Tuesday, August 28, 2012

For my next 30 years....

Today is my birthday. The big 30. I have had some teasing, some even apologizing as I hit this number. Like 30 is a bad thing. Honestly as I look back over my life I am so very happy to be having this day and the life I have had up to this point. For a long time I was 100% convinced I would die young. My FMS symptoms started in my teens and with so many saying that it was in my head or that I was crazy I was truly convinced that I either was going crazy or something was so wrong but no one could see it because I was meant to die. So I never really expected to hit this birthday. I have had my share of heartache as well. Loosing my babies was probably the worst emotionally followed by the loss of my grandparents and my love's battle with his own issues. Those things though helped shape the beauty that is my life. They helped form the bounty that is my marriage. Many think I make up our relationship but today when I opened my birthday card J.W. had written, "It feels like yesterday you were 17 and I had just fallen in love with you. I know many years have passed but I promise to make each day feel like it was only yesterday." Yeah that is my guy. All day Maggy has been texting me "Happy Birthday" over and over so I know how excited she is that it is my birthday. My email has been beeping like crazy with messages and my facebook even has some sweet words. It is humbling and amazing to feel so much love from so many. I see all of that love and can't help but be excited to turn 30 and eager for the future. I don't know what it holds. I know there will be heartbreak, there always is in life. I also know that there will be joy and love and passion. Thank you guys for being a part of that even if I have been a bit absent lately!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

major score

   Hubby and I went to check our hives this evening. Our medium hive, the one we moved back home is really packed with bees and honey. Doing great. Our Nuc in the front yard is also doing very well and will need a new box very soon. The big hive in the canyon....not so much. While not struggling, it is not growing either. It has enough honey stores to get through the winter, but none for harvest.
   On the way home we were discussing where to go from here. How many hives we wanted for next year, where we wanted to get them, ect. We had only been home about a half hour when a beekeeper neighbor called to say he was getting out of the bee business. He wanted to know if I wanted to buy his two established hives and his extractor for $300. We will be picking them up next week :-)

Wildlife and drought

After I posted about the porcupine, I realized I hadn't shared my skunk story with all of you. Last week, my chickens went bonkers at around 5 am. I went out to check on them and could see something trying to tear my live trap apart. I went out and low and behold....there was Stripes! Or one of the original Stripes' relatives. 
   Hubby had plans that morning which required him to take the truck. I had no way to transport stinky and so me being just a curious as the kids, started going out to see how close I could get. It was well past the little guy's bedtime so he slept and occasionally would open an eye and look at us (At one point, we had nine people standing less then a foot from the cage) and give us a look that said "Do you mind? I am trying to sleep here!"
   The kids hand fed him peanut butter sandwiches and I got close enough to take some really cool pics. I had no idea skunks were so cute. I killed some time before Hubby got back researching pet skunks. Good thing for Hubby, I found out they are illegal in most states including ours. The kids were disappointed.
   Once Hubby returned we threw a tarp over the trap and put Stripes in the truck to his new home. If he hadn't been half tame, we would have shot him and been done with it. But just look at that face!

   We found an area away from all homes and chicken coops with running water nearby and opened the door to the trap. He waddled his fat little but right out of the cage and into the bushes.
   I think the drought has a lot to do with the wildlife coming down into the valley this summer. There are some really big bucks wandering around the neighborhood this year that no one has seen before. We usually have four or five skunks all summer. My neighbors dogs killed three in a WEEK! I trapped and released this one. We have had coyotes come right into yards and try to eat the family dog. We even had fish and game put down a mountain lion ACROSS THE STREET from my house this spring. I just read an article this morning in the paper about a mountain lion trying to get into a casino yesterday in down town Reno. A badger walked into a grocery store in Sparks and all he wanted was water. This winter is going to be tough on all the creatures. I just hope we gt enough snow to make next year better.

Saturday, August 25, 2012


I finally got this pic to save to my computer so I thought I would share. This is what the porcupine looked like before I put him down. Now you know why that dog looked like he did. The little scrapper was determined to pull every quill out of this thing. He almost succeeded.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

exciting morning

   My neighbor called me this morning to ask if I could help her get a few porcupine quills out of her dogs. She told me that each dog had five to ten quills, not a big deal. She went to pick up her teenage son to help hold the dogs.
   I got some supplies ready when her younger son came running up to the front door. I thought he was coming to tell me that his mom was back, but he was screaming and crying that the dogs had trapped the porcupine under the camp trailer and could I come quick.
   I grabbed my gun and magazine and started loading the mag as I walked down the driveway. As soon as I had the mag loaded, I broke into a run. My neighbor turned down the street just as I sprinted across the street and into her yard. She got there almost the same time I did and immediatly started screaming. We got the big female dog away from the porcupine and locked in the garage. The terrier was not about to let that nasty critter get away from him and just kept attacking.
   We finally drove him away from it by throwing rocks at him. Once he was locked in the garage and away from the danger, we turned our attention to the porcupine. It was completely bald on it's back and tail. It was injured pretty badly and was dragging one back leg. We had to use shovels to get it out from under the trailer. I still couldn't shoot it as it was huddled up to the tires. I ended up using a shovel to scoop him up and toss him away from anything that could be damaged. He was still trying to slap at me with his bald and bleeding tail so I had to have the teenager draw his attention by tossing rocks so I could get a clear shot ( I REALLY didn't want to just shoot it in the back) It worked and I fired a shot that didn't drop him, but was fatal.
   The kids of course all came running out of the house where they had been told to stay. So once I get them all back I went back to check on him and he decided to walk away. The second shot dropped him and it was done.

Now to turn our attention to the dogs. This is the female, she is not nearly as tenatious as her little brother. The pictures get more greusome as you scroll down. If you are squemish at all, stop here.

This is the male that is now at the vet. They had NEVER seen this many quills in one dog.

This is the porcupine. You can't tell from this pic, but he is almost bald.

Monday, August 13, 2012

One of our own needs some help

I am not going to tell you who, because the link uses real names. This family is very kind and giving. They are bloggers just like us. And they have fallen on hard times. Here is the plea for help that I received this afternoon:

My family has been going through a very rough year. I had to take several Leaves of absences from work due to Fibromyagia and Kidney issues starting last August. Times were hard, but we made a knot in the rope and kept holding on. Then in April of this year, I started having major Flareups with BiPolar and wound up in the hospital for 10 days and because of this found myself unable to work. I wound up on 11 different medications to deal with all my issues. Well things were harder - but we kept holding on. It was then that we started losing hold of the rope. Donovan had a Heart Attack and wound up in the hospital for 3 days. We then had to take back due to high fevers from an uncommon complication called Dressler's Syndrome. About a week later we had to go to the ER due to unusual heart flutters. To put this in perspective, we live 90 miles from the hospital. Between gas and food, this truly wiped out our savings. And of course since his is the only income, his check wasn't very much either. Than the car's brakes had to be fixed. With his Health at stake - it was either pay the bills or get it fixed. That wiped out what little he had for a paycheck. So we are behind on bills. The cell phone was just suspended for lack of payment. The Short Term Disability check was approved for me last week. It won't be mailed out until tomorrow. We're down to very little groceries. very little fuel. September 4th is his last day in the Army National Guard. So our Health Insurance will end that day. We receive a small amount of food stamps from DES, which I am working to get increased. I applied for SSDI/SSI back in April. But even when I get approved, the first check would not be until November. We will need Firewood for Winter. Clothes and shoes for my 6 year old daughter. She starts back to school tomorrow. If it wasn't for the free meal program, I'm not sure what I could feed her.

Here is the link to help. If anyone could help even just a little bit, every penny will be appreciated. I would like to think that our community would rally around any one of us if we needed it. Please do what you can, even if it is just words of encouragement.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Hive inspection

Went out to check on my big hive out on the ranch today. Getting a little bit worried about them. Now that they don't have the medium hive to rob, they aren't doing as much. They haven't touched the top super at all, not even to draw out a frame. Just nothing. The lower supers still have plenty of capped brood and some honey stores, but they seem to have stalled out. I don't think we will get any honey from them this year.
  The medium hive has been back at the house for a month now. They really picked up once they were away from the big hive. The queen still has a pretty spotty brood pattern, but they were hatching today so the empty ones might be from brood hatching. I actually got to watch one of the girls emerge from her cell today. She came out all fluffy and a pretty pale yellow. Her stripes were a pale yellowish gray. Very fun to see. This hive has loads of honey stores, lots of brood and new bees. I am going to have to get another box on that hive ASAP. THIS one might produce some honey this year :)
   The nuc is doing alright, but it has only been a month since I got the queen and stole some brood from the big hive to get her going. I noticed a worker coming in this morning with her pollen baskets clear full of a pale pollen. They also had some bees hatching today. I didn't see the queen but I am pretty sure she was on the far outside frame. The bees on that frame were clustered in a certain spot so I am guessing that's where the queen is. This hive produces very dark almost black bees. The queen is carnolian/caucasian cross and you can tell a big difference between the bees that she has hatched vs the bees I gave her. These bees are not as aggressive and are fairly easy to work. When I gave brood to her, I only had smaller frames and I was hoping they would have drawn out the only two deep frames they have but it has not happened yet. Once they do, and the queen starts laying eggs in those, I am hoping to phase out the shallower frames and replace them with deeper ones. Not exactly sure how I am going to to this, but I will figure it out.
   I just hope I get some sort of a honey harvest this year and enough I can give the ranchers who were nice enough to let me put my bees in their field. They even picked out the perfect spot for them.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Off topic

This post is not about politics, guns, prepping, or anything relevant to our usual topics. I just needed a place to put down my thoughts.

   I was recently diagnosed with adrenal fatigue. It has caused me to be hypoglycemic. It has also caused a hormone imbalance, low blood pressure (like low enough that I should go to the hospital almost weekly), low cholesterol.....oh yeah and I also got mono on top of all of that.
   Fun stuff, right? I forgot to mention fibromyalga also goes hand in hand with adrenal fatigue. Lila was right. She has been convinced I had fibro for years.
   My doctor is big on changing lifestyle rather than handing out meds. I like that. At least I thought I did until I was told I could no longer eat carbs or sugar. Honestly, I am just griping. I needed to cut way back on those things anyway. And I really WOULD rather fix this with diet. I have to be careful to balance any carbs or sugars with protein. If I don't my blood sugars skyrocket then drop low enough to make me lose consciousness. One good thing that has come of this is that my little Boston terrier is now a service dog in training. She had been cuing in on my lows long before I knew I was having them. I just thought I was sick. One morning she jumped up into bed with me and refused to let me up. I checked my sugars and was very low. She now alerts me when she smells the change in my blood sugar level and when I ask her to check.
   The hormone imbalance can be reversed by eating three eggs a week. I am not fond of eggs and this has been hard for me. I am learning to be creative!
   The low blood pressure can be raised by adding more salt to my diet. It is more of a long term fix though rather than a quick fix when I find myself in trouble. One way to raise blood pressure quickly is with caffeine. I don't drink coffee or black tea (yuck). Pepsi or most other caffeinated beverages are out because of the sugar content. I would just be fixing one problem and creating another one just as bad. Energy drinks can cause stroke and I am already high risk due to the blood pressure issue. So what's a light headed girl to do? I found some energy strips at our local GNC that are caffeine, ginseng, and Vitamin B. PERFECT! I keep those in my purse along with my blood pressure monitor and my blood glucose meter and my jerky. I have had to learn to carry a big purse.
   The thing that is honestly the worst is the fibro. I absolutely loathe feeling this way especially when there isn't a lot to do about it. Today is a bad day. Yesterday was worse. I have a lot on my plate and no one to help take up the slack. I can only work outside when it is cool. I can only work in the house until my body screams at me to stop. Stress shortens the time I can do anything. I have three little boys who create stress and toss it around the house like confetti. They fight, they destroy, and they make messes faster than I can clean them even on a good day.
   I feel stupid. I lose track of conversations even before they are through. I will argue a point with someone until they laugh and point out that they are saying the same thing I am. I am just too out of it to realize it. I almost wish I didn't know about the fibro. At first I was relieved to have a diagnoses of any kind. Now I have a name to get mad at. I KNOW what is causing me to feel this way and it pisses me off. Maybe it is just something to blame, but I sometimes find myself in a fury with an invisible foe. It's hard to fight an enemy you can't see or smell or touch. I can however feel it and it sucks.