Hydrocodon Blues

I’m back in Minnesota! What an agonizing trip that turned out to be. On Monday afternoon I went into the Omaha Hospital to have x-rays of my ankle taken… I woke up that day in terrible pain and knew I wouldn’t be able to fly later that evening unless I got something for the pain. My ankle wasn’t broken (thank god), just sprained badly so they gave me a leg brace and pain pills. When I got to the airport the ticket agent changed my seating to first class and I was wheeled between terminals so I wouldn’t have to attempt to walk- Thank you United Airlines! The overall trip was fun, even though we didn’t get to go to the zoo! It was nice to be in warmer weather and not see snow covering everything. I was amazed at my trip to the local Walmart where they have armed cops at the door and have a whole isle dedicated to liquor sales (something that you just don’t see in Minnesota). It was good to get away from the cabin, it was even better to return home.

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Yesterday Gene and I cleaned the basement and set up our seedling growing area. We just have a workbench with adjustable height fluorescent lights suspended above it. It’s relatively cheap to start your own plants from seed- save yourself some money and buy seed instead of seedlings- not to mention you get to enjoy watching the miracle of nature right before your eyes. A cheap shop light and either one warm/one cool bulb, or you can buy full spectrum bulbs. I think I spent about $25 dollars for the whole thing, the most costly being the full spectrum bulbs. I make my own seedling mix with equal parts peat moss, perlite and compost. My compost is coming from my worm factory right now- talk about AMAZING! I set my lights on a simple timer with a 12 on- 12 off cycle.

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The first of the seedlings were planted! I planted 18 Glory of Enkhuizen cabbage seeds that I purchased from http://www.rareseeds.com This variety is supposed to be well suited for this Northern region of Minnesota and is supposed to store well (at some point I need to dig a root cellar). Of course I will be using a few heads to make kraut 🙂 I’ll probably start planting some lettuce in the next few weeks- it can go outside in a cold frame if the ground is still to frozen to work. The rest of the plants are started at different times in April/May and things don’t really get going till June. I can’t believe all the gardening knowledge I’ve amassed over the last few years- I feel like a pro! Last year my tomato plants (that I planted from seed) reached nearly 7 feet tall!!! This years goal is to learn how to grow various types of wheat and grain that can be milled into flour. I am also attempting to grow enough food for storage to survive the winter. Yep, that’s right… on top of attempting to survive the summer/winter in a tipi, I’m going to try to produce all the food needed for winter survival too. If this works I’ll be amazed… chances are it will take a few years for me to figure out how this will all go together and EXACTLY what I will need food/nutrition wise.

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Today is rabbit breeding day! I have 3 does that I will be breeding this summer. I think I’m going to space them 2 weeks apart so that I’m not bombarded with a ton of rabbits that need to be processed all at once. I should have enough meat at the end that I can sell some to the locals to cover the cost of feed. I plan on canning most of meat so that it’s easier to cook once in the tipi- not to mention that it would be devastating should the freezer quit working and all that meat spoil.

I’m not sure I can, nor want to, tap maple trees this year 😦 Right now the sap is flowing and I can’t move around because of my ankle. By the time I’m able to navigate without this clumsy boot on my leg, it will be too late. I’m also not totally prepared- I have buckets and taps, but I’m not set up to start boiling syrup just yet.  Right now the idea seems more like a chore than fun… and that doesn’t make the experience enjoyable for me. So I think I’ll just buy some syrup from a local producer and try this experiment next spring.

Chicken update: The girls are getting antsy and can smell spring in the air. Soon it will be time to move them back out to their summer quarters. They have done well over the winter in the garage and survived this absolutely horrendous winter with just two 250W heat lamps… I didn’t even have frozen water bottles or frostbitten combs/waddles to deal with once we moved them from the barn. Gene was pure genius when he came up with the idea to build them a separate room in the garage, it worked better than I expected. We are going to keep the garage setup for next winter and will just move the animals back. The rabbits are also in the garage with the chickens and have done equally as well.

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My Mom is doing well… she is in a cast and uses a wheelchair to get around. I thought of the irony that we both screwed up our ankles while away on vacation… it must be a family curse. Maybe we can both go to physical therapy together… you know… Mother & Son bonding time 🙂 Anyhoo… yall stay warm, it shouldn’t be terribly difficult now that your eyelids don’t freeze shut when walking out the door.

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In Nebraska searching for babe

So here I am in the beautiful state of Nebraska visiting my favorite internet friends. I haven’t “gotten into any trouble”, like my Mother cautioned, but I did wind up twisting my ankle on the steps. I think I have my Mom’s same bad karma. Now I’m sitting here on the couch with an ankle the size of a melon… I dare not walk on it too much. My trip may consist of doing nothing but sitting… I would like to try to visit the zoo here, but I’m not sure if I will be walking in time 😦 Maybe I can find one of those fancy mobile scooters to rent. The weather here is about 20* warmer than Minnesota and it’s nice to go outside and not see piles of snow.

After many phone calls and various google searches, we managed to track down Robin (aka babe25); Kevin wasn’t much help but he was fun to talk too… HI KEVIN! We haven’t spoken to Robin since January 5, 2013 when she finally got “grounded for life.” I guess it’s a “Southern thang” to ground your 31 year old daughter. I remember our internet exploits fondly: the special hotdog and of course, the squirt pillow. Oh babe25… how I miss your toothless smile.

Victoria made an amazing pizza my first night here… home made dough and everything. Last night we had McDonalds and I got the worst fries I’ve ever tasted… I was quickly reminded why I hate fast food and I SWEAR I’m done eating that crap now. Tonight I make meatloaf; Gene’s favorite (sorry buddy I don’t think they will let me bring the leftovers on the plane). Well that’s it for now… hopefully I make it to that zoo!DSC_0051 DSC_0089 DSC_0097 DSC_0103 DSC_0111

Emotional Rollercoaster

Hello strangers! The last few weeks have been pretty crazy for my family and me. My parents ran into trouble on their trip to Florida. My mom tripped on a curb and broke both the fibula and tibia in her ankle, and that was pretty much the end of the trip. She spent a week in the hospital down in Florida and wound up having surgery to put in titanium “pins.”  My parents are “motorcycle enthusiasts” for those that don’t know… and this was a trip they were planning for some time (it was the reason I was dog sitting). My Mom had to ride in the back of the pickup all the way home to Minnesota. My Mom has also been having some health problems lately and was scheduled for a biopsy today… thankfully that came out well and the preliminary results don’t show any signs of cancer. I spent the majority of the day with my Dad at the hospital awaiting the results. As if things couldn’t be more fucked up… my Uncle Mike (my Mom’s brother) passed away in a head on collision in Colorado Saturday night. I’ve had my hands full… so sorry I haven’t updated lately. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to put all of this in my blog, but I know some of you rely on this for updates on how things are going with me… I’m hanging in there. Things are definitely less of an emotional mess now that I don’t have to worry about another parent with cancer.

On a happy note and spur of the moment decision: I’m flying to Nebraska tomorrow evening to spend time with some of my close internet friends… my Stickam family. LONG LIVE BABE25!!!! This will be a week long, much needed, “mental” vacation. I need to hurry up and write this post so I can finish packing…

I FINALLY received my new Nikon camera and will put up some pics at the end of this post. It was a little expensive, but well worth the investment. It’s a Nikon D32oo for all you camera buffs. You can bet I will be taking TONS of pictures during my trip. I also finally shot some video that will be going up on the YOUTUBE CHANNEL as soon as I find time to edit it!!!

Next time you hear from me I will be in Nebraska… stay warm!

Boys and their toys:

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The girls are still cozy warm in their new “winter coop”

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Gene… being Gene… got his wheeler stuck TWICE today!

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The kitchen floor that we finished tiling

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And Finally the bed frame 🙂

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New camera arrives today… new blog post to follow… stay tuned and thanks for following!