Random Updates: Stinky Puppy, Blizzard Fail, and Brilliant Garden Idea Number 1 for 2013

Time to catch up on a few things around the ranch…

Blizzard Fail. In my post a few days ago “Getting Ready for the Snowstorm“, I talked about the lengthy checklist in getting ready for the weather system that was predicted to dump 12-20″ of white stuff on us.

Well, the ‘great’ storm has come and gone. We got a whopping 3” of snow with very little wind. Obviously, hubby is rather crabby with me for making him bring the cows home and do two days of chores, unnecessarily. We now have predictions of another system coming in, but the weather forecasters are quick to say that it will not have as much ‘punch’ as the last one. In the midst of a historic drought we cannot even get a proper blizzard. *sigh*

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAStinky Puppy. A couple nights ago, our puppy was even more active and noisy than usual. On most nights she is quick to ‘protect’ her homestead from squirrels and other such riff-raff. They usually run off quickly and we can enjoy some peace and quiet.

That night, however, she was very upset about something. We tried to quiet her and reassure her that we were fine, but she would have none of it. The next morning, it only took a few seconds to figure out the identity of the previous night’s intruder. As my children headed outside to the school bus, they immediately retreated back into the house with the loud declaration, “Mom! The.Dog.Stinks!”.

Anyone want to venture a guess as to who our stinky, black and white striped visitor was?

Brilliant Garden Idea Number 1 (2013). In some past posts, I have talked about my inability to allow the garden to quietly freeze each autumn despite the failure of one or more of my “brilliant” ideas. Well, brilliant idea #1 (for 2013 anyway) has arrived. I am trying to start some tomato and pepper plants. In the past, my main problem with starting plants, especially peppers, has been letting them get dry and cool. My solution…see below….

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My idea is to cut pop or water bottles in almost-half (see the bottle on the left-hand side of the photo) with a small “hinge” left uncut. After putting an old eggshell in the bottom (if I have one; look at the bottle on the far right for an example) and some potting soil, I planted 2 or 3 seeds. After planting and watering, I folded the “hinge” back together (see the two bottles on the right side of the photo) and taped the seam.

I love the idea of using materials that would otherwise be thrown in the trash. Recycling opportunities are few and very far between in my area. So far, the seeds that I have planted (and placed in our large, south-facing windows) have thrived.When the seeds germinate, I will remove the lids so that ventilation prevents any mold or decay.

Have any of you used similar methods to start seeds? I would love to know if others have tried something like this….and whether it works or not.

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About jheem

I grew up on a diversified dairy farm in southeast South Dakota where I learned how to throw a hay bale, pull a calf, deal with death, and "name" the cows. I was in 4H and FFA, and was privileged to serve as a state FFA officer. In college, I studied animal science, focusing on beef cows, mostly because I figured they were less work than dairy cows....I ended up with a Masters Degree in ruminant nutrition and went to work for the University of Nebraska, first as a research tech coordinating data collection for a swine unit and beef feedlot on a research farm and then as an extension educator. In my current job, I focus on environmental issues related to animal agriculture (which is a nice way of saying I talk about manure alot). My husband and I live and work on a seedstock cattle operation in northeast Nebraska. You can learn more about our cattle operation by visiting my husband's blog at http://aldersonangus.wordpress.com.
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5 Responses to Random Updates: Stinky Puppy, Blizzard Fail, and Brilliant Garden Idea Number 1 for 2013

  1. I grew up on a farm, too. We also had “stinky visitors” that our dog Katie always managed to upset. My Dad swore by a bath of tomato juice to reduce the smell. What do you do? All the best, Terri

    • jheem says:

      Thanks for stopping by Terri! She must not have gotten sprayed by the skunk directly because the smell got a lot better within a day. She just didn’t get much attention until she smelled better 🙂

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