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.

Feathers everywhere

Our chickens have decided that this is the summer of scares for us.

The first incident, Lucy’s surviving the raccoon attack was no ones fault.

Astrid dying of old age was sad, unexpected and also no chickens fault.

But this latest escapade…. This was so seriously the chickens faults.

Ok, maybe it was really mine, but I am going to gloss that over and blame the chickens for what happened.

It was a beautiful, uneventful Saturday afternoon in early September. We were pulling into our driveway, on our way back from visiting my parents on the coast, talking about getting the trash ready to go to the dump.

The sight that greeted us was heart stopping- feathers all over the front yard. Through the alley we could see the gate to the chicken yard wide open and more feathers floating around the grass.

Mr. Gillis parked the truck and I hollered to grab Izzy as I jumped out and ran around back. Amid utter confusion and despair, I counted 7 chickens in the fence. This was over half our flock missing. As my husband is taking care of our daughter, I’m taking stock of who’s huddled on the other side of the yard and who’s missing.

I start repeating the names of the missing like a mantra. Suddenly I catch sight of a black and white head- over in our neighbors yard is three of the missing nine! I catch Ethel and manage to run Peatree across the road and into the woods. In the confusion Rocky had gone missing again.

After a few minutes of complete panic and me giving up hope we’d ever see that half of our flock again, Mr Gillis convinced me to take care of Izzy while he took a walk and looked for other hens.

The next door neighbors yard where we spotted Ethel, Rocky and Peatree.


A few minutes passed and I looked out the kitchen window, while on the phone with my consoling mother and father, and saw Matilda had returned and was looking to get back into the fence! I got her back in and a few minutes later my hubby came home… Herding Rocky back up over the hill. Then we found out that Dawn was hiding under another neighbors porch. She was so far under tho, we had to wait for her to decide to come out… And then we found Milk hiding out at the church… We got her home and that brought us down to only 4 missing… Lucy, Pippi, BB and Peatree.

The across the street neighbor where we caught BB and Lucy


Well over the next couple hours, we kept watching out the windows, and taking walks with Izzy. By evening, BB, Peatree and Lucy had made their way home and we had wrangled them into the fence. It was time to put Izzy to bed and the hubby and I had lost hope that Pippi would make it back.

Mr Gillis looked out the living room window and saw Pippi down the street, pecking in another persons yard! He ran out and got her back. Turns out the reason we saw so many feathers when we first got home was that Pippi had started her yearly molt, and was looking pretty raggedy.

Before the chickens went in for the night, they had all managed to make it back home!

Most of the girls coming over to say hi.


It was just like my mom and dad told me, they know home. Give them time and they’ll come back.

So, we are a happy whole family again, but still have no clue why the chicken crossed the road. What’s important is that they crossed the road again and came back home.


Until next time, have a wicked good evening.

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