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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Neighbors...

Just a few of our "neighbors" coming out for a visit. These are mule deer, they have large ears like a mule. These are very friendly, sometimes too much so, they will come pretty close to see if you have anything to feed to them. I throw a few crackers to them on occasion, I don't want them to be hanging around too much though, they are wild animals and will get aggressive, especially when it comes to food. This is right outside my door, I was cooking dinner outside that day, I turned around and there they were.

We also have white tailed deer, but they are much more skittish around people, they literally turn tail (up) and run at the mere site, sound or smell of humans.











Working, Gardening and Well Update

03-22-08

Yesterday was fun, I started at the country store, I shared my training day with another lady, I guess the store owner wants double backup, just in case... anyhoo, it was great fun, we learned the basics, where all the lights are, how to light up the coolers, how to run the register, how to run the ancient gas pump, well it's not THAT old, but you do have to do things in a certain order, or else the pump will lose prime and will not pump anything until a repair guy comes out and fixes it, it's not a good thing to do! The main thing we do up there is talk to the locals, I met more people and dogs that day, a lot of the people I saw I had met previously, at least once, it was nice to see everyone again. I don't know when I'll start for good, I hope next weekend or the following week after that, as far as I know, it's every other weekend (Friday and Saturday).I know one of the first things I'll be doing on the next day I'm there is dusting, the store is pretty clean, but I noticed the can food has a layer of dust on the tops, that is pretty standard out here, everything has a layer of dust no matter what you do, it's non-stop dust here, perhaps it will not make much difference, but I have to try. :)

While I was training, Bob helped out on a storage building outside behind the store, there is a RV/camping place out back, it's not much, but it's not supposed to be much either. This building had roll up garage doors on it, the owner wanted barn doors on it, she had already make one door herself (she is pretty talented with her hands too!), so Bob had a template to go by, she was very happy with it and impressed with how fast he goes. He went back today to finish the doors (there is another set to be made) and to do some other things. After that he is supposed to go help our friends repair their new(old) house so they can get moved in faster.

Garden

A few days ago, we started working on our garden area, we have a clearing not too far from the cabin, it's flat and the ground looks great, there are trees surrounding the clearing so I hope it will be a bit protected from animals and weather, at least it will not be an eyesore to anyone. We will have to fence it around and over the top to keep out the deer, birds, raccoons, skunks, foxes, peccaries and any other hungry animals. Bob asked me how big an area did I want to garden, I answered as large an area as he can fence in, I can use, I have done large gardens before, large for city backyard gardens, at my dad's house, we had at least 1000 square feet of garden space that we worked. Unfortunately I will not have that much area this year, maybe as we can get more fencing material we can expand later, but for now, I'll do what I can with the space I am given. My MIL sent some seeds, quite a lot of seeds, lots of herbs as well as veggies and fruits, I can't wait to get them in the ground and see if this soil is as good as I think it is. When we started working the ground, I began to remove the grass, there isn't much to have to remove and it grows in clumps, so it's not too bad. We also had to remove a couple of small trees, these were only a foot or so tall, and we had to remove a cholla cactus plant, they are NASTY painful plants, I haven't found anything good about them, I used to like how they looked, but I guarantee once you get stuck a few times by their needles, all you want to do is get rid of everyone you see!

Bob wanted to till the ground but we don't have a tiller, so he got out the gas powered auger and started punching holes one next to the other, I suggested he only needed to go down 18-24 inches, he went down the full depth of the auger, 3 feet! We do have to work the ground between the holes, right now it looks like a really big gopher went crazy out there! :) Today, I am going to go around the property and gather mulch to add to the garden area, under each tree out here, there are several inches of good mulch, leaves, bark, grass... I figure I can get several trash cans full of good mulch in pretty short order, I'll work that into the soil. I will also harvest some of the curly grass as a top mulch to help keep moisture in and the weeds down. Well, off I go, I have to find the rake, shovel, trash can and get to work.


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I just got finished scraping up 7 or 8 wheelbarrows full of the most delicious looking mulch you have ever seen! I didn't have to go far from the place where the garden will be, I found a rake (a metal tooth rake, not a leaf rake) and a shovel, put on my gloves and a straw hat (gotta protect my skin from the sun, it's brutal), I raked up mounds and mounds of decayed leaves, grass and other stuff, I had to pick out a few small rocks and twigs, but it wasn't too bad at all. I took some rich soil from a few places to add to the compost/mulch. I am still a bit sore from working the dirt a few days ago, but this felt good to my sore muscles, it helped worked out the stiffness.

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Well Update

The water has finally cleared up from the floaters, but it still smells of chlorine, the well man poured a gallon and a half of bleach down the well, I know that was necessary but yuck! it's just like city water! It's getting better and better every day.
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2 Comments

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wretha,

Nasty, painful plants have their uses as well. I have stinging nettle planted under my bedroom window where I live. I'm thinking perimeter security for your plants--not full perimeter, though, but perhaps for an approach not easily defended/observed.

Bless you in all you do!

TheMajor'sLady
lornkanaga.livejournal.com

March 25, 2008 2:16 PM

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Blogger Wretha said...

TheMajor'sLady, I agree, nasty painful plants have their uses, I just can't figure out a good use for this one, as far as using them for perimeter protection, I have seen the deer RUBBING against them, it doesn't seem to bother them much. Please, if you know of a use for cholla, medicinally, culinary, I would be greatly interested in it! I do not intend on eradicating it on my property, just removing from the places where I walk frequently and such.

For the garden, yes, out here you do have to completely protect your garden, especially edible plants from the local animals, other people I have spoken to about the deer, have told me the deer will even eat supposedly deer resistant plants, onions and such... The wild pigs will push your fencing over if it's not sturdy enough, the wild donkeys will also push your fence over to get to your veggies. I can't afford to take the chance, it's sturdy fencing all around and over the top...

Wretha

March 25, 2008 2:46 PM

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Well Update

Update on the well problems, so far so good, the water still has some particulates in it, and it still smells faintly of chlorine, but it is still running strong and is clear (not muddy). We think the particulates and chlorine odor will clear out with use.
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2 Comments

Anonymous oldman in the boonies said...

Congrats on your (edited). Just make sure that she does not leave an (edited) to your name for (edited) to follow. (edited to remove stuff-nothing against oldman).

March 20, 2008 6:29 AM

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Blogger Wretha said...

I think she has that all taken care of...she hates paperwork, besides, I will not be (edited) enough to worry (edited).

Wretha

March 25, 2008 10:17 AM

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Well update

Andy Prude came over and pulled up the pump head, we didn't find a hole in the pipe, but we did find the check valve on the pump wasn't working right, that explains why the water was running back down the well. Andy put on a separate check valve, and replaced the pump, we suggested that we didn't need to have the pump so deep in the well, we went from some 400 feet to 200 feet deep, we are going to try it at that level and make sure it works OK, so far so good, our neighbor may still decide to replace the pump, it turns out that the pump is too big (horsepower) for that size well, it's too strong and believe it or not, that is not a good thing. It causes the pump to prematurely wear out, go figure... anyhoo, he may change it out soon, but for now, it is working.

It was so interesting watching Andy do his thing, he was great and we learned a lot from watching, helping and asking questions. We got to help a little, our neighbor said we cut at least 2 hours off the time it would have taken (as compared to the last time he had Andy out to replace his pump).

I'll post updates as they occur, but so far, so good! :)

Well water problems...

Our neighbor still has no water as of today, he can reset the pump and make it work for a short period of time, enough to flush toilets and such, but the water coming through is still not clear. We went into town to get some groceries and picked up 4 gallons of drinking water, a couple for us and a couple for our neighbor. On the way back, we pulled in behind the local well guy, what a great guy coming out on a Sunday to repair the well! Andy Prude is his name, and if you have well trouble in this part of the country, I highly recommend him! Anyhoo, we followed him to our neighbor's house. They are outside right now checking the well, it may be that there is a hole in the pvc pipe that goes down the well, if that is the problem, then it will be much less expensive to repair, it would explain all the muddy water coming through and the fact that the water keeps draining out of the system.

I'll post an update as things happen.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Dogsitting and water...

Well, today is a beautiful (but windy) day, I spend the day at my neighbor's house dogsitting, so today was a TV and internet day, honestly I took a fat nap during the day, but it was good to get to watch some tube and surf a little.

Last night, I came over to my neighbor's house to get some water, once I got back to my cabin, I noticed the water looked cloudy, it smelled OK, but really looked a bit muddy, I called my neighbor and told him. He is on well water, and is reported to have one of the best wells out here.

Today, when I got over here to dogsit, I tried to do some laundry, but the water intake on the washing machine kept clogging up, the water still looked a little cloudy (though better than last night), there were lots of things floating in the water, we barely got one load of laundry done and gave up, we figured there was a disturbance in the water, maybe someone is drilling a well upstream from us or something like that. Later on in the day, the water quit running all together.

We waited for our neighbor to get home, and started looking at the well house, it seems that there is a reset button, they pushed it and the water started flowing again, the pressure is not as good as it should be, and it still looks a little cloudy (floaters) to me, hopefully it's something that can be fixed easily.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Pix

Not much new, just been working on improving the cabin, Bob took these pix a few days ago, enjoy!












Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Snow, more pix, helping out...

03-04-08

We had an interesting few days, it's been warm, nice, perfect weather, then yesterday, it snowed, all day, but it was so light that it didn't really stick, it was pretty though, nothing like seeing snow in the high desert mountains. :) Sorry, no pix of the snow, I took the day off from everything, I got up long enough to eat and use the toilet, it was a very lazy day for me, I slept most of the day. By the time I got up for good, the sun had come out and the snow that did stick, had mostly melted off. We ate dinner at our neighbor's house and had a pretty good time, good food, good company, TV and the internet, what more could one ask for? ;)

Last weekend, we went to our friend's new place, I have a few pix of us, Bob and I and our neighbor (who is our very best friend out here!), we are sitting on top of another mountain, I took the opportunity to take a pic of myself, I hate having my picture taken, I tend to hide behind the camera (grin), but I am fairly happy with the pictures (mark it on the calendar, that doesn't happen very often).


Here's Bob


Here's Bob and our neighbor (and very good friend)


Anyhoo, we have been helping our friends get their house ready to be lived in, it's an 80s model single wide mobile home, it's not too bad, a little water damage, mostly on the edges of the floor, we helped pull carpet (shag carpet), paint walls and clean. This place had been empty for many years and it had been home to mice and various other animals, they caught a ring tailed cat inside too, they are messy, nasty creatures, at least if they are inside your house they can be... It will be a cute place when they are finished with it. They are getting 11 acres on top of a mountain, very pretty view but the ride up is pretty rough, you almost have to have 4 wheel drive, our bug does it pretty well, I can't imagine driving up and down every day though. Oh, I almost forgot, they fed us a great BBQ meal for helping, we would have done it anyway, but it was nice to eat a good meal with good friends and a great view.

Here is the view from their property




Today, we went to town, we were going to the post office, and missed it by 13 minutes! Darn, small towns, I forget that they roll up the sidewalks earlier in the day. We will have to go again tomorrow, bummer, it's quite a drive into town, heck it's a 12 mile round trip just to go to the mail boxes out by the main road. Oh well... :)
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2 Comments

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey sis,

I see you and Bob have done so much. I enjoy reading your blog. Glad you are enjoying your new home. Hope to see you soon.

Love ya & miss ya

Alma

March 9, 2008 9:07 PM

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Blogger Wretha said...

Hi Sis! I miss all of you very much, we are planning on mbuilding a guest house, Bob will start it soon, we have nearly everything we need to complete it, so when all of you come out, you will have a place to stay, with a great view! :)

Wretha

March 11, 2008 9:45 PM