Thursday, April 30, 2015

Sightseeing and Shopping

For those of you keeping up with the renovation of the kitchen via our Facebook page then you know that we have been hard at work on the kitchen and little by little it is beginning to resemble a kitchen.

We still have a ways to go before it is complete.  Lots and lots of little time-consuming details being done bit by bit.

Yesterday, neither of us could drum up the motivation needed to get to work so we decided to do some sightseeing and check out whatever flea markets and antique shops we found along the way.

At the first shop, I found a mirror for the chicken coop; a little something to occupy the girls and keep them entertained, wink!

We didn't purchase anything at the second shop in a town north of us but since we were near the Mountain Parkway we decided to head east and check out The Natural Bridge.

What a gorgeous showcase of God's handiwork!

We took the Sky Lift to get to the bridge.

Up, up and away...

It was such a peaceful and relaxing ride while we took in the beauty of the countryside.

Once we exited the Sky Lift we took a very short hike and were walking on The Natural Bridge...

The edge of The Natural Bridge; straight down...

 A look at the viewing area where you can see The Natural Bridge...

Hubba-hubba Hubby on the bridge, wink!

Going below The Natural Bridge; it was a tight squeeze!

A view from underneath...

A tree growing out of the side of The Natural Bridge...

We took another short hike to the viewing area...


Another view of rocky mountains from the viewing area and once again, it is straight down...

Trees framing God's amazing handiwork!

After soaking in the beauty we headed back to the Sky Lift.  How exhilarating going over the edge!

It was a long way down but the beauty was a sight to behold!

After that, we headed home making a stop at a local flea market where I found the Ball jar and a stop at Hobby Lobby for the shelf brackets.

The Natural Bridge is in a Kentucky State Park that offers lodging and dining as well.  Prior to taking the Sky Lift, we ate at the lodge.  While CountryBoy was handling the check I headed to the gift shop.  I found some measuring spoons that I have been looking for for ages.  See, I found them a long time ago at a gift-type store and hem-hawed about purchasing them.  I didn't want to spend the money at that time and thought I would be able to find them again but, until yesterday, I never saw them again anywhere.  I decided I'd better get them!

How cute are they with the roosters on them?!

We had a great time seeing the sights, shopping and finding a few items for the kitchen.

Today, it was back to work on the kitchen.

It's getting closer to being a bonafide kitchen one can cook in.  Yay!

Till next time,

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Dog Kennel Turned Chicken Coop

When we bought the farm there were several existing outbuildings on the property: chicken coop, dog kennel, storage shed, barn, a small shed/building that was used a bedroom, and another log building that we were told was the original chicken coop from previous owners.

Original Chicken Coop
The original coop is very cute and will be used for something down the line - just not a chicken coop.

The building and area that was most recently used as a chicken coop and run was not suitable for the number of chickens we have.

Nor was the chicken area large enough or safe enough.

You can barely see the chicken wire in these photos.  It goes down to the creek and the chicken wire that was on top is collapsing from the weight of the leaves.

We decided to use the adjacent building that was used as a dog kennel and has a fenced in yard in front of it.

CountryBoy spent some time cleaning out the area, opening up the space, adding chicken wire and a door to the front.

Now the chicks are safe and have a large area to run around in.

CountryBoy also retrofitted the best of the dog houses for the heat lamp.

(Since this photo was taken we've added a roost which they jumped on right away.)

It didn't take them any time to learn that the dog house was where they were to sleep at night and where they would stay warm until they have all their feathers.

Eventually we will add some roosts, feeders, waterer, nest boxes and a storage place for feed.

Once all their feathers have grown in then we will let them out in the fenced in area in front of the new coop.

As you can see, the fence needs a bit of work but shouldn't take a whole lot to get it secure.

I remember when we looked at the place before buying it that we couldn't even see this area nor the buildings because there were so many weeds in there.  Little by little.

At least the chicks are out of the house and have room to run around!

We also hope to let them run around the yard when we're outside.  While we would love to have them free ranging all the time we've seen some hawks around here so we'll see.

And, since all this talk about dog kennels and houses, here's Miss LizzieBelle enjoying some sunshine...

She was munching on some grass prior to this shot.  She does not look happy with me for interrupting her feast, ha!

Also, please note that I have changed my 'Comment' settings.  Hopefully, those of you that have had trouble leaving a comment will be able to do so without any trouble now.  Fingers crossed since I love hearing from you!

Linking up at

Friday, April 3, 2015

Completed Projects & Cuteness: Bridge, Backpack Purse & Card Wallet, Fruit and Chicks

We have actually completed a major project here at the farmstead, yay!

The bridge was in rough shape when we bought the place but after an unexpected couple of snow storms and some early bouts of rain the bridge deteriorated rather quickly.  If you missed the 'Bad Bridge' post you can read about it HERE.

If you've already read it then let me refresh your memory on what the bridge looked like...


We weren't really sure what we were up against or how we were going to fix it but there was only one way to find out.  So, CountryBoy started tearing it apart bit by bit, board by board, piece by piece until we had one beam left.

It was the best of the five 12x12 wood beams.  The others looked like this when he pulled them out...

Not good.

We were looking for some more 12x12 wood beams but were unable to locate any.  While trying to decide on other options to make a beam we ran across a place that sold steel I-beams cut to order.  While they were quite pricey we knew we needed something that could support the weight of the propane truck and that would last a long time.  So, we bit the bullet and ordered four beams, ouch, with the plan of using the best of the wood beams as a center support.

CountryBoy had four days to rebuild the side walls and bridge support before the beams would be delivered.

Lots of manual labor.

Lots of rocks and blocks found around the farm and concrete.

In between bouts of rain he managed to get it ready with time for the concrete to set.

Then, the big day arrived.  The fellow delivering the beams was kind enough to move the last wood beam to the center for us. 

Once the wood beam was moved then the four steel beams were unloaded off the truck.

The beams were not set exactly in place since CountryBoy needed to fix the foundation where the wood beam was sitting before spacing the beams out.

He painted the beams with Rustoleum paint to help protect them, finished the foundation then moved the beams in place.  

Now work could begin setting 4x6 posts across the steel beams.

We drilled holes through the wood and the steel and secured the two with galvanized carriage bolts; four per board plus one galvanized lag bolt in the center through the wood beam.

Then, running boards were added as well as end boards.

And here she is all done!

The bridge was complete at this point but there was still lots of physical labor necessary.

Wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow of rocks and gravel were hauled to fill in the low spots up to the bridge.

And now, the moment of truth...

Drum roll, please...

Yes!  It held, woohoo!

We are so thankful that we finished the bridge when we did.  It is our lifeline to and from the house. The evening we finished it started raining cats and dogs.  The creek flooded and was up to the bridge this morning.

The above photo was taken through an upstairs window.  That's the creek running through our front yard and flows under the bridge.

The bridge is holding but we may need to do some more ground work on the road.  We'll see what needs to be done once the rain is gone.

Meanwhile, I managed to carve out some time to do some playing, wink.

I got my sewing machines out and made a little card wallet and I finished up a backpack purse that I had started at the quilt retreat I went to last month.

Cute, huh?!

I bought the pattern at the Houston Quilt Festival last October and finally got up enough nerve to try and make one.  (Only because my prolific bag-making friend was making one as well so I knew she could help me, wink!)

The front has two pockets (the blue fabric) and a magnetic snap closure...

The back has a zippered pocket...

with a special little zipper pull...

and when you pull the purse straps from the sides it becomes a backpack...

Cool, huh?!

When my sister saw the pattern she immediately wanted one since she travels a lot.  Isn't this fabric perfect for an avid traveler?  So, this purse and matching card wallet is hers and will be traveling to who knows where!

With so much chaos at the farmstead it's nice to have a couple of projects done.

And, to top it all off, we have some cuteness at the farmstead...

The chicks learning to roost...

and their first venture outdoors...

They are growing rather quickly so our next project will be to convert an existing dog kennel/run into a chicken coop.

And, as if we don't have enough going on already, we bought some fruit trees and bushes...

CountryBoy says the truck's been sitting at the bridge so long that trees starting growing in it, ha!

We bought two each cross-pollinating apple and pear trees as well as some Concord grapes and raspberry bushes.

We will plant these straight away, especially the fruit trees, so they can, one day, bring us delicious fruit!

That's it for now.  The rain has slowed so it's time to get something done, wink!