Monday, July 31, 2017

Week 8 (final week) of Summer Break!

As I type this, I can't believe this was just a week ago!  Time flies when summer is coming to an end!! :(
I started my final week of summer break, with summer scrap camp with my BFF.  We scrapped at Maumelle Park again and neither one of us was in the scrapbooking mood when we got there.  We just needed a break!! LOL!  But, then inspiration struck and somehow I managed to get 72 pages done!  Woohoo!  We packed up Monday afternoon.  (stayed Saturday night and Sunday night)
Then, chicken drama hit!  Full force!  Before I left to go scrappin', I had arranged to get a young pullet to be buddies with the ONE I had from classroom hatchings at the end of the school year.  All the others turned out to be roosters.  
Sadly, on the same day I was going to pick up the newbie.  We discovered something had gotten a hold of Henny Penny.  So, I felt guilty for getting a new chicken on the day I had lost one of my oldies.  But I guess that's how chicken math works.  
I have an Americauna to go with my mix stray! LOL!
I also managed to rehome TWO roosters this week!!  Facebook is good for some things!!
And then the next day, Bully was unaccounted for at coop up time!  I was a mess!! I have never lost two chickens in two days and Bully was my favorite chicken.  I cried and cried.  Then, the next morning, there she was in the backyard.  Turns out (after a day and a half of trying to find her and solve the mystery), she was broody and in a darn good hiding spot about it!!
So. off to chicken jail she went for 3 days!  Probably hurt me more than her! LOL!
I got my first blue egg this week!!!  (and, it was also the egg that Bully was sitting on!  Guess she thought it was pretty too! ha)
Big Bear and I spent the day on Friday hitting flea markets with my parents along Hwy 64 and 65.  Found a few treasures. :)
Now, Saturday, I did something I wasn't sure I could do!!  I helped a friend process 6 of her meat chickens.  First let me say, meat chickens are totally different than my beautiful egg chickens.  They are huge.  They are ugly.  They stink. And, all they do is lay around.  In my opinion, people who say ugly things about chickens, (like the smell), it comes from only being around these meat birds. Yuck!
But, I did it from beginning to end.  We made sure it was a very humane process.  But, I am certain I have no interest in having meat birds.  That was a lot of work!!
I will be sticking to my beautiful happy egg chickens.  Thank you very much! LOL!
Sunday, we wrapped up the week with a trip to my parents farm to finish the repairs on our riding lawn mower and help them with their horse barn.
All good things must end.  Tomorrow is back to work.  Today, I enjoy the little moments of summer I have left. 

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

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LOVED IT!  Put it on your "to read" list.  I loved the local connections, the characters and the fact that it inspired by actual events that happened.  Check it out.  Read the summary below and decide for yourself.  This book rescued me from a book slump!  I had started a book before this and just couldn't even finish it.  That rarely happens for me!  

Summary from amazon.com:
MemphisTwo families, generations apart, are forever changed by a heartbreaking injustice in this poignant novel, inspired by a true story, for readers of Orphan Train and The Nightingale.

Memphis, 1939. Twelve-year-old Rill Foss and her four younger siblings live a magical life aboard their family's Mississippi River shantyboat. But when their father must rush their mother to the hospital one stormy night, Rill is left in charge--until strangers arrive in force. Wrenched from all that is familiar and thrown into a Tennessee Children's Home Society orphanage, the Foss children are assured that they will soon be returned to their parents--but they quickly realize the dark truth. At the mercy of the facility's cruel director, Rill fights to keep her sisters and brother together in a world of danger and uncertainty.

Aiken, South Carolina, present day. Born into wealth and privilege, Avery Stafford seems to have it all: a successful career as a federal prosecutor, a handsome fiancĂ©, and a lavish wedding on the horizon. But when Avery returns home to help her father weather a health crisis, a chance encounter leaves her with uncomfortable questions and compels her to take a journey through her family's long-hidden history, on a path that will ultimately lead either to devastation or to redemption.

Based on one of America's most notorious real-life scandals--in which Georgia Tann, director of a Memphis-based adoption organization, kidnapped and sold poor children to wealthy families all over the country--Lisa Wingate's riveting, wrenching, and ultimately uplifting tale reminds us how, even though the paths we take can lead to many places, the heart never forgets where we belong.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Chicken Adventures!

This has been one adventurous (stressful) chicken week!!  First, while I was gone scrapbooking with my BFF, one of my ladies was attacked by something and we had to put her down.  Then, the very next day, at chicken scratch/coop up time, Bully was no where to be found.  I looked everywhere for her.  In all the hiding places and more!  My nephew even came out and helped look for her.  Big Bear was looking.  She had 3 people searching.  I even went out on the 4 wheeler and looked for feathers, signs of struggle, anything.  All we found were two chicken hawks watching us.  And, then I knew.  Or...I thought I did!  
We were out well past dark looking.  I even moved the game camera to the chicken pen.  And, went out multiple times after dark checking.  Two chickens in two days, I was a mess!!!  Add to that, Bully is my favorite chicken.  I cried.  A lot.  I even dreamed that she showed up and got in the bed like a cat and slept with me and Big Bear! LOL!  I was dreading going out to let the chickens out this morning.  My eyes were swollen from crying.  I had stayed up way too late researching how to battle chicken hawks.  I was one upset chicken lady.
I finally drag myself out of bed determined that no one was free ranging today and I was going to clip wings.  I walk out the back door and there she is.  Just chilling out and looking at me like "I'm hungry.  It's about time lady!"  Seriously?!?  WHERE WERE YOU?  If only chickens could talk!!
No injuries.  She seems just as sassy as always.  Bully lives! I'm happy!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Summer Break - Week 7

We started the week by entertaining guests.  Look at those smiles!  The farm just does the heart good!
I spent two days this week at my new job just trying to unpack my stuff and get the library cleaned up so I can work when my contract starts on the 1st. 
We also had time to relax and enjoy the little moments. :)
 On Thursday, I got to have a mother/daughter day.  We spent the day hitting flea markets and we stopped by the farm that I got Pop and Crunch from.  This little cutie is her show goat this year.  So, he may be my next baby!  Yeeee!!!
And, I finished the week (and started the next one) by having our 5th annual Summer Scrap Camp with my BFF.  We were at Maumelle Park again and the view was so nice!  (Not that we went outside much!)  We did eat at the picnic table one night when Big Bear brought us dinner.
Scrappin' selfie with the bestie!
See we do fit it all in!  I managed to scrap 72 pages in 48 hours!! Woohoo!  I'm now caught up to February 2017.  Feeling better about it since I really only scrap twice a year these days.
One week from tomorrow, I am back at work...it's been a pretty good summer!  I can't complain.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Protector of Chickens!

Who would have thought that Bubba Bear would be a PROTECTOR of chickens? :)  He makes me proud though!  He's hard headed and it takes longer to train him, but it's worth it in the end.  He's caught TWO opossums in the past two weeks!!  Opossums kill chickens.
The Little's say thank you!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Say it ain't so!

Only two weeks of summer left!  Ahhhh!!
Enjoy the moments!  It's going to be a crazy year with a new job! :)

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

A night on the farm

Yesterday was a full day and the best way to relax is to just sit back and appreciate.  
Cap'n Crunch has been limping since Friday and today was the day to decide if we were going to the vet, but he is better.  Only limping now if he starts running.  I'm pretty sure he just got rammed too hard by one of his brothers.  I love these two!!
As we were sitting in the glider enjoying our furbabies, 3 men on horses rode by.  NOT something you see everyday around here.  We look like we are in the country but really we are just one of 4 houses with land before a ton of neighborhoods start, so our road is really busy.  Horses aren't something we have ever seen until today and the donkeys were on full alert!
We managed to get the yard mowed and the pasture bush hogged before the 110 heat indexes of later in the week.  Looks so good freshly mowed. :)
Enjoy the little moments! :)
Now...I gotta go clean the chicken coops!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Natchez Burning by Greg Iles

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Wow!  This is not a book for the lighthearted.  It is really good, but really deep and in depth and is set in Mississippi and going back and forth between today and the civil rights era.  It's fiction but historical fiction/mystery/crime all tied into one.  And, it's a trilogy.  So, it's an investment.  It's not one I can read back to back though.  I need a break from the heaviness of it, but it was really good.  I wonder if they will make a movie from it?  Or if they already have.  I'm usually behind on those type of things! LOL!

Summary from goodreads.com:
#1 New York Times bestselling author Greg Iles returns with his most eagerly anticipated novel yet—Natchez Burning—the first installment in an epic trilogy that interweaves crimes, lies, and secrets past and present in a mesmerizing thriller featuring Southern lawyer and former prosecutor Penn Cage

Growing up in the rural Southern hamlet of Natchez, Mississippi, Penn Cage learned everything he knows about honor and duty from his father, Tom Cage. But now the beloved family doctor is accused of murdering Viola Turner, the beautiful nurse with whom he worked in the early 1960s. A fighter who has always stood for justice, Penn is determined to save his father.

The quest for answers sends Penn deep into the past—into the heart of a conspiracy of greed and murder involving the Double Eagles, a vicious KKK crew headed by one of the wealthiest and most powerful men in the state. Now Penn must follow a bloody trail that stretches back forty years, to one undeniable fact: no one—black or white, young or old, brave or not—is ever truly safe.
 

Summer Break Week 6 Highlights :)

**Sorry for the blog header -  currently under construction**
This week was a LONG week and LOTS going on!!
We worked on the chicken run off and on most of the week.
I got a new job a few weeks ago.  I'm still an elementary librarian, just at a different school.  So,
I packed my office at my old school and moved all my stuff into my new school this week.  In 100 degree temps.  It took both vehicles, but we got it in one trip.  It was an emotional day.  Glad to have that step behind me.
New library:
I got my first egg from the little's this week!! So far, only Rosie, a blue copper maran is laying.  BEAUTIFUL!

We finally finished the little's chicken run addition to their coop.  LOVE it!
Add to all that a few caterings and you have a full week!  We rewarded ourselves on Saturday with a day together of flea marketing and a nice lunch. :)
Two weeks of summer left.  We are going to make it last!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Day 5 & 6 of the Little's Chicken Run

Day 5 and 6,  I was on my own.  Big Bear was busy catering and I just wanted it DONE!  We were one 1x4 short of having enough so ONE more trip to Home Depot.  I got that board cut and started lining up the tin to screw down.  I love that Big Bear decided on the tin roof slanted to match the coop!  :)
Then, it was on to the little touches...making sure the door wouldn't blow closed and lock my girls in or out.
Covering the space left open above the gate and the roofline.  Nothing a little 2x4, 1x4 and hardware cloth couldn't fix.  Good thing I'm handy! :)

Install gate latch.  It will have a pin through it so no coons can open it.
And, almost there!  I get to hang the feeder outside the coop since we put a roof on the run!  Yay!!  So, I rigged that up and presto!!  What I was told "would only take 2 days"  took 6 but looks great!  It also cost double what I thought!! But for about $300, you can do this too.  If you have scrap metal laying around. Otherwise, it's gonna cost you more!
And now the littles have a predator proof chicken run off their coop.  This morning was the first morning that I could guilt free keep going back to sleep because they weren't trapped in their coop until I got up to let them out.   It's the little things!
 All done!



Friday, July 14, 2017

Day 3 & 4 of the Little's Chicken Run Project

Day 3 consisted of finishing up the predator proof hardware cloth around the bottom...
Building the gate...
Gate up and quikcrete (sp?) around the bottom to help predator proof.
We need about 2 more bags to finish the quikcrete...that's an easy 5 minute job. :)
Day 4 was measuring out the 1 by's and cutting them.  We also laid out the tin (that was spare tin left from the previous owners) and cut it to size.  It was 100 degrees and we were miserable and it was getting dark, so we stopped for the day.
Almost there!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Day 2 of Little's Chicken Run

Day 2 was Sunday and consisted of shopping for more materials...how many trips to home improvement stores come with a project?  :)
Our nephew is living with us for a few weeks so we had an extra set of hands.  
We got the hardware cloth installed.  We come out at the bottom for added predator security.  Those fence tacks are a pain!  I had forgotten!  
 And going around the bottom of the actual coop was a little tricky.
So...the project that was supposed to take 2 days continues...
It's a small space but it's going to be predator proof and will let them out of the coop at sunrise until I wake up and let them free range rest of day. 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Day 1 of Little's Chicken Run

So the "littles" are now integrated and technically able to free range but they mainly stay in the chicken pen.  I bought them their own coop, so we missed the hassle of integrating flocks into the same coop (nightmare).  However, they are stuck inside the coop until I wake up each day.  So...of course, I love a project and wanted them to have a predator proof run like the big girls so they can come down out of the coop into the run until I get up to let them out.
So...here is BEFORE:
And in typical fashion, we started this project in the heat of July!  Oops!
Day 1...we got it framed up!  And, Big Bear decided to take it a step further than I asked for and match the coop roofline and add a tin covered top!  :)
Disclaimer:  Day 1 was actually Saturday.  It's Wednesday.  We still aren't done! LOL!  We worked on it Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, skipped today.  It was supposed to take 2 days....hmmmm!



Monday, July 10, 2017

Summer break Week 5!

The week's are flying by!!  We started this week on Sunday with a church picnic at Lake Nixon.  Of course, Big Bear manned the grill to cook burgers and hot dogs for 250 people! :)
And, then of course, the 4th of July.  Basically, about 5 days of idiots shooting fireworks and scaring my furbabies. (insert eye roll!)
This is also the day our nephew moved in with us for 6 weeks while he does an internship locally this summer.
Most of our week was spent in the camper.  (see post below for that adventure!)
It was Big Bear's birthday week but as he pointed out, I somehow manage to get a full birthday week while he is lucky to get 12 hours! LOL!
So, of course, I put him to work on my new chicken run as soon as we got home.  Chop! Chop! :)
And....drumroll...after 2 years of looking for an entertainment center to go with our country style, I finally made the leap and decided we would never "find" it, so I paid someone to make what I wanted.  And, it was ready for pick up Friday.  Coolest part is that ALL the barn wood and the tin came from my parents place.  LOVE!!
It's perfect!  I filled it up quick! ha!
Only 3 weeks left of vacation :(