Archive for April, 2011

Art Wall Update #6

I admit, I have been lacking lately in the art department.  Clara has only been wanting to make her own drawings, as she has just recently discovered representational art, and playdough.  My projects are not fun enough, so I can only thank preschool for most of this artwork.
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Left to right, top to bottom
1) Magnetic marble painting
2) Coffee ground teddy bear
3) Shape house
4) Straw painting heart
5) Clara’s latest self portrait (see below for a close up)
6) Bubble wrap painting

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New Homemade Chicken Feeder

It’s very interesting to me that in writing this blog, I have written 156 post on various topics (parenting, crafting, chickens, gardening, stocking a freezer, etc.), and consistently, the most popular post, the one that is looked at by the most people, is this one about my homemade chicken feeder.  Therefore, it is with great hoopla that I announce, I have made a new chicken feeder of a different design!  Hooray!

My previous chicken feeder was wonderful.  The feed lasted between two and three weeks depending on how much free ranging my chickens were doing and it held up really quite well, but since I am introducing two more chickens to my flock in the next couple of weeks, I realized that feeder was taking up way too much space in my hen house.  I needed something smaller, more compact, and out-of-the-way.  I will still use the old one when we are out-of-town on vacation or visiting the grandparents, but for every day use, I made a new one.

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It is a design I blatantly stole from our friends Courtney and Joe. You need very few pieces and all of mine were recycled/repurposed. I used a length of drain pipe that was sitting in my garage and the bottom of a 2-liter bottle that I cut in two parts. I (with Adam’s help) drilled and screwed the drain pipe to the inside wall of the henhouse. While screwing in the bottom, I jammed the 2-liter bottom on the bottom of the drain pipe and screwed in tightly. Then, I poured in some feed. Below you can see my new feed scoop. You may be able to guess where it came from.
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Voila! New chicken feeder is finished. This was a pretty easy project once I found the right screws. Now all I have left to do for the new chickens is install another roost in the hen house to keep fighting to a minimum and eventually build one more nest box. I’ll keep you updated about how the introductions go.

Sick kid vs. Not so sick kid

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Last week Clara was super sick.  I mean throwing up, diarrhea, fever, the whole nine yards.  It was quite a week.  And it was spent primarily at home all day long.  Nancy has never had days like that before, because when you are a second child, you just get carted along to everything that your older sibling has to do… playdates, dropping off and picking up at preschool, swim lessons, etc.  So, they learn to go with the flow and that life is just full of action.  And then, suddenly, we didn’t go anywhere or do anything.  And all big sister wanted to do was lay on the couch (how out of character!).

So, I had to entertain an (almost) one year old by myself, which is something that I haven’t had to do in almost three years! We made a lot of towers and knocked them down.  I tried to read her a bunch of stories (although she just is not as into them as Clara was at the same age).  She walked around and around the house, holding my hand (because she just hasn’t made the mental leap that she can walk on her own yet.  And then in a fit of just wanting to sit down for a moment, I made her her own play kitchen.  A cardboard box, a couple of real pots, and some blocks to put in there to cook and stir with a wooden spoon.  Brilliant!  This bought me at least a half an hour a couple of times.  You know, so I could start laundry to clean up vomit.
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