Jun. 7th, 2017

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Chicken processing today, which went very smoothly. It was cold and rainy today, which was perfect– there’s a big burner that always makes it hot wherever we’re processing, and it’s murder on hot days, so we’re always glad if it’s a bit chilly. 

I didn’t sleep well last night– it was pouring rain, and very windy, and around 10pm I had to get out of bed and go outside in the pouring rain to fix the roof flap that goes over the top hole in the yurt, so I got soaked and it was pouring and noisy and scary outside (I don’t like it when I can’t hear things coming, you know?), and the creek’s been in flood stage for days because it’s been pouring for days. I like hearing it, but I’m hearing A Lot of it, and it’s a bit scary too. And then the wind was thumping the roof’s loose corners around, which I didn’t need. So I was awake late, and up early for slaughter, so. And the night before that, it was rainy and thundery, and I didn’t sleep well. So I’m fucking exhausted by now, and desperate to really get a good sleep. And it’s super super cold and damp and dank and gross out here.

So I made myself a giant travel mug of chamomile tea with honey, and spiked it with whiskey, and I’m drinking that and that might have been overkill, I’m nodding off and it’s just past 8pm. 


What’s saving my life is that there are two 100-foot extension cords plugged together coming out of the greenhouse (one goes through the length of the greenhouse, the other comes from the yurt, and they meet right by the greenhouse), and I have a space heater. It’s a tiny electric one, very underpowered, but I’m reassured that it’s only a 15-amp circuit in there, so I can’t possibly melt an extension cord– the fuse would blow long before. So I’m all good. I bought a waterproof cord connector on Amazon and it arrived today, just in time for the rain to stop. I’ve been keeping the connection safe up til now by putting a big board over it and weighing the board down with a sandbag, it’s very high-tech but I tell you what, 100% effective. 

Oh the whiskey’s kicking in, I want to go back to the bit about wanting to hear things coming– here’s the thing about sleeping in a canvas shack in the woods by myself. There’s a sweet spot when it comes to noise. In a pouring rain, it’s too noisy; I know that if anything approached the yurt, I wouldn’t hear it up til and possibly including when it came through the door. (Last night I’d rigged a blanket fort, so I couldn’t see the door– it was to block the wind that kept coming in the door, but it also meant I was unable to see anything.)

But on a still, still night, it’s too quiet. You can hear everything, and every tiny noise is terrifying. Last summer there was one really still night and I lay awake through half of it, and at one point a deer walked down the creekbed, splashing a little, then came up the bank picking its way through the undergrowth, crinkle crinkle clatter, and stood next to the yurt, browsing on something, and it was goddamn terrifying. I knew it had to be a deer, nothing else would have legs that long coming through the undergrowth. But it was still blanket-clutchingly terrifying.

No sir. Give me benign white noise, but not too much of it.
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Blanket fort in the electrified yurt. Tiniest space heater can’t make much of a dent in it being 50 in here, but it can take some of the damp off. Sectioning the yurt in half with spare blankets helps. Also, I just like blanket forts…
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ahhh what do ants hate???

i rain-proofed the yurt by stuffing all my bedding into a trunk. i mouse-proofed the trunk by stuffing it full of dryer sheets. it all seemed fine: the roof leaked while i was gone, and the air mattress, bare rubber, dried just fine. 

opened the trunk to remake my bed: bedding is all dry but AUGH HOLY SHIT THE TRUNK IS FULL OF ANTS.

My world is ants. 

Spiders hate clove oil and peppermint. Mice hate dryer sheets. Ants seem totally unfazed by both. 

It reeks, by the way, of clove oil and Bounce in this piece. Also myrrh incense, because I was trying to make it smell like something else in here, and I had a measure of success, certainly, but uh. 


At least after a lot of screwing around I managed to get the power to work. Two one-hundred-foot extension cords is a long way to check for breaks or problems, and i’m still not sure what the problem was, but at least i have power. When I discovered the ants, I had only a candle, and I resolved to myself that if I could not get a light to work, I was not sleeping in a dark ant-infested yurt but instead would go sleep on the couch in the house. (The guestroom is occupied, which is why I’m glad i have the yurt…)

But I need to know what ants hate, and if the smell of it will be as overpowering as– currently, the clove oil is winning. Fortunately i like clove oil.

The question should be “what do ants like” rather than “what do ants hate.” The ants will be attracted by any food products or food smells. Work to get rid of any food in the area, and then clean any surfaces you can with diluted vinegar.

Hopefully, one the ants realize that there is nothing around for them, they will leave. Hope this helps!


Well, this along with so many other extremely helpful suggestions I’m gonna copy and paste below, are all probably very very helpful to people who are living indoors. So, to all y’all for whom this might work, here’s a compilation:


the only thing i can thing of for ants that isn’t a can of raid is bleach. i had ants in my apt last year and that seemed to work


i’ve never tried it, but i’ve heard that they hate cinnamon and a cinnamon barrier (like an autumn-flavored salt circle) will keep them out of places?


we have a constant ant problem here and peppermint oil works well for us. the kind that comes in a can? and it makes the whole house smell like a candy cane so it’s not so bad.


Ants won’t cross a talcum powder barrier. Less useful in the rain.


IDK but good luck!


Cucumber and kale!  No lie it complete my banished my ants!  (They were the very tiny ones.)


I’ve tried the cinnamon trick & it doesn’t work.  :-(




there’s no scent that will make them go away unfortunately, but once you get them out, wipe it down with vinegar. this will “erase” their pheromone trails and keep more ants from coming in. hope this helps :)

I’m not. I’m living in a yurt. It has canvas walls and a plywood platform floor. There’s no food in the yurt, I don’t eat there, it’s just a bedroom. I don’t have so much as a granola bar in the place. The ants are probably attracted because it’s dry, I really don’t know. So– all these wonderful suggestions to clean surfaces with vinegar– it’s an unfinished wooden trunk, it’s not like I can just wipe it down. 

I can only guess that the ants considered the dryer sheets I was using to ward off mice, which infested me last summer, to smell like food, though they weren’t eating them. 

I’ll try bleach, I guess, and then I’ll put some lavender sachets in the trunk with the bedding. Someone said camphor, I don’t see it in the replies here, but I’ll pick some of that up. It already reeks of clove oil and dryer sheets, so I might as well go the whole hog. Being outdoors, smells do dissipate quickly. 

In the rain, for anyone’s reference, the clove oil for spiders wears off in a day or so and the spiders come back. But at least I can chase them off occasionally with it. 

I should get the peppermint oil I have into a spritz bottle. I’m never going to be rid of any particular pests; I’m basically living outdoors. I just want to figure out how to keep them from building nests in my fucking sheets. Which mice did last year, and dryer sheets are the answer (peppermint is lauded against mice but I can tell you firsthand, not effective, while dryer sheets are), but if dryer sheets attract ants, I gotta double up with something. 
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When you read the whole quote, you’ll see it’s more than just a punchy talking point.

[image description: a graphic showing Audre Lorde with one her quotations, against a purple background. The text reads “Those of us who strand outside the circle of society’s definition of acceptable women; those of us who have been forged in the crucibles of difference–those of us who are poor, who are lesbians, who are black, who are older–know that survival is not an academic skill. It is learning how to stand alone, unpopular and sometimes reviled, and how to make common cause with those others identified as outside the structures in order to define and seek a world in which we can all flourish. It is learning how to take our differences and make them strengths.” In larger text is “For the master’s tools will be never dismantle the master’s house.” It continues in smaller text, “They may allow us to temporarily beat him at his own game, but they will never enable us to bring about genuine change. And this fact is only threatening to those women who still define the master’s house as their only source of support.”]
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Oh also I’m not really getting notifications because the screenshot post of my Twitter reaction to Wonder Woman sort of blew up and got Buzzfeeded. I’m not getting that many notifications but it’s enough that given 20 minutes of real Internet and about 20 minutes of mobile data Internet per day, I’ve just mostly missed everything that’s ever happened ever, so. 

The best part is that while the Buzzfeed post links to my Twitter, the screenshot they use, with 0 likes and 1 reply, is clearly the one I took to post to Tumblr myself, so. LOL.
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A post shared by Bridget Kelly (@bomberqueen17) on Jun 7, 2017 at 6:36am PDT

This is the little creek by the yurt in nearly-flood stage. It’s soothing white noise but sometimes I listen too hard. It has been raining almost non stop since I got here, this is the first sunshine I’ve seen…
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csevet replied to your video: This is the little creek by the yurt in…

look i understand that the yurt is Full Of Every Spider And Insect And Occasional Rodent, but this just seems so nice

Naw, I complain too much, it *is* real nice. I wish it weren’t 45 fucking degrees out and sopping wet, but even that is not all that bad. I gotta remember to bring out a hot water bottle tonight, I just checked and my sister does own one. 

And it’s gonna be 90 next week, so I won’t have to worry about the space heater. Maybe I’ll store it in the trunk, ants won’t bother a space heater.

It’s super keen. I have a lovely little house that is alternately a blanket fort and a screen porch, and I can handle insects and arachnids and rain. 
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yes that's chicken poop
i went to the museum with farmbaby and this is my favorite part. this was two weeks ago but still relevant.
random photo dump– there’s a whole album on facebook of just the slaughter pics, so if you want to see a how to on evisceration, I put a series up. IDK if the link works but here it is on the farm page. 
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bodhi (the pilot) / cassian (the spy)



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