Thursday, August 1
(Waxing Crescent, Leo)

I worked at the office today. I dropped off kiddo at Grandma’s while I was there, which is quite out of the way, so it was about 4 hours of driving on top of 8 hours of sitting in an office staring at a screen. So beat and Migrainish.  Penelope showed me that the Russian tomatoes are starting to ripen. She says they’re delicious. I wouldn’t know.

Just before bed, I went to do a final check of the animals and there were two baby raccoons inside the new bird run. They were probably looking for chicken food, though we pick up all the food at night to discourage just this sort of activity. The birds are all secure inside coops at night, so I am not worried about that. The new run is primarily for day threats when I have to be away from home and we rely on the coops to keep them safe at night. A day threat, like a dog isn’t likely going to be able to get in there, but we’re going to set aside some time this weekend to add a little more security to the run. I was mostly worried that the raccoons getting stuck in there and me having the save them. I don’t want to save them. I don’t have good enough health insurance to be trying to save baby raccoons; especially when I can’t manage to lay eyes on their momma.

Friday, August 2
Clear, sunny, warm
Waxing Crescent, Virgo

20190802_100516The neighbor’s husky decided to raid the barn where the broody hens and rabbits live. The doors were all wide open to the air. It’s not super hot today, but ventilation is always good. The rabbits are okay, but Bella can’t walk and I have no idea where Penelope is. I grabbed the dog pretty much as she arrived (her name is Bella), but she already had a mouthful of chicken. I put her in the garden while I dealt with chicken first aid and she totally rampaged through the garden, knocking over all my tomato supports and trampling many of my plants. Then I found a leash sent my son to find the owner, who was out looking, He was not pleased to have his sleep interrupted (works nights). This dog shows up as missing on our neighborhood Facebook often. I bet 20190802_115903she’s the one who killed Sugar. They are moving. So I guess I won’t put up too much of a stink. I set up a hospital cage in the dining room for Bella.

Sigh. I was doing morning chores while this all went down. I don’t think I”ve eaten yet and it’s about noon.

Found Penelope. She was laying an egg and missed it all.

I harvested two beets, a zucchini (the mystery bush squash was a zucchini), various greens and cherry tomatoes, red cherry and black vernissage. Having white beans with sage and garlic, mushroom and rice pilaf and a lovely lettuce (it’s a bit bitter this time of year) salad with boiled beets and cherry tomatoes. I also cooked up a couple of artichokes I harvested yesterday for appetizers. I will save the rest of the greens to cook for tomorrow’s dinner- spinach, chard and beet greens.

And… at bedtime, I realized I have no idea where my cat is. So I went looking for her. I haven’t found her and I’m not happy.

Also, those two baby raccoons are sitting on the roof of the chicken run, but I guess at least they aren’t inside it.

My damn foot hurts.

Saturday, August 3rd
Waxing Crescent, Virgo
Clear, sunny, hot

Today, I was attacked by yellow jackets while watering the garden. I saw the nest the other day and was avoiding it, but the little bastards came after me anyway. I hadn’t mentioned them to my husband because I knew he would want to kill them and I didn’t think it was necessary. They are beneficial critters and hunt bugs. Well, fuck em. I spent most of the morning dozing and stoned on Benedryl. And hubs is distracted by trying to figure out how to kill yellow jackets instead of mowing the lawn. These are the days of my life. Bleh.

I spent some time organizing the basement and made a space for curing potatoes. Will harvest them soon. I am so behind on my cleaning. The cat came back. She must’ve had an adventure because she’s been sleeping ever since. We applied her monthly flea and tick preventative today. My foot feels better or maybe doesn’t hurt so much in comparison to the yellow jacket stings.

Sunday, August 4th
Waxing Crescent, Libra
Clear, sunny, warm

My legs itch like crazy thanks to those yellowjacket stings. I have to work at the store this afternoon, so I am going to focus on housecleaning and try to get a short nap before work. I got through my morning chores without incident. No dog attacks, no wasp attacks, found a chicken under a bucket, but she seems unphased. Bella is drinking and has eaten a little, but still isn’t walking, though she’s calm and is showing curiosity about what’s going on around her.

Some of our Russian tomatoes have ripened but Penelope ate them. They were cracked anyway. I water them every day so I am disappointed to see them cracking. I think I will like these tomatoes though if I figure out a good way to support them. Stakes don’t do it.

I left work early. My leg was on fire from the wasp stings and I was miserable and not functioning well. It was swelling and getting quite hot. I took some plantago (to draw out the poison), jewelweed (for the itching and inflammation) and oregano (to fight infection) and put it in the blender with a bit of purified water and mixed the resulting slurry with enough baking soda to make a paste, smeared that on my leg and covered it with a cool, damp towel, took a Benadryl and passed out.

Monday, August 5th
Sunny and mild
Waxing Crescent, Libra

Leg is still itchy, but not hot and the hard bit has shrunk considerably. I put another compress on it after chores. I brought one of Bella’s chicks in to see if that stimulates her to eat more and it seems to be working.

I focused my efforts mostly on cleaning house today. I need to get the kitchen ready for butchering those last two meat birds and I’m going to need to start canning soon. Maybe chicken soup first. Sorted some cupboards and such.

The next-door neighbor’s pear tree is covered with crows. Four of them. It always is this time of year. They never harvest those pears, just let them attract crows, so I’m on edge waiting for crows to go after chicks. I really need to get that new aviary finished, but it’s hard to have another person around and it’s definitely a two-person job.

Tuesday, August 6th
Warm, Overcast, Rained for a bit in the early afternoon.
Waxing Crescent, Scorpio

Leg is still itchy and red, but barely any swelling. I found a tube of hydrocortisone and that has got me handled. It rained about two hours after I finished watering today. I am normally hyper-aware of the weather, but I didn’t even look at the sky this morning. Whatever.

I noticed Firestar’s chick was exceptionally peep-y and walking around with drooping wings, so I picked it up and gave it a good once over. It was covered with mites. I have mite stuff somewhere, but couldn’t find it. I had to take my little man to a class this morning and then I headed to the feed store to get mite powder and electrolytes. By the time I returned the chick was just laying on the ground peeping. I tried treating it and got it to drink a little, though I knew it was already too late this morning. It’s probably too young for mite powder anyway and I’ve poisoned it on top of everything. From now on I must check my broody hens and treat them for mites if needed before allowing them to attempt to raise chicks. Mites are uncomfortable for healthy adult chickens but deadly for chicks and broody hens don’t necessarily eat right all the time, so they are more vulnerable than other chickens. I only see obvious mites on Firestar, perhaps her immune system is compromised. Anyway, she is dusted now, her house has been well-scrubbed, and I put some vitamins in her water. The chick won’t survive, it’s already too far gone. Even with hospital care, it wouldn’t survive, it’s just too small. There’s no way even to get an IV into it. I suck.

So, I spent the rest of the day cleaning pens, cages, and coops and sprinkled some mite powder around. I changed the fly strips and rebaited flytraps while I was at it.

Then I took Bella out into the garden for some occupational therapy. I helped her scratch and find some good stuff, beetles, grubs, worms, etc. and one of my split Russian tomatoes. She also made a giant poo, like she was holding it. Occupational therapy three times a day now. She’s not a fan of pellets anyway, never has been. Added extra vitamins to her water.

I am beaten, but restless. I am in a lot of pain and feeling like a suck farmer. I am tired of raising livestock. I am thinking of exit strategies.

Oh, and I planted brussels sprouts today. I ordered seeds weeks ago and they’re back-ordered, but I did find some at the feed store today.

Wednesday, August 7
First Quarter, Scorpio

I feel like crap. Anxiety did not let me sleep last night and I woke up with a miserable headache. I was supposed to go into the office today, but I called in. Little man was supposed to spend the day with grandma, but he’s going to spend the day goofing off instead. After chores, breakfast and daily treatment of broken chickens, I went back to bed. Listening to Critical Role.

Did we have a fly hatch somewhere? The house is full of flies. My tapes are all full and I can’t remember where I put all the other tapes. I just had them yesterday. Gah. No napping. Too much fly harassment. I am going to scrub everything with mint oil and hopefully, I’ll run across some fly tape rolls while I’m at it.

Thursday, August 8
Sunny and beautiful
Waxing gibbous, Scorpio

This morning my neighbor brought over some extra squash, cucumbers and potatoes and I gave him garlic. This afternoon, I took my little guy to the beach with a friend of mine and her boyfriend’s little boy. We had a great time all day and didn’t get home till put the animals to bed and pass out time. I needed that.

Friday, August 9
Waxing Gibbous, Sagittarius

Today I went to work at the office and took my little guy to his grandma’s to the day.

Saturday, August 10
Waxing Gibbous, Sagittarius

Hubs was home for some time in the morning and we worked on the chicken fortress. After he went to work I took Bella the broken chicken out into the garden and we spent some time weeding and tidying.

Sunday, August 11
Waxing GIbbous, Capricorn

I worked at the store this afternoon. The morning was uneventful, the usual chores, etc.

Monday, August 12
Waxing gibbous, Capricorn

It is super hot and humid and miserable today. I have a splitting headache. That dog came back but she wasn’t able to get at anyone. The lady is just totally rediculous telling me I need to lock up my chickens when I told her that the dog keeps coming after them, saying things about raccoons. *sigh* And then she asked if I eat my chickens. I can’t wait till she moves.

So I ran some chicken wire in front of the garage so I can leave it open on hot days without worrying about dogs running into it. I have such a damn headache.

Tuesday, August 13
Waxing Gibbous, Aquarius

I have been working on fortifying the property against roving dogs. Building a chicken fortress. Bella is doing better, she is walking with a big limp, but she’s walking. Jack joined me as I affixed chicken wire to the gaps in the chicken fortress.

This is Jack, of the chicken supervisory board.

Wednesday, August 14
Waxing gibbous, Aquarius

It rained a little bit, so I didn’t have to water the garden this morning. It probably didn’t actually rain enough to warrant skipping watering, but I am so tired of watering the garden. I’m going to do some housecleaning instead. Doctor Robert, one of my male rabbits, escaped his house today and is running around the garage. Luckily, I have already run chicken wire across the front of the garage door, so I can leave it open and not have to worry about a full-on escape. He is more worried about what the girls are doing anyway. So, I am letting him run about. I changed the lightbulb in there too. And took down the bucket flytrap which I am reminded as I write this I have not cleaned out, re-baited and put back yet, but I will. Tomorrow is D&D so I am working on our campaign.

Thursday, August 15
Full Moon in Aquarius

Worked at the office. Got a migraine. Usual.

Friday, August 16
Waning Gibbous, Pisces

This morning I butchered my last two meat chickens. I really liked them and was toying with the idea of keeping them but watching them struggle in the heat was just too much. When I prepped their legs, I saw there was a huge cartilage buildup in the knees. They would have been in pain soon if they weren’t already.  I am hoping to make several cans of chicken soup out of these.

Tonight we did D&D for the first time with the 7-year-old. I think he had fun though he kept wandering off and coming back to try to hijack the story. It was definitely trying for the older guys who are roleplaying that he’s a bit senile and has lived a very sheltered life (His character is an elderly Sorcerer recently retired for royal service on the run from his evil replacement who would do him in. His companions are the soldier assigned to get him out of town and protect him and a smuggler they met on the ship they took for the first leg of their journey.)

Saturday, August 17
Waning gibbous, Pisces

20190817_150832So, my mystery squash appears to be something like a very fat zucchini. Maybe it’s a pumpkin/zucchini cross? I’m a little annoyed because I paid for these seeds (Annies Heirloom Seeds) even though I don’t know what they are. I had them all in a big tray with labels and I dropped it and the labels and dirt went everywhere. I put it all back as best I could but only two cells sprouted, they were right next to each other. One turned out to be a zucchini who, after giving me two very nice fruit, has decided it’s all male now. The other I was speculating was a summer squash because of the shape of the fruit, but it turned green. So I grabbed one and cut it open. It looks like a very fat zucchini. So. I guess that’s what we have. I will try eating some, but I didn’t today. I put this one out for the birds and they loved. it.


The neighbor came over today (He calls me “Garden girl”) and gave me a bunch of stuff he started that he doesn’t have room for in his garden including watermelon and louffa which I doubt is going to produce much before the cold weather hits, but the I am very excited about the cabbages. I did plant some brussels sprouts a few weeks ago, but I don’t see any sign of them. Annies seeds again. (Sigh)

Sunday, August 18
Waning gibbous, Aries

Today I worked at the store. Some dude started rubbing my back while I was checking ID for liquor. Also, we’ve had a rash of credit card fraudsters coming in. They bring stolen credit cards and buy lots of gift cards with them. There isn’t much we can do about it except notify our loss prevention team when it happens and they turn that bit of security footage over to the police. We can, and do, make it harder for them though by asking for ID for their credit card purchase if we feel suspicious.

When I was on my break today, one of our younger cashiers was running my self-scan and she got hit. The manager realized but only after the purchase had already been made. The girl was very upset and said she felt like a “noob”. I tried to comfort her and tell her it’s not a big deal, we do have their pictures, after all. There are cameras everywhere and everyone gets a closeup at the checkout.  I remember when I was a young cashier and someone stole money from my register while someone else was playing Old lady who can’t speak English but needs change. (I don’t ever give people change out of my register now, I make them go to the Service Desk.) and some of the other cashiers picked on me about out and I felt so humiliated I never wanted to go back to work again.

I bought stuff I need in addition to the chicken for making my chicken soup.

Monday, August 19
Waning gibbous, Aries

I woke up this morning to the sound of my husband letting out the birds. He is taking a staycation this week. I slept in till nearly 8am and then I did an hour of Yoga. I feel pretty good.

I have a whole list of things to do, but he decided he wants to mow the back field. We heard rumors that there was a mountain lion in the area and he doesn’t like the idea of having all that cover back there. I don’t think a mountain lion is going to come around messing with our little birds when there’s so much other good stuff out there, but he’s concerned it could grab our kiddo. So, fair enough. I was not happy about him mowing my wild area, but he mowed around the ferns, and the goldenrod and the Saint Johnswort and in fact, I have a much clearer view now of what I have back there, what should be encouraged, what should go and what I should add. I think if we let it go, we could have a redbud forest in a few years,

Tuesday. August 20
Waning gibbous, Aries

Okay, so we played D&D all day.

And also took the car in for our free oil change from the dealership. But mostly we played D&D.

OH and I did a bunch of weeding in the garden and found the biggest, fattest tomato horn worm I’ve ever seen.  And also lots of tomatoes, which I put in the crockpot for tomorrow’s sauce. Then we ate today’s sauce.

I have been letting Bella convalesce in the garden and today I left the gate open while I worked and Penelope and Cass (and the chicks, two of which were Bella’s but I don’t think anyone remembers) all came in to keep her company and rampage through the garden.

I finally got it together to go out and work on the chicken fortress and a thunderstorm rolled in. I guess I can’t complain.

Wednesday, August 21
Waning gibbous, Taurus

We rearranged the yard a bit today and I canned some chicken soup. I still have a lot of chicken left, so I think I will make some handpies and freeze them.

We spent much of the afternoon playing D&D. Vacation.

Thursday, August 22
Waning gibbous, Taurus

Okay well, I am getting super panicked about the “vacation” being over in a couple days and we haven’t gotten all of our stuff done. I know, it’s my own fault. But D&D is fun and we don’t often have the whole family together to do stuff. Anyhow. We went to Tractor Supply and got another kennel cover kit and spent much of the afternoon taking down chicken coops and moving them into the space and putting them back together and putting hardware cloth and bird netting on stuff. I also forced my poor husband to haul dirt from the pile of dirt in the front yard that I bought like two months ago into the back yard. We made an archway to the Circle out of a cattle panel and I planted some of those gourd starts that my neighbor gave me. I don’t expect fruit, it’s much to late in the season, but perhaps they will climb my cattle panel arch and make it look cool?

Loads of tomatoes today. And sauce from yesterday. And sauce in the fridge from the day before. I will have to can again tomorrow, I think.

Friday, August 23
Last Quarter, Gemini

We spent the day pushing hard to get the chicken fortress done. It’s not 100% done, but it will keep a dog out.

Saturday, August 24th
Waning crescent, Gemini

Husband has a lot of gigs this weekend, including a wedding, so he is mostly gone. Nothing exciting going down, weeding, making sauce out of tomatoes. I tried to make bread but I am out of yeast. I have no idea how that happened.

Sunday, August 25th
Waning crescent, Gemini

Well. My car is making really terrible noises, so I wasn’t able to go to work today.

Wednesday, August 28
Waning crescent, Leo

I have been very depressed and in pain for a while.  Missed work. Sulked a lot. Yadda yadda. My husband has nursed me back to health with chocolate and hugs. I mean, I’m still in pain but that’s just a given. Still holding my breath for Universal Healthcare so I can get some treatment. Yea, vote.

So… let’s see. The breaks went out on the car and we had to get those fixed and it was nearly $1000. I almost have the bird fortress done. It keeps out dogs, but probably not raccoons, but they are inside at night. Bella is doing well and has been moved back outside, though she still thinks she needs to sleep in the house. On the couch. We’re still discussing that. Firestar hasn’t been looking very good, so I’m bringing her in and making her hang out inside with me to try to fatten her up. Whenever I put out food she just sits there while everyone else takes it. Now she’s in here getting all the food and extra vitamins in her water. Hah. Her mites seem to be gone. I do put her back out in the coop to sleep. She really is not happy about being inside. Bella, on the other hand, is irritated that Firestar gets to be inside and she doesn’t.

Today we went to Spicer Orchard and picked blueberries and also brought home sweet corn, peaches and apples. And cider and donuts, of course, and also went and got kiddo a new pair of shoes. I made a blueberry tart and am working on some blueberry zucchini muffins and a peach cobbler.  I was going to make a vegetarian lasagna today, but I think I’ll just put it together and stick it in the fridge for tomorrow since I am at the office tomorrow. For the first time in 2 weeks. Ugh.

Thursday, August 29
Waning crescent, Leo

I spent most of the day either at the office or driving to the office. Other than that, nothing exciting. Peach cobbler is amazing and delicious.

Friday, August 30
Waxing crescent, Virgo

I had a migraine today. I managed to get the basic chores done but accomplished little else. Harvested some tomatoes and put them in the crockpot for sauce.

Today is my wedding anniversary. It’s also my mooniversary. I was married on a black moon.

Saturday, August 31
Waxing Crescent, Virgo

Today we went to the State Fair. My husband’s band is performing and we went to cheer him on. It was. So. Expensive. And my foot hurts, so it wasn’t as pleasant for me as it could have been. I really prefer the county fair to the state fair. It’s not as crowded and costs less, so we end up having more fun. All the bands were good though. They don’t have local bands at the county fair, just these fair themed shows like pig racing and this barnyard comedy show. It was nice to hear new music from around the state.

Sunday, September 1
Waxing crescent, Libra

I worked at the store today and the pain is excruciating. We have two cars for three adults and my son and husband both had things, so I got dropped off more than an hour early for my shift and went ahead and did my back to school shopping before my shift. It was an okay shift, but I witnessed two near tragedies with small children that would never have happened if people just followed the directions on the seats in the carts. Honestly. My feet hurt and I’m too cranky.

Monday, September 2