Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sunday, August 31st… This is it my friends…… ENJOY IT!!

Today its all over…the summer is gone... September ushers in fall to raise its beautiful but nasty head to reveal the beginning process of that ever rapid approach to winter again. September.....Honestly, I love this time of year, but the older I get the more I understand that you can love the colorful fall foliage, the crisp mornings and evenings, the smell of Autumn, yet find a bit of remorseful resentment that summer has ended. I always look forward to the Oktoberfest activities and everything fall has to offer, but I resent that we will then slide directly into winter’s grip, rather than enjoying sunshine, fishing, backyard grilling, etc…… all the things we chose to give up this summer to build the new barn. It wouldn’t be so bad if it didn’t last so long…… usually 4 months most years…… nearly 6 some others. Oh Well……… life is what it is and after nearly 58 years, I should get used to it, but it comes so much quicker these days!

We often say, “Oh to be a teenager again!” We make that statement freely, but I don’t think many would really care to go there again. Some say “If I could go back and know what I do now… I’d sure make a bunch of changes.” I suppose most would…but would you be willing to give up all you have now todo that? Remember…… every choice you’ve made throughout the years, no matter how bad… has led you to the place you occupy today. Your mate, your family, your career, your entire life, would not even be remotely the same if you went back and changed even the smallest occurrence that happened back then. Every miserable thing that ever happened to you, in some way, made an impact or deciding factor in everything you’ve done or the direction your life has taken through the years. I know, I had a pretty lousy time of it for a lot of torturous years, but it all led me to Vicki, the Cluckin’ “A” Critter Farm, here in beautiful New York and the life I now love. With that in mind.....I wouldn't change one lousy thing I've endured over the last 36 years.

Today…… we build a door in the front end of the loft…… frame out the bunny’s quarters in the rear of the barn and make up a lumber list and such for the future work we plan to do and also give Ed, from Middle Field Lumber, a chance to get our lumber cut for us. Here is a picture of the front door with battens installed, the rear door area where the bunny hut will be built, the side pasture and a picture of Gracie’s baby bunnies and one of Fuzzy’s baby bunnies too.

Potting shed and garden pond.

Front view of the barn. It's gonna look neat & Clean.

The front door with battens came out nice.

Here is the world's first view of Fuzzy's babies.

Fuzzy's three little fluff balls.

Here is Gracie's two little cutties.

There is one day between the litters.

The rear area of the barn. We need to install batten strips.

The rear of the barn will remain neat & clean too.

These fence posts are just sitting in holes. They need filled in.

This fence goes all the way around the field for a pasture.

This is a view of the entire pasture area where donkeys and/or sheep will graze next summer.

The Hospice House will go between the driveway and the center tree in the picture.

Another viewof the lush garden pond with waterfall. It sounds so pleasant when sitting out there in the shade in the afternoon.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Saturday Evening… August 30th… Summers almost OVER!!

Saturday Evening… August 30th… Summers almost OVER!!

This is it….the last hoorah for the summer… after Sunday… Monday starts September and we all know September is the little nasty month that always comes around, kinda like the little bashful kid that looks at his feet and shuffles around, twisting from side to side, saying “I know a secret… ya wanta know what it is..? Fall is coming already and winter is right on it’s heels!” Then you want to kick the crap out of him because you didn’t really want to know his secret, once you heard it.

That’s right folks…… Fall is out there every night… peeking at your windows…… coming in every open crack or window it finds… slapping at you if you go outside too early in the morning, before the sun makes it go away until the next evening. The leaves are turning, which is a sure sign that fall has visited that tree, telling it that it has had it’s summer of swaying in the breeze and being a nice green shade maker……… now it is time to pay the fiddler and informs it that it better cast off the dull green and display a fancy bright fall color for the remainder of it’s life…… one that we will enjoy and relish for the next several weeks as fall visits every tree around, causing them all to join in the display , like a school choir, all joining in…ringing in the fall season with their display of vibrant reds, yellows and oranges. And then it is over…… as quickly as it began, it will be over……… for there will be a rainy day when all the leaves join together and fall to the ground and the bitter cold wind will drive the rain as the wind blows it sideways against your window panes……… tapping like a finger…… tap, tap, tap… winters on it’s way… winters on it’s way… let me in... let me in...... and it will be here before we can blink. Oh how the days do flash by us…… sometimes at the speed of light…… sometimes like the lumbering gait of a turtle…… it all depends on what is happening at the time, but time does go on and waits for no one. Beautiful leaves one day, a cold, rainy breeze the next and snow flurries the day after. It all happens so fast.

We just went to Gem Stoves today and picked up a ton of wood pellets. We will probably keep an eye on his supply and grab another ton as soon as we can, because the cost of everything this winter is going to be outrageous.

We finished the front door today on the barn......You know........added the batten boards to the cracks and the top trim. We also moved the latch hooks to the inside of the rear door so no one could slip into the barn from the rear at night. Somehow, I feel more secure knowing that you must enter the barn from the front to unlock the donkey door or the rear door. We should batten the rear door outside and get ready to start the upstairs door next. We’ll see.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Friday August 29th… Overcast And drizzling for the holiday?

 The morning started as a drizzling, dreary day with a lot of cloud cover and it has been sprinkling and raining off and on ever since we returned from therapy in Guilderland. We have plenty of inside work we can complete on the front entry door with bracing and reinforcing strips, making the upstairs doors, both front & rear… studding out the rear bunny room and then framing out the feed room, where the bunnies are now, so we can do a lot of work inside, so let it rain. If the rain stops, we will manufacture and hang the rear entry door, thus closing off the entire bottom of the barn so we no longer need to worry about coyotes, weasels or foxes and such at night.

Well, the rain stopped and we did manufacture the rear door and got it hung and trimmed out. We then cut up the two 12 foot 2x6’s we used as a table for building the two 10 foot doors, and used them to trim out the entry door frames. Tomorrow we will move to the front loft doors and then the rear loft doors. When they are done. We will install the plywood between the loft and the office and possibly install the walk in door to the office we have in the tractor shed building.

Once that is completed……… we will move to the new bunny room add-on to the back side of the barn. Once completed, we will put the bunnies in there and start the feed room construction. Tonight, I’ll make a new lumber list for Ed Pooters, Jr. to start cutting, because we need some more 10” boards, and 4” boards for doors. We will also need more 2x4’s from GNH Lumber too.

After all this is completed, I need to come up with a lumber list for the Hospice House too.

This winter, I am going to concentrate on writing my short stories and poetry which I will add to the poetry I want to publish. There will be very little work all winter, except for writing and Vick’s artwork for the Hospice House.

Here is todays pictures of everything from Therapy to barnbuilding.  ENJOY!

How the front looked when we started this morning.

Our favorite Chinese restaurant

Ichiban Restaurant on route 20 in Westmere

Photo taken on LaGrange Road

Looking out the rear door opening this morning

Looking from the rear of the barn toward the house this morning.

This is the banister around the loft steps and the door frame to the office.

A bird much like Percy was. Vick won't get close to her though.

How thr rear door looked when completed.

Tomorrow there should be double doors upstairs too.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Thursday Evening, August 28th… The doors…the doors….the doors

I’ll be seeing doors in my dreams…… like Vicki didn’t think it would take so long to make doors, but she is now a believer that you can make a career making doors & doors & doors & doors…………

We need to make another 10 foot by 7 foot sliding door for the rear tomorrow and put the 1x4 framing inside which keeps the door rigid and strong. Right now, we only have a 1x4 across the top and one near the bottom, but that door looks good and seals off nice so we won’t have a wind tunnel this winter blowing through from front to back. That will keep the animals warmer and easier. We're all set up to make the back door as soon as we get home from Vick's therapy tomorrow at 11:00.

Some of the barn residents were on hand all day long today, watching as we built the doors. I haven’t found any chickens up in the loft yet, but I expected to find an old hen roosted on the banister around the steps. You can see them in the one picture. They came out rather nice and they are functionally strong too. That will be important when we get to throwing bales of hay around up there next year.

We went to town hall today to find out what else we had to do to become a farm status and what we needed to do to get the Hospice house approved so we can start that when we want to. I need to make a simple plan of what it will look like, how big it will be and a material list, the return all the information along with a soil doodily-bob from one of the big cheese’s in Cairo……… Have I ever mentioned that Cairo is full of dorks that think they should run everything? Well that’s what I think! This would be a lovely place to live if Catskill & Cairo would just float down the Hudson, never to be seen or heard from again! I drive down the Schoharie turnpike just so I don’t have to be tormented by Cairo’s STUPID red lights………… you know….the one’s that stop 10 cars to leave 1 out of McDonalds, or Stewart’s or the STATE POLICE road. (surprise, surprise, surprise….the state police needed one) What about all the other roads along 23 from Catskill to 145 that don’t have a red light????? I love how the guy on the side street stops, turns right on red and after he’s gone….I have to stop and wait on NO ONE at the red light. Cairo is filled with the most stupid of stupid dumb asses who think they are just the most intelligent and important bureaucrats on earth. I’ll just shut up and drive around these dorks and leave them and their stupid little city to be enjoyed by themselves. Shit, I wish I wouldn’t have gone to town hall today………It just makes me think of the Big Cairo dorks and I wonder how Greenville does so good without Cairo’s help.

Ahhhhhh…. good night…. Sleep tight you Cairo Dorks.

August 28th… Today will be a door hanging day at the barn!!!

After we run a few small errands this morning, we will settle in on making the doors of the barn. We will hang one front rail after removing some of the 2x6’s placed to keep square as we were building the barn mainframe early on and then we'll manufacture the two doors to get the barn closed in. We are definitely looking forward to closing everything in, especially after last night when the coyotes seemed to be in the back yard, as they screamed and yapped after a kill out in the field just beyond the tree line. l'd say that would make it about 50 to 75 yards from the house. I sure hope it wasn’t one of the cute little fawns we’ve seen this summer, especially Deer-Deer’s fawn. (Deer-Deer has been coming into our yard for two years now and has been especially serious about visiting with her fawn to eat grass and visit the pear tree in the backyard) Anyway, we’ll be glad to have doors on everything so it is closed up tight at night. Everything has chicken wire around it and every place near the ground, it's doubled both inside and out, but solid doors and boards are much more secure……especially with a pack of hungry coyotes when they can see a chicken, let alone smell them.

It makes you wonder if that is what has happened to a few of the chickens and our one duck that definitely disappeared early this summer. Perhaps the coyotes linger around the fringes of the undercover on the perimeter of the yard during the day and if one of the chickens or ducks venture too close, they grab them and are gone off into the brush in a split second. We’ve never seen any evidence of that by finding feathers or hearing a commotion though, but who knows?

Anyway, hopefully, later today we should have updated pictures to show you all. The barn nears completion outside and we are also doing little cosmetic things inside that no one realizes takes as long as they do to perform. We will show you the inside of the loft later today also. It needs to be dunged out, swept and it is nearly completed then. (except for the doors and a plywood wall to separate it from the office.) Soon we are going to begin the little expansion area we are building for the bunnies, It will be on the back side of the barn, toward the road and will have an outside entrance door leading into it. We thought it wouldbe much better to segregate the bunnies into a room which we could control, rather than have them in the direct outdoors this winter, where we would have to carry feed and everything which will surely be an adverse condition to deal with. In their own building, we can control the temperature (to some degree), house the feed and have ready access to water all winter long and not worry about an animal upsetting the hutch to get at the bunnies. We will build a wall system to hold all the pens in an orderly fashion. It will be nice.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Wednesday Evening…Aug. 27th… rear door rail hung. Tomorrow the front!

We got the rear door, hanging rail for the ten foot entry door, mounted across the door opening. Tomorrow we will hang the front rail and start the construction of the entry doors which will close off the bottom of the barn like it should be. Today we hung the rail, installed the two final loft windows and the office window. We placed the rail boards around the loft stairs and it looks pretty darned good. Once we finish the lower doors and move to the double, upper doors on each end and complete them, we will be ready to build in the upstairs wall that will separate the office from the hay loft. The frame work studs and door frame are already there, but we need to install the plywood and door to the office yet. We have all the 2x6’s for the feed room floor and ceiling out in the wood pile at Fort Apache. They are the rafters we reclaimed from the upstairs expansion project last year. We will have a solid plywood room with a tight door on it so no little rodents can help their selves to any of the feed stored there. We will place the refrigerator some where near this or in the feed room to keep the eggs out there so we don’t have a million eggs in our refrigerator in the house. We are now playing Mozart on a radio for the chickens in the new barn. (trying to increase their cultural menu a little to stimulate egg production by giving them a happy, safe and pleasant atmosphere. Perhaps next week we will take them to the Opera.)

Today……… we dropped my computer tower off at the Staples Store while we were picking up another new laptop for Vick. This is the third one now, because the first two were defective. They are going to remove the Anti-Virus 2008 Virus that found it’s way into my computer. It will take about three days to completely search and destroy this virus without destroying all my other files, and will cost us about $90.00 to do so. At least when it is done, I should be able to run the web sites again without any trouble.

If you ever get a notice on your screen that you have a virus and buying Anti-Virus 2008 will remove it for $49.95.……don’t do it!!!!! Shut it off and take it to Staples for them to remove it. If you buy their program, they will empty your bank account and max out your credit card. They will steal your identity and do all kinds of dastardly, underhanded, financial stuff to you and since they are from another country, there is nothing you can do.

On the way to therapy this morning, be past by Barbie & Boobies garden and they were like the famous farmer and wife Picture…. (you know…… it‘s known as “American Gothic“ by Grant Woods which appeared in the Washington Post, he’s holding the pitch fork and she is standing beside him.) OOOOOoh……just look at it….we snapped a picture for you to see. It's just like the spoof picture we use daily for our blog of the farmer & his wife.

Wednesday August 27th... Working on Web Site

Good Morning all. As you all know, we were bitten with the Anti-Virus 2008 bug which crashes your hard drive and takes possession of your files. They're still there, but you cannot access them except through "safe mode" start-up of your computer and it takes forever to get it to come up in safe mode.

Anyway, we have been working on the Cluckin' "A" Critter Farm web page to get it loaded manually into the stand-by computer I'm now working on and that is why we have not been blogging as regular as we were before this virus struck. Please be patient and understand that we are re-loading this web site and working on the barn and going to therapy and .................................................................. Stay tuned PLEASE.....

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Tuesday August 26th… It was a celebration of life!! What a life!!!!!!!


We just returned from a day of joyous celebration of the life of Lenny Jankowski, husband of Lillian, or Terry as Lenny and her family call her. She had a lovely memorial service at the church and upon leaving, everyone there held a balloon through a brief recount of Lenny's meeting with Lillian that day in Poland and a few more stories before everyone released their balloon to the heavens while the song "Wind beneath my wings" Played in the background..... then all of us shared a really great meal at a restaurant across the street. Lillian had picture books of the many places her and Lenny traveled since they met in 1981 in Poland while both were on separate tours. They married on August 26, 1983.………Twenty five years ago today. Fitting that Lillian had the service and celebration of Lenny’s life on their 25th wedding anniversary. He was a special person sent to Lillian by God and they truly enjoyed each others love throughout their time together. As I told Lillian, everywhere she ever goes in life, she will be surrounded by best friends……… because that is the type of person she is…..the BEST. Thank you Lillian, for being Vicki’s and my friend and thinking enough of us to share Lenny’s special day and the celebration of his life with us. God bless you always.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Monday Evening, Aug. 25th… The Donkey’s door is done!

We made monumental headway today with the barn after returning from therapy and lunch at Ichiban Restaurant. We stopped off at the town hall to see if we could find out what we needed to do to obtain farm status and what was required of us to start the Hospice House as our next project after the barn. Of course, no one was in the offices except for a book keeper lady who told us to stop and see the town clerk. (Seems like the book keeper lady and town clerk lady are the only ones that come to work on Mondays) Anyway, we will stop to see Ronnie some day later on. We’ve been to her house to get dog licenses, get permits and other misc. items we’ve needed before.

When we got home, we dove right into the barn and had the gable end done in short order, then went to the other openings that needed closed off with plywood. We also put up another two long roost poles for the chickens. They seemed to appreciate them, because before I was completely started on the donkey door next, they were roosting on the two new roost poles already.

We measured and framed in the door opening and then started making the Split Dutch style door for the Donkey or sheep entrance to the stall area. It wasn’t such a difficult thing to do and it looks great. Vicki cut all the boards for the door and I screwed them together, then we both hung the double doors. We need to cut in the loft windows, install them, install the double hung window in the office area toward the road and put up the railings around the loft steps, once we get the posts solidly lagged into position. Next, it will be time to make loft doors…….front and rear, then start the lower sliding track doors that will complete the door manufacturing and close in the barn completely. After that, we will build the bunny house out back against the wall toward the road and get them into it, then build the feed room in the opening where the bunnies are now.

Here's where we started today.

Before we fitted the door into place

Here, the door is installed.

Looks quite nice I think!

Inside is a nice cross-buck design.

It's of Dutch construction, split style so the donkey's can look out

Finished back end of barn. Ready to hang the 20' door track over door opening.

Happy chickens in their outside run. See the little slide door to the inside?

You know… seems like we’re gaining and making headway until I start listing all the other things we need to do to finish, then it seems like we’ll never catch up or get done.