Monday, July 14, 2008

Weekend work

In progress...

'Coop' side

'Run' side

We managed to get quite a bit done this weekend, which is nice.

On Saturday, I prepped the kitchen for painting. I also finished up the master bath including some freehand 'fixing' of many many places where the previous owners painted 'outside the lines' with a dark pink paint. Lovely. I also finished up spray painting the brass fixtures and hung them back up. They look pretty good! The faucets and the shower door frames are still brass, but we'll get those replaced eventually. The counter tops are also still pink, so replacing those will be pretty high on the priority list. Luckily, we have a spare bath we can use while this happens sometime in the future. H worked on the chicken coop all day on Saturday.

Saturday night, we met up with a few other LATOC people. It was both educational and entertaining to speak with a group of like-minded folk. It was really nice not to have to watch what we were saying and to be 100% truthful about why we are doing what we are doing. H and I were both really surprised that compared to most there, we were really ahead of the game. Hard to believe since we've only been planning this for a little less than a year! It made us feel good about how much we have accomplished. That's a feeling I'm going to revisit when the to do list gets overwhelming!

On Sunday, I was up early. I had some things to do in the apartment before we headed to the house. Once at the house, I painted the trim in the kitchen and on the bookshelf (part of it). While that was drying, I spent some time in the garden. I pulled a few weeds, did some watering, and built three more trellises. One of our cuke plants really needed it! I have enough piping and netting left to make one more smaller trellis for the extra pole beans I planted. I'll have to pick up the little corner pieces and the rebar on our next trip to HD. The lettuce is doing well, despite the heat. The temps are supposed to drop off tomorrow, so hopefully that'll suit our little leaves. I'm hoping to be able to harvest a few by next weekend for our first meal in the house (officially). We have one tomato that is about to move out of the 'green' zone..and the eggplant is blooming. I even see swiss chard popping up in a few spots. Can't wait until we get to harvest this stuff in earnest!

We took a break mid-day and went to the local feed store. Turns out, there are no more baby chicks available this year. We were so bummed! They had a shipment last week, but we weren't ready to buy yet and now there aren't any more. We did get a good education about feeding and watering options, so we'll be making those purchases next. We returned home, got online, and placed an order for chicks. We picked out 5 Rhode Island Reds, 5 Aruacanas, and 5 White Leghorns. The minimum order was 15 birds, so this covered it. We almost picked out some Buff Orpintons, too...but our coop just doesn't have that much room. I'd like to eventually do some meat birds, but I think we need to focus on these babies first. If all of these chicks make it to us healthy and strong, we'll have to sell a few. We really only have room for 12 right now. The next project is to build the nesting boxes and hang the perches before the coop is ready for habitation. We have time though as the new chicks will be in the garage until they are 8 weeks old anyway.

Sunday afternoon, I was able to get the first coat of paint up on the kitchen walls. It's looking much brighter and nicer already. I also discovered that I have some nice linen/cotten fabric leftover in a cute stripe pattern for curtains. I'm going to make some for the kitchen and the laundry room (the fabric works with both wall colors). I'm going to do it with big grommets on a simple modern rod - nothing too country looking for me! While I was painting, H finished putting the chicken wire on the coop/tractor. We then had to move it to where we wanted it. OMG, it was heavy! I was carrying the 'cage' side, while H had the coop side. He could barely lift it! Forearm Forklift to the rescue again! He was able to use it to support his end and we got the coop moved to where it will start out. Our plan is to move it around periodically to keep the grass growing and keep the chickens supplied with fresh grass and bugs.

I didn't have my camera with me yesterday, so I'll take pictures of the coop/tractor later this week to post. It really turned out nice! H says he's no carpenter, but he did a good job.

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