Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Before And After

 I admit it, this little build beat me up. This was the first big project this year and it was summer sense the last one so the muscle atrophy from a few months of really doing nothing is raising it's nasty head. Even I thought this was too big for just a day and a half.     
 We managed to meet the project goals this weekend and still had half the day today to devote to maintenance chores we needed to get done before the bad weather hits this week.
I will tell you this, one thing about projects is that it brings in the visitors and everyone is eager to lend a helping hand. Our friend Rhonda came down to just take a look at the progress and ended up working for a couple of hours helping the wife haul all the junk to the top. That in turn helped me by freeing me up to finish the doors. Thanks for all your help.  
After the weather clears back up and it dries out, the plan is to get back down there and get the outside runs built so we can get the chickens into their new home.
But first, next weekend we are making the run back to the old farm and finally take that little building down that my brother gave me months ago and haul it home. It has a new purpose, a goat barn.

I hope everyone has a great week.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

What's that Smell?

 You guessed it, saw dust. That smell is the smell of progress in my book.

I got home a little early from work yesterday and went ahead and pulled the trigger on the weekend build. All I was able to get done last night was decking the floor and laying out the walls.

 Today was a different story. The wife and the youngest came down with me and just went to it. That youngest girl of mine is getting real good on the screw gun and has turned into the best little helper. She even has her own tool belt full of everything she needs and I bet here will be a time when I won't be needed on these builds anymore. 
My Dad even stopped by and lent a hand. There is something about experience that comes in handy when youth cannot help you.

 We worked until all the wood was gone. I drew it, measured it and dreamed about it for weeks and still came up short on the wood. I need 15 more 2x4s and 1 more piece of plywood. I thought I had enough to do the doors but......
Tomorrow I plan to at least get the wire on and the doors built. The outside runs will come later. As long as I get it all done by March there is no rush.
Next week the weather is turning nasty and cold so we are trying to get everything done this weekend. 

 If you are wondering why there is a wood top on a chicken pen, it is for storage space. If I did not build the top then I would not have a place to build anything else in the barn. This gives me a place to put all the junk I have collected that I will never use but cannot though away. 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Babies Everywhere

"Whatca doing, hu, hu?"
 Per a special request I posted some baby pics.

Look at those ears!

This is going to leave a mark.

How can you not love this face?

True love

A momma's love

These little things are such a joy to raise.
I was able to get the little hut built for them in the weaning pen tonight. It's not pretty by no means but it will serve the purpose it's intended to.

The wife made it home for getting the lumber for the breeder pens and only had to call me six times. I would rather her call to make sure about something rather than buy it and me have to take it back. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What a Sport!

The oldest with her big catch of the day

The wife is such a team player. She agreed to take the list and my truck tomorrow and get all the lumber for the big build this weekend (what could go wrong). I would, but my company truck is a light weight when it comes to carrying big loads and if I had to make the run this weekend then I am wasting valuable building time. Plus it has a good chance for more rain this weekend and if it does then there is no way we will be able to drive to the barn. It has just now dried out enough to get down there.  With her making the run, it is a real big help. What a sport.

We separated a couple of 9 week old baby goats from their momma last weekend and even though they are just now getting used to the idea of not being with her we found one little flaw to the weaning pen, not enough shelter. So Friday night after work the plan is to build a quick little place for the babies to get out of the wind and rain for the weekend. I have enough scrap wood laying around to make them a nice comfy home.        

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Is it Luck?

I was sitting here at the computer yesterday evening going over the budget and trying to figure out how I was going to find the money to finish the breeder pens down at the big barn. As a time frame goes, I need to have all the breeder chickens down there and settled by the first of March.
The budget was not bending in the way I needed it to and I could not find even a penny to more around to use for the whole month of February. It was not looking good.
I already made the materials list and priced everything out so I knew how much I needed to find to make it work. It came up to $325.00 with tax to finish the project but I probably could have cut some corners and took about fifty dollars off that, but still there was no way.
Right then the phone rang. 
It was my brother who lives down at the old farm and he said I had some mail I needed to pick up. I have not lived down there in over five years and figured it be just junk. He went on to explain that what he also thought was junk mail and was on the verge of throwing it in the trash was actually a check from a bank I used over seven years ago. They were refunding me some money because they over charged me on some things. The check was printed out for $347.00

You know I have scratched my head and said "well I be" more this year than I have ever done in my life. Was it luck, I don't think so. What I do think is I am right where I am suppose to be doing exactly what I am suppose to be doing and it would real hard to convince me any otherwise.
He is so good.    

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Besides the obvious of making a small profit, one of the things I like about selling animals is all the visitors. This past week we have sold out of all the animals we needed to sell.
We had a large number of overstock animals we kept on hand and were just watching grow so we could pick the best of the best when we chose our breeding stock. Now the breeders are established and we are ready to move forward to the next stage.
But like I said, we have had a few people in and out of our gate this week and even though it was still a little muddy and cold, they all seamed to enjoy their visit here at the Mini Farm.
We had one guy go home and get his kids and bring them back so they could pet the goats and hold the rabbits. One lady got a kick out of a mini chicken that was trained to ride on your shoulder and everyone loved Lucy the goat and how she followed them around like a puppy.

It also helped that all weekend all of us have been outside cleaning, re-bedding, separating and organizing so to make it a little more appealing for the visitors and more comfortable for the animals.

 Have a good week and be safe.     

Saturday, January 22, 2011


Maintenance is going to be the number one priority this weekend. It has been two weeks of bad weather so no cleaning or anything has been done in the Mini barn or surrounding areas. Everything pen needs fresh hay and new bedding.
I have to do a little fence repair in a couple areas where the big dog has started making holes and I need to do some rabbit pen rework.  

Tomorrow we have a couple of 8 week old baby goats we are going to take off their momma so I am sure there will be no peace and quiet for a few days.    
It will be a filled weekend without to much progress on the breeder pens but I am at least getting some much needed small things out of the way that I have been putting off or have been unable to get to.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Geese Of A Deal

Sometime awhile back I was talking about getting some Sebastopol Geese. The one thing that was holding me up was the price of them. At that time we found only one place remotely close that even had them and they were over $100.00 a piece. The wife did the next best thing and was put on the waiting list for hatching eggs this spring and we were going to hatch them out ourselves.
Even the eggs cost more than I was really willing to pay. I think they were $180.00 a dozen. Given my hatch rate at around 40%, that would mean I would get five live chicks. With my luck, three of them would have been ganders leaving only two hens. I am sure one of the hens would have died for some reason or another so for all that money I would end up with three males and one female. I am not being a pessimist, that's just how it goes here.
The wife scored a major find today. A lady was in need of money in a bad way to feed all her other animals decided to sell all three hens and a gander for half the cost of what we found for just one.
Bravo to the wife. Now we can set our own eggs and just maybe we can sell them for $180.00 a dozen.

Plus this lady is wanting to get completely out of the chicken, duck and other animal business, materials and all and is writing up a package deal for us. I doubt I can afford it but you never know. It all depends how bad she wants out.        

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

It's Not My Fault

This other morning our Great Dane "Duke" stuck his nose to mine while I was sleeping. This is what he does to wake one of us up to let him outside. At 4:20 AM I just pushed him away and mumbled to no one, "Give me ten more minutes". I heard him run around the other side of the bed where the wife sleeps and I just grinned because now I could go back to dream land and she would have to get up and let him out.
I felt her side of the bed bend down and glanced over my shoulder to the big silhouette crawling up on the bed. Being that Duke is 170 pounds I needed to show him who was the boss plus, I did not want him climbing over the wife and hurting her. Reaching back and with a firm voice and a strong backhand, I slapped him and told him "No, get down!"   
What I felt at point of contact was soft smooth skin, not course rough dog hair. The next thing I knew the world as I knew it came to an end. The wife started screaming, crying and hollering and in the throws of absolute turmoil she asked what and why I hit her. All I could answer was "Next time you better listen to me" Yea, that went over just as good as the back hand did.
We ended up laughing it off, or at least I did and now two weeks later I am still making it up to her. All I can say is that is wasn't my fault.     

Monday, January 17, 2011

What And When

The wife and I have been going over what we are wanting to grow this year in the garden. Last growing season was our first year on the Mini Farm and I thought it was a little premature to start gardens, we did it anyway.

If you are long time reader then you know that last years harvest was a disaster. If we depended on our garden for our only food then I would not be over weight right now. With all that work and sweat I think the total take was some onions, one tomato, a couple of peppers, three cantaloupes and a squash.
We came up with all kinds of excuses on why the plants did not grow or if they did they did, they not produce any food. Excuses like the soil was not good enough, the water is poisoned , the plants burnt up because of no shade and my favorite, no bees to pollinate.
I have taken care of two out of the four. I have been working on the soil all winter and I will have bees not far away. As far as the other two excuses, I have yet to finish the large rain water system and the shade is manageable with just a little work.
At the moment we have five raised beds and trying to manage and fit all these plants into the small growing room is the biggest problem. We want to do so much this year to redeem ourselves from last years disaster and to prove that we still have a green thumb. I have three more beds to build in the plans but for right now the five is what we are starting with.

If this year turns out the same way the last one did then I am going to have to come up with new excuses on why. I have been thinking of some already. Here's some, "I didn't plant it in the right moon" or "I thought the wife was doing the watering" Either way, it won't be my fault.
That makes me laugh right there. 

Sunday, January 16, 2011


 It was to nasty outside to do much today so we bummed around, sat by the fire, watched a little football and sold some chickens here and there. 
I hope it dries up some this week so I can get back to work on the breeder pens.

This is the wife's new little dog, Ellie May.

Have a great and blessed week.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Chicken Business

I spent most of the day working on the chicken business. After I had really sat down and figured out what I have and what I want, I found I had more than what I needed. There is no way I could find a home for as many eggs as I would have left over if we kept all the breeders I want too.
Today me, the youngest daughter and the wife took the time to actually separate and count what breeds and how many we are going to keep. It was easy to see how over stoked we were. The rest were put on Craig's list in seven different adds.
This is a bad time of the year to be selling chickens but if they do not sell this week then I will take them to the flee market next weekend. I know they will sell there.

 We are selling 18 chickens in all. Silkies, Heavy breed Cochins, Cochin Bantams, Silver Laced Wyandottes, Buff Brahamas, Speckled Sussex, Serama and Aracona.
I just had a few to many of each breed. That leaves us with about 50 chickens to use as a building stock for the chicken business.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Small Town Business

I am a firm believer that the money you spend on supplies and goods should be spent in the small businesses and the community that you live in.
Keeping the money "In house" so to speak, serves multiple purposes.
Just to name a few;  
1. Helps the City's income from the tax base you helped generate and it betters your services in the long run.
2. Promotes the small businesses and creates community jobs.
3. Helps keep the "Mom & Pop" stores from being taken over or shut down by the big corporations.
4. It saves you money on gas by not driving all the way into the big city.
5. It encourages other small businesses to pop up in your town.
6. Lastly, you know where your money is going and it is not masked by high paid executives who promote the gay lifestyle. 

Even if I have to pay a few cents more for an item, I still try to buy it from the local stores. Not only are the people working at these places you neighbors, they are your friends and sometimes even your family. That makes the customer service at some of the local businesses unmatched.

I say all this because yesterday I went into town to get the lumber for the breeder pens. I decided to stop off at the local hardware store to check the prices and to see if they had what I needed. I did not want to drive all the way to the city just to save a couple of dollars on a few boards. Plus the gas would have made it not worth the trip.
Let me tell you, the 2x4s I needed were $1.50 more per board. I have gone to this place a least a thousand times and every time, I do not get good customer service. To be blunt, they are just rude and they always have been. I asked the guy, who should know me by now, if they could come down on the price a little because I did not want to make the drive all the way to Lowe's. He just snubbed me, mumbled something and walked away.
I have said it before but this time I mean it, my shadow will never darken their door again. I have tried to support them for years now and they just won't let me.
I don't know if they act that way because they are the only dog on the porch or they really hate their jobs that much.

The end result was, I went to Lowe's, expected bad customer service and got it.
With gas included, I ended up saving about $50.00 by shopping and supporting a company I really don't like.      

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Other Way Around

 My work called for the third day in a row and told me to just stay home. It is to wet and none of the contractors were working today so they did not want me to come in and just milk the clock. I thought is was the other way around. I thought I was was the one who called and told them I was not coming to work. I am out of vacation time now and possibly going into the negative this week. I hope they still pay.  

I refused to sit around and play on this dumb computer today. Yesterday I watched a full day of the Green Hornet marathon and felt my brain cells slowly dieing off. So this morning the wife and I made a trip in to town to buy some lumber so I could muscle my way through the cold to regain my manhood and start on the breeder pens down at the big barn.
I was able to scrape up enough money to at least get the lumber to frame up the floor. This is only half of the floor and I need to get this built so I can have storage room on top of the pens and clear out where the other half is going.    
In the area shown below there will be four 5X8 pens with each pen having an outside run of a 5X16. The plan is to house five hens and a rooster in each one. I think that is plenty of room for six chickens.

Like I said, once these four are built then another four will be added making a total of eight breeder pens. Doing the math, that is 40 breeder hens and 8 roosters. At a modest five eggs a week from each chicken that totals 200 weekly eggs from all the hens, right? If I set 160 eggs a month that will give me surplus of 640 eggs or 53 dozen I will need to get ride of each and every month.
Wow, I might need to re-figure if I need that many hens.

Tomorrow is the first real test run with the new grocery list system. The wife says it is no big deal and will handle it but I think she is down playing this complex organized machine I have created. We will see........

Monday, January 10, 2011

What's For Dinner?

 There has to be an easier way to beat the freezing temps..........
Al-A-Lucy is whats for dinner. She loves to stand right next to the fire, sometimes a little to long.


Cabin fever set in a little today so the wife and I decided to run into town and do a little storage stocking shopping. For sixty five dollars we were able to buy enough "on sell" food to last what we calculated as about two weeks. Adding this to our already stocked items puts us right at about two to two and half months worth. That's not bad for just starting out on all this.
This brings up a question I had for the wife. If sixty five dollars can feed us for two weeks when we are in a crunch, then why does a eight hundred dollar a month food budget only buys the necessities during the regular times?

My Mom sent me a website the other day that I have grown to enjoy reading. It fits the par as to what and where I am going with all this. The site  has a vast amount of reading material on getting prepared for "It" showing you everything from how to get your spouse on board with what your doing to what you need on hand in case anything might happen. 

The Survival Food Pyramid is a handy tool I found while looking around the site. It shows how to set your food storage up in stages so the task does not feel so overwhelming when you are starting out.

I am not affiliated with this site in any way nor did I get paid for this plug. I just figured it had a lot of useful information that could be of some help. 

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Somethings Missing

Here is our winter storm pic.

 The fury of the storm blew through just like they predicted. Every aspect of life here in North Texas has ceased. Those of us who live by satellite to get our information from the TV and internet were rendered helpless for most of the day.
The quite brought a refreshing sound to our everyday hustle. The only noises made were from the family living as if no contact to the outside world was a normal occurrence. But as I sat and enjoyed the peaceful fruits from my labor, something was missing. I could not put my finger on what it was or did I spend much time thinking on it, it was just not there.
All day it was hard to keep a smile from drifting across my face. A glowing bed of coals and the sound of crackling wood warmed my soul and sang music to my ears. A big pot of chicken and dumplings cooking on the stove drifted its scent throughout the whole house and at times sparked a bank of memories from my youth. But yet, there was still something not right and I did not know what is was, but it was not there.
In complete silence I watched from the frost covered kitchen window at the snow gracefully falling and coating the muddy landscape masking ugly with perfection. Sipping a hot cup of coffee I watched my half grown daughters play in the snow as if they were once again small children and this was their first winter wonderland.
Turing my attention away from the brutal snowball fight, I stoked the fire once more and welcomed the warmth it was giving me. Watching the hypnotizing glow of the embers, my mind drifted to that one thing that was missing and tried to place it.
I walked down the hall and over to the thermostat which read a comfortable 70 degrees and that is when it hit me. The one thing that was missing was the sound of the heater.  That awful money draining necessity has not been on all day. 
I grabbed a book off the shelf and settled down near the fire, kicked my feet up and could not help the little smile that was spreading from ear to ear.
As always when a storm blows in something gives birth. This little buck and doe are the new arrivals to the Mini Farm and are doing great.  

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Got It Done

With the oldest girl jumping in to help me this morning, it did not take long to build the little shelves in the pantry area. This is still nowhere near the storage space we will need to house all the items we intend to keep. There was only one shelving unit we kept and put it in the hallway and it will be using for just the quick and always used items like bread, breakfast and lunch items.
The bulk items that are not used all at once like toilet paper, paper towels, paper plates and drinks are going in the closets. The first aid and personal hygiene items will be put in totes, labeled as such and stored in the hall on top of the old shelving unit.
A clip board is placed in easy access of all storage locations with a list of every item. Each item will be checked off as it is being used. At the end of the two week period an updated "On Hand" and "Needed" list will be printed and sent with the wife to the grocery store. If she has money left over from the food budget after getting the essentials, then at her choice she can pick from the needed column and shop from there adding to the storage bank.
It is really not as complicated as that just sounded, but as they say in the construction field, "It looks good on paper". Will it work, only if the list is kept up-to-date when items are being used. If not then a complete inventory will have to be done every month and as the storage grows that task will become to large to do in a timely manner.       

The pic below is the no good pile. It is amazing the amount of food we let go to waste because we did not have a rotation system in place.
Everything in this pile is way outdated, opened and never used up or stale.
Some of this can be used for chicken feed, some for worm feed and the rest is just compost.

Now I have to get everything ready for that winter blast everyone keeps talking about.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Hit The Door Running

I did not get home till after dark today and when I did, I hit the door running.
I cannot figure out why this stocking up thing has consumed most of my thought for the past few days but it has.
I stopped by the lumber store on the way home to buy the necessary items for the new pantry build tomorrow. If everything goes right It shouldn't take to long to get it done. I will have to be kinda quick about it because of the rain that is moving in sometime after noon.
I could not wait to get home and get started with the deconstruction of the Frankenstein shelving units I had built and get everything out on the floor to inventory.  
I ended up having more food than what I thought. At first look I figured I could go for about three weeks to a month before being in trouble. After cleaning out all the nooks and crannies I bet I could add another couple of weeks to that. It is amazing what you can find under stacked up boxes. Hm, that makes me wonder if I have any T-Bone steaks left in the bottom of the freezer.  

Thursday, January 6, 2011

You Guessed It

I bet you already guessed what the weekend plans are? Yup that's right, the pantry.
This house has the worlds worst storage system. We had to get shelving units and put them in the area we designated as the pantry just to have a place to store something. As we increased in food we also had to increase in shelf space and with yall knowing how I hate to buy anything can imagine the unorganized, miss matched shelving units we collected and put up calling it a pantry. I would take a picture of it but I just can't bring myself to show it off in it's current condition.
Saying that, this weekend with the cold front moving in makes a great opportunity to rectify that situation. I have finished my supply list and checked it twice so now I am ready to get started on stocking but first I am going to redo the whole pantry area and build some real shelves, with real wood from the store not the scrap pile. Aren't you proud of me?
I might take some before and after pics and show it that way. 
Let the sawdust fly!   

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Spark

I was reading some other posts over the holidays and like I said before, it seamed everyone was lining out what they plan to do this new year. One in particular is .
Her blog "Hoof 'n Barrel" created a spark in me and the wife on being prepared and ready.
I call it "IT", with "IT" being whatever it may be. Like for instance, being laid off from work, a sudden disability, natural disasters or yes even the end.
Now I am not real big on the whole "The world is coming to an end" thing because I plan to be taken before all that happens. What I am worried about is all the other "ITs". I understand you cannot be prepared for every "IT" but with some preparation, "IT" does not have to be so bad.  If I am prepared for lets say a lay off from work, then I could get a stocking job at Walmart for a few months till something better comes along and still be ok.

So that's what I have been working on the last couple of days. I have compiled a list of everything we need to live on for at least six months. I started with a one year supply list but quickly found I would have to build another barn to hold it all. I am feeding and providing for a family of five and I asked myself, "Where am I going to store 100 rolls of toilet paper?" With a six month supply of everything we use and under those conditions, I bet we could stretch that supply out to eight months if we needed to. I need to loose some weight anyway.

She is working on a blog post to let everybody know how her and her husband have set it up and how they did it. She has helped me on mine and now I am ready to get started.
Just to see where I stood at the present, I took a quick inventory of my pantry to see if "IT" happened tomorrow how would I be set up. I hate to say it but I could not last a month without needing some help. Scary hu.  So check her blog out and see if you learn something. "IT" might just save your life.

This is the way I look at "IT". "IT" may not happen or "IT" may happen in just a few minutes from now. If I am not ready for "IT" when "IT" happens, then "IT" will be devastating. If I am kinda ready for "IT", then "IT" may not be as bad as "IT" could be.
(I just wanted to see how many times I could use "IT")       

To sum it all up   "IT" happens.   (If you did not think that's funny, then something is wrong with you)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

And Then There Was Light

The big barn has power. I am not am electrician and am sure a real one would have done it in half the time but it does not matter now.
This was the first step in using the 30'X50' building for something other than storing junk. It also gives me the capability of building on bad weather days so no more excuses for me now.
The completed barn plans are;
1. Have eight 5'X8' Chicken breeder pens with outside runs.
2. A 20'X10' Enclosed tool shop area.
3. A 10'X10' Incubator room.
4. A 10'X10' Brooder room. 
5. A 10'X6' Worm farm area.
6 A 10'X10' Small fish farm area.
7. With all the space taken up I am trying to figure out where I am going to put the minnow tank.
I bet you this, it might not all get done this year but at least I have power down there now. 

If you are interested, here is the breakdown on the little project.
Materials                          Retail           Picked                            Saved
370' of 3/4" Conduit            $75.00          $75.00                            $0.00
1200# Mule Tape                $20.00          Trash Pile                        $20.00
1050' of #6 Wire                 $990.00        Trash Pile                        $990.00
75' of #12 Wire                   $35.00          Trash Pile                        $35.00
Trencher Rental                   $200.00        Dinner                             $200.00
Breaker Box                        $38.00          Trash Pile                        $38.00
50 & 20 amp Breakers $25.00          $8.00 (The 50 on Hand)     $17.00
J boxes, Plugs & Switches $14.00      $2.00 (Some on Hand)       $12.00
2 Shop Lights                      $40.00           From A Demoed Building    $40.00                    
 Totals                                 $1437.00         $85.00                          $1352.00

I don't put this cost breakdown up to brag or anything of the sorts. I put it up to show what scrounging, bartering and doing favors for other people can do to the overall bottom line of a project if your lucky. I admit, I lucked out on the wire. They were end pieces of a spool and could not be used on long 500' runs so they were trashed, all I did was ask.  

 If you were wondering, the bee boxes have dried and are put up till spring. I plan to order a 2 pound swarm in April so that gives me some more time to read and study about the little things.
I can't wait till get that cool looking hat they wear.

I had to wrestle this little thing this afternoon so we could make him a steer. I have not done that in years and I don't remember them being that strong. Maybe I'm just getting older, fatter and weaker. No it couldn't be that, he was just that strong.

Happy New Year

I hope everyone had a great first day of the new year.
I have been reading some other blogs today and it seams the trend is to write about the goals for the upcoming year so here I go with mine.
My personal goal this year is to pick my battles and not sweat the small stuff as much. Also I have a goal to spend more time fishing because you would not believe what problems you can work out when you take away all the influences of the world and just watch a cork float in the water.
Mini Farm:
The Mini Farm's goal this year is to have the complete chicken operation fully built and making money.
My family goal is to do the very best that I can and to know that I did.
Re-focus on preparedness for the unthinkable by getting our food, water and power supplies ready.

And that's it. Simple hu? Now on to what I did on my fist day of the new year.  

It was 11:00 AM before the temp got above 40 degrees and I could not wait any longer. My buddy Dav lives just over 1/4 mile away so it didn't take but just a minute to get there and start painting the bee hives.    
I wish it was March or April already so I can get the bees into it and see how it all works.

While we were out playing with our hives, the wives were at the house cooking the New Years dinner. We had Mom and Dad over to share in the ham, black eyed pees, greens and chess pie. Now that's what I like about bringing in the new year right there.

Tomorrow is my last day of freedom from work so I plan to finish with the power to the big barn and then probably do absolutely nothing.

Happy New Year to you all and may all your goals come together this year.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Last Day Of The Year

This is how I spent the last day of 2010

I did not take kindly of being skunked yesterday so I woke the kids up at 7:00 AM and told them I want a chance to redeem myself. I made a quick trip into town for a couple of dozen minnows and headed back to the creek. A cold front was moving coming in and I wanted to at least get a couple of hours of fishing in before it did.
And yes I did redeem myself, this time being the only one catching fish and of course nobody brings the camera when I am on the fish. Just like yesterday they were all to small and were returned back to the creek to grow up.

That front did blow in and when it did the temp dropped to the 30's. I refused to sit around the house any more so I grabbed my buddy Dav and we went to the hardware store to buy some materials and then spent the rest of the day in his shop (The Sac) building bee hives.

This is a Top Bar Kenya design mixed with a design from another and some of our own .

These are the Top Bars with a 1"X16" strip for the comb builder base.

The 44" base holds 28 Top Bars and you can see this one is not a front loaded like most Kenya's are. The 3/8"X6" slot on the side is where the bees will come and go.

We chose the flat top due to nothing more than ease. We also put them on legs to keep them up out of the grass. I chose not to put in a observation window in the side on this first model because I want to get some bee experience to know what I am looking at or for.  

Both of them together fully loaded. One is mine and one is Dav's

If it gets above freezing tomorrow, we plan to paint.

Most of this wood was on the cull rack at Lowe's and was purchases at .50 cents each. The paint was in the miss matched basket and bought at $1.00 The breakdown below shows that it is ok to be a cheapo.

                                    Retail           Picked           Savings
3  -  1X12X8              $90.00         $1.50            $88.50
4  -  2X4X8 Treated   $12.00         $2.00            $10.00
3  -  2X2X2 Treated   $9.00           $1.50            $7.50
14- 1X2X8                 $21.00         $21.00          $0.00
Plywood                     $18.00         $1.00            $17.00
Screws                        $5.00           $5.00            $0.00
Paint                            $20.00         $2.00            $18.00

Total                          $175.00        $34.00          $141.00

We built two standing bee hives for $34.00 with a savings of $141.00, now being a cheapo is not bad at all.