Yesterday was charity work.
My son and I helped at the spay and neuter clinic offered by Amigos de Animales. Our job was to help the cats and small dogs wake up after the anesthesia. Some animals took only a few minutes and some took over an hour. It was a ton of rectal temperature taking and vigorous animal rubbing! It was fun and rewarding to help out. They spayed and neutered over 200 animals yesterday and it is amazing to see the clinic in action. They primarily survive off of donations and people donating their time. They are a huge help to the community and great people to know!
Today was Farm Work.
We will be cleaning up the coffee rows for a long time. We are guessing that we will get everything mulched and caught up in the next 3 years. Yeah, 3 years! We have been working on this one row for over a week now. We try to do some each day in between all of the other chores and when it is not raining. It took us over 8 months to find a used/affordable chipper, so we did not start in the dry season, which is inconvenient.
There is nothing wrong with the way it is currently, but it can be challenging to walk down some of the rows and the bugs seem to like the decomposing wood ALOT. We are mulching/shredding all of the leaves and wood to make it a little nicer and easier to navigate. Here is a BEFORE picture.
Here is an AFTER picture. We started on a row that we had already stumped this year. This row had more clean-up than some rows, due to all of the coffee tree trimmings that were chopped off. These trees will start producing coffee again in about 3 years and the mulch will help them more than the larger trimming. There is about 5 inches of mulch on the ground now, so the above picture does not give a clear picture of exactly how much there is!!!!
Happy birthday to me! This was my February birthday present, that is how long it has taken get through our to-do list. We are a little behind schedule, but well worth the wait! Now to clean up. :)
Dishwasher After 9 Months!
Once we moved here and were hand-washing dishes as a normal practice, I realized how much I missed having a dishwasher. Then it became normal and I still wanted a dishwasher, but started to forget how convenient they were. But now that I have one again, I am excited! We did not wait to have it enclosed with a counter before we started using it! I am not sure why the video below demands to be sideways, but I am putting it here anyways so you can understand just how loud it is! We can't even hear each other when we talk! But, I was very happy that our garage sale dishwasher worked!!!! It has taken a ton of work to get to this point. The kitchen had no area for the dishwasher, we had to move the gas stove, move the gas line, drill holes to get water to the dishwasher, fill holes where the gas line used to be, add a water pump to our house line so that we had enough water pressure....a ton of other projects had to be done first!!!
Next, we realized we needed a counter-weight on it until we figured out a more permanent solution. We used a case of beer, which by the way, did not initally work and we had an entire case of broken beer bottles on the floor. It took many hours of sweeping, mopping and picking up all of the pieces. My husband decided that I would be more careful if he put my Cokes on it, haha. Okay, so he was right, the Cokes have been on there a week and it has been working.
In the meantime, my husband has been making a butcher block counter-top for me to fit over the dishwasher and finally not have my Cokes be the only thing holding it down when we load it. He took some very large pieces of wood that Hector donated to us and began sanding, cutting and assembling it all together. It may take a few days to get everything together with a backsplash and stuff, but each night that I do not have to hand wash dishes, I am very happy! I will post a picture of the final product when it is all installed.
I did not find any dishwasher detergent in town the first week. Eventually, I found it in the city of David, but to begin with, I used a multi-purpose detergent. I found a bag that claims to clean plates, clothes, kitchens...it turns out that this suds up too much and is not so good in dishwashers, but it did verify if we did or did not have any leaks!
Our 2 dogs could not be more different. As litter mates, one might assume they would have a few qualities that were similar, but not these 2! One is the relaxed dog that loves hugs and follows rules, the other is always guarding and has a stubborn streak. The pictures below show the dogs during their morning naps. We were told that the dogs went chasing after an ocelot. I am sure the one dog wanted to be friends with it until his sister demanded that he follow her lead.
Caterpillars and Bees
I had just put Peet Moss around the fruit trees the day before my husband walked by one of the orange trees and noticed something odd. There were tons of pellets of waste on the ground, which he thought was very strange until he investigated the tree further and noticed the gathering of caterpillars. They were in a clump and there was a sticky slime holding them all together. This is certainly something that I never witnessed living in Oregon!
Then later as he was working on building a new counter for the dishwasher, the bees or paper-type wasps were building a new home inside the shop. With all of the wildlife around here, it never ceases to amaze me at how fast these groups of living things can just appear!
I know that I have shown a picture of the whip spider before, but here is another one. These non-dangerous spiders just fascinate me. The one below is a small one and as long as it stays outside, I am fine with it. They eat tons of bugs without the need for a web and are pretty fast when they want to be.
As Rick and I were gathering some firewood, I noticed these blue, spotted bugs on a dead tree trunk. I have never noticed them before, but I think they are pretty cool looking. I think my picture taking was getting in the way of the piggy-back ride the female bug was giving to the male bug....haha. The other green bug shown is some kind of leaf bug. If it was not on our porch and had been on a plant, I doubt we would have noticed him.
Fungus is not good to have around a farm, but this one looked like coral and was only found on some damp, dead wood that we had not picked up yet. I guess we will have to work a little faster on picking up some of the old dead wood around the property. It is not like there is 10 years worth of it lying around...oh yeah, there is!
Okay, time for the update on my small repairs for my car...sigh.
I bought a car knowing there were a few issues, one being the hood release. The old cable had broke and a mechanic had modified a wire release on the outside of the car until the correct part was ordered. In the meantime, the car was purchased by me. The seller had already paid for the new part and told me which mechanic had ordered it for them. I was to take the car in and pay $15 to have the mechanic install the new release cable. No problem....!
Problem 1: Mechanic kept pushing the date out further for him to repair it.
Problem 2: Mechanic did not show up to any of the finally scheduled appointments.
Problem 3: Original owner, who paid for the part has now left the country, so they could not put pressure on the mechanic for their money back.
After the mechanic once again did not have time to install the part, I offered to just pick it up and have my husband install it. The mechanic jumped at this idea. I should have known then that there was something wrong.
After we picked up the part, we realized the mechanic had given us a used release cable that was much smaller than what we needed and it went to a car that was not even a Honda! All in all, the cable is worthless to us, it cannot be modified to work properly and since I was not the one that paid for the part, there is no getting money back on a used part this mechanic found somewhere....ugh!
These are the times that I miss the big box stores and Amazon shopping the most. If we would have known, I could have ordered the part 4 weeks ago and saved ourselves the trouble of calling, going to the no-show scheduled appointments and all the frustration.
Now, I am on to Plan #2. I just ordered the part from Amazon and it was cheaper than what the car's original owners had paid that mechanic.