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Homesteading Choices Coming Up

April 29th, 2020 at 12:07 am

One thing I am really lamenting is that I didn't go to the library on the last day before it was closed. I have run out of library books to read and you can't read Kindle in the bathtub. Well, you can, but I'd rather not risk it. Chris pulled out the few books he has in the house and one of them both interested me and had large enough print for me to read. I think a trip to storage is in order for the weekend. There are plenty of books there that I would be happy to reread and some I have never read. I'm sure some of it even has a large enough font for my poor eyes.

Yesterday I got the weed pile and the rose trimmings moved into the bed of the pickup truck. It's a full sized bed and the amount of weeds I put in it are slightly rounded above the top of the bed, except for the garbage can full of rose trimmings and the giant kale plant that was pulled out. Those are slightly higher. We will cover with a tarp and tie it down before taking it to the green part of the dump. It is their composting portion of the dump for all yard waste. It costs $6 a load to dump, which is a lot cheaper than the cheapest dump load which is a base $12 plus weight.

It was a lot of work and what I did was load the wheelbarrow, empty it, then sit down for five minutes. This is what I do to get over my stamina issues since the illness in February. It takes longer, but I got it done in two hours. I've got two mini brush piles I need to move this afternoon and then the load is ready to go for tomorrow.

The plan for today is to figure out where I am going to put the containers for the tomatoes and zucchini and then fill them up and hopefully to get the parsnips planted. I also want to transplant some of my big herbs into large containers and then find some small ones for the smaller herbs. We've got totes and garbage cans and buckets, so everything will have a home, I just have to get it all gathered up and figure it out. I think the giant rosemary plant will have to go up in the front yard. It is about two and a half feet tall and I am not sure it's roots will fit in a container other than a garbage can and those are reserved for the tomato plants.

I can't believe it is almost May. There is still so much to do and I am pretty much the only one working on the garden right now. Mom is driving me crazy right now. She seems like she is doing everything she can to slow down getting the attic finished for my nephews arrival. Last night, for instance, around 7 p.m. the guys were ready to vacuum the floor. But she didn't want them to vacuum the floor. She wanted to do it herself and refused to let them. But she didn't want to do it then, she wanted to do it in the morning.

If she had done it last night, they could have been mostly finished. It wasn't because it was late and she was tired. She stays up to 11 p.m. most nights, and she spent the entire day watching TV and not doing any work, same as the day before. We're not the one letting my nephew move in after all, yet they are the ones doing all the work to get the room cleaned out and ready and she keeps doing things like this to throw spanners into the works.

Meanwhile, I don't get the help I need in the garden because she insists on them working on the attic and complains if they go out to help me that they aren't working on the attic. This is just one example of the petty, stupid stuff she pulls. I will be so glad when we can afford to move out of here.

Another thing she did is back in February she insisted that the dishes need to be done on the longest cycle, which takes about 3 hours and uses 4 times as much water, because we were sick. But the quick wash gets everything clean and only takes an hour and uses far less water. She thinks the three hours sanitizes everything better. I think that's BS, especially coming from someone who does not wash her hands with soap after touching raw meat, just water. DS follows behind her cleans every surface she touches in the kitchen.

Now she's complaining that the water bill was $40 higher this month, but insists that the rise is do to my son taking long showers (he isn't and they aren't any longer than they've been) and not the fact that the dishwasher is using more water. That is the only thing that changed. Also, we pay all the utilities, so I don't know why she is whining about the water bill anyway.

I put a stop to this dishwasher thing, since my son or husband are usually the ones starting the dishwasher and told them to just do it on the short wash and ignore her. I am also keeping an eye on my son's shower times and making him get out after twenty minutes, at the latest 30 minutes if he's been working hard and using the shower to soak his sore muscles. The rest of us keep our showers pretty short, like 10 minutes or 15 if I am doing a double wash and condition of my long hair, and if my muscles hurt I will just take a bath. It really is just the dishwasher.

And she is just one of those people who isn't happy unless she is complaining about something. It gets worse than older she gets. I try to have compassion, but some days it is really hard. I stay nice and I stay polite and she apologizes often for being so bad, but I'd rather she just stop doing these thing than keep apologizing for it. It would be easier on all of us.

And then as we start watering the garden it will see a rise there, so hopefully I can keep it down with the dishwasher enough that it will still make a difference. We are still getting quite a bit of heavy rain so we may not have to water too much. I'd like to hook up rain barrels to the drainpipes again and use that water in the garden, but I'm not sure if I can find used ones and new ones are expensive.

Oh, I sold a rabbit buck on the weekend. Zane has gone to a new home to be a stud for some folks getting back into meat rabbits. Cyrus went a couple weeks ago. That leaves me with four rabbits, one breeding pair that are both broken blacks, a retired red doe who is more of a pet now, and another buck that is a broken red.

I may sell the breeding pair, and may just keep the broken red as a companion for the retired doe. Vincent is my favorite buck, he is super friendly, and while he and Ruby can't be in the same cage because she still might get pregnant even though she is old, they can be right next to each other. Well, with two inches between cages to prevent any accidents.

I don't know, though. It might be worthwhile to hang on to the breeding pair in case we can't get meat. I don't really want to do that again, but there may not be a choice. We have enough cages left to have three grow out cages, so it is doable. But I think I'd rather get meat chicks if we are going to go the route of raising meat animals again.

It is always easier to get chicken feed than rabbit feed as the stores keep it in stock consistently. And Cornish cross only take 8 weeks to grow out whereas kits take 12 to 14 to get them to a large enough dress out size that 1 animal feeds us 1 meal. And on the practical side is much harder to kill a cute rabbit than an oblivious chicken, even if it is easier to dress out a rabbit.

Mom has been making noises about having laying hens again, too, but she can't take care of them so it would fall on us. I don't want to get up that early in the morning or always have to be around at sundown to put them in, so I don't think that will happen. I can handle it for 8 weeks for meat birds, but not full time and not in the cold season. And hens are noisy. They cackle when they lay eggs and sometimes when they don't. You can hear them from a couple houses away. I don't want people knowing we have them if things get rough out there.

Chicks aren't too loud once they are old enough to go outside and these would all be boys who don't start to crow until they are much older than they'd be butchered at. I just don't know if I want that responsibility, though. The garden can be done at any time of day, weather permitting. Chickens have a time table. Rabbits always have food and water before them so don't require a specific time to check their feeders and waters only need to be filled once during a 24 hour time period. And they are quiet.

We'll see. I am hoping it doesn't get as bad as all that but with another meat plant closing, it could get bad fast. I think this is the eighth one.

6 Responses to “Homesteading Choices Coming Up”

  1. LivingAlmostLarge Says:

    I can't believe it's may already. 6 weeks has flown by and I still like staying at home getting stuff done. If only I wasn't going crazy homeschooling and working and trying to do everything.

  2. CB in the City Says:

    Do you have reading glasses, LR? I couldn't read anything without them. I just get them at Walgreens, no prescription needed.

    I think you're just going to have to learn to ignore your mother. Easier said than done, I know, but she's is clearly not thinking rationally and you can't let her muck things up for the whole family. Give her kindness and love and maybe she won't notice she's not getting compliance! Smile

  3. Lucky Robin Says:

    CB--I have prescription trifocal glasses. My eyes are pretty bad. But the problem is that I have these big black floaters in my eyes and also lately a round shimmer in my lower left eye. It is see-through, but blurry, so it makes it hard to read tiny print. I've had issues since I tore my retina and they have been gradually getting worse, but my eye doctor is closed.

  4. Dido Says:

    You can get an "Echo Flex" from Amazon for just under $20. It will plug into a standard plub and you can ask it to read aloud most kindle books. The "Alexa" voice isn't quite as pleasing as a human voice, but it takes just a few minutes to get used to following it.

    I use an Echo Dot by my bedside to read me to sleep each night.

  5. Lucky Robin Says:

    LAL--My kids are driving me crazy enough as it is and they are both in their twenties. I can't imagine having to teach right now, too.

  6. Deb Says:

    You can put your Kindle in a large ziplock bag and read in the tub. That’s what I do!

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