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?


  1. be careful to wear a mask when cleaning up rat mess--hanta virus.

    1. Deborah,
      We wear protective equipment. We sprayed things down with alcohol, and washed everything else thoroughly.

  2. What a lot of hard work you and the boys have done! I am no fan of rats, period. As far as I'm concerned, the only good rat is a dead one. Thanks for the concoction - I like that it is not poison bait. Is there a certain ratio you use? It's nice to see spring appearing somewhere - it certainly isn't here! Hugs to you, my friend. xo

    1. Susan,
      There's always hard work to be done on the homestead...and I know your always working hard yourself. Oh girl, I agree totally...a good rat is a dead one. As for the concoction on the mixture use equal amounts of each item. My mixture combo was 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup baking soda, and 1/2 cup sugar. Mixed well, I put half of this mixture on a plastic garbage lid (and reserved the other half in a plastic bag just in case I had to lay it out another day) and for the heck of it, I put a teaspoon of sugar on top of the pile placed on the lid to entice that damn rat. This comb work for us, the next day he was dead.
      Signs of spring are apparent however, temperatures keep dropping.

      Sending hugs and love to you.

  3. Life of a Homesteader, the never ending "To Do" list. It made me tired just reading it! Hope your garden grows well and provides plenty of food for you.
    As for the Rat, he reminds me of a typical politician, almost impossible to get rid of!

    1. Mike,
      Agreed, the list is never ending. The more I look at the list I become frustrated because it just keeps growing.
      Your comment of the rat reminding you of a politician was dead on.....excuse my pun!

  4. Holy moly, the destruction that rat created! So glad (I know you are, too!) you finally found a way to get rid of him. Good thing it wasn't a mama rat raising a bunch of little 'uns!

    Yep, The List just seems to grow and grow. Never gets smaller 'cause we always find new items to add to it.

    Can hardly wait to see your garden progress. What fun (and oh-so-wise) to grow your own food!

    1. Mama Pea,
      This rat destroyed a good amount of electrical tools. He probably didn't like the name brand on the tools.

      The list is always growing. You accomplish a project and 3 more projects get added to the list.

      Working in the garden is beneficial..... It's relaxing, and you get to provide healthy food for the family. Have you planned out seed planting for when the snow leaves?

      Sending hugs and love your way.

  5. I know he was a pain and had to go, but I kind of feel sorry for the rat....


  6. Harry,
    Don't feel bad! He had a cushy life for a while in our garage. Now he's in a better place.😊

  7. ;) We did one of ghose lists too. It helps a ton!

  8. Excellent catch up post Sandy - you all have a lot going on and every bit of it is productive! I was interested to hear about the rat bait. We have lots of mice and occasionally rats too, but lately they've been stealing the peanut butter out of the traps without getting caught! We'll have to try your recipe.

    1. Leigh,

      Sorry for the delayed response. The rat bait is equal parts sugar, baking soda, and flour mixed together. I put a little bit of sugar over the top to attract the critter. Give it several hours to a day or two and they'll just drop dead. They'll be not more rat taking stuff or destroying it.

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  11. We lost track of your blog somehow, long ago. Very sorry about your recent loss.

  12. I'm trying indoor LED light growing this year. Too many disappointing outdoor results due to hot TX summers.