Friday, June 20, 2008

A Fast-Paced Life

There are days that I wonder how we had time to do anything when we owned a tv. Thinking back, we really didn't do anything. The old me was sometimes depressed because I felt alone. Homeschooling and not working outside the house, it was difficult to not sometimes pine after my old, carefree life before children. As God brought me closer to Him, I became more patient and content with life as it was, even if it did seem a bit humdrum. I've been walking with the Lord for a few years now, and He has filled my empty, lonely, PPM* time with good work to do. Whenever I am tempted to complain of the work that needs to be done, I recall how much I wanted something productive to do. Many times I don't get a chance to update our blog because we're just too busy. I thought tonight would be a good time to update you on some things I haven't blogged about for a while- or maybe not at all.

Our new Buff Orpington chicks arrived on May 30th. We ordered 25 hens and 5 roosters, but we received 26 hens and 5 roosters. I love freebies!

These new little birds needed a place to call home, as I was quickly tiring of the fragrance of chicks in the utility room. Scott put a lot of effort into planning for the next chicken coop. The first one was a prototype. He will now build 3 more so we can split the chickens up and give them enough room to roam. Our goal is that they will be able to free range during the day and then be closed into their coop at night. We will have about 8 chicks per coop.

The plan is really well thought out. The end opens into a staircase for the hens to climb. Chicken wire covers the front, and plywood the back. The bottom is a 4x8 plastic hydroponic bed. It has some holes so that we can hose it out and catch all the good stuff that comes out in a bucket and add it easily to our compost pile. The nesting boxes are part of a plastic barrel that Scott picked up for a few dollars. He quartered it lengthwise, then attached it open side up to a hinged piece of wood in the back, so we can open it up and get eggs out.

I've primed it already, and the chicks are spending their third night outside tonight. I still need to paint it, but for now it is usable, and that is all that matters to me. I'll get some more pictures of the special features up another day.

The cabin project has taken backseat for a while. With youth camp to plan, chickens to house, and a garden to plant, it has fallen off the plate. We did finish the roof, finish the siding, and add a couple of shelves inside. We also added this to it.

We're just big kids, really. The slide is a little steep- it zings the kids off pretty fast. It is more like a controlled fall. I have banned them from sliding until the bottom is properly lifted off the ground. Someone suggested putting an air mattress at the bottom, but I am envisioning the kids hitting it and being instantly bounced into the pond. No, I don't think we'll use the air mattress.

The garden is coming along. Here's a shot of it. It's not the best, but we've been working with what we have.
We've planted tomatoes, peppers, onions, okra, ground cherries (the big leafy things), yellow squash, cucumbers, green beans, watermelon, cantaloupe, winter squash, corn, carrots, swiss chard, and brussel sprouts. My photo quality is poor here... please excuse my sub-par picture. I'll get a better one soon.

*PPM= Poor Pitiful Me


Ginny said...

Wowee! I love the chicken tractor. What a nifty idea! We are just finishing up our permanent brooder and then we will be working on our broiler pen (which we will be raising Buff Orpingtons in for meat). The garden looks good, too. I can't wait to see more pictures.


Lynn Stallworth said...

What a wonderful garden! Nice and big! I made mine smaller this year because as it turned out, I just wasn't as diligent at pulling up weeds as I thought I would be. I love seeing your "happy hens" as well. Things are coming along nicely at your place!

E.T.'s Mom said...

Good work!