Saturday, July 23, 2011

Chicken Coop!

Well my wonderful Tool Man has also been busy this summer! One of the things that we had to do was build a chicken coop for my flock of chickens. We started out with 25 chicks and have 18 hens and one rooster left. Unfortunately a hungry Mama Cat found a way to get in our holding pen and had herself a little feast with 6 of my chickens! So the plans to move the chickens became a priority!

My hubby had already begun cleaning an area on one of the buildings around our house....luckily it already had a good roof and back wall! All he had to do was create side walls and front wall and door of course!
Lucky for us my granddaddy doesn't believe in throwing anything away...and he was able to use the sides of and old cotton trailer to build the remaining sides of the coop. Between the Tool Man and my Daddy I had a chicken coop in a couple of days! It amazed me what they accomplished with scrap tin sheets, wire to repair the chicken wire on the sides of the trailer and some old wood! I think the only thing they bought were the hinges and handle for the door!

My hard working Tool Man!!! And an inside view of the back wall of the coop!

After research and much advice to give my girls a perch up off the ground! So the Tool man put together this perch for me! The top and bottom is reinforce with a piece of sucker rod...and the rest is just 1"X6" boards and     1 1/2" dowel rods. He suspended this from the ceiling with heavy grade wire then secured it the the back wall with screws so that it wouldn't sway as the chickens got up and down!

The Tool Man also rigged this gravity feeder for me! When the chickens were little we had the traditional feeders...little tray with the holes in it...but they were always filling it up with their bedding and covering up their feed...and considering the floor of this coop is sand...I didn't want that! So Tool Man took a 5 gallon bucket (that he got for free!) and cut a hole in the bottom of it...suspend it from the ceiling over a tray...and now I have a feeder that I only have to fill up about every two weeks! The 5 gallon bucket holds about a 25 lb. bag of feed! Tool Man set it up on an old tire to try to keep the sand outta the feed. And this works really well. All I have to do is move the bucket forward to fill the tray everyday! That makes it so much easier on this pregnant woman!

Now there is nothing special about my waterer...other than the fact that I LOVE it and my Daddy got it for me! I tried to use the 1 gallon waterers. I had two of them and my poor chickens kept running out of water...I was going out there twice a day to keep them going! And with over 100 degree heat daily...water is very important for them! Besides all that the waterers that I had were the type that you filled from the bottom...which means I was taking them off the hooks, taking them outside the coop filling them up, carrying them back into the coop and rehanging them...sigh...cumbersome prego, with bad balance, uneven ground and heavy waterers...not a good combo. So with a plea to my Daddy (who helps take care of the's a joint venture!) He went an bought me this wonderful 3 gallon waterer! The lid lifts right off and all I have to do is stick a water hose down in there and fill it up! Now I do rinse out the bottom of the tray daily...but it is still super easy! And my Tool Man even ran a hose inside the coop with a cut off valve on it so I didn't have to walk over the uneven ground to get to the faucet!

This is our latest addition! Nesting boxes! My Daddy already had these...all they needed was a little repair work and we were ready to go! I got the pleasure of helping Tool Man hang it on the wall of the coop this afternoon! We had some leftover bedding from when they were little it is ready for the eggs! Just hoping some of my girls decide to start laying soon!

All in all I have a good looking flock of chickens! By the way red buckets were put in so that the chickens didn't have a far to jump to the ground from the perch....was advised that it might crack their eggs...would rather be safe than sorry! And thanks to my Tool Man and my Daddy...taking care of them is easy! I am just ready for some eggs....bring on the fresh eggs please!

God Bless,
Mama D

Friday, July 22, 2011

I'm Still Here!

Well's been a while since I last posted! I am simply got in the way! Down here in Texas we have been having record break heat on a daily basis...very few days have we seen without going over the century mark. And we are also suffering with a drought! We actually got just a little rain about 10 days ago...and were very grateful. They cut our hay last night and we got a little over a bale an acre...which was excellent considering the weather conditions.

I am so sorry folks....being Texan and part of a cattle operation...the weather conditions are rather important...and not just an inconvenience in our household! I'll quit rambling now.

As most of you know I am pregnant! We found out the first part of June that it is a little boy and we have named him Elijah! I have been busy at the sewing machine trying to get ready for his arrival!
This is my first set of cloth diapers...tutorial to come soon. I made 24 to get us started! And intend to make that many more in the next size up, for later on. These are supposed to go up to 20 pounds. I had fun collecting my supplies at various garage sales and Goodwill! These were all made out of used receiving blankets, tee shirts and old cloth diapers! And to save money and keep the versatile I left off the speciality Velcro and snaps that are recommended...and will be using old fashioned diaper pins and vinyl covers.

I also convinced my darling Tool Man to set up his crib a little early so that I could have fun nesting and decorating! I was inspired to make some kind of wall decoration for my son....but I didn't want anything that cost money or could be pulled down and hurt him when he gets to that stage in life!

The letters of his name were made from scrap material leftover from projects of days gone by. And the cross stitch piece was made by yours truly several years ago...simply because I loved the pattern....never did give it away like I normally do my I know why I saved it!

I have also had time to make Bear a new tee shirt dress since Easter. However I did learn a very important lesson! Dresses with very full skirts on little girls inspire twirling....which is really cute...however it can get rather embarrassing when said girl does it during church front of the entire congregation! So when I made the new dress it wasn't quite as twirly!
But still fun to wear!

I also had time to make a little something for me too! I have enjoyed this pregnancy more than I thought I would....being over 100 pounds lighter makes a HUGE difference! And when I started showing I wanted a "Baby Bump" shirt...but me being me didn't want to pay for one...and since Baby is due in October I fell in love with the ones that say "Momma's Lil' Pumkin' Coming Soon!"

I used a technique called reverse applique...and thought my "Lil' Pumpkin" Shirt turned out rather cute! I had so much fun with the reverse applique technique that I have my teen age sister gathering up her plain tees to make cool new shirts for school! Also have several plans for Bear as well. And with school starting a month from today...I need to get busy!

Have you noticed yet the lack of cooking mentioned??? Well refer to my first paragraph as to how hot it is outside! I have been doing as little as possible in the kitchen the last couple of months! I generally hit it in spurts! And do as much as possible during that time! Considering the fact that my feet and legs are now swelling due to my pregnancy ... this will probably become the norm for a while! I am hoping to get my freezer well stock with freezer meals for the month of October and November! That way neither Tool Man or I have much to do kitchen wise!

Oh and we also had several birthdays at the beginning of this month! I had more fun making cakes!! I think I ended up making three in one week and a double batch of fried pies! I will have a post on the homemade fried pies, too!

Well the top picture is my version of an Over The Hill cake! We had three cousins at our family reunion...all born a month apart...all turning 40 this year! With a little help from my Tool Man and the Dollar Store this was an easy cake to decorate! The second is of course my Bear's 7th birthday cake! I realized that I had made all my girls a Barbie Doll cake at some point through out the years...and since Bear is into seemed like a good choice! She sure did love it! By the way the dolls arms are in the air because she held a banner that said Happy Birthday! My teenager also celebrated her Sweet 16 this year...but she is not into the decorated cakes. Why? When she can pick some kind of decadent dessert! So she got Homemade Hot Fudge Cake! Which I failed to get a picture of except with my phone!

Add a weeks worth of crafts at VBS and two 16 hour car trips to all of that and it has been a busy summer! Right now, except for getting ready for school, it has calmed down a bit, so I will have a little more time to get my thoughts together and get all these post written that I have picture for! You will be hearing from me again really soon!
God Bless,
Mama D