Monday, April 19, 2010

We Have Achieved Breathing Room!

Well, this weekend has made for some sore hands and a very sore back. That's ok! All of the major 'have to dos' got done. I am physically and mentally exhausted from all of it, but now I won't be scrambling and worrying all week about what needs to be done outside.

On Friday, my friend borrowed a bank of small cages from me and brought over 5 chickens that needed to be butchered. Doing this is such a slow process for us. I'm hoping that in the future, we get a little faster! We also butchered a rabbit and I had to cull my senior NZW buck. It was sad to see him go, but he was old and no longer doing his job.

Saturday, I turned one of those banks of small cages into something much better. I turned a bank of 6 into a bank of three. I thought this would be easier than building all new cages from scratch, but the further into the project that I got, the harder it became. If I could wear gloves, it wouldn't have been so bad, but wearing them drives me nuts! On the up side, I realized that the cages had all been built from wire that had been galvanized after welding. All of the stuff I buy is galvanized before. I can't afford the premium stuff.

Now, all of my rabbits have their very own cages. This was something that was a major source of stress to me. I knew I could get it done, but where to put them was another story. I have 10 rabbits in our shop, set up willy-nilly on make-shift stands over tarps. For now, this will do and Chris seems to be just fine with it. I am also selling a bred doe next week to make a little extra cage space and I have all of my litters sold, with the exception of 4 agouti New Zealands. They should do fine on Craigslist.

Yesterday, I got all of the hutches cleaned, cages got burned and scrubbed, lime got laid down, and the tarps got removed for the year. I also managed to get enough groceries packed in for a couple of weeks, buy all the makings for my goat feed, and mix it up.

Chris took Allis for a joy ride and sprayed the property along the side of the road. He also managed to get a large portion of the garden rototilled. Since we are expanding it, some of it was harder to till. He didn't get it finished, but he did get a huge chunk taken care of. He also did a massive amount of burning. Since the front of our property has been logged and we had someone out to pull stumps, there is a mess of wood laying around. Cleaning it all up hasn't been a top priority, but we have been packing stuff around another huge stump on the side of the house that we can't get out, however, it won't seem to catch fire either. I give him kudos for his efforts and appreciate the clean-up!

All of this gives me more time to just focus on the kids and clean house at a leisurely pace. I still need to go out and get all of my seeds started in the greenhouse, but I don't consider that a major challenge. That is something I enjoy and can take the kids to help.

Chris told me that I am not allowed to make plans for next weekend. He thinks that it is time that we stop and relax for a bit. I was freaked out by this at first. I at least want one day to work, but he told me that it was time for a break. After much more thought and really feeling beaten up by all of my projects, I agree. It's been months since we took an entire weekend to enjoy life. This means 2 solid days of fishing. The girls will be in 7th Heaven, and I must admit, I will be too.

God Bless!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Design Fun

I have gotten a little better with Google SketchUp. It's a free program that you can use to create scaled models of just about anything. Here is the initial idea of what I'll be building. I haven't gotten all of the roof beams added into it. I just wanted to do it to show Chris exactly what I was thinking. I thought I would post it on here too, so that if you're designing something, you could see just how well this program works!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Pole Barn

So, after several suggestions from friends, I think we are going to go with a pole barn to house the rabbits. This is something that we talked about doing, but had decided to wait, since I was going to hold off on the rabbitry expansion. Now, we are debating on where and how we are going to do it.

Chris wants to build a decent size barn in the field in front of the house. Something that we could use for larger livestock too. I am all over this idea, but it wouldn't even begin construction until the garden is in the ground. With the weather we've been having, the garden seems to be a distant possibility.

I, on the other hand, would like to build a small, 8' x 24' pole building out next to my existing rabbitry. This is something I could do rather quickly, house about 30 cages, have it close to what I'm already doing and be able to tear it down for the materials when the actual building in front of the house begins (if I choose to do so). I am happy with where my rabbitry is right now. I was dead against it in the beginning, but it has turned into the ideal location. Besides, I have a lot of work into that area, and what a feeling it is to go out there and see something that you did with your own hands, actually working out.

Yesterday, we got the chicks moved into their shed. No, the shed isn't finished yet, but we put the tub we were using for a brooder in there on its side so that if it were to rain, they could find shelter. That is one less thing to worry about now. I do still need to take the chicks out of my bathtub and get them into the shop. They will out grow the rubbermaid they are in pretty fast, and I hate the smell of chickens!

I also managed to take a huge chunk out of the housework. That was probably one of the biggest reliefs to me. I still have some more to do, but most of that is my bedroom. It starts to look like a bomb went off in there. That is where everything that doesn't have a home, or the toys that get taken away go. It also houses my office (a desk, book shelf, 3 filing cabinets, etc). It definitely gives me more ideas regarding that pole barn!

God bless!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

One By One, It Will Get Done!

I have been really lazy about posting, but my life has been one crazy amusement park ride lately. The kind that spins you around and makes you throw up! That's ok. I've decided to take it all in stride, and have promised myself (and my very understanding hubby) that I won't take on any more projects, until the ones I am in the middle of are complete.

Right now, I'm in the middle of a huge chicken and rabbit catastrophe waiting to happen. I have gotten my meat birds into the chicken tractor. The problem is, I can't move the tractor by myself, so in front of my house it sits. Meat birds are filthy creatures. I also have 18 chicks in my shop (Chris' side) that have decided that the brooder is too small and that they prefer wandering around to look at the shiny stuff. I bought the used shed off of Craigslist, but the weather has been so rotten and windy that getting it up has been an impossibility. We got most of it up on Sunday, but the roof won't align right, so only half of that is up. I'm going to tarp it today and move the birds. This way I can get the 10 that I hatched over the weekend out of my bathroom and into the brooder in the shop. Still following?

The rabbits that I bought, with the understanding that I would buy her shed too, have had some major consequences. The woman has decided for one reason or another (that's still unclear) that she doesn't want to sell me the shed. She also decided that the five other does that I was supposed to bring home (paid for) were too much for her to deal with and wants to refund my money. She told me she will send me the pedigrees for the nine I have already gotten home. I hope this actually happens! Normally, I wouldn't worry too much about all of this, except that I only would have gotten three does from her if she hadn't offered me the shed. So, on my side of the shop, I have nine rabbits (two that I caved for and bought at a show on Saturday...I know, I know). Now, I have to figure out how to get a shed built and extra cages put together at a very reasonable price.
My friend Tammy has me pinned down on Friday with butchering. She has eight roosters that must go and will split the meat with me, in exchange for the use of my 'butcher station' and a helping hand. I figure that's an awesome deal and maybe I can get her to help me butcher two rabbits that I need to go.

I've been holding off on the pig pen. The weaners won't be here until the end of next month at the earliest, so I don't have to be in a huge rush with that. I wanted to have it done by the end of March, just so it was out of the way, but I'm slacking a bit.

So, in the middle of all of this, I am homeschooling the girls. They are doing really well and are enjoying it. I love it too, but it would be much better if we could do it in a clean house! Getting the house clean has become an insurmountable project, as well. Chris is out of town for a couple of nights, so I am going to work on that tonight and tomorrow night. When my house doesn't feel clean, it really puts my mind in a funk. When it's clean, I feel like I can take on the world.

Well, in any case, if anyone has any feasible ideas on how to build a rabbit barn that can hold about 24 cages, and have the ability to be expanded upon for next to nothing, let me know! That's a pretty tall order, I know, but just sayin'...

Take Care and God Bless!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Weird Wednesday

So many of the blogs I read do a 'Wordless Wednesday'. So, just to be a little different, I thought I could go with a 'Weird Wednesday'. Here it is, the first one:

Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia- Fear of long words

Mottephobia- Fear of moths (I have this!)

Pittakionophobia - Fear of stickers or labels (Got this one too...well, really, anything sticky. ***shivers***)

Optophobia- Fear of opening one's eyes (sounds like a democrat thing)


If you counted 24 hours a day, it would take 31,688 years to reach one trillion!

No piece of square dry paper can be folded more than 7 times in half!

Over 2500 left handed people a year are killed from using products made for right handed people!

The sentence "The quick brown fox jumps over a lazy dog." uses every letter of the alphabet!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Plans

OK, so it's 5:30 on a Saturday morning and I'm up and at 'em. Alright, maybe not at 'em yet, but I'm up. I am the queen of undue stress, but this weekend the stress isn't necessarily undue. I have a chore list that runs the length of my arm and every item on it is important. Not to mention, tomorrow is Easter and we haven't even colored eggs yet.

Why then, didn't I spend some of the week working on these chores? The weather. It has been so nasty outside that I haven't even been able to take my kids out to feed with me. Yesterday, I'm sure I saw one of the neighbor's chickens blow past my house. No, that is not a joke. A real, live chicken. I didn't want them to have to post, "I'm sure I saw one of the neighbor's children blow past our house," on their blog. So, inside, the kids stayed.

Today, Chris is home. This gives me an extra set of eyes and hands. I can have the girls in the shop, since one of us is usually in there when we're all outside. We don't dare let them in there alone. Too many shiny tools and baby critters. I shudder at the thought of what my girls could come up with.

So, this weekend, I need to clean out both sides of the shop, move my chicken tractor for the meat birds, erect my shed that will house the hens, butcher a couple of rabbits, move a pile of rabbit poo (I was going to compost it where it's at, but have decided that is what the composter is for), split the rabbits into as many cages as I can muster up (I have one that is cut out, but still needs to be put together), and clean up the area on the side of my shop where people have to walk to get to the rabbitry (I think I heard dueling banjos out there the other day, signaling the need to clean it up). Like I said before, we also need to color eggs. I would also like to get my house cleaned up a little. The Easter Bunny will be here in the morning, and I would hate for him to see this place in such disarray (especially with so many of his relatives living here)! Oh, yeah, that reminds me...I need to go to town and get Easter baskets and do some grocery shopping. OK, I think that covers all of my chores.

If I'm going to actually get some of this done, I should probably go get some warm clothes on (pajamas won't cut it), grab a flashlight, and hop to it.

Have a wonderful weekend and a truly blessed Resurrection Day!