New additions

We’ve had some new additions on our homestead.

Two of our hens have been broody for several weeks. Here is Maggie holding the first chick to hatch:

And if chickens on the trampoline aren’t entertaining enough, we now have a goat on the trampoline, too. Meet  our new lawnmower, Clover:

20160704 175410 resized 1

 

Advertisements

An unexpected puppy

My last post was all about our new porch. The porch wasn’t the only new thing we got last Saturday.

Todd and I were up well before the kids last Saturday, talking and having coffee. All of a sudden we heard a loud thump on the front porch followed by quiet whimpering.

We looked outside and found this little guy:

20160527_165128_resized

We have no idea where he came from. He was so excited to see us that if he’d had a tail, he would have wagged it off.  It had been a chilly night and he was shivering. We gave him some water and food, and I rubbed him down to help him warm up.

The kids were really excited to see him when they got up. Amy, our German shepherd, was not as thrilled. She barked and growled at him for a while, but he didn’t seem to care. He came right on into the house and made himself at home. He found a pile of laundry in the boys’ room (shocking!), curled up, and went to sleep. He spent most of the weekend sleeping.

The kids, together with their friends who were visiting, named the puppy Thorin after the king of the dwarves from The Hobbit. We are definitely Tolkien fans!

We checked multiple places to see if anyone was missing a puppy, but no one seemed to be looking for him. By this time, we were already planning to keep him unless someone claimed him. He was getting along well with Amy (and she was mostly getting along with him).

20160528_174931_resized

We tried to figure out what breed of dog Thorin was by looking online at various breeds; realizing, of course, that he was likely to be more than one. We thought he was probably a Catahoula because of his color or possibly a pit bull mix because of his broad face and stub/docked tail. On Thursday, Todd had a chance to take him to the veterinarian to see if he had a microchip. He didn’t. The vet said that it’s highly unlikely that Thorin’s a pit bull. Catahoula is a possibility, but his first thought was Great Dane.

Time will probably tell what breed he is, but for now we are enjoying him. And laughing about the fact that we may have named a Great Dane after a dwarf!

A new front porch

First, I want to say that we have amazing friends.

Some friends of ours (two families) asked if there were any big projects we still needed help with and the most of obvious project was the front porch. It was one of the last really big projects other than the irreparable shed.

Parts of the porch were  not very safe to walk on–two to three feet back from the front edge for almost the entire length of the porch. And some of the support underneath had rotted out. I had mostly put off working on the porch for the simple reason that I really didn’t know how I was going to fix it.

This was actually a good section of the porch.

This was actually a good section of the porch.

It was a little like an old-fashioned barn-raising. People started showing up and getting to work. We tore out the old bad boards and replaced them with new; braced support beams that needed it; rebuilt railings; and built new steps on one side, and added supports to the other set of steps. Most of the kids even helped–at one point I think there were thirteen of them there.

20160527_162425_resized

The difference between old and new

We finished all the work by dinnertime. Then we all had a bonfire at our friends’ house and roasted hot dogs and marshmallows.

It is very humbling to have friends who are willing to drop everything for a weekend to help you work on a project. When it is their idea, it is even more so.

Two steps forward, one step back

We are slowly making progress on the house. We have water and electricity hooked up. The painting and patching continue.

I had some big holes to patch, but I had a good helper for part of the job. Micah really enjoyed helping and did a very good job with the joint compound.

20150918_110457      20150918_110509      20151003_151353

And it only took two coats of primer to cover the red paint. Let me just say that I was not an OU fan before I started on this project, and I am definitely not one after painting over all of that red. The boys’ room is now a very light shade of blue.

20150918_110519   20151020_155922 (2)   20151030_161544

The white wall next to the desk is a whiteboard that they can draw on. It was a very narrow wall with a very large hole and we had some leftover whiteboard paneling, so it made for an easy fix.

Todd, Matthew, and I spent a very rainy afternoon working on the house. They planned to move the working toilet from the master bathroom (where the floor needs to be repaired to the other bathroom where the toilet flushed more water onto the floor than into the tank. I planned to touch up the paint in the boys’ room, because I always seem to leave a few thin spots.

I had already started painting when they realized that the cutoff valve for the toilet would not turn the water all the way off. Their solution was to turn off the power and therefore the pump. Did I mention that this was a very rainy day? I found myself with the lights off and very little light making its way through the gloomy clouds trying to find the spots that I had missed. These were places I had missed while painting on a sunny day with the lights on, so I decided to find something else to work on that would not strain my eyesight.

Of course, I needed to clean my paintbrush before the paint dried on it, but no water to the toilet meant no water to the sink. Then it hit me–there’s plenty of running water outside, falling from the sky. I found a good spot where the water was running off the edge of the roof and cleaned out the paintbrush.