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Certified organic poultry farmer in SE Mass

Life in general
May has been interesting and busy! Over the past few weeks, I have been working on the chest of drawers, put a sealer coat of Penetrol on the newly sanded surface to feed & seal the old pine.

Sam and I have been to Syd's to work in her yard, so much to do but we are making a dent. Syd is always happy with what we get done, even if it isn't on the list of things to do.

Last week, I spent several hours at Summer Street storage, organizing, re-labeling boxes and sorting out what needed to be moved where. The week before, Bonnie & I were at my camper to clean and get it ready for storage from Summer Street.  Bonnie and I went over to Summer Street storage last weekend and moved almost everything out. Some went into my apartment (overflow!!!) and the rest into the camper. What is left are a few of large things and my electric dryer. I have posted the dryer on Craig's list, but no takers...it needs a heating element. Guess it will go to the metal recycling center. There are many damaged (from termites) cardboard boxes to remove and take to recycling, but nothing I can't handle.

The overflow into my apartment really has cluttered up the apartment, but I am sticking with my efforts to get things under control. I spent time taking pix of items to sell on eBay but have yet posted them.

Last Tuesday, I walked out of my apartment, down the hall and helped my neighbor with some things that she couldn't seem to figure out. One was a fan that her friend Al couldn't put together. I got that done, then helped her with figuring out her Hoover Carpet Cleaner. No owners manual, so I downloaded and printed out the manual off the Hoover website. A problem with their website offered one manual in English, TWO in Portuguese! I ended up with about 70 pages of printed work!!!

Meanwhile, I had left rice on the stove, burner on high. We heard the fire alarm, but it went off only one time on the second floor, so we figured it was a fire downstairs. It didn't register that I had left the rice on the stove. BB was in the apartment, alone. It was awhile later, after we had figured out how to make her carpet shampooer work that the light bulb went on over my head and I realized my error. By the time I got back to my apartment, the fire department had cleared all the smoke out of my apartment, taken BB out and gave him oxygen and taken him for a walk outside. Talk about embarrassed!!! The rice was charcoal, the apartment had the aroma of scorched rice, the pan was completely coated with black. I went down to the office and profusely apologized to all for my oversight and thanked them for taking such good care of BB the dog. Now, I check the stove every time I leave. If I had a brain, I'd be dangerous!!!

I still haven't changed the tires on my car from winter to summer and need to get that done soon. I am in violation of Mass RMV rules for studded tires after April 30. I hope to get that done this coming week.

The anniversary of my mom's death came and went...I can't seem to remember exactly what day she died on. That's sad, to say the least.

Today it will be in the 80's and very humid. I may take the chest of drawers outside and  put the first coat of polyurethane on and hope the finish dries in the humidity. I will cut the poly 50% with Penetrol. That will thin the first coat out nicely and hasten drying. The second coat will be thinned 20% Penetrol is a product used in oil based paints and as a food for wood. I have used it for many years, will thin the first primer coat 50% for best adhesion to old siding, always thin the second coat of primer 20%.

My finger is coming along but there is some scar tissue right over the knuckle. I am doing exercises & massage to help. There is some swelling after I have used my hand, wrapping it in Vet wrap helps keep the swelling down. My finger feels better than before the cyst was removed, but I have a way to go before it is back to pre-cyst function.

I had some blood work done in early May. Seems the results show I have "acid" blood. I am not sure exactly what that might indicate, I have another test scheduled for next week. Does anyone know if eating a lot of dark chocolate will make your blood "acid"?

It is Memorial Day weekend now, the official start of summer. I am not sure if I will fight the crowds to attend any services, but I will be thinking of our fallen soldiers.

Happy Memorial Day!
Life in general

The past ten days have been busy and interesting.  BB has healed from his wounds and his abscess. I gave him a partial clip job earlier this week, his body and muzzle are short. We were tired after all that clipping, so his feet (the hardest part to clip, he is ticklish) and top of his head still need to be done.

Saturday, May 4, I represented the Acushnet Conservation Commission and the pollinator garden at the Acushnet Grange. The Agriculture Commission (I was on that commission for three years and helped construct and get the RIGHT-TO-FARM by law passed) holds an Aggie Fair each spring at the local Grange.

The Conservation Agent is out of town on a family emergency, so all the details were left to me. I chose some pix from the pollinator garden, took them to Staples for printing, ordered the frames (I chose plastic, stand alone frames), typed captions for the pix and put all together for the fair. I selected pix that showed the stages of the Monarch, from caterpillar to butterfly.

I had harvested some seeds last summer from the pollinator garden, bought some small coin envelopes and packaged them & marked them for sale at the fair. A table was required, so I found my table, gathered all necessary things together, loaded them into my car along with BB the dog and we headed to the fair.

Since I knew the leader of the grange (and he knew of my disabilities), I parked close to the tent and unloading was easy. The flow of people was fair considering it was a cloudy day. Seed sales were good and there was much interest from kids who had never seen a Monarch caterpillar or chrysalis. At least it wasn't pouring rain like last year!

Earlier this week, I bought a 4x8" panel of luan plywood and went to see my friend Warren. Warren has a table and radial saws and he helped me cut new panels for the drawer bottoms and a new panel for the back of the chest of drawers I got for free several months ago. I brought the cut panels home and began to glue the drawers together. The chest of drawers had been exposed to a flood and a lot of moisture, causing a lot of damage to the bottoms of the drawers and the back panel. Some of the glue blocks were very stuck, so I soaked them in vinegar to dissolve the glue. In the process of trying to separate the glue block from the other wood (for reuse), I stabbed my thumb right to the bone (ouch!).

Manuka honey and a band aid helped with the pain and reduced any chance of infection. I wonder if the stabbed tendon will heal itself?

On Monday, May 6, I had my first OT for the finger where the cyst was removed. The session went well and I am doing the exercises several times a day. It is nice to be able to wash my hands whenever I wish...the entire hands, not just half of the right hand. There is some scar tissue where the incision was, but basically, it is healing well. I have no pain now since the cause of the pain has been removed.

I saw the back doctor on Tuesday. He left me with an "open appointment", which means I can call on him at any time. I will have to be dismissed by the hand doctor before I can resume PT for my back. Meanwhile, I will continue to do the back exercises I was shown how to do at PT.

My primary doctor rescheduled her August appointment to (are you ready for this?) January 2020! I made a check-up appointment with her for next week. I would like a full blood panel, maybe something will show up and tell me why I have days where all I want to do is sleep!

It seems a lot of my time has been spent seeing doctors and physical therapists and not enough time outside!

Yesterday I picked Bonnie up and we went to the camper to clean out and organize my camper so I can finish emptying my Summer Street storage. I have sold my Old Town Pathfinder canoe, my gas range and gas dryer. All that is left are boxes of stuff that now needs repacking, labeling and moving out of Summer Street into the camper. I hope to get that done next week.

I hope to start some Rosemary cuttings for new plants. I realize now I should have done this last fall, but I am going to give it a try anyway. I can't seem to locate any White Sage seeds through my normal seed companies, so it looks as if I will have to forgo that project this year.

I must go now, I need to hang my laundry (washed last night). I was just too tired to hang it on the line inside my apartment. Hope you all have a nice weekend!

Happy Mother's Day!
WiFi in my apartment
So glad to hear from some of you who have been waiting for me to re-connect with my blog.

Three weeks ago at the park, BB was attacked by an unknown dog, no collar, no leash, no owner present. BB is a small Shih Tzu, weighing in at 17.5#. The attacking dog was large, probably 60#, not a pit bull or a german shepherd. A mix breed, I assume. BB was damaged (tears/punctures in his skin over his left shoulder) pretty badly and one canine tooth was broken at the gum when the dog slammed him down on the walkway.

He is recovering after a trip to the vet, antibiotics & lots of hot compresses on the wounds, one which was draining for almost two weeks due to infection. I used epsom salts in the hot compresses but what worked best to drain out the infection was turmeric! I bought some organic turmeric some time back and after researching online, decided to try a hot compress with that organic herb. I tied some turmeric powder up in some gauze squares and steeped it in boiling water for 10 minutes. After the "tea" had cooled to a temperature that would be suitable for dogs' skin, I applied the tea on a clean microfiber cloth for about 20 minutes, changing the cloth back into the warm tea after the cloth had cooled. The results were truly amazing! On the tea soaked cloth was a lot of material that hadn't shown up with the epsom salt compress and within 24 hours, the wound had stopped draining and healed. Mind you, I had been using epsom salt compresses for ten days without much progress and NO material on the compress cloth. Two days after starting the turmeric "tea", the wound had closed and no more draining.

Last Wednesday, I worked out at my friend Syd's place, clearing and pruning. Syd's yard is infested with ticks, mostly black-legged ticks, these are known to carry Lyme disease. I removed a tick from under BB's ear. The next day, he had an abscess under the location of the removed tick. I began to use turmeric again, this time, I added the herb directly to the boiling water, gave it a stir ad allowed it to simmer for 10 minutes. 30 minutes of warm compress on the abscess and the swelling had reduced by 40-50%! Again last night, I put the "tea" compress on BB and he laid right down on the warm cloth and slept with his head on the cloth for several hours. I am continuing with this treatment.

Yesterday, I headed to Syd's again, this time to help her burn her pile of branches, twigs and storm branches. Syd lives in the middle of a pine forest, her house is in a clearing of about an acre and a half. The house is old, probably one of the older homes in that area, dating from the 1800's. She has many plantings, shrubs, Black Walnut and Chestnut trees. It is very peaceful and quiet, some would say remote.

For four days (weather permitting) prior to yesterday, Sam and I had been working in Syd's yard, clearing and pruning. Sam had made 4 other piles of these prunings (and pullings, mostly bittersweet & various briar canes) because the burn pile was so large.

I assembled the necessary incendiary devices, we have had a very rainy April (20 days of rain out of the month), breaking the record for rainy days since weather history began (1902?). The burn pile was a soggy pile, everything soaking wet. I bought some charcoal lighter fluid (2 containers), picked up my flame weeder and some fryolator oil (used cooking oil) and brought all to the burn pile.

Syd and I applied oil & lighter fluid to the burn pile and I used my Dragon flame weeder to ignite the pile. The ignition was disappointing...but we kept at it. By 3 pm we had burned the four extra piles on the original burn pile, altho much of what was on the bottom of the original pile was just too wet to burn. We rounded up all the equipment and put it away. Syd provided the pizza (from Matt's Blackboard in Rochester) and beer. The pizza was excellent, hand made, very thin & crunchy crust.

I headed home, the flame weeder went back to the garden shed, the remaining fryolator oil to Lenny (who generously provided it). I was really beat but had a good burning day with Syd.

Three weeks ago, I had a cyst removed from my right hand, ring finger. The bandage has been on since, the doctor's orders were: do not remove the bandage, don't get it damp or wet. I am an avid hand washer, so this has been a challenge! Add to that all the care for BB's wounds & abscess. One of the surgical attendants noted my obsession with hand-washing and gave me some large-size disposable gloves to wear on my right hand for protection of the bandage. They have been most helpful, but I do miss my good hand washing! Since I live in an apartment complex with 114 apartments, I have been most careful to wash my hands well each time I enter my apartment. Many people have been sick with some sort of cold that has turned into pneumonia. So far, I have managed to stay healthy and keep the bandage dry.

Tomorrow, I have the bandage removed by the doctor. We shall see how things have healed. Four or five days after the surgery, I had an argument with an uncooperative shopping cart, the bandage was so fat, it got stuck in the cart and was bent closed probably more than should have been. I had no pain in the site till that argument and think maybe the incision was split open ;<(. I will say, there is no real pain of the kind I had before the cyst was removed. The surgeon said the cyst blew right through the tendon and that was what was causing the pain when my hand was at rest. She also said there was no cartilage in that joint and suspected most of my finger joints would show the same lack of cartilage. This is the result of using your hands as much as I have over my life.

Once the bandage is off, I can take a shower, wash my hair and hands! And give BB a bath.

Time to give BB another warm turmeric compress on his cyst...and I shall go back to binge watching Star Trek, Voyager.
Internet in my apartment!
For those of you who read my blog, I am back online! And in an apartment since mid-June! OMG! Running water, a private toilet (that I don't have to clean every time I use it), a galley kitchen which allows me to bake a whole chicken AND potatoes, squash or what have you in a full size oven & stove top with four burners. Even though it is electric, I cannot complain but did have to learn how to cook with electric rather than gas. This kitchen even has a DISHWASHER! I am in heaven or at least the Taj Mahal! The only drawback is it is in the city of New Bedford and not the best neighborhood. The building has 114 apartments, mostly single people but some married or partnered couples. The living room & eating area are combined, the measurements are 12' X 30' and looks out onto the courtyard. I really lucked out, many apartments overlook two busy streets or the parking lot. The courtyard is very quiet with trees and some flowering shrubs growing in it. The difference between a street or courtyard apartment is dramatic when it comes to noise. I am on the second level, which is actually on the main entrance floor, so taking BB the dog outside does not involve the elevator.

The building is called the Car Barn, it was built to house the trolley cars that once ran the streets of New Bedford. My apartment has a very large pillar supporting the ceiling (probably an I-beam covered with cement) and the ceilings are still the original shape for trolley cars (concave roughly covered with probably plaster). This gives the apartment a southwestern motif. After moving all my possessions out of one storage area (10x10', mostly my furniture, clothing and valued items), I moved the camper mattresses out of the camper and spent the first night in the apartment on June 24, a week after signing the lease.

One of the first things I did (after unpacking, washing and putting my kitchen away) was hang my sister Velorice's watercolor painting of a Canada Goose. I dug out my framed photographs from college and Vermont and hung them. I set up a lovely glass top end table and set the lamp my mother gave me, a scallop-shaped clear glass lamp filled with beautiful shells (my mom collected shells during her winters in Florida). This lamp had not seen the light of day for many years and was so happy to light up my sister's watercolor! I found the framed ink drawing my classmate Marianne drew for me of Merlin and hung him where he can watch all that goes on inside my apartment.

I unpacked all my skulls and bones, a deer with eight point rack, a cow skull, coyote, fox, goat and hung them over the large window in the living room. My conservation agent friend was cleaning out her office and I selected some posters, l hung them on the walls. I found all my old mirrors, they went well in the eating area (a table found by the side of the road by my ex-friend Ellen serves mostly as my office) and unpacked my mantle clock (a gift from my mom in the 1980's) and wound it. It chimes on the hour and half-hour, one of my great delights.

Unfortunately, I have lost my two steamer trunks (one form the mid-1800's, the other from early 1900) to termites, they came through the floor of the garage storage area and ate many papers stored in those trunks. Fortunately, I had all my winter clothes stored in SpaceSaver bags, so weren't invaded by the little bugs. I am still trying to empty out that garage storage space. I have sold my Old Town Pathfinder canoe, a 16' river canoe, my gas range but still have my gas dryer in the storage unit along with a lot of boxes that need to be re-packed and sorted. I am using my camper for storage. Between the two storage spaces (camper and garage storage), I am paying $150.00 a month.

At this time, I have many unfinished projects to get done over the warmer months. I did buy a replacement steamer trunk while on a trip to Vermont in mid-September when I went to Sheena's wedding (I met and knew her and her family when I lived in Vermont). I stayed next door to the house I lived in for nine years while I lived up in that green state. That was the first trip I had taken since my eventful trip out west in the summer of 2017.

There is more to write but not today. Thanks for reading!
On the farm in Kingston, Ma
I have been here in Kingston for almost a week now and my hip is starting to give me some pain. I know it was all the walking I have been doing between the fields, barns and where I am staying. So now, I will drive around in my car. I can't take the risk of having to take pain killers if I can't take the pain.

It is really a different space here, mostly a gravel pit, big trucks bringing in different materials of different sorts. Cement, rocks, stumps (and there are many stumps after the damaging storms in early March), plus they are burying some kind of sludge. The area where the camp is set up is only dirt and wood chips. There is some crushed cement on parts of the driveways, but it is mostly dirt. It is very windy here with three large wind turbines that are turning all the time. I have found them much less intrusive than some claim. The garden where I have been working is about 300 feet from one of the turbines and I hear it sing in the wind as it makes power. I find the sound to be a lot like the wind through the trees and not so intrusive, almost hypnotizing. They do make some strange sounds when they change direction, but not more noise than the trains coming and going. The transit station is about a half a mile from here. The thought of all the power these turbines are making is staggering. The Red-Tailed Hawks have adapted to the blades and sometimes play around them. I have seen many birds navigate around the tall structures.

The farm is a poor example of the understanding of the word. Most of the planted areas consist of very poor soil. The farm manager is doing the best he can. The big seller here is micro-greens and there is a heated greenhouse for growing them in. Several times a week, the greens are cut and sold to restaurants. There are a lot of veggies in the ground, but they are doing very poorly due to the soil conditions. The owner of the farm (and the "pit") doesn't want to buy the right amendments for the soil, but she expects the farm to produce $$$. I have been told she is "bat-shit crazy" and I may have a deep feeling they are right. She offered me the manager's job, I declined. I now see how hard Jim works as manager, no help, bad soil and just too much on his plate. As she is not paying me (at this time), I am taking advantage of the free washer and wonderful outdoor drying conditions. I hope to be all caught up on washing by the end of tomorrow.

I have signed the lease on an apartment at the Car Barn in New Bedford.. It is smaller than I had hoped, but it has all the necessary things...kitchen with stove (ELECTRIC!!! I shall burn a lot of things, since I am accustomed to gas), sink, fridge and (are you ready for this) a dishwasher! There is one storage closet in the hall. The bedroom is not as large as I would like and has one closet for hanging clothes. The bathroom is tiled in the shower and sheet goods on the floor. The living room and bathroom have indoor-outdoor carpet in black and grey, kind of boring and doesn't match the wall color. Pretty much what you would expect from a low-income housing situation. It is a way from the entry door, I am hoping BB won't pee on the way out!

I plan on starting to move this weekend with help from Bonnie. We can use our two cars, I have the Volvo station wagon & she has a Dodge Durango with a lot of room when the back seats are folded down. When I have found some strong arms, I will rent a van and we will take all out of Titilist Storage first, then Summer Street second. I hope to keep my camper so I can go out to the country when it isn't too hot or humid to get out of the city. I am nor have ever been a city gal, but the lure of running water, space to move and a toilet is just too much to resist. Heat is paid for but I have to pay te electric, that includes the AC. But at least I have AC! I still have to get start an electric account signed into my name.

Time to sign off for today. Sunshine and wind have dried my clothes and made them soft. I need to bring them, fold and put them away. It is so beautiful today, I should be outside, not inside.

Thanks for reading...