How 25 fuzzy butts turned into 35…

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Just a few short weeks ago, we got our 25 new chickies in the mail….well it was supposed to be 25, but 27 fuzzy butts showed up. ūüôā ¬†Yay for extras!

Man, did we have issues getting chicks this year. ¬†First off, we’ve never ordered¬†this early. ¬†We started looking in February, after the Valentines day massacre (that’s what we’re calling it anyway) when we went to close the girls up for the night and found one of them pecked to death. ūüė¶ ¬†So sad, we had no idea what happened at first. ¬†We thought something had gotten into the coop, but there is just no way for that to happen so we deduced that it must have been one of the other hens that did it. ¬†That and she had blood all over her beak…that was the obvious clue. ūüėČ

So we decided that rather than chance another going rogue, we made an appointment to send them away to freezer camp. ¬†That left us chicken less…for the first time in 5 years!! ¬†It was odd not tending to them daily. ¬†Then the littles arrived and I was back on chicken mamma duty. ¬†I figured that we’d get them free ranging by 8 weeks or so, but I neglected to do the math. ¬†You see, the chickens as yummy, friendly and egg filled as they are here for tick control. ¬†They love to eat ticks! ¬†That is the whole reason that we have them. ¬†I am deathly afraid of ticks. ¬†They are creepy and carry disease. ¬†YUCK! ¬†We don’t want to use¬†chemicals on the lawn so that the kids don’t get Lyme disease, only to end up poisoning them, that seems like a bad plan. ¬†So enter the chickens. ¬†Although they free range year round, I like to get them out as soon as the snow starts receding so they can get a jump on the bugs. ¬†But, as I said earlier…my calendar and my math skills did not sync up this year so we had not birds to eat the bugs early on.

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About 3 weeks old

Anywho…Our first day outside this year and I see a tick crawling on the tiny blonde hairs leading to my baby’s angelic face. ¬†Cue the freak out!! ¬†AGGHHHHH!!!!

There is no way that I could wait the 4 weeks until the little ones could get out to eat the bugs so the search was on.  Within 2 days we had found 8 organic laying hens and within a week they were re-homed to our little farm and eating all of the bugs that their little hearts desired, as well as tearing up my flower beds.  A small price to pay for peace of mind.

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The “older”gals

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Meeting each other for the first time.

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First day in the sun!

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Escape¬†artists…they popped right¬†through the fence!

I love these birds.  They are funny little creatures to watch and interact with and just having them roaming around feels like home.

So…Welcome all 35 fuzzy gals! ¬†We’re glad to have you!

Here we are‚ĶA New Year!

Whoa! ¬†As wonderful as 2013 was for us, it was by far the busiest I think we’ve ever been in our business and in our personal life. ¬†It isn’t until we look back that we see exactly where we’ve been and what we’ve done. ¬†I am so very thankful and feel very fortunate that we were able to accomplish all that we have this past year‚Ķwithout any mental breakdowns (although we were close!)

This New Year, my goal is to visit here more‚Ķto write more, for me and for the kids. ¬†To really put forth a great effort and push on their schooling as we have a bit to catch up on and the allow them to be kids through it all. ¬†I want to have more field trips, less craziness and more calm. ¬†One can hope at least. ūüėČ

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Before…

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During…

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After… (Play Area)

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After… (School and Office Area)

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After…(School Area with Magnet Wall)

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After…(Office)

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After…(New Stairs)

We’ve finally finished (well, mostly) our new school/play/office and added a bathroom. ¬†It was a ton more work than we thought it would be, I blame HGTV for that. ¬†They can redo and entire house in an hour‚Ķwhy can’t we put an addition on our house in 3 weeks‚Ķseemed like a no brainer to us! ¬†As we found it, it doesn’t work that way and I thank the contractor that raised the roof, so to speak, for not laughing out loud in our faces for even suggesting it. ¬†His portion was done in 2 weeks which left us to do sub-floors, wiring, framing, ¬†bathroom, floors, insulation, sheet rocking, taping, sanding, mudding‚Ķblah, blah in a week. ¬†Well, lets just say that 6 months later we are just finishing up. ¬†We had some family help along the way. ¬†My father in law was with us for a 2 week stint that turned into 5 weeks. I do believe that him being here saved our marriage from ruin as the Hubs and I don’t do projects together very well, or we didn’t until this rather large project came to be. ¬†His knowledge was invaluable and I learned so much!

So here we are! ¬†The best part of all of this, was that it all happened so fast that there wasn’t much time to think “what the hell are we doing, we don’t know how to do that!”. ¬†I watched a lot of you tube to learn and the rest we figured out.

¬†We haven’t planned any big projects for this year, thankfully, ¬†but may add a little something to the farm‚Ķat least we are talking about it any. ūüėČ

Hurricane Entertainment…

So here we are in the middle of a hurricane and this is what we are doing…

Canning and making lasagna! ¬†This is our first attempt at canning so we went a bit easier on ourselves. ¬†We had planned on going all out and making sauce, but with the threat of the flickering lights and power going out we decided to go with crushed tomatoes with fresh basil to make it a bit easier and quicker. ¬†I had pulled all of the red and almost red tomatoes out of the garden so hurricane Irene wouldn’t claim them so we had to do something with these beautiful, organic fruit. ¬†I also didn’t want the to end up splattered all over the chicken coop. ūüėČ
I’ll post as soon as we try them, although that might be a while as we vowed not to use them until the dead of the winter for the time and sheer sweat factor. ¬†Man, the kitchen was hot between the lasagna and every burner on the stove going. Phew! ¬†Sweating and not being able to open the windows are NOT a good combination. ¬†Toss in the threat of not being able to shower due to power loss and you have one stinky kitchen…. ;-p ¬†Pretty good for our first time.