Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Happy Chickies 4 weeks old

4 weeks old now.

They have most of their adolescent feathers in and are starting to look like mini chickens.

They are wild and crazy. Testing each-other, approaching the big girls, flying around. They are starting to "tat tat" at the doors and wire. That is what my daughter calls it when they pace and tap the beaks on the wire or door.   I can't go in with them without them flying up on my lap or shoulder. Of course there are a few that are less trusting of me and do not like to be handled.

the big girls trying to keep from the wrath of Red

Awe... cute sleepy baby birdies

Tearing Down the Wall Phase 2

Phase 2 of tearing down the wall project.

We had several contractors come out to do bids and inspect the wall to be sure it was not load bearing.

After we actually exposed the wall - it was obvious and if we had just gone in the attic and peeled back the insulation, we could have easily seen it was not a structural wall being that the top beam was a 2x2 AND it was not even attached or touching the rafters/ roof structure or beams etc...

So, phase 1 was the kitchen light.
Here on Phase 2 we tear down the wall and expose the water heater and upper drywall for the contractor to come in and take care of. We remove the furnace.


from the southeast corner of the LivingRoom

from the south west corner of the LivingRoom

From the northeast corner of the diningroom

from the northwest corner of the kitchen

from the hallway facing east

One day of work getting the electricity sorted was a whole day for the hubby.
I worked on the drywall.

not a load-bearing wall - the 2x2 gives it away :-/
Yup, that is a forklift hole - this was a prefab house.

2nd day hubby finished up electrical and removed the furnace.

from down the hall

Day 3 we split the cabinet and moved the halves to a temp location until I can get an island figured out and built. Hubby worked on more electrical and did demo, removed duct work etc.
We ended up removing the upper drywall because it was just setting on top of the wall and it was practically falling down anyway. Sorry contractor, we will have to re-write the contract.
Our ceiling is now opened to the attic.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Cree LED Light Bulb Review

As part of our wall remodel project, we installed a new, energy efficient, better-looking light fixture in our kitchen to replace the old, ugly monstrosity that seemed to have a magnetism for bruising scalps.

As a part of the fixture, we needed some dimable LED bulbs.

I decided to go with the new Cree brand as they boasted about the low wattage (9 watts) and great light. A bonus is that they are dimable.

I purchased 2 Cree LED 60 watt equivalent daylight bulbs to place in the fixture.

The packaging - easy to open without getting sliced up. Nice

Upon taking the bulb out I was taken back and a bit confused. As I grabbed the bulb, it felt sticky! I was wondering what the heck got into the package. But... it was coated with a rubbery, clear coating! I thought that was cool - it you drop it it won't shatter and it gives you a grip on the bulb. Time will tell how easy it makes them to clean after so many odd years of dust and grime accumulation.

When we turned on the light we hated it. TOO BRIGHT. Well... at least for the fixture which has a leather-like warm tint to the glass.

We transferred the bulbs to the kitchen lights ( a white marble frost glass) and LOVE THEM! They replaced a warm led and a CFL.
LOVE LOVE LOVE the brightness and color temperature in the kitchen lights.

Down side... I can see how dirty the kitchen REALLY is now :-(

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Road screen Planted

Another project checked off the list.

We live on a gravel road. In the summer it is DUSTY and with the house and garden so close to the road a living hedge is necessary to help keep down the amount of airborne dirt from intruding our home and lungs.

The sooner, the better as plants need time to grow.
2 weeks ago I did the line of arborvitae. These are emerald green variety growing 4 feet wide and 15 feet tall. The 2 dwarf alberta spruce on each end I found in the forest last year.

Today, I finally went to the local Rhodi nursery and found 3 fabulous varieties!
These go in on the hill in front of the garden along the road. Mark cut down some trees there and lowered the mound last year. I wanted some color for this area.
These are full sized and will get very large and fill in the area quite well.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Happy Chickies 3 weeks old

Here we are at 3 weeks.

Everyone still happy and healthy.


They love foraging and picking fights with each-other.

They wander on their own and approach the big girls bravely (many times resulting in a peck by the big girls to say "hey, your mama may be the boss but, I am still bigger than you").

A few now see me as an alternative food provider. They will run to wherever I am around the run.

A few will fly up on my lap, arm, hand, shoulder. Once one comes up they all want a piece of the action.
At 3 weeks it is more difficult to get a photo shoot when there are baby chickens jumping up on you, flying up on your shoulder and deciding your lap is a nice, soft, warm place to take a nap :-/ So darn cute though.

The combs are starting to turn a little pink and grow a bit.
Most have their full wing feather in, shoulders and all.
The back feathers (around the popes nose) are coming in.
The feathers in the neck and "collar" are coming in.
They are starting to get a little scraggly with the baby fuzz coming out but...
they still have their cute fuzzy faces!
It is beginning to get harder for me to tell the 3 yellow chipmunk girls apart (hilite, ex and trinity).
Ned is now the smallest of the 12 - he/she doesn't seem to be growing as fast as the rest.

Photo shoot 3 weeks old...

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Tearing Down the Wall Phase 1

The 1st step in tearing down the wall is re-locating the dining area light switch.
This also involved replacing the dimmer switch and fixture.

Old switch was in the wall to be demo'd and needed to be moved to the exterior wall.
Old switch ( a toggle dimmer) was old and would not be efficient for the new LED fixture.
Old fixture was...too low and hubby and Papaw would always hit their head.
And, was just UGLY.

Here is a collage of the work.

I still need to put 2 more bulbs in the fixture.

Hubby did this with my minimal help in about 4 hours. Here are some tips.

 - If you don't know about how home wiring and electricity works - or you have any doubts about how to do this kind of project, DON'T. Hire a qualified electrician. And, follow minimum code or better. (If hubby did not know about how it works, the directions that came with hooking up the light would have stopped us in our tracks because the diagram was for power in at the switch only. We had power in at the light.)
 - Have an extra length of wire just in case the old wire is stapled to the posts and you can't pull it out of the wall. 
- Have a helper. It helps.
 - Take photos or draw a picture of how things are hooked up before you unhook them.
- Have the right tools and supplies ahead of time.

Next step...hiring pros to re-locate the hot water heater to the garage. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Happy chickies 2 weeks old.

At one week, they seemed to me like 1-2 year old humans. They were curious about their environment but remained close to mom. They tried new things with caution but relied on mom for the majority of food finding.

Here is a video of them at about 10 days old foraging. It is almost 3 minutes long but has some closeup and slow motion flight. Please forgive my focus as I was using manual because the auto is loud!

At 2 weeks they are far more independent. They wander away from mom, ignore her calls sometimes, pick fights with each-other  Far more independent on getting food and water without mom (like a 3-4 year old?). They are starting to develop chickenalities (these I will describe with the photos).

Physically, the rest of the wings are feathering out and the tails are getting longer. The combs are starting to grow too.

It is gonna be difficult to just choose 4 to keep.

So... google is being strange and not connecting with youtube (also a google product) or uploading picasa photos wrong (also a google product). Sooooo... if you click on the photo below to see it large -  it will come up normal looking.

Most sleep around mom instead of under her. Red still tries to call them up to the nest-box.
One made it up to the roost and one got up to the box but the rest are still too little.

Sunny will chase bugs all day and is already a pro at a mid-air catch. She seems to "like" my silverlaced wyandotte "Nutmeg" as she will wander towards her and want to go eat or drink with her much to her mother's disapproval. This gets Nutmeg a great deal of abuse from Red.

Rusty prefers to hang back and catch a nap in the sun - she already likes the outdoor roost for a rest.
She is not to afraid of me and will eat out of my hand. Her legs seem to be turning green.

Bear seems to be the bravest when it comes to food from my hand. He takes huge bites and fills his crop to it's limit. He doesn't like to be pet or held at first but gets used to it after a while. He is the largest of the group and his legs are thick and orange.

Dusty loves to ride on moms back. She is not afraid of me. She will come up to my hand and jump in and allow me to pick her up without too much fuss but, she has no problem when I hold her.

Lucky - nothing outstanding. She will eat out of my hand with caution.

Ned - absolutely goes bonkers for greens. Loves everything I poke through the mesh for him. "Sticky weed" (galium aparine) is the favorite so far. He is the smallest of the Young group and is the most timid and really fast.

BB - tends to keep away from the crowd, is the most "flighty" of them so far. Thinking she may be a marans mix. She is the tiniest of the dozen.

Brindle seems to be the most "aggressive". The one to instigate a challenge with the other chicks. Timid towards me.

Trinity and Splotch - sweeties and brave (or stupid) as they will charge the older hens, sometimes resulting in a return peck aimed at the head. Splotch is the most brave towards me. She will approach and eat out of my hand. She even crawled up to my lap (all for a treat of course - much like my late Zeebra). She doesn't mind me picking her up or holding her.

X and HiLite - nothing outstanding so far.
HiLite is somewhat timid and EX is somewhat timid but will calm in my hand.