Monday, April 27, 2015

Words of Wisdom for Today

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Chicks and Coops!

I have been threatening to do it for some time. Last weekend I finally sucked it up and bought a new coop and some chicks. I planned to build a coop because the materials costs really aren't that high, however I just could not seem to find the time to make it happen. I stopped by my local farm store and took a gander at what they had to offer coop wise. I found this coop made by Precision and fell in love. It matches the buildings on my homestead and is just the right size for a small flock of chickens. I purchased the coop, 6 chicks, mash, grit, meal worms, a heat lamp, bedding, and a heat lamp. Out the door cost was $390.

The coop comes in two flat-packed boxes for ease in getting them home. You can pay someone to assemble them, but the fact is you can do it yourself in just about an hour. Easy-peasy. You can get it done even faster with a couple of neighbor kids to assist, like I did.

Here are some photos I took as I assembled this backyard beauty just so you can see how quick and easy you too can have a small flock where you live:

Empty the boxes and make sure you have all the parts. In this case we opened up both boxes and looked over everything carefully.

An electric screwdriver made short work of the assembly process. 

 Don't be afraid to undo something you did wrong. Take things apart before you assemble the entire thing and discover a problem. It took two tries for me to get the nesting box floor correct.

Built in perches are over a removable tray so cleaning the coop is really easy. 

I chose this particular coop because of its features:

·        Rain-resistant asphalt roof
·        3 nesting boxes
·        3 roosting bars
·        Adjustable coop ventilation
·        Removable floor pan
·        Internal nesting box with rear door access
·        Houses up to 5-7 adult chickens 

I am very pleased with the finished product. This coop has many great features including plenty of space for 5 - 7 birds. Now I just have to wait for my chicks to be old enough and hearty enough to be outside. 

What does your chicken coop look like? Share with us below!

Tiny House Homestead Podcast #23

It's Spring! Today I will give you an update on the homestead and the Shouse, tell you about a natural way to control wasps, share with you about my chicks and new coop, read some listener feedback, share about a new podcast, and tell you about a casting call for a new reality television show. Welcome to Tiny House Homestead!

Check out this episode!

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Links from this episode -  a great new blog and podcast about the tiny house movement and those who live in a tiny house. - great coops for chickens, hutches for rabbits, and dog houses too!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

So Sick of Being Sick

This past week I had my ass kicked by a bug of some kind. It started late last week, had me calling out of work on Monday and again on Friday and caused me to drag all weekend. I hate being sick, but it seems the older I get the harder I get hit by bugs. At first I thought it was just me, but then 4 other folks in my office came down with the same thing and one ended up in the hospital. Being like this leaves me un-inspired and short on patience. Not a good combination for a writer. No less than four times I sat down to write and ended up just spacing out completely. Super frustrating.

While I was searching for something inspiring, I came across a letter I wrote to myself about this time last year. It was a manefesto written out of frustration and a profound disappointment in the rut I found myself in both personally and professionally. I loved teaching, but hated the leadership. I loved my home, but hated the cost to maintain it. I loved my friends, but knew I had to make changes. I was transported back to those emotions when I reread what I had written. It was further confirmation I made the best choice in my adventure and I have zero regrets.

Instead of trying to come up with something clever or tiny house related, I just figure I would post some pictures of my dog. I adopted my dog a few months ago from a shelter and she had never been groomed. Her nails were very long and her hair unruly. I first had to get her vaccinated and then get her on heart worm and tick/flea treatments. I then set about finding a groomer. I called all the local groomers without success. Some groomers are not taking new dogs and the balance simply never returned my phone calls. I hate that. It is rude. Finally I asked for assistance on Facebook and found a groomer not too far from my home with Saturday hours. Ms. Chloe had her first appointment this past Saturday and short of being hospitalized I was not going to miss that appointment.

Here is a before shot:

She was looking more than a little scraggly. 

Here is what she looked like after: 

I think she felt a bunch better and a boosted sense of confidence. She rode home hanging her head out the window. I will be using the same groomer again for sure. That lady was a miracle worker. I had no idea that my dog was part Schnauzer!

Sunday I took the time to prepare meals for the upcoming week. I have decided I have got to lose some weight and it seems my biggest issue is portion control. With the exception of my addiction to Coca Cola, I actually eat pretty healthy, but I just eat too much. So I am experimenting with breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks prepared and stored in Mason jars to help with portion control. I am only going to eat whole foods I cook/prepare myself. I poked around on the web to find some recipes others had created and copied or modified them. I am not sure if it will work or not, but at least I know I will have a breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day this week that I won't have to think about. Additionally, I made sugar free jello and filled a dozen half-pint size jars. Any time I want to snack or munch, I can grab one of them and be guilt free. Gelatin is good for hair and nails, which is bonus. 

Tomorrow's lunch is Caprese Salad: 

This week will be busy because of the days I missed last week. I have a training tomorrow, so I won't even get to be in the office until Tuesday. I hope to get my energy back soon. 

Things around the homestead are moving along. I continue to fight the battle of wasps in my new building. I think a caulking party is in order to seal up all those spaces small critters manage to squeeze through. Meanwhile wasp spray and nightfall are my best friends. Things in Oklahoma are beginning to green up quite nicely. Small flowers are blooming all over my land. Trees are beginning to fill out. Lawns are needing mowing. Goats, horses, and cows are all giving birth. Spring is here. 

With Spring comes storm season. Storms are predicted for Wednesday of this week. Severe weather predicting is tough, but models foretell the risk for potentially violent storms on Wednesday. I enjoy a good thunderstorm and am hopeful strong storms will not mean tornadoes. However, I have scoped out a storm shelter because I am not scared, but I am also not stupid. If they tell me to take cover, I will take cover. 

I hope you all have a great week!