Posts Tagged ‘thrifty’

Chicken Coop Construction

December 17, 2013

Third time’s a charm, right?  I hope so!  This is our third attempt at raising chickens.  The other two tries were highly successful and with each adventure we learn a little more.  Nov. 25th, Nora’s Gotcha Day, we bought some new chickies.  Darling little fluffy peepers…. soon turned into noisy, smelly growing birds.  But we love them.  Truly.  From that day, I knew I had approximately three weeks to get a coop built.  Time got away from me… and I ended up purchasing a bigger plastic storage tub to make my planning/collecting/building time last a tad bit longer.


My sweet supportive husband did not want chickens.  At all.  He didn’t even care if we would eventually get two dozen eggs a week.  Nope.  He is scarred from having to clean out maggoty chicken poop a long long time ago in a galaxy far far away.  It’s okay.  If I were born in a different era, I’m sure I would have fit right in with Little House on the Prairie.  Oh to have a free range flock!  I dream of wearing fashionable rubber boots and collecting eggs in a hand-woven basket from my huge coop at the back of the grassy property.  But no.  I’m in Phoenix.  In an HOA, nonetheless.  But it’s all good.

chickies n kids 015

Being non-supportive, Mr. Wallet didn’t feel the need to “invest” in chicken coop construction.  Go figure!  The one I would love to build comes in a tidy box with a shiny picture on the front of a two story coop with a run, shutters, metal roof and wood paneling that I admire with ogling eyes.  For a mere $249, it could be gracing my backyard!  Trying to keep peace on the farmstead, I have been pouring over Craigslist, an online garage sale…. particularly the FREE section.  She shoots, she scores!  I found a 3’x3’x3′ wooden shipping crate!  PERFECT!  I did talk my sweet supportive husband into dumpster diving with me in the next neighborhood where new homes are being built.  We totally scored some 4×6 treated beams and a bunch of other useful pieces of wood.

coop 001

Yesterday was spent removing nails, measuring, sawing and praying.  Today I called my two nephews and niece over from across the street to help me and three of my kids get the legs on this baby.  We should have video taped the whole ordeal.  They are ALL sarcastic and funny and loud.  I was explaining the procedure, “Two of you need to lift the crate,” before I could breathe my eldest nephew named his sister and cousin for that job.  Hardy har har.  The four remaining cousins were to hold legs in place while I screwed it all together.  They were all in place but talking so loudly I finally pulled the trigger on the drill and yelled something …. nice… like “Please use your inside voices” or some other such nonsense.  They all laughed.  In my face.  Anyway, we did get the coop duty done.  Tomorrow is front door construction and heat-lamp hole drilling.


The girls are getting all feathered out already!  HURRY!

Mr. Economical

April 28, 2008


My dear husband prefers the Mr. Economical title over “cheapskate” or “tightwad.”  I don’t blame him.  I like to refer to him as Mr. Wallet.  :o)  He has earned this name throughout our 20+ years of marriage by continually amazing me at his new and improved money-saving, penny-pinching schemes to prosper his family.  Albeit, these are a few EXTREME examples, they are factual and worth mentioning for posterity.

The Moldy Cantaloupe Conundrum.  Somehow a perfectly ripe and inviting cantaloupe snuck its way to the back of the fridge behind the giant jar of apple sauce and remained hidden until successfully deformed and fermented.  I discovered the disgusting lumpy melon and placed it in the trash.  The next morning to my astonishment, the cantaloupe had climbed out of the trash, rolled its lumpy self over to the fridge, pried open the door and scaled the shelves to the most prominent place in the front.  OK, Rick found it and put it back in the fridge.  Sick!  So I put it back in the trash, where it belonged.  Then I found it again in the fridge….  I left it there until I had the perfect plan.  A friend of mine stopped by and as she was leaving, I grabbed the rotten fruit and pushed it inside her coat.  “Please take this home and throw it away!” I pleaded.  She did.  And the fridge-garbage-fridge-garbage-fridge cantaloupe was never discussed then… or ever again.  One point for me.

The Acrid Trash Bag Affair.  Rick’s dad visited our house one summer and kindly mowed the gargantuan lawn for us.  He tediously placed all the clippings in 8 or 9 garbage bags, ready for transport to the dump.  Behind our house was a sloping hill of trees and an old, dead 1960-something truck carcass.  Finding all the trash bags full of grass, Rick carried each one to the back of the property and emptied them down the hill, where he always put the cut grass.  Next, being Mr. Economical, he folded the bags now lined with cling-on grass blades and put them at the bottom of our garbage can for future use.  Well, 100 degrees + grass clippings in plastic = smelly mess.  I believe I did mention the assaulting aroma, but continued to fill the bags until they were used up.  Next came a trip to the dump, being that there was no garbage removal in our remote town in Northern Alberta.  When we arrived at the crater-size hole half filled with bulging black trash bags, I gasped and exclaimed to my dear husband in an excited voice, “Honey!  Look!”  He looked, but wasn’t quite sure at what.  I pointed to the hole and proclaimed, “Look at all the FREE trash bags just waiting to be emptied!  We’ll never have to buy garbage bags again!”  He rolled his eyes toward heaven.  I believe he was thanking God for ME.