Sunday, March 26, 2017

New Chicken Coop!!!

It was a 2 hour drive to get it and a 2 hour drive back, but worth it in my opinion.  We love road trips and the Arkansas scenery heading towards Harrison is beautiful.  Once we got home, I picked my spot in the backyard for now.  It may move over by the other coop later when the littles are big girls. 
The two teenage boys who loaded it for us said the trick was putting a pipe of some kind under it and rolling it.  They weren't kidding!! We tried moving it first without and where I pushed, it wasn't budging.  These pipes made it easy breezy.
Here is the side view...I ended up getting the smaller coop (4ft. by 3ft) for $475 rather than the big daddy for $995.  This with the big coop Big Bear built me should be plenty. LOL!

Gutter over the door...
Inside...smells like a cedar chest....for now! LOL!
 4 nesting boxes...
 Front view:
 Lift lid to collect eggs:
 The only improvement or predator proofing I will need to add is covering the screen of the window with hardware cloth.  Easy because I have some left over from the chicken nursery.  A raccoon or opposum will rip right through a screen and I want to leave the window open for ventilation.
 Chicken door on other side:
 Open during day and closed at night! :)
Now, I'm still trying to decide just how many of my littles to keep....but I have until end of June to decide. :)

A Different Blue by Amy Harmon

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Loved it!  But then for me, this author rarely if ever disappoints.  I love her writing.  I didn't want this book to end.  I wanted it to keep going and see what Blue decided to do next and where her life took her.  I recommend this one highly - now, I can never find this author's books at B&N, I always have to order off amazon - just FYI. :)

Summary:
Blue Echohawk doesn't know who she is. She doesn't know her real name or when she was born. Abandoned at two and raised by a drifter, she didn't attend school until she was ten years old. At nineteen, when most kids her age are attending college or moving on with life, she is just a senior in high school. With no mother, no father, no faith, and no future, Blue Echohawk is a difficult student, to say the least. Tough, hard and overtly sexy, she is the complete opposite of the young British teacher who decides he is up for the challenge, and takes the troublemaker under his wing.
This is the story of a nobody who becomes somebody. It is the story of an unlikely friendship, where hope fosters healing and redemption becomes love. But falling in love can be hard when you don't know who you are. Falling in love with someone who knows exactly who they are and exactly why they can't love you back might be impossible.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Katniss Update :)

Remember way back in September when we tried to escape for the weekend and got the call from our awesome house/farm sitter that Katniss was on death's door.  We rushed home the next morning and off to the emergency vet we went.  In the end, they diagnosed her with vestibular disease and it was a long haul to get this precious girl well. Our little barn cat was not supposed to be outside according to the vet.  It was too dangerous for her.  And it was.  She got confused outside and had no balance whatsoever.
She took to the comforts of inside pretty quickly. :)
Finally, the weather has been nice.  Her balance is mucho better and she has been spending the days outside with us.  We just prop the screen door open with a shoe so she can run back inside if she needs to, and she pretty much sticks to the front porch or barn area, but she is loving the fresh air and outdoors.  And, it makes me smile to see her outside.  So far, it's only supervised outside time but maybe someday she can be like Prim and come and go as she pleases. :)


Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

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This is my March Book of the Month club pick and while I liked the book, it is not one I would just run out and tell everyone, "You have to read this book."  It's good and it makes you stop and think about life as a refugee and how these people are just like us and then one day their country went to crap.  What would we do in that situation?  Where would we go?  Honestly, this book is not a waste of time at all.  The writing is good, the characters are likable.  I read it in one day. It just could have developed further in my opinion.  Read the reviews and summary below and decide for yourself if you want to read it.  It's only 231 pages. :)

Summary from amazon.com:
An instant New York Times Bestseller

“It was as if Hamid knew what was going to happen to America and the world, and gave us a road map to our future… At once terrifying and … oddly hopeful.” –Ayelet Waldman, The New York Times Book Review
“Moving, audacious, and indelibly human.” –Entertainment Weekly, “A” rating
“A breathtaking novel…[that] arrives at an urgent time.” –NPR.org

 
As featured in the Skimm, on Late Night with Seth Meyers, Fresh Air, PBS Newshour, the cover of the New York Times Book Review, and more, an astonishingly visionary love story that imagines the forces that drive ordinary people from their homes into the uncertain embrace of new lands. 

In a country teetering on the brink of civil war, two young people meet—sensual, fiercely independent Nadia and gentle, restrained Saeed. They embark on a furtive love affair, and are soon cloistered in a premature intimacy by the unrest roiling their city. When it explodes, turning familiar streets into a patchwork of checkpoints and bomb blasts, they begin to hear whispers about doors—doors that can whisk people far away, if perilously and for a price. As the violence escalates, Nadia and Saeed decide that they no longer have a choice. Leaving their homeland and their old lives behind, they find a door and step through. . . .

Exit West follows these remarkable characters as they emerge into an alien and uncertain future, struggling to hold on to each other, to their past, to the very sense of who they are. Profoundly intimate and powerfully inventive, it tells an unforgettable story of love, loyalty, and courage that is both completely of our time and for all time.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Chicken Drama

A friend called Monday (still upset) because their german shephard puppy had gotten one of their last two chickens.  Now they only had one hen and they are in the middle of moving and she couldn't go get new babies or friends for her.  Could I please take her?  Now what is the crazy chicken lady going to say except "of course!" LOL!
Introducing Lady, a barred rock.  Now, I did offer to either take her forever or take her until they got their new place set up for chickens.  Because if it were me, I would want my lady back. :)
Now introducing a full grown chicken into an established flock is a work of art...and patience.  So for now while my ladies are free ranging, she is in the crate.  I throw scratch grains all around her cage so they can all eat close together.  And Rex, has taken to being her body guard!
Yesterday I did let her out in the backyard for awhile since my ladies were out roaming.  And it was then I figured out she was injured.  So, I think she narrowly escaped the puppy herself.  She has an injured leg.  See how she holds up her right leg? (And, yes it has green on it.  I marked her so I can hopefully one day in the next few months send her home.)  
Now, an injured chicken is just fresh meat for an established flock, so this is going to be a tricky process.  I honestly may just keep her in the barn and backyard and then when the babies are a bit older put her with the 5 buffs that aren't staying here...boom!  My friend could have an instant flock when they get set up! :)
 Wish me luck and a speedy recovery for Lady, the barred rock.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Chicken Nursery

I get on Pinterest and then I get these ideas...that sometimes actually turn into projects! LOL!
I have wanted to convert one of the barn stalls into a chicken area for awhile.  I finally took the leap.  The "nursery" for my baby chicks each spring (because let's face it, I'm getting babies each spring! LOL!), takes up about 1/4 of the stall.  The rest is my tack room.  Why?  Because we have no garage and our tack room is our only storage, so it is full.
 Once we finally got started, it didn't take anytime.  I pulled up the stall mats and leveled out the ground.  I put some chicken wire down on the outside walls at the ground level to keep critters from digging in and then covered it with a new layer of dirt.  After that, it was time to frame!
I asked a friend at church with a flea market booth if he had an old screen door I could use.  He didn't but said he'd build me one in exchange for some fresh eggs.  Deal.  Now, I was expecting a simple door made out of scrap pieces.  Instead, I got this awesomeness!!!
 I debated on how to paint the door because I felt it was so awesome that I didn't want to mess it up.  I went with a yellow and made the chicken red so it would kind of "pop".  Plus, I was working on a budget and those were paint colors I already had! LOL!


 Next I used some scrap "walls" from building the chicken coop to go around about 3 feet high.  I painted them the same red as the chicken.
Then, it was just adding hardware cloth.  That was probably the most expensive part of the project.  But I don't like chicken wire...it's too flimsy, so I felt it was worth it in the end to go with the better product for strength and for looks. :)
And tada...basically finished!

Happy Anniversary to me!  (Because Sunday was my 8 year anniversary and this is all I wanted! Ha!)

I went ahead and put a temporary wall in the middle for now.  The baby chicks are only two weeks old and I will keep their space smaller for now and let them grow into the full space.  (The full space is about 6 ft by 6 ft.)
 Basically I just divided it in half for them for now.

Yesterday, I only had to go get a latch for the door and then it was move in day!  Out of the tub and into the nursery!
Now they are in the barn and out of my spare bedroom...thank goodness! LOL!
This just makes me happy, happy, happy!  
Eventually we will put a loft above it for storage, but for now, it is done and it only cost about $100 plus some fresh eggs for the door!  Score!
Why did I go to all this trouble when my other 3 batches of babies survived this space with just some temporary walls thrown up.  Well...now we have outside cats and a neighbors cat that comes to "hunt" in the barn.  So...I wanted them safe!
As predator proof as we could make it! :)

Far From You by Tess Sharpe

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This book is probably not for everyone but I really liked it.  I was afraid the addiction topic might be too close to home to be enjoyable to read, but it was presented in a realistic way...the truth of addiction and what it does to the person and those around them.  It also wasn't the main focus.  There are several plots or themes to this book.  I liked the characters and the storyline, but probably not one I would recommend to just anyone.

Summary from goodreads.com:
Nine months. Two weeks. Six days.

That's how long recovering addict Sophie's been drug-free. Four months ago her best friend, Mina, died in what everyone believes was a drug deal gone wrong - a deal they think Sophie set up. Only Sophie knows the truth. She and Mina shared a secret, but there was no drug deal. Mina was deliberately murdered.

Forced into rehab for an addiction she'd already beaten, Sophie's finally out and on the trail of the killer—but can she track them down before they come for her?