Friday, July 31, 2015

Cluck Cabin

 The frame went up at the beginning of April with the help and guidance of Danny Johnson.  After those two days of work, we were on our own gathering ideas from pinterest and  :)
 In May the nesting boxes were on along with the outside walls and the tin ceiling.
Then, crazy work schedules hit and Big Bear was working 12 hour days 7 days a week and production pretty much came to a halt until July.  This month we were determined!!  Well, we HAD to be.  The "ladies" were supposed to start laying eggs in almost daily there was some kind of work on the coop.  In 100 degree temps!!
 Kevin put a little roosting bar up at the windows.  The "ladies" went right to it when we put them in it for the first time!!  The opening above is where their ladder goes down to the ground level.
Painting was a chore for early mornings.  Primed first and then two coats of red.

 Then, it was time for the chicken run!!  We had different ideas on how this should go, but my main thing was I had to be able to stand up in the run when I went in to feed and water.  So...the framing began!  All the time keeping in mind how to keep out predators.
 Kevin found this awesome screen door at a flea market!! LOVE IT!
 We went with hardwire cloth at the bottom third and then welded wire fencing for the top third and the very top.  The hardwire cloth also comes out on the ground a bit to prevent digging in.  We are also going to cover it with  quickcrete.
 We installed linoleum flooring for easy cleaning.
Little by little we were finishing up, just firming it up to keep raccoons out.
 Wednesday night in 110 heat index, we finished enough for the "ladies" to move in!!!
 This was a major undertaking for someone who has never built anything.  It was a team effort, but the majority of it was all Big Bear!

 Love the hanging feeder and waterer!!!  We put them in the coop and made a trail of cheerios down the ladder to show them the way.  The "ladies" love cheerios!
 One of the finishing awesome sign that Jennifer made for us!
 Ta-da!  Tonight we put down the quickcrete along the outside edge and finish up the inside nesting boxes and then, we sit back and wait on fresh eggs! :)

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Semi-Wordless Wednesday

Work continues on Cluck Cabin...completion any day now! :)

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

I LOVED THIS BOOK!!!!  Can't explain it.  Just couldn't stop reading.  I was so intrigued by what actually happened and when it was going to revealed...what choices were the characters going to make?   Good, good, good!  It has awesome reviews and I never could find it at Barnes and Noble.  I finally ordered it off of Amazon.  You should too! :)

Summary from
I live in a world without magic or miracles. A place where there are no clairvoyants or shapeshifters, no angels or superhuman boys to save you. A place where people die and music disintegrates and things suck. I am pressed so hard against the earth by the weight of reality that some days I wonder how I am still able to lift my feet to walk.

Former piano prodigy Nastya Kashnikov wants two things: to get through high school without anyone learning about her past and to make the boy who took everything from her—her identity, her spirit, her will to live—pay.

Josh Bennett’s story is no secret: every person he loves has been taken from his life until, at seventeen years old, there is no one left. Now all he wants is be left alone and people allow it because when your name is synonymous with death, everyone tends to give you your space.

Everyone except Nastya, the mysterious new girl at school who starts showing up and won’t go away until she’s insinuated herself into every aspect of his life. But the more he gets to know her, the more of an enigma she becomes. As their relationship intensifies and the unanswered questions begin to pile up, he starts to wonder if he will ever learn the secrets she’s been hiding—or if he even wants to.

The Sea of Tranquility is a rich, intense, and brilliantly imagined story about a lonely boy, an emotionally fragile girl, and the miracle of second chances.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Summer Scrap Camp 2015

 Our 3rd annual summer scrap camp in the camper is complete!  I don't remember how we came up with this idea, but it was pure genius on our part! :)  This year once again, Kevin set up the camper for us in the 100 degree temps with no complaints!  We unloaded our massive amount of scrap supplies, turned on the refrigerator and AC and headed out to shop while the camper cooled down.  We hit four stores for scrapbook supplies and then we were READY!
 A scrapbook tornado hit the camper! LOL!  You can't fit another thing in there when we get all our stuff spread out!  
I haven't scrapbooked since February and haven't seen Michelle since Feb!!  So, it was a win-win!  Unfortunately, my best and dearest friend lives 3 hours away, so one of the best parts of doing this is getting to spend time together.  We really get to honestly catch up on the summer scrap camp because it is just the two of us.  It's priceless.  We are trying to do two scrapbook retreats a year.  Hopefully I will see her before November though!

I did more "visiting" this scrap camp, so I didn't break any scrapbook records, but I still got a lot done!  
Friday = 9 pages
Saturday = 28 pages
Sunday = 4 pages
Total = 41 pages! :)

KOA Maumelle - site Y10 - July 24th - 26th

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Dog Days of Summer

 We (me and the dogs) only go outside first thing in the morning from about 8 am to 10 am and then late in the day due to the extreme heat.  The boxers can't handle the heat at all!!!  Bubba Bear takes it the worst, but I only let them stay outside for short amounts at night and we hose down with water - much to their dislike! LOL!  It's tongue wagging weather, but farm chores gotta get done.
**Note:  2 weeks from today I go back to work!! :(  Let's hope the next two weeks DRAG by!

Cured (Stung #2) by Bethany Wiggins


I loved both of these books in the 2 part series Stung.  Easy, fast read.  I finished both books in a 3 day span...course I am on summer break! ;)

Summary from
Now that Fiona Tarsis and her twin brother, Jonah, are no longer beasts, they set out to find their mother, with the help of Bowen and a former neighbor, Jacqui. Heading for a safe settlement rumored to be in Wyoming, they plan to spread the cure along the way--until they are attacked by raiders. Luckily, they find a new ally in Kevin, who saves them and leads them to safety in his underground shelter. But the more they get to know Kevin, the more they suspect he has ties to the raiders. He also seems to know too many details about Jacqui and her family—details that could endanger them all. For the raiders will do anything they can to destroy the cure that would bring an end to their way of life. Bethany Wiggins’s reimagining of our world after an environmental catastrophe won’t fail to stun readers.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Rescue Mission

Yesterday someone contacted me and desperately wanted to find a new home for their 7 month old boxer.  They just didn't have the work schedule that allowed for potty training her & couldn't handle the pee anymore.  I immediately called my contact with Boxer Rescue of Texarkana (highly recommend adopting from them!! This is the lady that helped us find our adorable Rex!!).  We found a foster home for her so I went to pick her up for an overnight at the farm.  Then today it was a road trip to get her to her new destination. :)  What an interesting night!
She jumped out of the car and immediately went to the donkeys.  They were very patient with her. 

We let Rex, the good boxer, out first.  He loved her instantly and rolled over on his back and they played and wrestled.  You can see what a small boxer Rex is here.  She is 7 months old and bigger!

 Bubba Bear had to stay on a leash.  Kevin had to stay in charge of him.  He even had to roll him and pin him down in the dominant roll at one point.  That boy is so stubborn!!!!  And, we learned, he loves his brother and sister, but don't bring another dog over here. He will attack.  We protected her by keeping them separated the whole time.  It was a fun night of rotating rooms and who gets to go out. (NOT!)
She is absolutely adorable and I love her under bite!  However, when I was scrubbing out a crate full of pee at 4:30 am, I was super grateful for my trained dogs!  No more puppies for me!!  Ain't nobody got time for that!

I imagine she will find a home quickly.  She is young and gorgeous.  She just needs a family with a consistent schedule and time to train her.  She was even good with the cat - who HATED her and fluffed up to twice her size! LOL!
Fun night at the Benson house...I'm exhausted!

If you are interested in her, contact Boxer Rescue of Texarkana. :)

Monday, July 20, 2015

Stung by Bethany Wiggins

This is a young adult dystopia society type book.  I read it in ONE day.  I thought it just jumped right in with action and didn't stop.  I wouldn't recommend for middle school as it has some sexual content, but high school readers can handle it.  I gave it 5 stars on because my attention never waivered.  It is a two book series.  The next book is called Cured.

Summary from
There is no cure for being stung.

Fiona doesn’t remember going to sleep. But when she opens her eyes, she discovers her entire world has been altered—her house is abandoned and broken, and the entire neighborhood is barren and dead. Even stranger is the tattoo on her right hand—a black oval with five marks on either side—that she doesn’t remember getting but somehow knows she must cover at any cost. She’s right.

Those bearing the tattoo have turned into mindless, violent beasts that roam the streets and sewers, preying upon the unbranded while a select few live protected inside a fortress-like wall, their lives devoted to rebuilding society and killing all who bear the mark.

Now Fiona has awakened branded, alone—and on the wrong side of the wall.

Week 4 of summer break

 Working on finishing up the chicken coop floor...and pained the coop!  Whoop!
Replaced both bathroom mirrors...

Installed chicken wire in the display cabinet...

 Donkey kisses...
Dealing with low hanging power lines...that saga continues still! 

Painted Kevin's office and Rex's room :)
Went flea marketing and scored!

I also managed to fit in reading, lunch with in-laws, cleaning out the barn and organizing the tack room, and catching up on the business books!!  I could do this summer thing year round! :)

Saturday, July 18, 2015

The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win WWII by Denise Kiernan


I love anything WWII, so when I saw this, I knew I needed to read it.  I had NO idea this secret city ever existed or any of the history behind the making of the atomic bomb.  I was fascinated with the material in this book - the secrecy, some of the things that happened - like people being cheated out of their land basically and human testing!!!  But, I thought the delivery needed some work.  If you aren't a fan of WWII, it certainly isn't written in a way to hold your attention.  I saw one review that said, "The subject was good, the writing okay but the organization was poor."  I totally agree.  It was hard to get attached or follow any of the women's individual stories.  But again, if you like WWII, it is super interesting.  Just not necessarily delivered well.

Summary from
The incredible story of the young women of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, who unwittingly played a crucial role in one of the most significant moments in U.S. history.

The Tennessee town of Oak Ridge was created from scratch in 1942. One of the Manhattan Project’s secret cities, it didn’t appear on any maps until 1949, and yet at the height of World War II it was using more electricity than New York City and was home to more than 75,000 people, many of them young women recruited from small towns across the South. Their jobs were shrouded in mystery, but they were buoyed by a sense of shared purpose, close friendships—and a surplus of handsome scientists and Army men!

But against this vibrant wartime backdrop, a darker story was unfolding. The penalty for talking about their work—even the most innocuous details—was job loss and eviction. One woman was recruited to spy on her coworkers. They all knew something big was happening at Oak Ridge, but few could piece together the true nature of their work until the bomb "Little Boy" was dropped over Hiroshima, Japan, and the secret was out. The shocking revelation: the residents of Oak Ridge were enriching uranium for the atomic bomb.

Though the young women originally believed they would leave Oak Ridge after the war, many met husbands there, made lifelong friends, and still call the seventy-year-old town home. The reverberations from their work there—work they didn’t fully understand at the time—are still being felt today. In The Girls of Atomic City, Denise Kiernan traces the astonishing story of these unsung WWII workers through interviews with dozens of surviving women and other Oak Ridge residents. Like The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, this is history and science made fresh and vibrant—a beautifully told, deeply researched story that unfolds in a suspenseful and exciting way.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Before and After's :)

I have been a busy little bee the past few weeks just tackling lots of little "to do's" around the house.  If I could figure out a way to stay home full time, I would!  I can keep myself busy!!  There is that little thing about needing money though...anyway, here are some of the before and after's.

BEFORE:  In Kevin's bath (aka guest bath), short people could only see their forehead in this mirror! Ha!  (PS.  After a new light fixture in here, I am done with that room!)

AFTER: When Hobby Lobby put mirrors on 50% off, I was there this week!  And ta-da!  Matches all the fixtures (except the light fixture that needs to go).  And, for a mere $35 = success!

BEFORE:  I forgot to take a picture before I took it down, but basically there would have been nothing wrong with my bathroom mirror except they glued a big peacock feather to it and it was nasty and wouldn't come off. To each is own... 

AFTER:  It will look really good once I paint in here!! $45 :) bargain!

 BEFORE:  This display area in the cabinets had no glass when we moved in.  It was missing something.  Everyone asked where the glass glass needed.

AFTER:  We are country, so I just used a little chicken wire!

BEFORE:  My scrap room - back during move in time.

AFTER:  Doesn't it make you just want to eat carmel and scrapbook? :) 

BEFORE:  Kevin's bathroom (also the guest bath).  We don't share a bathroom.  It saves our marriage. :)

AFTER:  Paint makes a big difference in my opinion.
 BEFORE:  Guest room (aka Rex and Kevin's room, aka office...we also don't share a closet.  Marriage secret #2. :)
AFTER:  Warmed it up with some paint and Kevin has some of his favorite "BBQ art" on the walls from when he had a restaurant and competed in Memphis in May.

 I literally have only 2 rooms left to paint...the master bath and master bedroom.  I said I wasn't going to paint anything until we had been here a year! LOL!  I bet they both get painted before school starts back! :)