Henry David Thoreau
Well… I’m a bit late in blogging this (as usual; been busy) but the TIPI IS UP! Gene and I employed the help of one of our neighbors, Chuck, who came over last Saturday and helped set the tipi. It took about 3 hours to get the poles and outside cover in place and up. Most of that time was me- frantically taking measurements and trying to figure out how to tie knots. Knots are important things, and tying them correctly is of the utmost importance, unless you want the whole thing coming down on you. I had to remind Gene that this design is very old; perfected over the years. It’s important to follow the instructions and place each pole in the right order for everything to “lock-in” and bare the correct loads.
When you set the tipi, you tie a tripod with three of your biggest poles. Once they are tied, you lift them and swing the third pole out and away, thus creating the tripod. Next, the remaining poles are lifted and nestled into the appropriate “crotch” on the tripod. The poles were relatively easy to lift by ones self, with another person standing on the butt end and making sure it doesn’t move while you lift it. The poles that move the smoke flaps are not as light as I was hoping. I’m going to have some guns next summer after attempting to swing them around all the time.
Once you have your tripod and poles up you tie the canvas tipi cover to the last pole. This is the lifting pole and you swing this pole into place like the others. It was damn heavy… over 100lbs. I think. We couldn’t see where we were going with this thing so we needed to be guided as we lifted it.
Here’s a quick video if my description was too vague.
Garden update: I tried using a tiller that I borrowed from the resort… no luck. The ground was so tough and full of stones that it was pretty useless. Thankfully, people help each other out around here! The neighbor across the street came over with his tractor and plow and tilled up the sod for me. He’s going to teach me how to drive the tractor over the summer and I will be helping him bale hay in his fields. It was pretty funny. He asked me, “you want to learn how to drive this thing?” I had the biggest smile on my face when I blurted out, “FUCK YEAH!” Sorry for the profanity, but I couldn’t contain my excitement. The garden will have to be “disked” before I plant anything and that can’t happen with all this rain, or it will just be a mud pit. May 20th. is the average last frost in my area. Things will need to happen with furry if I want to be able to grow anything this year. If the winter doesn’t kill me in the tipi this year, next year won’t be so hectic.
Hive update: The bees are doing wonderful. I was able to figure out how to put up an electrical fence around the area that should keep any potential predators at bay. The hive is also secured by to ground anchors and a strap so it can not be tipped over. I was in the hive the other day to fill up the sugar-water feeder (they need a supplemental food source until the nectar starts flowing. They have begun to build comb on the frames and the queen is laying new brood. I even saw some pollen stores in a few cells. Beautiful grains of orange and yellow-reds. The bees are very docile and I’ve been able to work without using gloves… NO, I haven’t been stung yet. The key is to move slow and deliberate, giving them a chance to get out of your way. If you don’t squish them, they won’t sting you. The “buzzing” noise when you lift off the top cover will however, scare the wits out of you. I immediately have flashbacks of poor Thomas J. in “MY GIRL.”
Rabbit update: The rabbits are doing wonderful. Gene and I make an outdoor lean-to that we atttached the cages to. We even put shingles on it. I hooked up the automatic gravity fed watering system, so there is no longer a need to constantly change water bottles. I just fill up a 5gal. pail once a week. The first spring litter is doing well- I had one dead baby about 3 days after it was born… it was a runt (sometimes nature is cruel). One of the other does should be kindling tonight and then another in two more weeks. I’m spreading out the pregnancies so that I don’t have to cull 24-30 rabbits in one day. That still takes a toll on me- mental wise. When you have to grow or kill what you eat… there is less chance of being a glutton! Overweight people should have to kill their own food… then maybe they wouldn’t be so greedy!
Chick update: The chicks are growing like crazy. I forgot how much fun it is to hear the “peep-peep” of little chicks. I believe I talked about purchasing 15 more about a month ago. I’m adding 6 to the flock (3 Buff Orpington, 3 Ameraucana- green/blue egg layers), and the rest are meat birds. I’m not sadistic… I’m a naturalist. You may think that picking up meat at the grocery store absolves you of their slaughter… who is a “zombie” now?
So basically it’s been busy. Gene’s back is better and we are both waking up earlier than we did over the winter. The rain has been constant, but that’s what makes you appreciate the sunny days. I will finish up getting the tipi ready- I’m laying sand and paver stones inside for my floor- Chuck, the guy who helped us raise the tipi suggested this. It’s a cheap alternative to building a wood deck. I’m looking forward to friends and family coming to visit. You can see the tipi all the way down the road! Hopefully this summer, the sight will cause a few to stop and talk… about life in a tipi, GMO’s, leaving the city life, my adventure. Maybe they will also be inclined to buy some eggs, or some rabbit, or perhaps a few organic edibles from the garden.
Thank you for reading my ramblings and being a part of this adventure with me. You keep me grounded and keep me inspired to live life and share what I’m experiencing. If you are in the area, stop by for a chat and a look… life is best lived to it’s fullest!
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you’ve imagined.