Adventures

Here comes the rain, again…

I am so ready for spring weather. Every single time I plan a project for the weekend, it has either been cold or raining. The same goes for this weekend, but I am not giving up. I am bound and determined to get my chicken coop built so I can get my chicks at the beginning of May. I have been waiting until May because I want to make absolutely certain they don’t get cold. Where I am, when we have freak ice storms or snow storms in spring, power outages come along with the storms. I am so worried this will happen and it is extremely rare for snow or ice to happen in May. (It did snow last May, but we have a generator and kerosene heaters so, I will keep my babies warm no matter what.)

I am so thoroughly excited about having chickens again. I have not had chickens since I was very little, 9 or 10 years old. Back then, I wasn’t responsible for the well-being and care of the chickens, but I adored sneaking into the coop to collect the eggs from nesting boxes. I Remember walking into the coop once and my favorite chicken, whose name was Big Bertha because she was the largest hen we had, had become broody. I went to collect her eggs and she started puffing up her feathers and yelling at me in rather loud clucks and screeches.  She pecked me and I knew better than to try again. It took some time, but she eventually hatched four of the cutest fuzzy little chicks. My mother being the crazy woman she is, allowed me to carry these chicks around in a basket all day with Big Bertha chasing me around trying to get her babies back. I fed them from my hand and made sure they stayed warm in their basket, even though it was at least 90° outside I had an old dish towel in the basket as a blanket. Eventually, they lost their downy fluff and feathered out, which meant no more basket rides, but they were the sweetest hens my mother ever had. The single rooster was a bit off  and acted more like a hen than a rooster. He was friendly and loved hugs so, I guess I did something right as a child with the chickens.

Hubby has insisted that we have at least one rooster. I have an irrational fear of roosters because one of my mother’s roosters was particularly mean and liked to chase me and peck at my heels before fluffing out his feathers and flapping his wings at me. I was quite small as a child so this rooster was pretty scary. Speaking of irrational fears, I also fear geese. I was playing in the yard minding my own business and one of the geese decided to bite me between my shoulder blades. This mean bird latched onto me and would not let go. I was about 3-4 years old at the time so the goose was approximately the same height as I was. So, I am running across the yard with a goose latched onto my back, wings spread, and I’m screaming bloody murder. My momma said it was the funniest thing she’d ever seen and she had to stop laughing before she came and rescued me from the goose. That goose ended up being dinner that night because it chose to attack me. I don’t like eating goose either.

Anyway, back to the chicken coop, I am determined to have it built and have a run set up by this weekend. I have waited three years for chickens. I am not waiting any longer. I had to wait for chickens because of the well deciding to break at very inconvenient times, other things would break, kids going to prom and graduating, all of these things cost money and were more important than my wanting some birds. This year, I budgeted for the coop, run, chicks, feed, and supplies as well as an emergency buffer just in case something suddenly decides to break. (Something always breaks on the homestead.)

The coop will be build from plywood, pallets, metal roofing sheets, and some construction fabric. Before you even say, well pallets are terrible quality wood, let me tell you my experience with heat treated pallets. My dad was a terrible carpenter, but he made us wooden toys and built me a table and chair set from pallets for my tea parties with my dolls. I was 3 years old when he built this table. I am now 38. I still have that table and it’s the strongest piece of furniture I own. It wasnt painted or sealed. He didn’t even sand it from what I am told and it has stood up to the test of time. Therefore, the frame of my coop will be made from pallets. I am hopeful that this coop will last as long as my table has.

I grew up on a homestead on a very small lot of land just outside city limits. This meant that the neighbors had pigs, everyone had chickens, everyone had a garden and families would swap produce to have more variety. This is the feeling of home that I intend to recreate. My children grew up with fresh baked bread, food cooked from scratch, and I bought farm fresh eggs because the ones in the grocery store don’t taste as good. (Someone once told me that they were almost a month old before they reach the consumer. That’s terrifying.) I want all of the grandbabies, when they come along, to come visit and see chickens, a garden, farm animals, and experience that slower way of living where everything is homemade and just tastes better. Sheets are dried on a clothesline and every evening in the spring and summer end with a tall glass of ice cold sweet tea on the back porch. This is my dream and I will make it a reality.

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8 thoughts on “Here comes the rain, again…”

  1. Homesteading sounds so wonderful.. Although your the ones doing all the hard work 🙂
    I am stuck in the city, and we can only have chickens.. although they aren’t very welcomed 🙂

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      1. Hello, I grew up in the city, Wichita, KS, right dab in the inner city ghetto. Where I, a white little girl, was a minority in my community. Back in the late 70’s. We all can together and watched each other’s back so We had no issues there. It was the gang violence that finally drove us out and my mom and dad also were going through a divorce at that time. Up until then, city life was all I knew. Being around many races was fun memories for me and gave me a strong backbone for my upcoming life outside the city. My mom remarried, shortly after to a farmer. He lived about an hour or so away from the inner city in a very small town in KS. I was in a cultural shock and never quite fit in at school. It was much different and faster paced curriculum that I had not studied yet so was always falling behind some in my classes. I was the new outcasts and had to learn and indure this new, Farmer Life. That was a long and hars adjustment but eventually I came around and accepted it and then began to actually enjoy being on the farm. We were more connected as a family, spent alot of time working and helping our new step dad with chores, and feeding the animals, my favorite part about it!
        It took alot of our days, after school and kept me out of trouble and off the streets since I was still a minor. I was homesick for the city life, my city family and friends that I grew up with.
        The education part was the worst memories for me personally. I was bullied alot, due to being an outsider, with a mouthy mouth. So I did have struggled staying engaged with my school work and the Farmer kids at school. They had high expectations of everyone and I had never been through that before. I ended up not graduating HS. I did end up getting my GED, and then when on to go to college. I was the first generation college grad out of my 5 siblings so that was important to make my mom, and parents proud. I do still at times miss my step dad farm! He had 40 acres and was a stable, hard working man, and still is till this day. I respect him as a man and step dad, which I didn’t feel for my own bio father who couldn’t find or keep a job due to various reasons. I miss hearing the different animals waiting to be fed and dependingon me. I miss the black and silent sky with brite, huge stars. Where I found my peace and Sirinity on that farm. My step dad’si s getting up in age, mid 70’s now and still working hard on his farm! He doesn’t miss a beat! I’m proud to of went through both sides of city and country living! I don’t go to KS much anymore, as I have lived in Missouri since 97. I do still chat and text with my step dad, instead of my bio dad. I check in on him and he tells me the small town gossip, lol.

        Anyways, I’m sorry my message was so lengthy.
        I am happy for you that you get to raise your kids in that loving, and disciplined environment. Looking forward to reading your future blogs!

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        1. I read your comment multiple times because it sounded so much like my own childhood until the age of 9 when my parents divorced. The only difference is that I lived in the city until 3 years ago. My kids experienced that same culture shock when we moved here. My youngest experienced the bullying so, we pulled him from the school and he is homeschooled through a public charter school. We are still outsiders here, but we don’t mind because we don’t live in town. As we chose to pull the youngest from the schools, he will actually graduate early. He is the last one in high school and prefers homeschool because he doesn’t have to deal with the nonsense. He is spending the summer in Florida with his older brother (the kids live all over the country now) and will possibly be taking college classes at a Florida college instead of one in Oklahoma. I have to agree with you about the stars. The first time the kids saw how many stars were visible here, they were amazed. The older kids come home as much as possible because they crave the quiet and the peacefulness. It is definitely a completely different subculture. I am so glad you were able to complete your GED and college. I understand completely how hard it is to catch up once you are behind. We have lived in different states so the kids have changed schools only to find out they are either ahead or behind. I did everything possible to help them get back on track. I imagine it was extremely difficult coming from an inner city school as many of their classes are remedial to assist students who miss school or simply don’t grasp the concepts. I have never understood why it is assumed the students in inner city schools will never attend college when quite a few of those students throw themselves into school as a means to escape from that area of town. It should be standard across the board. No matter where the school is or what races live there. I have been the only white person several times in my life and it has NEVER been a bad experience. As an adult and single mom, I experienced this and my neighbors were amazing they made sure I was safe and felt included. I had an elderly gentleman who would walk with me to work because he said, “I don’t want them youngins messing with you when you are trying to make a living to support your son.” The gangs were pretty bad, but the older males in the neighborhood would take turns patrolling the block to ensure everyone’s safety. I never once felt unsafe living there. It was definitely a different way of life.

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          1. Yes, I can agree completely with you on the school system and the bullying. Our son is 15 and has been bullied his whole life. So we started home schooling him as well and we love it so much. He’s special needs, a learning disability and teachers have pushed me for years to try medications for his hyper activity. Another main reason, that I choose to Homeschool. I can’t afford to get him an evaluation to find out exactly, and still working on that, but really it’s our insurance, it’s not the greatest. And I have called around and my co pay would be 117.00. I live on a low income atm, due to my health issues and we get by. I am a big believer that he can make that choice as he gets older if he wants to be medicated. Just pulling him out of school, he’s improved tremendously and now see that he prob doesn’t need medication as he is so much happier and not so fearful and anxious from them awful, mean kids at school. The school hasn’t been supportive and had not offered to have him evaluated so a lot of my mom instincts and exp being bullied myself, I believe that these teachers are not willing to put time and effort into the special needs students, and often made my son’s esteem worse. He’s on a IEP. And he was still making D’s and F’s. And that made him feel worse about himself. He lists his motivation and drive about his Education and we as parents have to be these kids voices and advocates. An IEP is a contract and they simply wasn’t fulfilling their part. We start school again in a couple weeks. To keep him caught up and on a schedule! I have him writing in a journal to help him cope with his feelings and we are helping our neighbor, a retired Veteran once a week! I am proud of my son and the progress hes made so fair. I have high hopes for anu child that has special needs and they may not always excel in certain thing’s but they sure are gifts from God and so smart and funny in other thing’s that can make them excel in other parts of their lives, and thats just as important to me. I love him for who he is always and not letting some label, or diagnosis to makw me treat him any different then my daughter. All I can do is keep him safe, support him and push him to believe in himself, and to be a descent, caring, respectful young man. Unlike some of these public school kids, their out of control. Hes better off not being in that environment any longer and we hope to get him caught up and graduating with his normal Grad year 2021! No one from his pasts school has reached out or asked about him and he has some difficulty with that, since he believed they were his friends and they turned out not to be. But hey, life moves on and now he can make new, more productive, safe friendships. He’s got a big heart and often gives ppl too many chances and we are working on that as well. I am Unschooling him for now, but just to get him started and for him to have that Time and process of getting bullied. It really traumatized him for a couple weeks after pulling him out of the public school system. He is stronger and smarter than he thinks and I fully believe in him.
            Glad to hear back from you and looking forward to staying in contact with you. Ty again for your support and our things in common! Have a nice evening!

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          2. I am completely educated on the SPED program and IEPs. I am so sorry he was treated that way by children and teachers alike. My experience has been that teachers no longer get paid enough to care. They are forced to adhere to a rigorous testing preparation schedule because the public schools focus solely on standardized testing. Its heartbreaking to see some of the most intelligent children having their souls and creativity crushed by the educational system. I am also fully aware of the unschooling method and I think it is amazing. I have fallen in love with the Montessori method and had I not been so afraid to remove my kids from public schools, I would have used this method because it allows children to learn at their own pace while focusing on their strengths and independence. I do suggest looking into it if you find unschooling is not keeping him on level for specific subjects. You can always mix the two curricula together as they mesh very well together. I have been exposed to different learning disabilities as well as down syndrome and many different types of autism. These kids are amazing, without medication, they are achieving amazing things. They simply learn differently. Teach your son to focus using things like fidget cubes, an exercise ball for a chair, and desk toys. (They help my son immensely with his own focus.) I am so glad your son is making meaningful friendships, we experienced the same silence from his school friends once he was withdrawn. It didn’t shock me, but it crushed him. He is making friendships with kids all over the world now and I couldn’t be happier for him. I sincerely hope your son continues to have happiness in his friendships and his education.

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