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Two Goats and a Donkey!

Monday, July 19, 2021

What is up, gentle reader? My apologies for the HUGE gap between my last posting and this one! While I've been feeling better, I've not taken the time to sit down and write up a blog entry, and for that, I really do apologize. So much has happened since the last blog post, and I'll try to cover it in an entertaining way!

First off, not only did I stop going to see that doctor that I discussed in my last post, I also stopped taking that Paxil because it was just not having good effects on me. I also stopped seeing my GI doctor, since he was of the same mind as my general PCP about how I wasn't sick enough to be on continuous FMLA. Uhm, that's because they would not listen to my symptoms when I tried telling them. And of course they both work for the same company I was working for, so...no real surprise there that they acted that way I suppose. And yes, I said "was working for". As a result of them not signing off on my FMLA, and because I fully believe that job exacerbated my condition, I ended up resigning from that company on June 15. And since quitting, my head has been clearer, and I've been more active so I've felt overall better. So what will I do now? I have several things going on, actually.

I've started working part-time at a wine and spirits store. Today was my first day, and it's going to be interesting trying to learn all about wine. I never knew there were so many different categories of it, and such a range of prices too! It's an upscale store, so it has some pretty expensive bottles of wine in there. And it is jam-packed with products! And crates all over the place. I think I'm going to like it, but I've also yet to close (I close Wednesday night), so we shall see, haha.

I am in the planning stages of setting up a coturnix quail farm. I am going with coturnix quail because they are a perfect "gateway" farming animal. They don't take very long to reach maturity and breeding age compared to chickens or to other types of quail. Their eggs can be sold as they are, or they can be pickled first, or they can be sold as fertilized hatching eggs. They can be processed fairly quickly and easily to be sold as meat, and quail meat is considered a delicious delicacy by many people. I figure I can sell to restaurants, meat distribution companies, etc. They can also be sold to hunting and game reserves as living stock ("livestock" if you will lol), for stocking their land with quail for hunting. For any quail used in this manner, I'd have to build an aviary so they can be used to hiding in the underbrush and grasses and then be "flushed" out. Coturnix quail generally start laying eggs around 6-7 weeks of age, whereas my Golden Comet chickens (which start laying earlier than most chickens) didn't start laying until they were 6 months old. Most chickens won't start laying until around 8 months or so. And as for other quail, bobwhite quail generally take 12-16 weeks before they begin laying. They're also generally ready to process for meat between 8-10 weeks of age, whereas chickens and other quail take a bit longer to be ready for slaughter. Later on, I plan to branch out into other types of quail, but the coturnix is best for me to start with because they reach maturity and egg-laying-age faster than other quail. I also plan to expand my chicken flock and produce different types of chicken eggs for people to purchase, and maybe start breeding some rarer breeds to sell, at a not-too-distant future date. I have started clearing out brush from next to the storage shed where some of the quail pens will go. I'd let that get WAY too overgrown! While dealing with all that, I discovered a bunch of bumblebees digging a nest in the ground. I made sure to put some small fencing around it, since Max (my dog) managed to get stung by stepping on one of the bees going through that area.

We'd taken a trip to Mobile to one of the antique stores down there, and below you'll see a few pictures of interesting items I ran across while there. It's always fun to hit Mobile and see the neat stuff people have for sale in their booths.

I am starting a freelance personal assistant business. This is where I would do little odds and ends type things for people that want to pay for some assistance, like driving around to pay their bills (or fill out and mail their bills), walk their dogs, change their cats' litter boxes, shop for them for groceries or whatever they happen to want/need at the time, etc. Should be interesting, but this will be slow to take off, I'm sure, since I'm going to be new to the business and it will take time to earn enough experience and trust from people to really get going.

There are a few other possible income-producing ideas are on the table, but I'm holding off on discussing those for the time being. I want to have solid ideas on what I want to do, how I want to do it, and the best way to get started before even going into those.

As for other things in my life, I've completed a project where I built up a flowerbed on either side of my brick walkway that leads to my porch. It took a mere 2 days to complete. I really need to continue working on the BIG flowerbed out around my little brick courtyard, but it's a bit more complex and it's been so hot and RAINY! My whole yard is becoming a muddy mess out there with all this rain. While it's nice to have the rain for a few days, a few weeks is taking it a little extreme. But I will NOT complain because I don't want to jinx us into a drought! The hubs and I also put together a drip irrigation system for my potted plants on the porch, since I tend not to water them enough in this heat. It works great, or at least it has so far - we set it up just two days ago, but it seems to be working great. The main ones I'm concerned with there are the two railing boxes that have coleus in them - the boxes are very shallow and dry out very quickly, leaving wilted, unhappy coleuses crying out for a sip of water. The other is a larger pot, sitting on a white column on the porch, with a plectranthus, a red impatiens, and a white impatiens, that also tends to dry out faster than most of the other pots. If this system just helps with those, it'll be well worth the time, trouble, and expense. I say "trouble", but it was actually rather fun setting it up, figuring out how to go about it, deciding where to try and hide the tubing, etc.

I recently learned that what I had read about creeping jenny thriving underwater in an aquarium was a bunch of nonsense. The jenny lasted for several months underwater in my 75 gallon, and seemed to be thriving, but within a very short span of time, it...disintegrated. First the leaves fell off, but it seemed that new leaves were growing, so I was hopeful...but then entire stems started disintegrating and falling off the main plant, leaving a mess in my tank. I had 6 of those suckers in there, so I ended up having to clean them out. I haven't completely gotten rid of them - some of the stems are hidden in the floating plants up-top, and some stems are still sticking out of the soil/sand, but I think I got the biggest offenders out. Hoping I did, anyway! Some of my fish seem to have disappeared to, so I don't know if the mess that was my tank killed them, or if they're just hiding somewhere until the "dust clears", so to speak. It looked fantastic just a couple of weeks ago, and then it didn't. It should get back to some of its former glory before too long, though. I tore down the 60 gallon a while back and was planning to rearrange my living room and set it back up, but I've decided for now just to leave it down. I need to put it out in the shed in storage so it's out of my living room, and then I need to decide what to put in its place. I'm thinking a display cabinet for my glassware would be the most appropriate thing to do.

I also have decided to revamp a webzine, called Enchantedly Southern, that I'd attempted 2 years ago that didn't really pan out. I've decided the problem with it was that I wasn't setting it up as a webzine at all, just a website with various articles in different categories. This time, I've decided to set it up in actual webzine fashion, with actual monthly issues, and the them for it, instead of "all things southern" will be "One man's farm journey". Breaking with my regular way of doing things by just putting the logo picture for the revamped webzine below this paragraph, and will also include a link, but it's not ready for visitors just yet.

Enchantedly Southern
Enchantedly Southern Webzine

Also, my little fish pond outside was so murky, you couldn't even tell if there were fish in there (there are nearly a dozen goldfish in that pond), so I decided to try my hand at a homemade filter system. I purchased two molded plastic ponds from Lowe's (one is kidney-shaped and holds 50 gallons, the other is meant for water flow and holds 8 gallons), and got them set up above the actual pond. Some of the images below show the evolution of getting it set up to nearly a month later when the water is crystal clear. I've also embedded a video directly below this paragraph to show how clear the water is now.

We also celebrated the hubby's birthday this past weekend. My baby turned 53, and I did all I could to make his birthday weekend a special one. I got him an ice cream cake from Dairy Queen and sang happy birthday to him when he arrived Friday night while he blew out the candles, and I had gotten some birthday balloons in the shape of a "5" and a "3" to put on his bed. He also had a couple of presents to open, and then Saturday night I took him out to a local restaurant with a new friend, Jimmy. An old friend, Phillip, was supposed to join us, but unfortunately he was recovering from having 3 wisdom teeth extracted and was unable to be with us in person (but was there in spirit). The hubs also got his covid vaccine, the first shot last month and then the second shot this weekend. He has a few aches and pains from it, but I don't think his symptoms are too bad.

One more thing, I had planted several veggies in my raised bed, and they were doing terrible. So I decided to revamp it as well. I took out the dead and dying veggies, turned over the soil, added milorganite, cow manure, and the compost I'd made last year, then put all new fresh plants in. I added some bachelor buttons for color, marigolds to keep down pests, and then added 2 green basil, 2 purple basil, one lemon grass, my rosemary that was already in the bed (it was the only thing doing well), the lemon thyme that was also in the bed but not doing well (hopefully it'll do better now!), a cantaloupe plant, and an eggplant. I've never had eggplant, but I'm more than willing to try! The bed is now a bit stinky from the milorganite (which, for those of you that don't know, is basically a granular fertilizer made from human waste), but hopefully will grow well!

Well, I think that about brings you up to date, gentle reader. I'm sure I've left tons out, but I'm just trying to get something out there quick. Below are 90 pictures, I've not attempted to go through discussing them as I normally do, but some are self-evident, I think. Until next time, which hopefully will not be another 5-6 weeks, stay safe!

George

































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