Roofing After YouTube Videos.

Here is the first of the lower parts of the roof of the tiny studio Cheryl constructed.

We had a roofer out to give us quotes but after looking at it he said he was too busy to do our roof. I think it was probably just too weird of a roof or something.

I’m glad though because I wanted to attempt this roof myself. I watched YouTube videos on roofing with architectural shingles. There are many videos on roofing and I found them so incredibly helpful. I feel completely confident in what I am doing now.

Ants: Our Little Helpers

Ever wish you had some busy little servant that would clean up after you? Well, just go outside and there are millions of them!

When I think of ants I think, ‘Little garbage men of the earth’. Anything that can be eaten by them will be deconstructed and removed for recycling as food in their ant homes. Whether it’s somebody’s leftover food or a dead insect, ants can be found moving in to take over the cleanup job.

Once, years ago, before I was such a wonderful housekeeper . . . (guffaw), I noticed the nut meat of an almond on the floor in my home. I didn’t pick it up and throw it away and by the next day I noticed that ants had discovered it. I watched over several days as they completely deconstructed the almond, and removed every trace of it. I was fascinated. How did they find it? I had not seen any ants in the house previously.

Once, while sitting quietly in the woods I noticed four ants moving across the forest litter on the ground, together, in a very unique way. I had never seen this behavior before. They were obviously searching as they went. The first three went to the left and right, covering different little areas, and the last one made bigger, wider sweeping motions as he appeared to be double checking the whole area the other three ants had covered. They moved along methodically, as a group. They did not appear to be following a scent trail, they appeared to be scouts. They were scouting for something new. I was in awe of their intentional and organized movements. Ants are truly amazing creatures.

Chicken and horse synergy

Watching the chickens sift through the horse manure and find food is kind of gratifying. They are benefiting from all the little bugs and worms that live in the manure. Plus they break apart the manure and cause it to decompose faster . . . I think.

Chickens are so fun to watch. I especially love looking at them when they run away from where I am because they have such a cute waddle run. And I love it when they come up close and eat food out of my hand. They get very brave when they’re wanting me to give them cat food and they get right up to me. They love cat food LOL.

I was thinking about not having chickens anymore but I kind of love them and it’s hard to think about getting rid of them. I just need to make it easier to find their eggs because they are masterful at hiding them. Free range is fun but messier and difficult to find eggs. I’m going to have to come up with a better way of taking care of them so I can benefit more by having more eggs available to me and less poop underfoot.

I love how the rooster will find food for the hens and call them with a quiet little special cluck. It’s a little excited noise he makes and his women come running. Or watching the mama and her chicks when she finds food and makes her little noises that bring all the chicks to her. They’re such a community in a way, but there are some bullies and the mamas keep their babies away from the other hens and the rooster, to keep them safe.

Poor Chicken!

Some of you animal people out there may know about the little rings you can buy to put on the ankles of baby chicks so you can tell them apart. The problem is, when the chickens grow up it can potentially create a health problem. I noticed one of our chickens that still has a ring on was getting a swollen leg and the ring was becoming embedded in the leg. We caught the chicken and removed the ring but I could tell it had gotten pretty bad. We doused the wound with hydrogen peroxside, anointed with the natural antibiotic honey, and wrapped with a gauze bandage. We will check on our sweet hen again tonight and see how she is healing.

The moral of this story, if you are going to use identification rings, take them off when the chickens get big, or replace them with something larger.

Living in the Present and Weight Loss

Living in the past and in the future, in our minds, gives way to positive and negative influences or self speak.   The negative talk in our heads may be based on how we did yesterday or the past week when we didn’t reach our goals, or maybe even when we failed miserably.  We might hear echoing in our heads, “You’re not going to lose this weight.  You are tired of this diet.  What’s the point?”

If you did well, you might hear, “Well, that may have been a good week, but remember two weeks ago?  You haven’t even gotten back on track yet.” Or, “Well, maybe you did well this week, but that doesn’t mean you will do well next week.”  That kind of negative talk can discourage the best of us.

On the other hand, positive self talk can lead to expectations which occasionally back fire.  For example, you are doing well and say to yourself, “Wow, I am doing great!  I can’t wait to see how much I lose next week!  It’s going to be great!”  Setting up these expectations can backfire because if we don’t do as well as we thought we should, we might beat ourselves up about it and our experience becomes negative.

Living in the past or the future can lead to us telling ourselves we did bad, or we did good.  Living in the present there is no good or bad, it just is.

Truly living in the now, in the present, with no past in our memory, is difficult because how would we have language if we had no past to draw upon?  Would we even think about losing weight?

For our purposes lets say we can live 80% in the present so we can still have our language and our goals yet still quiet all the talk in our heads about the past and the future.  From that space, the chatter is quiet.  While keeping our awareness in the present, we are more aware of the physical self, the spiritual self, the emotional self, and even the intellectual self.  In that quiet we are more aware of who we really are and how we are connected to the world around us.

Learning to quiet that little voice in the back of our heads can be a daunting task.  However, the more we practice quieting that voice the better we will become at it because we will be increasing our awareness of the ongoing commentary.  For me, as I have practiced this, when I hear the voice chime in, I instantly ignore and hum to myself to push the voice off the audio stage in my mind.

The main reason I wanted to bring up living in the now for weight loss is because in the now there are no failures, there are no expectations, there is no beating ourselves up.  There is only our beautiful and wonderful self and our connection to the Great Everything.  In that state I find everything to be so much gentler, easier, and beautiful. I believe we can learn to superimpose the state of being in the “now” over our daily lives.  I can manage this for short periods of time until I forget, but then when I remember, I begin again.

Peeling back the layers of emotion also helps with living in the now.  There is a stillness deep within that is majestic, powerful, and is you.

I would love to hear from anyone who tries this and how living in the now works for you.  Thanks for listening!


Getting the pump put into our new well . . . by children?

I must really be getting old!

I went outside to watch the men working and the men looked like kids to me! Turns out the one on the left is 21 and the one on the right is 26. Both perfectly capable experienced workers!

The one on the left has been working with his dad since he was eight, learning the trade, and totally knows what he’s doing. I’m very happy to be getting this done so we can have enough water again.

We have barely had enough for drinking lately, towards the end of this hot dry summer. Laundry mats and stacked up dirty dishes have been the norm for the past few weeks. Hallelujah for running water.