You are currently browsing the monthly archive for October 2009.

297 oct 24 chicks

Oct 24 – mama hen has the chicks out.  Are they too cute or what?  There are varying degrees of brown on the wee heads.  All have those bright orange legs and I’m not sure where they come from as Buffs have pinkish legs and the Ameraucanas have greenish-grey legs.  There really is no telling what they will look like as I had a chick (Ameraucana) that looked just like this one and when she feathered out she was brown and speckled.   So watching these grow and feather out will be very interesting.

297b hen n chicks

Mama and babies are doing well.  Yesterday they went outside but then the chicks couldn’t get back in the coop and when I found this out, mama was rather wet but the babies were safe and warm and dry.  I rigged up a better ramp and they spent the night indoors.  A break in the rains had them outside again.

296 oct 23 david

Oct 23 – a very rainy dreary day spent inside.   David watched movies and played video games while I baked bread and bagels.  The bagels were consumed before I could get a picture of them.  They were so very good.

I love David’s hands.

295 oct 22 hank

Oct 22 – David quit his job with the boat hauling folks.  Too tired of ill-maintained equipment and chasing his pay down – the two cardinal sins of a trucking company as far as he is concerned.  So today we loaded Hank (my wee truck there) on his trailer and took a road trip to Indiana to return the big truck, as that was their closest terminal.   It was something of an adventure getting up on that trailer, but he did it.  The trip cost us about $50 with gas and food, but we got to have Popeye’s chicken and red beans and rice so it was definitely worth it 🙂   Also, no more job frustrations.

On his way home from quitting (long story short – his truck had a bad battery, they would not fix it so he couldn’t turn off the truck or it wouldn’t start = last straw), he stopped by a company he had done some work with in the past and they snatched him up, giving him a job driving solo even though technically they only hire teams.  He said he could feel the love and that it felt good.   He starts with them on Monday.

Hank is a 1989 Toyota pick-up – no brand name other than Toyota because that was before vehicles were all called something other than “pick-up”.  He has 240,000 miles on him, and he runs like a champ.  I don’t plan on replacing him anytime soon because I’m rather fond of him and he comes in handy living in the country.  I call him Hank because someone else referred to him as “The Beast” and in the X-men comics, The Beast is a character named Hank.  It’s a very roundabout geeky thing.  I hope to eventually have him painted blue, so he’ll match his namesake.

294 oct 21 impatience

Oct 21 – Dark blurry photo because it was in the kitchen, which has no windows and rather poor lighting and also because the propane torch was the most important part of the photo.  See, I was fixing dinner.  Spaghetti.  We were waiting on the water to boil for the pasta.  The burner under the pot is pretty much all I have – no real stove, just this single burner and the toaster oven behind it.  That I can make what I do with those tools continually amazes me.  Anyway, *someone* got impatient with the burner taking so long (it shuts itself off – getting a good boil can take awhile.  Getting a good boil in a big pot can be impossible so at this time I can’t use my pressure canner) and he busted out the propane torch.  Now, I’ll give it to him because in just a couple minutes we had a rolling boil and 10 minutes after that, dinner.  It did make me laugh though, and he tried to make me not take the picture to blog about it.  But this, this is the stuff my life is made of.  Making do sometimes and lots of laughter.

293 oct 20 cactus

Oct 20 – I needed a new pin cushion.  I was inspired by seeing a couple cactus ones and decided to give it a try.  It was made from a felted sweater I purchased to use as fabric – too small for me, already accidentally felted by someone and such a great color and texture.  Couldn’t resist, especially when it was 50% off.  The cactus is weighted at the bottom with a rock, so it stands up on its own.  It stands about 5 inches tall, I believe.

Next I think I want a voodoo doll pin cushion.

292b barn raising

Oct 19 – The barn going up.   It really is a barn!  We bought barn paint to paint it – red of course.  The floored section is the size of the original kit.

292d nest

The chicks – hatched.  11 hatched.  One egg is still with mom, but I don’t hear anything inside peeping, so I think it just isn’t going to hatch.  The chicks are Ameraucana/Buff Orpington crosses.  They are all the gold of Buffs with a dark stripe on their heads, a little marking on the back and on wing edges.  They are going to be pretty chickens!  And just when I wanted more chickens (having lost too many recently).

Here’s a smile-maker for sure!

292 oct 19 chick

I love wee chickies!

291 oct 18 barn start

Oct 18 – The chickens seem to realize it’s for them!  The barn being laid out.  The kit caused us some grief to begin.  It was supposed to be complete – only paint and shingles needed!  David unloaded it yesterday only to find it was missing the frames.  He called the store and they said “oh, I see there’s a second bundle.”  David drove down (it’s 35 miles away!) and came back loaded with another bundle.  Unloaded it only to discover it was the EXACT same thing!  No frames.  He calls back.  They investigate.  Tell him to come back.  They would deliver but their truck got in an accident.  So, David loads up the repeat kit and drives down again.  Only to be told that frames don’t come with the kit.  He points out the “only paint and shingles needed” part.  The manager said “well, you brought back a kit, correct?” and then told David to return that kit (using our receipt) and purchase the frames using that.  So, our $700 kit suddenly cost us only $188 (I don’t know if the manager just didn’t care or didn’t realize the maths involved, but we were okay with it since David had  spent what was supposed to be a building day driving 140 miles and arguing and being frustrated by the waste of time).  Anyway, we decided that we would expand since we had extra funds now and the barn is going to be 12 x 16 (coming in 8 square feet under the building permit requirement!).  The chickens will have an 8×8 insulated room inside, and the rest will be storage for kayaks and tools and such and will not be insulated.  It’s going to be such a cool building!

I brought Avery outside while I painted the door trim.

291c avery

You can just see that he does indeed have blue skin around his ears…such a pretty color.

Also this day (such an eventful one!) I saw the “missing” hen again.  One of the Ameraucanas had figured out how to fly out of the chicken yard whenever she wanted.  She went missing for over a week and I figured she had either been eaten by something or was brooding a nest somewhere.  When I saw her a couple weeks ago, she was broody as all get out so I knew there was a nest somewhere.  I looked but did not find.  Today I saw her and decided to follow her when she went back to it.  Then I realized she did not leave the garden.  I went to the one uncultivated wild patch in the garden and found…

this

291b nest

12 blue eggs.   I looked and saw a cracked one and picked it up.  Fortunately I know enough about chickens to listen to a cracked egg – it peeped!  So it was pipped, not cracked.  I put it back with mom and realized we were going to have chicks within the day.  I spent much of my afternoon prepping the mini coop and chicken run, so the babies would be safe from the flock.  I’m leaving mom on the nest outside until the chicks hatch, then I’ll move them.

290 oct 17 sadie

Oct 17 – I believe I’ve mentioned how I love this dog?  Still do.   She was looking at me like this, then tried to avoid having her picture taken.  I’ve gotten good at getting their attention back when they look away, though.  Silly critters.  Phoebe and Sadie both will look away when they see the camera.  I don’t really understand it since I don’t often use flash.  Jon Katz at Bedlam Farms has border collies, a lab and a mix who all know what “photo shoot” mean and will pose!  I so need to work on these dogs of mine.

289 oct 16 coop

Oct 16 – This is the start of something big!  We purchased a barn kit!  It’s 12′ x 8′ and will be the chicken coop, plus some storage in a loft.  I’m so excited!

288a oct 15 journal

Oct 15 – This is the fabric journal I created from the inspiration gathered at the art girlz meeting.

Here is a detail shot of the front:

288b journal front

The little girl is me at 3 or so, wearing a cowboy hat.  I colored it a bit with some color pencils as the original is a black and white photobooth picture.  The doll is holding a ceramic chicken button.  I got the little headstand monkey at the bottom from a vending machine at the laundromat for 25 cents.  The background fabric is a skirt I cut up – actually bought it for the fabric because I liked it so much.  It’s a size 6 and thus never to be in my wardrobe!  But it sews up into lovely things.

This is the back:

288c journal back

I wove fancy yarns in the spine, where the signatures are attached.  The sewing was a bit loose because of the fabric so I wanted to protect them somewhat.   The egg and words came from a digital scrapbooking kit by my friend, Dawn.  You can see that here.  I printed the photo, eggs and words on fabric with my inkjet printer on special fabric by Jacquard.  It takes the ink beautifully.  The little round piece is a washer I picked up while walking through a parking lot with David the week before.  It was shiny!  He rolled his eyes and told me to quit.  I included it on the journal just to show him that I DO indeed use the things I acquire.  Proving it to him just made him laugh.  The little tag on the spine is stamped on one side with “play.”    The inside of the journal is a floral-printed polar fleece.  I found a remnant for $1 and it will make a few more journals or perhaps some mittens.