Thursday, May 17, 2012

Oops, has it been a month already?

Well it appears that I’m not keeping up with this blog as much as I had intended… I’ve been too busy DOING things!

Since my last post, we picked up 6 MORE chicks from Tractor Supply Company… 4 were from the “red pullet” bin… at least 2 of them are red stars, and 2 of them might be new Hampshire or Rhode Island reds. More than likely all 4 are red stars. The two other chicks that we got from TSC were out of the straight run (male and female) bantam bin. We still don’t know if we have a rooster and a hen, 2 hens or 2 roos. These chicks turned out to be silkies, which are the coolest chickens ever. Their feathers look more like the fur you would see on a rabbit. I’m really excited that they turned out to be silkies. The only thing is that silkies are supposed to have feathered feet and five toes. Only one of ours does… the other one has bare legs with 4 toes on one foot and 5 on the other. We named him Mouse… I don’t know, he just seems like a boy chicken to me. J

In the time since I started this blog, we have primed and painted the upstairs & downstairs foyer and hallway as well as the master bathroom. We installed tile in the bathroom upstairs, grouted and sealed the tile, reinstalled the toilet and sink, installed a mirror and vanity lighting, sanded and painted the banister and stair railings, installed a new section of railing at the top of the stairs (which required my husband cutting down a 6x6 post to match our other 4.5” square posts), installed laminate flooring in our upstairs reading nook, and trimmed out the windows.  And that’s just the inside. One of our weekends was spent preparing our raised bed. That was a nightmare! We had some issues with the roto-tiller that we rented for starters… after we finally got that taken care of, we dug up the dirt that had been tilled and moved it to low spots in the ground. Turns out that I dug up a little too much, because we needed to fill in what we dug up. Unfortunately, Choptank Supply’s version of “topsoil” was full of grass clumps, rocks and other stuff. It looked more like fill dirt to us. So by that time it was too late and we’d already shoveled 2 tons of dirt. It was brutal work… my husband constructed a raised bed that was about 4’ x 24’ out of landscaping timbers and later that week ordered more dirt from Choptank supply. I finished off the top of our bed by buying 800 lbs of real bagged topsoil from Lowes. I have a feeling that our garden won’t do as well because of the fill dirt underneath the topsoil, but it’s a learning process. Next year, we’ll have great compost to put down and I’m going to put the chickens to work in the garden as well. My plan is to build up our garden each year by adding a few more landscaping timbers.

So now we have the following planted in our raised bed:  onions, shallots, garlic, horseradish, asparagus, tomatoes, corn, green beans, cucumbers, green & jalapeno peppers, eggplant, zucchini, dill, basil, parsley, chives, and catnip. Yeah, catnip. I also have a little pallet garden planted in the front… I spray-painted a pallet purple and then filled it with potting soil. I planted more chives, strawberries and bibb lettuce. It actually looks pretty awesome. In our front yard, I have impatiens, vinca, petunias, day lilies and gladiolus. We also have a rosemary plant, more like a bush… it is totally out of control. I also planted some lavender and mint out front.

So that’s it on our garden. The chicks started to make a huge mess a few weeks ago when they began flying out of their kiddie pool. Last week we’d had enough of them and I begged Jay to start working on their coop. I am so lucky to have a husband who is SO AWESOME. I called him last Friday around lunchtime and he hadn’t started on the coop. By the time I got home from work, he had it framed and was working on the roof. I helped him attach a few walls and we quit for the day. On Saturday we didn’t have as much time to work on the coop, but we got it more or less constructed that day. Sunday, my mom came over, I installed peel & stick vinyl tiles, we primed the walls and Jay put the metal roofing on. It rained on Monday, so there wasn’t much that we could do. He installed the chicken and human door on Tuesday and we painted the inside with spray paint. Wednesday (yesterday), Jay built the nesting boxes and some of the roosts. I painted when I got home from work last night and we put all of the hardware on. It was finished enough to put the chickypoos inside… what a relief! We still have to put some pieces of trim on to make it look nice, and I’m putting a flower box on their window, which I’ll be making out of wood pallets. We’ll also be building their permanent run out of pallets… so I’ll be working on getting those painted and ready to go this week and weekend.

Apart from the pallet run, we have to get the laminate flooring down in the hallway and 3rd guest bedroom. My sister-by-love (sounds much better than sister in law!) is coming to visit from AZ in a few weeks and I’d like to have things looking nice by the time she arrives. Plus then she’ll have two finished bedrooms to choose from.

We are planning to have a big party later this summer, probably in August once most of our work is complete. It’s going to be our green carpet unveiling party, where we take the ugly green carpet off of the stairs and see what’s underneath. We’ll be encouraging people to wear their best Bob Villa attire – or dress as their favorite home improvement person… maybe Tim the Toolman?

It’s hard to say what our biggest obstacle is… we have to get the siding up, clean out my dad’s workroom and install drywall, paint & flooring in that bedroom… plus that room needs a closet and so does another bedroom. We still need to install our heat pump for downstairs. Jay’s aunt and uncle are giving us their kitchen. They have a gorgeous home in Long Island and are re-doing their already very nice kitchen, and we get to have their cabinets and appliances, hurray! So sometime this summer we’ll go up there with a u-Haul and make their trash our treasure. Eventually we need to put up a new fence in our backyard, but that will probably be our final project. Oh and we also need a real driveway. One day we’ll get to it!

All things considered, we are pretty far down the home renovation road. Hoping to put up some house photos soon... for now, here are some photos that my mom took during her visit last weekend, as well as a few I took with my smartphone camera. Some of these photos should show what we've been up to. Oh, and we also went ghost hunting in Rhode Island at the Rose Island Lighthouse the weekend before last. We've been busy!

My favorite part of the upstairs bathroom... now all we need to do is clean out the tub and find where we put the faucet.

The coop be ready for chickens! We built the whole thing (including paint) for about $150.

Mom took these... our peeps in their little peep daycare enclosure

Hubby attaching the metal roof on the coop

Strawberry plant in my pallet garden

Bibb lettuce in my pallet garden

Petunia in our front flower bed

Me and Jay installing the peel & stick vinyl flooring

Our red star peeps

Our black star peeps... I took this pic on our way home from the lady who sold them to me

Our TSC peeps on their way home

Mouse as a baby... at this time I had an idea that he would grow up to be a silkie, but I wasn't sure

Princess Kitty whore aka Kitty whore aka Piper aka Trouble wondering who will be tastiest

Mouse, our misfit silkie at about 3.5 weeks old

Basil, Posh, Queen Mab, Mouse, and Ginger last weekend having a wild rumpus outside

1 comment:

  1. hey lauren! aww, your chickies are so cute. especially mouse! it's funny how much stuff we have in common right now--both starting new jobs recently, getting chickens, gardening...even our coops are the same color!