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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Pantry 90% Complete

When we decided to forgoe the guest room for a walk-in pantry, I felt guilty. I don't want people to feel unwelcome, I just need them to sleep in the 3 yr. old camp trailer in my driveway. We have a suite, it just happens to be out the front door.  I no longer feel even the slightest degree of guilt. I love my new pantry. The only thing left is an island in the middle with more storage below it for folding laundry. One must have a great place to fold laundry.





The new pantry isn't large but filled with floor to ceiling shelves it should do the trick. So far all four wall are full of new shelving. I still may paint the walls themselves and the wood used as bracing and cleats but I can do that this winter. For now I am moving into my new space. I keep hearing "Come on out and be part of the family!" But I must admit I just don't want to. I love it in there. I spent quite a bit of time measuring all the things I planned to store in here so canning boxes and jars stacked two high would fit. I even have a spot for the ironing board and iron but it isn't in this picture. It is to the right of the vacuum. It is so nice for everything to finally have a place. Only a few things left to put in here and the old pantry will be empty. Then that space will be ready to have the bathroom expanded into it. I need a spa bathroom next. It will likely be next year as I think our project list is complete for this one.

Friday, September 25, 2009

I Love My Chickens, but.........

I absolutely love my chickens! They are amusing to watch and greet me with total enthusiasm as long as I don't try to touch most of them. Some breeds are friendlier than others but hey, I am not complaining. They like to be invited to a picnic. We learned this while having a bbq party when my best friend and her little boys were here visiting. They love macaroni salad and um, chicken. I know it's wrong but they were stealing it off of plates of very small children.  Canibals. I actually felt guilty cooking whole chickens I raised for that purpose on the grill where my little ladies could see them until they ravaged the little people.

But then they did this to my whole entire porch and I don't feel nearly as bad. They now take their afternoon siesta on my porch with the cats. They had a little hawk scare last week when a hawk was on the porch trying to take a bird with her. I scared it away but the chicken gals now love the porch. They also like the dog house in the dog run. My dogs have never used it. They also love the area around the lawnmower in the wood shed. They sleep on the lawnmower, John Deer and chicken poop. Nice combo.

We just unblocked the nest boxes, filled them with straw and fake eggs. Now we wait. I sure hope they start to lay soon. They are almost 17 weeks so they should start soon. I check every day. So far they aren't earning their keep but I am rooting for them.

On a florally note, I still have some things in bloom. My coneflower is still looking pretty good. These were purple magnus but they really aren't that tall. Maybe next year.

And here is the only butterfly bush I did not kill this past winter. It is called a Honeycomb and it is really a pretty bush. I am very happy to have this one make it and hope it will be here next year too!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Guest Room into Pantry

For years I have been aware of the fact that my house seriously lacks storage space. I also realized I hardly ever have a guest. So sorry guests........ you'll have to sleep in the pantry. (Or in the camper, that's like a private suite in the driveway!)

I found homes for my antique guest bedroom furniture and gutted the room. It really was  a small room, but perfect for this purpose. Floor to ceiling shelving all the way around the room with an island to come for the middle, and I should be set for storage space. No more home canned goods all over my dining room floor.

We are having company for a few days starting today so I was in a serious hurry to get this done. I did not get the room painted first but at some point I have to remember that this is a pantry, not the living room. I can paint it a nice color later. The shelves are only in half of the room, I will have to finish the rest in a few weeks but it should do the trick nicely. The island in the middle will provide nice underneath storage space as well as give me a surface to fold laundry on. I planned this for months and secretly wanted one for years but was afraid my hubby would think it a bad idea. But no one ever wanted to stay with us because the bed being an antique meant it was also highly uncomfortable. Problem solved. No more bed.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Pergola 95% Finished

Here is the pergola, 95% completed. We still have to bolt the top timbers and get some prettier chairs but so far so good. My hubby is awesome for always catering to my whims. He never even complains. I'll keep him.

The BBQ looks a little out of place sitting there but at least it is no longer on my walkway to the front door. Maybe someday an outdoor kitchen is in my plan, but not today. Today is just a medium style barbecue. We are also toying with adding a bar/counter top between the uprights on the far side of this picture. Then we would have food serving space or a place to eat if we want to. I wish we had built the patio a little bigger but expanding it is now out of the question. I am happy with the final product. I thought some fun Adirondack chairs in front of the fire place would be nice.  And Doyle said he would look for some nice, big, flat stones to make a walkway so the lawn isn't so crunched down in front of it. Construction is hard on grass.

Friday, September 11, 2009

New Chicks and Nieces to Help!

We ordered 40 more Cornish Cross meat chicks to arrive yesterday so I enlisted some helpers to pick them up and install them into their new home with me. Here are my nieces, Emma and Elle, at the post office with our new shipment of chicks. The girls were still stymied as to why on earth we got our chicks from the post office. 

Emma, in pink, really wanted to touch them but ultimately lost her nerve. Next thing I heard was "you touch them Elle. I think you'll like them."

We unloaded them while counting how many we got this time. Last time we conveniently forgot to count for extras during the unloading phase. Much harder to count them when they are running around. 43 was our total, the hatchery sent two packing peanuts.

One forgets just how tiny they are when they arrive as two day old chicks. Hard to believe our last batch yielded some 8.75 pounders. The girls wondered why we got more so I told them we would eat them when they  got bigger. Elle said "That's GROSS!" I promised not to eat them until they weren't cute anymore. Neither girl understands they concept that the grocery store stocks chicken that used to look like this too. How wonderful it would be to be three again.

Monday, September 7, 2009

More Pergola Progress

We got a good start on the pergola this weekend. The goofy boards on each corner are just braces we used to hold up the corners until we got some of the top pieces on. 

There will still be six timbers that run perpendicular to the ones you see going right to left in this picture. The notching of each board is taking longer than we thought and the next course of timbers will be harder as each one will have six places to notch and not just the two we have now. 

The shade this provides will be very dappled as the spacing was a touch wider than I thought it would be but it should work great. I plan to grow grape vines and maybe mingle those with some type of climbing rose and that should help with the shade a lot. We also ran into a small snag when we dug the 2 ft. deep holes for the cement tubes and brackets last week. Our pergola is not a square shape as originally planned but had to be 1.5 ft wider than my little plan called for because we found our gray water line leading to the septic tank, right where my holes were going. At least now we know where it it :-D No project around here ever goes without a hitch. Hitches make it interesting. I am hoping we will be done with this project by next weekend. 
In the spring I will build some flower beds around the patio and it will be harder to notice the rectangular shape it ended up being. Can't wait to get this done, I have so many other things that need finishing before the snow flies. Where on earth did the summer go?

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Pergola Timbers

The need for a pergola started with the need for a spot for the outdoor fireplace. The first time we used it, it singed a nice hole into my lawn and into storage it went. Then we decided that we really needed a patio. So after a year with a hole in the yard, questions about our plans for said hole, and the subsequent building of the patio the year after that, we are finally going to put a pergola above it. Yeah us!  I know this picture makes us look plenty redneck, what with the green plastic furniture and all. But those were really just temporary. Why put pretty wooden seats or something equally fancy out in the sun to bake? You can see the corner posts (not up yet) have cement corners poured down two feet. Eventually I will build  nice flower beds around the patio, but this in and of itself is a big step.

My husband's friend owns his own mill. The guys milled all the timbers for us from local trees for no cost. I love that part the most. No money involved.

This portable mill is the bee's knees. Jaime, the owner has a logging outfit too so he is actually equipped to easily get trees, haul them to his mill, lift them onto the mill with a Bobcat, and mill until his little heart is content. Thanks Jaime!

This is what most of the timbers look like stained and ready for the construction phase, which I have slated to begin tomorrow. I am really excited to start but nervous that my mind's image won't be what we end up with. I will show progress pics.... I promise. Hopefully we'll have a great start to show you tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Goats At The End Of The Rainbow

Do you ever really wonder where the end of the rainbow is? I do, pretty regularly. The end of summer in my part of Idaho is often volatile and forest fires usually spark up after you think the danger has passed. Not yet this summer! So far we are still A-Ok and have plenty of lightening shows to watch in awe!

The goats on the other hand, hate inclement weather of any kind. If a storm cloud passes over head, they hide. If it gets too hot, they nap. When the wind blows..... they scream at the top of their lungs for us to come sit with them. Spoiled rotten goats, I tell you.

I must admit, they are sitting pretty fat and happy right now. This picture doesn't begin to show how round this little girl is. She is officially wider than she is tall and is dieting.... against her will. They can be heard hollering from the barn when they think dinner is three minutes late and they bellow in the morning just to compete with the dang rooster.  My small farm now sounds like a much larger farm. Even at 6:00 in the morning. Especially at 6:00 in the morning. I wonder if one can get morning blinders for a rooster and tranquilizers for pygmy goats, I would desperately like to sleep in one of these days. Just for a minute.

About This Blog

We started this blog in Feb. of 2009 to help us stay motivated and to track our progess in the garden. We live on 5 acres surrounded by Idaho farmland. We have wildlife galore and are attempting to attract more in the bird catagory. This is our journal. Welcome!


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