With all the wedding activity, we’ve let quite a few of our normal chores go longer than they should.
The chicken coop? I’ve taken “deep litter method” to a whole new level. Instead of cleaning it out, I just put more and more fresh shavings in… which means the chickens are about to hit their heads on the ceiling. (okay okay… it’s not THAT bad) Not too mention the gobs of cobwebs that have taken over the coop.
Our garage was starting to look like a Picasso painting where everything looked out of place.
So last weekend, Jimmy worked on the garage while I pressure washed the deck and sidewalk. For those who don’t know, I think the pressure washer was the greatest invention EVER.
Our deck (this was the worst of it- which was under the picnic table) was turning a beautiful shade of green. But since it’s not Christmas, I had to get rid of that.
The sidewalk didn’t look bad… until I started pressure washing it. (See the strip I did across? Wowza)
We ran out of gas so we still have more to do but at least we’re starting to get caught back up on our normal upkeep activity. Now if I can just get the chicken coop cleaned back up.
Jimmy has wanted a new truck for a while. He had originally wanted to buy one back in February, but with the wedding expenses, I was able to convince him to hold off. For a short time.
He had very specific things he wanted on the truck. He wanted an F250, certain color, certain packages, even a certain kind of front seat. So a couple weeks ago, he got serious about it and within 350 miles, the dealer was able to find one that matched what he wanted exactly. ONE.
Lucky for us, my dad works at Ford so we were able to get the A-plan discount (ending up being a savings of a little over 10%!). So we went to the dealer and picked it up.
I admit… she’s beautiful!
It’s Jimmy’s first new vehicle and I think he washed it 3 times in the first week. (After we brought it home from the dealer, he said “It got bugs on it on the way home!”)
My only request was that it be able to pull a (future) horse trailer. One of these days, I will have a horse!
So I’m still looking for a new computer (which is the reason no Thank-You cards have went out b/c I want to design them myself!) but I had to pop in and show you our newest babies!
We had 3 baby chicks hatched from 2 broody chickens. Honestly, I expected them to divide up the chicks and mother them separately, but that hasn’t been the case. Instead, they co-mother them and trust each other.
You can see them here in the ‘resting’ area where they keep the chicks to sleep at night. They just both lay next to each other and the chicks pile under whoever is closest!
The mother hens took the chicks outside the first day I opened the door… it’s funny to think how much care we take when we buy chicks from the feed store because the mother hens are constantly throwing them around (they get underfoot while they’re scratching for bugs and they get kicked!) and these little guys tumbled right out of the chicken door to get to the ground. The chick above kind of looks like a dark-brown-egg laying Welsummer.
This is our first baby chicks hatched out at our new house. At the last house, our chickens free-ranged so I wasn’t too worried about the other chickens reactions because their momma kept them pretty far from them. However now we keep the chickens penned up (due to predators). So far I haven’t seen anything from the other chickens besides a curious glance when they get too close. You can see the yellow chick in the far right with her 2 mothers. (The other 2 are darker and harder to see!) You can see their dad (the only rooster we have- he’s black and white) on the left side of the picture. In fact, now that I’m looking at it, he’s about as far away from the baby chicks as he can get! ha!
Here the 3 chicks are! I think the far left one is going to be a blue chick (pretty rare color!), the middle chick almost looks like a dark-brown-egg layer (Welsummer) although I’m not sure which trait will be dominant- the Welsummer dark egg laying or the father’s white egg gene. Also, getting the 3 chicks in a picture together was as difficult as you’d imagine. They’re constantly on the go!
Have you ever heard of 2 hens mothering the same chicks?
Sorry for the long absence! The computer I bought when I was a sophomore in college finally gave up…. which means no computer to update the blog with! My goal is to buy a new one within the next couple of weeks and get back to regularly posting. But for now, here’s one of the teaser photos the photographer (Angel Canary) posted for us!
We haven’t gotten our professional pictures back yet but when we do, I’ll be writing reviews of the vendors we worked with!
This picture was taken last week. It may look like our flower bed is all gloom and doom (and chicken poom… er, I mean poop)…. but if you look closer:
It’s yelling “SPRING IS COMING!!!!”
I haven’t been posting much about our chickens lately so I figured today’s post would be a Tucker post!
Tucker is our rooster. We lost our last rooster, Fred, to one of the many Predator Attacks of 2011. (We believe that attach was a weasel. Ugh.) When I picked out Tucker, I wanted a smaller rooster (Fred was a big boy and it wasn’t good for the smaller girls!) but I also wanted one with some color.
So we picked decided on a Silver Spangled Hamburg which gave us Tucker!
Tucker has a pretty funny sounding crow (almost like he’s still trying to get it perfected) but the best part is that he isn’t aggressive. Fred would charge anyone but me which led to some potentially bad situations. But Tucker hasn’t charged anyone and seems pretty happy being the only male out of 25 chickens.
We also have 2 Silver Spangled Hamburg females who are just as colorful as Tucker is. (One is below next to him) They lay white eggs. You can also see the female in front (an Easter Egger- she lays green eggs) to see how small Tucker is compared to average sized hens.
Tucker seems to like having his picture taken too. He always stands very proudly and cocky (ha!) when I’m taking his picture!
What breed is your rooster? And why did you pick that one?
Looking for wedding information? Check out our wedding information page!
When we first bought the lake house, it seemed crazy. 2 twenty-somethings buying a lake house before we even bought a house-house.
But, as my job gets more stressful (one year ago, I was manager to one engineer. Currently, I manage 4 engineers and 5 associates… in about a month, that will go to 5 engineers and 8 associates) I’ve come to appreciate the fact that we did buy the lake house. I’ve actually even had other people at work ask me about owning a lake house and the benefits and cons. (Cons: two houses to maintain, clean, and furnish. Benefits: too many to mention!)
Not only does the lake give us a ‘getaway’ that we can go to anytime, it gives us a place to entertain family & friends during the summer (and winter- although there are a lot less things to do in the winter!). Thanks to the lake house, most of our family and friends know each other or at least know OF each other. (And don’t wait for an invite! All you have to say is “Can we come to the lake this weekend?”)
That being said, there is a new development that sprung up less than a mile from our lake house. It’s only lots right now but it will be a gated community and for the low-low price of $85,000…. you can buy a lake-front lot! To be clear, that’s slightly less than what we paid for our 3 lots, house, 3-car garage, and garden shed. Granted, we can’t walk to the lake from our house (it’s more of a 50-foot cliff drop off) but regardless. I feel like we made a good purchase 5 years ago!
Jimmy and I did take the 4-wheeler over to the lots and they have pretty amazing sunset views. So if you do buy a lot and will allow me to come take sunset pictures, it would be greatly appreciated!
Here is a sunset from one of the lots: Bee-you-tee-ful!
Looking for wedding information? Check out our wedding information page!
When we first got chickens, I tried several different methods on keeping the coop ‘fresh’. (Well, as fresh as a chicken coop can be.) What I’ve learned over the years is it’s A LOT of work to clean out a chicken coop. So I’ve found ways to only clean it out twice a year.
Barn lime is the key.
Lime helps keep things dry and it’s only a couple dollars for a bag.
I usually put lime down before I put new bedding down but I’ve started to realize I don’t put enough down. I sprinkle it when I should be putting it down generously.
Regardless, I always mix lime into the pine shavings throughout the year. I spring lime around the coop and in the next boxes: (sometimes the chickens will break an egg in the nest boxes which leads to a damp area- not good for smell!)
Then I use a shovel to mix the lime and pine shavings. I’ll do this several times to try and get a good mix. After several mixings, it looks like I never did anything:
Well, for the most part. Sometimes I’ll leave lime on top if it’s a really damp area. (like under the roosts)
When I do my twice a year coop cleanings, we always end up hauling around 8 bags of chicken poop down to the lake to put on my flower beds. (Jimmy loves when I say “Can you load this poop into the truck?” hee hee) It’s slowly helping my flower bed soil improve down there. We also put it around our house-house in our flower beds.
I also put fresh shavings into the coop a couple times a year (this can be referred to as the deep litter method) which helps keep the smell down and totally freaks the chickens out. (Chickens do not like change. You should hear the squawking when I put a fresh bag of shavings in their coop. And they REFUSE to step foot near it for a while. In fact, they will usually NOT go in the coop when I do this which means I have to manually put them in the coop myself!)
How do you guys keep your coops smelling fresh & clean?
Interested in our chicken coop? Jimmy and I designed it and Jimmy built it himself! (with some manual labor support from some friends!) See this post to see how the chicken coop came together! I’ve always said that having a man who can fix & build things is priceless!
Looking for wedding information? See our wedding information page!
I struggled for a long time on how to do our Save-The-Date. For those who don’t know me, I love corny jokes and sayings. I originally thought about getting a picture of us in Santa Clause hats with the saying “Why are we getting married? BeCLAUSE we love each other!” but then before we knew it Christmas was over. So then I got inspired by Pinterest and came up with a way we could work the lake into our picture and not have to worry too much about our appearance. (I’m not good manipulating photos to improve appearance!)
With the help of my sister Katie (#6 in my fam) taking the picture and some playing around in Picasa, here is what we ended up with:
I was pretty pleased with the outcome and it’s something that was easy to do!
The cardinals love the feeder that Jimmy made for me!
I usually put black oil sunflower seed in my bird feeders which really attract the cardinals!