Monday, September 28, 2009

Find the Critter XIX

Can you find and name the critters in the above picture?

Closed for the Season

As Lasky said, the security guard at Walleyworld in movie National Lampoon's Vacation, "Sorry folks park's closed. Moose out front should have told you".

We'll, I'm not Lasky, this isn't a movie and I'm not talking about a park. However, what I am referring to is our pool and our pool is now officially closed for the season - Sorry folks pool's closed. Grumpy home owner has told you!

Signs the Economy is improving

or is it simply a selfish, well-to-do pecker-head showing his true colors?! I'm thinking the latter!

Back in October 2005 McDonald's replaced the coffee in it's 600 New England stores with Newman's Own Organics Blend coffee! I really like this coffee, sooo much better than Dunkin Donuts, and stop whenever I get a chance. This Saturday I stopped to grab a cup on my way to Westwood.

So, I'm sitting in the drive-thru and queued up behind an impressive black, freshly washed and waxed Lexus LS series sedan driven by an older gentleman that I would guess was somewhere in the area of late fifties, early sixties. The Lexus dude pulls up to the window and pays for his order. As he waits for his food to arrive he takes the coins that were given to him with his change and tosses them out his window against the building - I was shocked! We're not talking about a lot of money here but the amount doesn't matter. The ignorance of this stunt is unsettling. Certainly he could have chosen something better to do with it. For example, give it back to the clerk and request that it be put in the collection for the Ronald McDonald House.

Prolly think he's some big shot with an over inflated ego. You know, the upper management type with no conscience about his actions and only concerned about himself. I hope that some day he'll need that change and realize the errors of his ways with his mightier than thou bone head stunt. Oh, I also wished for him to choke on his food...

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Bird Flu versus Swine Flue

My doctor just told me the primary difference between Bird Flu and Swine Flu.

With Bird Flu you need a tweetment, and with Swine Flu you need an oinkment.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Hay versus Straw

Q: "What’s the difference between hay and straw?

A: Hay bales are a food source. That is the first and perhaps most important difference. Hay is actually a plant that is cut when it is alive and full of grain. The purpose of the hay is to feed animals. Straw, on the other hand, is simply the stalks of standing plants that contain no grain. The grain is harvested from the plants by a machine that cuts it off of the stalk. The grain is then removed from the field and the stalks are left to die, standing. Once they are totally dead and mostly devoid of moisture, they are cut, raked, and baled. The baled straw has multiple uses. It can be used as animal bedding, erosion control, home building, and more. One thing it is not used for is food."

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Future Garden Perhaps...

Can you find the difference between the before and after pictures below?



Yup, you guessed it the spruce Christmas tree* has been removed! I cut it down, loaded it in the truck and took it to our local town recycling center. Although, it might not look too big in the picture it was a lot more work than I thought; limbing it, loading it and unloading it. However, at the end of the day it was worth it. It looks SO much better now and opens the space up nicely. We can now look out the rear living room window and see the back gardens, which were hidden before.

Since this location is sloped so much there really isn't too much we can do with it's, plus it's also a pain to mow. So next year we're thinking of making this our vining vegetable garden and not even worry about mowing it. I was thinking about planting zucchini and summer squash along the side and rear borders and pumpkins and butternut squash inside, where they can creep and grow all over each other. We'll see...

* The previous owners did in fact use that tree as a Christmas tree one year and then planted it the following Spring.

Easter Egg Chickens

Our coop is now complete with the addition of these (2) beautiful little girls. These chickens are known as Easter Egg chickens and will lay blue-greenish colored eggs. They come from a combination of Ameraucana and Araucana chickens. I've been wanting and looking for some of these birds for a couple years now but hadn't found the right ones; these are the right ones!

They're young still but super friendly and have a nice disposition in general. Of course the coop is in disarray as the pecking order needs to be re-set with the introduction of these pullets. It's interesting to see how the seven birds breakout into three different groups. Each group represents how the chickens were introduced, so we have (2) groups of two birds and (1) group of three birds.

We've been getting one egg a day now for two weeks, which is being laid by the Amberlink, hooray!! The others should be starting soon, just in time for winter. This may force me to install a light in the coop this year, not for heat but rather to fool the girls into thinking the days are longers, thus keeping them laying. C'mon girls start-a-laying and earn your keep...

If you're not familiar with what blue-greenish colored eggs look like click here, EGG, to see a picture, which shows them with a brown egg and white egg for comparison. These eggs taste the same as brown and white eggs and any claim to them being lower in cholesterol is false.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Steel Chiminea - Before and After

Call me Fred Sanford if you'd like but at the end of the day I think you'd agree that we scored a winner with this particular "find".

Coming home the other evening, just before dark, we came across this steel chiminea sitting curbside. The house had a For Sale sign in the front yard and a pile of trash out for morning pickup. Apparently, this chiminea gem just wasn't wanted at their new abode. I initially drove past but quickly turned around. After all I saw it first and didn't want any other passerby's to try and take my "find". We hemmed and hawed a bit before deciding to take. Part of our apprehension was the fact that we were in the Explorer and not my pickup.

However, at the end of the day I'm glad that we decided to rehome it. We'll break it in once the cooler weather moves in.

This is the before picture -

This is the after picture -

I sanded the entire outside of the stove and spray painted it with a flat black high heat Rust-Oleum paint. Looks nice right?!?! Lowe's has a similar chiminea called the "Garden Treasures Steel Chiminea" selling for $149.00.

If anyone is interested, I will let this refurbished gem go for $75.00 cash...

Can you say S'MORES!!

Fun Fact

Fun Fact!

Blueberries are rich in vitamins C and K.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Find the Critter XVII

Can you find the critters in the above picture?

New England Revolution Night Out

We went to Gillette Stadium this past Saturday night and took in our first New England Revolution soccer game. Although the Revs lost to the Kansis City Wizards 4 - 2 it was a great opportunity to get inside the stadium and check it out. Plus it was a beautiful night. Only half of the stadium was open for seating but we had our choice of location and seats. We were able to take our time getting in and out and puttered along checking out the stadium. This would have been nearly impossible if we were at a New England Patriots game. It was a very good take and very reasonable tickets prices including free parking - two thumbs up!

Fun Fact

Fun Fact!

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, there are over 93,000 public schools in the United States.

Calling in the BIG Guns...

Okay, here's the issue -

The wet spring and summer we had created perfect breeding conditions for many an insect, for example it's nearly impossible to venture outside when the sun goes down without getting eaten alive by mosquitoes. Another pest that has thrived this season, and one that has worn out it's welcome (which it never really had) is the slug. You can find them out and about in the early mornings, especially when the dew is still covering the lawn or turn over any rock and you'll find the slimy, trail-leaving pests hiding out.

They're eating holes many of our flower plants, especially the hostas, which is clearly their favorite based on all the damage they've inflicted. You can see an example of the damage in the picture below. The other morning I killed over 200 slugs in the back yard alone, which didn't even put a dent in their population. I used a pair if pruning scissors to cut the son-of-bitches in half, however, sprinkling them with good ole table salt immediately dries them up and works wonders too.

Since patrolling for and killing slugs is a time consuming task and really not the best use of my time we've decided to proceed with plan B!

What is plan B you ask? Hmmm?

Well, plan B involves the purchasing one of the bestest, all natural, aka "organic", controllers of slugs in the business...

The Muscovy duck! Game on!

These are (3) week old ducklings that were hatched on 8/13/2009. We only wanted a pair but since they're too young to sex we decided on three in an effort to increase the odds of one male and one female. I hope it doesn't turn into a ducks version of, "The Faber/Leonard Chicken".

The next order of business is naming them. Emilie has taken on this responsibility with the exception of the male (again, assuming we have one), which I've taken the liberty of naming "Kid Rock"!

Yes, of course I need my head examined! I have no one to blame but myself too. However, if this works it's brilliant and all we'll need to worry about is walking in the yard with bare feet, oooh yuck! Perhaps, I haven't thought this through entirely.

Side Note:
Prior to departing on our vacation we relocated our rabbits and chickens to my dad's house to be cared for. I was fit to be tied throughout this whole process and swore up and down that the animals were going to go once we returned - so go figure how we still have them and we're still adding to the menagerie...

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Road Trip Cleanest Lavatory

I'm no expert when it comes to bathrooms, however, I can tell when they're clean, or in need of cleaning or down-right nasty.

During our 2000+ mile vacation journey we made frequent stops at various restaurants and rest areas along the way to "use the facilities". The majority of the privies were fine especially when you stop and think about the number of visitors each relieves and the numbers being performed.

Sadly, I must report that the dirtiest rest area we came across has to be the one we stopped at upon entering West Virginia. The men's lavatory had a, "Closed for Cleaning" sign when we first arrived, which I was happy to see thinking that once opened it'll be fresh and clean. I wasn't in dire need and happy to wait for a clean latrine. I'm still not sure what "Closed for Cleaning" means in West Virginia. I will spare you all the details but rest assured it was NOT clean...

Hands down the cleanest and most impressive facility was in Virginia. Again, we chose to stop at the Welcome Center upon entering Virginia. They were clean and fresh with all necessities fully stocked and functional. These particular washrooms offered something that we'd not seen before. There was a unique stall in both the men's and women's room that had two chamber pots in it - an adult potty and a child's potty! As anyone with little kids can attest, this is a fantastic idea! Not only were there two potties but there was also plenty of room. Many stalls have just barely enough space to get oneself in and situated, never mind having a young'n in tow. JoAnne was sooo impressed that she took the below picture.

Find the Critter XV

Can you find the critters in the above picture?

Fun Fact

Fun Fact!

On August 12, 1851, Isaac Merrit Singer received a patient for the sewing machine.