About Me

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I am a 50+ yr old stay at home wife of a scientist/Military man.  I raise chickens for eggs, rescue dogs & cats & spoil them all.  I am a silver/metal smith & stained glass artist.  I, at one time was an secondary art teacher & Social Studies teacher.  I am sorta a eclectic earth mother who recycles everything I can get my hands on.  Enjoy working with power tools & even built my own 10ft by 6ft chicken coop.  am pretty much interested in learning everything I can thur books, magazines & friends. I enjoy veggie gardening & doing gardens just for the chickens. I also sew & love making pioneer style comfortable clothes for myself & adding vintage lace when I can find it. I am pretty easygoing, but need my coffee first before I am ready to face the world & day.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Trip to New York/Boy was I ever surprised!

Good morning everyone, well do I have a funny story to tell you all.  I decided yesterday morning to head to New York to see the farm.  Oh I had such a lovely drive up there & went through parts of New Hampshire & Vermont as well.  I got to see a cool gingerbread house in bright yellow with light green shutters, plywood dinosaurs hanging out in a large corn field ,a VW Rabbit car with large rabbit ears attached to the back of it.....that sure made me laugh.....and tons & tons of corm field.  

I also passed 2 wooden covered bridges, one was no longer used as it was unsafe but the other people could drive through so I think I will have to do that with my sisters when they come up.  There is something so wonderful about these type of bridges, hearing the wood under your car wheels & imagining old horse & buggies going through them way back when.

Since I had drank two 16 ounces of coffee I decided I needed to stop, take a potty break & of course get more coffee.  I didn't realize I was only 7 miles away from West Port but am sure glad I did stop when I did.  It was the last place I could take the potty break before I got to the farm....

Missed the street I needed to turn on to, so had to turn around but finally after after 5 hours of driving got there.

Mary had not seen the trailer that I was to live in since Mother's Day so she has no idea what has happened to it.....needless to say once you see the pictures you will know why I talked about the potty break....I was laughing so hard as I looked in it I would have peed myself if not for that break.

This is the wall she had told me would need to be replaced but I don't think she knew about the windows being completely ripped out of the frame of the building.  Nor that someone had decided to remove most of the ceiling & paneling in the front room.  Each room had been damaged by someone & they did a good job of it....

Even in the bathroom they tore out the wall where the plumbing to the bathtub is & removed the fixtures to the bathtub.  They also decided to kick out a door from the inside & bowed it so its hinges are off so the door can't close or seal...With all the exposed air I am sure besides the mold I saw in the insulation the carpets have to be a complete mess.  Whats funny is with it open like it is I didn't see any mice or rat droppings so I guess they don't even want to stay there.

                                                   Ceilings torn out

I took tons of pictures of all the building I am suppose to try to work on if able.  Well each seemed to have years & years of stuff in them, so much so that in one old horse barn I can't even really see the stable rooms because of all the wood scraps & who knows what else is in there.  Each building had either lots of 'stuff' in it or looked good until you walked around it & noticed a outside wall why they would remove just one wall & not drop the whole thing I have no clue.

So I found 2 small shed like things that will have to be torn down completely, not worth trying to fix.  I can salvage some of the wood at least & one has a roof I might be able to use for some minor thing like a small pole type barn for cut fire wood.  Plus use the siding from the trailer as the outside walls for it.  I do plan if possible to tear apart the trailer & use what I can, then scrap /sell/burn whats left.

                    Shed that when you first see it looks fine, then you see this!

Now everything I have talked about so far is on the non-electric side of the farm.....As you can see there is no way I can live on that side at the moment or near future before the snows come.

Lets now talk about the side where the main house is, there are 2 buildings that are workable for me to live in.  One is a small 2 room shed that is being used for garden stuff.  There is a wall between the 2 rooms that I can remove & brace to make it one big room....well not that big you know but enough that I can get my rocking chair, wood stove & twin bed into.  I will have to build a bunk bed type of thing so I have an area under the bed for my petal sewing machine,clothes containers etc.  Also this shed has 4 doors going into it, I guess that was so they didn't have to walk around it to get will have to block 2 of the door with a temporary wall to hold out the cold.  The floors are dirt so will have to put in wood floors.  There is plenty of the old beautiful 2 inch thick boards they used to build some of the barns with I can use that to build the framing & then as the flooring itself.  the dirt floor might now be a bad thing but if it rains the building is on a level spot so I could see having mud floors after big rains....not something I really want to deal with nor the mold it will create even with the wood stove.  & the one thing I forgot to take a picture side tracked but the truck

I want to keep 2 of the door since I plan to have the chickens small trailer coop right next to me & have a fenced run surrounding 3/4ths of the place.  This way I can go out the run door to let the kids in & out of their coop without having to go far especially in the winter....or when I may be sick/have migraine.

Now the only thing I don't like is I am very close to the main house & the old grumpy cow farmer.  I just hope he leaves me alone as I do not want company or have to tell him what I am doing all the time.

The second building has stalls on the first level but has a staircase that goes up to the second floor, which is also semi-full of stuff.  It has a huge door that opens for maybe hay at one time that is in bad repair with lots of light coming through.....problem even though I like this & could work with it I can not get a wood stove up those stairs by myself.  Now in the shed I can with the Dollie I have.  & before you ask I am not asking anyone to help me......

2nd area I might be able to live in but look at all the just doesn't end!

Now I know people will leave things when they move from big places but boy did these people leave a lot of useless stuff, some of the wood can be re-used, some can be burned in the wood stove  since it has no paint on it, some of the bad stuff can be used to surround garden beds or in between the rows as a weed barrier.  The problem is even if I had a work crew of 50 I can't see getting all this 'stuff' out, organized & put where it can be used & seen.

They also at one time had sheep or goats from the poo that was left behind & that's got to be cleared out, it can be put in a composing area so that's not a big deal, but there is so much of it just to get back to the wooden floors in any of the building on the first level.  My power tools will come in handy but most of the work is moving things & shoveling out poo.  So besides the gardens Mary will have to decide which area/barn is the most important for me to work on, not counting the attic apartment I need to do for her when they are visiting the farm.

The moving, sorting, junking things will take months before I can even shovel out the poo & repair one building, it will be a big challenge that's for sure but if I can do even a small bit I will feel good helping her while I am there.

More junk that needs to be dealt with

Now on to the important issue...the 'kids'.  I am taking my big tent to stay in at first while I work on the 2 room shed.  Before I even get to working on it I have to get the small truck camper ready for the chickens.  The inside is all press chip boards & very moldy so its all got to come out,  so While the sisters are here I plan on the day we go up to rip all of the inside of it out, open the windows & scrub it down with pure vinegar inside & out.  I also will be taking some of my tarps to cover the roof area since I am not sure if its leaking or not.

Truck trailer that will be winter home for the kids.

                                                                  Chip  press wood inside trailer is all like this...the gray brown looking areas is mold.

Since I can not invest in plywood I will try I see if there is any there, if not I will use the paneling from the trailer I was suppose to live in & any good insulation I find in there for the coop.....I will also do what I always do & cover all the walls etc with tarps inside to help with the winds but keep the windows uncovered.  In the winter I can cover them in clear plastic so the 'kids' still get some light.  since this is a old truck type camper it has a bed shelf that I think will be perfect to build the nesting boxes into, I can put insulation under it, over it & behind it then cover all that with wood so they can't get into the insulation.  Really don't want to see pink chickens running around.

I have 100 feet of 6 foot tall chained linked fencing I am taking with me as well as the horse fencing that is 4 feet tall, plus any chicken wire I can salvage.  the chained link is in 30 foot sections which I will use my bolt cutters to cut into 5 foot long sections since I have the metal things to connect them together again once I get them up.  There is quite a few foxes up there so I want the 'kids' to be safe.  So the trailer coop & fencing will be the first things I do.  I will do a temporary run with the horse fencing since its easy to move & secure & work on the chained link run.  even if they have to use the horse fence run for a few days I will be right there so hopefully I won't have to shoot a fox with my crossbow.

So that's the plan so far.  I came home on the same day I was up there so it was a 10 1/2 hour total drive, must say I was worn out but sat in my recliner & made a list of all the questions I have from Mary...4 pages front & back so far!  She & I are driving up there again together on Tuesday so she can walk me through some of the areas I didn't see, like the apartment, grumpy man wasn't there & it was locked up, There were some other buildings I didn't go into since they are for the milking cows, don't need to deal with them & I noticed another 3 sided barn out back I would like to look at, if nothing else to see if there is anything in there that can help me while I am there.

My tomatoes I dried are ready so today plan to get the meat cooked, to ready to dry & dry the broccoli & cauliflower.  so though I am tired this will be easy work for me to do plus sweep floors & maybe do a load of laundry.  later on this evening I plan to try & figure out what I need to take now that I know where I will end up.  Also of the stuff can't go as room will be an issue, but I can build up & use the open ceiling for hanging things out of my pots & pans.  But the amount of fabric I wanted to take will have to be cut down,  The heavy plastic green house I am taking will have to be used for the 5 gallon buckets of dried food stuff.  It will also be my wash buckets, cleaning stuff storage...It is 8 feet by 10 feet so I can use my old milk crates & boards to make shelves off the ground, which will also be tarp-ed.  so that will be a nice usable space outside the shed for things.

I am glad I am able to shift gears fast or this would have me in a panic, but I know what I am doing is not going to be a walk in the park so I have to be able to think outside the box...or shed, or trashed trailer.

Until next time have a wonderful chicken day....M'


  1. Oh Dear Hen - I must admit I am worried. So much work to be done before winter and that is not that far around the corner. I am sending prayers and good vibes your way.. I will send email Hugs dear Hen.

  2. I am worried about her too Grace, I do not like the looks of it all. So very much work for one woman. I to hope and pray to can get it all done before the winter sets in. Glad though there is someone close even if he is a crabby old man, just in case she needs something or someone. But, knowing M the way I do she will turn this old man around and he will be less crabby once he meets her. She is an amazing, special lady and he will be a better man for having met her.
    Hugs and more Hugs,

  3. Now Hens you all quit your worrying...I only plan to get the old small trailer cleaned up & fenced for the kids & then my place before the big winter hits....after that it will be done as I go along & can do what I can do...I can not even dream of getting it all done in one year by myself.....but will be happy building at least one large coop & get the 2 story horse barn in good shape.......I know this is way beyond what I can do in the short time I will be there but would love to be able to just help Mary anyway I can while I 'find'

    But you know if things go badly I may see if I can just stay there & keep working on will take years & years of work so its not like I wouldn't be busy....

    As for the cranky old man hopefully he will like eggs to butter him up so to speak for raw than that he can be cranky all he wants....

    love you both dear hens....M'