Wind warning and a few updates

There was a wind alert for Mom’s area. Winds gusting up to 30-35 MPH  this week, but Mom said the tarp over the chicken run handled the wind with no problems.  In fact one of the old chickens even laid an egg.  I think that is one of the first eggs laid out at Mom’s new place so I take that as sign the chicks are feeling more comfortable at the new place.

I’m making up a new batch of the paraffin wax/sawdust fire starters.  Gosh I got spoiled using these fire starters.  I tried going back to  using paper and kindling is a major pain in the butt getting a fire started!  Good news is Mom had some paraffin wax in her boxes so I did not have to purchase any wax this month.  I will have a couple of egg crates of fire starters for Mom and get at least four crates done for myself to have for this month.  I have been going to the local park and picking up pine cones.  A 5 gallon bucket of pine cones and dried twigs that have dropped under pine trees tend to be very dry tinder and most park departments don’t clean up under pine trees.  I figure if I fill a couple of 5 gallon buckets every couple of weeks this summer I can have a couple of trash cans worth of pine cones/tinder before fall and firewood heating season begins this winter.

Update on the vermin problem of mice and cock roaches.  I have not caught any mice since mom moved the chicken house to her place.  I still have a few traps out along with putting out a little cat kibble outside for the cats to catch mice.  The neighborhood cats stop by occasionally for a snack and a little water but they don’t seem to be hunting mice.  It has been about 3 months and I have not seen a single roach in the house. I have cleaned up some of the DE on the counter but have left some DE in the cabinets for residual protection.  At this point I’d say I’m at maintenance level against vermin rather than trying to eliminate an infestation.

Overall I can’t say I was all that impressed with the exterminator.  Don’t get me wrong I think the exterminator did the job just fine. It’s just the nature of vermin to look for an easy meal and you have to be pro-active in stopping them from getting that easy meal.  One thing I never considered about cockroaches is my kitchen plumbing traps.  Pipes collect grease and food debris as well as trap water.  Those pipes are like a cockroach buffet!  Drain plugs and screens are a great way to block off that cockroach buffet.

I want to start incorporating  the use of small amounts of solar energy and lighting daily.  That means using some of those solar camp lights as night lights. Testing out battery packs and recharging stuff like the cell phone and kindle via small solar panels.  I can’t afford to go full solar power but if I can stay below 750 Kwh per month I will save a lot of money on my electric bill.  Where I am there are off peak hours electric use is the weekend and between 9:00 pm and 6 am  week days, so if the solar can’t charge during a cloudy day I can charge the battery pack during off peak hours and charge my gadget whenever it needs a boost.  I’m taking advantage of the new windows for daylight and trying to keep my light usage to just at night.  I have installed LED Light bulbs and I think you should use power when yo need it for a job, but often I would leave a light on just because and not because I needed it for doing some thing specific.  So far it seems to be making a difference in my power costs.

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2 Responses to Wind warning and a few updates

  1. Tom MacGyver says:

    Mice LOVE chicken poop! They also love chicken feed. I had a barn cat that was a hell of a mouser. It got chased off by another cat that someone dumped on the property. As soon as the barn cat went away, the mouse population SKYROCKETED in the coop. I used a Victor “Tin Cat” trap to cull the herd. That trap caught 18 mice in ONE DAY! The tossed tom wandered off. The barn cat returned. The trap sits empty again. If you feed the cats kibbles, they won’t hunt mice…

    I use a torch with MAPP gas to start my fires these days; no muss, no fuss. It starts even wet wood quickly. One cylinder of MAPP gas lasts forever, if used only for that purpose! The torch has the added benefit of being able to solder plumbing very quickly.

    Getting rid of roaches is like trying to get rid of sand at the beach! Good luck with that! I’ve found DE and “Roach Pruf” (boric acid) powder to be the best defense. …Now… if I can only find a way to get rid of the MAMMOTH tunnel spiders at the rancho! You could truly SADDLE those things! They actually GALLOP when they run; no joke!

    • Jamie says:

      Well I think I got rid of the roaches and I think I’m good so far as roaches don’t care for areas of cold climate. Adding the siding and new windows stopped any path ways for new vermin entering the house.

      DE, Boric acid and roach bait over a 6+ month period seemed to work great.

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