Thursday, January 28, 2016


Sometimes I get a little overwhelmed. Overwhelmed by all the potential around me, overwhelmed by the demands of the projects at hand, the family, the time constraints, the expectations and the bazillions of distractions ongoing all. the. time. There's excitement in it all of course, but it is also so overwhelming.

Sometimes it is so easy for me to get lost in the burdens and ugliness that come from always approaching everything with a 'DIY' mentality. There are so many to-do's, there are still so many fixes and repairs and time-sucking projects, and at times they all seem equally important. Most of them are good problems to have (where will the new compost setup go, what will the new well house look like, how are we going to finish out the bathroom?), though some are not (where is all this renovation waste going to go, where is the water leak in Audrey's room coming from, why does the garage keep flooding every time it rains?), and there are days when I loose sight of the forest for all the trees!

And sometimes there comes along One Of Those Days where the kids can't stop yelling and are sent to their rooms to play separately until dinner because they're driving me nuts and all I want to do is make flatbread and falafel like I made with my Mama that one time and for crying out loud I follow the directions exactly like we made it before and it JUST WON'T STAY TOGETHER and grease gets everywhere and popping chickpea shrapnel is flying and everyone is hungry but nothing is ready because so much time has been spent trying to make this stupid recipe work so I just serve the wrecked falafel as Flavor Crunchies and give up... and everyone loves them anyway.

So sometimes I just need to remind myself that, although it appears at times that things are falling apart, getting messy, or not happening the way I expected, I just need to chill because stuff around here will eventually turn out just fine in the end... as it usually does.


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

It's Final Resting Place

I completely forgot to check in at the end of the weekend- yes, we did in fact finish getting that garden shed relocated! It now rests square and sound on it's new foundation (though it'll still need to be anchored, the hole in the roof patched, and the trim and paint freshened up... so it's not finished, just moved).

It was a heave-ho push-and-pull dig in/dig out kinda day, and we busted our... humps... but we got it through the deep soft sand and up onto the foundation.

Thank goodness we weren't in a hurry to get rid of all those metal pipes from the old well... and thank goodness for the come-along!

Now what to do this upcoming weekend? Finish this well house, start building the new one, or refocus on the undone things inside?

*sigh* The lifestyle of the DIY weekend warrior...............................................................

Saturday, January 23, 2016


It's chilly but sunny (and dry!), we have our slabs all sorted out, and we have a little extra help... time for another project weekend!

Today we got our shed off it's footer and up the driveway... then encountered a bit of trouble in the deep sand between the driveway and it's final destination. Although we ended the day with the surprisingly heavy little building no longer blocking our drive, it'll be another full workin' day tomorrow.

I can't wait to start using this shed as a proper gardening shed... but for now I'll just be content with the open view out the front of the house!

Happy weekending!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

What's Been Goin' On

We've been real busy around here lately.

Is it only Wednesday?

It feels like we've already lived a full week... and seriously it's only Wednesday.

Well then I guess it'll be good to have a couple "extra" days left once things slow down again! (Will things ever slow down again?!)

Here's what's been goin' on:

This past weekend, we decided to initiate the beginning of the end of our master bathroom renovation... so we took out the big, gross, non-working tub. Check out those old mouse tunnels in the insulation (emphasis on old)!


Also this week we've had concrete work going on all around us. We're finally getting the footer done for the new well house, a pad poured for the relocation of the old well house, some fixes done to the driveway, and a back porch extension that'll tie the two smaller- and seemingly pointless- slabs into one functional space.

Then of course through all this weeks' worth of goings-on we're dealing with family stuff and the usual errands and business that would make a normal week seem full... and did I mention Audrey has had strep throat since last Wednesday? Yeah.

Oh, and tomorrow I'm getting new front brakes on my car.

Also, there's still chicken drama...

...because like I feared, another girl has stepped up to take ChickieB's place, and "Vicky" as we're now calling her is still completely ostracized. However, she will come out of the hen house now, and all her feathers look like they're growing back, so there's a bit of light at the end of the tunnel (chunnel?).

 I did make a killer blueberry buckle last night... and there's coffee a-plenty, and although it's cliche it's true: its the little things that can really make a difference in a long looooooooooong week.

Even though it's only Wednesday.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Having a Little Fun

Today I had to stay home while we had some work done around the house. I wasn't really able to do any work with a capital 'W,' so I decided that was reason enough for me to do something fun instead. Perhaps something I've been putting off for a while because it feels so indulgent?

Well, ok.

So today I decided I should finally start working on my beehives.

They've been assembled and waiting for attention for a while now... but they're still just so plain. Audrey has declared that they should have bees on them so the bees will know these homes are for them, and I do agree... but I want them to be a little more unique than, say, the average painted hive.

Then I noticed the 'Brushy Mountain' logo was burned into the wood of the bottom boards.


I have yet to do the bottom deep- decorated with transfers of bees by Audrey, Henry, my dad and my father-in-law- but my hand is cramped and out for the night! Then there's the matter of the second hive... I guess I'd better get busy chasing down more family and friends to contribute a sketch!

Once they're all burned into the pine I'll need to figure out how I'm going to weatherproof them all... I've been told that it doesn't matter what kind of sealant is used, as long as it's only on the outside and fully cured before bees are installed... has anyone heard anything different?

I feel like I'm on the right track with this approach. I can't say I've seen anything like these yet, so at least I've achieved uniqueness... and seeing them pop out of the wood is so cool. I'm loving them so far!

Now... who wants to swing on by and draw a bee for me?

Monday, January 11, 2016

Chicken Drama

We've been having a little chicken drama around here lately. I swear, I need more chicken-keeping friends... it's so hard to find good advice when problems arise. I've had to just kind of muddle through coop design, breed choices, sour crop, digestive issues, and now I have a bully in the flock.

There is one girl leading the attacks, and a handful of others following the leader, but only one chicken has been the main target.

I got on my favorite backyard chicken forum and spent about half my bedtime reading about how to handle this growing issue. I ended up deciding the solution I was not looking for was culling either the victim or the bully, so I instead went for the isolation method. However, after sequestering the lead bully chicken in a cage within the coop for three days, the nighttime temps dropped into the 20's and it felt cruel to keep her out of the hen house and away from the others' shared warmth, so I let her out............... and she went straight after her victim again.

There are now several girls missing feathers, but the main victim is so intimidated she spends almost all of her day up in the hen house, cowering in corners.

I'm sure- if the weather would allow- I could further isolate the main bully and find some success with her rehab, but it's too cold for me to do that to her without feeling cruel.

Happily there is a fellow chicken keeper nearby who has welcomed the bully into her well-established flock, and tomorrow she will be dethroned and introduced to her new sisters.

I stood out in my coop for an hour and a half this afternoon observing to make sure I grabbed the proper bully (lesson learned- next flock around won't be a bunch of the exact same breed!).

"ChickieB" now waits in the chicken tractor for her relocation, and I'm hoping it won't be a big deal for the mood to change and the bullying to taper off once she's outta here. However, if another girl picks up the torch, I'm going to attempt a sequester in the garage- near Leeloo's space heater for my peace of mind- and see if that'll influence some positive resolution to this drama.

I'm sure my girls will be happy to have a little peace restored to their dailies... and the feathers to their bums! I just hope I've chosen the proper method for solving our problem this time around... learning as you go is hard!