Thursday, July 28, 2016

Moving Along

Apparently the bathroom elves
visited the house while I was on vacation.
Or it was my dad and my brother.
We have one wall nearly completely insulated,
and we have a ceiling with a light and vent installed.
Currently, I'm searching for a shower base 
in the dimensions we need.
We decided to have one that is 36" x 42",
but I need the threshold to be on the 36" side and I can't seem to find one.
So, the other option is 36" x 36".
I imagine I'll have to make a trip to Lowes.

Monday, July 18, 2016

New Feeders

A few days ago, 
my chicken feeder decided to crack.
I kept it together with some baling twine, 
but it eventually just ended up breaking apart.
You can see the broken feeder in the above photo lying on the ground.
This is the before photo.
The new PVC feeders are going to be attached here.
We removed wire and replaced it with a piece of plywood.
This provides a weather barrier for the feeders,
and for the chickens.
It offers a wind break and protection from storms, 
as most of the nasty weather and wind comes from the west.
The ends of the feeders are made of a 90 degree 
and a 45 degree attachment.
The added 45 degree piece prevents the food from spilling out on the ground.
We measure the PVC pipe making sure to leave room
to be able to easily remove the cap at the top to refill.
Inserted the bottom portion of the feeder into the precut holes in the plywood
and glued the PVC pipe into the pieces
(I have no idea what they're called).
Once all the pieces were glued together, 
we used attacher thingies to attach the pipe to the side of the coop.
You'll notice that we placed a piece of scrap wood
(it was a garden stake)
between the upper portion of the pipe
and the coop wall.
This kept the pipe out away from the wall so the cap could be taken off easily.
The finished product
(minus the caps which were put on after filling the pipes).
The two pipes hold almost 1/3 of a bag of feed combined.
We had enough pipe left that we can add a third feeder
once we get all the attachments we need.
I also plan on adding a PVC oyster shell feeder as well, 
but I'll (or more accurately, Big E will) be using thinner PVC.
My overall opinion is that we should have done this sooner.
It is a fairly inexpensive feeder system
(we spent about $30 for the PVC pieces)
and it only took about 20-30 minutes to get it all put together.  
It holds more food than the feeders you purchase at feed stores,
and the food isn't wasted since the chickens can't scratch it out of the tube.
They also can't get the food dirty. 
It also frees up floor space.
There was no problem with the chickens finding or figuring out the new food system either.
Definitely something I'd recommend!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Bathroom Progress

I finally got some photos of the bathroom.
I happened to stop at the house in the afternoon while my dad was busy working on it.
I was able to help him out with some of the renovations.
Ok, so really I stood on the stepladder 
and held the measuring tape so he could measure the width of the ceiling.
We have some insulation up.
And the window that overlooked the laundry room has been closed off
and framed out.
And we have new electric wires run
for outlets and light switches.
The pipe in the corner has also been framed out.
We will be losing some ceiling height in the bathroom-
it will only be about 8'2" in there.
The ceiling will basically drop down to the underside of the new 2x4 in the photo.
There were never any exhaust fans in the bathrooms
so we're adding those and that requires venting them to the outside.
And that required a loss of some ceiling height.
Not a big deal in the bathroom.
The bathroom downstairs used to be some kind of porch in the past.
You can see the old transom above the doorway. 
I would love to be able to restore the transom somehow,
like with a stained glass window that doesn't open.
But currently, the kitchen ceiling comes down over the opposite side of the transom
and we are nowhere near ready to do the work to raise the kitchen ceiling to its former glory.
I'm hoping when we are redoing the kitchen, perhaps we can revisit the transom then.
Our bathroom sink will be located where the other sink was which is to the left in this photo.
The door will be switched to swing open on the other side
so it won't interfere with the sink.
I measured the spot for the shower stall, 
and I don't think a 42"x42" base is going to work.  
So it's back to the drawing board for that.
It doesn't look like much has been done here, 
but it has.
I can't wait for the finished product!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

What's Going On

Things have been busy.
I say that, and part of me doesn't even know what I've been doing to feel so busy.
All I know is, one minute it was May, 
 and then suddenly it's the middle of July and my summer is nearly gone.
Things have been so busy that our garden has been neglected.
It looked more like "The Garden of Weedin"
than anything that might actually produce edible vegetables.
It might surprise you to know that this photo was taken only a few days after Big E 
and I weeded the left half of the garden.
It took 2 days and a total of about 6 hours,
but we finally got the thing weeded!
I also found my nemesis: squash bugs on some plants.
This year my plan of attack is to use diatomaceous earth combined with
using duct tape sticky side out to pull eggs and bugs off plants.
It's best to try to do that every other day.
Yesterday I found Squash bugs, cucumber beetles and squash beetles on the squash, cucumbers and
whatever volunteers we have growing in various places 
(possibly pumpkin, watermelon and cantaloupe, it'll be a surprise).
Hopefully I can get a handle on things so they don't get out of control.
You'd think these chickens would like to eat some plump, juicy bugs out of my garden.
But all they want to do is dig up my beets so they can roll in the dirt
and eat the leaves off things.
I'm not ashamed to say that I take pleasure it squirting them with the hose while I'm watering.
This little guy was the first ever baby chick hatched the old fashioned way at the homestead.
Unfortunately, he didn't live longer than a couple of days.  
I had a total of 3 chicks emerge from eggs and none survived.
I'm hoping I get to the bottom of that problem 
as I would like to add to the flock when needed
by letting my hens do the work 
and not having to bring babies into the house in the brooder.
If anyone has any advice, that would be great.
We also now have a bunny.
This is Harvey.
He's named after the 6 foot tall invisible rabbit in the old James Stewart movie.
James Stewart played a man who talked to the invisible rabbit.
He was thought to be insane.
Draw your own conclusions.
Harvey's only job is to amuse me.
He also likes to torment my 2 year old grandson 
by chewing on and stealing toys.
Here he is resting amongst his spoils of war.

I haven't been able to take photos of the bathroom.
That's next on my list-
really, I've resorted to lists of things I need to update on the blog.
Problem with the bathroom is that there is no longer light in there now that the old window opening has been boarded up. 
But, we do have the wires run for the outlets and lights
(and I just thought I might ask the hubby to add and outlet along a wall I don't think I told him I wanted before he ran the wires.... ooops).
So hopefully in the next day or two, 
I'll share the bathroom updates that have happened.