Watching, Watching….

After I finished my morning routine, the dogs looked at me with great anticipation….can we, can we?? Huh, huh??

I let them out and said, “let’s go see Mama’s girls”. Lady looked back over her shoulder for the ok and off she went!

I gathered a bunch of supplies to hang a light. And 250 ft of extension cord that Honey picked up. I ran the cord and taped them together. When I finally made it to the girls, the dogs acted like it was Christmas morning. I think they wanted to see if they would indeed come out again today.

Sure enough the girls filed out and began pecking for food. Boomer let out a large bark and was scolded by Honey. He hasn’t done it again…Honey is Alpha Dog! I’m Mama Dog who spoils him rotten!

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Boomer is quite relaxed….Lady on the other hand is very tense.

Here’s my lovely gate. It works great. Once spring comes I’ll try to fix it up some. But I’m glad I got it done yesterday. We’re having *snow * showers today!

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Last night was in the 20’s here in Central Maryland. I checked my little green houses and they were warm and humid. I put a couple jugs of water in each to absorb the daytime heat from the sun. Hopefully they’ll keep things warm on these very cold nights.

I went to put a Terracotta bee skeep in the shed when to my surprise a nest was inside. Nothing moved until I kicked it. Yep, MICE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I HATE MICE!!!

Ok. You have to understand the life cycle of “Deer Ticks”. The first host is a white footed mouse. If you eliminate the mice on your property then you won’t have deer ticks….or perhaps a greatly reduced chance. The tick then finds a ride on the deer and then drops off to find a ride on the most wonderful of hosts…..HUMANS!

I quickly called my little Lady to come to the garden. It took some convincing since she was guarding the chickens. She did come and then it took some more convincing to get her into the garden. I have a gate on to keep the dogs out! So, she was AGAIN receiving mixes messages and was slightly confused.

This dog is a hunter! She has been know to sit ALL day and wait for rabbits to come out from under the shed. So once I got her onto the scent from the nest, off she went…..then I found one. It took me forever to get her away from her spot to come to mine….I had to take her face and point at the mouse….she had it!!!

But it got away. Now she’s siked!

I was fixing my lunch and watching her out the kitchen window in the garden. I saw her running back and forth along one section of the fence…..then back and forth….then I saw on the other side of the fence on a fence rail was a mouse running back and forth….back and forth.

Now that was too funny. I don’t think she got that one either. There were three. I will leave her in the garden and I know she will get them and if not, well it gave her something else to do other than hunt, I mean watch the chickens.

The mice were feasting on tomatoes and tomatilla. Of couse my messy garden left plenty of seeds for them to eat this winter. No wonder I’ve had deer ticks when coming from the garden. In fact this last tick that I had in June I KNOW came from the garden. It’s really sad, that many people give up gardening because of being infected while doing something they love. Not me.

Another reason for the chickens is that they will clean up any ticks. I need to make the garden more secure and then I’m putting the chickens in for a bug hunt. It’s a false belief that ticks die in the winter. They don’t. Lady brings them in alllllll winter long. The only time I don’t find any is when there’s snow on the ground.

I’m also planning to make a portable chicken run so I can move them around to eat ticks. If you can eliminate the mice then you’ve eliminated the Lyme Disease. Yes, a deer may come on your property carrying one from someonr else’s property, but you’ve greatly reduced your chances. I’ve been battling this disease for way too long so I’m sure you can understand my concern. Plus I had a deer tick last summer and one this summer that we believe reinfected me with Babesia. Not all deer ticks carry Lyme Disease, some only carry the co-infections which have proven to be worse than Lyme. I also need to clean up the leaves in the yard since mice like to hide in them. Woods and rock walls are one of the worst places where mice love to live. I think I’ll borrow my neighbors leaf picker-upper for my John Deere. He loves having the leaves anyway to compost.

Don’t be fooled by the CDC’s reports. As far as I’m concerned the CDC is living in the dark ages. Ticks don’t know that they can’t cross state lines. Mice don’t either. Every single state has had at least one victim to Lyme Disease. And every continent except Antarctica has Lyme Disease and it’s many co-infections. Lyme plus co-infections are even in the city…..remember….it’s the MICE!  There are over 200,000 cases diagnosed EVERY YEAR!!!!

Clean up your leaves. Eliminate any place for a mouse to live. MAYBE, just MAYBE even get a barn cat! I really don’t like cats. I’m a dog person. But, they would help to keep down the mice. We have a cat the frequents our field hunting for mice. I’m grateful! Just leave my chickens alone.

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Annie Get Your Gun!

Our families have a long history of hunters. My dad was a duck & goose hunter. He also hunted deer and I remember a trip he took to Canada to hunt bear. Honey’s former job was in Wildlife Management when he hunted a lot. In fact since deer hunting with a gun is in the fall, we’d only been married for 8 months when he came home at dusk to get me. He’d shot a deer and the sun was quickly setting. He needed me to hold the flash light while he gutted the thing. That was a trauma for me which I quickly recovered from. I then proceeded to process that same deer a few days later, packing it for the freezer. Since that day, I’ve helped with many deer.

Honey’s Gpa, Uncle Wallace and his dad were great hunters. His dad worked for the USDA in Maryland as a geneticist where he had farm plots for his research. He always got lots and lots of kill permits since the deer were damaging his research plots. We always had plenty of venison to go around.

His Gma went out and bought a diamond ring when Gpa started hunting. She spent the same amount of money he did. Then every year when he’d spend more on hunting, she’d upgrade her diamond ring. We call it the “deer hunting ring”! It’s a a beaut!!!!!!

I told you a few days ago of a doe who found my garden smörgåsbords. I was down picking watermelon, peppers and popcorn this AM and found that she’d been back. She chopped my pole beans off at the knee and left her hoof prints as more evidence of her invasion.

That’s ENOUGH.

I’m mad now.

I’m really fit to be tied. Yesterday, my new swimming buddy, Kathy, told me, “she’ll be back tonight while you’re sleeping.” And sure enough she was.

For now our plan is to put Lady on a long chain tied to the apple tree tonight. We’ll leave her a little crate to sleep in. She’ll think we don’t love her anymore, but she’s our real guard dog. She’s a hunter to the very core of her being. Once she gets a sniff of that doe, she’s going to let her know who’s territory this is! Either that or she’ll howl at the moon all night!

However, in the past I’ve watched an encounter between Lady and the deer. Our electric dog fence only covers 2 acres of our 5. So she charges down to the line, chasing the deer. Once the deer are over the line they know the dogs can’t come any further. Then they stood there and stomped their feet at Lady. Then they jumped at her and said, “you’re no wolf!” (Ladies a little cocker mix) At that challenge she took off and ran toward the house with her tail between her legs! She’s not a big wolf like Boomer, but Boomer is old and tired. He’d never make a good guard dog at the garden. He only protects me!

I’m hoping she’ll have the guts to stand her ground tonight.

We’ll see.

A 7-8 foot fence is going to cost a fortune. I think a .22 locked and loaded is a better choice! But since it’s illegal to discharge one with this many houses this close, we’ll have to get the cross bow and practice so we can pack the freezer for the winter!

Venison stew is sounding yummy!

My question is, why have we allow the deer population in parts of Maryland to get out to control? In our county they allow you an unlimited number of does killed with a bow from, I think Oct-Jan! We have at least 8 does on our property alone. And at least 2-4 bucks. And every single year they have cute little fawns dancing in our back 40.

They cause crop damage and huge personal damage when they hit your car.

This is minor damage. In 1993 only two miles from my home, a deer went through a ladies windshield. It kicked her nearly to death. Put her in a coma of which she eventually died from injuries.

Please don’t tell me that Bambi is too cute to kill.

God gave man dominion over the animals.

Protect Your Turf!

My fall garden is doing great. Lots of mustard greens, spinach, new red skin potatoes, leaf lettuce, beets, carrots and my lima beans are coming. Plus the basil is still putting out nicely. My tomatoes are starting to peter out in the garden, but my compost tomatoes are still lovely!  I put in my order for garlic and it should arrive around my birthday, Oct. 16.  That’s our first frost date.  At least according to my calendar.  It’s easy to remember.  First frost, my b-day, last frost Ben’s b-day.  Who cares if it’s not perfect.  It’s something to go by and I don’t forget!

Aren’t my compost tomatoes beautiful?

My lopes were to die for. Sweeter than honey!

Yesterday after dinner, Honey and I were looking out of the kitchen door as the deer were grazing on our apples! Honey was locking and loading the pellet gun as I watched a doe waltz over to my garden. She stuck her neck out and said, “hey dinner!” One leap and she was over my 4 ft fence. I was fit to be tied!!!!! I ran out on the deck screaming at that doe like a crazy woman! Honey didn’t have time to take a shot. She was so startled that she jumped back over as fast as she went in. The small herd of 6-8 took off into our back 40. Honey went after them like a great hunter that he is. He got a couple in the rear and showed them who pays the tax on this joint!

I’m gonna get me a cross bow so I can pack my freezer! Meat on the hoof is all I see. That and deer ticks!

As you can see there’s NO WAY I’m sharing my garden with a herd of deer.

They were very interested in the new addition that I got up yesterday. It was as if they kept yelling, “hey take a look at this. I think it’s going to be a petting zoo!” They’d walk over and sniff the fence and walk around it to the apple tree.

I know. It looks like I was drunk when I did this. But I’m not a perfectionist, so all that mattered to me was getting it up so I can get my gurls soon! Their home is looking good. I need to put up some nesting boxes and Honey needs to put some new hinges on the door.

Can you believe this was a dog house? It’s big enough so all I have to do is open the door and step inside to gather the eggs. It’s just right for 4 nice lookin’ gurls!

Still needs some roosting poles.

Still needs some hardware cloth over the front door to keep out my least favorite critter!!!! SNAKES.

Funny thing is, I haven’t seen a one the whole summer. Not a one out in the back 40!

I plan to tack the bottom of the fence to these old split rail posts. That will keep out the predators and Lady!

I got these old gates from Gpa too. I’m not sure if I’ll use one. Right now it just seems like too much work. I do want my chickens before 2009! I can just lap the fence over and hook it somehow. OR I can get a ladder and climb over.

Top Post~~~Lyme Disease Alert!!!!!

Since my most read post/page is “My Journey With Lyme Disease” I thought I’d write an ALERT!!!!! I know this topic of creepy crawly thingies is not pleasant BUT it is important that everyone knows what to look for.

This is the second critter (deer tick) that I’ve found in the past two yrs. I found this one Friday morning. It freaks me out to say the least. My greatest fear has been to recover my body and then get reinfected. The last deer tick I found attached to my upper thigh and this one was on the same hip. Last August I called my doc crying. He reassured me that the worrying part was his and mine was to stay calm and treat it as if it is an infected tick. Here’s a good link on what to do.

PLEASE NOTE THE SIZE OF THIS TICK. THIS IS WHY IT IS SOOOOOO VERY HARD TO DETECT THEM. SO MANY CHILDREN HAVE THEM HIDING IN PLACES WE DON’T LOOK. YES, THEY CAN CRAWL INTO THE EARS AND ALSO THE BOTTOM. THEY HIDE IN CREASES AND PLACES WE JUST CAN’T EASILY SEE. THIS GUY IS DEAD AND I’VE PUT HIM BETWEEN TAPE. I MISSED HIM IN THE SHOWER AND LATER FOUND HIM WHILE SITTING ON THE POTTY. GET A MIRROR AND CHECK YOURSELF EVERYDAY!

After my drive out to “the farm” Friday morning, I sang praises and prayed to The King of Kings, Jesus. I quoted one of the scriptures that reminds me of who I am. “Thy power is made perfect in weakness. When I am weak then I am strong.” I was also reminded of, “Trust in God, trust also in Me.”

I came to the conclusion that if I’m taking Dr Zhang’s Chinese Herbs to kill the infection I already have, then it ought to also take care of anything new that I might get in the future. Plus I will rife today, mainly because I’m due for a rifing session, and also just in case there was any new infection.

I can’t urge you enough to check your body, no matter where you live. Did you know that the rate of infected ticks is on the rise in CA? I know I got this tick in my own backyard. We haven’t quite figured out what to do about our tick problem. But we have one. The state won’t let us kill the deer that are over populating our backyard. The kill permits have not risen with the rate of deer multiplication. We have a known herd of 10 deer in our backyard “field”, one of which is for sure a mature buck. A few of the yearlings are also probably bucks. So, lets just say we have 6 does. And lets just say they each drop twins which is a probable guess and triplets isn’t stretching it. Now we have 22+ deer in our backyard. We have seen this particular herd double and triple in the past few years. They have a wonderful place to live in our field. Even though I cut the field down, there’s still enough cover for them. So, we just aren’t sure what to do. We do have some pretty good marksmen in our family, but as Honey keeps reminding me, our neighbors would probably get upset if a deer ran through their yard with an arrow sticking out of it’s neck. OK………….but we still have a big problem. Our state is an epidemic state. We have too many animal activist who think that Bambi is our friend. I’m of the belief that God made man to be in dominion over the animals, thus we issue enough kill permits to control the problem. In a town in NJ, the sheriff’s department, issues Guinea Hens to families to eat the ticks. That would work only if they could roam free, but I think the dogs would eat the Guinea Hens.

Then only thing we can do is to treat this cautiously. We don’t use chemicals on the dogs, but we use Neem spray and Diametatious Earth. Both of which are suppose to kill the ticks if not repel them. However we pull ticks off the dogs every day. The dogs don’t live in the “house”, but they live in our laundry room….ticks crawl. So, do we kill the dogs???? NO! I say kill the deer! But for now that’s not an answer. I saw some stuff that is basically liquid garlic spray. It doesn’t kill the ticks but repells them. Our neighbor puts down tons of Triazinon. Which is a very potent insecticide. Not only does it kill the ticks, but every good insect as well. And it is probably not doing much to help his kids who plays in the grass. OMGOSH!

If anyone has any great tick tips for a big yard, please let me know. We have to treat at least 2.5 acres if not all 5.