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Sunday, February 9, 2014

Broken Dreams

Yesterday we received a package from my cousin Brittany. She had packed it full of little clothes and big dreams tucked beside newborn diapers, little socks and shoes that belonged to my little cousin Carter.

My heart broke again as I imagined a different ending for that day back in September. I imagined Carter wearing the tiny boots in the little keep sake box.The little outfits on a growing little boy.

My heart breaks for those broken dreams. Why is it that the one who lost so much gave so much for a little one she has never met? My heart breaks for my own family and the broken dreams that lay in our hearts. My heart breaks for my eleven siblings I didn't get to grow up with. I was to little to understand when we lost them. All I knew that my mommy was crying and I didn't understand why.

But as I got older I understood. That one day I will get to meet all those siblings I always wanted. The ones I would cry for because there were only five of us around the dinner table. We never named those eleven. I think it was just too hard. Except for two. They were twins, my mom was going to name them Hope and Faith. They passed though heavens gates on Good Friday.

This year when it warms up my mom and I have decided to make stepping stones and write each of their names onto them and place them in our garden. Recently a friend invited us to her church, she introduced us to the pastors wife then stepped aside to get us all some hot chocolate. The pastor's wife asked if we were the only two children in our family. Brianna answered for us. But it wasn't the right answer but how do you explain "No there are thirteen of us but the other eleven you will never meet" ? How do you explain that no we aren't the only ones?

How do you explain your broken dreams to someone who has never walked your road? How do you answer are you the only children in your family?

(If you do not know Carter Lee's story I encourage you to visit his mommy's blog Twinkling Stars & Forget-Me-Not's . You can also read The Other Side Of The Waiting Room which is where I tell a little bit of his special life.)

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Friday, February 7, 2014

How To Build A Chicken Coop ~ With Mr. Cottage & The Rosevine Girls

Cheyenne- We had some unexpected visitors on our hands that kept getting into our aviary that Mr. Cottage built for the birds.

Here is a picture of our most unwelcome visitor inside of our chicken aviary after killing all of our bantam silkies.  We just felt like something was wrong and went down to the pen and this is what we found.  It was angry that we stopped its meal.

We think that it got in by squeezing into the roofing.  It was so heart wrenching.  Mrs. Cottage and I rushed in and she held a stick like a baseball bat to protect her face and I went in behind her and got the door to the bird's barn dugout (there were so many shavings that the door was stuck open) so there I am digging it out with my booted foot.  I was terrified.  Mrs. Cottage prayed a mile a minute but I got it done and all the rest of the birds into the barn with myself and Mrs. Cottage and we backed out the other barn door.  We were so scared.

Mr. Cottage and his boss stopped by and let the Buzzard out of the aviary and off it flew for the moment.  But sadly it came back daily and tried to find a way in.  We patched every spot we could think of, but still, it got in.  Finally, we had enough and decided to build another home for the birds.

Mr. Cottage -We made the run part out of 2x4's and rabbit cage fencing. We placed the house on top of the run with the nesting boxes coming off the back and supported by poles. The frame for the house I made from 2X4s then cut the plywood to size and screwed it onto the frame.

On the floor of the house, we sprinkled DE ( Diatomaceous Earth) then put Linoleum over it to enable easier scrubbing and to help preserve the wood. I also made it so one side of the house opens to make cleaning easier.

For the nesting box I used a 2x2 for the frame and again cut the plywood to match my frame then screwed it on to the frame and attached it to the house. The nesting box door opens up to prevent the chickens from bumping the door open if it is accidentally left open. -Wink- (Not That ever happens...ahem) For the roof I cut the boards the length of the house and made them lay like shingles to help drain water off without actually using shingles.  I did the front of the house the same way. 
For extra support, I also added a 2x2 cross beam lengthwise across the house about a foot from the roof to help support it (Our street is nicknamed Tornado Alley for a reason).  For the chickens to come in and out we made a 1' 2x4 frame and put it in the floor then made a ramp from scrap wood. After we finished the run and house we cut a hole in the wire roof of the run and inserted our homemade feeder into it. 

I wasn't sure they would like it after having so much room in the aviary.  I knew the answer when I saw this in the AM.  Yep, they had settled in just fine.

You can also check out our Chicken Tractor

(Chickens, Farm, Coops, Runs, Barns, DIY, Chicken Tractors, Homestead, )

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