Sunday, April 29, 2012


Nearly two years exactly after I set out to get chickens, the coop is complete. After a long day of chasing one of my dogs through the neighboring fields and woods after his cunning escape, we knocked out bolting down the roof and cutting the entrance door for the hens. As soon as I can muster up some supplies like feed, pine shavings and straw, I can contact my friend about when to bring the ladies home. I am so excited!

This weekend also marked the end of a long standing dream for my husband too as we brought home and installed a second-hand pool table in our extra room. It's something he's wanted for a very long time, and we found an exceptional deal so we jumped at it, even if the timing isn't perfect financially.

It feels great to get something accomplished around here, and we are celebrating by cooking some beef out on our grill on this gorgeous day. Now if I can just find a job... We are moving so much in the right direction.

Next on the homesteading agenda: the garden, followed by some cute and fuzzy (probably pet) bunnies to get us used to rabbit tending.

Hope everyone had as great of a weekend as we did! Here's to the beginning of another week.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Almost Only Counts... my father says in horseshoes and hand grenades, but we are getting there with the chicken coop. The run is reinforced and wrapped in wire on 3 sides. A board has been put up to keep the birds from climbing under the coop. All that remains is the roof on the run and the door for the little buggers to go in and out. Two years in the making... we are almost there. It's about the journey, not the destination anyways, right? Anyways, for lack of something better, enjoy some random music on this too-windy-to-do-anything day....

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Zen and the art of chicken coop building

We started today off with a little fishing as the weather slowly warmed up to the 80s today. It was windy and hard to cast and I didn't have but one bite in the hour we were there. It would have frustrated me, been a waste of time and made me angry except I spent the whole time meditating, trying to be present and just fish. I love how fishing makes me stop and just be.
Fishing also makes me feel connected more to my inner hunter-gatherer, even if the objective is simply catch and release. There is something primal about pretending to be prey, something in it that makes me notice the small things like ripples and bubbles in the surface more. My senses are hightened when I fish. Thank goodness I still get to eat even if I fail to catch anything. I am blessed that way I guess.
After fishing it was time to work on the coop some more, which is so close to finished I can taste it. We built the run today, and all that's left is cutting the door and adding some wire mesh to the run, which we will probably complete by the end of next week. Then I can wait for the hens to come and begin to obsess over our next animal venture, which will be rabbits. I am delighted and can't wait. Every day seems like an adventure living in the present, once I shut my mind off to the past and future. I feel a deep sense of peace and happiness this weekend. It is a welcome change from the stress I've put myself through being unemployed, though I know we have plenty of money and will make it just fine.
Enjoy the pictures and the remainder of your weekend friends. I hope you are safe, happy and at peace wherever you may be.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

before the fun.

memories of my time in the valley of the sun...

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Getting my Farm Fix

Last night I needed an infusion of farm. Having spent the whole day reading Novella Carpenter's Farm City, I was in need of a fix, so my family and I headed down to the local Tractor Supply for the end of their Chick Days promotion, and I got to see some white leghorn chicks and baby ducks hanging out under brooding lamps in all their fluffy glory. Sadly, I couldn't take any home as I am expecting much larger adult chickens as soon as I can get the door and fencing finished on the poultry palace. But the need to have livestock here at the SemiFarm is real. It is visceral, like my need to find a job, and I try to ignore it as I go about my days, as it lurks looming in the background like some hungry beast or addiction, waiting to be fed. I pine for the winged foragers and their hopping counterparts, rabbits, have also started to be a drug to which I am slowly succumbing.
I am desperately in need of some warmer weather, you see,  as it has dropped into the 40s and 50s here as of late. They are even calling for scattered snow flurries tonight, so any hopes of holding off my farm fiending by planting something in the windowboxes or flowerbeds are dashed by the threat of bitter frost. Once again, in my life, I am required to do the one thing which I abhor. I simply have to wait.
I have a simple lesson the Universe is trying to teach me, cultivating the art of patience. Unfortunately I am a poor student at this, and I fidgit and fret through most days unnecessarily, hopped up on caffiene and my desire to completely control the world around me. Circumstances whisper to me this basic truth of letting go, yet I claw and clamor for some way to affect my fate in the present, like a wriggling toddler impatient to go. I know things will work out on their own, deep inside myself, that the chickens and the right job will come in their own due time, but I can't sit still. I am plagued with a need to do SOMETHING that will allow me to feel like I have control over my circumstances, or merely something with which to fill my time, of which I have a considerable amount suddenly that I am quite unaccustomed to.
Being outside and weeding my garden was my antidote for the antsies last summer when I was off work. Without a garden or livestock to tend, I find myself lounging with my dogs, sleeping too much of the day away and wasting what I should be languishing in, this peace and freedom to do exactly as I please with my time. I suffer, you see, not only from a lack of patience, but also a lack of imagination, as I cannot think of things to do to fill my hours other than write this blog on the hopelessly small keyboard of my cell phone as I wish for it to ring instead.
Complaining is not what I intended- I am grateful for so much: my health, my family, my writing, and enough money to help keep the farm afloat while I look for a new career opportunity (I don't really want just another "job"- I have had enough of those days.) I just need some distractions as I bide the time.
If you, readers and friends, can recommend some good books, interesting local places to visit or home crafts that are relatively inexpensive, I'd be forever in your debt. Maybe these things, combined with a lunch date here and there with a nearby friend, will ease my cravings for fur and fowl and stave off the boredom that is seeping into the cracks of my slightly dishevelled life.
Today, as I wait for some feedback from you friends, I am off in search of the company of rabbits and plants and perhaps a few books until the school bus delivers me some company when my daughter returns home. I have to feed the addiction somehow, and if it must be with window shopping, so be it.

Monday, April 2, 2012

The Inside of the Chicken Palace

Now all we need is a chicken door and fencing! Exciting!