Monday, May 30, 2016

Costco Kitchen Stool Make Over

I bought this stool at a yard sale back in the 1980's, before all the Pickers and Antiques tv shows, before Vintage was a Thing, and you could still get good deals on old stuff people didn't want anymore.

I paid $5.00 for the stool, took it home and spray painted it cobalt blue, completely. Chrome and all.

In the above pic, I had used Airplane Stripper to strip off as much of the blue spray paint as I could, and prior to working on removing the rust with a steel wool pad.

I hadn't remembered the stool was originally a light, soft-yellow color.
I think I had intended to re-paint it red, but decided to go back to the original color instead.

When shopping for the paint, I couldn't really find what seemed to be the original color, and almost went with turquoise instead.  Had the can in my hand.

In the end, I still decided to go with a nice, lemon-cake yellow.

I used tin foil and blue painters tape to tape off all the chrome, and spray-painted it.

Outside, it looks like Sunshine. Fresh and bright.

The spray paint was actually named Lemon Grass, but I just say it's lemon cake colored. Lemon grass isn't actually yellow, and lemon cake is yummy.

With its original step-cover things I don't know the name for, that say Costco on them.

Turned out right nice, if I do say so myself.

Friday, May 13, 2016

The First Four

Back in February, I had bought 2 dozen fertile eggs from another Chicken farmer for Cousin Joe to hatch in his incubator.
For some reason I don't know, only four of the eggs ended up hatching.

I - well, my Buff Orpington hen, Buff (I know, I'm so creative when it comes to naming me pets) - ended up hatching nine chicks a week later, and I had thought about bringing the First Four home and seeing if she would Mother them, too, but read that it was probably not a good idea, so Cousin Joe ended up raising them for several weeks.

Last week (or some time ago) it was pretty certain that Buff had taught the Babies to sleep on the roost every night, and they no longer used the "play pen" at all, so with the empty cage (play pen) we were ready to bring home the First Four and start integrating them into the flock (if possible).

At this age, it's not always easy to tell girls (hens) and roos (boys) apart.

I spend more time than you want to know watching chicken videos and reading message boards and blogs, and there are tell-tale signs, but sometimes even those aren't foolproof.
One sign of a roo(ster) is the comb (on top of the head) turning pink sooner. But sometimes, some hens comb's turn pink early.
EE (Easter Egger) chickens often have certain coloring, or color patterns, that can determine girl or boy....but sometimes, boys will have girl coloring.
And so on.

All four of these First Four have darker pink combs than the nine babies, so I feared, it could be that they are all boys (roos).

The only one I'm certain about is the white one being a rooster. He has the three-row comb and obvious wattles.

This one may be a rooster, but maybe just a mean hen. Although it's a darker pink, it has the same smaller, thinner comb as the others, and no wattles.
Sometimes roos stand up more erect than hens, but all these chicks, at times, stand up tall. Other times, they just look chicken-y like hens.

This one also has the smaller comb and no wattles, also the hackles (neck feathers) appear to be rounded as opposed to pointed, although it may be too early for those yet.
However, the coloring - the red in the wing feathers - may indict it's a rooster.

I was pretty sure the orange-breasted one was a hen, but it appears to maybe have the three-row comb of a roo, although no wattles, either.

Also, all these First Four chicks are generally the same size, unlike the nine Babies, with the (probable) roos considerably larger than the (probable) hens.

The two grey chicks in the front I'm about 99.9% certain are roosters, are about 1/3 larger than the chicks I am reasonably sure are hens.

Anyway, I can't decide if the First Four are: 1 roo and 3 hens, 2 roos and 2 hens, or all 4 roos. It'd just be my luck they were all 4 roosters. 

The nine Babies are growing up, but they're still Mama's little babies. They are mostly independent at this point, and just part of the flock, but she still looks out for them, and will peck a noggin if any of the other hens mess with any of her babies.

Isn't she gorgeous? Motherhood really agrees with her.

Speaking of motherhood...

Got another one on the nest. She's been there a couple of weeks, give or take.
For a few days I pulled her out of the nest and sent her out with the others, but she'd end up back in there.

I tried to get some more fertile eggs from the same lady as I got the others, but only like half a dozen this time, I don't need/want another large brood. I figured if she hatched 2 or 3 it'd be sufficient to satisfy her motherly instinct.
But, it hasn't worked out for me to get the eggs, I'm not really sure why, but I guess I'll have to try to find someone else to get some from. It doesn't seem like she's going to give up until she gets her desired outcome, and honestly, even though I don't especially want anymore chicks, I don't want to screw up her natural instincts.

Thursday, May 05, 2016

Blackberry Winter

A little later than I expected - and after some days of days of "Record high" temps I'd almost decided that either I was wrong about the last cold snap being Dogwood Winter or that Blackberry Winter was going to skip us this year - but no, and no. Blackberry Winter has arrived.

The temp dipped down to the low 40's last night, so no issues with frost or freezing, just chilly. My furnace kicked on this morning. Funny to think, just not too long ago I was considering turning on the A/C. I've had the windows open for a few weeks, but it got h-o-t hot for awhile there. I thought Summer had arrived.

Summer isn't far.
 It'll still technically be Spring for another month and a half (June 21st), but here, we'll be back up to 85° F in about three days.

PS, I have a tomato crop.
I took this pic 4 days ago; the tomatoes are larger, and there's even more of them now. 

You might can see in the background, I got my fishing-line-and-tin-can "fence" up.
We already had a deer visitor(s) in the garden a couple or few weeks ago.

Last year, when the tomato garden was still up closer to the back porch, I put the fishing-line fence up and also left on the back flood lights, so we weren't sure if it was the fence, or the light that kept them out after.
There's not a light down where the garden is now (I've considered getting a solar flood light to hang on the chicken coop, aimed at the garden, but haven't done it yet), anyway, so far either it/they just haven't come back, or else the fishing-line-and-tin-can fence is doing the job.

View of Chicken Coop from Garden
PPS, the peppers (that are left) have blooms, but no fruit yet.

My corn and one row of cucumbers are coming up.
Two rows of cukes, and the one row of squash don't appear to be doing anything, but I'm not surprised. I knew when I planted them that the seeds were old and might not work.

Tuesday, May 03, 2016


I just love gimmicky, kitschy stuff.
And I have loved Chias every since I started seeing them advertised on tv way back in the 1970's.

I never had one, though. My Mom wasn't into buying gimmicky, kitschy stuff, and then later on I think they went out of style for a while, and then when I started seeing them advertised again I thought the price was just way too much so I never would buy one, and no one ever gifted me one.

Forty years later (ack!) this little Chia Kitten came up on a FB Crazy Auction group I follow, and I got it for 50¢.

Even better, just as I was about to break down and drop $9.99 plus tax on a jar of Chia seeds on sale at the drug store, I happened across a jar at the food pantry I volunteer at, so I got it freeee.

I soaked it and applied the seeds on April 1st, and the below picture is of it today, May 3rd, so about a month.

The goofy thing is, in addition to just wanting a Chia (or Chias) for my own amusement, it was totally awesome that the one I got was a Kitten, because I had been looking into sprouting some kind of seeds or grass for our Kitty, because she kept digging into my house plants and biting the leaves, so I thought I'd get her her own greens she can bite or eat or whatever, that wouldn't be potentially poisonous for her.

She hasn't touched this thing.

Guess I'll end up feeding the sprouts to the Chickens.
Anyway, I enjoyed the growing of them, and watching the Kitten "grow" fur. 

Sunday, May 01, 2016

They Grow Up So Fast

The Easter babies are 5 weeks old now, which I reckon would be like 5 years old in human age.

Here they were at about 1 or 2 days old (some hatched Saturday, some Sunday, and Baby, or #13, wasn't even hatched yet):

At about a week old I started letting them out of the cage to run around and explore in the coop, and also see how the other Ladies were going to deal with them.

At about 2 weeks old, I brought the cage out into the run so when I let the chicks out, if they or Buff (the Mama hen) freaked out they would have a familiar, safe place to run hide. (They did fine, though, no problems.) Here, Buff is teaching the chicks to dust bath.

I had been worried about when it was getting time for Buff to teach the chicks to sleep on a roost, I didn't have a lower roost, and really no place to put one because I didn't think about raising babies when I designed my chicken house.

At just about 3 weeks old, I went in to put the chickens up for the night and found Buff teaching the babies to get on the existing roost.

For about a week, Buff and the babies holed up on the floor in the corner between the wall and the cage. They don't use the cage anymore at all.

At about 5 weeks, give or take, Buff brings the chicks on the roost to sleep and dares any of the other hens to say a thing about it.

Five weeks old, they're getting huge, and changing looks and colors.

Some Live Action chick vid. Can you spot the (probable) roos?