Saturday, January 17, 2009

I'm writing this entry at 6am on Friday in "notepad". The internet is out for 2 days now, more than likely from ice on the cable lines outside. It always seems to do this in bad weather, blahhh...but I'm not really getting worked up over it, it gives me time to sit and read.
Yesterday when I left for work at 6:30, the temperature was 1 with windchills of -9. Today I just watched the weather on the news, and it's -11 with a windchill of -26. Oh yea, I can't wait to be in a giant unheated concrete basement at this hotel job today.....Yesterday was like working in a freezer all day, I can't imagine what today will be like down there.
The chickens and rabbits are luckily in the garage this winter, so they aren't exposed to these sub-zero temps. The birds have 3 heat lamps on them, and the rabbits have more than enough straw in their cages. With the heat lamps, it's actually enough of a temperature difference that the garage windows get frost on them. I have to check their water 3 times a day to check for freezing, but it's not as bad as it is outside by any means.
If all goes well, we'll be increasing the flock next month. We got our McMurray catalog last weekend, and Lisa has been looking through it ever since. I heard from my friend tammie yesterday via e-mail (when the internet decided to work for an hour), and she sent in an order for 25 birds to get the better pricing, but only wants to keep 15. So...Lisa and I talked about it last night and will be taking a few of those off her hands. We still haven't decided on a number, we'll either take 3 or 5, increasing the flock to 12 or 14. Of course tammie was laughing throughout her email about how we caught "the chicken bug", lol. I guess they ARE addicting. I'll just have to make something to keep the chicks inside when they arrive, but that's an easy one. I never would have though a few years ago that we would have our own flock of chickens, but here we are.
Other than that, it's just been too cold to do much of anything. We've been sitting around talking the past few evenings about more changes in the house, and the latest thing will be something we've already started: reducing the amount of plastics that come in (and of course out) of the house. It's really shocking when you sit and list everything you buy that's packaged/wrapped/sold in plastic. Plastic bags, plastic bottles, plastic wrappers, plastic's a pretty big list. Try listing it yourself sometime, you'll definitly be shocked. So, this one we'll start to attack this weekend a bit by searching for alternative options like finding things sold in glass jars and in bulk, which can be distributed into plastic containers already here rather than throw them away/put them in the recycle. Again....something I never saw myself doing.

I'm finishing this post on Saturday morning since the cable and internet are back, (for now). Yesterday was not a good day at all. It was freezing cold, we were working in an unheated basement at that hotel job, hanging 200+ pound pieces of 6" ductile iron pipe off ladders. Yea.....I was whooped by noon. Our owner stopped by and talked to us, and the conversation wasn;t very good. We're all staring down the barrel of a layoff. Job bids just aren't coming in. Ones that do go out are getting cut by other companies, it's getting horribly cut-throat. For example: We were asked to bid a job from a local contractor since they like our work. The bid went out, and the contractor called back. "XXX Sprinkler company beat your price by $5000, can you match it?". My boss refigured the price, and at that much of a cut, he wouldn't make a dime. He said yes anyway, just to keep us working. The next day, the same guy calls back...."Hey, YYY Sprkinkers undercut you by $1000, if you can match it, the job is yours". Thats the way it is out there now. Undercutting bids JUST to get the job, even if it's at breaking even or at a loss. I've talked about this before in other entries, so I won't go into it now anymore. I'm just passing along the info that I may be layed off soon, and no idea for how long. We're worried about it, but already making cuts and preparing for it, in case it does happen.

Anyone got any fire sprinkler systems in your home you need worked on?..........No????


Patrice Farmer said...

Man, that is hard to hear. I know that if anyone can whether the storm its you too. You can always eat egg salad sandwiches on homemade bread or have rabbit with your fresh veggies so that part is a have food plus all of the things you've done to prepare anyway...I hope that it won't be for too long!!!

Barb and Steve said...

My brother is a plumber for new construction & is in the same boat here in IL. Only he hasn't prepared like you have. So glad you have supplies on hand. Still there's the mortgage, etc. What a mess the government has brought us into with the economy (and a lot of other things. We have our own business & both work there so we have been worried too. So far we continue to be steady while other shops have closed. I am grateful for every day we have work. I don't know what kind of job I could get right now if we did have to close the doors. Nothing is out there & with the brain injury I don't feel as if I could do a lot of jobs right now.
Hope for the best. We are thinking of you. Sending good vibes your way.

The Unusually Unusual Farmchick said...

I am sorry to hear about your work. I wish I had some kind of hook up for you. I will keep my ears perked for anything.
So which of the breeds are you 2 interested in? The silver laced wyandotte (yeah I switched out the sussex for 'em since these guys are more cold hardy and winter laying), the Delewares (same as the laced) and/or some Americaunas(for egg color surprise).
I would like to get a few meat rabbits and was wondering if you still had a good source for them. We are putting in a hoop house/ rabbit colony pen on the hill. Hubby is granting my every desire if it is possible now so I best run with it before he changes his mind...LOL.
Stay warm! I'll bake some extra loaves this week to share. The starter goes bad quick and we cannot eat it quick enough (6 loaves a week is just too much for us and freezer is too full of meats/veggies).

Chris W said...


I just talked to Lisa, and it looks like we'll take a Delaware and a couple Americauna's. Let me know a total and I'll drop it off asap.
I don't have the email for the guy I got the rabbit's from anymore, but I'll try to do some digging. I know he posts on the akron/canton graigslist when he has stock, so watch there. His ad will say "Wadsworth" area. He's close to the new shopping center out at 224 and 261. He had Californian's at the time, I'd still like to find a pair of New Zealand Whites still, but I'm in no rush. These 2 haven't mated yet, I think they need some soft music and video's to help, LOL.

Lisa spent all day yesterday baking too. Four loaves of wheat bread, pizza dough, and somewhere around a dozen calzones for simple dinners when neither of us wants to cook at night. She's been baking so much that we've used up close to 50 pounds of flour since new years! Today she's heading out with her daughter for a few things, and is going to check the prices at GFS on bulk flour to see if it's less expensive than the stores in amish country or at Sams. Now is the time to stock more just in case I get that layoff.

talk to ya soon

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