Tuesday, May 10, 2011

All Cooped Up

Chicken Coop
The "new" coop and the roof of the "dog house coop" on the left and that's Boris in the background. And yes, he came from Ukraine.

One day at work I was looking over a pile of discarded lumber and trying to think of ways to get rid of it. The 2x4's and plywood were the remains of a skate park renovation. The wood was all twisted, warped, and full of broken off screws and nails. I had considered running it all through a chipper and turning it into mulch, but all the bits of metal left in the wood made me a little hesitant of that idea. It wasn't until a friend showed me a chicken coop he had built and all the eggs that his chickens produced that I decided to turn all that scrap wood into something useful.

My friend gave me the plans he had used and the promise of one of his young hens to get started. After several weeks of nights spent out in our shop making all those twisted pieces of wood fit together, it was finally finished. (The roofing material by the way was also second hand. It was generously given by a friend at church.) The same day I took delivery of our first hen, Edna stumbled onto a mother hen with seven chicks running loose in a parking lot in town. Animal control rounded them up and said that if no one claimed them, we could have them. The following Monday I brought mama hen and her seven chicks home. They have adapted well to life in the coop although I've had to move our young hen, who Edna named Cotton, into a smaller coop due to differences in opinion with mama hen. The second coop is a converted dog house which started life as a fruit bin that fell off of a truck passing our house when I was a little kid. This didn't start off as a lesson in recycling, but it seems to have ended up that way. We're just putting what we learned in Ukraine into practice, don't waste anything.

Chicken Coop
Mama hen and her chicks

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Snow Day

Snow Capped

Today we made the long anticipated trip up to the mountains to enjoy some time in the snow. We were all a little home sick for the times we played in the snow in Ukraine so a quick trip into Sequoia National Park was just what we needed.

Lyuba in a Snow Cave
Lyuba in a snow cave (she sat out the rest of the snow excursion sitting comfortably in the car)

I promised Joshua a snow cave and quickly went to work carving out a snow shelter adequate for a family of four. Unfortunately, by the time I put the finishing touches on my survival masterpiece, Joshua had decided that he was done being wet and cold. Dominic wanted no part in wallowing in the snow, preferring to take pictures of me doing it instead.

Greg in a Snow Cave
Showing off my handy work

Dominic literally walked up to this buck (one of three) and snapped his photo as we descended below the snow level

The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights. -Habakkuk 3:19

Friday, January 14, 2011

Back on the Ranch


Today was my day to get things done around the homestead and catch up on some chores. Along with Dominic and my dad, we picked up brush and leaves around our house. I cut up a little bit of oak too. It was a good day to be outside working on the ranch, three generations strong.

The photos are courtesy of DGS Photography (Dominic).