The Why and The How of It – Cloth Diapering

Before we even knew we were officially going to have a kid, we knew we were going to at least try cloth diapers. And then, we had Izzy and by one month old, and barely ten pounds, we had her in cloth diapers I had painstaking made myself- two ply flannel diapers, stuffed with an absorbent pad also made of layers of flannel, pinned with baby safe pins and then covered with plastic like undies that I found for cheap at the Amish store.

As she got bigger and started moving more, we invested in out very own stash of the new kind of cloth… a soft inner shell, sewn into a poly water proof fabric, with micro fiber inserts and snaps to adjust to all sorts of sizes. At just shy of 20 months old, and at 30 pounds, she still fits into these. That’s 15 months in these diapers- but our stash is 30 strong. We bought most of these in packs of 6 on amazon – later, we bought just a bunch of inserts so we could double up on the absorbancy as she wet more heavily.

But here is the real nitty gritty on the why, the how, and then the other why and how again.

  1. Disposables are expensive. –  now I know some of you people are looking at my link to a pack of 6 diapers with six inserts for 30 bucks and saying to yourselves, no cloth diapers are expensive. And you would be sorta right. Yeah, $5 for a single diaper seems like kind of a lot, but the reality is these diapers have an infinite amount of uses, WITH PROPER CARE(see #2)…. compared to a 20- 39 cent disposable that gets tossed in the trash Every. Single. Time. Your. Kid. Goes. When they are really young, that is a lot. That’s like up to 10 or more times a day. Which you guessed it, can add up to like 4 bucks a day. In. The. Trash.

Now, we don’t use cloth at night, because its crappy to have to change a whole bed in the middle of the night, and with a baby that happens often enough as it is.(UPDATE : as of feb 2017 we started putting her in cloth overnight, same as during the day, and it IS WORKING. Like not just working, but working better then her disposables were, so just wanted to clarify that)

Also we use a babysitter three days a week, so we send her over to them with disposables. And, while we were moving and didn’t have ready access to a washing machine, she was living in sposies. We are big believers in using what works. What typically works for us is using cloth the majority of the time because-

2.We have a really GOOD care routine. This is the core of the cloth/sposie debate in most peoples minds. How can you get the urine and poop really, actually out, without destroying your washing machine? Well the truth is, no single wash routine is going to work for everyone, or even most of everyone, or even two neighbors.  Truth is, you’re going to have to do a little investigative research of your own- in your own domain. Really get to know your water hardness level. Do you have high iron or calcium? They have free tests you can get online but if you want a really accurate one you’re going to have to shell out about 10 bucks. This is important because you’ll want to put additives into your wash as, no just regular laundry soap is not enough to clean even your regular laundry, but that’s another blog entirely.

Our personal care routine is as follows, but this is just an example – we wash diapers no more then every 48 hours.
I make sure all inserts are pulled out of the diapers pockets, and I also make sure that any waste has been flushed down the toilet. And to do that I use the Scrape and Swirl method of cleaning. This is not pretty, but its the gods honest truth. I literally take pooh diapers, plop the excess into the toilet and then use an old metal spatula to scrap the rest of the ickiness into the toilet as I gently swirl it around in the water (and yes this is to avoid splashback)
(And, Yes, I know. The things we’ll do to save money. )
To wash we put a heaping 1/2 cup of Borax, heaping 1/2 cup of Washing Soda and line 2 on our detergent (Wisk) into the bottom of our washing drum. Then go in all the diapers and inserts. I wash on a normal, heavy soil cycle, with a 30 minute soak time, followed by an extra rinse and spin. My machine is a top loading, HE General Electric with an actual agitator in the bin. I know.. I love my washer. It is the most magnificent washer ever AND we got it on clearance, on a labor day sale. Original price was over $800 and we got it for half that.

When the diapers are done washing, I dry the inserts in my dryer and I hang the diapers to dry “hot dog style” like so:

3. So the other why we use cloth – yes, we are concerned about the environment. You can’t really want a sustainable farm and not be a bit worried about throwing thousands (average of 7 dirties a day, multiplied by 7 days a week, multiplied by 52 weeks a year, times about 2 years equals roughly 5000 diapers in the trash at .30/diaper that is $1500… in the trash, and that is all low ball estimation most parents will tell you kids go thru like 10 diapers a day) of dirty diapers in the trash, to go to a landfill, to sit for goodness knows how long because disposable diapers are relatively new, and we DON’T know all the possible long term consequences for our one planet earth. We feel better knowing that by saving money, we are also helping to keep some trash out of our ecosystem.

Every earth day, my school would send all of us to go clean up trash at some local park or such and every year, I remember vividly how many dirty diapers we picked up. Literal BAGS of dirty diapers. Ick. This convinced me, even as a young and out of touch teenager, that having a kid, just didn’t need to be so wasteful.

4. Ok, so seriously, cloth diapers are so stinkin’ CUTE. And the kids, when they wear them, their little butts are so adorably fluffy. I have literally, dozens of pictures of her in her cloth diapers because they just make me feel so giddy sometimes. I never claimed to be a normal, mature adult here tho. And I also just happen to get giddy over the thought of saving money. I really am that cheap.

5. In my personal experience, cloth diapers fit better and lead to fewer blowouts with the poopie ones. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of urine leaks if you don’t change your kid often enough, but that would happen in any diaper, really. And does- at 20 months old and in 3t clothing, izzy was regularly leaking out the side of her disposable at night. We have since started using overnight pull ups. Ugh- so pricey. But not having to change the sheets and an angry child at 2:54am is worth almost anything.

So that’s about that. We really stand by our decision to put Izzy in cloth, for the majority of the time and should we ever have another kid, they’ll be going in cloth too. And after we’re all done, we’ll be donating them, so they can help another family save some serious cash as well. Because oh yeah,

6. The cloth diapering community is very helpful, and very large. Whether you have questions about laundry soap or finding second hand diapers, there’s a whole big cyber neighborhood of people that feel the same way I do and are willing to impart their experiences to newbies, or anyone even just interested in learning a little bit about cloth. I have spent time detailing everything to an amazed best friend, just because she asked questions.

Here are a couple more good cloth diapering resources to check out:

Fluff Love University -This website is ridiculous good. Like there is nothing, cleaning wise, that I could ever try to explain, better then they already have or could. They also have a facebook page, and its well worth a check. I’m pretty sure its a closed group and you have to ask to join tho.

Thinking About Cloth Diapers-This one is also very well done, but is less science, more feels. There are some great tutorials about how to fix diapers when things like elastics or snaps break, which has only happened to me once. It was a back elastic on the pocket and it slipped its original stitch. It was a little difficult to get the elastic back in, but easy enough to sew it back together. There really is much more as well, you just have to go look tho.

The Rebecca Foundation is where we’ll be sending ours when we’re done. They are a really wonderful program, started by a nine year old with her mothers help, to end diaper need.

And that’s about that, I’d say. Until the next time, have a wicked good evening.

It’s finally all here! 

When we moved into our new place, I made some major sacrifices in the kitchen area.. specifically in the sink area.

We went from a huge, stainless steel sink with an insinkerator to this


Small, serviceable but barely. I have a 5 quart mixer I don’t like to use right now because it’s bowl is to big to clean in this sink, without water going everywhere.

In fact, one day, while hooking up our dishwasher, the whole faucet came off in my hands… thankfully, I’m pretty quick on my feet and got the water turned off and cleaned up, but STILL. If you could see me, you’d see the whites of my eyes rolling into the back of my head…

So I said, mrgillis, in a couple years I would really appreciate a sink upgrade. The dang thing doesn’t even have a sprayer!

So for Christmas, lo and behold, mrgillis and his parents made a big dream of mine come true….


That’s a 8 inch deep stainless steel sink with a beautiful new faucet set with sprayer and space saving insinkerator…

The plumber has been contacted and I’m going to get the sink setup that’s sets this little homemakers heart all a flutter… possibly even this week.

Excitement abounds in the gillis household today. I’ll update this blog when it’s all done!

Until next time, have a wicked good night!

02.23.17 UPDATE!

WE HAVE A NEW SINK SETUP! Complete with sprayer and handy mini insinkerator.

We also have, dundundun,

Another effing leak in our brand new home. This is the second one, the first being in the wall behind the shower. That one we caught as soon as we moved in.

This one has been slow leaking out of our kitchen hot water pipe, since November.

Our plumbers going to look into it and Coastline Homes of Houlton is going to take care of the bill, because holy. They’ve been great, but it is just one thing after another it feels like.

BUT we have our new sink and the problem will be fixed soon.

Until, next time- have a wicked good day!

Graham cracker crust for pie awesomeness 

This is, no doubt, a simple recipe. All my pie crust recipes are. Because I’d rather be eating pie, then making it. Simple.

So- get your ingredients:

  • Graham Crackers (or graham cracker crumbs, in which case, just skip down a bunch)
  • Salted butter
  • White Sugar

Get your weapons of mass destruction:
(This is optional, you can buy graham cracker crumbs at the store…. But I really like to crush things.)

  • a heavy duty ziploc type bag
  • a rolling pin

 

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This is where is gets fun. Take one of the packs of crackers, empty it into the bag. Take your rolling pin and smash the bejeezus outta the crackers. I like to get about 1 cup and 1/4 of crumbs for a single 8″ pie crust.

Once the crackers are no longer crackers, but the dust of former crackers, dump that mess into a big bowl along with 1/3 of a cup of white sugar. Mix those together until you can’t see the sugar anymore. Next melt your butter and dump that in and mix it all together.

Now that your crust is nice and mushable from the butter, mush it into your pie dish. Put some real muscle into it… the harder you press the crust now, the better it will firm up in the fridge.

Throw that sucker into the fridge to get solid again, at least for a couple hours. No less then 2, seriously. you’ll just end up with a big old mess on your hands.

There you have it. This is the crust recipe I use for any kind of puddin’ pie or for the Peanut Butter Pie that MrGillis and I threw together last week.

Graham Cracker Pie Crust: Quick Guide Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 & 1/4 cup graham cracker crumb
  • 1/3 cup granulated white sugar
  • 5 tbsp melted salted butter

Steps:

  1.  Take your graham cracker crumbs and your sugar and mix them in a large bowl
  2. Add melted butter
  3. Mix until well incorporated
  4. Press mixture into a pie plate very firmly, working from the center to the sides
  5. Place in fridge for at least 2 hours
  6. Fill with favorite pie filling (such as this No Bake Peanut Butter Pie)
  7. Enjoy!

I’ve also used this crust for a chocolate cream pie, a lemon puddin’ pie that I make a friend every year for his birthday… this is a cold pie crust tho- no baking. Or at least, I have always assumed, no baking. If someone else is brave enough to try and see what would happen, feel free to let me know.

Until that time tho, have a wicked good evening.

 

No Bake Peanut Butter pie

MrGillis was the one that had this idea, really. One day, I picked up my ipad and the only tab open was a recipe for peanut butter pie. I read thru it, and said, eh- Let me look around.

So, I did a few days research. I thought very carefully about how I would want a peanut butter pie to taste, and be texture wise.

And this is what I’ve come up with. MrGillis has enjoyed it, very much. I always ask him, well, would you want me to take it to a family gathering? He said Yes, but double the filling. (as I was writing this, the hubby saw the title of the blog I was working on and immediately went to have “just a little sliver… “.. so of course I had to stop and have a couple bites myself.)

I will say, this is actually 3 separate blogs that I’ll be posting over the course of the next few weeks. One for this pie, one for the graham cracker pie crust that I SWEAR by and a third for my homemade chocolate syrup, which is less recipe and more style, honestly.

But for right here and now, here is the step by step for the Peanut Butter Pie Filling:

Get your peanut butter, your softened cream cheese, and your powdered sugar – dump those in a bowl and mix until incorporated. You’ll get this rather thick, still kinda peanut buttery textured stuff. Now is the step that requires a little finesse.

Add in the milk, one tbsp at a time until you reach the desired texture – smooth, silky, peanut butter awesomeness.

I used 4 tbsp total in mine, which made it this really wonderful, spreadable, delicious consistency, but there is definite wiggle room. Dare to be wiggly, I guess.

Next, spread this concoction into your already made and chilled pie crust.

Next, get your chocolate syrup and drizzle it all over the top of the Peanut Butter mix. Feel free to go to town on the chocolate syrup…. I was a little reserved this time around as this was an experiment, after all.

After this, make up your whipped cream – we use a whole milk whipping cream from a local dairy and plain white sugar. Put those in a cold metal bowl and whip that like crazy until it forms nice stiff peaks.

Once your whipped cream is ready, slather that all over the top of your pie filling. I really had no problem just spreading it gently from the center out.

Now the piece de resistance (cuz this is obviously french) – chopped reeses cups. I used three regulars, and if you want them to look super clean cut, freeze them for a few hours beforehand. Myself, I wanted to eat pie, so I just chopped them up and threw them on.

and boom.

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Recipe and Directions below:

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 8 oz softened cream cheese
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 3-5 tbsp milk
  • 1 grahmn cracker crust
  • whipping cream
  • white sugar to desired sweetness for whipping cream- we use 3 tbsp of sugar per 8 oz of whipping cream
  1. using a blender, combine the pb, cream cheese and powdered sugar until combined
  2. continue to use your blender to mix in milk, one tbsp at a time until optimal consistency is reached
  3. spread pie batter into pie crust.
  4. drizzle chocolate syrup on top of pie filling.
  5. in cold metal bowl, whip your whipping cream and regular sugar together until stuff peaks form.
  6. spread whipped cream on top of chocolate syrup layer, carefully as not to make a chocolate tie dye type mess
  7. chop up your (optional frozen) pb cups, sprinkle on top
  8. Enjoy with more chocolate syrup if you want to. It’s really good that way.

So yeah, that’s our peanut butter pie- first try, just kinda winging it after looking at about a dozen recipes. So I guess that’s the real take away. We couldn’t find anything that suited what we were looking for, so we kinda wung it. And it turned out great.

Remember to refrigerate the pie and to eat within a week.

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So that’s about all for that one. I’ll get the recipe up for our graham cracker crust soon. We are currently working on getting the sugar shack kitchen ripped out so there s lot going on, on the homestead. as always, we’ll keep you updated!

Until then tho, have a wicked good day!

 

 

DIY Warriors – 2nd Week of 2017

It’s barely into the New Year and we already have a list of projects a mile long. We have a kitchen to rip out, completely renovate ceiling to floor, and then put back in with new appliances. That is so we have a place to boil down our saps to make syrups this coming spring.

This is turning into a way bigger project then we originally anticipated. When we first talked about getting this done as our next big deal, we figured we had to take out the old appliances, take up ONE floor, tear down the walls and ceiling, replace those with new walls and ceilings, then put in the new floor and appliances.

To even get started, we had a whole lot of cleaning up to do. We moved the fridge, took out all the boards, removed every single nail and screw from said boards, so they could be stacked neatly on some improvised shelves… This in itself was a couple hours of work. Loud, repetitive, blah-type work. But with some tunes playing and a switch off of work detail, we made it thru.

MrGillis also insulated and covered the last window we plan on boarding up.

Then, we brought the fridge over, plugged her in and made plans to start using it for extra food storage the next day….

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Just Kidding! About 15 minutes after we plugged her in, and she hummed to life, I started smelling a bad, metal frying odor… from, you guessed it! The fridge is dead. I spent all kinds of time cleaning this thing, for really nothing. Apparently, after MrGillis got rid of it, he detected the cause of the engine malfunction… a mouse had set up house. To bad for them, to bad for us. We were looking forward to a second fridge for eggs and such this summer. I’ve learned a good lesson about putting off icky cleaning projects in the shed tho. Which brings me to my next big deal.

While the hubby worked on his window project, I took to time to get into our chicken room and clean it up and get it organized. I’m sad to say that in the hustle and bustle of moving, especially with having an injured Hen at the same time, it got pretty bad in there for a few weeks. Like, I hesitate to post these pictures, because straight up ashamed. But no chickens were in here while it was like this, so no fowl were fouled, and for the sake of being real with you folks, here it is.

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Yep, in all its glory, my mess of a chicken hospital/storage area.

I quickly untrashed the room, reorganized the whole kit and caboodle and was able to fit everything that was already in there, plus their food, treats and shavings. Even with the toilet and old shower stall floor still in the way. My next project was to pull the old shower floor up, but low and behold, that sucker would not budge… The shower drain is attached under the floor and needs to be capped off in the dug out basement in order for the stall floor to be removed.

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Curse you, ugly stupid thing.

 

So we are at a standstill on the particular project, along with the eventual removal of the toilet. We have bigger fish to fry.

I spent a little time switching to keeping our chicken food in bags, to keeping it in big containers. I got this 3 pack from target on sale and it was so totally worth it. They’re huge… like holds a whole bag and a half of feed at once, huge. And they are pretty solid too. I wouldn’t stack them up on top of each other with all the weight of the feed and grains tho. That seems like a recipe for dusty disaster.

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With us getting to a point of some time left in the day, but projects quickly hitting walls and such, we decided to bring our two freezers over to the new place from our old home. We had a nice, cold, zero degree day, and knew we could pretty much throw everything onto the back of the truck in bags, load up our two mini freezers, and get everything back in without any of it thawing. This project was a couple hours tops, and now all our food storage is on our slice of earth. This makes life much easier, and me much happier.

That was the end of our day for then tho, because life is life and we had other work type stuff to do…. Like eat peanut butter pie.

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So, a few days later, we got back to work in the kitchen. We decided it was really time to hammer down and get the kitchen ripped out. The hubby went to town starting to get the first wall down… He got all the window trim boards off, and went to go take the floor trim off when he realized, the trim boards were behind the floor. So, he gets to work, takes up the vinyl flooring (with my helpful self as well) and when we get that taken up, he gets his screw gun and saw so we can take up the sub floor. VhoopVhoopVhhhhhoooop and all kinds of screws are going everywhere. It seems like we might actually get this floor up, at least to the sink, soonish.

Well, as always, this old shed has thrown us for a loop. Its not one floor. Its not two floors. ITS THREE FRIGGEN LAYERS OF FLOOR WE HAVE TO TEAR UP. It appears, that in the life of this kitchen, when it was being used as a home, that there was at some point, some pretty major water damage to the kitchen floor. Well, from what we can tell, the quick fix for this particular problem was to lay down a new sub floor. And then do it again when the damage got worse. Then they laid down tile.

So, in order to take down the walls, which are built down to the original floor, obviously, we have to rip up all the floors, then rip down the walls and then we can take out the ceiling.

Thankfully, we’re not really afraid of work. But holy old moly. We now have a plumber coming in the disconnect all the water in the kitchen so we can just tear it all out and get it done. He also will be putting in a small spigot for me to get water out of so i can keep our chickens and indoor plants happy. And if he has time, he might be taking care of that shower drain for me too, but I’m just really happy to be getting the kitchen completely torn the heck out.

So that’s about that for right now. We have been doing lots of other stuff, like eating a delicious peanut butter pie(sorry, I really can’t help it, it is really good), and we’re getting ready to make some lotion this weekend, because we’ve had some people place some orders thru my mum. We joined Instagram and I have to say, I love playing with the filters. They make the chickens feathers so vivid.

I’ll have more to post soon, promise, I’ve even got about 10 drafts going.

Until that time tho, have a wicked good night.

 

Tips for Cold Weather Hens

We got our first batch of chicks in may of 2012- and we are now entering our fourth consecutive winter of keeping chickens outside. We have always kept our flock happy and healthy by following a few pretty diehard rules- which can be difficult in -40(F) degree windchill for two weeks at a time. But we’ve been successful, in not only keeping our chickens alive, but thriving even in the most bitter of it.

So, here it goes, our top tips for a healthy, happy flock this winter-

  1. DO NOT BUY A HEATER/LIGHT OF ANY SORT.  – I am so super serious about this. We’ve never heated or lit our coop, and yeah egg production goes down, but we’ve never had a problem with frost bite, and we’ve never lost our coop and chickens to a fire. Every year I hear news stories about people losing their whole flocks, or worse homes and families, to fires started by heat lamps. They are dangerous when around chickens and other livestock- and a definitive NO for our homestead.
  2. DO your research about your girls before bringing them home – don’t bring home chickens that aren’t winter hardy. You’re just asking for extra work to keep them healthy and still, they might not make the extreme temps. We have a rainbow flock of everything from americanas to delewares to orpingtons, to our lone wyandotte, hen. But they are ALL winter hardy breeds with characteristics like smaller combs and waddles, very little ornamental feathering, generally docile temperaments -because living space can get crowded with 2 feet of snow all around…We’ve had great luck with every breed we’ve purchased, but its also because we do our research and don’t try to force something that isn’t natural
  3. DO get a heated water setup. – having consistent access to water is ESSENTIAL to good chicken health, especially in the winter. We keep ours inside the coop with the girls elevated on a cement slab so we can watch for any kind of leakage.  I’ve also been eyeing this heated outdoor dog bowl as a nice outdoor water dish, once the hubby allows more in the chicken budget. img_0557 
  4. DO use pine shavings and the deep litter method. I know, it sounds so gross- but there are a couple of really solid reasons to at least consider it. The composting droppings create a lot of heat- I just make sure to add a fresh bag in every few weeks to keep the smell fresh and piney. I swear, the deep litter method is a LIFE SAVER in the super cold months of January and February. Plus you get really nutrient dense compost a couple times a year. I literally deep clean my coop twice a year. Once in the spring, around abouts April, and again in September. Just remember, the deep litter method can be dangerous if you have leaks, water constantly spilling or the habit of not keeping up with fresh shaving. Chickens have very sensitive respiratory systems and if you can smell the droppings, they are suffering.

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  5. DO give your chickens plenty of boredom busters- when cabbages are on sale, we’ll grab a couple and throw one in the run or coop for the girls to kick around… theres usually nothing left the next day…also if its so cold out that I don’t open the door at dawn, like usual, I will fill a tray with all kinds of scraps (chicken friendly of course) and my winter scratch mix and throw it in on the floor for them to go crazy in. img_0611
  6. DO let your girls decide if they want to go out, FOR THE MOST PART. On those aforementioned -40 degree days, they had to stay inside, but for the most part, as long as the wind isn’t to bad, I’ll let them decide and they almost always decide to hang out in the pen for at least a couple hours. My general rule of thumb is, if my nose and eyes aren’t freezing shut, then they can make up their own minds about it… this only really happens in below zero weather.
  7. DO be ready for extra work- I spend most mornings shoveling, because for weeks at a time we’ll get an inch or two every other night.. and then we have actual storms that can dump anywhere from 6 inches to two feet. And those paths to and from the out buildings, and the run itself, certainly do not clean themselves out, no sir. That’s not including the several trips a day I make, back and forth to ensure food, water and security are up to par.
  8. DO teach yourself about chicken diet and nutritional needs. CORN IS NOT A GOOD SUMMER TREAT- it is, however perfect for winter- it heats your chicken up but is low in nutritional value. Corn should only be given before they go to roost at night, in the late fall to early spring to help them stay warm at night. Sorry/notsorry, but I am passionate about that. Make sure to give your girls extra protein packed snacks like sunflower seeds when they are molting to help them grow their feathers back in.
  9. DO keep things like petroleum jelly in your first aid kit- we’ve never had any real problem with frost bit combs UNTIL this year with lucy… it appears that the damage to her comb included damage to the blood flow and supply.. what didn’t die after the attack this spring, is now very badly frost bit and will probably fall off. The petroleum jelly keeps it from getting worse by protecting it from the elements and also any bacteria that might cause further infection
  10. DO create wind barriers- as in the above pictures you can see our coop is elevated. This is for a couple reasons, but for the winter it provides shelter from the elements. To further this ,we put up wind barriers, so they can really, truly enjoy the outside- even in the deepest part of winter.

I’m sure that I’ll expand this list as I go into more years of owning chickens in Maine, but for now, this is a pretty good start I’d say.

I guess, if I were to really have one last piece of advice-

11. Be Flexible. Problems arise, that  no matter how well you think you may be prepared for, that you have covered every eventuality, you will find out, you have not… and those are the lessons covered in

 

Now, that that is all said and done, have a wicked good night.

 

Setting up the homestead- The finale

Well, not really a finale per-say, because we’ll be working on this for the rest of our lives, but for 2016, this is what we’ve gotten done in the last few months. If you’d like to catch up here is 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5.

When we last left off, our new mobile home was being delivered and set up.

Just this in itself turned into a pretty large job- there was water and septic to hook up, propane tank and lines to run, along with propane appliances- dryer, stove and heater to convert and hook up. Then the dishwasher and clothes washer need to be brought in and installed. Electricity, phone and internet all had to come in and be hooked on as well.

After that was loading/unloading fifty bazillion truck loads and moving in ourselves, our cats, our tree frog and all our belongings, some of which we also have to assemble- things like the new kitchen island and bar stools, bookshelves, shelves… all while packing/unpacking and organizing some things so we can reuse boxes, because we have way more things then ways to pack them.

I have three sets of china. THREE. Two which have been handed down to me and one MrGillis bought me for christmas one year. Moving when you’re thirty is much different then the last time we did this in our twenties.

If my photo montage seems a little crazy and confused, well congrats, you get it, that’s how life has been for the last 8 weeks. Because oh yeah, we managed to do this in the time immediately before thanksgiving until basically now. In fact that’s a lie. We’re still not completely moved. Both our freezers, all our baby aloe pups, a bunch of our gardening stuff… all still at the old place. Thankfully, the old landlords like us.

So yeah, it was pretty much 8 weeks of malarkey… but we got the gist of it done, including our chickens moved and everything.

This was a bit of a project as well, as my honey do, had to put up the fence by himself… luckily he had access to a loader to use as a makeshift fence post pusher. He then stapled the fencing to them and we used another loader and a super nice fella to run it to get the coop over here. My mil took some pictures on her ipad at the time, and if I can ever get them, I promise I’ll add them in because I’m sure they’ll add to the photo narrative.

Why is there snow on the ground in one picture you ask? Because that’s fall in Maine. And sometimes we get what is referred to as just a dustin’.  We no sooner moved the coop and the next day, this happened.

That, is not a dustin’…..There’s my wonderful hubby, hooking up the inside heated water base, so our girls can have access to fresh water all the time, without me freezing my crazy chicken loving ass off trying to keep them in water all day.

All the while we’re moving, we’re also installing more floor in the shed (three down, three to go, YEA!), a wood stove and its piping, and filling  all the finished rooms to the absolute brim full of our stuff.

 

AND all of this is while Hen our silver laced wyandotte, was in the chicken hospital with a ripped comb. That took about the two weeks worth of tlc, vetericyn sprays, yummy treats and occasional escapes to some grassy areas to heal up, and by the time we had the coop moved she was able to go back out with the other girls.

 

As of today, Jan. 3 2017, you couldn’t even really tell she ever had a problem.

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Now, its the beginning of a new year, we have a bunch of projects ahead of us. We have a kitchen to get into working order before sap runs, a chicken hospital to tear apart and rebuild before any other chickens get hurt, and a wood stove that is, as of now, not working with a very long cold 2-3 months ahead of us- and that’s a mini version of just the shed list.

I also have a whole 7 blogs drafted, other then this one, with topics ranging from cold weather chicken care to cooking to more lifestyle. So stay tuned, I’ll try to bust them out more regularly.

Have a wicked good evening.