Sunday, June 21, 2020

Camper RV Remodel Video

Just a quick tour of our finished (?) travel trailer.  Yes, I need to learn skills in videography.  LOL.  Anyway, I will never think it is quite finished so I thought I would film it, rather than wait forever.  Enjoy.


Monday, June 15, 2020

Garden/ducks/pigs/family

The garden is well on it's way.  We have had generous helpings of rain, and the growth has been good.  My husband has done a great job with whipping it into shape with a little help from his apprentice (me).  We are starting to be able to harvest green beans, beet greens, and we have green tomatoes.  The squash plants are blooming, and so are the cucumbers.  God is
good!










There has been a renewal of hope in the garden.  When you look at the rows and see that there are plants missing, it looks rather incomplete.  However, when you are able to add more seeds and they actually come up, it is definitely a joyous sight.  Thank goodness for new seedlings!






Our friends and neighbors Joanna and Donnie surprised us by bringing us two piglets (and here we thought we were going to pick some up for them - thanks Joanna and Donnie!)  We were able to set up in a hurry due to having had pigs before.  We had their pig hut and water barrel ready.  After observing them and having to round them back up several times while setting up the electric fence, we named them Scarlet and Melanie, as my husband had to set up the fence in a hurry, while I had to keep rounding them up before they were "Gone with the Wind."  This is a new pig adventure, as these piglets were weaned young (only 5 weeks old), so I am worried about their nutrition, and I would like to try to buy the least pig feed possible this time.  So far they have enjoyed some rice and bread soaked in milk, and other leftovers soaked in milk.  They also seem to love the clover in the pasture.


We are still working on taking the ducks to their house on the pond.  We have walked them to the pond "encouraging" them to go, and feeding them there.  This time they actually went in by themselves and swam briefly before getting out and following us right back to the chicken coop area.  Now I am just feeding them further and further out to increase their comfort zone.


We are still being careful in these Covid-19 times, but spending time with our family.  We had a recent Mother's Day celebration for me at my daughter's house who gave me a book to read to my grandson entitled "How to Babysit your Grandma".  We had a sushi dinner with spring rolls and a yummy cheesecake that my daughter made.  My son was there also, and had previously sent gifts.  A gift he gave us while he was there is he showed us pictures of the fact that he actually bought a tiller and planted a garden!  First interest he has shown to that extent!   Life is good!

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

How to Launch a Duck House Without Getting Wet

Today we were successful in many things.  Our beautiful duck house floats!  Yay!  First fear vanquished.

When I went online to look at duck houses and what I would want for a duck house, I was surprised to see that they cost between $1400 and over $2,000.  We made this one from scraps in our workshop, including old hinges to make the top flip open for cleaning and egg gathering, and a chain to keep it from tipping open too far and ruining the hinges, to the 2 inch foam insulation we used to make it float.

Of the many videos I watched of DIY duckhouses, they were launched by someone in a canoe, or used anchors, etc.  Personally, I did not want to get wet in the pond, so I devised a way to launch it without getting wet.  My husband did not want to get wet either, so he went along with my plan, even though I could see doubt on his face.  He bent two pieces of rebar in shepherd's crooks.  We hammered one into the ground on one side of the pond, and one into the ground on the other.  Then we put the duck house down next to one of them and ran the rope through the rebar and tied it to one of the eye bolts on one side of the duck house.  We walked the rope around the back of the pond, looped it through the other piece of rebar, walked it back, and ran it through the other eyebolt (not shown in the first picture.)  Then we pulled it snug and pushed the duck house into the water.  IT FLOATED!!!  YAY!!!

Since the rope was in a loop from one side of the pond to the other, we could just pull it one way until the house ended up in the middle of the pond.  In this way, we will be able to pull it back when we want to check for eggs or see if it needs cleaning.  SUCCESS!

Next comes the part where we get the ducks to want to live in it.  We went back to get the two ducks.  We had been moving the duck house further and further toward the pond and feeding them near it, so we had hoped for success.  However, we did not do it as long as we had planned, as we realized that they were eating pretty far away from their water, and ducks need water to eat. . .

So either it will happen, or we traumatized our ducks. . .but we will keep trying.  For this first time, we walked them back to the chicken coop they were used to.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Camper Remodel Test

Wow!  We took the Travel Trailer out for a spin to celebrate our anniversary.  So many things worked so well, but there are a few things that need tweaking.

Loved the new coffee pot that took it's place on it's bedroom coffee/wine bar and kept the kitchen counter clean.  That beautiful coffee pot just sings.  Makes great coffee too.

The couch that pulls out into a bed was fabulous for use both as a couch, and as a separate nap space.  Siting on it with our coffee and watching the fire light was amazing!

The mini projector projected the perfect size screen on the bedroom wall.

The curtains with the lanyard clips and screw eyes that were made with two pieces of fabric with blackout in between was fabulous.

Another thing that really shined was the tea cart that we turned into a table.  We could put it in front of the couch with one leaf pulled up and it was the perfect size for two.  We took it outside and used two folding chairs for a perfect anniversary dinner set up.  Amazing!







The closet that already had a shallow shelf in it held the bins perfectly so I could have three large bins and my husband could have three!

The hook rail that we put in the bedroom was so very useful for everything from belts to pocket books, to hooded sweatshirts and mugs!








The magazine file folders worked great for our shoes right at the door.









Did you know fire extinguishers come in white?  This is what we found at Wal-mart and when we got it out of the package, it has it's own holder that my husband installed while we were out.







I finished the backsplash while we were out so all the custom pieces were done.  Yay!


Then there was a few things that still need some work. . .

When using the stove, my husband complained that when he turned on the light in the hood, it was hardly putting out any light.  Oops, there is a light in there?  Perhaps it didn't let out any light because I painted it white?  No matter.  A little goof off fixed it.





The pillow stuffing was coming right through the pillow.  That pillow will need a liner.  Easy fix though.








Lastly, we checked the plumbing about an hour before it was time to go.  Leaks!  So we couldn't use it.  No matter, when we got to the site, it had electrical but no water hookup.  Who knew?

Monday, May 4, 2020

May 4, 2020

So much is happening, I can tell that it's Spring! Definitely a lot more farm related projects in the spring!

The ducks and chicks have sure grown!  As a matter of fact, the ducks have grown so much it has prompted us to think about what is next.  So I bought the ducks as I have always pictured ducks growing up on our pond, with a floating house in the middle that I could tether to the shore to collect eggs and check it.  Last Friday night (date night), I asked my husband if he would build a floating duck house with me for date night.  He obliged, so with him at the circular saw and jig saw and me at the compound miter saw, we set about building my vision of a floating duck house.  As a frugal person, I was determined to build it out of scraps in the workshop.  I thought I wanted one in the shape of a hexagon that had equal sides, but when I finally figured out the equal sides, drew it and cut it out (of bargain wrapping paper on clearance sale for fifty cents),  I looked at it, blinked, and realized I had actually cut out an octagon. . .After a moment, I said, "I love octagons!"  lol. 

We have two big gardens, one of which we call the "chicken garden" because we started it to grow chicken feed.  This year, we have a row of zinnias towards the house (looks great, provides great cut flowers, and draws in pollinators), then two rows of black oil sunflower seeds (also loved by the cattle and yellow goldfinches who show up to tell us it is time to harvest before they do), four rows of corn, two rows that are waiting for okra, and our cool weather crops towards the woods line of spinach, lettuce, snow peas and garlic.  The corn in the chicken garden is interesting this year, as we didn't have any leftover corn seeds.  I figured what the heck, I will try the deer corn that we had bought for the chickens.  I didn't expect it to work since we have tried it before and had zero germination, but, oh my goodness, it came up in droves this year.  $7.50 for a fifty pound bag is not too shabby for seeds. . .

Our big garden is all planted.  It is so nice to see so many young plants coming up!  We have three rows of beans, pole, bush and lima beans.  The corn is up, our 9 rows of potatoes are up, the carrots are almost ready to be thinned, still waiting on the pumpkins and melons to show.  The tomatoes and peppers, and cucumbers and squash are all in.


Beets are growing in 2 rows

Carrots ready to be thinned

I am in anticipation of yummy fresh vegetables.






We are currently raising 38 Cornish Cross chicks for our freezer.  They sure are growing fast.  This is only the second week.  They are out in the chicken tractor which has already been moved once to fresh ground.  We usually gather them into a tub and move it at this stage to make sure no one gets caught in the move.  My husband is raising the brooder for me to take the picture.

Blocked out while we are working with saws
No No! Not mama's chair!
Our dogs are doing great.  They try to help with everything.  They are up all night guarding the garden, the chicken coop and the farm.  They help us sleep at night knowing the security is taken care of.  One of them found their way into the greenhouse and was taking advantage of mama's chair. . .

The asparagus is still feeding us.  Yesterday we had asparagus quiche.  They remind me to embrace eating seasonally.  The frog pond is full of tadpoles and the Siberian iris is blooming.  The fig tree here got hit by the frost but is coming back from the ground.  We are hoping to have a good fruit year.

The raspberries and elderberries are coming along nicely.  We have a couple of elderberry plants that got bit by the frost and are now a little iffy, but all of the new raspberry plants have leafed out.  The cattle are lazing about in the pig pasture.  They always seem to pick the middle of the buttercups.  It reminds me of the scene from The Wizard of Oz in the poppy field.  We try to get rid of them by mowing before they can seed, but I wonder if there is something about them that the cattle actually like?

There is so much more, but for today, I will leave you with this little story.  When my husband and I started dating and it was time to meet his parents, they had us over to dinner.  I was so impressed as his mom is a very good cook.  After the meal, I looked out the back door and there on the bird feeder was a piece of chocolate cake.  I remarked, "Oh my goodness, even the birds here get chocolate cake!"  Of course, laughter ensued as this was part of a cake that didn't get eaten soon enough and it ended up on the bird feeder.  We have been trying to think of ways to help his parents not be bored during the Coronavirus when no one can visit by sending masks, or sending pictures.  Here is the next picture to go out in the mail.




Wednesday, April 15, 2020

April 15, 2020

Life is grand!  There is not a single other place I would rather quarantine than on our little farm.  Currently having a creative project in remodeling our rv is amazing.

I love the fireplace area.  It is one of my favorite places.  Just sitting on the sofa/bed and watching the flames flicker is just so relaxing.  It may have some new competition though.  I went rogue and asked my husband to help me hang the "chandeliers" in the bedroom, even before the back wallpaper was up.  I just don't understand how I have the patience to put in details, and yet sometimes something as simple as screwing in an eyebolt straight can annoy me to no end.  So glad I have back up.  Thanks honey!  It did serve the purpose of motivating me to do the wallpaper there.  The wallpaper has been presenting a challenge in that it is very difficult to cut when wet without tearing (which drives me mad as the perfectionist that I am.)  However, I did find that putting a little bead of caulking on the edges when I finish hides all the rough edges.  Yay!

The picture that I painted is unfinished.  I found an ugly picture on canvas that was the right size and was on clearance sale for $4.60 which I painted over.  Painting your own picture is the single easiest way to get a picture with the right colors in it.  At any rate, this one is meant to have the finished camper sitting in the middle of it with the words "Love is an adventure" on it.  In order to do that, I have to wait and finish the outside, then I will add it.  I don't know exactly for sure how it will turn out in case some of my ideas don't pan out.

Parts of the outside that I have finished recently are the door, and I painted the solar lights for the door.  Yes, I know, I should have painted the door last.  However, I needed some inspiration.  You know, that proof that it WILL turn out like the picture in my head.  I love my purple door.  It is in a color from Behr Marquee paint called "Vintner."  While there is another door on this side, I only want this one to stand out, so the other door will be painted white with the rest of the rv.



Also since last blog post, we took down the light fixtures and painted them white, along with the vent trim.  We hung the bathroom mirror, even though it still needs a new mirror.  Sometimes, we just need to see what things are going to look like, along with putting them somewhere they will not get broken.





I also wallpapered the wall behind the sofa, painted the sofa, and put the same marble print shelf adhesive on the shelf.  I think it turned out great.  My husband worked on the electrical which is oh so important but a little difficult to put into pictures.



In other farm news, we have been getting some great asparagus and have been experimenting with asparagus dishes.




The ducks and chicks were moved outside to the chicken coop, where we are keeping them in the run during the day and closing them up in the coop with the chickens at night.  Everyone is getting along well, and so far it is all working out.  My husband and I make a good team to insure their safety.  The fresh air, sunshine and exercise seem to be helping them grow.


I was able to help some neighbor boys (the brothers of the unicorn recipient) by making them some bean bag frogs similar to the ones I remembered as a kid.  I made sure to use different fabrics for the underbellies so they could tell their frogs apart.  I told my neighbor to remember that if things got really bad, there are two cups of beans in each one of those frogs. . .

We have been experimenting with foraging for teas so we can have some healing teas just in case for these Coronavirus times.  We harvested and dried American Redbud blossoms, stinging nettle, and wild strawberry leaves.



We also had a great time celebrating with family with a boston cream pie bunny cake.  Even that was a collaboration as I made the cake and my husband made the ears.  39 years. . .Thank you Lord for your blessings and the risen saviour.