway, the Sussex have been living with the geese for quite some time now, but since the differences of behavior in the ganders, they've started plucking their tail feathers and chasing them around. Not good. So I decided it was time for the Sussex to have their own pen. I figured that once spring rolls around, we're going to have to keep them locked up anyway, because they love to dig up and eat the plants in the raised beds. Currently, they have their own private spa in the garden beds. You can usually find them all day, every day piled up taking dust baths there. Which is fine right now since nothing is planted in them, but that's not going to work in a couple of months, no sir. So I had the brilliant (yes brilliant) idea to both keep them cooped up but at the same time  get them to do me a favor. Are you ready for this? Well, I fenced in the compost pile. Not only will they be penned up and kept out of trouble, but they can help turn the compost pile (and of course they will be creating more while they're in there), and as a bonus I will be able to find their eggs. Right now I have to do an Easter egg hunt just to find them, and then when I do, I find about 30 eggs in one nest, and of course they are all rotten. 
Now that I have the fence built, I just need to clean up a bit inside of it, and then convince my fabulous brothers to build me another coop. Easier said than done, as the saying goes. ;)

Over the past several days the weather people have been telling us that cold weather was going to hit around Wednesday night. Oh joyousness! Instead of getting to work in the garden and on the fence some more, I had to drop everything and prepare all the animals for the cold snap. That meant I had to clean out the Duck Pen and the Goose House, both of which have gone without a good cleaning for far too long.

I did absolutely nothing all day but pitch compost, oh and uh name the compost pile Mt. Everest. Yep, it was that big. My back is still aching from all the lifting, but I'm glad I got them cleaned out and that I was able to clean them out. As stinky and gross as the job was, I halfway enjoyed it. At the end of the day I was pooped (literally), I mean that in all the ways possible. I was tired, tired of working with poo, and tired of looking at it. I was just plain 'ole pooped. 

 But at the end of the day as I was hustling around trying to get everyone fed and tucked in for the night, I stopped to admire the beautiful sunset, and I thought to myself how lucky I was. How many other people got to start their day out milking a beautiful bovine, feeding feathered dinosaurs, hauling compost and then if that wasn't enough, they got to finish their day admiring a beautiful sunset that God painted! Not enough I say!

On to the ridiculously long pictures:

Here are the three raised beds we cleaned out and hoed

I'm naming this bed "Wiggler". And next time I decided to hoe in this bed, I'll be wearing shoes. 

We planted Chinese cabbage, and another kind of cabbage in this bed

This whole bed is planted in broccoli 

Check out this lovely, lovely dark, rich soil! If this doesn't grow some healthy plants I don't know what will? This is what comes of leaving rabbit droppings, hay, dead leaves, and lots of other goodies in a pile through the winter. ;)

While we were busy gardening, the ducks, geese, chooks, and guineas were busy rummaging around. They appear to be eating something, but I have no clue what? The country looks so desolate right now! I'm ready for some greenery.

Did you know the pea-babies like gardening? In fact, they love it! OK, maybe they just liked me cooing and honking at them, yes, I'm convinced that's what it was.

I'm sure if I had of let them out of their pen they would have had a fine time "helping" us in the garden. And by helping I mean jumping on my shoulder, checking my pockets for treats, taking dust baths, so forth. 

Nothing goes to waste here on the ranch, everything gets used, reused, and so on.

The rabbits will have a jolly time playing in all this dry grass, and ya know what? In a month or so they will turn all of that dry grass into compost for us. Lovely, right? Of course right!

 We had so much grass, we were able to fill the entire hutch up with it!

We have a bunch of Arugula growing in the garden (it's the only thing that thrives out here), thankfully the bunnies love it! Now, I'm not sure if you've ever tasted Arugula or not, but just strictly between you and me, it's nasty! But, I'm glad somebody enjoys it! I know what I'll be planting for the bunnies come spring. ;)

Just so you know, we have the three cutest bunbuns ever. Nothing you say can change my mind. 

Just look at their widdle faces! Don't ya just want to squeeze their widdle cheeks?! They are the cutest composters EVER!

Not sure if you remember or not, but I filled this container full of sand several weeks back, and instead of digging in it they used it for a litterbox. I switched the sand out for some soft dirt from the garden, maybe they will take a hint and actually dig in it instead of using it for a litterbox?

Bunny question for those of you who raise rabbit(s)! 

I noticed that all three of the rabbits have been going around rubbing their chins on everything!  

Any idea on why they are doing this:   ??? 

Here he is digging in the leftover Arugula roots? Should I be concerned about our rabbit's sanity??

 Oh and rubbing on everything includes me and the camera!

I was able to coax Alora into the dirt box, but she was more interested in licking my nose than playing in dirt.
Can't you just read her thoughts?? *nose...nose..beautiful nose..must. lick. her nose!!!*

They bunnies spent the rest of the afternoon scampering around their "Grassland Realm".

Here is my beautiful fence (What? I'm just being creative!). The chickens have already figured out how to get in, they love their compost pile. Every afternoon I have to carry Inky and his girl ducks out of the pen, they can figure out how to get inside, but cannot seem figure out how to get back out again. Apparently, since I put the fence up, the ducks have officially labeled it The place to lay their eggs. 
The fence still needs a little "chicken proofing". I ran out of chain link and still had about 15+ ft to fence, so I grabbed a couple of hog panels and put them up. The chickens can easily get through the spaces in the panels, so I'll have to cover them with wire or some such thing.

This is the after picture of the duck house.

One of the Mt. Everests that exists in this world.

I couldn't find a working wheel barrel, so I threw all the compost against one of the Goose House walls. I figured it would help insulate the house from the icy, cold wind, and then after the cold weather leaves, I'll haul it all to the compost pile.  

Whilst I was cleaning everybody's house, I figured the Peafowl might want some extra bedding in their sleeping quarters.

Tulsa: "Your dang right, Momma!"

In order to spread out the hay, I had to crawl inside their house. At first all three of the Peababies were on top of their house making cooing noises at me. Here in a minute I glanced over my shoulder and saw them peeking around my back looking inside, seeing what I was up to. Nosy girls. 

Tulsa wanted to get in there with me so badly she could hardly stand it! 

As soon as I walked out of their pen, they ran over, timidly peeped inside and started pecking around in the hay. 

It looks as if they've never seen hay before. Mmm...should I be concerned?

All the inmates of the Goose House were quite taken with their clean digs.

 The geese and ducks inhabit the bottom half, and the chickens mainly inhabit the upper half.

William is such a handsome devil! He doesn't sleep with the other Sussex because him and his daddy don't always see eye to eye. ;)

And just because I can, here is Caspian's fluffy rear-end. Isn't it.. er I mean he adorable?!

By the time I finally got around to locking up the ducks, the Calls were already a-waiting on me.

All the ducks say to tell you G'night!

The Cochins say Good Night.

Mr. Sussex Boy says Good Night. 

Side note: Do you see Little Man under his personal feather blanket - a.k.a Ms. Fuzzypants?

Little Man says..."Come any closer and I'll knock your block off!" 

Ms. Fuzzypants says Good Night! (Are you starting to notice a pattern here? Just in case you haven't picked up on the fact that I love fluzzy-dinosaur-rears..I just thought I would let you know. : )

Daffy 'n Taffy say Good Night!

Daff' and Taff' are sleeping with the Cochins tonight. I thought they might need a snuggle-buddy. 

Oh and uh the Guinea Goonies say to tell all y'all Good Night!

Check out the lovely sunset!

Pure loveliness! 

Cold weather moved in last night, and through out the day it's steadily gotten colder. I'm bunched up by the fire, holding sleeping Gypsy in my lap, reflected on the past several days, and listening to my poor aching back moan and groan in complete and utter agony. But no sympathies! I'll have you know I plan on being completely lazy for the next several days. And ya know what? I intend to enjoy it to the up most possible! Because heres the thing, everybody likes to be lazy at some point or another, and what better time than when the weather is acting up and tries to create ice sickles on your nose every time you walk outside? I ask you? ;)

So other than hauling warm water from the bathtub (and only spilling maybe half of it on the floor...) to the birds, I plan on catching up on my blog posts, and doing a lot of reading.

 Well my friends, the sun has long since set, and I'm ready to hit the hay. 
Good Night all! <3

Stay warm!! <3

Blessings - 

~ Aspen


  1. Aspen,
    I chanced on your blog while blog-hopping....I confess--I read through every single post back to the beginning. You are living my dream life. I'd love to ask you some questions via email about how your family got started with your lifestyle, if you're open to that. My email is, and you can verify who I am on my old blog: if you would like to.
    I would very much like to hear how your family/parents got started!
    ~Ashley Caldwell

  2. Ashley, thank you for your kind comment. Oh and uh check your inbox. : )

    ~ Aspen