Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

postheadericon Celebrate Earth Day with Thoughtful Acts of Green

Learn what you can do to celebrate Earth Day 2017 on April 22nd by creating your own Thoughtful Acts of Green.

 

redbarnblueskies.com Earth Day 2017

 

Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970 by about 20 million Americans. Those numbers have reached into the billions now with several hundred countries participating in the annual celebration of our planet.

 

We try to do something positive for Earth Day around here every year. My first time posting about it was for my 2009 Earth Day Pledge. One of our projects this year involves turning all of our feed bags into shopping totes. It’s a true recycle/reuse/repurpose task that benefits us and our family and friends. (I’m hoping to do a tutorial with pictures soon.)

 

What are Thoughtful Acts of Green?

Thoughtful Acts of Green are those actions you can take to help improve our planet. Recycling, replacing plastic bags with reusable shopping totes, conserving water and resources, and many other conservation methods are all considered green actions.

 

From the smallest thing such as planting a few bee-friendly flowers to larger actions like cleaning up your local streams and rivers – everything you do can have a positive impact.

 

Some of the things you might consider to help your world be a better place:

  • Educate yourself and others about the environment
  • Plant a tree or twelve..
  • Plant wildflowers for yourself and future generations – check out these Earth Day seed bomb bags
  • Join local conservation efforts
  • Learn about bees and beekeeping
  • Recycle/Reuse/Repurpose – whatever you can
  • Teach children the importance of recycling
  • Volunteer to help turn your city green
  • Learn what you can do to help endangered species
  • Take THIS QUIZ to learn how to reduce your carbon footprint

 

Get outside this Earth Day and create your own Thoughtful Acts of Green to make this a better world for us all.

postheadericon America’s National Park Week Starts Tomorrow

Once again it’s time to join thousands of other Americans as we celebrate our nation’s heritage for National Park Week. Make a plan to visit one of our country’s most valuable assets – our national parks between April 15-23, 2017.

 

Hiker in Yosemite at Red Barn Blue Skies for National Park Week

 

Every year, the National Park Service partners with the non-profit National Park Foundation to highlight our national parks. This is designed to encourage people to take advantage of special programs and events. With over 400 parks to visit, there is a park close by for everyone to enjoy. Hiking and walking along the thousands of miles of maintained trails are a favorite activity for all ages and abilities.

 

Marmots in Yosemite at Red Barn Blue Skies for National Park Week

National Park Week Schedule

  • April 15-16 – Free Admission Weekend for the 117 parks that normally charge a fee – the other parks are fee-free all year.
  • April 15 – Junior Ranger Day – Kids big and small can have a blast learning about the park and its residents while earning a Junior Ranger badge.
  • April 22-23 – Free Admission Weekend for the 117 parks that normally charge a fee – the other parks are fee-free all year.
  • April 22 – Earth Day just happens to coincide with this weeklong celebration. Be a part of it and join in conservation programs and celebrate our natural world.
  • April 23 – Park Rx Day is celebrating its 2nd anniversary as the idea of parks being a gateway to good health is explored and encouraged.

 

Mirror Lake at Yosemite Red Barn Blue Skies for National Park Week

 

Our National Park System offers a lot of programs and fun activities for the entire family.  The annual National Park Week is just one of the many great offerings to be had. Be sure to check out their calendar or that of your favorite park to find more events coming up. Whether it is watching wildlife or just relaxing in the fresh air, you won’t be disappointed.

 

Bighorn Sheep at Yellowstone for Red Barn Blue Skies National Park Week

 

National Park Week isn’t the only time the parks offer free admission days. Many events such as National Public Lands Day are included.

postheadericon Protecting Your Farm with Good Bio-Security Practices

Bio-security is something every farmer or rancher should be aware of. It doesn’t matter if you have 6 pet chickens or 60 breeding birds, 5 head of cattle and 3 pigs. Protecting all of these animals is a priority. The key to keeping them safe is to use common sense and follow good bio-security practices.

 

redbarnblueskies.com Goat Kids Playing Red Barn Blue Skies

 

Ways in Which Disease is Spread

By knowing how diseases are transmitted, you can lessen the chances that your animals will contract any of them.

  • Just like people, healthy animals can become ill from sick ones. The usual methods are contaminated feed or water and actual physical contact. Dead or dying animals need to be removed immediately from common areas.
  • People can be carriers and bring disease home with them. They then spread the germs around unknowingly. It is easy to become contaminated on your person, clothing and shoes, feedbags and even your vehicle.

 

Photo of Julie's green muck boots at redbarnblueskies.com

 

Prevention is Key

Apply basic bio-security measures to every type of animal – whether domestic pet or livestock. It is less expensive and much easier to stop the spread of disease to begin with, than it is to fight it once it’s taken hold. After your animals have been exposed, it is already much harder to play catch up and you may still lose some of your livestock.

  • Good bio-security practices should become a part of your everyday routine. Any employees or visitors to your farm should be made aware of and asked to follow your rules. If at all possible, refrain from outsiders interacting with your livestock. For those deemed necessary visits, disposable clothing and footwear is a simple and useful precaution.
  • Overcrowding is something many people overlook. When you have too many animals in too small of an area, your risk for disease and illness skyrockets. Stressed animals are weakened and more susceptible to anything floating around.
  • Stay aware of local issues. Be sure you know what is happening in areas your animals may travel. This will include your dogs as well as the bull you’re loaning out for breeding. If you are told of any illness or issues, keep them home until it is resolved.

 

Red Barn Blue Skies Pig behind Fence

 

  • A simple precaution that is invaluable is to quarantine new animals. This is also good practice for any of your current animals who may be acting a little off or showing some signs of sickness. Any animals returning home from elsewhere such as a show or that prized bull who went visiting the neighbors should also do a little time in isolation. By keeping them from immediately contacting your healthy livestock, you can stop any disease from spreading if they have become carriers. A thirty-day quarantine is the widely accepted standard for this preventative measure for most animals.
  • Feed contamination can be easily prevented by keeping your feed covered, dry and free of mold. Rodents can’t ruin what they can’t reach.
  • Many other domestic animals and wildlife can be carriers of disease without showing visible symptoms. Keep contact to a minimum. This includes wild birds interacting with your poultry.

 

redbarnblueskies.com hand sanitizer bio-security

 

The Power of Clean

The number one weapon in the bio-security battle is cleanliness. Regular disinfection and having everything neat and orderly is a huge step towards fighting disease and illness on your farm.

  • All equipment needs to be cleaned regularly and disinfected when possible.
  • Regular cleaning is a necessity with ongoing manure and waste removal.
  • Always wash well before and after any contact with all animals. You must avoid the cross-contamination between healthy and sick livestock. Work with any ill or quarantined animals last in order to not carry germs or disease to the healthy ones.
  • Have your own special clothing and shoes to use when working with your animals at home. Don’t wear these clothes away from home and don’t wear your “town clothes” to the barn.

 

redbarnblueskies.com Pair of Oxen for bio-security article

 

Good Bio-Security Practices Should Become a Way of Life

The better educated you become regarding good bio-security habits, the better armed you will be in fighting the onset of disease. Stay on top of learning what illnesses are common or currently making the rounds for your particular livestock and the area where you live.

By taking precautions to keep your animals healthy, you are ultimately protecting the health and safety of you, your family and possibly your livelihood.

postheadericon Sunday Selection

Image courtesy of Keattikorn at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Nothing Gold Can Stay 
by Robert Frost 

Nature’s first green is gold, 
Her hardest hue to hold. 
Her early leaf’s a flower; 
But only so an hour. 
Then leaf subsides to leaf. 
So Eden sank to grief, 
So dawn goes down to day. 
Nothing gold can stay.

postheadericon 9-11 Never Forget

Our lives will never be the same after this fateful day. Please take a moment to remember the victims and their families, the heroes and the unity felt across our great nation in the aftermath.  We need to find that unity again before it is too late.

postheadericon Leisurely Day with No Labor

I hope everyone enjoyed this Labor Day weekend. We had a busy Saturday and Sunday, but today was all about the relaxation. 

Mr. MoonCat and I both belong to a fantasy football league. I’ve been a team owner since 2005 and this will be the hubby’s third year. The league is mostly made up of some of my dearest friends from kindergarten to now! We’ve always stayed close and connected and look forward to our annual draft party on Labor Day weekend and the Super Bowl party in the winter. It’s a fun and very competitive way to keep our lifelong relationships strong. 

The party is usually a weekend long event with a “pre-party” on Friday night, a golf tournament on Saturday and the actual draft/party on Sunday. It is always an extremely fun weekend, but the older I get, the more tired I am come Monday.

I love these guys, but it’s probably a good thing we DO only plan these things twice a year!
(That’s Mr MoonCat 3rd from the left)

So today, I rested! I spent a large part of my day reading and catching up on my pile of “To Be Read” books. I’m still doing reviews over at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf as well as doing some sensible saving at Centsable Couponing. I’m busy, but it’s stuff I love.
How was your weekend? 
~~~~~

postheadericon Still Kicking and Clucking

It’s Alive….

After a way too long hiatus, I’m back. In a way, a lot has changed and nothing has changed – if that makes sense. It will take me some time and many posts to bring you up to snuff. I appreciate you all still being here.

I am looking forward to getting back into the swing of things and sharing our little world again with you lovely people. I’ve missed you!

Here’s a clue on what I’m still doing….

postheadericon The Defense Rests

In the case of The Hubby vs.THE CHICKENS, the defense offers this photographic evidence and then the defense rests:

 

She states:  “My husband is very supportive of my chicken obsession.  He helps me out and encourages me in growing our endeavor.  But, he tells the guys that he is just indulging his crazy wife.  He says that he puts up with the feathered fiends to appease me and doesn’t have anything to do with any of the birds.  I don’t understand why he doesn’t want anyone to know that he buys them treats. He enjoys being out with them almost as much as I do and has his favorites in the flock.”
He replies:  “Uh, no comment.  I need to go feed my chickens.”
 
The defense rests..

postheadericon Spring is Sprung

You know you’ve been a neglectful blogger when the hubby of all people, asks why you haven’t posted anything in several weeks!  I didn’t even realize that he’d been paying any attention to “my little blog” as he calls it 🙂  So I have a couple photos for you today..


Our first flowers of the year


Needless to say, I’ve been spending a lot of time outside this week.  After weeks upon weeks of storms, we’re finally seeing some sunshine.  This has been our wettest winter since 1997 ~ we’ve been having extreme flooding and our ground is completely saturated.  Since we usually live in a state of near panic due to drought conditions and the threat of wells going dry, it really is nice to see an overabundance of water.  It would just be nice if it could rain a few days and then be sunny; then rain a day or two and be sunny…..  We had ten days straight with rain at some point so we’re a little soggy.


Super high grass and weeds

Poor Mr. MoonCat is asking if I won’t reconsider adding a couple of goats to our menagerie for weed control.  We may have to get the mower deck for the tractor for the front and back yard as the grass and weeds have been growing several inches a day.  The ground is super wet so we can’t get the lawn mower in there yet and the lovely sunshine is just making everything GROW!


Our gorgeous Weeping Willow

The photo below is actually a blossom from a weed.  I loved the shading and pattern on the bud.

Weed flower bud

And finally, we already have a rose (or possibly, still have a rose?)

Rose in bloom

More to come…

postheadericon Woman Eaten by Chickens or Stuff n Such

So, as usual I’ve been a flake.  I guess my only excuse for not posting is that I didn’t really feel like I had anything to say.  I figured I’d better give a brief update on what’s been going on around these parts or you’d think the chickens truly had eaten me.  Bad birds.

Mr. MoonCat has been working six days a week, keeping very busy.  I’ve been working on my new business which is in the infant stages.  I’m excited about getting it off the ground and I’ll have more on that at a later date.  The garden is starting to see some activity.

The hubby’s uncle passed away a few weeks ago after a very long battle with cancer.  We’ve spent a day up in Sacramento for the last two weekends helping his parents clean out the house to get it ready for sale. While it was a sad reason for us to all be together, we really enjoyed visiting with his parents.  Hubby’s best friend/brother from another mother Chris went with us this last weekend to help us move all of the furniture.  We were grateful for the help as there was a lot of heavy lifting involved.

Most of the critters are doing well.  The dogs and cats are happy that Spring is pretty much here.  The chickens are keeping us snowed under with eggs and attitude.  We have a great bartering deal going on with my “other parents” – my best friend Becky’s folks.  They keep kitchen scraps saved up and I weigh them down with eggs.  Everyone’s happy!  Especially the chooks – it is hysterical to watch them dig through the goodies.  They recognize the large plastic ice cream tubs that the scraps are saved in.  When I walk out carrying one of those it is a large squawking herd of mini-monsters meeting me at the gate.  (Remember the Velociraptor Chickens?) They get quite rude and scary!

All is not great though as we do have some cause for concern.  Wedgie’s leg isn’t healing like we had hoped.  Since I posted about his injury we’ve had him x-rayed and found that he had actually fractured his leg.  The vet seems to think it will heal just fine in time, but it’s sure making us worry.  He has to stay in the small box stall and not move around too much.  Poor little guy isn’t taking confinement well, he is horribly bored. It’s really hard for such a curious and mischievous little dude to deal with forced inactivity.  We try to keep him entertained, but it’s a challenge. He is such a good baby though.  He allows us to change his bandages/semi-cast with a minimum of fuss.

That’s about it around here at MoonCat Farms and the ranch.  I will try to post some photos in the next few days – truly.  Wedgie really is getting cuter all of the time.  I know he sends his love to all of you who love him from afar, especially his honorary auntie Lemon Verbena Lady 🙂 (Phantom kisses being blown your way)


Subscribe

* indicates required






Start Training Your All-Star Today. Receive 15% Off* Select PetSafe® Trainers. Use Code ALLSTAR. *Exclusions Apply. Valid 4/1/17 - 4/30/17. Shop Now!