Monday, December 16, 2013

Book Review - Holy Shit: Managing Manure to Save Mankind

I recently finished reading Holy Shit: Managing Manure to Save Mankind by Gene Logsdon. This book had been on my wish list for some time, so I was excited to finally get a chance to read it.

The primary focus of the book is storing and utilizing animal manures. There is, however, also a chapter on human waste, which I was particularly interested in reading. In that chapter a couple of other books were mentioned: The Humanure Handbook by Joseph C. Jenkins, which I have already read, and The Toilet Papers: Recycling Waste and Conserving Water by Sim Van Der Ryn, which I am currently reading. I would likely recommend one of those books for anyone primarily interested in the topic of human waste.

For anyone interested in dealing with livestock waste, however, I found Holy Shit to be a great read. The book includes a wealth of information on various related topics, including manure forks and spreaders and barns, stalls, etc. I suspect that most people either model their handling of manure after someone they know, or just figure out something as they go. I think it would be worthwhile for anyone dealing with livestock, however, to read this book for additional ideas and information on the topic.

I do have to say that, even though I'm not in the least bit offended by the title, it did prevent me from reading the book in public. This likely isn't going to be a concern for most, however, especially for anyone using an e-reader rather than a print copy of the book.


I accomplished next to nothing this past week. The only thing productive I did was on Thursday evening, after work, Andrea helped add insulation to Daisy's house. I then spread the remaining straw on the walkway between the front porch and driveway, since it stays muddy this time of year.

I spent this weekend in Lexington at a friend's house. A couple of other friends came in from out of town on Saturday to watch the new Hobbit movie. I rarely go to the theater, but am willing to occasionally do so with friends.

That's basically all I have to report. Not much, I know, but I typically don't accomplish a lot this time of year.

Monday, December 9, 2013


I really didn't accomplish much this past week. This was primarily due to the weather, but the lack of motivation that comes with this time of year certainly had an impact.

On Sunday I did spend some time cleaning up some trash over by the old house we're tearing down. We have a dumpster rented, which I can't remember if I've mentioned before or not, so I like to fill it each week if possible. There is an old outhouse on the edge of the property which was most recently used for storage, and there was a lot of trash in there requiring disposal. Andrea helped and we mostly finished cleaning that up.

On Monday I did get out for a bit at lunch time. I aired up the RTV tire, to see if it would hold, and took some paper shreds over to the garden to spread as mulch. Unfortunately by the next day the tire had gone flat again. That was disappointing, but the same thing happened the last time I had problems with it, so I'm not going to worry too much just yet.

On Wednesday I worked in the office in London, so accomplished nothing around here. That is typical for the days I work in London, but is pretty much guaranteed this time of year, since its dark before I even get home.

I didn't do much else during the week, except for advancing a bit in the online course I'm taking on electricity at AllAboutCircuits. A good friend recently expressed an interest in learning more about electricity, so while researching sites to recommend to her I ran across this one. I decided that it was well worth my time to work through the material myself, since I will eventually need an understanding of electricity when I start working with alternative energy systems. So far I have been pleased.

Saturday was cold, wet, and rainy, so I stayed indoors. Andrea had a quilt club meeting to attend, leaving me home alone for much of the day. I used the opportunity to watch some movies, and had an overall very enjoyable day.

On Sunday I did a task for Andrea in the kitchen. We'v had a problem with mold build up in the dishwasher, because we do not use the heated dry. We've since realized that we need to open the door completely, and pull out the racks, to let the dishes air dry. First, though, we needed to thoroughly clean the inside of the dish washer. After spending a couple of hours on it, I have it looking good. Once I finished we ran vinegar through it before running a load of dishes. We just need to work out a routine that ensures the dishes have the opportunity to air dry overnight, or while we are gone, since the kitchen is too small to be able to leave the racks out and still walk through the room.

Sunday, December 1, 2013


I'm back, after a month long absence from the blog. I owe everyone a big apology, especially regular readers who might have been wondering if I had abandoned you. The truth is, I just haven't been very motivated to write during the past several weeks. I suspect this has had a lot to do with the cooler temperatures and shorter days. I'm back now, though, and intend to begin writing regular posts again.

I'm not even going to attempt to summarize everything I've done over the past month. Instead, I'll just back up to Thursday, which was Thanksgiving, and pick up from there. We usually spend a few days visiting family around Thanksgiving, but this year just drove in for the day. One of the kittens, Rosa, is currently recovering from, what the vets thinks is, pneumonia. She has been doing much better, but requires doses of an antibiotic twice a day, so Andrea didn't want to leave her here alone without her medicine. Driving there and back in the same day, having dinner at my grandmother's, then visiting Andrea's mom and the kids made for a long day, but it was nice to have the rest of the weekend at home.

I took the day off from work on Friday, since we had initially planned to spend more than the one day out of town for Thanksgiving. Andrea and I spent most of the day straightening up and organizing the house.

On Saturday we did much of the same, although, admittedly, also spent quite a bit of time relaxing and watching tv. One of the things I worked on was shredding paper and paperboard, to be used as mulch. We've stopped taking these materials to the recycling center, choosing to use them around here instead. It had been a while since we had last shredded, and there was a big backlog. I used the shreds to mulch the pathways between the rows of garlic.

On Saturday I also discovered a flat tired on the RTV. This is the same tire that went flat several months ago, so I suspect it is related. We never fixed the problem before, it just stopped going flat after a while. I hope the same happens this time.