038737 Cluckin' "A" Critter Farm, LLC
Thursday, April 7
Today was my wonderful, sexy, beautiful, young and intelligent wife’s birthday! Today was her day....Her day to do whatever she wanted... and as usual, she wanted to go get stuff for the farm and hospice gift shop, so off we went to Lowe’s in Catskill to buy twelve more bags of concrete to replace the ones that disintegrated and washed downstream. This time, we laid them out on the ground and soaked the bags, to allow them to harden lying flat on the ground and then we’ll lay them in the breeched section of the dam in midstream in a few days. This time when we place them in the middle, we’ll put some silt and mud in front of them, so it is drawn into the cracks and seals them off, allowing the overflow to cross the top of the dam as it should instead of squirting through everywhere there is a crack. The reason for doing this is that the ice took out the beaver dam which caused our pond level to drop well over a foot. The beavers went upstream and are not interested in repairing the breech in this downstream pond anymore....so we have to do it ourselves....and we will...all in good time... (When the bags harden)
Now...on a very serious note, we are starting a collection campaign here on Blogger.com, our web page and facebook, to help raise some much needed financial help to aid in pay the outrageously high expenses which are accruing for Matthew Rosiello, grandson of Vick’s late husband, Carl. All Donations will directly benefit the 21 year old by helping to defer the Tremendous & Overwhelming costs for his Life Saving Liver Transplant which will take place in Ohio, far from their Staten Island, New York home. You can imagine the colossal expenses incurred by the family since half the family must temporarily move to the Ohio area, where Matthew must live to be eligible for the operation. His chances of receiving a liver if he waits in New York are impossible because of the number of people on the list, so that forces the family to split, half to live and work in one place as the other half awaits, in the event they receive a call that a liver becomes available. Matthew’s father must remain in New York to work at his job and manage things there, while Matthew and Randy...his Mom, must live in Ohio. Maintaining two residences, food costs and Matthews medical expenses are overwhelming to say the least, so we are hoping you can see it in your hearts to hit the donate button and give a generous donation to ease the financial burden placed on Matthew and his family. They really need your generous donations....
038737 Cluckin' "A" Critter Farm, LLC
Wednesday, April 6
In just a few hours, Mark will be here to install the carpet in the hospice gift shop. He is the one we need to ensure the carpet is down correctly and will be covered by the kick board around the bottom. As soon as he is done with the installation, we’ll order some pizza and have lunch with Mark and Judy, our soap & Jam friend. Judy and Mark’s sister are very good friends, so we asked Judy to come over and hang while Mark is here installing the carpet and we’d all have lunch afterward. The guy from Cub Cadet in Altamont called and said we could come and pick up the post hole auger anytime we wanted, if we were still interested in it. We need it badly to start the run-in shed for the alpacas, sink post holes around the new raised bed garden and for fence installation all over the property after we get the first 100 fence posts. We want to create a bunch of small pastures which we can use intermittently to browse the sheep and alpacas in all summer long. It will eliminate mowing while providing pasture browse for the animals. It makes absolutely no sense to mow off grass and buy hay for them.....let them eat the nice moist grass..... Anyway, I need days like this to get the raised beds made, sink post holes, start the run-in shed, start the barn expansion, start the construction of the farm store and finish the hospice gift shop for a May opening.......Whew, I’m beat, I think I’ll have breakfast...
038691 Cluckin' "A" Critter Farm, LLC
038691 Cluckin' "A" Critter Farm, LLC
Tuesday, April 5
Five AM this morning, opening the door to leave the animals out for their first time today, I immediately sensed spring all around me. Just a mere month ago, when I opened the same door, I was met with emptiness...a void... an absence of life, even though you know very well that there is life present out there. You can hear for what seems like miles and in that area...there was not a dog bark, a person talking or a bird’s calling to be heard. Winter’s breezes sometimes were deathly still too, making you shiver two-fold at the thought of the dead silence. Today when I opened the door, I heard a gentle breeze as it snuck past the pine boughs in the back yard and birds were chirping in the pre-dawn darkness. A dog could be heard down the road, as our chickens talked to one another with a rooster crowing amidst the chatter. The ducks voiced opposition to being penned up, quacking loudly in a chorus of “Open the door...Leave us out”. Early last evening, we heard the Spring Peepers for the first time. Once they make their appearance, you know that spring has arrived. As their name implies, the Spring Peeper has a high-pitched call similar to that of a young chicken, only much louder and rising slightly in tone. They are among the first frogs in the regions to call in the spring. As a chorus, they resemble the sounds of sleigh bells. They are heard earlier in spring not long after the ice melts on the wetlands. The species usually call from the edges of the bodies of water in which they breed, hidden near the bases of shrubs or grasses. Even when calling, the species may be difficult to locate, and are most easily seen in the shallows as they puff up to make their calls. I find it intriguing that winter is void of life and spring is bubbling forth with new life, just as it was intended to be. The seasons so mimic our lives.....being born into the spring.....fresh...new... living our lives throughout the summer as we progress toward our fall.... our twilight years... when we’ve lived and learned and have fully blossomed into a mature being. The winter comes for all of us one day, when we die and cease to blossom no more.....but as nature has intended, our fruit and seed will carry on and new life will emerge as a spring again. It is simply the circle of life as God intended it to be. What a beautiful reminder of that spring is! It appears we will again endure a rainy day, for it has been drizzling here since I got up. The question is....do we leave the chickens and ducks out to play in this miserable mud bath? The ducks will love it! The chickens try to...but inevitably end up standing in front of the house, under the overhang of the roof, waiting for the sun to shine.....grouped together, pooping piles on the doormat and all along the front of the house. Strike one for leaving them out...... If we don’t leave them out...they pout and will not lay eggs...We need the eggs to help pay for the feed..... Strike one for leaving them in...... They peck and fight inside....doing much better outside..... Strike two for leaving them inside..... They are usually hard to get inside when it is raining and we have to stomp through the mud, getting soaked and cold.... Strike two for leaving them out.... When they are outside, the poo buildup and stink is transferred to the outside and the cleaning cost is reduced. There are also bugs available to eat out there along with seeds and green grasses and weeds, enriching the yolks of the eggs, making them delicious.....exactly what our customers want...... Strike Three for leaving them in.....The benefits abound to be outside..... We’ll turn them loose to free range all day long. Maybe today would be a good day to take our trip to Vermont and get our touch-up paint from the Toyota dealer. We ordered it and they called a week or two ago, letting us know it was in and they would hold it for us until we came to get it. We could stop and check for our bolts at Greenberg’s Hardware in Bennington. Their prices are excellent and their supply of items is outrageous. They have everything! Tomorrow between 9:00 & 10:00, Mark will come to help install the carpet in the hospice shop. When completed and Mark leaves, we’ll start installing the ceiling lights and finish that up. Once the computer desk/checkout counter is in place, we will start hanging art to see what else needs done. We’re getting there!!!!!!!
038673 Cluckin' "A" Critter Farm, LLC
Monday, April 4
Well, here we are at the beginning of the week, I feel much better and it is raining, so feeling much better is about as good as it gets. I will admit that since this could be snow, I’m not all that upset that it is raining, and tomorrow will be another day......another day that can quickly dry out. If it had snowed again, we would again be thrust into a spring melt condition with mud and water everywhere, the chickens pouting and another long wait for dry conditions before we can get to the building projects. A new friend by the name of Mark, from Tip Top furniture is coming on Wednesday at 9:00 or 10:00 to donate his time at helping us to fit the carpet in the hospice gift shop. He helps with installations in folks homes when Tip Top sells them carpet, and when he delivered our carpet, we found out he is friends with our friend Judy, so he decided he wanted to help us with the hospice building too. Once that is completed, we’ll start to really finish up inside there and hang art work that we’ve received already. We will also let the other pledges know we are ready for their art and will receive it into the gallery. We still need to get the computer fixed and it sure isn’t worth spending a lot of money on it since we can buy a new tower for a song and a dance, but it would have been nice to find a person who can fix it as a donation. We have spent so much of our own money getting this gallery built, that it has to stop somewhere. We’ve decided that once the shop is completed and we start stocking it with artwork, we will not put anymore of our money into it as a donation. We still have all the lighting and art hanging system to buy and install yet, but after that, we’re done. I guess today would be a good day to go to Lowe’s or somewhere and pick up the big screws we’ll need for our garden’s raised beds. We’ll use three to a corner on the 2x11 planks that will make up the six 4’ by 8’ beds. It will be so nice to have a garden of six raised beds with landscape fabric between and around them to stop the weeds from growing. There will be a four foot cyclone fence around the entire garden, with a few electric strands around the top if needed, to keep the deer out. There is a light rubber mat at tractor supply that comes in a roll that we have to investigate. It might work and last much better than landscape fabric, if it isn’t real expensive. We would need 188’ of fabric or that rubber to surround all six beds by three feet. It will probably be more expensive than all the other materials combined since it would eliminate weeds. We’ll check with Tractor Supply and see as soon as we get up there. Yowl........ We went to Lowe’s and got the four lights for the ceiling and 36 bags of Sackcrete for the duck pond. The beaver dam let loose with the spring melt and since the beavers have moved upstream, they have no interest in coming down here to fix the old dam, so it’s up to us. We will simply lay the 36 bags of Sackcrete across the breeched dam and let the water to our pond regain it’s depth by a good foot again. Hopefully making a brick dam out of bags will fill just like a block wall and then seal between the bags with muck and loom from the stream. When Mark helps us on Tuesday morning with the carpet, I’ll be able to install the four ceiling lights and the one across the end and the lighting will be completed for the present. We’ll also need to go pick up 70 linear feet of 1 by 4 board for the floor board around the perimeter of the building and then install the quarter round in the corners. We can then install the computer cupboard/counter...and then start hanging artwork! Racing for the May (?) deadline for an opening....Pushing and hoping..... Hoping and praying! We met a slight delay in the garden department. The bolts we need to assemble the four foot by eight foot 2”x11” planks are $1.19 each and we need about three to a corner......times four...times six... or about $85.68 for stupid bolts! We think Lowe’s rapes their customers with fasteners, so we will check at the hardware in Bennington, Vermont. It has everything and we’ve bought bolts there before.....an entire 10 lb. box (over a hundred) for less than what Lowe’s was charging for a box of 25. We need to go up to the Toyota dealer to pick up a bottle of touch-up paint we ordered anyway, so we’ll just stop and check on bolts. I’m excited....a day in Vermont and lunch...... That’s almost like farmer’s market season......Can’t wait!!!!!
038663 Cluckin' "A" Critter Farm, LLC
Sunday, April 3
Saturday morning when I got up, I was feeling yucky with allergies, sniffling and a frog in my throat. We went to East Berne anyway and picked up a massive load of timber for use in making our raised bed garden beside the house. After a little lunch, we returned to the sawmill to pick up our second big load of lumber, which will be used to make a run in shed for the new alpacas, so we can get them home. Once we got the lumber unloaded, I hung it up and hit the couch until bedtime. This morning, I didn’t feel any the better after a good night’s sleep. The hoarseness is definitely gone, but there is congestion in my chest I don’t want to discount as unimportant. I’ve had pneumonia two times before and I know what I have to do to side step its grasp and I most definitely do it! Usually one day lost is not as bad as fueling the flame and inviting disaster.....especially now that I am getting much older. Tomorrow is another day and tomorrow will come no matter what. I on the other hand, could miss it...if I do stupid stuff like a young kid and disregard my body’s warnings. If I pay attention and waste a day relaxing on the couch, tomorrow or the next day....most likely I’ll be back in the swing of things... How I’d love to get the heavy screws and washers and get out there and put the six raised beds together, making them ready for the topsoil. We are to pick up the post hole auger sometime in the beginning of the week, so I will also be able to sink the posts at the run in shed. Once they are in place, we can begin building the shed for the alpacas to occupy. So now, I just need to lounge and relax until the congestion and miserable coughing goes away... Back to the couch....... 038640 Cluckin' "A" Critter Farm, LLC