Monday, April 30, 2012
This is the base of a chicken coop, a roving coop that is.
Wood is expensive but so are eggs. This is our mitered corner. We made it with 2x3s for the base this time instead of 2x4s because we put a tiny house in this one which adds to the weight.
For framing we used 2x2s. The piece of plyboard on the buckets is not attached to the coop frame.
So now we have a chicken shelf, a small place for them to lay their eggs or just sit if they desire. They will like this when it is raining.
Today I needed some flour, so I had to go dust the sawdust from the bucket and get several lbs out into my house flour container. We only had a little sawdust in the bread, I heard that in France just before the revolution-the poor people revolted partially because of their food quality. They learned that the bakers used ground up chalk in the poor people bread. I dont know for certain that is true, history says yes and no depending on the historian.
Another view, the first one we made didnt have any plyboard. It was for outdoor use only, the chickens used a different house area.
If you look closely, Tad is looking falsely scare right here. Pretending to bug his eyes in terror! He and Frank put the wire on the coop this evening while Nathalie and I made dinner.
Same photo, um no. Tad is looking at me as if he is Gollum (sp?) the weird little guy from Lord of the Rings.
Tad showing me how awesome he is.
All that is left here is the last bit of wire and finishing the doors. The human door and egg door.
See, the far full sized door is the human door. It isnt very big, we wont often have to go inside. The opening is onto the shelf, and a smaller door will go here so that we can collect eggs.
Talking smack towards each other here. Probably like, you are more bald this week than last. Yeah but you are short and I can step on you. Etc.
Kids moving the finished product, it moves by nylon web at the ends. It is heavier, of course, on one side but still pretty easy to move. Saved money and time not putting on wheels, we cant wheel it around much of our yard due to the landscaping design. The black is tar paper along the ridge, this was the easiest and quickest way to finish the top for rain.
Kitten went under it when the kids raised it up to move it along, he thought he wanted to be there but he changed his mind later.
Here he is offered a chance to come out the egg door but he says no thanks.
Now the kids are in bed! The cat is behind Tad. We did, naturally, let them out.
We can get some chickens now as soon as we find some, they were all over online for sale in our area the last few wks and now that we have a coop, there are none pretty much except ones that are not laying. We will find some or leave the kids in there.
Sunday, April 29, 2012
So Eric has asked me multiple times if I would post the front of the house. I have posted photos of the back, and the one side but not the other side or front. He SAYS that he cant read, I cannot explain how he has asked for the photos, because he did write. Maybe he dictated to Jeff? This is my house front! We have a garage, it isnt very big really. We are not sure what to do yet about this. We cannot build a shop effectively because we wont make our money back. I think we will build a nice yard shed and that will leave the entire garage open for tools. The little blue Isuzu is what Frank says is a POS but I happen to like it.
Another front view, once again the sad little garden shed to the left was badly put up. Thin sheet metal with absolutely ZERO supports through center. Basically it fell in, was crushed, from the weight of snow. The previous owners have scheduled to come tear it down for us, it was in the contract. Along with cleaning up a pretty messy yard as soon as all the snow melts. We will put up another garden shed there likely, a better one that is considerably larger to make up for the small garage.
Part of our front yard, we have a lot of trees here. We have more trees than anything, probably an acre of cleared land and the other 2.5 is all trees.
The driveway, and our well. The big pipe-thats our well my uncle Kenny says. He says the pump is in there, we took off the cap and can access the electric wires for the well pump.
More driveway, more trees.
There is a neighbor through there but we wont see them in the summer/fall time because of the foliage. Each person on this road has several acres but the houses are kinda forward so we can see each other. So I have to wear CLOTHES when I hang laundry out. Hmmm. Maybe I should move.
Trashy side view. My greenhouse is not staying warm at night. We have to figure that out. New glass or plastic, a small solar array and a heater is our solution, but that is something we will put money into over the summer so that we have it for next winter. That way we can raise some food for ourselves, and feed the meat rabbits and chickens in full. We hope. The trailer to the far left with the hay on it isnt ours, its my Uncle's.
This is the opposite side yard, the window is Nathalie's room, and the tiny window at the back is our bathroom. We are almost done with snow in front and side yards, still quite a bit in the back.
Front landscape bed, glad to see this is done already. I did enough landscaping for a lifetime in Ks before moving. Especially because I did that in about 100 deg! Eric was there for part of that. Of course his was the easy part due to the fact that he is stronger than me, which I guess I cant hold against him. Right? Or maybe I can.
I am not sure I understand this little bed. The lady who sold the house to us said the previous owner did a lot of gardening, mostly flowers. I cant see how this bed would work though, this gets no sun much less any southern sun. So who knows. Maybe it grows something small, or prevents the need to mow/weed eat on this side. There is so very little grass at all here because someone thought the time was ripe for gravel in the yard!
Saturday, April 28, 2012
Picture is a little crooked. Kitten Britches cries at night when we wont let him out, and he eats our potted veggie plants if we do not get up early and let him out. He loves the outdoors, but he wants to be allowed in the second he is ready to come in. We cannot put a kitty door in our back door because its glass, the front door is, well, the front door! Plus, only super expensive kitty doors are good about not letting in cold air. So, we put one in the kitchen to garage door.There is no glass, and the garage is pretty warm. This helps minimize the cold.
Larger picture of the entry way from garage, I like the red. Somehow it just pops! The kitty door isnt large, it almost looks to small knowing our kitty will be larger than average. Cats are pretty sinuous so I think it will work.
This is the outside of that same door. Kitty Boy does like it, he likes to pick a fight with the actual flap because it flaps back, so he thinks he has a "someone" to play with.
Now this is the other door, the one leading to the actual outdoors. Right now the big door is open, garage door, so he isnt using this one. Some cats do not cotton on to kitty doors right away but he doesnt have any problems. He seems to be aware that these are "his" gifts from us and he is pleased by them, he goes back and forth like its fun to use them. He is pleased that he is more free for sure, he doesnt have to ask or wait now.
The middle hutch is the newest one. The small babbity in it, has been loose in the garage for 2 wks now. We couldnt find any of the wire, the stores up here charge an arm, leg and ear but they also dont have anything in stock. Cattle panel is 64$ each, but no one actually has any... We ended up using smaller wire (1/2x1/2 vs 1/2x1 inch) for the sides because we could find that, and that is for our roving chicken coop. The hutch needs to be 1/2x1 for the floor for the poop to fall through. Our rabbits have larger hutches than any hutch on the market. They can stand, jump, stretch etc. We can let Mr Babbity or little Babbity out one at a time but Mrs Babbity doesnt like to come out. The other 2 love to hop around the garage loose, and will do the same in a select area of the barn when it is built. I dont like to keep them trapped but Mrs. B honestly feels safest this way and we can take her out and hold her, but not if we let her loose. She is so terrified her heart races. We still have to build 1 more hutch that will likely set below one of these, we will give one of these a tray that we can slide in/out to catch potty. The next one will be for offspring until they are old enough to eat. They will live in a kindle box (wood) inside the mamas hutch while she nurses. Rabbits kindle vs kid or calve by the way.
We made this yesterday, we had sanded/stained the wk before. The wood is really low quality, chips easily and didnt take stain well. Honestly, I do not care! I have enough shelf space for books for the first time since Sc which was nearly 5 yrs ago. Right now it is holding school books, a lot more to go. School books will likely take up 1.5 shelves, and all of the small, plastic, lidded bins will line the top along with some games. Then the other 1.5 shelves will hold things like the bottom has now, our taller hard-back books like the atlas and large self-help books.
We are making everything fit in this house, it is smaller but we are fitting things without making a cluttered disaster. We still have a desk-mess because we do not have a filing cabinet. We are waiting for one to be for sale online as we want to pay less. Once we get our filing done, really everything will be neat except for some of my sewing stuff. My sewing stuff is still a bit of a mess from the packers dumping boxes, bins and other containers all into boxes. they packed a lot of containers separate, or mixed them! It doesnt make any sense. My college semester ends May 10 and I wont be continuing. This will allow me a chance to get my sewing stuff organized, spend more time with the kids go back to doing business.
Once again I am just happy to be here! Happy to be back to normal life, we are loving all of the work. We are moving through it as fast as the hours let us. We are building a roving coop this wkend and hope to find 4-6 hens that are laying here in town, buy them and start having eggs. When moms visit is over (all of may) we will buy 2 does in milk so we have milk, eggs, meat and veggies. We will have spinach and other greens to eat within the next few wks, same time we have baby rabbits growing for meat!
Friday, April 27, 2012
Kitten likes to be very close to us, he often puts out his claws at inopportune times and this causes pain. He also sniffs us like a dog would! He follows Nathalie around like a puppy.
See, he is doing this sniffing thing. If people come over to visit, he sniffs them all over especially if they own a pet. He sniffs us after we have been with the goats. Sometimes he sneezes and rubs a paw over his nose like he is getting rid of it. This being said, he has the stinkiest poop I have EVER smelled in my life, from any cat or animal period! Oh heavens the whole HOUSE smells like death and he doesnt seem to mind.
I think Tad had been rolling around outside before this sniffing event. Kitten Britches likes to sit in the hollow of the bean bag chair, especially if we leave his special blanket in it. He will do damage to an individual who uses this particular afghan.
I like to say he is a sweet kitten, but mostly its that we love him and his weird, half-wild personality. It is sort of like having a baby lion! He is rough and doesnt know his own abilities, and sometimes does leave some wicked claw marks. He also eats our vegetable plants potted in the window sills. I am sprouting some grain seeds for him now, apparently cats like (and need) grass. sprouts are especially good for cats, and wild cats eat more foliage than standard domestic.
This is an interesting idea. People have been making and selling food covers/reusable saran/plastic wrap for years. I have been wanting to make it for years, since we lived in Sc. but time was a constraint. I do not use plastic wrap usually, I just use a lid or a towel. The problem is, sometimes I cannot find the lid. sometimes the towel sticks to the dough and makes it fall. This is white PUL fabric, (poly-urethane laminate) so it has a shiny, slick side and a polyester fabric side. It is very thin, slightly stretchy and used commonly for washable diapers. I used FOE (fold-over elastic) to bind this, and cut the circle from a large, round pyrex dish. It fits the medium pyrex and the large measuring cup. These can be washed easily and dont even have to be dried, they dry super fast.
I decided I didnt exactly like the FOE, so for this one I cut out the circle and sewed a basting stitch (the widest stitch the machine can do, used for gathers or making sure you are right before you finish the garment, etc) and pulled them up ever so slightly, which allowed it to hem flat. That is the way to hem a circle, pull up basting stitches slightly. Then I sewed the hem, and sewed while stretching, some clear elastic to the hem edge. This is better than a towel for a number of reasons. It isnt leak free, but it can work as a lid in the fridge whereas a towel will not keep the food air-tight enough. I dont put food in the fridge with a towel, but if I cannot find a lid I am stuck using plastic wrap (which I do not have) or foil. These can be washed out in the sink and wiped dry for re-use. I think I will make a lot of them, for all of the sizes that I have. The nice thing about white is that I hate changing thread colors, I want them to look professional. I have pretty prints, but hate to waste them when I can sell things made with that.
The first thing I made in this new house was a t shirt for Tad, next new blue jeans for Nathalie and now my washable plastic wraps. I have a piece of low-quality denim that I am going to make grocery sacks out of. I think I will actually make a pattern this time, and use decor bond pellon to make them slightly stiff for easier loading. I am having so much fun playing house!
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
I think we are back to the spot that we call living. This was the longest transition that we have had I guess, in moving. We move a lot being in the military. It seems like our move into this house settled fast. We were unpacked except for 4 boxes in exactly 7 days. In less than 2 wks we had meat rabbits and a kitten, now we have goats!
Mr. Kitten Britches loves to sit with Frank. He gets into his coat, and if Frank leaves off his pajamas for a uniform, Mr. KB climbs INTO the pants. He also gets into bags, backpacks, grocery sacks etc.
He looks dead here right? He has discovered the great outdoors and asks to be let out. It is pretty warm here, so we leave the back door cracked. If he discovers that it has been shut, he crawls under the back porch and waits. He came in from some outside time today and sort of died in a sun patch.
This is a life picture. Kinda messy huh. Its how my living room looks during the day, we clean up before Daddy comes home. This is life because we are back to normal, sewing while doing school, knitting (not in photo) toys in the floor, open math books, cast off uniform.
Close up-Nathalie must feel pretty tall because she asked were these pants for me or her. They naturally need clothes, it seems like the seamstress children always need clothes. The cobblers children have worn out shoes, the printers children write on paper scraps. Right now they are messy from what is officially labeled, by Alaskans, as snow yuck. This is the damp, dirty, webby looking junk on the ground as the snow melts. The kids sit and splash in the muck and are often covered. Our road is dirt (I do not mean gravel, I mean true damp, hard packed dirt) and they ride up and down it fast on bikes, come in splattered all up their backs.
Baby goats! I will say that most things cost more in Ak. A 16 ft cattle panel in Ks was 18$, here it is 64$ and they are not even in stock. Big difference. In Ks, an average goat in milk would be 200-250, a really nice doe 350 and up. Here a completely sad, mix breed, non-registered, nag looking pitiful nanny goat is about 400$. In milk. We paid 200 each for these baby does, they are nice especially compared to what is available. They came from VERY nice dams, nice confirmation, great udders. However...they have horns. The people who sold them live in the true Alaskan wilds with bears and wolves and they let the horns grow. My goats in Ks generally ran from scary stuff, they didnt stay and try to butt anything so I see nothing but a problem with horns.
It is what it is though, we have to start somewhere and this is it. They are oberhasli/alpine, or alpine/la mancha cross does. They are sweet and healthy, they are eating hay off of the trailer here because we have not rolled it off onto a pallet yet. we need one of those 64$ cattle panels to make a cover for it.
This doe is half la mancha, thus the lack of regular ears. she is Nathalie's favorite. We dont think they can be shown with horns so we will contact a vet this wk to see if they can be removed-I doubt anyone up here will but who knows.
This is their temporary pen, we do not have a barn yet because the ground is still solid. we will start a pole barn as soon as the thaw occurs, we still have snow as you can see. This building is a 6x6 ft bldg that the neighbor gave us, he was going to throw it out. It is watertight and safe, so we put a dog kennel in front and during the day they are loose in the yard for the most part.
Side and back view of the house, the garage is on the right and that is where the bunnies still live. We dont have much grass the neighbors say, I do not know why but when the land was cleared/leveled a lot of pebbles and gravel were brought in. we will see how bad it is when it thaws.
Down the drive, the little shed on the right is trash. The previous owners are coming back to tear it down this next month, and to clean up the yard when the snow melts. Apparently the snow was too much for the shed and it caved in. It cannot be saved, they say there is a lot of junk under the snow as well so we are glad they are cleaning it up.
Woodpile and then just past/to the right is where our barn will go. We dug out the 2-3 foot of snow in a 20x20 sq ft area to see how the ground looks. pretty unlevel but that is ok for a pole barn. The neighbor is a contractor and has a pole barn, it is what he suggests here.
This is to the left of that woodpile, my greenhouse is nearly out of snow! We are starting to see raised garden beds around and in front of the greenhouse. We will have to fence in the garden and greenhouse area, against moose though everyone says they can jump a 6 ft fence. We will have to do the best we can do I guess. I want a garden. We have a lot of plants potted indoors, will photo those later.
thats it for now. going to go do my homework, instruct my children, sew, knit, snuggle my baby goats...