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Friday, April 18, 2014

Gone and other yard stuff

bye, bye dogwood

The woman who said she would take the free pink dogwood came today and got it. For about 8 months I have offered it. People accept and never come to get it. I was so thrilled that she came less than 24 hours after she said she wanted it. I am so happy that little tree can reach its full potential and bloom pink blooms like it should. It pained me that they tree did not thrive where it was.
 
Her husband dug it and put all the soil on the tarp I supplied. I just hate having dirt piles or dirt on my grass, not that there is much grass in that area. He filled in the huge hole left after the tree was removed.
 
He has had the top of one lung removed and two ribs because of cancer, and could barely breathe, becoming winded often. So, it took a bit longer, but he and his wife got it out of the ground. I hated it was so hard, but they just accepted he had to rest a lot and he started again. 
 
 

 
dirt
 
The hole holds about two or more five-gallon buckets of soil, very dark, rich soil. I am going to rob this hole to use the soil for my tomatoes. As it is, there will be a depression in the yard. However, my plan was to keep breaking pencil-sized sticks from limbs and throw them in the depression. Right now, I have to go sprinkle red pepper on this soil to discourage the cats. 

carport
 
There is gravel here with lots of grass and weeds that grow there since I no longer use it. Last year, this become overgrown because of lack of mowing. Then, the "weeds" intrigued me since I thought they were useful. It turns out, I have a carport of Rose of Sharon. I want to move one to the back corner of the yard to block the view into the other yard and their view into my yard. This is not a very good picture to show you the 3' high trees aka weeds...lol.
 
I will also leave some on the inside of the carport but left of the little low wall you can see. It will be pretty and no expense.
 
At the end of the path there are three pots of hosta, one on the left and two on the right. Those are some of the ones I divided last year. I took parts of the ones in the ground and put them in pots. I may try digging through the gravel in the carport and plant some there. The carport is a pain to mow. While I don't mow it, I can tell it is difficult when anyone does mow it because of the small size. That's a lot of back and forth or round and round. Besides I like hosta and would like to have a yard with little mowing necessary.
 
See that water hose? There is a story there. That story will be for another day.
 
Your turn
Have you ever had a plant that was not thriving and had to be moved? 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Or, I can cut it down with a hacksaw




soon to go

I bought two pink dogwoods years ago when such a purchase was not such a hardship as it would be now. I planted one in the back yard to soon shade the kitchen window. I planted the other under the oak tree in the front yard. After all, it is an understory tree! This little tree did not grow for 15 years. It just stayed the same height with only one or two flowers to delight me. I think the hundred-year oak takes all the nutrients.
 
About 5 feet tall now, barely any blossoms
 
The straight up part is the original tree. The branch/trunk to the right started growing at that angle about five years ago. Strange!
 
Two years ago, I decided to have someone cut it off at the ground. Then, last year a guy from a church told me he would be back in two weeks to finish cleaning up my yard. I offered him the little pink dogwood. He would be back next week and finish the yard and dig up the tree. Well, the yard is still a mess and the tree is still there.
 
I think the tree was eavesdropping. It has grown two feet in two years, AND has about a dozen blossoms. Today, I offered it to many people as I shopped for things to get this weekend. An employee in Lowe's was thrilled and plans to bring her husband to dig it up tomorrow.
 
I had decided that if I could not give this pink dogwood away, I would sell it in free advertising in the paper and on the internet. The idea--it would be more desirable if for sale than if it were free.
 
The pink dogwood in the back yard is at least 30 feet tall. Unfortunately, the blossoms all reverted to white. It's such a disappointment, but I won't cut it down or replace it.
 
 
scared me
 
 
I came home late and was walking to the hens' pen. They came to meet me and walked so slowly back to the pen. I was watching them so I would not walk on them. Then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw something walking slowly on the wood fence. Raccoon! Albino! When I finally focused my cataract-afflicted eyes, I saw it was a yellow cat. It went and sat on this fence post.
 
The image was jumping around in the camera window. Since I dropped the camera last week, it just does not work right. No problem because this is okay. Now, blogger is controlling the image and justification.
 
This yellow cat is always very wary of me, not friendly like the other cats around here. Well, they ignore me and are not afraid of me. I have pondered as to what made this cat so afraid of me.
 
 
same cat?
 
If so, I understand why it is frightened of me. This picture was taken in daylight and the one of the cat on the fence was taken at almost dark, so the other one seems to be a paler yellow, but it's not. 
 
 
 
6 lbs. of corn just removed from the car
 
The new guy at the dinner gave me this for my chickens. There is no date on the bottom, just a code. Plus, there is a smidgen of rust where it sat on a shelf. Tonight, I will open the can and empty it--half for freezer and half for them to eat from for a bit. They love whole kernel corn more than they do Whole Grain Oats.
 
Your turn
Would you go to dig up a pink dogwood that was free? Do your cats, dogs, or chickens love whole kernel corn? A friend said he had to put corn under the cat food and on top to get his cat to eat. 




Free Meals on Wednesday and Other Savings

Food for hens and me

I went to the dinner that the church has on Wednesday. They served baked potato with dressings, sour cream, shredded cheese, and chopped green onions. There was a portion of pork with no bbq sauce, but bbq sauce on the table. The side salad had grape tomatoes in it. and there were several dressing to choose from. Plus, there was a banana cream cheese cake with lots of whipped cream on top--homemade. Unsweetened tea and sweetened tea are the choices of drink except for water. Of course, I drank unsweetened tea. Since I had had nothing to eat on Wednesday but about 2/3 lb. ($0.49/lb.) of cooked carrots and a glass of milk today, this one meal at the church finished off the nutrients I needed except for the banana, apple, and mango as a snack later. Oops, I will have about a dozen pistachios. I ration those so they last.

Oh, the church people were offering everyone the extra baked potatoes. I got one of those for lunch tomorrow. At home I have sour cream, 1/2 price shredded cheese, and free real bacon bits here to fill it up.

For the hens I brought home leftovers. They went crazy for the meat that someone left. Plus, they jumped right on the potato skin with lots of potato left and remnants of sour cream. In the chicken pen, I carefully laid it out flat so they could get to the insides, the part they like, I have one more identical meal left for them.

A guy I have been sitting with offered me a #10 can of whole kernel corn for my hens. He said he did not know how old it was. I didn't care. Of course, I took it. I gave him about 20 coupon inserts from the paper. None had been cut. Since he had just told me his daughter uses coupons, I was going to give them to him anyway. Hopefully, he will be inclined to offer more excess food to me. Win/win for both of us.

The money saved on that meal and the nutritious meal for tomorrow was a great saving in money. And, I don't have to cook it. Plus, hen food is always a budget bonus. So, that was two meals for me, two for the hens, and a heaping cup of goodwill in the coupon offering. Oh, the #10 can of whole kernel corn will last at least two weeks. I will freeze half the can tomorrow. I will give coupons to the guy every week he is there even if he does not offer me anything.

Gasoline
I went nowhere else all day. But, tonight I will go to Walmart to price match things from other stores that I need. I have not made the list yet. That will be a maximum of ten miles driving.

Utilities
Neither the ac nor heat has been turned on today.

Your turn
How did you save money today?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Solar-Powered Traffic Signal

 
Solar traffic signal

Every time I see these signals on a state highway, I am thoroughly intrigued, wondering about them. I wonder how much each costs, wonder if one of these would be helpful in heating northern greenhouses that cannot keep things warm enough in the winter. Mostly, I wonder if one would help to keep my hens' water from freezing.
 
That reminds me. I must get rechargeable solar batteries for my three outdoor yard lights that I bought during the 2011 tornado. They served very well to keep me from stumbling around my house or using candles and chancing a fire.
 
Maybe everyone else sees these solar-powered signals regularly. I have never seen them on the interstates. Have you?
 
Your turn
Do you ever see these solar operated signals? Are they common? Does anyone have a ballpark figure as to the cost of such a system?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Picnic Tree

Picnic Tree

Once in a while, for a cheap, quick lunch, exbf will buy us a burger with a coupon. It's my idea for the coupon. We eat whatever we like that is the cheapest deal. I always carry a cold Coke for us, diet for him, and Diet Caffeine Free for me. Remember the cokes that cost me $0.04 each? Well, we are just cheap enough not to need to go sit inside. The car works. I am usually driving my car. So, I head for shade in the summer,  especially. In the winter we park facing some evergreens in another location.
 
He exclaimed one day that other people were doing the same thing. Let me tell you, this is a popular place in late Spring, all Summer, and early Fall. See the shadow that is cast? See the tree just beyond this tree? There is room for four cars, two under each tree. Some days, when a person is hogging the shadow, I have been known to get right on their bumper and ask with a wave of my hand for them to move up. Yes, they do. The tree and its greenness and shadow are calming.
 
My front yard has deep shade, not just one small tree, but three huge trees make it cool in summer. One oak tree is in the middle of the front yard, another oak is on the other side of the driveway, and the Hickory Nut tree is barely in the back yard. The other side of the yard has pines and various trees that cool the front yard just by virtue of being cooler in the side yard.
 
Some days, I come home and there is a car parked in front of my house. Just to make my presence known, and to let anyone know I care, I go toward them and ask if I can help them. So far, everyone is just resting in the shade while they eat lunch and I know it. I assure them it is okay to be there. (Really, the curb out in the road is not my business.)
 
As the year turns from Spring to Summer, a picnic tree for shade becomes a luxury. The tree above  is in the back of a shopping center, and behind four fast food places. When we get an ice cream cone from Burger King, we go to our picnic tree. A few times, we have driven to the park with a lake and ducks to sit and eat. The experience is calming and renews our spirits.
 
It does not matter if it is cold or raining or blazing hot, eating in the car is fine if there is a view. Of course, as you can tell, the view from the picnic tree is not idea. That bank across the street provides a green place for our eyes. The green canopy over our heads sometimes brushes the car, making it cozy inside the car and inside the tree's embrace.
 
If we are at my house, we sometimes take our lunch to my picnic table. But, everyone needs a picnic tree for eating an ice cream cone, don't you think?
 
Your turn
Do you ever seek out a place to eat a sandwich brought from home, fast food, or a full meal? Do you get a calm feeling from an impromptu al fresco meal? Does eating outdoors with a plan or no previous plan make you smile?

Lonely Chick Cheep

The chicks were chirping, wanting something. What? Oh, yes, just what they always want--food and water. All of a sudden, the timbre of the chirp changed. It sounded lonely. Oh my gosh? How did it escape? How will I get it from under the claw foot tub?

Nope, the one lonely sounding chick was sitting on the top of the box on a towel on the edge of the box. I have one box inside another for the insulating effect. It's cold here!

 At TSC some of the chicks were jumping out of the boxes, tall boxes in which they were placed as people bought the chicks.  I should have rejected those chicks, probably boys.

I put him back in, and closed up both boxes. Ahhh, silence.

It would have been a perfect photo if I had my camera. I wish it would cheep for me.

Your turn
Can you tell by the chirp that one of the chicks has escaped or is somehow isolated?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Suicidal Chicks and Then There Were Four

I raised ten cheap chicks, bought from a farmer for $1 each. They thrived. But, I have gotten chicks and older chickens, paid more money, and they just don't live. For $1.99 these should live!

Tonight, there was major cheeping. Finally, I went in to see how much pine shavings they had kicked into their water. They do that. Then, they cannot drink and let me know about it. Yes, they are babies who know what they want.

When I went into the bathroom where they live, I was so shocked to find a baby stuck in the food dish, a pimiento jar. Its head, wings and feet were up and it was folded into the dish. I screamed so the neighbors probably heard and yanked the baby out. It was alive, very much alive. But, it died.

Don't fuss about the food bowl. Chicks get in the little feeders and get stuck all the time. There is just no foolproof way to keep them from getting stuck somewhere. I would have sooner thought that one would drown even though I keep very little water in the dish. I need to go get a rock to put in there. But, then they would just stand on the rock and poop in the water!

These chicks are so funny. They peck me when I put my hand in their box.