Thursday, February 14, 2008

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Monday, October 8, 2007

Still Covered Up in Work

And that is a good thing!

My freelance services has finally started to materialize into something and for that I am more than grateful. But, as with any success, it has trade-offs and the one's here are that I simply don't have time for much of my blogging at the present. But that is fine as well. Things will work themselves into a new routine and all will be as it should again.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Plan This Year for Next Year...

Write Harbor | Vegetable Gardening Tips

Vegetable Gardening Tips

By: Nicky Pilkington

With the costs of living rising all the time, it may be possible to save money and increase your family's health at the same time by growing vegetables in your backyard.

It's a good idea to choose your favourite vegetables to grow and plan beds for early, middle of the season and late varieties.

Most vegetables require at least 6 hours of sunlight per day, some need 8. Some quick growers like lettuce and radish can be grown between the rows of plants that take longer to mature, like beet or corn, thus making full use of the area available.

Throughout dry periods, vegetable gardens need extra watering. Most vegetables benefit from an inch or more of water each week, especially when they are fruiting.

During the growing season watch for insect pests. If you discover a bug problem early it will be much easier, but be careful to not use pesticides once the vegetable are close to being picked unless it becomes an absolute necessity. Organic gardening is one healthy and environment-friendly option. Once you have reaped your crop, put the vegetable waste into your compost pile so that it can be recycled for next spring.

It is important to protect your vegetable garden from wild animals looking for a tasty treat. Make sure your garden is surrounded by a fence that will keep out dogs, rabbits, and other animals. The harm done by wandering animals during one season can equal the cost of a fence. A fence also can serve as a frame for peas, beans, tomatoes, and other crops that need support.

Protection is needed in order for your vegetable garden to yield a bountiful harvest. Hard work will pay dividends if necessary precautions have been made.

Author Resource:  Find more about gardening and some useful gardening tips at About Gardening

Article From Write Harbor

Friday, September 14, 2007

Still at it.

Staying as busy as I can stay it seems. Going to haul calves off to market next week. Hadn't planned on selling them this early but there is so little pasture, I am afraid to keep them would walk them backwards in their growth. Culling open cows, too. Will probably end up with three cows and one calf left after it is all done and told. Oh well, better than none I reckon.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Cry Havoc! And Let Go the Dogs of War...

9/11/2005 (Revisited)

I remember that morning like it was yesterday. I will always remember the intimate details of it; the sights, the sounds, the smells. It was the day that the world changed forever.

I was married at the time and had stepped down to our pond to try and catch a mess of fish for supper. I had several nice ones in a bucket when I heard her call to me that breakfast was almost ready. I pulled out for the house with my pole and bucket in hand, stopping to sit in a chair on the porch to remove my wet boots. The windows were open and the radio was on and I half-listened, half-ignored the announcer talking about a plane crash in New York. I remember thinking that it was only a matter of time before something like this was going to happen. Sooner or later some pilot was going to screw up and hit one of the massive buildings jutting up out of the ground across America...the numbers were just with it.

I went inside and turned on the television and they had a live feed of the events going on. It was just about then that the second plane hit. And my heart broke. God help us all. My eyes clouded with rage, pain, fear, sorrow and a thousand other things all at once as a tear ran down my cheek. In that instant, through all my years of training in the military, I instinctively knew that we were at war. My wife asked me what was wrong and I couldn't find my voice, or my stomach, to tell her what I already knew. I just stared at the screen in silence and disbelief.

As I tried unsuccessfully to choke down the meal she had prepared, I watched in horror as first one and then the other tower crashed to the ground. And I prayed out loud where I sat. I prayed for those in and around the towers, but more than that I prayed for my friends that I knew would soon be placed in harms way once again. Their faces and names raced through my mind; I bet he re-enlisted, he's not retired yet, either...

I got up from the table, walked out the door and pulled my wet boots back on. I picked up the bucket of fish by the steps and walked past the flag flying at the front gate towards the pond. I remember thinking as I turned those fish loose that there had been enough killing for one day. I turned the bucket upside-down, took a seat on it and thought about all that had just happened and was going to happen. It was probably one of the saddest, most helpless feeling times in my life.

I often find myself on the US Army website, reading the names of those who have died in southwest Asia. And yes, I recognize some of them by name and all of them by trade. They were my brothers and sisters and always will be. And I love them all. I would urge each and every one of you to go there for a visit and pay your respects. They are the last barrier between you and the next attack. They gave 'that last full measure of devotion' for you and me.

I think I might take my pole and a bucket down to the pond this morning and try to catch a mess for my friends. I know that they would like that, taking comfort in the fact that they are not forgotten. God love 'em.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Excuse me! Can't talk with my mouth full!

Yup, ol' Plowboy has a full plate here for sure. Humpteem blogs and websites to stay on top of, a farm to work, freelance pieces to write and a part-time job down the road (I think, lol)

Bear with me and I'll be back with you all soon as I can. Until then, I am gonna post pieces about things I found surfing around the Net that caught my eye. Sure is a lot of stuff to see out there, hope you keep this place as one of your stops.

Also, feel free to visit my other sites. You can find them in the links section over there on the side.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Thought this was an interesting read...

Write Harbor | Composting Made Easy Means All Benefit And Minimum Work

Composting Made Easy Means All Benefit And Minimum Work

By: Ann Knapp

For avid gardeners, having an ample supply of rich compost is a dream. The use of compost will result in nicer plants, but producing the material can be time consuming and hard work. The more you can reduce that effort, investing the saved time in other gardening tasks, the better.

One way to start the process is by building composting bins that at least semi-automate the productopn of compost. A bin should be five feet wide, five feet deep, and four feet high. Start by sinking 4 by 4 posts in the ground for the corners, and then nail 2 by 4s and 1 by 4s, alternating on the sides, leaving 2" gaps between the boards for air circulation. The 2 by 4s are rigid enough to keep the sides from bowing out, and in between each 2 by 4 you can use 1 by 4s to save a little money. The bins are three-sided, with the front open so they can be filled and emptied easily.

Fill one of the bins with grass clippings, dried leaves, and shrub clippings, trying not to put more than 6" of each material on a layer and alternating layers of green and brown material. Keep a few bags of dry leaves around to help with the alternating.

When you root cuttings use coarse sand in the flats and put the old sand on the compost pile. It's a good idea to take plants that do not survive and dump the entire container in the compost bin, which adds more brown material to the mix.

After the bin is full, one option is to turn the material in the bin every few weeks. Another option, however, is to pack as much material in the bin as possible, then start filling the second bin, piling the material as high as possible, even to the point where it spills out in front of the bin and covering the fresh material with mulch or potting soil.

Setting a small sprinkler on top of the pile and turning it on at a very low level will let a small spray of water run on the material. By keeping the material damp, the moisture will cause the pile to heat up, which is what makes the composting action take place.

Once the first bin is full, the second bin is used. As the material in the first bin starts to break down, it settles, which means you can keep shoveling the material piled in front of the bin, up on top of the pile. Continue to do this until all the material is either in the bin or piled on top of the heap. Then leave it alone, except for the occasional watering, which speeds up the process.

Not all of the material will rot completely, a result of not turning the pile. But the material in the center will break down more than the material on the edges, most of it breaking down quite well. Keeping a pile of potting soil on hand at all times or buying two or three yards of shredded mulch to get started, will mean always having a supply of good compost.

Left in a pile, shredded bark will eventually break down and become great compost, and some potting soil is about 80% rotted bark. Some buy fine textured and dark hardwood bark mulch, and put it in a pile to rot, keeping the pile low and flat so it does not shed the rain water away. The idea is to keep the mulch to stay as wet as possible to allow the mulch to break down quickly.

Keep a pile of rotted bark mulch near the compost bins and empty the bin containing the oldest material by piling it on top of the rotted bark mulch. The pile of rotted mulch should be wide and flat on top so the compost material is only 5 to 10 inches thick when it is spread.

The mulch pile might be 12" wide, but only be 24 to 30 inches high. Once the compost is on top of the pile, go around the edge of the pile with a shovel, and take some of the material from the edges of the pile, tossing it up on top of the pile, covering the compost with at least 6" of rotted bark. In this way the compost material will fully decompose.

Once the system is started, don't use all of the material in the pile. Keep at least 2 to 3 cubic yards on hand so there will be something to mix with the compost. If necessary, buy more material and add to e pile in the late summer or fall.

Some supply companies sell a compost material that is already broken down, but try to keep at least 3 yards of old material on hand, adding another 3 yards of fresh material. In the spring you can empty one of the compost bins and add the compost to the top of the pile.

The pile of usable compost will be layers of material, some of which can be chipped off and spread on the ground. You can then mix it together with a tiller and shovel it onto a potting bench.

Having a pile of rotted compost near the compost bins will allow you to throw some rotted compost in the bin, maintaining the layered effect necessary for composting to work well.

Author Resource:->  HydroWarehouse is a Discount Hydroponics Supply Store . We offer world class customer service with warehouse prices. Our Secure online catalog contains over 1000 hydroponics , hydroponics system , hydroponics equipment and gardening products.

Article From Write Harbor

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Getting a Drink in a Dry Country

As many of you, Kentucky is largely a dry state. In other words, out of the 120 counties here about 14 of them or so allow the sell of alcohol. Usually not a hard thing to overcome if you want a "little pull" of something. Go over to a wet country and get all you want (within the legal limits) to bring it home with you.

Well, I have a professor friend, of Aussie extraction, that lives and teaches in the small country of Brunei in Borneo. That's in SE Asia for all the geography wizards out there. I never thought about having to go to another country just to take a snort, but that is exactly where she finds herself in this story of hers. Read it and I am sure you will be as entertained as I was. Fascinating woman with a lifetime of fascinating tales to tell. I am sure if you stick with her, she will tell you about her trip across China and into Mongolia this past summer. Her blog is well worth the watch!

Fact and Fiction: Getting a Drink in a Dry Country

If this really is a 3-day weekend....

Where do I have to go to pick up my extra hours?

I sure could use them this week. Got tobacco cutting in full swing, 5 blogs to keep up with as well as a handfull of websites. Not to mention the new writer's forum site that I just built and am trying to get off the ground.

Then there are the untold interruptions that just throw my 'train of thought' off the deep end.

Add to that the new client I just signed with in my freelancing business and yup, you got it! My sleep is now officially in negative numbers. lol

So....where are those extra 24 hours this weekend? I sure could use 'em!


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

BLOGS - They're Here to Stay

"Whether you love 'em, hate 'em or simply ignore 'em, it seems that the reality is that blogs are here to stay." - KyPlowboy, August 2007

No longer are they restricted to personal online journals published for friends and family. Blogs have become big business and are used a good bit in big business to enhance the companies that run them. There are quite a few blogs out there netting in the millions of dollars every year. This phenomenon just seems to keep snow-balling and picking up speed.

This Forum site, for example, is affiliated with 5 blog sites; all inter-linked and mutually supportive of one another. Of course, the goals of this site and those blogs is not to make money except through residual advertising to offset the time and expense of running them.The potential is there and limitless, however, to make a killing through this medium of communication. Where else can you publically market, sell, ship and deliver your wares to a world-wide market for virtually no overhead? For about $300/year you can run a large variety of web sites, blogs and e-commerce sites that reach a global market. If you can reach and sell to 1/10,000th of that market, you will be living pretty high up on the hog. All from the privacy of your home or off your mobile laptop.

There are probably as many marketing strategies to build a successful blog as there are blogs. The Internet is rife with sites that do nothing but teach you how to be a better, more successful blogger. I have reviewed several hundred of these sites and I have found what I believe to be the common core secret to them all. It's so simple and obvious that a lot of people just overlook it.

People don't visit blogs to look at all the pretty colors and flashing lights or hear the bells ring and whistles blow. They come because they are in search of content; the meat and potatoes.

Imagine, if you will, a fine five-star restaurant you have stumbled upon. They have had a cancellation and usher you in to be seated right away. Pretty good so far, eh? A whole staff of servants waits on you and flutters about while you wait on your menu. It finally arrives in the hands of a smiling server and you open it and are immediately perplexed!

It only offers one thing: PB&J Sandwich - $40.00 ($50 w/chips and a drink).

My guess is you would lose whatever appetite you had and let your feet do the talking as you headed for the door!Blogs, or any other website for that matter, need to offer up the 'meat and potatoes' if they want return customers. And the way you do that is by offering a variety fine, delectable treats that they can't wait to be served - each and every trip. To sell something to anyone, you first have to get them inside your shop. Window dressing may catch their eye and get them to peep inside, but if they view empty shelves and cobwebs, chances are they will never be back again. You failed to offer the incentive to return.

If there is one truth in the business world, it is this:

"It is often very hard to gain customers, but it's almost impossible to get them back once you've lost them."

Content. That is the secret thread that holds all successful online sites together. It is no easy task writing good, effective web content, but it can be done with a little study and good practices.

I hope that this area of the forum gets much attention and use, as it is the wave of the future in all manner of commerce, whether you are selling a product, service or even yourself (as a writer).