Thursday, August 20, 2009

Nest Boxes

Well I finally got around to building the nest boxes for the chickens. I was going to make conventional wooden nest boxes, but then I was watching a video on YouTube when Becky (from Becky's Homestead) showed building some out of 5 gal buckets. Since my time is short right now I thought this would be a quick way to go. I have a ton of 5 gal buckets that I bring home from work but they have have cutting, hydraulic fluid etc. in them, so I just went to Tractor Supply and purchased 5 new ones at $2.99 a piece. I had plenty of scrap lumber setting around and two 2X6 "L" sections 8' long as well. I cut the two "L" sections into 5' sections to set the buckets into and mount them to. When I had the house restained I replaced a couple of 5/4 X 6" steps so I used these for the sides and then used a sapling for the roost pole on the front. It only took me about an hour to put this together and so far the chickens like it just fine. I took turns putting each chicken in the boxes to get them familiar with them, some were a little reluctant to enter, but with a little persuasion the all eventually settled in.

Below are a few pictures of the nest boxes..
Doodlebugs added another critter to mix a couple of weeks ago, meet BooRoo.

I have raised rabbits on and off for the last 40 years, so it wasn't to hard for her to convince me into getting her one. My mom and dad's neighbor was kind enough to give her one of his. When I was little and we lived in Louisville I started raising them, we lived on a busy road so they were always easy to sell. I remember we always stocked up for Easter because you could sell all you had plus some, the best part, about three weeks after Easter most of parents would bring them back to us and then we would resale them.

Until next time....


Friday, August 14, 2009

First Egg

I've been so busy I have not built my nest boxes yet for my chickens, I knew they should start laying sometime the middle of this month. Last night when me and doodlebugs went to the barn to put them up this is what we found.

No, the egg did not come from this wooden chicken, it just happened to be on the kitchen counter. Well I've got to go work on my nest boxes, so until next time...


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A few days off

I took the week off last week so we spent a few days at Holiday World in Santa Claus Indiana. While there we stayed at their campground Lake Rudolph, right next to the park. My kids love Holiday World and so do we since it is very family friendly, I also like it because it is only about 30 minutes from the farm. If you have never been Holiday World use to be called Santa Claus Land, it is a ride and water park, the prices are very reasonable and they drink stations throughout the park where your get your sodas free, the food prices are also very reasonable as well.

The first day there it rained all day, so we just spent the day hanging out in the motor home watching Perry Mason and the Walton's DVDs. The second day we played putt putt and then went to the Lincoln National Park, I can't believe as long as I lived around there and as many times as we have stayed at Holiday World we had never visited the park. The park includes the farm where Abraham Lincoln lived from the age of 7 to 21 years. It is also where his mother Nancy Hanks Lincoln is buried. In the state park across the road they have a Amphitheatre that has a dinner show (which we will see next time) detailing how his time in Indiana helped shape him.

Below are some pictures of the old Lincoln farmstead..

This is the foot print of the original house the Lincolns lived in.

Bubby, Doodlebugs and Mom

The Garden

Nancy Hanks Lincoln died in 1818 of milk poisoning, milk poisoning was caused by the cow eating White Snakeroot which was toxic, then when humans drank the milk they often died. Milk poisoning was one of the most feared ailments in those days, it was not known back then what caused it.

Below are pictures of the grave site..

Until next time...


Sunday, August 9, 2009

Staining completed

It has been awhile since my last post, we were on vacation all of last week and very busy getting ready the week before. While we were gone they finished the staining of the house so I didn't get a lot of pictures of the process. Here's the finished product...

Tomorrow I will post about part of our vacation, until next time...


Friday, July 24, 2009

Making Mama Happy

Fifteen years ago this month I started building our current home, one and a half years later I finally finished it. The home is an Appalachian Dovetail log home, the logs and the setting of the logs was provided by Old Virginia Hand Hewn out of Pennington Gap Virginia. I had to have the foundation and subfloor completed prior to Old Virginia setting the logs, afterwards I then had to complete the house. After the logs were set and I had the house dried in I put stain on the house, I have not stained the house since that time because I like the weather look, however mama doesn't. After three years of being reminded that she didn't like it, I finally decided with all the other irons I had in the fire, I was not going to have time to strip and restain. So I hired a company out of Tennessee to do the job for me. Yesterday they showed up and started on the house, so over the next several days I will be blogging about the process. They arrived yesterday around 1 pm and worked until 7:30, a lot of the time yesterday was spent on setting up their equipment. After the everything was set up they started on the back side of the house.

This is the back side of the house before they got started.

These pictures are the mirror image after the cleaning.

The cleaning is the first part of a four part process, next the buff the wood due to the grain being raised when the clean then they put on a brightener which always returns the PH to the proper level, then they apply the stain.

Well this was the end of day one, until next time...


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

This and That

Friday we headed for Kentucky Speedway for the Camping World Truck race, we have season passes and backstretch camping. We generally go to one Nascar Sprint race each year at a different location when we are camping. Since Kentucky Speedway is close we go to all the races there as well.

We had a cold front come through and it felt like a fall day, the high was only 68 degrees, this is the coldest day I can ever remember for the middle of July (so much for global warming). The sky was beautiful but you can't hardly tell it from these photos.

After race fireworks, I can never get too many fireworks...

About four weeks ago we were at the Nationwide Series race, during a red flag stop the cars all stopped in front of our camping spot so we took a few pictures of doodlebugs holding up her Kyle Busch flag, that's Kyle in the 18 car behind doodlebugs.

The eventual winner was Joey Logano her in the 20 car...

The last two nights I've been putting chicken wire up in the barn where the coons got in last week, since the hawk attack about a month ago I've not been letting the chickens free range except in the enclosed pen behind the barn. Since we were at the barn working we let them out and did they have a ball on the fresh grass and bugs.

Until next time...


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Coons 1 Me 0 well almost 0

Last Thursday night when we got home from the farm I went to put up the chickens, I counted to make sure they were all in, I kept coming up 1 short. My wife and son had been letting them out in the mornings and putting them up at night, I thought maybe they had left the door open or something because I was sure a nothing could not get in the pen.

Well last night I was proven wrong, I went down to put the chickens up later then normal, I opened the barn, turned on the lights and what to my surprise, a mama coon and four little ones all started climbing up the post heading for the loft. Since the loft does not have any lights I went back to the house for a flashlight and "shootin iron"(pistol for you city folk). Up the ladder I went, I started shining the light around and saw mama but no little ones, I went ahead and dispatched of mama since she was not thrilled I was there. After shinning the light around I found the little ones in the rafters, I didn't really want to dispatch of them (too cute), plus I didn't really want any holes in my roof. I went back to the house to get a fishing net so I could capture the little critters. I grab a pole and knocked them into the net one at a time, the first three were no problem but the forth one did not want to cooperate. After catching each one I would climb down the ladder and put them in a rabbit cage. The forth one decided to run for his life, he would climb down into the chicken pen and when I would go down there he would climb back up into the loft, after about three tries he vanished.

This morning I got up and went down to the barn to take pictures, the little varmints had chewed through the wire and escaped, tonight I get to work on the chicken pen some more.

Until next time...


Monday, July 13, 2009

Museum of Appalachia

Every year on the kids fall break we always spend the week camping in the Smoky Mountains. On the way there or the way back we generally stop at the Museum of Appalachia and spend a day, in the fall they have a homecoming every year and a couple of years ago we spent the day at homecoming. If you ever get a chance it is a great way to step back in time by touring their grounds, it has indoor museums but also a farm area with log cabin homes, church, school etc.. During the homecoming they have a lot of booths, exhibitions of making soap, split rail fence, sorghum etc. They also have bluegrass music all weekend long on several stages with some well known artist.

You can check them out at

Removing the syrup from the sugar cane to be cooked down into Sorghum Molasses

Cooking down the syrup

Making Purses out of tree bark

Making cedar canes with a replicator lathe power by tractor

Doodlebugs and Friend

Making cedar split rail fence rails using cedar mauls and dogwood wedges

Hit and miss engine 5 horsepower

Bubby and Doodlebugs at the sheep paddock

Here is a interesting video of the area

Until next time....