Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Progress at Last!

I can't believe the shop is essentially finished!  All that needs to be completed is paining the faschia.  I finished the electrical, put the trim up and we have it roofed.  We did hire a young guy to do the sheetrock while we left for the weekend.  It was great to come home and not see exposed studs and insulation any more!  So, I'm slowly starting to move my tools in.  Yay!  On Easter, I drove down to San Diego to suprise my family with a visit and my dad gave me two more tools - a nice router table with a high quality router.  I have a router, but no router table and now I can keep one handy for hand use and keep the table one set up for use without having to change the router in and out.  He also gave me a nice quality board planer!  This is cool.  Now, I can take boards and set them to whatever thickness I want and run them through the planer.  The other thing he is giving me I couldn't get in the car and I'll have to get it later.  A really nice quality Grizzly drill press.  Wow, my lucky weekend!

 I have a lot of stuff sitting on the floor right now because I need storage mounted on the walls.  I'm trying to find some kitchen cupboards from someone doing a remodel and who are getting rid of their cabinets.  I think they make much better shop storage than shelves.  So, I'm on the hunt for that!  The next thing we will start is the attached carport.  That's phase 2.  One thing at a time.

The not so baby chickens are doing great!  I can't believe they are 9 weeks old today!  Looks like I have found a home for one of the roosters and I'm working on the finding a home for the other one.  I'm waiting just a bit longer to make sure they really are roosters, but I'm pretty certain. All four are very healthy and doing great.  It's exciting to know that I'll have raised the hens from birth (well, momma hen did) and that I will have seen them all the way from being IN an egg to laying eggs!

I've started insulating the coop for the hot summer approaching.  I know - spoiled chickens!  I think they need all the help they can get.  Last summer it got up to 112 and it's hard on them.  So, I'm insulating all the walls and ceiling and hoping that will help them some.  You will really think I'm off my rocker when I tell you I saw a portable evaporative cooler (swamp cooler that uses virtually no energy and cools great in places like the desert with very low humidity) good for rooms 100sf or less for under $100.  I'm thinking of putting it in their coop, pointing the draft away from them and towards the wall and cooling their coop.  Jury is still out on that one.  
I also think I may have solved my squirrel problem.  I buy organic layer feed at $23.75 and the squirrels were feasting on it!  I bought what is basically a treadle feeder from ebay at a great price and it looks like it's working.  The squirrels are too light to open the feeder, but the chickens can.  I haven't seen a squirrel in there for a few days but here's one from about a week ago panicking and trying to find a way out of the run!

I was getting very frustrated with the garden's lack of progress with soil testing, building the structure, etc, but the last couple of days seem to be showing promise!  It has been unusually cold here this Spring and I think it just hasn't been warm enough.  We've had a week or so of warm and what did manage to sprout seem to be taking off now.  I'm gonna monitor and hopefully I'll have something worth taking pictures of very soon!


  1. Nice work shop, you both did a great job very roomy and great tools. I can't believe how fast those chicks grew. I like your new blog face too.
    Your going to have ne heck of a spread out there soon.
    Keep going and keep enjoying

  2. Your workshop looks fantastic! You've really done an excellent job there! Your Dad is great too for giving you all those fun tools! I bet you already have some ideas of how to put them to good use!

    The chicks look very healthy and happy. Don't feel bad about wanting to provide some comfort for your feathered friends. They will just reward you more with delicious treats and happy bocks. Given more time on my end, I'd probably have something similar setup for my girls but for heat in the winter.

    Can't wait to see pix of the garden! Way to go!

  3. I'm glad you are pushing through. Your shop looks great and the chickens are maturing. I really enjoyrd the pictures that you shared of you and Amy. Please post more. It is good to share the love that you have for each other, because we have as much love for the both of you.
    Love you,
    Old Dog

  4. I came on today to post a, "where in the heck are you?" comment and realized, I never made a comment on this blog post... Hmmm... I'm getting forgetful in 'me ol' age.'

    The shop? F.a.b.u.l.o.u.s. All your new to you tools are sure going to come in handy. A girl after my own heart. Mr Farmer won't allow me to use electric tools. He says I'm already dangerous with a hammer. I don't know what he means by that.

    The chickens are getting so big! You've done a great job raising them. Glad you are finding suitable homes for the roosters.

    Also, that is good news about your garden taking off. Slow starts really don't mean much, so don't worry. It will catch up.

    Did you guys have a wind storm, too? Ours lasted three days... Crazy.

    Okay, so now comes the part where I say, "Where in the heck are you?"



  6. What great accomplishments and such nice presents from your Dad. Your chickens are so great too. Congratulations on 'raising' them.--Inger


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