Monday, August 31, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
I feel very blessed about the great feedback I get from this blog. I started it as a way to build my business, and help get my children's book published, but it has turned into much more than that. It has been a wonderful way to stay in touch with the people I love, but rarely get to visit with. My blog has also been a form of therapy and reward, it is visible proof of what I am accomplishing and how I am able to touch my readers.
Friday, August 28, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Good morning! I need to keep it short this morning as I am preparing my websites (a day late) for my big 50% off sale. The Royal Ranch feels so strongly about getting the word out on our great, green new product, Naked~Nure, we have decided to have an end of season blow out sale! We are in hopes that people will use our product to"put their garden's to rest with the very best"! One thing to keep in mind, is that Naked~Nure can also be used indoors, it is actually a year round product!!!
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Green from the "bottom" up. What exactly does that mean? Well, it is a play on words; our business is manure, so the "bottom" is quite involved in our work. We also consider all of our products very eco-friendly, so we have worked to be green from the "bottom" up! Today I would like to give you all a quick lesson on our llama manure and how this product came to be, I also plan on giving you some interesting ideas.
- Bat Guano 6.0 9.0 3.0
- Llama 1.8 .5 1.6
- Chicken(dry) 1.6 1.8 2.0
- Sheep .7 .3 .4
- Horse .6 .3 .5
- Cow .6 .4 .5
- Rabbit 2.4 1.4 .6
Friday, August 21, 2009
My Dad recently sent me an e-mail about our National Anthem that was so moving I have thought of it multiple times since then. I remember the story of the anthem from when I was in school, but this version of the story really brought it home. This version tells the story of Francis Scott Key and his experiences that fateful morning in more detail. I listened to it with tears rolling down my face and then had each member of my family (yes, including the teenagers!) listen to it, and they too were moved.
O say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hail'd at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro' the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watch'd, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof thro' the night that our flag was still there.
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
On the shore dimly seen thro' the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected, now shines on the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner: O, long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash'd out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
O thus be it ever when free-men shall stand
Between their lov'd home and the war's desolation;
Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land
Praise the Pow'r that hath made and preserv'd us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust!”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
Have a Miracle of a Day!
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Monday, August 17, 2009
The chickens are doing great! I was finally able to locate some pullets (a young hen that is not laying yet) and bought 6 Rhode Island Reds that were 9 weeks old; very small and very cute. A couple of days later my neighbor found me 3 hens that will start laying soon. These are the bigger and pretty ones you see in the pics. The hens with the feathers on their feet are called Cochins, they are great layers and are also used as exhibition animals. The other buff colored hen is an Orpington and should make beautiful chicks with my rooster who is a Silkie/Orpington cross.
I hadn't planned on breeding chickens, but with all of the trouble I had finding them, and the price I had to pay, about $8/chicken, I am seriously considering it. Incubators are relatively inexpensive and I do have the space. There are not a lot of reputable chicken farmers out there, and I just might become one of them. Demand is very high for chickens right now as many city and town ordinances are changing to allow backyard chickens. I think it is a wonderful way of becoming that much closer to being self sufficient-you ought to try it!
Sunday, August 16, 2009
- raked leaves
- hay or straw
- tea bags
- coffee grounds
- paper and cardboard
- small wood trimmings or pieces
Green materials are:
- grass clippings
- fruit and vegetable peelings
- fresh manure
- green plant cuttings
- weeds and deadheads from your containers
To start your pile, clear the vegetation from the ground, if possible turn the soil down about six inches. Start with a layer of larger sticks to make sure the air can circulate underneath your compost, and then add a layer of brown ingredients. A green layer next, it is ideal to make your layers about 4 inches if possible. Continue adding layers until there is just enough room in your bin or pile or whatever, to stir the contents every couple of weeks. I have the original bin that I made, but I also have piles that I will work in different stages, the goal being that I will have compost all the time.
I do not get overly technical with mine, but there are all sorts of things that you can do to have great compost quicker. There are compost activators that can be used and all sorts of equipment that can help tell you when to turn your compost. For me, the best tip for fast compost is to cut all of your ingredients into small pieces, the smaller the piece the faster the breakdown. If you have large clippings that you would like to use, put them in a bucket and run the weed whacker through it a couple of times (don't forget your eye protection with this one!). Coffee grounds, good potting soil and even dog food also work as pretty good activators, try sprinkling them in between layers.
Things to never add to your compost pile:
- meat or bones
- treated wood (will leak chemicals into your compost)
- very hardy weeds that will take too long to die off
- fatty foods
- whole eggs
- dairy products
The tricky part for me has been the moisture level; if the pile is too wet it gets stinky and slimy (I hear) and it breaks down too slowly if it is dry (this is my problem). When adding layers, sprinkle them with water. It has also helped me to make sure the ingredients that go in are moist. Keep your compost covered (I use a heavy duty tarp that is stapled onto the pallets at the back) to help control moisture level and keep the heat in. I do want to mention that compost can get very hot and has even caused a few fires. When your pile is hot (a thermometer will read about 140*) it is time to turn it. Continue turning the pile every two weeks, breaking up any clumps for better air circulation and adding moisture if necessary.
Composting is very scientific, and I won't go into all of that, but the bottom line is that the finished product is a balance of carbon (brown materials) and nitrogen (green materials). You will know if you have a good balance by the length of time it takes for things to break down. Too much brown/carbon will break down too slowly, and too much green/nitrogen will get slimy. I keep a lot of things separate until I have enough to add a proper "layer to my cake". Keep a composting bin in the kitchen, it can be a fancy store bought one, or like me just use an old butter container or ice cream bucket. This way you can watch your pile and see which color (brown or green) you need more of, and can add it when you build up enough. I keep my scraps for about a week, then do my weekly clean of the corrals. I add the kitchen scraps and manure as my green layer and find enough brown material (for me this is old hay, pine needles, etc.) so that it is about equal.
Compost can be used on your houseplants, mixed in to make a beautiful new planting area, as a soil amendment and conditioner, and can be placed around the bottom of trees for added nutrients and growth. It is a great way to use up stuff that may end up in the trash, and is a lot of fun to watch progress. Good compost can take up to a year to complete, depending on the size of the materials you put in and how wet the pile is, so patience is a virtue! Good luck and great gardening!
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Last night we celebrated our 18th anniversary, and boy did we do it in style! A winery, Aspen Peak Cellars, has opened up in Conifer, which is only a 20 minute drive for us, very close in mountain terms. It was a close call on time, we took the kids to Water World with the cousins yesterday. We still had chores and the campground rounds to do when we got home, but we had been looking forward to it for a few weeks. It wasn't too difficult to get ready in a short amount of time; we were pretty excited!
Friday, August 14, 2009
Good Morning! I want to share one idea that I think is a great "green" idea, it may be a no brainer, but....This morning as I was making Tom's coffee (I get my caffeine from Coke, yes I know it's bad) and was appreciative of our reusable coffee filter. It is a metal and plastic basket that fits inside a coffee maker to replace paper filters. We have had ours for at least three years and have even been able to use it in a different coffee pot (I have a tendency to break the glass carafe) and it only cost me $4.99 (I checked and the price is still the same).
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Well, I'm baaack!!! I am up and running again and am going to restart with a bang. If a person can't cover a somewhat controversial subject on a blog, then I think we're in even more trouble than I worried.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Which has me wondering why I can't function without the laptop I purchased for my business four months ago. I have of course all of my e-mail, a lot of my pics, but worse yet, I have the calendar for the B&B on it! I am blessed in the fact that this is just an adapter problem and that the company is standing behind their product. It will take a minimum of 3 days to get the part though. I was able to retrieve what I needed before the battery went totally out, but it really got me thinking.
Although technology is a wonderful thing, I think we should all keep a few things in mind and be prepared "just in case".
1. Always know how to work your web mail. Many of us have redirected our e-mail through our websites, which means that we don't often use the passwords of our original e-mail company.
2. Keep photos stored in at least two locations. Copy them onto a CD or use a group like Snapfish.
3. In light of this, I am sill going to use a good old fashioned planner with at least the guests names and dates, and phone numbers for The Royal Roost. If worse comes to worse, I could always still get a hold of them for the rest of the info.
4. If you are in business for yourself, it is imperative to have access to an alternative computer to retrieve e-mails and incoming orders!
As I mentioned this is just a power cord issue, but I also found out that I have a small screen crack that will slowly grow larger until the screen, or most of it, is black. These points bring up the fact that I bought this laptop for business and of course gave into the kids' pleas to use it. The kids' games make my computer get very hot and also cause the cord to get hot, heat is what the "experts" say fried my cord. They told me that the adaptors should never be placed on carpet, preferably a hardwood surface. I also think I will go back to sticking to my guns and have a business only computer.
Protecting our computers from this sort of wear and tear is the simplest way to help your computer perform better and live longer. For instance, my screen scratch was probably caused by a slight blow to the top of my laptop and if the cord had been better cared for I wouldn't be in this predicament! So, I thought it was really ironic when I read my friends blog entry for yesterday, and it was about a company that makes great protective sleeves for our computers out of recycled plastic bottles! Now this is right up my alley! She has done a review of one of the sleeves and is sponsoring a giveaway for one of the cool bags at her blog, Over Coffee: Neogreene Laptop Sleeve from GreenSmart: Review and Giveaway.
It is really amazing to me that they can take the plastic bottles and turn them into fabric! See, technology can be amazing!
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Friday, August 7, 2009
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Monday, August 3, 2009
As I sit here typing this I am hearing "Cockle-doodle-doo!" for the first time in almost 20 years and I couldn't be happier! Did you know in Germany their roosters say Ceekle-dee-dee (or something like that)? My German exchange sister taught us that many years ago, and I laugh whenever I think of it. I have always wondered how roosters know the proper language, but I guess they do somehow-Ha!