Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Updates, Updates, and more updates

I had expected to blog sooner than this, but sometimes, life just seems to get in the way.

So, here are a few updates.

Around January 7th, our olive eggers finally started laying.  Well, at least 2 have.  About half of our eggs are now the olive eggs.  It's really cool to look into the egg carton, and see the multi-colored eggs.



January 9th, we had our first snow of the year.  We didn't get a lot, and it was real pretty while it lasted, which wasn't long.

On January 15th, my Boy turned 16!!!  Hard to believe!  He got his permit towards the end of December, so we've been driving.  He's not super thrilled about it., I keep wondering who's kid he really is! (Too bad he looks like me)  Birthday person gets to pick the restaurant.  And where did my boy pick?  Charlies Chicken cause he wanted some Corn dodgers!  He had 2 friends come over after school, and they hung out and played Magic until time to open presents and go get some food.


Over the weekend, I did some work on the chicken coop.  We've had our chicken feeder hanging under the chicken coop. And it works pretty well.  But when it's extremly muddy, wet, well, yucky, it's a real pain to get in there, and get it.  I saw some cool chicken feeders built with PVC pipe recently.  So we decided to make one.  We'll see how well it works.  

I have a 4" pipe that runs from inside the coop, right next to where we keep a 5 gallon bucket with food, down under the coop.  There we made a little stopper and cover so hopefully, we'll not have any problems with it falling out, or with a lot of rain getting in it.

We'll see, and I'll update later on how it's going. (and you can't tell in this picture, but no, it is not sitting on the ground)



Guess that's it really.  I've had one Boy Scout camp out over the weekend.  Saturday night, it got down to 11 degrees and it snowed a bit on both Saturday and Sunday, but overall, everyone had a great time.

Until next time!



Friday, January 01, 2016

Chicken Updates!

So, with the beginning of the new year, I took some time and worked on my Chicken Egg spreadsheet where I record all the eggs and expenses of my chickens.


After looking at how many eggs we had our first year compared to now, I really miss the ISA Brown chickens.  You'll see from the numbers that they just beat the Barred Rock chickens.  I have 3 Olive Eggers that have yet to start laying, so I can't wait for them to start.  Hopefully, Egg production will increase soon.

20142015
January0109
February087
March099
April4576
May13298
June12177
July11862
August11898
September10563
October10558
November9042
December10337
Total937906

So, in 8.5 months, we had more eggs than we did in the last 12 months.

Pricewise, things are well.  Each egg is costing me 23.9 cents and egg at the moment.  That cost does not include my coop.  Including the cost of our coop, it's 50.3 cents per egg.

That's $2.87/dozen without the coop, and $6.03/dozen with the coop included.


Overall, I'm pretty happy.  We've not lost any birds to predation, which is great!  We lost one bird to being sick, and 3 when they stopped laying, and we turned them into bone broth. That's been some great broth!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

15th Adoption Day

15 years ago today, I adopted my daughter.

When my wife and I were dating, she wanted to know if I'd be willing to adopt her daughter after we were married.  She didn't just want a step-father for her daughter, she wanted a father.

That was not an issue in the slightest!

At our wedding, after being announced as man and wife, I turned to that little red haired girl and asked her if she'd be my little girl!  She nodded, and I gave her a ring to seal the deal.



14 months after we were married, the 3 of us stood in front of a judge, and that red haired girl became mine!  I've always teased her that her brother is my first born, but she's my oldest!


I've told her more than once, that her brother I got by the roll of the dice, but that I chose her to be my daughter.  And I've never regretted that choice!

It's not been easy being her dad.  But in all honesty, I'd not trade it for a thing!
I'm glad I was there for her.  In all the ups and downs, arguments and hugs, good days and bad.







She's even given me 2 grandsons!

Even better, I'm not just her father, I'm her daddy!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Sophmore!

My how time flies! I'm having problems believing he's in 10th grade!  It seems like just yesterday, he was a wee little feller.

As usual, you can click on the pictures to make them larger!

10th Grade





9th Grade






8th Grade





7th Grade








6th Grade




5th Grade

100_4353


4th Grade
100_7597


3rd Grade



2nd Grade




1st Grade



Kindergarden


Pre-K


Saturday, April 04, 2015

Easter Weekend Eclipse

I'm here in this field early on this cool (cold) Easter Saturday morning taking pictures if this Lunar eclipse.


While taking pictures I'm thinking about Easter and what it means.


An eclipse is an interesting thing.  The Earth is moving between the sun and the moon.  Its cutting off all light the sun provides.


How often do we as Christians let things come between us and the light Christ offers?  It might be work, or family, or even church work itself.


Now, while this is going on, how many people will pay no attention that the light is getting dimmer, that it’s being blocked by something. Do the notice?  Do they care?


Also, how often do we as Christians allow our actions, behaviors, language, clothing, etc. block the light we're supposed to shine on others?  We're supposed to reflect Christ's light aren't we?

A third aspect that I see while looking at the eclipse is that while it’s going on.  Few people stop to notice.  This morning, most people were either sleeping or driving to whatever beckons them.  But Spiritually, how many people notice when the light dims?  We should stop everything and address the issue right then, not wait.  Like this eclipse.  There will come a time, the light’s gone and we’ll wonder how we got here, and unlike this eclipse, it may not be a simple matter to get that light back.

So, how's the light you're receiving?

How's the light you're reflecting?


Sunday, March 15, 2015

Of Pallets and Seedlings

I had my seedlings in the window and I could see them all growing towards the window which isn't good.

I was considering getting something form the local farm store, and my wife suggested I use my aquarium light.  Not a bad idea, if I can figure a way to do it.  Well, after working in the garden some, I took a break and decided to work on making a seedling light source.  So, I'm looking through the garage and see the pallet boards and a plan was born.  Last year, my wife gathered a TON of pallets, and after untold hours of breaking them apart, we have a lot of pallet wood.  It is really nice to have it around.

It still needs a bit more work because I'm trying to make it adjustable, but the screws I had weren't long enough to go through 2 pallet boards.

Anyway, I'm very pleased with myself!  I'll put the light on a timer and I'll see how it goes.

(click on the picture for a larger picture)

Spring is Springing

Just a couple weeks ago, it was cold and snowing.  This morning though, while I was making breakfast for the family, I was looking out our big picture window and watching the birds flying in and out of our lilac bush with the leaf buds just coming out.


I walked around yesterday and took a look at all the trees we planted over the last few years.  You never know how they'll take the winters (or the summers for that matter) when they are that young.  It looks like they all survived the winter!  The Redbud tree is even putting on some red buds.


And my tomato seeds I planted last week are poking their heads out of the dirt and saying hello!


I know it's just March 15th and Spring doesn't officially get here for another week or so, but it definitely looks like Spring is springing around here!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Suck it up cupcake!

This is my second post where I'm not talking about chickens, photography or gardening, but this really bothered me today.

Men, do you want what's best for your child?

I hope you all would just say yes, but I want you to think about this a moment.  Do you REALLY want what's best for your child?

I've always thought that most people would always answer yes to that question, but I've come to believe that many men don't.  They want what's best for themselves!

I know a lot of youth and interact with a lot of youth and when dealing with youth, you deal with parents, step parents, grand parents, guardians, etc.  I'm shocked at how one parent can act towards another parent, with no regard for their child!

Last minute cancel of plans, never mind people were counting on them to show up, ESPECIALLY their child.  Not swapping a weekends even though the CHILD (not ex) has something special planned that they've worked really hard and long for, but the "parent" is too childish to either swap the weekend, or keep your weekend, but taking them to their event.  I bet your child would LOVE that!

I do get there are circumstances where a parent had something planned with their kid and the child had something planned with some school or extra-curricular event that falls on the same weekend.  That's not what I'm talking about.  I'm talking about knowing your child wants to do something that they've worked a long time on, and you decide no, because your ex really wants him to go.  Too many times I've seen where one doesn't bend at all to "show" them.  Never caring if their child is hurt in the process.

Better yet, I've seen where a woman finally marries a good man.  He has a job, works hard to supply the needs for his family.  Treats the kids well.  Why on earth would you not want a good man to treat your child well?  Many times, they have no desire to replace you, but you act as though your child can only love you or them.   NEWS FLASH for you, a child's love is boundless!  There is room for multiple people in your child's life.  I would love for as many good role models as I can get to come into my son's life, even if me and his mother were not together.

Yes, I do realize that maybe that woman hasn't picked a winner.  Maybe they are about as bad as you can get.  Guess what?  There's not a lot you can do about it.  So, you have a choice.  You can suck it up and do what's best for your child.  Letting them be involved in things they like, helping them as much as you can which might mean you have some contact with the other parent, OR you can act like a jerk all the time. 
If a child can't have their parents together, having them get along is the next best thing.

One day, your child will be old enough to notice everything, and they will.  Maybe they'll see what kind of person their mom is with or maybe, they'll just see the hurt that you've caused them.  Oh, I'm sure they'll still love you, but will your relationship be the same if you were always there to support them and loving them and never used them as a pawn?

Grow up already people.  Do what's best for your child!  A child needs peace in their lives, so is YOUR bickering and pettiness really bringing peace?  (The answer to that is no, just in case you weren't sure).

I've seen this time and time and time again.

DISCLAIMER 1:  Yes, I addressed this to men, but the same holds true for women.  So if you're a woman who was strongly agreeing with what I posted, go back through and change the genders of what I'm saying. If you no longer agree, then maybe I'm talking about you too.

DISCLAIMER 2:  This is just a blog post, these are my opinions.  No, I don't know your situation.  No, I don't know what they are like, but I know the dozens of people I'm thinking about, and it DOES fit them.