Monday, August 19, 2019

Reality check and a little Fun

The goal was to get our house completed and then branch out to animals.
I thought we would get our house completed in a matter of weeks (12ish).
Um... No.
But we did move into the bedrooms well within that time frame.
With Eric's calling as Young Men's president in church (2 weeks after we moved here) and traveling for work, he usually has ONE Saturday a month to devote to working on our house.

Then I tried to tell myself months.
No again.
We are approaching the year mark and a few things are still incomplete.
Now I tell myself - some day.

Eric recently had a Saturday available.  I helped him put up the reclaimed white washed deck boards on the living room ceiling.  My bright idea is now a reality!
It's now ready for family pictures, art, and accessories.




Eric, Seth, and Scott went to boys camp.  They went out on the lake rafting/tubing behind a boat.  Fun, but hard on the body.

Seth brought his chain mail and the boys learned how to make stuff.

Some slept in hammocks.

They toured an open crystal mine. And dug around for crystals.

And they went on a zip-line over/through the mine!

While the boys were at camp, Naomi and I cleaned out the garage.  We moved about 50 boxes and plastic totes into the house, with some help from Elanor and Amelia, because the moisture and elements were beginning to damage our stuff.  Then we reorganized what was left in the garage.

Seth applied to a horseshoeing school and he was accepted!  
He is currently working to save money for school and looking for scholarships.  
(He will not earn enough to pay the full tuition before the 7 months of classes starts in February.)

I dropped off Eric at the airport at 6 am one morning.  I watched the sunrise on my way back.

"Only in the sticks" -
I was driving down a road that looked and felt like it needed to be repaired.  I got to the intersection to discover that all the stop signs were uprooted and leaning on trees and bushes.  Close enough, I guess. right?

 I hope the road was repaired and that this was not a prank of sorts.

Monday, August 12, 2019

jaimi, GET A GUN!

Well,  as if last week was not enough with the raccoon IN the chicken coup......

I think the Lord is telling me "jaimi, GET A GUN!"

Yesterday morning I thought I heard some rustling just outside our back door at 5:30 am.  Then I heard the door close.  I assumed that someone was just letting the dog out.  But the noise continued...  I looked out the window, but saw nothing.

When Eric awoke, I informed him that I suspected that there was a raccoon in our trash can.  He went out and looked.  Nope!  It was TWO OPOSSUMS! 

We "took care of them"... without a gun, or a pitch fork as many at church suggested.

Then.  yesterday evening.  Scott went out to pick up the cat food for the night.  There were TWO RACCOONS! 

Side note:  poor Scott!  He has discovered all 3 raccoons up close and personal. 

We called our neighbors down the road.  They came over with a .22 rifle and "took care of them."

Side note #2:  When I told my mom about the first raccoon.  She reminded me of the little raccoons that would come in our yard and we would feed them grapes.  Yep, they would walk right up to us and we would hand them grapes.  She said they were so cute.  Um,  NO!   Raccoons do not equal cute in my book.

OK.  processing....  FOUR pest/nuisance animals in  ONE day.  I got the message.  I will buy the appropriate gun.

Side note #3:  When Eric and I were contemplating guns.  We did not feel the need to have them.  We were contemplating them for protection, especially in mass disaster.  It did not occur to us that we would need to "take care of" the pest animals.

A nice man at church even told me how to catch snakes with golf balls! 

The things I never knew I would need to learn about.

We have tried to minimize attracting pest animals to our home.  But once they stumble upon us, they become relentless.  We will continue to take better measures to avoid luring them in.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

The Rise and Fall of our Chickens

We were given chickens last year.  We started out with 6 chickens, 1 1/2 chicken, and 1 rooster.
One of the chickens was really broody.  She picked a spot above the office on our shop in the pink fiberglass insulation.  Um,  fiberglass!  4 of the 5 eggs hatched!  Eric was out of town and all of the sudden we needed a coop for the momma and babies.  

Eric was out of town and all of the sudden we needed a coop for the momma and babies.  
The onions and I constructed a small coop.  We purchased chicken wire and some staples.  
Everything else was found around the house.

We used a staple gun and the nail gun.  
I discovered that Amelia and Elanor are more comfortable using power tool than I am.  

It took two days to complete.  
We went up to her "nest" and brought them down.

We kept them in the coop of a couple of days.  
Then we added them to the "out in the morning and in at night" routine along with the other chickens.

Then, we were going on vacation......  We constructed a chicken run.  
We intended to contain the chickens and make it easy for or neighbors to care for them.

Complete with a feeder that would last a week.

While we were gone, raccoons dug under the fence and killed all the chicks and one chicken in one night.  Our neighbors boarded up our entry to the run at night.  

After our return the chickens seemed to be doing ok.  Then the chickens were picked off one by one.  One of the onions left the coop open an hour after dark.  No chickens.  We found them all over, but one was missing.  Another night we were out late and came home after dark.  We were minus another chicken.  Ugh.

We were down to the 1/2 chicken and the rooster.  I had planned to harvest them on Thursday.  But.....  Scott came running in from letting the chickens out.  He promptly informed me that there was a raccoon IN the chicken coop.

The raccoon chewed through the 2 x 8s over the egg boxes to get in.

We guns we have are not appropriate for raccoons.  We called the neighbor.  He came over and shot the raccoon for us.  It is such a blessing to have wonderful, caring, and helpful neighbors.

The 1/2 chicken was raccoon dinner.  The rooster managed to survive.  His head was black with dried blood all over his head from the scratches.

I harvested the rooster with Elanor's help.  How quickly I forget to do things.  It was an ordeal but I did it.  

I cleaned up the raccoon.  It was much heavier than I had anticipated.  about 30 pounds.

Eric pressure washed the chicken coop.  

Now everything is empty and clean.  Hopefully this is the end of the raccoons for a while.

We will begin again....   Eventually.