Thursday, April 19, 2018

Chores/Projects List, Thank You, Knives, Garden, & Good Bye RAT

I'm sure every one of you has a to-do list of chores/projects for this spring; our list is considered a continuous, ongoing, working list. A couple of weeks ago, Bulldog Man and I compiled this list of chores/projects. We've even completed and crossed off several tasks.

Property Fence Line (clear weeds under fence- weed whack)
Remove Underbrush (ongoing)
Cut Tree Branches (ongoing)
Fell Trees (ongoing)
Remove Red Cypress Trees
Fence in Orchard, Add Gate
Lagoon (remove unwanted weed/bird drop seeds - ongoing)
Garden (fence in 8 foot with 10 - 12 inches in ground)
Garden (skim, remove rocks, add compost, soil, and till)
Garden (plant seeds/seedlings)
Rye (plant)
Water (install drip system)
Garage (get rid of rat)
Garage (clean and organize)
Garage Light (install and hang)
Poles (create pole holders for bird feeder)
Gutter (finish last install)
Soil (use to change ground angle against and around home and garage for directing water away)
Remove Bamboo (planted by previous homeowner)
Wagon (fix garden wagon wheels)
Screens (fix house screens)
Silicon (finish siliconing home)
Rear Porch (clear)
Water Heater (change to gas)
Gas (install large propane tank for heat and cooking)
Lean-to storage (make)

Thank you M.E., Masterson at Adventures of Our Life blog for hosting a seed giveaway, and selecting my blog as a recipient to receive seeds. I'm so looking forward to planting the seeds in my garden, once we get it totally situated for planting.

Bulldog Man and I started creating a fruit orchard this year by planting 4 trees (1 Honey crisp apple, 1 Early plum, and 2 peach.... Summer Prince #5, and Majestic). We placed fencing around each tree to keep the deer away.

Next spring, we will add 4 to 6 additional trees. Before doing
this, we'll need to remove a couple of red cedar trees. That is a large job, requiring the removal of the roots as well.

The area Bulldog and I cleared for a vegetable garden is coming along nicely. We've tilled the area about three times, and I used a hard tine rack to remove rocks and hard balls of red clay. We've outlined the garden area with twine and stakes to set a line for installing T-Posts and 2x4. Once this is finished we'll install the fencing 8 foot high, and bury chicken wire to prevent critters from getting in the garden.


It's that time of year when I need all kitchen knives sharpened. Bulldog Man has the old fashion sharpening stone to use for sharpening knives. Tank offered Bulldog Man use of his electric knife sharpener; this sped up the knife sharpening process. It's nice to have knives that cut; the only to remember they're no longer dull. Yes.....I cut my finger....nothing a good old band aid can't take care of.


For those of you who can't deal with killing critters you may want to stop reading NOW!!!

Last fall, a wild rat dug a hole under our garage door and made himself at home. For months we tried to catch the rat with total failure. This particular rat loved natural oils whereas every other rat or mouse hated peppermint oil. Every evening after dinner we would set those large wooden rat traps with bait (peanut butter) and each morning the rat ate the bait and avoided getting trapped. This went on for days, and then we graduated to the glue traps. The rat would get stuck on the glue trap and
literally pull himself off the trap leaving skin and hair behind. Since this didn't work it was time to try something else.................

We purchased a bait hotel designed for rats. Placed the bait in the hotel, and stored the remaining bait on a shelf in a plastic bag in the shop/garage. The rat ate the bait in the hotel, picked up the hotel and threw it across the garage. He then proceeded to knock the extra stored bait off the shelf, and ate the plastic bag, box, bait, and left us a little bit of cardboard. Mr. Rat didn't die, it was time to put our heads together and try something else. We setup a live trap with bait. The damn rat knew how to hold the trap to prevent getting caught and he ate the bait. We even went as far as just putting a smear of peanut butter on the bottom side of the metal bait holder so the rat would have to work at getting the bait in hopes the trap would capture him.....NO LUCK!!!! 

Tank suggested placing some coca cola in an old cake pan; because he heard rats will drink the coke and die because they couldn't burp the bubbles out. We setup an old cake pan with coke......the rat enjoyed the coke, he drank it dead rat!!!

Frustrated, I remember watching a video from a Vlogger friend over at Red Tool House who talks about a wildlife critter killing chickens and taking eggs. I responded to his video in the comment field, and explained the problem we were dealing with regarding a rat. One of his followers, Hyder Enterprises, suggested we use the following mixture to kill the rat, because it works for him all the time; equal parts sugar, baking soda, and flour. The sugar and flour attract the rat to eat the bait, and the baking soda creates a gas in the digestive system which blows the stomach up internally. We setup the concoction, and it worked!!!!!

The rat stole tools, created a large nest inside Tank's toolbox; he chewed wires on electrical tools, and ruined all kinds of stuff.
Good riddens Mr. Rat!!!!!!

Below are a few pictures and a video proof spring has rolled in, I hope you like them.

Along the old Highway 59 going into town.

Have you been able to start your gardens?

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Prepper's Survival Retreats (REVIEW)

Molly Conway, with Ulysses Press, reached out to me about reviewing a new prepper book, and sharing it with my Blogger friends.

Prepper's Survival Retreats: Your Strategic Relocation Plan for an Uncertain Future
The new book, written by Charley Hogwood, Prepper's Survival Retreats:  Your Strategic Relocation Plan for an Uncertain Future.  Published by Ulysses Press, Copyright 2018, Pages 168, Cost $15.95 U.S., ISBN: 978-1-61243-726-2, and Library of Congress CN 2017938177.

Prepper's Survival Retreats: Your Strategic Relocation Plan for an Uncertain Future is a quick read; the book provides guidance on making the ultimate decision when relocating to a long term survival retreat. 

Charley Hogwood lays out, "Eight Main Areas of Survival" all of which apply to anyone surviving and living in an urban, rural, or suburban environment. He suggests before making a decision to relocate or move, to consider creating a plan, complete a budget, and address the needs of your family and animals involved in the potential move process. Charley Hogwood's perspective and writings are based on his experience in the military, construction industry, and as a commercial and residential inspector. Charley provides direct resources, facts, considerations, education, and the basic needs of what to look for when making a sound platform change.  I would recommend this book as a great source not just to the Prepper looking to relocate to a retreat, but to the first time home buyer.

Charley Hogwood has also authored:  The Survival Group Handbook and MAGS: The People Part of Prepping:  How to Plan, Build, and Organize a Mutual Assistance Group in a Survival Situation.


Tuesday, March 6, 2018

What's Been Going On Lately

Temperatures have changed, and the sun finally came out.  The rain stopped, we’re waiting for the partially cleared clay (hole) to dry. We have more skimming, tilling, and fencing to put up before adding rich soil, and planting seeds / seedlings.

While waiting for this area to dry out, Bulldog Man and I decided we’re going to start our orchard.  We purchased our first apple tree, a Honey Crisp.  Because it was raining like crazy, we stored that tree inside the dog run against the house.  This way the deer would leave it totally alone.

Since the rain stopped, we dug a nice hole twice the size of the tree’s root base, on the south side of the property, where the tree will have sun access and plenty of space to spread out.   We added moisture retaining soil, and compost to the hole then planted the tree.  Then we placed T-Posts, and fencing around the tree, to help protect the tree from deer eating the branches, leaves, or apples when they come in.


Starting this orchard has put a smile on my face.  Now, I can’t wait until next week, when we go purchase a couple more trees.  Our goal is to plant more apple and peach trees.  Eventually, we’ll have all the trees we want planted.  This is a project in the making!!!


I needed a larger place to dump my compost.  Right now, I have a plastic barrel designed to spin easily.  It’s just not big enough for the size of garden we eventually would like to have. 
After having all of our sub floors replaced in the house, we were left with all kinds of left over plywood.  Bulldog Man, Tank, and I pulled out several pieces we thought would work for making a large compost holder on the ground, not too far from the new garden we’re working on.

We pulled several small trees, previously cut down in the back part of the property.  Bulldog Man decided we’re going to use the trees in the corners of the compost box for support.  Here’s what the project looked like as it went up. 

Plenty of openings for ventilation, and water access when needed.  After helping the guys with the project, I attached the small trailer to the old yard tractor and drove it down the driveway toward where our drain ditch is located, out by the gate, to rake up two trailers full of damp wet leaves, and drove them over to the compost box, where I dumped them.  Everyone knows compost needs wet leaves and worms!

Tank was home to help wearing his strange boots!!!


The other day while going outside, I came across approximately 23 – 25 wild turkeys, walking around our pond, near where we feed the deer.  I realized I forgot my camera, and ran back into the house.  This obviously scared the turkeys, and they wondered from the front area of the house into part of the woods out back.  I was able to capture part of a large group walking through.  This was the largest group I’ve seen on our property.

A friend of mine, Harry at Self Sufficient Mountain Living,    commented on my blog stating he sure wished he had my energy.  I responded back to Harry with, “I have arthritis in my back, and hips. If I don't keep moving the pain is worse”.  It’s true!  So I keep on….keeping on!  My doctor suggested I see a pain management doctor to help with the pain.  Off I went to an amazing pain management doctor up in Oklahoma City.  He examined me, looked at my x-rays and MRI, and made an action plan.

This past Wednesday, I went in for 6 lumbar epidural steroid injections and 1 sacrum (to the hip) epidural steroid injection totally under anesthetic.  These injections are to help reduce inflammation around the spinal nerves and pressure on the nerve roots.   I should know in a week or so if the injections will make a difference with my pain, and actually delay/prevent me from having surgery.   I don’t dwell in my pain; I get up daily and MOVE!!!  

In the state of Oklahoma, you’re allowed to feed the deer……..please don’t send me complaints about this!!!  I feed the deer because there isn’t much for them to eat in the winter time.  Twice a day, I provide corn and apples.  When spring starts knocking at the door, I slow down their feed to one bucket, and then eventually to none.  Lately, the deer have become a bit possessive with the feed.  I’ve started spreading only one bucket in several areas across our dam for feeding.  

I’ve attached several pictures of a pregnant deer trying to hog the feed, she bites and kicks the other feeding deer. 

Life is good living in the country!