Sunday, October 24, 2010

A Riding Lawnmower for Our Anniversary?

My sister is here from Portland. She sent me an email a few days back as she had found something to help us out on the property and wanted the family to go in on it with her. How thoughtful...

I can actually picture Elmer riding that! I must find one!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Coon Huntin'...

I woke up suddenly to the sound of "somthin' gettin' a chicken". I layed there listening, hoping I wouldn't hear it again and could go back to sleep. "BAAAAWWWWK"! Nope, there's deffinately something out there killing one of the chickens. Aw crap.

I run to the closet to grab a flashlight. The first 3 I tried didn't have batteries, the next two had batteries but they were evidently dead, finally I find one that works. We have a lot of flashlights - that don't work. I look at the clock and it's 1:47.

I grabbed a flashlight, turned on the light on the back porch and went running outside. Just as quickly, I turned around and ran back inside when I realized I didn't have my pants on and was out in the backyard for all to see (ok, any moron that might be awake) in my t-shirt and underwear. I throw my pants on and sneak outside. I say sneak, because as I'm heading out, I remember that the last time something was in killing chickens it was a skunk.

So, I sneak outside, carefully, with the kids nurseyrhme "Skunk in the henhouse, Pee Yew. Who's gonna catch him, not you!" running through my mind. I sneak carefully up to the chicken pen and shine my flashlight all around hoping to hell I'm not going to see a skunk. My flashlight finally settles on a pair of beady eyes - raccoon!

I throw a couple of rocks. He doesn't move, just stares at me. I try several voice variations of "GIT!" but he doesn't move. Well crap, nothing good is going to come of this. So, I tried reasoning with him. "Look buddy, just haul your bee-hind out of here and things will be fine. PLEASE don't make me go get Elmer." He just stares back at me. Fine, I have no choice.

Suddenly Elmer Jr. opens the window. "What's going on?"

"Go get dad, there's a raccoon in with the chickens and I can't get him out." Stupid raccoon, you've got one more chance to run like the wind before Elmer gets down here...

Elmer comes out the back door and I explain the situation, hand him the flashlight and head back into the house. Elmer and Jr. can take it from here.

After about 5 minutes of trying to get the coon out of the chicken coop, Elmer comes in looking for his keys so he can get his pistol out of the truck (yes, he has a concealed weapon permit). He finally finds the keys, loads the gun and as he's walking out the door. I mention he might try a little longer to get it out alive and he replies "I've had it, he killed our best layer so I'm gonna shoot the bastard". It's now after 2 am so I tell him to only shoot twice or we'll have the neighbors calling the police. After about 5 minutes I finally hear a loud pop. Shit I hope it didn't wake up the neighbors! Elmer Jr. comes running into the house and proclaims that the first shot didn't do it and wants to know how loud the first shot sounded. Crap. A minute later I hear a second shot. Elmer walks into the house and I asked if that did it. Nope. He walks into the garage and through the house carrying a big hammer. A minute later it's over.

I think the other chickens are suffering from PTSD and the henhouse has the smell of death. I doubt we'll be getting any eggs for a while. Damn it, I tried to save your life little buddy...

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A Stone House...

Life can sure be interesting sometimes. About a week ago, I got a friend request on Facebook from a gal that worked at Fish and Game the same time I did. I worked at the Regional Office and she worked at Headquarters. She retired from there not too long ago.

She told me that my brother had just "married" her daughter and now son-in-law a few weeks ago. The day after we became friends on Fb, she made a post about a book they had written. "How to build a low-cost house of stone". So, I sent her a message and told her how we had just purchased property and asked her about their stone house. She sent me a copy of her book and I got it in the mail today!

They had moved from Arizona and wanted a simpler life where they could be close to hunting and fishing so they found 2 acres near the tiny town of Sweet. Taking a summer and the manpower of their two young daughters and themselves, they built their home in 1973 for $2,090. No, I didn't leave out a zero - $2,000. The rocks were all free - they picked them themselves, and basically the only tools they used were an electric cement mixer, shovels, and trowels. It's a 3 bedroom home, single story and they even had a great time doing it. I'm already halfway through the book. It's super easy to read, lots of pictures and tips, and so easy to understand.

Stone homes seem to last for many, many years. Wouldn't it be something to spend next summer doing something like this? The picture below is as close to their house as I could find, but, their roof is better and they have lots of windows!