trystinn: (Default)
Woke up with a headache and aura, bordering on migraine. Took the migraine meds and drank a cup of coffee, which often helps stave off the worst of it. Its a very foggy here, so thick I can't see the neighbor on the corner or the far corner of my backyard. If anything, it seems to be getting worse, the driveway is getting foggier as I type.

Definitely going to be a slow morning.
trystinn: (Default)
For Solstice, one of our Elders gifted everyone with jet athames. They are gorgeous and now holding a place of honor on our home altar.

After having a delightful lunch with Dana yesterday in Port Townsend and braving the torrential downpour to do a bit of shopping, we headed back to the Island for a Solstice dinner with our little Naval Neo-Pagan group. Afterward we got together to play Munchkin. Not sure we're playing it correctly, that first game is always a bunch of "oh shit, we forgot Items!" kind of "hell, what are we supposed to be doing with the die, again" and "oops, there's a difference between upright and downwards cards" kind of a thing.

Lisa graciously picked us up some Farro seed to sprout for the chickens at the farmers market. I have absolutely no idea what Farro is. but we're soaking it for a day or two (we'll see what its like tomorrow as to whether it requires another day or not). The Red Barley isn't quite ready for feeding yet, but we're still feeding the original bag of Black Oil Sunflower Seed!

In chicken news, poor Big Blue has a horrible ear infection. We're currently treating it with a combination of Hydrogen Peroxide (squirted into his ear to clear the gunk) and packing the swollen canals with Neosporin ointment. If that doesn't do the trick, we'll have to switch to Penicillin injections, which I'm not particularly keen on trying with him. He's a massive bird (think beach ball) and could really protest violently.

For reasons we're still confused about, Wendy (our smooth-feathered Silkie) and her host of little chicks has decided to invade the Rhodie pullet pen. They are now all living together. *chuckle* The Rhodies are decidedly confused but everyone seems to be doing all right. The Rhodies at this point are about the same size as Wendy, but that won't last long!

We lost little Snow, the splash Silkie. He was always a bit of a runt, never crowed and never prospered. We'd had a host of near misses and this time, palliative care didn't work. *sigh* The Bachelor Pad is down one bachelor now.

The last two days, we've run out of here in the morning, coming back close to midnight. Today is a resting and recovery day. *smooches* to all for a Blessed Solstice.
trystinn: (Default)
Got up early this morning because I wanted to get a few things done to burn off some of this energy. Its 56F out there and calm, we weathered the storm just fine with only a few branches down. We had a few blips, but the electricity stayed on. Its muddy as all hell out there, though.

Cleaned out the cat litter box, boy do I not miss that. Crystal cat litter is a lot easier to clean up than the other stuff we've used over the years. Flash has been trying to help by eating the poop, this is not so helpful. Even Hobo agrees with that. Hobo should be done with his antibiotics soon and his wounds are nearly healed over, so we can try the indoor/outdoor cat thing soon. *cross fingers*

I spent about an hour on the front porch, touching up the exterior house paint that the trim-painters got all over the place and to re-paint the thin spots. We've replaced the porch light and doorbell unit, so both needed to be taped off and touched up around, too. Standing on one's porch with a hairdryer while the neighborhood walks by and confusedly waves at you is a real hoot of a way to begin your morning. Do try it.

Josh has been busy painting the patch in the dining room that needed to be re-painted after the wall was removed. Yesterday he finished the green patch near the door. These are good things, but oh Gods does the trim look really horrid now in comparison. We'll be working on getting the trim re-painted pretty much everywhere in the house this Winter.

I've done a bit of research on how to paint the window sills here, which seem to be some kind of pressboard-laminate combination from Hell. The paint has all lifted, given how often I have to scrub them due to the mold. So we'll try the bio-friendly stuff first: white vinegar scrub, sandpaper, then bathroom grade white paint. I'm really hopeful that will work. I'm not even sure I'm willing to try TSP, which is what the renovation sites recommend.

The rest of the day is basically set aside for chores. I may try to nip out for a bit to relax and decompress. I was going to paint my nails, but at this point, they'll already tinged blue from the exterior paint. So laundry it is!
trystinn: (Bounty)
The guys were awesome! They managed to take a load to the dump, then came home and hung the wooden gate to the Bunhalla/Duckgard enclosure. They rigged a system so the gate swings shut nicely by itself, you just need to check to make sure its latched afterward. Very easily done one-handed!

We'd had a very thick piece of plywood left over from the porch dog tunnel, so the guys cut it up into sections to hang on the wired front and sides of the Love Shack and Rowdy Roost hutches for Winter. They still need to be painted, but they will work great to keep the worst of the wind and rain out. The bottoms are still open, so there's plenty of air movement not to mention the boards don't fit tightly, instead they hang from nails hammered in on either side of the tops. This did necessitate moving the water bottles to the bottom of the hutches, but that's not a big problem unless the Bassets decide to start munching on them. Again.

Wearing an industrial respirator (to ward off future sinus infections), I cleaned out all the coops this afternoon: The Blue Shed Coop, Bantie Barn, Rowdy Roost, Love Shack and Rustic Roost). I also scrubbed all of the chicken waterers and refilled them - the Bantie Barn's pen now has two large waterers and the smaller one is in the Blue Shed Coop pen. I re-organized the supplies in the Blue Shed Coop, which was embarrassingly messy and returned Josh's tools to his workshop now that its organized and I can find things in it!

Once the chickens started coming in to the Blue Shed coop for the night, I managed to get the chicks and adolescents banded (males on the right leg, females on the left leg). The two Ameraucana females have been giving the boring names of Goldie and Blondie, the cockerel I'm calling Quicksilver. I'm still brainstorming about the Ameraucanas. Transforming one of the Bunhalla West Wing pens into a breeding pen isn't too crazy of an idea, I've got enough chicken coop wire and netting to do it, I think. They can be popped into the Blue Shed Pen once its vacant or the Rowdy Roost. So many options now! Salt's chicks need a few more weeks to a month of growth, I think. Hard to say with Bantams really. They seem to take a lot longer to become a lot smaller than standards. :D

We'd watched the hens beat the ever-living crap out of the two Mischief Makers (the Bantam Mottled Cochin cockerels) much of the afternoon, so I popped them in the Love Shack for awhile. With any luck they won't kill each other in there. I've got one up on Craigslist, the other will be given a few Frizzled Silkies and Bantam Frizzled Cochin pullets to breed with.

The back porch has been re-arranged for Winter, tomorrow I'll go outside and clean the Adirondack chairs and the table. Our cute little metal chiminea is residing on the back porch, come payday I'll get firebricks to set it on before we use it. The neighbor has a pile of stuff out by the street that he brings home from job sites, I nabbed a really great metal derrick-type display frame, which I'll use for wood storage for the chiminea and plants. The extra terracotta chiminea has been dropped off at Lori's for her use, the big over-sized metal sink is heading over tomorrow.

Hubby had a marvelous time with the food processor, what were supposed to be diced peppers turned into more of relish-sized and the chicken shredded to mere wisps. Perhaps it wasn't the best idea to let hubby play with that after a day with power tools. The pasta salad tastes great, though.

And now, its time for me to take some pain meds since I can barely feel my hands. There will be pictures tomorrow, should the weather prove amiable.
trystinn: (Cauldron)
Spent a quiet morning watching a movie while making pasta salad, only to discover that I haven't any peppers. So I'm off to get a few to finish off the salad since Kevin asked me to make some for Football Sunday. I'm also dropping off a freezer bag full of feathers I've collected for one of my friends who does gothic fashion. If you're on my Facebook, you've likely seen her responses.

The boys picked up two of the chimneas, one terracotta and the other metal, that I'd gotten from Freecycle and Craigslist. Both are very small, but cute. Should work quite well for our porch, the other I'm taking to Lori for her garden. The boys are off to the dump, having taken Doodle for a ride. He was so excited, he followed them out of the house and up into the pickup without a leash. We keep extra leashes in each vehicle, but this is pretty epic. Usually Doodle's nose gets him off track and we need to pull him back. Maybe he's learning, though I doubt he'll ever half perfect recall like Gracie has.

Tonight's dinner is either Mexican in town or four cheese sausage penne casserole. :D

I need to get off to the grocery, then home to clean out the coops. Geesh!


Sep. 13th, 2011 06:18 pm
trystinn: (Default)
Jerimiah finished painting the kitchen walls today, which means with any luck I've setup and tore down the kitchen for the last time this month. Ugh. Each time, we cleaned so the kitchen is the cleanest its been since it was installed by now.

You ever wonder if you've got too much stuff on your counters, take it off and put it all in your dining room and hallway. Repeat every day for 7 days. You'd be amazed how clear those countertops are by the end of the week.

We managed a dump run in between painting sessions, which is awesome. I'm incredibly thankful to have another round of crap gone. Josh dropped off two boxes of stuff to the thrift shops, which is even more crap out of the house. Then the poor man went through two of his dressers in the den and managed to fill two bins with paper to recycle.

Meanwhile, I've got to go through my bathroom cabinet tomorrow as well as the living room coffee table. Infinitely doable as long as I can keep the allergies from all this painting in check.
trystinn: (Default)
Waiting for the contractor to show up, so I went ahead and started going through the kitchen drawers. I now have a box of stuff to take to the thrift shop, if it takes more than another hour, I'll likely get through the cupboards, as well.

I went ahead and started cleaning the stove top. I soaked the drip pans in the sink with soap, every so often I went in there to give them a scrub. The coils needed a bit of cleaning too so I went after them with baking soda and a scrub brush. Once they dry, I'll put them back in the stove top. I'd like to put down new shelf paper in the kitchen cupboards and drawers, but that's a two person job - one measuring and the other cutting. So when Josh gets home, I'll have him do the measuring. Its also the kind of job you do on a rainy winter's day, so that's been set ahead in the calendar. :D

Meanwhile, there is laundry going on - everything fabric from the front of the house that I can, has been run through the laundry. I still need to yank off the 3-seater cover, but Doodle is asleep on there at the moment. I'll wait until he gets up to do so. Tiger has offered to iron the curtains, not sure they are worth that, but we'll talk.
trystinn: (Bounty)
Its a beautiful and bright morning here, I'm in awe that its gone by so quickly.

The bantam cochin cockerels are being bullies, so they've been banished to the duckling grow out pen. I tossed them in there this morning, which means I'll be out there this afternoon throwing down new hay for them to peck through.

Lots of poultry movements:
The Khaki Campbell ducklings and their mom, Lucy, are back in the KC pen with Bernie. He's thrilled.
Mamma Onyx is in the Rowdy Roost pen brooding, again.
Mamma Wendy and her tiny brood are in the new nursery brooder hutch.
Mamma Salt and her three are in the grow out pen attached to the blue shed coop.
Onyx's three blue chicks are growing out in the Bantie Barn. Once they get to a decent, adolescent size we'll incorporate them into the blue shed coop. Though, we're going to have to rehome the cockerel before that happens.

I'm still tweaking the living room and have spent most of the morning running laundry (curtains, sofa covers, living room blankets, etc). The kitchen counters are cleared off and I'm just waiting on the contractor to show up to paint the ceiling. I likely should be going through the cupboards and cabinets to find things to donate to thrift shops, but instead I'm taking it easy and trying to keep my feet up. At this rate, its going to take me a few days to recover and frankly, I just don't have them to spare.

Kevin and Lisa came by just awhile ago to drop off the carpet and pad at the dump. I have no idea what's on their schedule today.
trystinn: (cave)
Its one of those misty mornings here, where you can almost hear the mist falling onto the trees. A sort of bemused hushing sound, anticipation as an almost-visible sensation. Its a cool gray morning, the songbirds are quiet and all you can hear are the crows in the neighbors' trees. Even the roosters are silent.

Given the overwhelming serenity, I was able to drink my first cup of coffee with our shy cat Fudge. My job while I sit on the front porch is to pet him, catch up on news and protect his kibble from the chickens. Scarlett and the Three Amigas (the Ameraucana chicks) have learned to run around the house when they hear the kibble hit the bowl so I have four polite little vultures hanging out at my feet. Once in awhile, Scarlett will merrily pop into my lap and croon for pettings while the other three warble amongst themselves.

The somnolence is nearly-overwhelming. All three of the dogs are asleep and even on my second coffee I'm wondering if a nap is in my future.

Somehow, we have to start the day around here.

The day

Aug. 20th, 2011 04:39 pm
trystinn: (Default)
Generally speaking, I haven't minded the neighbor's teenager coming over to use our internet. But given the amount of work that needs to be done around here a few weeks ago I bit the bullet and told her I wanted her to come by and help out for an hour a week in exchange. So yesterday and today, she's come over to paint the gates and dog tunnel. A few of the porch supports needed painting around the base where the deck paint got on them, as well as touch ups around the house. At this point, she's speckled a bit of white paint on the deck so she's got to clean that up.

It takes a lot of supervision to keep her moving and I'm constantly reminding her of places she's missed, but I'm very grateful to have one less thing to pay the contractors to do!

In poultry news, Salt has apparently given up on the rest of the eggs. She's been off them most of the day, near as I can tell. Obviously, I was hoping for more Silkies but we also have Wendy brooding on her nest.

I'm hoping the other brooder hutch will be finished and set up before I leave Wednesday. I'd really prefer to have it in place tomorrow afternoon. Its one more thing hanging out there that's adding to the pre-trip stress.
trystinn: (Default)
I've barely been home all week and we've put so much emphasis on fixing the front of the property, so the house is looking a bit down at the heels. I'm working like a dervish inside, dusting and straightening, vacuuming, etc. Even washed the sofa covers, three days ahead of schedule.

Noah is working his magic outside - moving the concrete and wood pile, doing a bit of raking around the walk in the back where fircones and needles congregate. He's going to primp the outdoors up a bit, which will likely include hosing off the sidewalk, porch, etc.

Kevin will be coming by later, so we can pick up the hay at Erin's farm. We are thinking to squeeze in a dump run tomorrow, we'll see how that goes.


Jun. 15th, 2011 10:51 pm
trystinn: (cave)
Had a miserable day with the asthma, mostly my fault because I'm having trouble remembering to take the preventative inhaler. Its going to take me awhile to bring this into my daily routine. I must remember to take two puffs before starting my day tomorrow, because its a marathon!

While Derek was here, I asked him to really trim back the trees and bushes around the house. Its likely going to make the house look a bit isolated, but at this point, I just need a bit of relief from the pollen! Given the relative warmth of summer here, I simply must open windows from time to time and now the pollen won't be able to rest on top of the branches then get through the window screens. Speaking of which, I really need to hose the window screens down SOONEST!

Derek, the landscaper, left me an absolutely wonderful surprise! I'll take a picture of tomorrow and post, its too dark out there now. Its been a long while since someone surprised me. So this really made my week. And likely my weekend, too!
trystinn: (Default)
I'm still feeling a bit under the weather, so I called off the day's trip to town to concentrate on organizing projects and coordinating the work around here.

I've given up on Dave, the Painter, after repeatedly playing phone tag with him. I've called another painter and left a message with three possible dates and times. *cross fingers* Derek, the landscaper, is here to finish the driveway and side of the house. I'm thrilled with the work he's done so far and will be glad to have him coming back on a regular basis to keep things tidy and add a few perennials.

Martha, our Houdini bunny, was caught today by Noah and is now living in the West Wing pen again with her boys. I hope she stays put this time. She's been hanging out next to their pen, outside Bunhalla, which puts her in significant danger from Doodle running her over. I'm thrilled to have her back, way to go Noah!

Speaking of all things Basset, the boys are very low key lately. Its only 57F here, but the sunshine seems to make them sleepy. That said, everything seems to make Bassets sleepy.

Flash would like to remind you to take care of yourself while you're enjoying Summer. Wear your sunscreen, wear UV glasses and protect the delicate skin of your ears and scalp by wearing a cute hat.


Jun. 13th, 2011 02:38 pm
trystinn: (Obey the Basset)
Its a gorgeous day here in the Island, the kind that makes you happy to live here. 60F clear, with clouds heading our way. Given the mid to late week forecast is rain, rain and more rain.

I'm now sporting a lovely new trim, it feels like I've lost 10 pounds of hair off my head. Woot-woot! The tire has been fixed, Mike at Les Schwab said it was a simple patch job. I'm scheduled to buy new tires on Thursday when they are delivered and get them aligned, that's going to set me back $$$. Has to be done, though.

While I was waiting for the patch, I walked across the street to buy the poultry & dog feed, shavings and food grade DE. I bought too much DE, but it only comes in 50 pound bags, so whatcha gonna do. Should keep the flies down and deter any creepy crawlies in the area. While I was goofing around, I went ahead and posted the frizzled chickens and ducklings on the board out front of the feedstore. *cross fingers*

I've been calling friends and asking for recommendations for contractors. My mechanic has recommended a landscaper, which I have called and asked them to come by to present a bid. The driveway needs weed whacking, the front gravel spiral walk needs more weeding, salting and I'd like to add a few more small trees and/or plants to the decorative border. Flash's fan, Peggy, has recommended a painter/handyman who hopefully can paint this stupid wall and ceilings.

All in all, its going to be an expensive and stressful week.


Jun. 11th, 2011 06:49 pm
trystinn: (Obey the Basset)
First off, for those not on my FB, I have a flat tire. Thankfully, my car is in the driveway. I must have picked up something at the mechanic's or on the way home, so my car is sitting there with a flat. I had thought I'd have one of the two contractors who were to show up today help me with the spare, but neither showed up.

Secondly, the painter's truck wouldn't start, so he's supposed to show up on Monday. The carpenter I never heard from and frankly, didn't bother to call. *eye roll*

Called on Tiger this afternoon to return the most recent Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood book I borrowed and to rant/rave about stupid contractors. I'd taken Flash over to play with the Boxers in order to bring him back exhausted. Worked like a charm. I should take Doodle over next. When folks chide me about how lazy Bassets are, I tell them to correct their assumption. My two twits are like kindergarteners. They are that bonkers. Granted, right now, Flash is doing a very good impression of a basset statue. That snores.

The landscaper is coming tomorrow, SUPPOSEDLY.

Stay tuned this time tomorrow. Same batshit channel, same batshit scenario.

The work

Jun. 10th, 2011 06:18 pm
trystinn: (Cauldron)
Derek and Noah have done a great job today. Its exhausting just looking at all the work they've done! Granted, I shouldn't be wandering about the rugged backyard with my ankle bandaged up in an Ace bandage, but sometimes I just need to see what's going on and see how the two guys are getting along.

Derek, our new landscaper, has managed to bring order to the front of the house - he's clipped the street side of the front border, the house side, trimmed most of the trees and bushes and is now finishing up with the larger weeds. He also, Gods bless him, tidied up in my herb garden - so there's room for more plants! He's coming back on Sunday to do some fine tweaking, salt the spiral walk and possibly plant some Hostas and ferns. All the while, Scarlett kept a very close eye on him. He's been exposing all sorts of bugs for her delicate palette, so she's not letting him out of her sight!

Noah has cleaned out both coops, washed and refilled the waterers. Gracie had a marvelous time showing up her beautiful new buzz cut to her favorite fetch buddy. Next weekend, I'm hoping Jim and he can finish fencing the East Wing of Bunhalla so we can round up the ducks and get them separated by breed. Mixed breed ducklings aren't in as much demand, though its generally easy to sell ducklings around here. Noah took 4 ducklings for his sister, then ended up bringing them back because when he got there the setup wasn't setup. *eye roll* So the four are back!

Tomorrow, the carpenter has promised to come and figure out the back porch gates. The painter will be arriving to paint the living room/dining room wall. *cross fingers* This basically requires me to stay close to home, likely best for my twisted ankle anyway, which means I'll be catching up with the DVR contents. *sigh*

I've been especially photosensitive lately, had been completely confuddled why. Turns out all the Alleve I've been taking for my ankle, knee, etc. has photo-sensitivity as a side effect. FML, really. Because my options are so limited for OTC painkillers. Not that there's much sunlight out there, but whatever manages to fight its way through the clouds always finds me!
trystinn: (cave)
I wish I had something deeply philosophical to report, or at the very least, something funny. Instead, I'm trying to distract myself from the reality that Jason is leaving on Tuesday.

We're really going to miss having him here.
trystinn: (Flash in a hat)
I swear there is some kind of hanger conspiracy in my household. I keep buying hangers and we keep running out of them. Where are they going? Do they go to join the lost socks and lost keys? Parallel universe? Alien abduction? Government scientists run amok?

The thing is, we're not really buying more clothes. If anything, we're getting rid of clothes - turning them into rags, donating those in good shape to thrift shops, etc. I've lugged bags of clothes out of this house.

So why am I constantly running out of hangers!?!
trystinn: (Default)
I have some fairly specific concepts of what constitutes a pick up truck. Most of which Josh agrees with, even as he is assumed by the strength of my convictions.

* There are only two types of acceptable trucks:
a) the "Old Man of the Farm" type, genteel and well behaved, he can work all day and take you out for dinner that night. Like a kindly old grandfather, he knows how to do his job well and has many stories to tell. These are my favorites.

b) the "Barely Controlled Beast" type, that snaps and snarls, taking on huge tasks with an cocky, confident air of an Airborne Ranger. Walking in front of him while he's running should make your blood run cold. Bonus points: a RAM on the front and Dodge on the back, which speaks more to attitude than actual branding. These I respect the most.

Clicky )
trystinn: (Default)
My study nook (aka Room of Beauty) has been re-organized, dusted, cleared out and primped a bit. Which is a hell of a lot more work than it sounds typing it up.

For those new to the Inn, there's a very small room off the master bedroom which we've always struggled to find a use for. So far it's done double duty as a bed chamber, a library, a meditation room and has now morphed into a combination dressing room and home office for me. Which basically means the old Watchtower desk, respective bureaus, printer stand and a small bookshelf for my Psych books are now tucked away inside. I've had Josh put up a cork board for my use, too. I will admit that even after I bought cutie-patootie thumb tacks for it, I rarely use it. But I plan to!

The Den/Guest room is still looking like a cyclone hit it. Hopefully Josh will be able to tame that nightmare by dinner time, not sure which day though. Meanwhile, me and the dogs are hiding out in the study listening to NPR.


trystinn: (Default)

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