Monday, May 31, 2010

The Closet is done!

The closet is officially done! It really feels good to get another building completely finished.

Richard is putting together a collage on a thermometer for an added architectural detail. I think this is why is is taking us so long to get the buildings done but it does add an element that no one takes the time to do any more

We finally learned to cut and paint the trim BEFORE we put it up in place. This has saved us days of retouching when we tried to paint the trim in place!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Spring blooms

We love this time of year when it hasn't gotten so hot and the bugs haven't started drilling holes in some of the plants. Just a few of the blooms.

Mama hen adopts the chicks at 1 month old

One day I noticed a hen sitting beside the baby chicks cage and talking to them through the bars. So we fenced off a portion of the chicken enclosure just for the babies and this hen. She keep them warm at night and taught them the ropes of being a chicken! Actually chickens know all chicken stuff from birth, its in their genes, but it was so heart warming to see this gentle hen adopt them for a while.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Chicks at 3 weeks

The chickens grow soooo fast. When meat chickens (the chickens used for meat are much bulkier and not good egg layers) are raised for eating , they are ready for market in 6 weeks!

They are quickly growing out of their 2nd cage.

Setting the bath house drain

We are planning a hot tub for the bath house so we felt it would be a good idea to have a floor drain just in case any leak would happen. As an after thought we think it would have been a better idea to have hidden the drain under the sink. You have to have a very skilled cement person to slope the floor in the right direction. We have realize it is not an easy task as when it rains we see the puddles form on the slab and not so much to the drain.

So here we are finishing the drain even to the slab. Since we are going to stain the cement we will place the drain slightly lower than even with the floor, so that most of the water will be directed there. It is a little tricky because you have to cut and cement the PVC before the cement is poured into the patch hole. The easy way is to place a board across the hole and dry attach the parts before you cement them in. This worked quite well for us.
After the cement set we
ground the ruff edges with a grinder.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Garden Update

I had to do a bit of art in the garden, it helps to have something to look at that is finished and pleasant to look at.

The blackberries are ripe and so sweet.

The blueberries are incredible and plentiful thanks to the "termador" that has taken care of the harvester ants!

Strawberries are still going!

Grapes are forming well!

Here I am putting down cardboard, wetting it and then I place cedar sawdust over the top, I really like this method because it holds in the moisture, keeps the weeds from growing and it looks really nice!

And of course , another chicken snake caught in the net!

Monday, May 17, 2010

The road gets a facelift

We were hoping to wait until we had the main house finished before we finished the driveway with a final smooth top coat but the limestone base was so hard to walk on. It is a very good first layer for a sandy soil.
I am so thankful for our local sand and gravel yard that encouraged us to finish the driveway off with a product called "super select" ($8.00/yard , we used about 50 yards). It is a mix of 1/2 inch and smaller jagged rock. It packs down really well , it prevents flooding streams during rains and stays very clean, we love it!!!.

How we did it was to order the gravel from a hauler that pays for it and delivers the load ($50 to deliver the load, about 12 yards a load) and dumps it in the drive, then our neibor spreads the gravel with his bobcat (priceless).

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Chicks at 2 weeks...

Mellow is in the foreground with his harem in the back.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Getting the garden in shape....

The first rose of the season.... then back to working in the garden.

There is always something to do to keep the garden is shape and it always seems to get away from me.
I have been spending about 2 hours in the mornings weeding and shredding the dry waste from the fall and planting sweet potatoes. How I did this was to put a whole sweet potato in the ground a few inches from the top, watering it . In about a week or so the potato will sprout leaves, these are called "slips". I pulled these out of the potato I set in the ground , holding the potato down. I then planted the slips about 18" apart in the row. As the vines grow be sure to not let them root, as they will take energy from the main stem and dwarf the new growing potatoes.

The Garden shed awaits ......

Friday, May 7, 2010

Animals out and about....

Copper head snakes in the Crape Myrtle.......

Wrens in the pigeon coop storage..........

Cardinals in the slab area............