I’m building a chicken coop.

Granted, Joanna is less than thrilled with my latest project, but I have a feeling she’ll come around.  Her icy demeanor seems to be melting a little bit already, thanks to new neighbors that moved in down the lane.  You see, in a very short time, they’ve amassed a wonderful little mini farm complete with over a dozen chickens, several turkeys, and their very own miniature donkey named Ruth.

The boy loves to visit.  So do I.  So does Joanna.  How could she object to just a few of her own hens in comparison?

I’m sure we’ll have lots to share with you as we embark on our livestock adventure.  Especially since like most things we have no idea what we’re doing.  For now I thought I’d show you the coop build thus far.

Just don’t look too closely.  I know as much about carpentry as I do animal husbandry.  (read: zilch).

Here’s the result from one of our many lumber trips.  The foreman approves.

As you can see, that dude is a stickler for safety gear.



The very first of many frame sections cut and ready to assemble.  All necessary tools and supplies accounted for.

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It’s Thrift Gift Facelift Time!


That’s still not good enough.  IT’S THRIFT GIFT FACELIFT TIME!  

I can do better.  It’s

TGF Button 8Time!!

Better.  Much better.

If you didn’t catch the first Thrift Gift Facelift post last month, click here.  If you’re too busy to click over, here’s the haps:

Find a friend who likes DIY as much as you do.  You each acquire an inexpensive thrifted item (found at garage sales, thrift stores, even in old basement corners) and trade with each other.  You each then have to craft that item into something wonderful for your own home!

Don’t have a pal that likes DIY as much as you do?  No problem.  Thrift.  Gift to Yourself.  Then Facelift away!

Heather over at What Does She Do All Day and I plan on Thrift Gift Facelifting once a month and sharing our stories the first week of each month.   We encourage you to play along as well!  Post on your own blog and send us a link or simply send us pictures of your Thrift Gift Facelifting and we’ll post them on our blogs.  We might even add a link up to each post for you.

So . . . what did this month bring?  A $3.99 Eddie Bauer clock which I turned into not one, but two upcycled projects.

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First things first.  I had to take the clock apart.

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I was going to go with a Milli Vanilli inspired title, but I guess the wife’s “Toddler Radio” Pandora station won out.  It’s been wearing me down… wearing me down in a glittery, high pitched, Sillies-Shaking-Out, psychological torture type of way.  Who knew psychological torture usually involved ukelele accompaniment?

But back on topic.  Yes, I’m here again to wow you with yet another of my Homestead Adventures.

I assembled a Rain Barrel.


This project was completed start to finish during nap time, while the Wife was out shopping for yoga pants.  Not just any yoga pants.  A fancier type of yoga pants she wouldn’t feel weird wearing out of the house.  It is the official SAHM uniform and it’s time she dressed appropriately.  At least that’s how everything was explained to me.

Such is our exciting lives.

Wait… what was I talking about?  Oh yeah, back on topic…

I assembled a Rain Barrel.


A buddy of mine had “a guy” that got him food grade 55-gallon drums dirt cheap last year.  I bought quite a few, moved them with us, and am finally getting around to installing them at the new house.

This particular barrel is assembled from a kit I received taking part in a workshop hosted by our local Parks Department.

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I’m still rocking this Snaptacular Weekend thing but I promise I have some more substantive posts planned for this week as well.  About half of these pics are from my camera phone edited with a fun little high contrast filter.

The weather around here has been awesomepossum so we took a walk down the lane to visit with Joey and Moon.  That’s Joey on the left and Moon on the right.  Moon was taking a cat nap.  Maybe it’s a colt nap.  In any case, he was snoozing.

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The walk was great, but I’m not 100% sure who was walking who.  I think I was walking The Pete and The Pete was walking The Snoops.

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Picked up some raw buckwheat to make this flat bread recipe from Ashley at Edible Perspective.  Hoping to get to that in the next few days, but I also have a brownie idea to implement as well as some Coconut Flour Lemon Muffins (spruced up with my maple macerated blueberries) from Faith at Gracefulfitness to make.

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It turns out it is finally spring around here.

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Hmmm… Oh well, let’s get this thing started.


Last time I hijacked Joanna’s blog we talked about building the Seed Starter Rack that is happily chugging along in one of our guest bedrooms.

Today, let’s take a look at the soil cubes living on that rack, nurturing our future little buddies.

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There are a lot of benefits to using these for seed germination instead of more traditional containers.

  1. There is considerably less shock to the seedlings when it’s time to transplant them into the outdoor bed.  Instead of digging and yanking them out of a plastic tub disrupting the root structure, you just plop these cubes into their new home.  I’m sure veggie puberty is hard enough without adding additional trauma.
  2. It’s very easy to water the soil cubes from the bottom once the seeds germinate.  Just make sure to gently water from the top until something sprouts.
  3. Money and storage space are saved by eliminating the ugly, messy containers.


Here’s how to make some little seed wombs of your own.

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It’s the Husband again.  Coming to you live from a cold, blustery Midwestern landscape.  Who else is ready for Spring?  We’ve had at least four brief teases that promptly get buried under six inches of pounding snow.

To stay sane, I’ve done a ton of winter planning for our vegetable garden. If only the weather would cooperate so I can finally get some action. A guy can only take so much furniture arranging, curtain hanging, and painting. While I enjoy helping Joanna make our new home beautiful (and covering up way too many walls of pink), I’d much rather be lumberjacking and working on projects outside.

I feel cooped up. Tense. Ready to pop.

Thankfully, it’s almost time to sow some seed.

But every guy knows you can’t just jump right in to something like that with only hope and good luck.  It takes preparation.  You have to tidy up first, set the mood lighting, make sure your rack is sturdy, maybe even pull out the chains.

I don’t know, whatever you’re into.  I’m not here to judge.

Here’s our homemade Seed Starter and Grow Light Rack we built last week.

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Want to see how easy it is to assemble one for yourself?  Not only is it fun to watch seedlings sprout indoors, it extends your growing season, meaning more vegetables to eat, while saving you tons of money over buying established plants for your garden, let alone buying the produce at a grocery store.

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I’m liking this series, although it has made me lazy in blogging the rest of the week.  I’ll work on that.

Snaps.  From our weekend.  Enjoy.

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The wife has always been a City Mouse, born and raised in one of the Midwest’s larger metro areas.  Even though I grew up in a much, much smaller town, that label mostly applies to me as well.  Yeah, I attended square dances and some couples drove tractors to our Prom, but that wasn’t really my scene. My childhood was spent hunting ducks through an 8-bit video game system, not out in the blinds on a cold, blustery morning.

Further, I detest yard work.  Our suburban sidewalks at the last house got edged once a year whether they needed it or not – meaning our lawn always looked like an unkept 1970’s centerfold.  It certainly didn’t help that we were surrounded by retired folks who enjoyed mowing three times a week. Those people need to find a hobby.

So it came as a surprise to our friends and family when we started telling them we wanted to “Move to the Country”.

Quick Aside: Joanna hates it when I say we did that.  She refuses to move to “The Country”. Even though she’s probably right as we’re only four miles out of our little town, and ten minutes to the nearest Target, I still like to exasperate her. Please assist me when you have the chance.

Now that we’re in our new place, you’ll probably read a little about our adventures transforming this beautiful BeeGees-era decorated house into our home.  Jo will share campaigns from her war against gallons of pink paint and floral wallpaper, while I focus on some more manly endeavors… like following orders to move a hutch into and out of all five corners in our square dining room (yep, do the math on that one).

I can only imagine some of these updates will be hilarious since I personally have no idea what I’m doing… and I’ll be running a chainsaw while doing it.

Today, let’s take a quick peak into the woods around our house.  My woods.  Our woods. In The Country.

Nice, right? Someday I’ll give you the full tour, but the back 40 is certainly laid out well with a mix of different mature trees. It’s not overgrown and there are plenty of natural trails thanks to the roughly 1 billion deer living back there not paying rent.

However, one problem jumped out right away when we had our first visit with the realtor…

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