Monthly Archives: June 2010

New Trees!!..or should it be: new trees.

..not the best time of year for buying new trees for the homestead..but the price was right. A* and I were out at a local grocery store and we saw some good deals on trees. Since it was no longer ‘planting’ season the prices go down..We have been in the market for a couple of Nootkas ( ) but we were not sure if we wanted the trees as they were $75 each..and it was really unclear as to the discount because things were not clearly labelled..well, to make a long story short, the store was closing and we decided against buying the trees.

Later in bed A* and I were talking..we knew the prices were going to be high for these trees and it never hurts to ask how much the trees were getting marked down to…so A* was going to go back to see how much the trees were and see if she could work a better deal. WHen I say ‘work a better deal’ with A* I really mean for her to ask and see what happens. I NEVER go to a mechanic, call places or go and ask questions about things..the reason being is that A* gets things done for her that would never happen to me..Just last week I ask A* to pick up some materials and she comes back telling me that the guys in the warehouse we just throwing things in the truck and saying that the stuff was free..mechanics treat her well too..often driving her to her destination after she drops off a car..and thats the actual mechanic!..anyway, so I send A* to talk to the people at the garden area at the grocery..and she comes home with 2 of the Nootka trees..for $35. So, we basically got a free tree and %50 off the other one. I bet if I were the one to go I would have only gotten 20% off. I don’t make the rules..but I do notice them..and once again the power of being attractive and sweet go much further then being an abrasive impatient jerk! Street smarts wins again! the only thing to do is plant them! Exciting times! of the 2 new trees...lets hope it makes it in this heat!!

..yes..planted…the magic of losing photos!

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Posted by on June 29, 2010 in Construction


Coop Roof…

..but could also be Coop OOPS!

So, I needed a roof for the coop. Its much easier to keep chickens dry when they have a roof. It also saves having to shovel out the coop after it snows…not to mention extra protection from hawks and owls…or so the experts would have us believe!

Anyway, I did some research and it appears that before you shingle a roof you should sheath the structure..but in the meantime I wanted the roof structure up so that everything would be square and solid when I put the 4×8’s on. Before I started I thought I wanted a peak roof..but I had no idea how to do that..then I wanted just a slanted roof because it seemed simpler..but I had no idea how to do that either. I asked around but with only my dog present there wasn’t much in the way of ideas ( besides going to get Jango an treat ) I decided a slanted roof would be easiest for a roofing rookie like I got to it. By now I am getting really good at making squares on the ground ( mom is sooo proud!) then securing them so why change things now? I made a 18inch x 8ft mini wall and secured it on top of the back wall..simple.

..rear wall of roof..

I figured that 18 inches from back to front was enough to make sure that no snow would accumulate ( at least not as much ) and the water would run off. Over the course of researching there were more then 1 way to do something..I settled on 1 or 2 ways..either cut out the 2×4’s to be fat with the roof ( I hate attempting to make fine angle cuts ) or use pre-fabricated metal ties to hold the roof in place ( yay..easy!)..needless to say I went the easier way. the metal pieces were $.99 each and I needed 14 of them.
I cut the 4 end pieces so they would not overhang on the sides and secured it all..the hardest part of all of this was making the end pieces for the front and back so that I could nail the front and rear boards on..I cannot remember the proper term for the front and rear pieces of the roof so I am going to call them ‘jazzers’. these jazzers were a pain..the roof is 18 inches higher in the back than the rear..and I am sure if someone did this sort of thing for a living they could work out the angles themselves from the measurements took me 6 2×4’s to get the correct cut so the ends of the 2×4’s were the same angle as the jazzers. I guess it would be 90 degrees. jazzers. Anyway, I did 1 up properly so everything was 90 degrees and then used that one as a template for the other 6..then I secured these to the front metal brackets and rear metal brackets on top of the walls. then a roof skeleton was born. seems more complicated when I type it out..usually when things are complicatd I just stand still and scratch my head for 30 minutes and I don’t remember doing that too much and there is no new bald spots on my head so I must have somewhat known what I was doing…although if you look closly at the pictures you will realize that I did not know..and still don’t.

but shag it..either way the skeleton is mostly up! I still need the nesting boxes but that will not be for a couple of weeks…after I put the sheathing, window, door, roof, tar paper and shingles…I should have converted the dog house like I had originally planned..this all sounds daunting! is starting to look like something..

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Posted by on June 26, 2010 in Construction


..Canada is…


Wow..that looks like it needs some work

Canada is the Rocky Mountains. Canada is Prince Edward Island..Canada is on my shed roof. Yes, over the last week we have been painting the shed as the weather allows. It is an all metal shed that is 12×16 and it is full of junk. Our neighbour mentioned that we should paint it soon or it might start to rust out…A* loves painting ( as opposed to other forms of work..not as a hobby or anything ) and this seemed right up her alley. First off we needed to remove the rust and particles so we took a broom to it..then a water and vinegar solution..then we battered the shed in a beer batter and deep fried for 5 minutes…wait a second that is my fish and chips recipe. Anyway, we put the vinegar solution on to remove additional rust. Nothing to shocking after this..she primed it and then painted it..We also have painted a racing stripe on the door to make it open faster cause the door would only open in 2 seconds but I needed it around 1.8 seconds for reasons of safety. We went with a bright red. NOw..we were running out of paint and could only do 1/2 the roof ( it is metal too ) I got an idea ( usually a bad thing ). We live around 10km from the airport as the crow flies..and we have many flights departing and arriving directly over our camp/house…so in the spirt of nationalism I decided to use the rest of the red paint to paint a 10ft symbol of all things Canadian..a maple leaf. I was on the fence for a while about what I would paint..would a beer can be a good representation? COuld people read a ROger Whittaker song lyric from 3000ft? Did I have the artistic intergrety to pull off a maple leaf? Anyway, I did it to the best of my impatient abilities until the paint ran out..I will need to fix it up some but if you are flying out of an airport and see a maple leaf that is about 100 times bigger than usual it might be mine. flags are so 2005.


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Chicken Coop…4 walls

A* finally made me put up all 4 walls for the coop project. She said that ‘…either you finish builing that coop for the chickens to sleep in or you can sleep in the doghouse!’. OK, so nothing that harsh was more like ‘…were you going to attempt to finish that coop anytime this summer?’ Ah..jeez. So I told her that we would have the roof on and all 4 walls done by the end of the month..I cracked under pressure..what can I say? I should have said that it was not a coop I was building but a piece of modern art..that way I would already have been done. Actually if I said that I was creating an artistic piece I could have hung a hammer in a tree and called it a day…I don’t know art but I know what I like..and no, its not a hammer hanging from a tree. but I digress.

Since the front and back walls had been up weeks ago I needed to make sure everything was flush(ish) so that it will all be square..nailed some new 2×4’s into place and resecured the posts holding the wall up..again.

So the remaining 2 walls are only 4×8 so it should be twice as easy to do up as the 8×8 walls. 1 wall is just a wall so it should be no problem to do..the other is going to have the door in it so I needed to do even less for it. So, just as before I constructed the walls on the ground then lifted them into place…I don’t have an air compressor so I secured the walls with screws for extra strength instead of trying to hold the walls and keep them flush while I nailed them. In 2 short hours I had all 4 walls up..pretty sweet. Its funny..when you keep putting stuff off it only seems bigger and bigger but when you actually get in there and do it things usually happen faster than you think.

Just to be on the safe side I put up a couple of more posts to hold the new walls in place and nailed some smaller 2×4’s on the top of the walls to make sure nothing moved again before I get to the roof later this week or next week..WHen I was nailing these pieces I could really tell a difference in the started to feel like an actual building..or at least not flimsy like a house made of straw or twigs.

I am not sure if I should actually be putting the sheathing on the outside before I do the roof so I will have to do some investigating either way..but no more procrastinating..originally I told A* that we would have chickens by June..I am now looking for the first week in July..hopefully..but the first weekend in July is busy so it might get pushed back…again. thats what I like about not having too solid a plan, its easy to change! Indecision is the key to success! hehe

wow, 4 walls! this is the front window area.

..and pointed toward the door area...yeah, I know. Great photography. these shots are the equalavent of cutting someones head off in a pic


Posted by on June 20, 2010 in Construction