Where it all started....

Well, it started many years ago at a company called RPS. The company name changed and so did mine in 2001. From there, the road led us to the ATL and our own business. I left the road to have babies, but it sure is hard to take the trucker out of a Momma!

Friday, May 31, 2013

The Woes of The Husband....

So, Patrick returned from Arkansas with the kids, a kayak, and a staph infection.  Oh yeah!

This warranted a trip to the Emergency Room on Sunday, which probably saved his leg or his life.  His temperature spiked to 104.7 and he was seeing blurry.  They sent him home with 2 prescriptions.  1 for pain to which is debated about filling and 1 for Doxycycline for attacking the infection.  It took until Wednesday to be fever free.  It also took us to the doctor for a follow-up and full diagnosis.  Strep A cellulitis that got in through a small cut or bug bite.  The doctor changed his meds and gave him more pills for pain.  (Yes, he was very glad that he had filled the first one by Monday afternoon!!)

So, with all this going on, my one week of covering at work for his vacation looks like it will be going into week 3 on Monday.  His infection has stopped spreading, but he is nowhere close to being healed.

This is his leg outlined with the hospital marking the original infection.  We had to track it from there, thus the #2.

Not too bad looking, but not pretty.

This is day 3, the day we went for the follow-up.

 Today (Friday) is not pretty!  The doctor did say it would take several days to several weeks for all of it to come to the surface, blister, and scab.  It is blistering alright.  He is still in great pain and can not stand still because it hurts so much.  Walking is good but after 30 minutes, he needs to sit and put his leg up.

So, I am going to work tomorrow and probably all of next week.  Turning back into a trucker and he is not real content in the stay at home role.  Told him, he better get used to it, because he is not going back until he is healed!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Chicken House Progress....

With the husband and kids gone on a visit to the farm in Arkansas, I have been working at FedEx for the usual hours to get the drivers out the door and then coming home to work on the chicken condo.  It has come along quite well and the girls moved in today!!

Again, I credit henning house (http://henninghouse.com/2011/05/building-the-chicken-coop-henhouse-part-1/) for their inspiration!

Here is a breakdown of the condo in stages:

Base constructed and checked for level.

Built the walls in the driveway and carried them down to the base.

All walls up and roof on!  Had the
husband help with this part, because it
was a tough go alone!

2 walls up

Used the FedEx van for a lumber (and tomato cage)
run!  Works better than the pick-up truck!
I opted to use 8 ft fence pickets instead of ply wood, because of the cuts for the
door, nesting boxes, and windows.  I put them on vertically to give it a log look. 

Window in and nesting boxes started.

Left side complete!

Nesting box complete (at least on the outside)

Back wall windows cut in as is the exit for the girls!

Back wall done including shutters
and screening on windows.
Window screen on the inside

Shutters can close to keep the
draft down in the winter.

Door added.  Needs a latch since the one I bought
was missing parts.  But who makes a
Home Depot run on Memorial Day weekend?!?

Ramp and screening for the open area at the bottom.  Have to keep the
predators out of the chicken house!

Added an awning above the windows.

Roost bars 

Nesting boxes on the
inside.  (And no build could be
complete without a cold one!)

Nesting box egg access.

Nesting box door open

While I was moving the fence
around and the girls were free ranging,
Floppsie made her own way in to lay!

All the girls are in and liking it!

I went down to check on them after it was dark and a
couple of the girls have made the transition quite well.
2 were not into the new roost.
I have several things left to finish, but all in all, I am super excited about the house that I built for the girls!  I think my shop classes in 6, 7, and 8th grades served me well!  It is not perfect and I used a TON of screws, but I still have all my fingers and I did it all with the Ryobi tool set my husband said could not be used to build a thing.  I didn't need that $200 compound miter saw he was trying to get me to buy!

For the project to be 100% done, I need to get a hanger for their food so it is right at the gate or inside the condo itself.  I also need to add a roost bar, because I realized tonight they are a little high.  A way to close the hen exit is in the works (but again would have required going to Home Depot).

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Kids Summer: Trip #1

As kids, both my husband and I lived away from our families and Summer meant going to visit family.  Well, the same holds true for our kids.  The first trip of Summer Break took them to Arkansas with their Dad to visit their Papa John.  I stayed home to keep the business running and work on a couple of projects around the house.

The first day, the girl is already at peace walking the fields in her new Bog Boots and dress.

Day two....It was time to get to work!  John picked the wagon over driving,  so he could watch the dog run with them as they rode the fence lines.

The big pool was apparently still a little cold and not ready for swimming, but these 2 were set on swimming while at Papa John's.  Thanks to the Pocahontas, AR Wal-Mart for making it happen!

Some of the best things are cuddles with grandparents.  I remember mine fondly.  Hope they will remember theirs as well!

There is a large Mennonite population near Papa John and the kids were given hats to fit in!  They have been worn ever since.

And yet another fond memory I have of visits with my Grandparents:  Fishing!  I am so glad they are having fun!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Garden Update

So, I started my Pinterest inspired raised beds in my front yard in March.  We have been making great progress and I cannot wait for fresh veggies!

Here are a couple pictures taken today:

 A couple of the pole beans did not take, so I replanted and they are the little ones playing catch up.  3 of them are already really climbing and it makes me smile!!

The carrots and garlic and progressing, but it is a slow go, as they will be in place until Fall.  Notice the row markers the kids made when we first planted.  Sticks with foam sticker paper cut to show the veggies (here you can see 2 carrots, a green bean, and a garlic).

 Yep, even my zucchini likes wine!!  You can see some of my mulching: newspaper with cut leaves on top as well.

Potatoes are in the Smart Pot on the right.  I think I have one more mounding to add to them before the pot is full.  The Red Tomato Mulch is on and seems to be working.  The tomatoes are drinking rum instead of wine (only the blue tops are showing for buried root watering).  Need to get my tomato cages in soon.  The back wall of peppers and cukes is coming along.

I have to say, I think this garden thing has a calming effect on me.  I have not been doing nearly as much ranting as I used to!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Chicken Progress

I am not a professional builder!  I am 100% winging it!  I made the mistake of buying stud boards, but made them work.  But....here is one wall of the new chicken coop:

I have progressed from there to this:

Side walls and front wall are up.  The window is framed and the door is ready to be added.  Need to get roof on and the nesting boxes built on the one side.  I am still debating about internal or external nesting boxes.  

In the meantime, the new chicks, who have been named Flopsie, Mopsie, Topsie, Peter, Cottontail, and Bob are growing and being loved on!  Today, they went to the front yard for some grass time and sunshine!  They loved it, as did the kids!

Hopefully by September, this new group of girls will be laying!   I am excited to see what color the Easter Egger will produce.  The other chicks are:  2 Leghorns, 1 White Plymouth Rock, 2 Golden Bluff Red Stars.   

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Chicken woes....

So, this past fall something was getting into our coop and making off with chickens.  We shored the coop up, filled in all the uneven ground around the run, and put an electric fence up on the outside to keep the perpetrator at bay.  We did loose 3 of our best layers and the others were so scared!  The whole thing made our remaining girls go into a stress molt.

Winter came and I do not believe in a light to get them back on a laying schedule.  I figure, let nature be nature.  I sucked it up and bought eggs from the farm where we buy milk.  Time change came and our 2 replacements (beautiful Java hens) started laying.  The old 3.....nothing.  So, I placed an order for 6 chicks to arrive in April.  Guess who got wind of their approach to the soup bowl?  Suddenly, the girls kicked back into production.

It was too late to cancel our chick order, so I have started construction of a new coop to hold all 11 girls.  I looked at pinterest and got many ideas from others and their creations.  The most helpful blog was, The Henning House:


I changed a thing or two that he has done so far and have included a peel and stick laminate floor.  Here are some progress picture before the floor:

My ground area where I decided to build was pretty uneven.  I decided to use the poured blocks made to accommodate 2x4's.

I framed under the floor with 16 inch spacing between my boards and then put the floor down.

The girls watched closely to make sure it was all up to spec!

And then look who showed up just 2 days ago!  I guess I better get back to building so they can have a home!!