Monday, November 21, 2011

Well, well, well...

Country living has so many new aspects including, well...a WELL.  On Friday, we were running water outside to fill up the horse tank and the water was, well, black.  Ewwww!!  So we let it run awhile and it eventually cleared up.  However, the water pressure wasn't working very well...very low both outside - and inside (read as "no shower since Friday"). 

So, I'm telling a friend about this on Saturday while we're eating lunch at Chipotle and who do you think walks in?  Our plumber!  So I ran the situation by him and he recommended we call our "well guy", to which I replied, "Who is our well guy?"  Both my friend and my plumber recommended the same "guy" so we called him today.  He took a look at the pressure gauge and said, "We need to pull it up."  So out they went.  When they pulled it up, they found a pipe was completely corroded and leaking.  They fixed the pipe and also put in a new pump so we are back in business!

And now the really exciting news...they are coming back in two weeks to run a water line to the barn!  This is going to be incredibly wonderful given that the only current way to fill the water tanks is to run a hose from the house...not so fun in a MN winter!  Just in time for one more animal friend who is coming to live with us soon...stay tuned :-)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Chicken Palace

So...we've been "winterizing" the chicken coop.  Perhaps "remodeling" would be more descriptive.  Ok, let's be real...our chickens now live in a palatial chicken palace.  Ready for the before and after?


This is BEFORE.  It was a little unnerving knowing the previous owners of our home lost their ten chickens when a pack of coyotes dug under the fence.  So we've been a bit nervous with the flimsy chicken wire. 

Another issue was that the box where the chickens slept at night (to be safe) was too small for them to be cooped up in all winter.  We also needed a heater (ok, "need" is probably a bit strong...we thought a heater would be wonderful for our beloved birds) and a light so the birds will continue to bless us with their egg-cellent eggs throughout the winter.  And, the ceiling had low hanging beams that were always bumping into.  Oh so many opportunities for improvement!

Enter...Brennen and his father Jerry!  The dynamic duo who remodeled the Super-8 into the Ritz-Carlton!

These two professional craftsmen usually work on kitchens and basements.  I told them they should start billing themselves as "Kitchens and Coops" after the bang up job they did in the Bendickson backyard. 

Check this out...

Now THAT's a chicken coop!  Isn't it beautiful?!  I can't wait to add window boxes in the spring.  And don't you just love the little chicken door? 

Come on inside...

The birds are loving their nifty new nest boxes:-)

And when the temperatures start dipping down, they will appreciate their "Sweeter Heater"...
Much safer than a traditional heat lamp.  AND, it is plugged into a "Thermocube" (you learn all kinds of things when you start poking around :-).  A Thermocube looks like a powerstrip, but it has a built-in thermostat which will turn the heater on when it gets down to 20 degrees...and off again when it hits 30.

They even got rid of those nasty head-banging beams so we can walk in without knocking ourselves out:-)

That's the latest.  The goats are growing babies (hopefully) due April 3rd and 5th.  The chickens have a beautiful winter home.  And Joe, the horse, has adjusted to Ashley's plan to whip him into shape. 

That's what's happening in our neck of the about you?   

Friday, November 4, 2011

Never say never

I did something yesterday that I said I'd never do.  I know other people do it.  And I don't blame them for it.  I just didn't think I ever would.

I put a goat in my car.  (Yes, Sarah, I did it.)

Why? Because one of our goats (Nellie) was in heat and that calls for desperate measures.  Well, not really.  One has 48 hours or so to load up the goat and bring it to the buck...if you want babies in the spring, that is.  And we do.  So we did.

Meet the buck.  He will be the dad to our babies.  His name is Stone.  And he stinks.  Really bad.

If all went well, Nellie is due April 3, 2012. 

We are gearing up for round two tomorrow...this time it's Betsy's turn to ride in the car and visit the stinky boy.  And this time it's Rich's turn to do the driving :-)