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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.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Lobster, apples & wood rot



Good evening everyone!  Yesterday Morning I had to drop the 2 sisters off at the airport for them to head home.  It was super hard to see them leave as I so enjoyed them being here with me.

They arrived here on Wednesday, the 5th & we had a slow easy first full day here.  We mainly hung out, visited, drank lots of coffee & visited with my kids...Chickens.

Friday we decided would be a good day for the apple picking as its the season & I knew Saturday picking would be crazy...so off we went to a apple farm that was celebrating its 100th year.  Now we didn't go hog wild or anything, just got one bushel of very nice apples for my apple sauce making, drying & just plan eating.

I have never been to this farm before so had no idea they had a feeding/petting zoo of sorts there...so me being me had to get some feed to treat the 2 goats, 2 sheep, 1 donkey & one very pretty small bull.  The sheep ram & mule were the pigs of the group so had to work around them to get to the females.  Lots of slobbers later I got each of them fed except for the bull, he was more interested in the children who were feeding him dropped apples.  Don't blame him a bit for that.

So the rest of that day & the weekend were for making up apples & creating big sisters jerky to go in the food dryer.  All said & done I have 24 quarts of apple sauce with raisins & nutmeg, 1 quart bag of dried apples & about 2 1/2 pounds of jerky to take to the farm with me.

Monday we headed out to NY to see the farm & work on truck camper for the chicken coop.  Well we were doing really good time til we got to one tiny town that was working on the main bridge,  2 people told us the wrong directions to get to a highway so we ended up a bit out of the way of where we needed to go....but finally found it, got Mr. Grumpy out of the main house & introduced myself to him.  Not the nicest or friendliest of guys.

Seems that a huge wind storm came through & the truck camper was on its top...Now its funny this would happen just then & not be on its side if the wind knocked it over, plus big sis saw him smurking as he told us...so a big fishy there but I knew he won't be the easiest man to deal with ahead of time so was not surprised.  But what was suppose to take maybe all of 2 hours now became a 2 day event.

Since that couldn't be used we had to go over to my side where I will now be (explain that in a bit) & try to figure out how to convert a small building with 1 missing wall into a temporary coop.  First we had to remove all the trash someone had to decided to place in there. As you can see it had a lot of stuff in it.  Little sis & I drug out & tried to bag up all we could, plus put junk in one pile & wood stuff in another.  Then the floor had in door/outdoor carpet that needed to go & found massive wood rot under that.  So we got that up & let the floor beams dry overnight.

We headed to a sweet little motel on the lake
                                    Our home sweet home for the night

                                     View of Lake Champlain from our room

Ok so much for a slow nice drive back home, checking out Vermont.  Next morning lots of coffee & little sis & I headed back to the farm, thank goodness there is a warehouse worth of wood on the farm & we were able to find enough wood to create temporary beams, braces & floor.  Plus while cleaning out all the junk we found two extremely large sheets of heavy black plastic that could be used to cover the walls, ceiling & floor after we got the wood in.

Needless to say since I only brought things for the truck camper I had to hit the hardware store.  Now those boys were so nice & helpful & I got all the nails, ect I needed to do this new job with.  Since we just could not tear out all the floor beams I got 3 inch penny nails that would go through the rotted part & at least attach to the dry good wood so we were able to nail down the floor so I don't fall through it.

By 4 p.m. we were finally done, tired & I smelled like dog pee,  The plastic sheeting seemed to be the favorite place for the old dog to pee on.  I will still have to put in a real wall when I go back up but at least the building is braced, cleaned out & I don't have to worry about that part.  Now I just hope Mr. Grumpy doesn't come over & tear out all little sis & I did.

I am only using about 1/2 of the building for the chickens since they will only be sleeping in it plus the rot on the area you don't see plastic is just too bad to work with.  That area will be blocked/boarded so the chickens can't get into it & hurt themselves.  I also had to take the door off since the hinges were rusted solid but got new hinges so I have a door in front that you can't see that shuts & is thick to keep animals out.

Now before I had stated I was fixing up a old garden shed to live in because the only good trailer belonged to someone else.  Well Mary & her husband have decided to buy it from the boy as he is moving to Texas to work in the oil business & doesn't want to try & get it off Marys farm.  So I will be living in it....I will have running water but don't want the electric turned on or oil tank filled....there is a nice heavy duty wood stove in the living room area plus a huge stack of firewood there for me to use.

It has 1 bedroom in the back, a bathroom & a small room that is for a washer/dryer....I plan to quilt off those areas & mainly use the living room/kitchen area...I have a twin bed I can put in the living room & use as a bed/sofa...the laundry room area will be the chicken ER room, bedroom will be for all the 55 gallon feed containers & 5 gallon buckets of grains.  Since I will have a toilet don't need to get the composting toilet & I can heat water on the stove for the bathtub to bathe or wash clothes.

                                        Wood stove in trailer

So for all of you that worried, this is a good solid mobile home where I can be safe & comfortable.  I can still be partly off grid but the sisters are glad I will not be hauling water from the other side of the road.  & I will enjoy that especially when its super cold......also I am only 3 steps away from the chicken coop which for me is very important.

The temporary coop just has to get them through the winter as in the spring I will be building them a new one & tearing down the one they spent the winter in.  I am hoping I can use my table saw to cut out the rotted wood & re-use the wonderful flooring beams as they are over 100 years old.

We finally got all we could do done & headed home dirty & tired.  Finally fell through the house door around 10 p.m....needless to say Wednesday was a slow day for us....very sore & I was pretty brain dead.

I did go get the sisters lobster & shrimp for a fish boil supper which we had in the living room picnic style.  I was able to get the lobsters for $4.99 a pound right now...so between lobster, shrimp, potatoes & corn on the cob we were quite full & very happy campers.

I am very thankful they were able to come up & spend time with me, even with all the driving, getting lost, dirty & cranky...I was cranky not them...lol.  I am sure they will not to have a repeat of this the next time they come up to visit so will have to make sure the next visit doesn't include cranky old men, mold, wood rot, falling down buildings & more of the fun things like lobster boils, sitting at the picnic table drinking coffee & talking to the chickens With no hammers in sight.

Until next time have a wonderful chicken day!.....

M' & crew

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