Wednesday, August 13, 2014

More walls up on the chicken shack

Today a crappy thing happened.  I went out on the deck to shake out my kitchen rugs and a bee flew up from under the deck and stung me on the neck.

I shrieked like a girl, dropped my rugs and ran back into the house.  I haven't been stung since I was four when I stepped on a bumble bee.  I immediately called my DH and dug out my benedryl.  He assured me I'd be fine.  A few years back I was bit by a horsefly and I broke out in hives and itched like mad.

My boys are allergic to bee venom and I know allergies can suddenly develop as you get older.  So yeah, I was a bit freaked.

Fortunately, knock on wood, things are fine with me.  I wasn't aware that benedryl makes you drowsy.  After a bit I was really struggling to stay awake. Lesson learned, next time look for non-drowsy stuff.

In other news, more progress was done on the chicken shack.  The back wall sheeting was put up.  Look at the grin on my man's face.




A shot from the back.


It was then decided to cut out the first two windows.


He used *my* chainsaw.  What? Doesn't every girl have their own chainsaw? 


It's cut, time to knock it out. 


First window hole is cut. 


My smartphone decided to freeze so I didn't get any images or video of the second window hole being cut out. 

Then I swept up the saw dust, just in case it rains.  Even though the forecasters said "no rain" for the week, it rained last night.


 Afterwards I baked some bread for dessert and went out to take care of the chickens.  Look who came over looking for something. Or perhaps she just wanted to say "Hi." In any case, she's a little sweetheart.



Daily 5 things of the day that made me happy

1. I'm not allergic to bees

2. Being able to have the windows open all day.  

3. Homemade bread. 

4. Dinner for tomorrow is already decided. 

5. A crisper drawer full of cucumbers.





Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Progress on the chicken shack

Last night it rained so no progress was made on the chicken shack.  Instead we watched Jumanji in tribute to Robin Williams. *sigh*

Today it was nice out so my guy put some sheeting up while I did some chicken chores.

Here's the first sheet up.  I didn't take any other photos because ... well, chicken chores. 


I don't mind saying that I'm *not* looking forward to painting this.  I will be thrilled to have all the babies in one space and it will be so much easier to care for them all.

I have a funny story to share about a Roo named Priscilla.   You read that right, we have a roo that we call Priscilla.  Why?  We have a banty hen named Elvis.  She's our broody girl who has a bit of a pompadour.


 The last batch of eggs she sat on including one of her own eggs.  Her own baby turned out to be a roo that looks just like her, except all black and gray.  So the running joke is that since Elvis is a girl, her son must be given a girls name and he is a black haired beauty, so we call him Priscilla.



I'd say the last two weeks or so he has found his voice and now he crows every morning.  He's a feisty little cure.

This past weekend Priscilla decided it was time to be a man.  (Wow that sentence looks funny).  What did he do? He decided he needed to make hearts with Grandma P. 



Grandma P did not like this little pipsqueak trying to make hearts with her and protested.  Meanwhile, Buck heard the commotion and came running over and knocked little Priscilla off Grandma P.

I heard Priscilla tried it again today after we got home.  Bucked knocked him off again, then Brewster came running over.

Life is never dull when you have chickens.

Daily 5 things of the day that made me happy

1. Nice weather today.

2. Progress on the chicken shack.

3. My son emptied the dishwasher without being reminded.

4. Singing along to the radio with my son.

5. It was another seven egg day. 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

A very full weekend

Saturday morning we got up early to get a few things done before the "fun" stuff.

My guy worked on the chicken shack and my son and I tended to the chickens and picked our first batch of green beans from the garden.

Right after lunch we hooked the boat up to the truck and took it to another lake that is close to us.

Turns out this lake is much bigger.  It takes at least 20 minutes to cruise around the whole thing. 

My son's daycamp is on this lake so him and I were looking for it because it's usually low traffic in the water.  Turns out it's not where I thought it was and way on the other side of the lake.

We took my son tubing for the first time.  He enjoyed it very much.



That is a huge grin on his face.  Crummy zoom on my smartphone.

I also snagged a short video of him. After a bit he looked all business while he was riding around.


After a bit my guy took a ride on the tube and I drove around.  I managed to bounce him off the tube.  :-( Chalk it up to my not being able to read the water very well yet.

Then after a while he tried to coax me into jumping into the water. I'm pretty sure the whole thing didn't go the way he thought it would.  I also learned that I have absolutely no upper body strength and I couldn't pull myself up on the ladder.  I pretty much just fell into the boat very ungracefully.  It was not one of my finer moments.

All in all we were out for at least three hours.  After a bit we just cruised around and looked at all the houses.  There are a lot of really nice looking homes on that lake.  One house had a long waterslide which started up by the house and went down a small hill and ended at the waters edge.  I'm guessing it cost a pretty penny.

After getting the boat back home we drove to town for necessary supplies, came home, had dinner and watched Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.  My son fell asleep near the end. 

This morning we got up and my guy started on the chicken shack and after about an hour he had the first wall up.  This included time for setting up his tools and such.


Less than an hour later he had the second wall up.



Working on the third ... 



Then the third was up ... 



Here I started snagging shots of him working. ... 

Taking a measurement.

 


Framing out the window. 




Framing out the door.

 


Then, the fourth wall was up.




After putting up the walls it was debated whether to continue and put the sheeting up for the walls or go berry picking.

Berry picking won out. We went out and picked at about a gallon of blackberries. 

Our usual spot had plenty of blackberries and TONS of blueberries still.  Every so often each one of us would pick a handful of blueberries and eat them.

We weren't the only people out picking berries.  Though I think everyone was going for the blackberries and ignoring the blueberries, which is sad.  My DH and I were discussing this and decided that the next time we go out berry picking one would pick on berry and the other would be the other berry.  My son can choose which berry he wants to pick and we will go from there.

My son showing me his berry stained hands.


My guy hard at work picking berries.  You see the "dark spots" in the bushes?  that is ALL blackberries.



While the chicken shack was being worked on I was outside at the picnic table cutting up the green beans my son and I picked yesterday.  It was nice doing that outside because I could just toss the cut ends out in the grass and  the turkeys would come gobble them up.


I put the cut beans into my cast iron pot.  It is the only thing I have big enough to hold all the beans.  After blanching I wound up with seven quart sized bags that held 14 ounces each. Not too shabby.

Daily 5 things of the day that made me happy

1. How quickly the chicken shack is coming along.

2. The fun family time this weekend.

3. Blackberries!  I have enough for a batch of jam.

4. Hot fudge sundaes.

5. The fabulous recipe my guy found for cooking guinea fowl.



Friday, August 8, 2014

Mellow Friday

Fairly quiet day at work.  I was able to leave early and visit with my MIL for a bit before picking my son up from daycamp.

When I got into the Y I found out that the camp bus broke down and everyone was still out at the camp. Off I went to pick up my son. At the camp I was was thanked for being calm about the situation. I guess not all parents were as understanding as I was.

Tonite some more work was done on the chicken shack.  Once again the turkeys came over to check out the work. 


 "Yup, you are doing good work here."


 The framing for the floor is all done.



 Daily 5 things of the day that made me happy

1. How fresh the air smelled tonite.

2. Blackberries are ready for picking.

3. Going for an ATV ride with my sweetie.

4. Visiting with my MIL today. 

5. How all the birds come running when they have treats.




Thursday, August 7, 2014

Progress on the chicken shack continues ...

Today after work we had to run over to a friend's house and pick up the door for the new coop.  We also were able to pick up a few used windows for a good price.  It pays to know people.

When we got back to the homestead and ate supper my DH went out and worked a bit on the new coop.

Once again the turkeys came over to inspect our work.


"What are you up to? Do you have a permit for that? "


They once again deemed the work acceptable to their standards and let my DH continue.

 While my DH was busy I set the babies up in the dog crate we have.  The poor things have outgrown their previous home.  Once they were set up in the their new digs they were VERY happy. They were running around and scratching in the pine shavings.  This also let me give them a good once over. It's amazing how much they have grown and changed in their short lives.


They are a feisty bunch.

 After my guy worked on the "chicken shack" he lowered one of the roosts in the turkey's coop.  The bronze turkey walked right in and hopped up on the roost like it's been like that always.  The white turkey fretted a bit because it was used to sleeping on the floor.

Here they are with one of their Americauna buddies.


Here I am in front of the chicken shack. The coop's finished size will be 12 foot by 16 foot and seven and a half foot ceiling height.



 Daily 5 things of the day that made me happy

1. Finally made it to the new doughnut place in town. 

2. Getting windows for the coop at a great price.

3. Homemade chicken soup for supper.

4. Broccoli from the garden.

5. How happy the baby chicks are in their new "home."




Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Step one for the new chicken coop

Tonite after work we started the new chicken coop. Lumber was laid out, spots were marked and holes were dug.  I dug one hole to my DH's five. 


First side done. Everything all in a row. 


Look at how perfectly aligned those posts are. 


We mixed up 720 pounds of concrete for the posts.  I'm not as good mixing up concrete as I'd like to be.

Making sure the posts are straight and level.


Last post ... done!


 Now to let the concrete cure for a bit.


While the first holes for the coop were being dug I did some chicken chores, including mucking out the main chicken coop. One of the girls wanted to lay an egg but wasn't too happy I was in there cleaning and disturbing her zen.  She kept walking in and out of the coop, shrewing the whole time. She even popped outside and went into the wheelbarrow and checked it out. 


I could see her in there scratching up a storm, deciding if it was a safe place to lay her egg. 


She started shrewing again and caused Brewster to have "concerns." A few seconds later she decided it was too out in the open and she hopped out. 


 Daily 5 things of the day that made me happy

1. It was a seven egg day.

2. Posts for the new coop are set.

3. Having the windows open ALL day.

4. Baked chicken in my cast iron pot.

5. Bug spray.  It saves the day again. 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Busy start to the week

Monday after work we decided to run to Menard*s and get the rest of the needed lumbar for the new chicken coop.  My son was NOT happy.  I guess he had made plans to meet a buddy on a minecraft server.  Oh well. Getting supplies trumps video games.

Turns out the kid wasn't able to get on the computer so it all worked out.

So it was a "quick" trip to town. 

When we got home and started unloading the lumber the turkeys wandered over and chattered at us for a bit. (Sorry for the blur, taken with a camera phone)

This is the longer lumber.


This is the rest of the materials.  It doesn't look like much, all compact and tidy.  The shingles are over in another section of the yard. Because my guy loves me so much we got vinyl for the floor because it makes mucking out SO much easier.  The vinyl is in a place that is safe from the elements.


The youngest babies are getting big which means a coop swap may be in the near future.   They are more than a month old now and looks like they have all their feathers.  No more broody lamp for them.  They are tearing through the chicken feed however.

Last night when I went to tuck in the the girls I was able to snag a photo of the turkeys and a few of their buddies.  They hang out on top of the chicken run every night now.  I go up to them, give the turkeys hugs and they mildly freak out because I'm invading their bubble.  Then I shoo them off the run and they usually will walk right into their coop.  The chickens usually wait for the turkeys to go in first. 


The last few days I've been hearing one of the young roos crowing in the morning.  I forgot how adorable those first squeaky crows are. I imagine my neighbors don't necessarily agree with me but oh well.  In a few months they will be ready for the freezer.  Circle of life and all that good stuff.

Tonite after work we took the boat out again.  There was hardly anyone on the water.  It was really nice. The lake had a different personality. I liked being pretty much the only speed boat out there.  A few people had their pontoons out and there was one gal paddling around.


They boys went swimming a few times.  I didn't have a swimming suit on otherwise I might have attempted. A ladder has been purchased so now it's really easy to get back on the boat.

I had to laugh when we went around the island.  There are a few houses on it. One of the houses had a satellite dish prominently on the edge of the island. 


Daily 5 things of the day that made me happy

1. Watermelon for breakfast

2. I have a sock on the needles.  Almost done with the cuff.

3. Super yummy burgers for supper.

4. I've upped my water intake.

5. Sleeping with the windows open.