Monday, June 15, 2009

Jonathan...Mommys Got A New Project!!!

I am sure he cringes every time he hears those words!

I have wanted an incubator for EVER! And always thought they cost hundreds of dollars. And some do. But then I started reading my favorite chicken forum and found out that you could make one out of junk! I read and researched and read and researched some more. Printing out dozens of different ways to do it.

So when I got ready and made my decision, I call on my little me, Jonathan. He loves to build stuff almost as much as I do. And yes, he always has his own ideas why it should be done his way and not mine. Because he's a man and that's just what men do. But guess what, when its my project...he almost always looses.

Most homemade incubators are made from an old ice chest. I am guessing for the insulation. Didn't have one, so I used an old tote and lined it with 1 inch insulation, taped together with duck tape. Gotta love that stuff! And it's Jonathans favorite toys, with some card board, duck tape and a knife, he could build a city! Even made the lid of insulation and cut a hole to lay a piece of Plexiglas on top for my viewing pleasure.

We used 2x4's to frame the bottom and covered it with screen door wire. In the bottom is also the lights for heat. I used a string of C9 Christmas lights, unscrewing all but 5 of the bulbs. After letting it set for 24 hours, the temp was 110 degrees. So I unscrewed another bulb and it went down to 100. Perfect. Didn't realize what kind of heat those little bulbs can put off.

There is a plastic jar cut off and filled with water in the bottom also for the humidity. It is staying between 45 and 50.

He took a little fan out of his old computer to use to keep the air circulating inside and to keep the temperature constant. It is held in place by wooden shishkabob sticks stuck into the insulation. He used a 12v plug that went to an old cell phone, wired it to the fan and plugged it in. Worked like majic!

John picked me up a thermometer/humidity checker thingy at Home Depot for about $8.00. I taped it to the Plexiglas so it is easy to read.

There is also a wooden dowel that holds the egg cartons in the center of the box. They are taped to the dowel so that the eggs can be turned several times daily. They rotate side to side only about 5 or 6 inches or so. This is so the eggs will develope right inside the egg. If you have ever watched a mama hen, she is always moving the eggs around, that's why. And the dowel sticks out the side of the box so I don't have to open it to turn them and loose heat and humidity. Well, that's about it. And for 8 bucks, here's what I came home to yesterday. See him in the corner?
See why I am so obsessed with this? He is the sweetest little thing ever! Of course until the next one is hatched. But for now, he's my love!
He is so very fluffy, more so than the rest have been. I'm pretty sure he is silky all the way. He is very silver with little white tips on his wings and white under his chin. He has a white tummy and the totally cutest little white fluffy butt ever!
Oh, and 4 toes on one foot and 5 on the other. Well, nobody's perfect!
He is already hopping all over the place and singing like he's got a song you just gotta hear!
And just like me, he already loves to have his belly rubbed.
Ya'll gonna come see me? Bring food!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Meet Sigfried & Sarafina SaSquash

FINE! Then tell me what YOU would have done with deformed squash!

So Meet Sigfried and Sarafina SaSquash. Dressed in their red carpet finery they enjoyed a night out in Austin on Friday night attending the premier of The Hangover. Starring Zack Greg's brother and Gia's brother in law Galifianakis! They had the times of their short lives. The red carpet treatment all the way!
Arriving at the Alamo Draft House Cinema early to be sure to see any stars as they arrived, Sarafina insisted on wearing her tiger skin wrap with the matching pillbox hat, and carrying her silver and pearl clutch. Sigfried nixed the black tie attire for a more casual and comfortable wear. His best Texas bolo and his big rodeo belt buckle of course.
Everyone screamed as Zack was tazzzzzered! Totally cool man!
The excited and happy Zack's brother and sister in law had the best time of all! Look at the beaming on Greg's face! Is he proud or what!!!
No, we cant stay for The Terminator.
Sarafina was totally star struck with Greg. She is in love.
They talked all the way home about what a wonderful party that Gia threw for all their family and friends. And how much fun it was to crash their party. Oh, and how beautiful she is because she looks so much like her oldest sister.
Picture hording is a new hobby for the SaSquashes.
And here is Georgia's other beautiful sister Gina and...
OH MY GOD!!! I KNOW THAT MAN! HE WILL EAT ANYTHING!!!!! Look how he is looking at us! Is that drool? Evil I say, EVIL!
How sweet and innocent youth is. Gullible enough to hold two squash people and smile in public.
Well folks. Thanks for joining us for The SaSquashes Big Adventure. They have plans to travel the states before rotting...uh...retirement. So look for them in a state near you. I am thinking they will be making a trip to Florida via first class mail very soon! Look out Jayne!

My First Real Garden!

I have wanted a "real" garden forever. I have played at it many times and never came up with much but the occasional tomato or radish, which I hate. So after all the daily inspiration from my Chickens In The Road friends and their beautiful gardens, I just had to give it a real try. Not to mention, it was grow food or starve.
I made my plans, begged, borrowed and stole till I got the lumber I wanted and had John construct my boxes. Of course I drew the plans differently that the outcome I received. But they will grow a bountiful harvest none the less. Or at least some beautiful weeds in some really nice and expensive raised beds.
And a short few weeks later...A "real" garden! I am so proud I just don't know what to say.
I have zucchini, yellow squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, brussel sprouts (for Gina), turnips (for Gina), egg plants, bell peppers, jalapenos, tabasco peppers, parsley, cinnamon basil, marigolds and giant sunflowers for the chickens.
And here's my first squash.
I just don't know what to say about that. I have heard of the two headed fish that come out of the lake near the Alcoa plant. I'm thinking maybe I should call Erin Brockosomething.
What the hell???