Saturday, January 30, 2010

Basement renovation in progress...

Taking the opportunity that is far-below-freezing temperatures and a week off work to get some serious progress made on the house. My dad's been up here for most of this week, and we've begun the long process of turning the basement from a "spiders and water heater" type thing to a comfy efficiency apartment-type living space.

So far we've put up walls, insulation, drywall, and hung doors. Today we'll be working on wiring some wall plugs and a few light fixtures. Very exciting to see a space so quickly transformed, and I'm learning a lot about how to do all these things as we go.

I have learned that clearance at Home Depot can be a very advantageous thing (I've found a crap-ton of great stuff there recently at 90% or 95% off) and that the culled lumber cart there is a budding farmer's best friend. My animal barn is starting to look like a lumber yard now, and I'll soon have enough materials to build both a chicken coop and some rabbit hutches!

Heidi is growing visibly by the day... it's kind of nuts how quickly she's expanding in size. As she grows, she's looking a bit more wolflike, and I'm starting to lend credence to my dad's theory about her having Chow in her bloodline. She's also chewing on EVERYTHING. And I mean everything.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


My dad came up this weekend to help around the house. Got some errands run, some supplies picked up for tomorrow/Monday's projects, and got some good old fashioned R&R time in this evening with him and the pup.

After determining that her constant itching was due to having both fleas AND chewing lice (thank you for lying to me about her having been treated for both of those things, oh Columbus Animal Shelter Who Shall Remain Nameless), and a big dose of Frontline Plus, she's now mostly itch-free, and (as always) 100% pretty cool.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Last night was the first clear night we've had in a while, and the spectacular night sky was once again on full display. Temperatures were dipping again and the landscape seemed extra still and quiet against the thick blanket of moonlit snow.

At almost exactly 10pm last night, as the pup and I were bedding down for the night, we heard about 15 seconds of coyote howling, seemingly from the woods behind either mine or my neighbors' house (theirs is more likely, as they have chickens).

Never heard that sound before, and it sounded very eerie and otherworldly, almost like people cheering at first. Turned on the light to see Heidi standing bolt upright in her crate. go-go-primal instincts!

Heidi, by the way, is an amazing puppy that seems on track to grow up into an amazing dog. I hope I deserve her.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Please say hello to the newest addition to the farm staff. No name yet.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Frozen in, but cold hardy...

As the second consecutive night of light snow blows down around the house outside, I thought I'd take this opportunity to sit down and write in a brief update.

Consistent colder temperatures have brought all outdoor projects to a halt, but it's been a busy month nonetheless. Many good times have been had with family and friends, enjoying each other's company and celebrating the holidays. It is this time of year in particular that I find myself feeling especially thankful that I have such a great family and circle of friends, who have been nothing but enthusiastically supportive of this big change in my life and my reasons behind it.

Package after package of seed continues to show up in the mail... to the extent that I wonder if I should have purchased it all at once to keep better track of it all. As I've found a new seed company or heirloom variety here and there, I've placed orders... it seems I've done so a lot! It will truly be a challenge to try and wrangle all those tiny little embryonic future-plants through the correct circumstances and into the soil and a shot at becoming what I hope they will.

Also got the majority of my orders for trees placed with Raintree Nursery and the Arbor Day Foundation tree store. Not sure I don't need to supplement what I ordered at some point in the future, but the basics should at least be covered. Should have everything on-farm by the end of the first week in April.

ALSO ordered some super-futuristic LED grow lights, and along with some ultra-reflective mylar and a 5-shelf utility rack I'm putting together the beginnings of a seed-starting station in the basement so I can get a head start on some of this season's vegetables. A friend of the family is a long-time heirloom tomato growing wizardess, so I've been picking her brain for tips and technique.

ALSO looks like I'll be adding an 8 wk old female german shepherd mix pup to the farm staff here in the next few weeks. She'll be the first full-time animal here on the farm, and I'll be training her to help me manage all future critters, and to be completely awesome in general. More on her after she gets here.

In project news, I hope to employ my father's help to get the basement framed out and finished this winter during non-growing season downtime.

In financial news, looks like I'll be poor forever. Sadly, it looks like everyone else might be as well....