Things I'm Grateful For-
I didn't really have time to do this before Thanksgiving since things were kind of crazy. Dave and I wound up having Thanksgiving by ourselves. We had a small turkey with all the trimmings, apple pie, and some nice appetizers, smoked Salmon, crackers, olives, pickles, meats and cheeses-
I have been thinking since summer how grateful I am for how things have been going for us and our family. So for (belated) Thanksgiving here's a few things I'm very happy and grateful for........
Both Dave and I have been able to stay fully employed with our jobs through Covid. I started working from home at the end of March, and I'm still working from home. It's nice, but there is a certain lack of communication in my organization. Working from home I think exacerbates that, not a surprise. I do have kitty to keep me company!
I have a lovely view, can moderate the heat/cool as needed and it is a truly unscented workplace for me, which is awesome!
I'm really grateful that two of my children and one son-in-law got much much better jobs this summer. With better pay and benefits! One was hired into my organization and the other two into a large national insurance company. They all are doing very well in their jobs and the pay raises they got were very helpful, since two of them have children. Kids can be expensive!
Our house is doing well. We did have to replace our hot water heater (leaky pipe) recently but we were able to do that ourselves, so that saved a ton of money. It lasted 3 years past it's warranty too! After Dave drained it and we took it down it had 2 big rusted out areas on the back!!! Dave bought it, brought it home and with the help of my daughter put it in a place and it's working great. We saved hundreds and hundreds of dollars not getting it delivered and having a plumber install it. Dave had done it before so it was an easy install-
Dave added a heavier steel base and leak tray. Works great! He added earthquake strapping as well.
The chickens have done well. We now have a full size flock of five and the eggs kicked in a few weeks ago. They're averaging about two per day with the shorter days, here's the flock!
We're happy that we live close to all three of our children. We see our two grandsons off and on which is great, they grow so fast. Oliver will be 4 in December! River's 4 and 1/2 and doing really well in preschool, yakking up a storm. Oliver is doing great, loving preschool as well, spelling and loves reading! River came by recently, Mom Tami reading to him-
The garden did really well this year even though we got a really late start with the weird weather. No peaches sadly, maybe about 10. We had a really small crop of apples, but the pears did great, enough to can!
I was able to freeze a lot of fresh organic tomatoes in our freezer, pretty full now!
I'm a planner! When Covid hit I started buying a few extra meats here and there to freeze. Already used one beef roast-
I had a full body skin cancer check-up recently and I was really happy! I was completely clear, except for two little tiny spots on my nose (pre-cancerous). The dermatologist froze them off and hopefully that will take care of it.
Dave and I just celebrated our 27th anniversary! I'm lucky to be married to my best friend and he's a outstanding father and grandfather. When I decided to get married I definitely picked the right person!
Easy Coop Winter Sunroom Upgrade-
We built our coop "sunroom" several years ago out of recycled glass panels, shower doors and a custom frame attached to the coop. Basically it gave more room for the chickens in the winter when it was really snowy or pouring rain. After all the years the pressure wood frame started rotting and we talked about what would be a better replacement. The glass was very heavy and it's really awkward to put together. Basically after the winter's was over we could take it down and store it. It did work great for heavy snowy weather! Original-
The other downside was it cut off the shade area in the winter, losing a bit more room for the girls. I mentioned this fall that I'd seen some other hoop houses that were used for chickens in the winter. I thought maybe it was time for a simple, low cost, easy re-do. Here's a few examples of my thinking, the first design that really got my attention several years ago-
Dave and I really liked the idea, with it being lightweight, easy to put up/take down, as well as inexpensive. Dave shopped around and brought home his materials, total about $40.00. He bought six x 10' long flexible 1/2 " white PEX tubing (for plumbing), a roll of heavy clear plastic and built a frame base of 2 x 4's we had. First he cleared out the old materials, then recycled them. Next he built a base of 2 x 4's, and attached the PEX to the coop using scrap wood with a hole it it. Next he created the shape. He attached the PEX pieces to each other form the shape with tie wraps and drilled holes in the 2 x 4's. He put the PEX in the holes to brace the PEX-
It reminds me of an igloo! Note the gap on the left, allowing the hens to go behind the coop and have more room to roam-
Roll of plastic on the ground
Now getting ready to spread out the plastic. We spread it out, he cut it to fit, then stapled it down to the base of the 2 x 4's. It works great! The chickens have been using it in the pouring rain, wind and snow. I can't really see through it since the plastic isn't that clear. I see them in there moving around and taking dust baths. It's nice to have that extra space when the weather is really nasty. In the spring we can just take it down and it goes back into garden growing space. Lightweight but doing the job!