Finished the upstairs hallway and got new baby chicks today!

   
Upstairs hallway looking toward master
bedroom.  You can see the attic
access door. 
Upstairs hallway looking
toward the breeze porch.

Well, I did it.  I finished painting and wiring the upstairs today.  I was cussing the idiot who did the initial wiring 3.5 years ago.  I had no clue if I was doing it right as I was wiring the four lights.  I have three switches, four lights and the power comes in on the light side not the switch side.  I had to get my book out and hope the bozo that wired the switches (me) 3.5 years ago did it right.  On a plus side, I did not get electrocuted this time, nor did I melt another set of cross cutters.  I turned off the power for two rooms and checked it with a volt meter before starting (just gave a lecture in TNCC yesterday on burns and electricity…).  I thought I only had to wire the four lights, nope, had two more outlets and a smoke/carbon dioxide detector.  I ended up installing six smoke detectors in our three bedroom home.  Since it was a remodel, I did not link them all up so all six alarm when one of them goes off.  On a positive note the lights all worked flawlessly when I turned the power back on.  My daughter went up and did a QA check before I could even get there.  She sounded amazed when all three switches turned the lights on or off (I know I was amazed it didn’t require a redo).

Upstairs hallway looking toward master
bedroom.  You can see the attic
access door.  It has lights, and
you will now be able to see
in the dark.

Upstairs hallway looking
toward the breeze porch. Lights
installed and second coat
of paint on. 

I say it is completed but it still needs baseboards.  Those come after the window casings and those have to come after I get the wood shop up and running which comes after I fix the barn, install new fencing and create a  new bridge walkway.  In other words not happening this year.

We did go pickup our baby chicks today.  There was a catastrophe on Tuesday, the post office crushed my baby chicks.  So when the feed store went to pick them up, most of my order was DOA!  This is the reason to order them from the feed store.  They dealt with it and got more chicks shipped from the hatchery.  I got 12 Brahma chickens (very large 9 pound chicken) and 6 Leghorns.  Looking at the pictures it is hard to tell what is what. The Brahma chickens have feathers on their feet.  So they are all tucked in and we picked up an extra heat lamp bulb just in case our other bulb burns out.  I also closed one of the windows in the coop to get rid of the cross breeze I had going.  They were all  hunkering around the heat lamp.  I will keep everyone updated on the survival rate.

18 baby chicks 3/23/2011 (2 different varieties)

Last minute work on the house

Well I repainted the upstairs hallway today.  I had trimmed out the attic entrance on Saturday and primed it, but I really was not planning on any more inside work.  Spring is here, time to get outside, but Annmarie fell down the stairs at 0430 because there is no light in the upper hallway or in the stair well.  So I taped plastic down, washed the walls with bleach water and painted them tonight.  On Wednesday I will be able to install the four hallway lights.  I had better remember to pick up some light bulbs on the way home.  This way there will be some light.  I need to repaint the stair well, but that is a lot more complicated (20 feet high over stairwell).  So one step at a time.
I did manage to go out and dig out the baby chicken enclosure.  I but in new bedding and chick feeder and fired up the heat lamp so everything will be nice and toasty for the chicks tomorrow.  Annmarie is going to pick them up on the way back from the hospital.  It rained most of the day here so I cannot get to the fencing until it dries out for about a week.  I need to mark all my fence lines and then paint where I am going to install the railroad ties.  Once that is done, I will be ready to rent a tractor for a day.
Later.

Epigee Moon

We were tired and planning to hit the sack, but Sarah had made us stop the movie and look at the  moon earlier after Grandma had called to say that the moon would be at its closest point in 18 years.  It didn’t look that impressive from the back porch.  So 2.5 hours later as we are gearing up for bed, I looked out the window and decided I had better run out and get some pictures.  Now it never occurred to me to just take a picture of the moon.  Plus, have you ever tried to focus the lens on a camera in the dark?  How do you really do that?  The auto focus mechanism on the camera does not work as there is not enough light available.  It was so bright out that I was able to run the camera and walk around by moonlight only.  I didn’t even take a flashlight out with me.  Now there were a couple of times I thought I saw Bigfoot up the creek, but that could have been the moon playing tricks on me. All these pictures were taken around 2300.  The building pictures got much lighter as the moon rose in the sky and a few clouds dissipated.

Running water by Epigee moonlight.
chicken house, this is the direction I thought I saw bigfoot last night.

Old sheep barn and granary by epigee moonlight.  I thought the white spots
were dirty spots on my lens reflector inside the camera.  Annmarie
pointed out this morning that they are stars!!
I knew that, just had not occurred to me (really I would have thought of it eventually)
(probably after I cleaned the lens reflector!!)

It justs keeps getting lighter.  A very nice picture of the Three sisters (star formation)
At the far right side you can see our walkway lights are on because it is nighttime!

Here is the house and my future garden (piles of tires)  Annmarie wants me to put a wooden fence around the tires
so that they are not such an eyesore.  Unfortunately, that is low on the priority list for this year.  It is not the
bridge, fence or barn and I won’t have much quality time with the barn either this year.
All these pictures were taken by Epigee moonlight. 

lamb is too cute

No really that is silver hair not gray (it really is!)

So when I looked out onto the pasture hunting down the new lamb, I had a hard time finding it.  When I did I was quite surprised at how small it was.   I know Annmarie told me it was little, but boy until you see it or better yet hold it, you don’t realize just how small she is.  Annmarie went out with me to help catch the lamb so I could hold it.  She caught it so she got to get cuddles first.  We have decided that since the mother is so crazy we need to take extra time to tame down this baby.

This will bring a smile to your face any day

Of course, every time I see the top of my head I wonder where all my hair has disappeared to?  I personally never see the top of my head.  It amazes me when I see a picture and I am bald.  Other than wearing a hat outdoors (to prevent sunburn) and wearing a hat when I am working around the house (to prevent cuts and scrapes to my scalp) I never miss it.
Here is the side by side comparison with our chicken coop cat.  Luna lives out in the old abandoned original chicken house.  She doesn’t get along with the other cats but comes running whenever we are outside working.  She will follow you around like a dog.

The cat is bigger!!!

It’s a girl




The surviving lamb is little ewe, and she’s doing very well. The interaction between her and momma is not quite like the other ewes, but it seems to work for them. I’m very used to always seeing the lamb dogging momma’s heels, but this one is just as likely to be tucked down somewhere napping clear across the pasture from momma. Gives me a bit of a start, and I’ve been out to look for her at least twice today, but every time I find her, her tummy is full, and when she starts to bleet, momma comes to investigate (eventually), so I guess it’s all good. I gotta say, though, that this is one of the smallest babies we’ve had. The legs are the only reason she’s bigger than a cat. Just tiny.

Sad news

It’s 4:10am, and I’m at the computer. I woke up about 20 minutes ago and had a short conversation with myself about that lamb. It was short because I was worried, but I had to have it because I really didn’t want to get out of bed. But, I know myself well enough to know that if I had not gotten up and the lamb hadn’t made it, I would have felt terrible. Unfortunately, the lamb did not make it. It has only been about 4 hours since her last feeding. If she were at all healthy, she should have been able to make it that long, since she was also nursing from momma. There must have been something wrong with her from the get go. This happens occasionally, but it’s still sad. The good news is that the little brown lamb was with momma and got right up when everyone started making noise, so I’m confident he’ll make it just fine. Again, all pronouns are generic. I’ll do a gender check in the next few days.

Steve was right!

Steve was right. That last ewe was not just fat. She just delivered twins. One brown and one black. Pictures will come soon. I’m keeping an eye on the little black one because it hasn’t stood up yet, and I’m a bit concerned. Of course, this is the crazy wild ewe, so getting her and the babies into the barn isn’t likely, because she’s more scared of me than she is concerned with her babies, so I can’t even use them to lead her to shelter. Thankfully it’s warm enough that I don’t have to force the issue. I’m thinking Baily is going to sleep outside tonight a predator control, since getting them inside isn’t very likely. For now, I’m off to make up a bottle of warm lamb replacer for the the little black lamb to see if I can get it up on its feet.