Bella and Charlie ready for bedtime stories. 

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Humane Society Sunday 

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ECEP Friday

It was “make and try fried okra” Friday at ECEP!  Charlie was a fan…

Charlie Kate cuts okra

Charlie Kate prepares fried okra

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Estem Friday 

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Jingle Bell Run 2016

It was a rainy 5k,but still fun to run .

Graydon ran well and finished 6th in her age group!  I finished 2nd in my age group, getting edged out of 1st place by 15 minutes and change. 

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Stop. Hammer time.

Man, this place is a ghost town…

Here are some pics of a few chunks of an oak tree we had taken down at Rocky Valley Estates:

Some back yard oak

After a knocking the pieces down to size with a bandsaw and getting a few passes on the planer:

Starting to come together as the pieces are getting fitted:

A large glued up blank:

After some more shaping on the bandsaw to pretty it up and remove some mass:

This thing turned out to be almost comically oversized:

It seemed like a good idea at the time, but after feeling the heft and balance, it was overkill to have such a large mallet size.  The bandsaw helped in getting the the mallet head slimmed down.

Mallet head and handle after final shaping and a little boiled linseed oil:


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Coop complete

Final picture of the coop:

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Charlie Kate flash back


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March 19 was Graydon Claire day

Graydon turned 8 this March!  Her birthday party request was a Cupcake Wars themed party.  This version had two teams of 3 girls each, with two technical advisors, one Charlie Kate-sized special assistant, and a 3 judge panel.

The contestants were assembled, issued their special aprons and split into two teams: the Yummy Cups and the Tasty Cakes.  The teams immediately dove in and started strategizing on their cupcake creations with their technical advisors.

{click on images for full size versions}

cupcake strategy session

cupcake strategy session

The spread of cupcake ingredients was particularly impressive to this particular judge.  The lovely wife made all the cupcakes from scratch.  Fortunately, our chickens have really started to hit their egg laying stride- Jennifer made 90 cupcakes in multiple flavors, along with frosting, lemon creme, etc., etc., etc.  Here’s one of the technical advisors and the special assistant to the cupcakers surveying the supplies:

This Cupcake War had 3 rounds, with a limited amount of time for each round.  The girls kept busy, shooting for cupcake perfection:

After each round, the teams had to present their creations to the judge’s panel.  Here is Team Tastycakes describing their entry:

Team Yummy Cups:

Judges were pleased:

There was some judge/advisor consultation, but no votes were swayed:

Cupcakes were amazing.  Seriously- look at these:

Great job cupcakers!


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Coop update

The coop has been in place for a few weeks now.  It is still not complete, but it stays dry inside.  When I first brought it over to Leviathan Hall, I had a lot of cardboard covering various un-done portions.  The ridge, the nesting boxes, the front and back doors all had cardboard stapled over.  I’m down to only having cardboard over the windows now…

coop #2

The dangling weight in the picture is the counter weight to the coop door.  The coop door started out as an old Square D electrical panel cover.  I cut the height down a bit to allow the pulleys enough room to operate.  I put together some side rails to keep the door on track and to provide a positive stop in case the door gets pushed in.

coop #2

The weight and the pulleys worked out really well with the weight of the door.  The pull action on the counter weight is very smooth.  The door stays put in the location determined by raising or lowering the counterweight.

coop #2

This coop doesn’t have an attached run like my previous version.  I put together a scrap wood covered area for them to hang out.  There is shelter under the coop itself, but this gives them a little more room:

coop 2 annx

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