Chicken Mission

New Construction of the Tractor Variety…

I knew from the beginning that I wanted a chicken tractor for my hens.  The coop is awesome, but I feel like they need to be able to stretch their legs, and free-ranging just isn’t a good option for us right now.  I also knew that my chicken endeavors are just that, my chicken endeavors.  The spouse has not been an active participant.  He’s a darn good listener, but he has  granted me lots of space on starting our little flock.

Imagine my amazement when he willingly took on the project of tractor construction!  And finished it!

He even managed to involve the male offspring (girl child wasn’t having it).

Of course, it could be that one of the fellas helped more than the other.

I’m not naming names mind you…I’m just saying…

So this will be our mobile coop-our chicken RV, if you will. We can position the tractor strategically, moving at frequent intervals (1 to 2 days depending on how many occupants), and those little rascals will eat bugs, pull weeds, and fertilize our pitiful, pitiful backyard.  Score!

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Gardening

My nemesis…

Nemesis…defined as “a formidable and usually victorious rival or opponent”

And she knows this…see the look of shame and apology.  It’s because she loves me.  She doesn’t love me enough, however.  She’s dedicated to foiling my every move.  Our battleground?

Our battleground is any area I attempt to cultivate as a garden bed, be it floral or vegetable, and the accompanying accessories.  The weapon? Her pearly whites. Her chompers. Teeth!

It’s April the 11th.  I’ve been ready to plant for weeks, but no…I’m stalked by this evildoer of a mutt.  Let me recount the casualty list to date:  $300+ dollars worth of drip irrigation,  a waterhose (including the fitting that attached it to the spout), the styrofoam covers off the trampoline, two dessert sage bushes (established), a satellite wire, the inputs to our air conditioning unit, an aloe vera plant and numerous small plastic containers.

This teething rascal is relentless!  But it’s April people and I have no choice! I had to plant!  I’m missing the window of opportunity for Texas!  It will be 100+ degrees in a couple of months.  So I planted

A few tomatoes, zucchini, bell pepper, and I wrapped it all in ragged leftover chicken wire.  And it seems to be working…so far….but I haven’t replaced the drip line yet.  I’m still having to water.  By hand.  Daily.  So, I found this

Which is a wireless fence system purported to accomplish this

My nemesis and I have a date with destiny this weekend.  And my hubbie, a date with drip irrigation!

Crochet · General

Thoughts of spring

Apparently I’m unable to stop making scarves from the amazing, lovable color wheel that is Catania cotton.  We’re going to chalk this creation up to the anticipation of and appreciation for all things Easter.  Not to mention, a symbolic appreciation of the blooms of spring.  Although it looks like a watermelon to me.

I like watermelon, it just doesn’t make for a very poetic description.

And I think this scarf deserves a poetic description…So does this egg…

My sweet girl experimented with her egg-dying this year.  I love her natural, intuitive creativity

She rocked her eggs…She just rocks in general….It’s an awesome kid that can create this on a whim.

Wonder what I could do on a whim today…. Have a wonderful day, and follow your whims!

Crochet · General · I'm loving this!

I’m loving this!

Love, love, love it!  What an extraordinary idea.  I love the simplicity.  My husband spotted this on Pinterest, and knew I’d like it.

I had to explore further and found Susan’s lovely site at Juniper Moon Farm.   This tutorial for recycling yarn scraps for nesting materials has been pinned and re-pinned.  It was the first time I had seen it, however, and I’m so enthralled that I must share.

Crochet · General

Crochet-A Snapshot of my Blogroll

Here’s the thing, so much of my blog-reading experience began with my first tentative forays into the world of crochet.  Odd, I know, but once it was on, it was on. I’ve always been a magazine junkie, so you can only imagine the bender I went on once I began to understand the scope and dimension of the blog world.  There’s just so stinking much to choose from! Every subject, style, approach, whatever that you can imagine!  Very quickly, my Google Reader was up to around 1500 new blog posts a day.  Impossible, right?  Right.  Some had to go.  I hadn’t limited myself to crochet.  I had branched out into Finance, Environmentalism, Books, Cooking, Photography, DIY, Quotes, and on and on and on.  Slowly, over time, my reading list morphed.

I thought I’d share the Crochet blogs that survived.  There are several more on my list, but these are the ones that I actually open and read.  I can’t really tell you why.  I think it’s more about the feel and styling of them.  The things they crochet are doable.  Except for Doris Chan. Her stuff is comparatively complex (to me).  She’s just funny.  I like that someone that gifted is that down to earth and open with her thoughts.

Sarah London

Attic 24

Doris Chan: Everyday Crochet

In reality, you won’t always get your best information as far as “actual learning” from the blog world.  What you get is perspective.  Lots and lots of different perspective.  All in the form of tutorials, patterns, examples…it helps you figure out what you do and don’t like.

And although my “Crochet” specific blog list may be shorter, the number of general “Craft” blogs that include crochet has gotten longer and longer.  I gravitate toward Crafters that express themselves in an array of arts and media, like…

Artsy-Craftsy Babe

Wise Craft

Aesthetic Nest

Polka Dot Cottage

Posie Gets Cozy

As far as sites that actually provide more resources than eye candy, you’ll want to look to ones like:

http://www.crochet.org

http://www.crochetville.org

https://www.ravelry.com

I’ve just skirted the crochet world with my list. What are some of your favorites?

Isn’t it amazing! If you’re reading this post, all the answers are at your fingertips.

Very, very cool.

 

Chicken Mission

Cedar Shavings…Toxic or Terrific?

Last week, I wrote about my toxic cedar shaving scare with the Hogwarts’ Four.  I wanted to send out a quick addendum to that post.  The Texas A&M folks (and my county extension agent) were lighting fast in getting back with me and here’s their take on cedar shavings:

You are correct that the pine shavings will have better absorption than the cedar.  I don’t know of any research on the subject and have asked around and no one else has either. I have heard the same “rumor” there is concern about the fumes released by cedar shavings being toxic, especially to young chicks in enclosed spaces, causing respiratory issues.  Again I haven’t seen any evidence of this in the literature.  Pine is generally used because it is cheaper.”

So I’m going to go out on a limb with this.  Unless your chickens are babies, or confined in an area with insufficient ventilation, it’s not the end of the world if cedar shavings are utilized.  As for me, they had me at “pine is cheaper.”