Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Coop Stoop

Okay, I admit. Hindsight being what it is, the entry stoop to access the front of the coop should have been much bigger. Due to the addition of misters (it gets hot here, you know?), the area Around the original stoop became one big mud pit when the misters were on. This may or may not have led to one of my neighbors busting her arse in the mud (and reportedly being heckled by the chickens). So............  Today was 'expand the stoop
 day'.  Since I am a cheapskate at heart and have plenty of old block and brick lying around, I used what I had.
Midway through. Unhelpful chicken is unhelpful.

The finished product. Mud free.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Veggie Garden - Update

as bought
Although it has been a prodigious first year for the veggie garden, the spring/summer crops had begun to fade into oblivion (plus, who needs that much eggplant when most of your neighbors hate eggplant?).  So, last weekend I dug out all the fading/non productive stuff and tilled up the beds for replanting with FALL and WINTER veggies!!  I know, I know, it's still 100 degrees and yadda yadda, but seriously, I am jonesing for fall and reviving the veggie garden will help save my sanity. Which is in precious need of saving due to the amount of work I've put in this summer in my *cough* corporate (ugh) job...... Thank goodness for chickens and cherry tomatoes.

prepping the space
 So far the following have been torn out (either because they were unproductive or I was just sick of eating nothing but eggplant for 3 months straight) - eggplant (one lone shrub survived the purge - you are welcome Pat); radishes (fungus and wilt problems lately); cantaloupe (only 1 plant survived), carrots and corn (damn you rodents!).  And now the following are getting an early start on fall......  Spinach, arugula, yellow onions, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, more curled parsley (because I like it in my omelettes), and w more thornless blackberries (because, yum.).  These join the standards that made the cut to stay which include - green beans, orange and green bell peppers, fresno chilies, basil, honeydew, cherry tomatoes, raspberries, blueberries, grape tomatoes, old german heirloom tomatoes, pineapple tomatoes, cucumbers, strawberries, asparagus and the necatarine and lime trees.
as of today, scraggly


hot hot chilies


previously eggplant, now spinach starts

Lets face it, these girls get more of the goods than I do. Ingrates.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Payoff.....

That's right. My cute little chirping peeps have turned into floofy, waddling 4-month old chickens. And now my three little redheads have started making me breakfast every morning!

Top: first egg, Bottom: store bought
The golf ball is to help the chicks
learn where to lay

the haul from the first 2 days....

Nothing better......

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Courtyard drainage.....

So half my front yard is absolutely gorgeous. Low water, no mowing, minimal weeding and blooming away like a champ. The OTHER half has been, well........ bleh.

Granted, the torn up driveway doesn't help, but my biggest issue has been trying to solve a drainage issue stemming from the first incompetent contractor who worked on the courtyard and poured the slab 4 inches lower than planned. Thus, the drainage for the courtyard is a little outlet that was just below level with the yard. doh.

SO. The long stretch of wall visible above at the right side presented some issues. How to incorporate drainage without it looking like a giant drainage ditch. oh good,  a puzzle.

First we re-route some of the courtyard plumbing....
Then we start building concrete molds for curbing.....

The general idea was to try and make the drainage look like a dry desert wash or creek bed to fit in with my general garden theme from the other side of the yard. How it turns out.... still unknown.

I did discover that it is not easy for one person to do concrete work solo. I mixed the first section myself... pressed some river rock into the top as it set....
and then I wised up and asked my neighbors for help with the second and third sections....  This allowed me to finish the back curb and start planting some succulents in the dirt strip along the courtyard wall. To soften the edge and because I like succulents. alot.

I still have one more section of curb to pour and then gravel and cobble to place. Should be able to finish it up by the weekend.

Top of the drainage. Run-off from the courtyard comes out a small hole at the top right of the gravel section.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The front closet conversion

 When I bought it, two closets in the front room. left one backs on to the bathroom and had tons of water damage in the back wall.

After 4 different people worked on it.... Finally! A wall! and no trace of the doorframe! That space now belongs to the master bathroom. Which is still in progress......

Monday, May 27, 2013

Coop Zen

Still putting the finishing touches on the run (like doors. those are finishing touches, right?). But life with chickens is good. My girls and I are hangout buddies and they are LOVING poking around the run, looking for bugs and good eats. They are total om-nom-nivores.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Green Coop Roof.

Is on and almost done.....

prepping to frame

frame done and ready to set

Frame on and ready to start layering.

adding perlite mix

adding plants!

chicken wire for stability and plants installed!

Start of the Green Roof

Finally have the time and resources to get started on putting the green roof on the coop!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

More Chickens.

Because, lets face it, everything else that needs done in the house is on hold until the chickens are completely sorted out. Bathroom? Still gutted.  Living room wall? Still disaster. Front yard? don't want to talk about it.

So. Chickens.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Girls Move OUT! Woot!

That's right. Despite the fact that the coop is not *totally* finished..... (more paint/finish roof/front door and don't get me started on the run that needs to be built....)..... I could not take having house chickens any longer.  So the coop got secured and the girls are even now busily FREAKING OUT at being outside. in the dark. with no sofa to sleep on.

Baby chickens live in the house. Big chickens live outside in the coop. And the "Big Chicken" line has been crossed...

MOM! Why are my chickens in the box??  Rosie worried about her chickens.

It aint pretty, but it's working.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Coop Frustrations.....

Did I mention I'm not a big fan of painting. or priming. or caulking.  This coop is beating me. Slowly but surely the coop is winning the psychological mind game. I just want the damn thing DONE! AARRGGHHHH.

more done, yet more to do.....

Almost ready to paint.

Interior caulked and primed.

Chicken exit side ready for paint.

The Girls, waiting patiently for me to get it together.